Ok, so I just have a second. I’m at the hair salon in the mall on their wifi and I just met a woman – well past her twenties – that had never had one ounce of color on her hair. We visited a few minutes before we got summoned to our hairdressers and I learned that she and her man were in ministry. She was a darling thing. Interesting. Fun. Clearly loved Jesus. We hadn’t talked hair yet. After all, we are women with our priorities straight. Then we met up back in the color section of the salon where my hair already had enough foil in it to bring in every radio station in North America. That’s when she said it. “This is the first time I’ve ever gotten color.” I was nearly speechless. I nearly broke my neck turning around to look at her. To make sure she’d said what I thought she’d said. The color specialists were aghast at the confession. Shamed maybe. Kinda like, “Some things shouldn’t be said in public.” You could have heard a hair pin drop.

“What did you say?” I broke the awkward silence.

“I’ve never done this before. I’m trying my first highlights.”

For the life of me, I could not think of a single other person I knew of reasonable age who had never doused her head in a tad of tint. I had all manner of questions. Something in me demanded to know why but something else in me felt protective of her. She looked so innocent. So naive. So new. And I was proud. So very proud.

“Your first highlights!” I exclaimed. “You’re doing the right thing!”

And there was bonding.

She came by and showed me later, after it was all blown dry and styled. I looked through the stringy strands of my dripping hair and beheld a vision. Subtle but definitely a start. More bonding. As she walked away, I sat in the chair, blow dryer thundering in my ear, and sighed with deep satisfaction, so thankful I’d gotten my own roots done.

It was a beautiful thing.



200 Responses to “Baffled”

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  1. 1
    Distybug says:

    I used a little Summer Blonde for years, and in October at the age of 39, had my first professional color done. It was just getting too dark for my taste. Plus, I had to save for those 39 years to be able to afford it for the rest of my life!

  2. 2
    Rosie with 3 little boys says:

    You are too funny Beth.

  3. 3
    Beverly says:

    Beth – you are such a hoot! I love laughing with you and sharing your little moments only women would understand. What fun!

    My father was a hairdresser and the first time I got highlights (it was called “frosting” then) was when I was in 8th grade way back in – ahem – 1958. Were you even born then?

    Fifty years later I’m still getting tint applied. Only now, instead of adding light color to highlight my dark hair, I’m adding dark color to highlight my gray … I call it adding a little pepper to the salt!

  4. 4
    meghan says:

    Loved it! I have natural ash brown hair. I was in seventh grade when someone asked my why I had grey hair. That was it. I bought my first bottle of Clairol, Nice and Easy. It has been a 15 year love affair!

  5. 5
    Anonymous says:

    I have highlights done about every 4-8 weeks and thanks to my mom’s example, I will be doing this until the day they close the lid on my coffin and I’m ushered into Glory. I certainly envision many spa days in heaven! It’s a rite of passage in a woman’s life. My husband is baffled that women color their hair….he does not get it and has given up trying.

  6. 6
    His princess says:

    Ok, can I just say that I love what the Preacher’s Wife said! I was just reading down the comments and when I came to hers, I about fell off the chair laughing.. and got a few odd looks from my doberman!

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    I laughed myself silly over Beth’s entry, but I could hardly pick myself up off the floor when I read Melinda’s comment. I too once thought that maybe I should let my hair go gray. I mentioned to my hairdresser that maybe I should just stop the two color processing and become salt and pepper. Her response – NO WAY! She didn’t even try to soften the blow – said I didn’t have ‘nice’ gray like some people do! So when people ask me if my hair is natural – I just say natual bottle!

  8. 8
    LynnSC says:

    What a precious story.

    I had “conditioned” my hair for many years… but about a year ago, I decided to stop and just let it go grey. ( I am only 43) Surprisingly, I had many people comment on my lack of “conditioning”. My sweet husband didn’t make a big deal out of it… but if I asked… he told me the truth. While doing your Wising Up series I was quite convicted of not doing what I could to “be cute” for my man. SO… needless to say… I am now nicely “conditioned” again, and the funniest thing is that where all of those grey hairs were… looks like highlights now. I know that it is “very resistant greys” as my kind hairdresser calls them. BUT no one else is the wiser. Thanks Beth, and my man thanks you too.

  9. 9
    Marilyn says:

    I have been envying my sister and my best friend who will be coming to see you tomorrow in Jacksonville and I am stuck up here in good ole Mississippi and can’t come! Now I find out I need to have my gray hair colored and my nails manicured and my eyebrows shaped (adapted from Elaine’s post about beautiful TX women…well sort of. ha) before I show up at a gala women’s event such as this!! ha ha Sooooooo…..I probably would not have fit in anyway. Oh, my sister will for sure!! She is 74 and looks 54! No kidding! When she has to go to the doctor the nurse will look all over the waiting room for an “old woman” when she calls Sis’s name and then her mouth falls open when my “young” sister with her perfected colored and styled hair, perfectly tinted nails, perfect makeup, etc, etc. gets up and walks over. I totally pale in comparasion with her! I am 20 years younger….at 54….and have never had hair coloring, never had my eyebrows waxed, and never had a manicure! Please don’t kick me out of the Siesta club! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have very dark hair with quite a bit of gray peeking through at this point…..although when you see me from a distance, it looks like my hair is stil real dark. I don’t have any plans to color my hair. You may not be able to understand this but I like my hair as it is. Don’t have any problems with anyone who does color their hair EXCEPT when they look down on me for going “a la natural”. (Which you wouldn’t do….would you??? ha) But my sister and my best friend will fit right in….can’t tell you just what color their hair will be this weekend but it will look good! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope the weekend is wonderful in Jacksonville. I’ve been promised some long phone calls next week to get caught up on what went on!
    God bless,
    Marilyn in MS

  10. 10
    Shan in Japan says:

    38 and never colored. I, like another of the siestas, have been blessed with natural highlights. My stylist is jealous! I got a home perm back in the late 80s that led to naturally curly hair. But, I do love to go to the salon-here in Japan they wash your hair and massage your head for about 15 minutes-longer when they are busy and your stylist isn’t ready yet.

  11. 11
    Margie says:

    I have to say this made me laugh like crazy. I read your blog all the time but have never posted, but I must add that I am 35 years old and highlighted my hair for the first time in January. I just decided I needed a dash of new color to brighten my winter blahs, especially after moving from Texas to the great white north of Wisconsin. What a great laugh to start the morning.

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    Several years ago my husband made a ministry job change which meant a lot less money. I told the Lord, “I will give up my nails but please don’t make me give up my hair color.” I felt so unspiritual! Every time it was that time, (to color my roots) my father-in-law would surprise me with 50 or 60 bucks. I felt like the Lord himself was saying, “go get your hair done.” (Which also felt unspiritual – that God would care about my hair) One thing God was doing at the time was breaking the spirit of religion off of me and revealing His daddy heart toward me. It wasn’t about the hair…it was about being a daughter whom He loved and cared for in everyway!

  13. 13
    Anonymous says:

    This is for Melana,
    I am so happy for your response. I think it is wonderful when you can be proud of who you are just the way you are. I think that speaks volumes. And NO, you should not be ashamed. Be proud of who you are! In the grand scheme of things, hair is such a small thing.

    To all the women who haven’t colored their hair I applaud you!!!

  14. 14
    Vicki Courtney says:

    Oh, but Beth–we mustn’t stop there. We have a responsibility to educate our daughters to the difference between store-bought highlighting kits and professional highlighting. Perhaps it was a recent glimpse I got of an old picture from college where my roommate and I opted to highlight each other’s hair the night before final exams that caused me sit my girl down and have “the talk.”

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    I come from a Redken family (distributors, salespeople and stylists) and if it were left up to me…..they would all be out of business!

    Shampoo, conditioner, and very little else. My hair is my signature and it is au natural!!

  16. 16
    Annette says:

    I began my hair coloring career at a very young age…high school, when my mom began to highlight my dishwater blond hair using the “cap”. From there, I advanced to foiling (in my 30’s) every 6 months or so. More drastic measures were needed in my late 30’s as gray began to pour in. My hairdresser and I had a serious discussion about this and decided that it was time for hair color every 6 weeks with foils weaved in every other visit, so I didn’t appear too blond. I will be following this procedure until about 80 when I am assured that I will not look like a salt and pepper shaker. I would like to go straight to white. Well, maybe…maybe not. With a husband who has about 6 gray hairs at almost 47, I dare not let myself go and look older than he does! Yep, it’s pure vanity, I’m not ashamed to confess it.

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    I’m 46, never used anything more than hair spray and a little mousse on my hair, but I gotta tell ya, the gray is taking over. So…I’ve definitely been thinking about it lately. Then there is my best friend/sister-in-law who doesn’t even remember her natural color!…it takes all kinds!!

  18. 18
    Amy T says:

    I had never colored my hair either until I hit 36 (I’m 37 now) and realized the grey wasn’t going anywhere without help (it wasn’t much grey, but it was spreading more and more). Thank you for posting this “everyday” post and letting us share this funny moment with you. (On another note, we started Living Beyond Yourself and girl! The first day was an eyeopener! I am very excited! (Did you notice the exclamation marks? hee hee I suffer from the same malady apparently)

  19. 19
    Cathy Davis says:

    Awwww – What a special moment (I really need to make an appointment to get mine done…thanks for the reminder ;0). Just had the 40th b’day – maybe I can call it a present to myself????)

  20. 20
    Dana says:

    Beth, I was 40 before I started the hightlights…my friends were baffled about me as well. I am not really happy with my hairdresser and I live close to you and you have awesome hair! Could you pretty please share your hairdresser location with me??? Oh and I can’t wait to rejoin you in the Fall at bible study.

  21. 21
    Anonymous says:

    I have never had my hair colored (in the mid-40’s group). Recently in a weight training class the trainer was standing next to me and exclaimed very loudly to everyone, while looking at the top of my head, “You have gray hair!” Um…yes, I do. I don’t mind it. ;o)

  22. 22
    Anonymous says:

    I have a prayer request. My precious grandmother who is 90 had a massive stroke Sunday evening and is in the final days. My grandfather, who is also 90, has not left her side for a single night and has only run home to shower and come back. They have been married for 69 years, (serving the Lord for 70+ years in their own lives). Please pray for the Richburgs & the Prices as we balance the mourning of our loss on earth and celebrating heaven’s gain. Rhonda Baker

  23. 23
    LaurBar says:

    Oh, girlfriend! I’m only in my mid-twenties, but I’ve been getting my hair colored for well over 10 years! In fact, I have an appointment for high-lights this Saturday.

    Sometimes, it’s good to be a woman ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. 24
    Debbie says:

    I’m almost 47 and have not colored my hair since a foil experiment gone bad in the ’80s! I’m also fully salt and peppered now, leaning more toward salt then pepper. I remember my teenage son complaining about my hair (someone thought I was his grandma) and I told him: “Hey, I EARNED this hair!”

    But the real reason I don’t color it now, is due to my husband. We had just started dating (after 12 years of me being a single parent – hence the earned gray hair) and he said one of the things that first attracted him to me was my hair. Of course, my reaction was: “What?!?”. His response: “I could tell you were real and authentic, because you didn’t try to cover your gray”. I immediately thought – “A man who likes my gray hair? This one could be a keeper”. And he was – we’ll be married 3 years in October.

    Looking forward to this weekend in JAX – thanks so much for coming to our town!

    Debbie G. in JAX

  25. 25
    Disco Queen says:

    All my girlfriends laugh that I’ve never had color. I’m 40. My hair designer Roy says, ‘don’t do it girl! You’ve got natural highlights goin’ on.’ When those grays start a comin’ I’ll start a runnin’ to the salon. Maybe I’ll go blonde!

  26. 26
    Anonymous says:

    i’m part of the desperately need my hair cut and colored but I have two going to college and two football players that had knee surgery. Financial priorities lead me to put my hair in a bun/ponytail and go through the day(did I mention my husband and I are both teachers) GOOOOOOOOOOOOD PLEASE MAKE A WAY–THERE SEEMS TO BE NO WAY!!!!!!!!

  27. 27
    Anonymous says:

    I am closing in on 41 and have never had color on my hair. Yes I have some “wisdom hairs” but so far haven’t done anything to cover them up.

    Looking forward to San Antonio in August.

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    On a completely un-hair-related note, I’d love an update on Miss Melissa. Or should I now say Mrs. Melissa…

  29. 29
    Valkyrie says:

    You know Beth, your post tickles me. I love the unique ways we get to bond with one another. My mother and I have never had a good relationship. After my parents divorced (I was eight), she became really depressed, and learned to take her frustrations out on me in a form of emotional abuse. We’ve struggled for 20 years to know how to love each other well.
    I’ve seen her work her way out of her depression little by little, and a couple of years ago I convinced her to let me dye her hair. (I’ve been doing my own for about 10 years now). For years and years, she’d been getting these horrible perms (I’d called them poodle-perms) that kept her hair in tight little curls right up against her scalp. I have seen similar styles on other women and it looked fine, but on my mother the effect was terrible. Seeing that mom was slowly coming out of her funk, I started to work on her about her hair. (Put a little color in it, and a couple of rollers, and for goodness sake, stop with the perm!)
    Finally, she surrendered, after I’d gotten both of her sisters to back me up. It was actually Oscar night about 3 years ago when my mother let me dye her hair; we spent the evening listening to speeches and applying chemicals (I did mine that night too). Ever since then, she’s stopped the perms, gotten a little color, used some rollers, and even started wearing a little makeup. Just the other day, she mentioned that she’d found a new color she’d like to try (closer to the auburn of my hair) and asked if I’d be willing to do it for her. Of course I will!
    So I just have to tell you that I completely understand how you felt in the salon that day, because hair dye is helping my mommy and me learn to love one another. Jesus can make anything healing, can’t he?

  30. 30
    becky says:

    Ok, busted! Your words always have a way of convicting me. I’ll have to get these roots done before I get to see you Tues nite for the Life Outreach taping….I actually thought about “going gray” this time, can you believe it?!?

  31. 31
    ChattieKathy says:

    I never colored my hair until my stylist conviced me that “perms” were no longer a fashionable way to deal with my fine, body free hair (well into my 30’s..I just last month turned 50). She suggested highlights…but I loved my hair color. Back then I had pretty, coppery colored hair…kind of like a penny. Once I dipped my finger into the blonde well, however…there was no coming back! Now, I’ve moved beyond the blonde highlights to a nice light brown base color too.

    Funny story with a moral: Sunroof and out-growth do not mix! Last week my youngest daughter was home from college on her spring break, and we were riding in the car. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I had the sunroof open. She looked up at my hair (I had an appointment that week) and said “Mom! You have some gray hair! MOM! You have ALOT of gray hair!” She is always one to tell the truth, and often without tact! I will be very careful in the future to keep that sunroof closed when I need to have a touch-up!

  32. 32
    Anonymous says:

    Oh to have money to add color to my hair. Unfortunately it’s not in the budget. But bleach on Ms. Beth : we do so love to see your beautiful hair.

  33. 33
    Joni says:

    Loved this story! I’m still smiling. I can so relate, having colored my hair since the year I turned 30–24 years ago!

    I guess more bonding is going on right now! LOL

  34. 34
    Dionna says:

    Maybe that’s why I feel so bonded to you, Beth. You are the only one I know who puts such a priority on having her head of hair just the way she wants it – as I do. Most people I know do the easy and fast thing. I so don’t belong in that group!

  35. 35
    Anonymous says:

    My sister (older) has beautiful red-auburn hair and she has NEVER had color! She is 35, and has a “headband” of grey but all she will allow the hairdresser to do is a Henna wash!

  36. 36
    Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe there are this many people who have never colored their hair. I’m headed to the Jacksonville conference this weekend but before leaving town I got my roots done too Beth!

  37. 37
    Anonymous says:

    I got my first grays within days of turning 40. I’m saving up money to get my hair done! As I said to Myrna, the God who put spots on the backs of lady bugs and blow holes on the backs of whales – also gave someone the recipe for hair color!!!
    Praise HIM!
    Kim in NC

  38. 38
    Jamie says:

    Hey Beth,
    I’m 45 and have not had my hair highlighted in about 20 years. I think it’s time.
    I’m in the middle of “Breaking Free”. I have never before been so hungry for complete freedom and God is slowy, painfully breaking the chains. I’m not with a group, just doing it on my own. I thank Jesus every morning for his word and for your faithfulness in writing bible studies that encourages and teaches. Thank you Beth for what you do.

  39. 39
    Brittney says:

    You are a crack-up! Happy Hair to you and to all you meet at the hair therapy salon! Texas, the land of the free and the home of the HAAIIIIRRRR! Much love and richest blessings!

  40. 40
    Anonymous says:

    Too funny! How’s this for feeling embarrased or old – went to get my eyebrows waxed at the small shop in our VERY small town – by a little girl who was probably two when I got married 21 years ago. As I am laid back and she’s finishing up she says “let me help you out here.” And then proceeds to pluck a hair from MY CHIN!!! Now I have a witch mole that I have to keep a check on under my chin – but this thing was growing directly out of my CHIN! I cooly kept my freak-out under control, went home and put the magnifying glass to my face (scary) and wondered if I should ask my husband to show me how to use his electric razor. It’s been a week and I’m still having flashbacks. One more thing to add to the list to pluck, pull, shave, wax and color.

    Just a note – have been a closet siesta for over a year, but this is the first time to comment.

    Praising God in Alabama

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    Hey Beth
    This reminded me of something that happened to me several years back. Remember when your drivers licence used to state your hair color? I was giving some of that DL info to someone on the phone and when the other party asked my hair color, I replied, “Which week?” We both had a good laugh. I guess the DPS gave up putting that info on our licences because they just couldn’t keep up with some of us! Jan

  42. 42
    Alissa says:

    Sweet Beth, thank you for the giggles in my stressful, heavy laden day! You are so wonderful!

  43. 43
    Carrie says:

    I’m 30 and have never colored my hair either. I like to think of it as virgin hair!!!

  44. 44
    Amy says:

    How funny! I am 33 and just got my first highlights last night! It was SO wonderfully relaxing, my two daughters are at grandma’s for springs break, when they find out that I went without them they will be so mad! I could not help feeling guilty spending that much money on my hair! I do love the results though, NO MORE GREY, PRAISE GOD! Thanks for the blog, I don’t feel so guilty now. Love you Beth, you are wonderful! God Bless!

  45. 45
    Jolinda says:

    Oh Beth your a hoot! I’ve been a siesta that has colored her hair for so many years! I have to confess I did some home jobs that turned out baaaaaaad! I mean bad! ewh! I even did a hair nightmare on one of my daughters at home that cost us big time to fix! We now stick to the professionals! Amen!

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    Too funny! I’m 54 with very dark brown hair and have never colored my hair! I refer to my gray streaks as “silver”…just sounds more beautiful! It actually is shiney, silvery, healthy and I keep it very short. I usually get nice compliments about it and people tell me it looks like I’ve put silver highlights in my hair. I’m a low maintenance gal and just don’t want to fuss with it every 4-6 weeks. So, for now, I’ll keep the color the Lord blessed me with! Love you Beth! :o)

  47. 47
    Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to let you know I used to color my hair but stopped because 1) the dye is really bad for you, especially if you do darker colors, 2) I will be saving about $600 a year and we really need to cut back on spending, and 3) I have met some beautiful women with gray hair.

    I don’t know how it happened, but our society certainly looks down on natural beauty and equates gray with OLD. The standard for how a woman should look on the outside is too high and that is why we have eating disorders, hate of body, insecurity, etc… I love what God says about gray hair in Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”

    Okay, not trying to be too dramatic about the subject. I know you were just having some fun with it, but I wanted to encourage some of the ladies out there who cannot afford to color their hair, or have an allergy to the dye, or like me, simply want to rest in their natural hair color. We can still be beautiful…gray is just another hair color, and a choice many more ladies are opting for these days.

    And thank you Beth, for working so hard to help us with the inner beauty, which is what we most need! I’m working on your Breaking Free workbook and you are helping me tremendously! You are certainly an answer to prayer!

  48. 48
    Anonymous says:

    Regretfully, I am admitting that I used to have some fab highlights (sometimes in the summer platinum blonde), but have recently regressed to the dirty dishwater blonde turning brown natural! Yuck! Miss those highlights, there was a bond there. Part of me died when they grew out. Pruning is painful.

  49. 49
    Michele says:

    Oh, bless you, kindred spirit! I laughed right out loud! NEVER colored?!? How can that be? We’ve welcomed another one into the fold! Hallelujah!

  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    I began to gray at 16 and went from salt and pepper to gray to silver and then to white. All those other women who dyed their hair said – “If my hair was like yours, I wouldn’t dye it either”. I knew they were not telling the truth but I thought that it was kind of funny to be white-headed and still look so young. At 55 things changed and it wasn’t funny any longer… so, I dyed my hair – added highlights and have never looked back. At 56 I went on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon and didn’t know another person on the trip, but the Lord blessed me with the trip of my life and amazing new friends. Now, at 58 I am heading to Alaska this summer and will be zip-lining through the rain forest canopy (pray for me – heights bother me). So… siestas – dye your hair, get those highlights and enjoy this fantastic life the Lord has blessed us with.


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