If there's one thing that can bruise a woman's ego, it's the appearance of gray hair. I noticed gray hair cropping up here and there in the past few years. It wasn't a big deal because I'd just pluck them and that would be that. Now the gray hairs are multiplying faster than I can manage with tweezers and good lighting.
Dyeing my hair would be the next logical step, but I'm pretty ambivalent about doing it. I'm not convinced there's a product out there that would look natural on hair as dark as mine. The other part of my reluctance is hair dyes can contain toxic ingredients, like ammonia and coal tar, which can harm our bodies and isn't exactly safe for the environment either. Even though a report published in a 2005 edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association found that hair dyes do not cause cancer, I'd still rather be cautious about applying chemicals on my head on a regular basis.
So what can a prematurely graying mother of a preschooler do? There are options. Eco-friendly brands that contain few harsh chemicals are out there. The trade- off is the amount of dye the product deposits, which may mean frequent coloring. Henna, the crushed leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant, is touted as the only natural hair color. The downside is it only comes in one color, flaming orange, and you can't really be sure how it's going to look when applied to your hair. It's also important not to get henna, mixed up with black henna, which is not really henna and contains a toxic chemical called PPD.
I think I'm ready to try a few products. I'm hoping at some point I can find something that works for me. If I can't find the right fit, I may have to tell vanity to take a hike and just live with gray hair.