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Not Just for Kids

Not Just for Kids

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.Gabriel García Márquez

You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. – George Burns

Left to right: Elena; Libby; Ruth; Denny. Color by Julia Elena, except for Denny who does it herself.

Meet four women – one just 50; the rest a little older – sailing into their second or third acts with flying colors. We spoke with them to prove that while there may be snow on top, there just might be a rainbow girl inside.

Why?

Elena: I believe that when you change your age, you have to change your hair color too. Don’t go with what it was before; the black that I used to have belonged to my younger self; I’m not young anymore, and my natural color is gray, so I have to enhance it. I want to be who I am but a little more fun looking.

Libby: My biggest motivation is Julia; we had a discussion about where I am and what I need to do – I got laid off last Friday, and I have to be realistic and look for a job, so I need something subtle, but interesting (anything but purple or blue) and that’s what I got!

Ruth: I saw it on other people, young and old, and always dreamed about it, wishing... and I said, “Why not? I want it for me!”

Denny: I was gray early when I was 30 (I’m not going to tell you how old I am now, because I feel 30). I covered it by going blonde which is what I felt I had to do professionally. I left work (I’m not going to say the R word) and started working for myself and doing things I liked, not what a boss expected.

What?

Elena: I respect my age but I want to be something more than plain gray. It was a big decision; I didn’t know what to do; blue maybe? Purple? Julia is a customer of mine – I am a seamstress – and she said, “Purple. It goes with your skin tone.”

Libby: As a blonde, I’m a pink person, and I know I carry it well, but I’m not girly-girl, and this really works for me because it’s a great contrast with my personality.

Ruth: I have been telling Julia for a year I love this blue, but I kept putting it on hold. But this time I was ready to do it. So I just went for it.

Denny: I’ve tried a lot of colors, and pink stays the longest and it works with my skin, I think, and my white base. I do it myself, I just mush it in my hands and I go!

And...?

Elena: I was so happy I cried. I never cried in my life for my hair color. When I see myself in the mirror I don’t get stressed; it looks beautiful, no roots, and I don’t have to do it every two weeks. I come here a zero and end up like ten. It’s a big boost for me. 

Libby: I think my 91-year-old buddy Blanche will love it; there will be a moment of silence when she thinks, “How do I get this done?” I’ve been coloring my own hair from a box, so I think the most avant-garde thing about this is to be back in a salon environment. It’s been a long time!

Ruth: I’m happy that I did it. It feels wonderful. I feel me.

Denny: Sometimes I do blue, sometimes I do purple, but it fades to gray, and pink just fades to pale, pale pink. which is really pretty on the white.

Final thoughts?

Elena: I'll be plain: I wasn't looking for compliments, but I have had so many from men young enough to be my grandchildren. Women my age and even older are impressed and think I am a brave woman. Would they do it? Probably not. I’m just an adventurous person. If you have this spirit inside, it gives a little spice to your life. I think everybody needs to try new things, especially when you get to the second or third part of life.

Libby: Painting hair with brilliant color used to be something that was ‘out there.’ It’s not anymore.

Ruth: I won’t go back to safe colors. When you become a mother you play safe; but when the kids are gone, it’s different. You can go all the way!

Denny: It’s me! I’m a pink, curly girl!

 

References:

These Before-and-After Hair Makeovers are the Best Thing You'll See Today by Taylor Bryant, July 13, 1016

http://www.refinery29.com/hair-dye-older-women

Advanced.style A project (blog, books and documentary film) devoted “to capturing the sartorial savvy of the senior set” by photographer and author, Ari Seth Cohen

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