Jackie's Reviews > Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters

Going Gray by Anne Kreamer
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's review
Jan 23, 2009

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bookshelves: feminisim, memoir
Read in January, 2009

I think I'm just not the target audience for this book. I picked it because I'm having a personal mini-crisis trying to decide if I should stop dying my hair. She writes in a conversational and easy going style that I enjoyed reading. But at an early-grayer, most of the book isn't relevant to me. She talks a lot about age-appropriateness and authenticity but doesn't really cover the situation where gray hair isn't age appropriate. She does mention this in the case of men, but not women (and in doing so she calls Steve Martin a sex symbol... ummm no). Also, Going Gray doesn't talk about any health or environmental consequences of hair dye, which in my mind are the most important considerations.

She does research and informal experiments about the attractiveness, perceived age, and employablilty and style of a gray haired woman. All of the research was done with women over the age of 31 and the majority were over 49. She says "And gray hair made only the youngest of the women... appear older than they actually were. To me the data indicates that when gray hair is age-appropriate (from our 40s onward) we don’t actually fool people about our age when we dye it."

She also discussed the time and money that women and men put into maintaining a non-gray head of hair. This is where things stop being believable. Kreamer claims that women who make $25K-$50K spend an average $60/month on hair color. All I can say is WHA? I spend $17 every 6-8 weeks. And I thought that was too much.

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