Farewell Full-time RVing and Hair Coloring

After nearly a decade of doing it, I quit. Full-time RVing and hair coloring that is. 

If you’re saying to yourself “What’s this got to do with RVing?” then you probably aren’t female. Or at least like the majority of women who have been persuaded by the cosmetics industry to hate their gray roots. I’ve always been one of those gals, even though dealing with my hair coloring on the road was always a pain. That’s because on the road, you never know what kind of hair stylist you’ll get in every town. Jim’s a dude, but even he can tell you a thing or two about bad haircuts and full-time RVing.

I’m frugal, and tried to convince myself that DIY hair coloring on the road was a breeze. Technically it wasn’t so bad. Jim was an angel and didn’t put up too much of a stink when I broke out the peroxide or spilled dye on the counter. He could deal with my insecurities every few weeks. He knew how much I hated those gray roots. But eventually, I took a long hard look in the mirror and saw the truth. DIY hair coloring just doesn’t work all that well, and it made my hair look like crap. Plus, I hated the way it sucked three hours from my life every month. I’m just not vain enough to think the return on investment was worth the effort.

full-time RVing and hair coloring
The monkey on my back has left the building.

Through the years I’ve met a few brave women who didn’t buy into the hair coloring trap. They were always courageous enough to go against the norm and show off their silver strands with pride. I envied their guts, because in this youth-obsessed culture of ours, it takes real nerve to say “Screw you, cosmetics industry, I’m doing it MY way!”  Tracy, Cindy, Carla and my sister Em have always impressed me with their lovely locks and awesome attitude about not hiding their authentic hair color.

full-time RVing and hair coloring
Thank you for being my inspiration!

I never had the nerve to be one of those women. I’ve paid an obscene amount of money to hide my roots, which always irritated me. When I turned 47 last year, I finally realized that fretting about my age and gray roots was idiotic. If I continued down that path of insecurity, then turning 50 was going to SUCK. So instead of fighting time, I made the conscious choice to embrace it. After all, getting older and being healthy is a privilege, not an embarrassment. Thank you Universe!

I figured that since I’m going to turn 50, I’d better slide into it as gracefully as any pigeon-toed left-hander can. As part of my acceptance, last August I quit coloring my hair for good. Thanks to my super talented hair colorist niece in Los Angeles, I’ve made a gradual transition into silver. There aren’t enough words to show how grateful I am that she’s so skilled at blending color. 

full-time RVing and hair coloringfull-time RVing and hair coloring
No more hair dying on the road. Yay!

Life’s too short to worry about gray hairs. I’d rather be having fun. And If Jim sports his silver tresses proudly, so can I. Cheers to the women who figured this out long before me. You are my inspiration. Thank you!

12 thoughts on “Farewell Full-time RVing and Hair Coloring”

  1. I started to gray at 22 and started coloring my hair at around age 46 eventually doing it myself because of cost savings and I could do it whenever I wanted instead of having to make an appointment. I stopped at age 55 by letting the gray hair grow and finally just cutting off everything that wasn’t gray doing that myself. My hair went from shouldet length to very short. I never got compliments on my hair when it was colored even professionally and I get compliments all the time now – even from total strangers! I use a rinse called “White Minx” by Roux Fanci-full. I wash it out almost every day using a daily-type shampoo so I don’t have “old lady” purple hair. I love it.

    • JudyMae thank you for reading and sharing your gray transition story! I love that women like you get so many compliments on your silver tresses. I can’t wait for my dyed hair to grow out completely!

  2. I don’t think that you came across as criticizing anybody. You were just talking about your personal choice and experience. I still color my hair but only 2 or 3 times a year. I gave up wearing make up 9 years ago and have never looked back. If my lips get seriously chapped I will use chapstick but that is it. I personally find freedom in this but am not the makeup police. I was taught about makeup at a young age that “if the barn needs paint, paint it”. I no longer think my barn needs paint. This decision has saved me a half an hour a day. What is kind of funny is, that people think I’m wearing makeup when I’m not.

    • Thank you Julie! It was not meant to shame anyone about their hair coloring. Enjoy it! I would too if I felt like it was more of a pleasurable thing than a necessity. But my gray was out of control and trying to hide it every three weeks was a time and money suck.

      I have three sisters and a mom who still color their hair and all look fabulous. But they’re willing to pay the big bucks and I’m not. I joined my oldest sister in deciding to forgo color. Maybe if I didn’t live this lifestyle I might have kept doing it, but who knows. But I’m with you on painting the barn! Ever since I learned how to ride a motorcycle and realized that makeup comes off when you wear a helmet, I gave it up except for special occasions. However, the funny thing is now that I’ve made my hair color choice public, I’m getting feedback from some women who claim that when you go gray you “need” to wear makeup or you’ll look like crap. I’m struggling with that one since I don’t currently ride a bike these days.

  3. I’m curious how monthly hair dying was so expensive? Were you using boxed color or getting the actual separate ingredients from a beauty store? I started off with the boxed stuff, which can get pricey, but it also destroys your hair. My cosmetology friends steered me toward beauty stores and I learned how to mix my own and the price difference was significant. Tbh, it probably costs me something like 3-4 bucks a month vs the cost of boxed dye.

    However, there is the downside of the amount of time it takes. 🙁 I’ve procrastinated on several occasions because of this haha. At least I’m not paying 100+ going to a stylist!

    It was interesting reading your post though. I’m only 33 and started getting greys at 19 (thanks dad). I put off dying til I was 26 and have been dying my hair since. I dye mostly because I like my dark brown hair and don’t want to give that up just yet. I also have fun experimenting with varying shades once in awhile too.

    Reading your entry though is some food for thought down the road. 🙂

    • MMC, thanks for your thoughtful feedback! Here’s how hair coloring was expensive for me: I would pay a hair colorist $100 to dye it. Then I’d try to replicate that on my own with semi-pro beauty supply products (yep, they ARE better and more cost-effective, totally agree). But after few months of repeated home hair coloring attempts, the color would look terrible again. Soon I’d be back at the salon, spending $100 or more to have it color corrected. And on the cycle went, for the next 20 years! The last straw was paying $200 last April. I knew I was over it at that point.

      I’m also someone who started going gray at 19 or 20 (my four sisters, mom and grandma were the same way). I was nowhere near ready to stop coloring until now, 27 years later (yikes!). You will totally know it when the time is right for you and when it is, you’ll have all the support you need to follow your gut feeling and do it. Until then, have fun with your choices because that’s all that matters.

  4. I quit the monthly hair dye about10 years ago. It was about the same time I decided that if my hair wanted to be straight why was I forcing it to curl with perms.
    It’s true …. The older I get the less I care what other people think about my choices. Too bad I didn’t have this freedom when I was younger.

    • Good for you Patti! There are many great things that come along with getting older, this freedom being one of them. Thanks for paving the way for the rest of us.

  5. If this blog is just for yourself as a diary, and not intended to be read by the general public please ignore this message.

    It would be amazing to read an article about a woman being liberated, without tearing down those who enjoy expressing themselves through haircolor, dismissing them as insecure. This piece of writing comes off as insulting and condescending. Congratulations on your new found liberation, hopefully you can speak on your own experiences without criticizing others unnecessarily.
    In this article you have indirectly called those who color their hair vain, cowardly, idiotic, and insecure.
    I apologize if you felt this way, but it’s best not to assume everyone does things for the same reasons you do.

    • Pepa, I’m not sure how you got that message from my post. This is a post being written in the first person, with MY own opinions about MY experience. None of MY opinions expressed here or elsewhere in our blog condemn other women for their choices. Life is too short to give a crap about what others think.

    • I’m sorry, but by posting your comment, you’re proving that you are very insecure with the idea that you dye your hair and viewed her post as a personal attack.

      Our society generally makes women feel bad for feeling older, so we cover it up with makeup, hair dye, and clothing that hides any imperfections. She admitted she’s fallen victim to this and felt idiotic being so insecure about her appearances because of an industry that makes money off of this tactic. There’s a big difference between those who want to dye their hair for expression/because they want to and those who are hiding greys.

      I suggest maybe you work on not assuming, as well as reading comprehension. Your comment is utterly unfounded and ignorant.

  6. Amen to that! After a lifetime of perms, highlights etc etc how liberating it is to let it all go. And the first thing I heard from others was “I love your hair color!” Go figure. Congratultions on taking the next step toward embracing the gift of time.


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