Pandemic Hair Colour; Five Weeks In

Well, it couldn’t be put off any longer. God love you all for taking this pandemic opportunity to embrace your greys or revert to your natural colour but believe me when I say that this wasn’t a good option for me. For one thing, as anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows, I do not have the occasional silvery strand highlighting my hair. I am 100% grey, and last week, I took a look at myself and was very unhappy.

In the harsh fluorescent lights of the Costco warehouse, my white/ grey roots were a stark contrast to my dry, orange, straw-like hair. I knew it was time.

I hadn’t coloured my own hair in well over twenty years. The last time I coloured my hair it was the Nineties; I was in grad school, I owned and wore crop tops. Things were different back then but wisdom comes with the years, and in my case, I had watched my hair therapist and her colour methodology with increasing frequency as time went by.

If you find yourself in a similar situation – and aren’t we all in this together? – start with the hair around your face and temples, and then go to the roots. Begin at the top of your head, taking the hair into sections, and work yourself down to the sides. Once the roots are done, start massaging the colour into the rest of your hair, like you are in a shampoo commercial, piling your hair on top of your head if possible.

I will tell you right now that last week, when I wielded my box of colour, my husband was extremely discouraging. I don’t know if he thought I would give myself a nervous breakdown – which, let’s face it, is totally possible – but he kept asking why I didn’t wait another week, just in case I didn’t like the colour. “I don’t know why you need to do it THIS week,” he kept saying to me, “I can’t even SEE any grey.” I could only conjecture that he was either a) lying, or b) visually impaired. He’s a pretty bad liar so I guess it’s true, love is blind.

Vanity, am I right? I do not know what it would be like not to care about my appearance. I told him what I will tell you now, and that is that I could not even stand to look at myself in the mirror. Waiting one more week made no sense to me. Why put off the inevitable? And as it turns out, I am very happy with the result.

I’m so happy with the result, in fact, that I’m looking a little askance at the sheer amount of time and money I have spent getting my hair done. Well. Several months ago I spent a lot of time and energy wondering if I should grow my hair out longer, and, as with so many other things, the decision is now taken out of my hands. There’s something very serene about having no choice, at least in this matter.

It may seem like a little thing to you, but colouring my own hair made such a big difference in my outlook on life. It gave me a lift; I felt pretty and perky. I feel like I have control over something in my life, which right now is a pretty momentous thing. I have no idea how long boxed colour will last – red is notorious for fading – but at $6.99 a shot, I’m not too concerned.

It’s my birthday tomorrow and as a gift from the universe, spring has finally arrived. It has been a LONG winter, and it has been a dreadfully cold and snowy March and April, and the sudden arrival of warmer temperatures and melting snow feels like an incredible gift. We have been going on long family walks every Sunday since this began, and yesterday I wore shoes. SHOES! Not boots! Speaking of which…

Pandemic Fitness

I have been going for very long – 10k – solo walks on Saturday mornings, and this week the paths were all melted off so I decided to run for half of it. I haven’t had a run since March 15, and I haven’t had an outdoor run since injuring myself last May. I wanted to do 5k and that’s what I did – and it felt fantastic.

Pandemic Reading

I read Bridget Jones’ Diary back when I was colouring my own hair, in the late Nineties, and it was so charming. I just loved it back then! The reference to stones, and Milk Tray, and Country Casuals. It was just so British and witty, but I have to say that it’s either the stage of life I am in or just the year 2020, but I found it much less charming. Although, there is a hilarious piece about programming VCRs. Remember how hard it was to record something? Remember having to actively record something? I actually clearly remember in the early 2000s, when we were first able to pause and rewind live television and well. What an age we live in.

I first read this on my honeymoon, back in 2002. This DID hold up well for me – it’s a beautiful and fascinating look into the geisha life, and it’s an interesting look at how Japan was affected in the second world war.

This was a nice light love story for a weekend read: if you don’t remember the love of your life, is he still the love of your life?

I’m off to spend as much time outside as possible; I hope the sun is shining where you are. xo


  1. Oh happy birthday!!!!!

    And your hair looks GREAT. Excellent work!

  2. So glad that the weather has improved for you and that you were successful in coloring your hair. I think it looks amazing. I am 49 and have some gray hairs here and there, but my roots are not gray. I have never colored my hair. I imagine having the gray creep back in would be irritating. The second hand book store near us started doing curbside pickups. I called and requested some books. We usually use the library, but I was happy to support this small business. I got the book you suggested: I hate my neck, or something. Too lazy to look up the title. I haven’t started it yet. I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  3. You did such a great job on your hair. I understand the need to do it now; it made you feel better and right now we need as much of that as possible.
    Happy early birthday; enjoy the sunshine and outside time!

  4. Oh, it turned out really well!!

  5. It looks really good. I’m a pretty thrifty person and also impatient – the time spent in a salon would drive me crazy. So I’ve been colouring my own hair for 10-15 years (didn’t start going gray until I was 50ish. I am still just about 50% salt/pepper at 64. I decided in September to go natural and had highlights put in for the transition (5 hours!!! I have a very particular hairdresser!). Good timing for all of this. But get as good a quality of hair colour as you can buy for home use & go for it. Buy a little root touch up kit for in between. Just think of what you can do with all that extra time & money! Red may be trickier than my brown but what the heck – hair grows back!

  6. Just had to comment to say your hair looks fabulous!! I love the slightly deeper colour and it looks healthy and bouncy and totally natural. Great job!

  7. Now you’re happy with your hair AND you know R loves you blindly. Win-win!


  1. […] and Isolation has really taken the decision out of my hands. I have written already about my hair colouring adventures, so I won’t bore you with it. Let’s just say I am THRILLED with the results and I […]

Leave a Reply