Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Enjoy the Age You Are: Days of Gray

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 by Lisa Ricard Claro   25 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Today’s Naked Truth is the first installment in the “Lisa Goes Gray” series. Titillating, I know. Try to contain your unbridled excitement. 🙂

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen the pics I posted on my birthday a few weeks ago showing my newly shorn and graying locks. The lady on the left is one of my BFFs, Linda. We’ve been friends for over 25 years now, and she’s the baby sister I always wanted.

Linda & me 101715

It’s time to change my social media profile pic, yes? Soon. I’m waiting for my hair to gray up a bit more. No point doing it twice.

The comments I’m getting from people, now that my head is half gray and half brown, are: for the love of god, woman—why? There are multiple hair color options in aisle six to cover up that skunk stripe!

Here’s the Naked Truth response to that question, not the fru-fru answer I always give about saving time and money, and being tired of coloring roots every 3-4 weeks, though those things are 100% true. The big reason? Well, there’s a story to it. You had to know there would be, right?

Way back in my little girl days, my mama always told me it was important to enjoy the age you are. I didn’t retain that advice until I hit my middle school years, about age 13. You remember 13, don’t you? Too old to get away with being “just a kid,” but not old enough to have any real fun either. The real fun starts at 16, as we all know. Until you’re 16, and then you realize that the real fun begins at 18…no, wait…21…no, wait…

So while I retained the information, I ignored it. Until earlier this year when I rolled around to the notion that, as usual, Mama was right.

Enjoy the age you are. An impressive concept. Why did it take me 55 years to embrace that?

There’s nothing wrong with a woman coloring her hair. My mother colored her gray and was a blonde right up to the day she died. But for me, my hair became a personal manifestation of my desire to jump into 55 and ENJOY it. I’ve been coloring so long I have no idea what my natural color is anymore. Since I was doing the roots every 3-4 weeks, I saw the gray. But how much gray is in there? All gray? Fifty percent? Salt & pepper? Am I an old crone gray, or a classy silvery-gray like my French grandmother? What am I supposed to look like at 55? What DO I look like at 55 under the L’Oreal 6G? That question got to me and reminded me of Mama’s advice: enjoy the age you are.

So, I’m on a mission to see myself in middle age, coming up now to the latter end of it and sailing soon to senior discounts. My youngest asked me why I want to look old. My only answer is that I want to look however I’m supposed to look at 55. I’m going to enjoy it. Even the gray.

I’m not speaking for anyone else here. This is my own personal epiphany, but if you find it applies to you, I’d like to hear about it.

My biggest fear is that I’ll go through all this growing it out stuff, only to come to the realization that I’m not as ready to embrace it as I think I am. In other words…

What I hope to look like:

256px-Jamie_Lee_Curtis_crop_2 wikimedia commons free use

What may be the harsh reality:

Bride of Frankenstein free to share flickr photo share public domain

Either way, it will be me, au naturel. If nothing else, I’m ready to have fun with it.


Do you color your gray hair? Will you ever grow it out? If you’re a man, does your gray hair bother you, or do you just ignore it and put a hat on it? Inquiring minds want to know.

See you Friday for Observations from the Tub. Have a great week!


Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last in eBook or Print, go to AmazonBarnes & NobleBlack Opal BooksKobo, or AllRomance.

25 Responses to "Enjoy the Age You Are: Days of Gray"

  1. Comment by Pat
    November 11, 2015 at 10:01 am  

    Believe me, I’m tempted. Between the expense and the concern over letting chemicals absorb into my head every 5-6 weeks, going gray seems like a much better idea. What stops me is the fact that any ashy color washes me out. I look sick and even older than I am. Ugh! Wish I could get up the gumption to go for it.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 2:59 pm  

      Maybe in time, Pat. I’ve been driving the hubster nuts talking about it for about two years. It took me that long to make the commitment.

  2. Comment by Rob
    November 11, 2015 at 10:26 am  

    You look great. I’m a hat guy, always have been. Last winter I was cutting my hair (I cut my own hair, because I’m a hat guy) and screwed it up, so I went with the Yule Brenner look, thinking that maybe it was the gray hair that made me look old . . . I was wrong. I finally settled on the Doc. Martin look . . . because I’ a hat guy. I quit dating a lady once because she didn’t like my hats, which I thought strange as I was wearing a hat when we met. I figured getting rid of the hat was just the first installment on the changes she had in mind for me. Anyway, I live in cowboy country, so hats are always in style . . . even if gray hair isn’t.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 3:01 pm  

      🙂 Women. Always trying to change their guy. I learned a long time ago that is neither possible nor advisable. My own guy is a hat guy, too, mostly ball caps. I’ve learned to love ’em. One of these days you’ll find a mermaid with a hat on. She’s the one for you.

  3. Comment by Claudia
    November 11, 2015 at 11:02 am  

    What you say is all good and true. If I looked like you, I’d go gray too! A poem, ha! Last year I stopped coloring my hair trying to find the root of this infernal itch. Three months and I looked sick…and still itched! So I went back to coloring. I don’t know how long I will color but right now it helps me look somewhat socially acceptble. Maybe if I totally grays under there, I will try again. I think gray is beautiful but my family seems to go with a salt and pepper trend which on me looks like brown gravy with lumpy flour that didn’t mix!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm  

      Oh, my goodness, Claudia! lol I doubt your gravy/flour description. My theory (today, anyway) is that we’re used to seeing ourselves a certain way, and it’s tough to move past it. I’m still not certain I won’t end up coloring again at the end of this little experiment!

  4. Comment by Mary Kennedy
    November 11, 2015 at 11:33 am  

    I have never colored my hair (I’m 62)and my gray started around the age of 23. Being Hispanic, my hair color was a dark, chocolate brown. My mother had gone gray early and she colored her hair at least once a month. I remember watching her with fascination as she used three different chemicals to get her hair black. She hated her gray. I think that’s why I let my hair turn gray naturally. I’ve earned every one of those gray hairs, either from my husband, my daughters, or my students! My friends and family say that if their gray came in like mine, they wouldn’t color either . . . . . I guess I’m blessed in that regard.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm  

      Some of the prettiest gray hair I’ve seen has been on ladies who went gray early, Mary. One of my hairstylists was 36 and almost all gray…and gorgeous! And my critique partner went gray, and I love her hair, too. She was so happy with it after she let it grow out that she inspired me. 🙂

  5. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    November 11, 2015 at 11:51 am  

    Well, there’s gray hair and there’s gray hair…I color my hair but I’m pretty lazy about it. So it’s not unusual for me to go a month or longer with kind of a mix of my blondish hair and grayish roots. Yeah, I know EXACTLY what my hair looks like under that color. Not the pretty gray, at least not yet. But I can definitely see a time when I’ll quit coloring.

    I mean, at some point, the face just doesn’t match the hair. But you–you have quite a ways to go before you look your age, you lucky gal.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 3:09 pm  

      Aw, thanks…but I have a feeling once the gray is all “out” there will be little question about my old baggerhood. 😉

  6. Comment by Linda robes
    November 11, 2015 at 1:00 pm  

    I bet it will be gorgeous when it grows out. Thanks for being my BFF too. If I had my mothers beautiful gray I wouldn’t color but I don’t.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 3:10 pm  

      Look at you, commenting! 🙂 Yeah, M&M has gorgeous hair. You’ve inherited all her other wonderful qualities. No reason to think you won’t inherit that, too.

  7. Comment by Jerri
    November 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm  

    Who are you kidding? ?? I saw you lay week and you are far from being gray yet!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 3:11 pm  

      Wait till you see me in February after it’s all grown out. lol

  8. Comment by Jerri
    November 11, 2015 at 1:57 pm  

    You are gorgeous! !!!##!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm  

      That’s only cuz you love me. 🙂 xoxo

  9. Comment by Sioux
    November 11, 2015 at 5:52 pm  

    Lisa–I color my hair because it’s rat-fur gray… not a gorgeous gray or a beautiful salt and pepper shade. Just ugly.

    Your new short ‘do is soooo cute. Embrace the color (it doesn’t look very gray) and enjoy being double-nickels!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2015 at 3:13 pm  

      Well. Rat-fur doesn’t sound very great, I agree. But there’s always the possibility that you’re wrong! Thanks for liking my ‘do. I love it. Super easy, and I wish I had lopped it off a long time ago!

  10. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    November 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm  

    I think women who embrace their age – whatever that may be – are the most beautiful. We have to stop being so afraid of wrinkles and sags, and gray hair, age spots and (in my particular case) way too much fat. Let’s just enjoy our health and the lives we’ve been blessed with. I don’t know about anyone else, but I think you’re on to something! And I can tell you feel liberated and happy with the path you’re on. We should all be so lucky!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 15, 2015 at 9:26 am  

      You hit the nail on the head, Deb. Liberated is a good word. It does feel good. 🙂

  11. Comment by Tammy
    November 15, 2015 at 10:23 am  

    Go, girl! Some people look beautiful gray, and you seem to be one of them. I’m too pasty and sallow. Still, I’ve been dreaming of letting mine go gray ever since I developed an allergy to hair dye and my head started itching madly for a day or two every month. This post is inspiring….

  12. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    November 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm  

    I’ve never colored my hair unless frosting back in the mid 70’s counts. 🙂 I really wish my hair would just turn all gray instead of the dishwater blonde/gray mix that it is. My mother colored her hair until she was in her late 70’s (I think). It was a very pretty silver gray after she let it go natural. I hope I don’t have to wait until I’m that old but my brother is 72 and just started turning gray a couple of years ago. My 68 year old sister has almost no gray but my 58 year old one has more gray than any of us.

    I sure don’t see any gray hair in your picture. I’m still getting used to seeing you with the shorter style but I do like it. (I keep remembering how you looked when we met. I recognized you right away because of your beautiful curly hair.)

    I am so far behind reading your posts after being totally offline for a week. Trying to catch up with everything is a monumental task. LOL

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 19, 2015 at 7:04 am  

      It probably felt good to take a break from the internet! The gray is there, but it’s in the back and crown, so not easy to see in pictures. I’m hitting my photographer daughter up to take a new photo for my internet and social media stuff since I hardly resemble that photo she took last year. Those curls were a hot mess most of the time. lol

  13. Comment by Lynn Obermoeller
    November 18, 2015 at 6:07 pm  

    I have a younger sister (year and a half younger) who is all natural… mostly gray. She’s been able to pull it off as she never dyed her hair. My older sister and I, well… all three of us actually swore we never would because we THOUGHT our mom didn’t. Turns out she did… just quit doing it as she got older. Once my older sister and I found that out, we ran to the hair salon. Ha. I know I’d look like my younger sister and well, even though she pulls it off, I can’t help but think she’d take 10 years off if she colored, but who am I to say?

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 19, 2015 at 6:54 am  

      That’s the kicker, Lynn. I know I’m ageing my look considerably by doing this. You said 10 years for your sister, and I expect that’s about right for me, too. I’m hoping the the freedom I feel outweighs the self-consciousness of looking like the old bagger I really am!

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