The beauty industry has decreed silvery/gray hair is “in” for women in 2020, with celebrities leading the way. Jane Fonda showed off silver tresses at the Oscars, and Christie Brinkley and Gwyneth Paltrow have spoken publicly about the new look.
Are you thinking about ditching your beloved hair dye, but you’re not sure how? Then grab Ronnie Citron-Fink’s “True Roots: What Quitting Hair Dye Taught Me about Health and Beauty” (Island Press, $28), her account of how she ended her 25-year love of her black dyed hair.
Warm, funny and wise as a writer, Fink is editorial director for the Environmental Defense Fund’s Moms Clean Air Force. She assures readers she isn’t going to tell them to stop coloring. But by the time you finish her book, you might be glad to do it.
In just 160 pages, she looks at the history of hair dyes, which began in the 1800s but took hold for American women in 1956 when Clairol came up with the “Nice’n Easy” slogan. She discusses the link between hair and self-image, how women fear looking “old” if they don’t keep dying and why men are considered sexy with grayish hair but women are not.
Her chapter on ingredients that go into hair dyes — many carcinogenic — is horrifying. These ingredients, often not disclosed on packages because the FDA doesn’t fully monitor them, lead to high rates of cancer and other diseases, as shown by unhealthy salon workers who not only get this stuff on their hands but inhale it. And she warns of environmental consequences for lakes and rivers when this gunk goes down the drain.
With salons closed because of the coronavirus and family money probably tight, what better time to take the plunge and follow through with your longing to set your hair free? After all, nobody except the family is going to see you during the transition since we’re all staying home. And you can always wear a hat when you go out for that daily walk until you attain what Citron-Fink calls “my garden of natural roots.”Related Articles
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