Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dye-ing to be Young

Dying hairImage by rightsandwrongs via FlickrNot too very long ago it seemed like folks aged faster. For example, my grandmother's photos of her at 40 look like someone today who is 65.

And men didn't fare much better. My own family tree boasts at least one or two men who had the ever-attractive "comb over," which eventually turned into the tragic "wrap-around."

Today, however, while some men go with "Hair Club for Men," even more go for the shaved head. Baldness has become a wide-spread phenomenon that some men should just not embrace. Either because their heads are in some unfortunate shape, or because their cheeks are wider than the top of their head, some men (and I know you've seen them) do themselves no favors by choosing to combat aging and hair loss by shaving their heads.

For the men who do look nice in the "Mr. Clean" look, the crisp look of a clean-shaven head can keep them from looking like they are aging quite so rapidly. Whereas, the olden days of trying to tease out the remaining hair into some kind of shape to resemble a full head of hair just screamed "old man" and really looked more like road kill than hair.

Women in my grandmother's day simply went gray. Hair dye was not nearly as wide-spread, and the colors available (especially in the drug store) were pretty heinous. So, most graying women would cut their hair short and coif it into some kind of curled helmet at the beauty salon. The style, along with the horn-rimmed glasses, said "aging" in big, red letters.

Enter in the ad campaigns by the beauty manufacturers: "I'm not growing old gracefully; I'm fighting it every step of the way." Suddenly, women have morphed into endless twenty-year-old's.

Hair dye has evolved into an entire science and industry of its own. Skin care has transformed wrinkles into smooth-as-a-baby's-butt skin. And whatever can't be treated chemically, can be nipped and tucked by a quick surgery.

Hair dressers around the world rejoiced at the turn of events. They were making money hand-over-fist with the advent of the perm. Then, women went "natural," and the perm went the way of the "comb over."

When the fountain of eternal youth was heralded to come from a little bottle of hair dye, the hair stylists sighed with relief, then jumped for joy. Then when highlights and lowlights, straighteners, blow-outs, and all the other numerous styling options dawned upon the horizon, hair styling was, once again, back in the proverbial "black".

I, myself, have succumb to the bi-monthly visit to my magician (aka my hair stylist) to erase the years by covering the gray. And I suspect I will continue to do so.

The result of all of these new hair styling/hair dying techniques (along with some significant wardrobe improvements) is that at 40, today's men and women look at least 10 years younger than our ancestors.

I'm hoping this trend continues. That way, when I'm 50, I'll look 20 years younger (comparatively). I mean look at Hollywood: Raquel Welch looks like she's in her 40's. (She's not in her 40's.) Shania Twain is "hot", even though she's well over 30, and a mom.

Yesterday's Hollywood starlett had to be in her 20's to be the "it" girl. Today's starlett can play a grandmother and still be considered "hot" for her age.

As I write this, I'm having to "arrange" my hair to cover my very gray roots. My hair dresser has fussed at me and begged me not to tell anyone she's my stylist until I get them fixed. (Can't say I blame her. BTW, Lindsay, I'm coming to see you Dec 17th!)

So, when you see me Dec 18th, be prepared to be wowed by a very youthful looking mother. In fact, you will probably think I look like I'm closer to my daughter's age... Okay, maybe not quite that young. But I will definitely look better.  And I will definitely look younger!

Hair dye is definitely a miracle worker for at least 90% of the American population of women (my guess). My prediction is that this will continue and improve. And we will all continue to look younger than our predecessors.  This... makes me happy.... :-)
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