I first dyed my hair at age 18. We'd just finished the HSC, we were feeling a little wild and myself and two girlfriends bought home dye kits at Merrylands K Mart and did the deed in the bathroom at Paula's house.
Over the years I have dyed, re-dyed, cut and blowdried at regular intervals.
I look at faded childhood photos and my hair looks a reddish brown. Other times it's darker. A couple of haircuts ago, I asked my stylist, RJ what he thought my original colour was.
He sighed. delved into my hair, pulled it apart at the hairline and made a revelation that would shake my world.
"Ma'am, I don't know how to say this. But you are more than 70 per cent grey."
At that point, the salon, which usually sounds like a Blue Light Disco circa 1979, went quiet.
It was as if the camera operator had zoomed in on my reaction, like on "Bold and the Beautiful", waiting for every twitch, quivering lips and doe eyes.
"RJ, seriously, you can't be right."
"Ma'am. It's true. Look," he said opening my side part like the San Andreas Fault...a gaping streak of silver a centimeter each side.
"It's like this all over, LOOK. NO LOOK."
He was right. It wasn't just silver. It was actually white. From the roots.
The following discussion was even more disturbing. I asked him what would happen if I stopped dying. See I had a vision of Meryl Streep in "Devil Wears Prada", or those cool ladies with silver grey hair.
"Ma'am. It would be more salt and pepper and would take at least six months. You would hate it. I would hate it. And people would stare."
This this was what it had come to. My hair had become a condiment.
I ordered him to mix that dye. The darker the better.