Grey, grey, like my mood

Disclaimer: Am not fishing. Am not. Am not. Am genuinely terrified of going grey so soon.


For reasons that I will not get into here, and bore your reading eyes out of their sockets, I had a right nasty scare last week. And this week, I find the entire hairline has changed colour from raven black to antique grey. No make that white. Cheeky white. Aged white. I could tie on a bandana and pretend I’m the rockingest thing to hit the planet since the asteroid that wiped off the dinosaurs.
I could go grey completely and unfazedly and pray to the good lord on bended knee to give me the confidence to carry off the look with the panache it deserves.
Or I can continue to dip my head in the dye bowl every fortnight and hope I don’t end up looking like a dye head with the scalp all black and a sure giveaway of borrowed youth snatched from the jaws of ruthless Father Time.
Having weighed all said options, bandana is not an option given one is knocking on the sturdy sensible and practical doors of middle age right now, and should actually getting military strength support hosiery along with practical shoes with sturdy soles and fling out them flimsy stilletoes I teeter along precariously in. Going grey is even so much not of an option, given that on a good sunny day, my skin looks grey and overcast without any added help from powder compact and foundation and wouldn’t want to go all monochromatic and undramatic, and no Anna Wintour is not my icon, and even she’s gone brown these days, so there. Nafisa Ali has the fabulous skin and the fabulous presence to carry of the look. Should I let the head become a grey helmet, I could just paint the nails black and the lips blue and find myself a coffin to lie in during the day.
Therefore the dye bowl and brush have now become my best friend and ally in these trying times. Having said that though, my tryst with them is limited to occasions. Occasions that are few and far between. Read, I am lazy about touch ups. I hate slicking on the stuff onto my hair. I cannot see too well without them spectacles and end up missing prime strands of in your face grey which then wave cheekily at me once I have washed off said dye and conditioned said hair. Needless to say my highlights have gone for a complete toss into the dye bowl. I rather liked myself with platinum highlights. Looked as fake as Pamela Andersen with her double Ds. And as in your face. I like being in your face. As anyone who’s seen my latest bag will testify. No sane person goes around with a gold bag in public. Rather no person with wallflower written on her forehead goes around with above mentioned bag or leopard print bag for that matter. Never mind that the bags often get more attention than I do. Yup, attention seeking bags rather do their work for the rest of me.

But dunking hair in dye bowl doesn’t for good highlighting allow. Maybe I should do a Patricia Greene and dunk the entire head in some horrifically blazing colour like red or green. Would also need to make provisions for a home on rent considering the husband would fling me out on a limb the moment I did any such drastic alterations to appearance, being of traditional beliefs and conservative in nature. This is a man who fell to the floor in shock and pained disbelief the day I got my hair ironed out for a party saying I looked like something the cat didn’t drag in for a change, and it didn’t suit me a bit, could I mess it up again please. You know? I’m scary when I’m neat. You know, the scene where the Joker spit slicks his hair back when he closes in on Maggie Glynnehaal in The Dark Knight. Yup. You like him better hair a mess, he’s scarier when he’s neatened a bit. Yup. That sort of thing. The child has been known to stare at me skeptically when the hair is slicked back and oiled and plaited down. And inch away in fear.

But I digress. As usual. To summarise in a long winding line that doesn’t get anywhere to the point, I have decided to slap on the dye till my dying breath. If the hands and feet are still functioning and can do said slapping on myself without the assistance of helpers and kind relatives called into the ranks of those enlisted to part said hair and check for truant white ones hidden deep in the recesses only to pop up and grin at one during inopportune moments like staring at self in changing room mirrors where as it is, every damn extra bulge of fat gets magnified into cube proportions and cellulite ripples as one bends to extricate oneself from whatever one had tried to get into. Until the deathbed or until the hair stays on the head. Perhaps I should do a Persis Khambatta and be free of this added stress.

Therefore, earnest plea. Anyone with home remedies to delay greying kindly to let me know. Will be handmaiden till dying days, etc, etc. Wouldnt do for people to ask the child if thats his grandmother accompanying him.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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13 Responses to Grey, grey, like my mood

  1. Average Jane says:

    I know you will get all these comments saying how divinely beautiful you are, which of course you are, so even if you went grey it wouldn’t matter a whit and I am sure you are not going to fall for all of that. I thought I would just write in and tell you that I am not greying..yet! It is in the genes, my girl. My mom didn’t grey at all..aha!


  2. Suki says:

    fishing again, K?

    go for scarves or bandannas, but not dye! will ruin lustre of locks.


  3. aneela z says:

    Ive heard munching on sunflower seeds does the trick…there is some compound in it that creates or encourages melanin…had passed on this info to a cousin some years ago who was “greying” way earlier than kosher …like he was in his late teens..have just googled to confirm and the website mentions eggs, cashew nuts and crabs as well…basically eat “khandanee khana”..hope its helpful. And well it goes without saying to leave a stress-free life which is easier said than done so I would say just keep on eating those sunflower seeds, if nothing else it will keep the munchies away and well you can be nice and skinny and grey haired, hmm!!!


  4. M says:


    I rather suspect the dyeing is hastening the greying process…but since you asked, here are some home remedies.
    – Oil – frequently – everyday is best, since you said you wash everyday. Oil of choice is coconut, with hibuscus flowers and curry leaves steeped in it.
    – Oil – Anoop hair oil – I tried this for a while, and it does seem to help, but the oil is smelly and resists mild shampooing – heavy shampooing seems to be pointless, so stopped anoop.
    – Himalaya hair oil – good conditioner, don’t know if it is delaying greying…I currently use this.
    – Almond oil -SIL swears by this – has her maalish-wali give her a weekly massage with almond oil, and she has great hair.
    – Mehndi – do it regularly…every week is best. I understand you can do Mehndi mixed with indigo for a dye effect, but don’t know where to get indigo from in India.

    Good Luck!


  5. d says:

    My SIL used Areetha (its a kind of nut you soak overnight and the blackened concoction is used to wash the hair) . Also there was this blackened hair oil she used to buy from an ayurvedic medicine store, I forget the brand . will mail u if I do remember the name.
    A few months ago I found this hibiscus gel (kind of reddish translucent jelly-like) in one of the larger Nilgiri’s supermarkets (a chain down south) that is supposed to help both hairfall and greying. Its a globe shaped jar with a while screw top.


  6. d says:

    sorry that was “white”


  7. d says:

    sorry to keep popping up like this but just checked out the brand name on an old jar of the hair-fall treatment gel I had used a while back and found effective. Its “JasRed” . Its supposed to work for greying too.


  8. phoenixritu says:

    Use all the above …. but please get used to the dye (hair colour is the politically correct term). One does not look aged until one gets to be 50+ these days – and the hair and face should sync with each other. L’Oreal is good and does not ruin your hair – so my beauty parlour says


  9. ann says:

    I had premature greying when I was in my teens and my grandfather made me eat a small ball of curry leaves paste everyday.It all went away.Try it.


  10. Kiran Manral says:

    Jane dear: My mother’s hitting 70 and barely has a few grey at the hairline. This is definitely stress. Lucky you!

    Suki: Not fishing yaar, this big internet myth about me being this beaut is getting blown out of proportion. Ask those who know me, am very ordinary but with a fluke good photograph.
    Am truly concerned about greying up so soon, and dont want to become a dye-head.

    Aneela: Now that you mention it, am not eating any khandanee khana in the bid to lose weight. Maybe that could be a cause.

    A: Am going to try out Almond Oil. And my MIL is recommending the hibiscus leaves and curry leaves one so will try that too.

    D: Thanks dear, have asked beloved SIL to pick some up and courier to me.

    Ritu: I used to be a beauty journalist, and this is a myth that we’re fed. Any chemicals on the hair is not good in the long run. I used Loreal excellence only on the grey strands and found the surrounding hair has also gone grey. Noticed that the hair greyed up superfast after I highlighted, and I used the best of products. So I guess, I better get used to ‘hair colour’ but am gonna try mehndi for as long as I can without becoming a redhead.

    Ann: Am going to try that, though I am long past them teens.


  11. suma says:

    oops, sorry, got confused and posted teh comment for this in te prev post…
    sigh..i’m growing old 😦

    Tis okay love. Why does this damn hair have to grey in full sight? Can it not go grey under layer of the outer hair?


  12. Booboosmamma says:

    Hi Kiran, I am glad to know that Krish is recovered. Dont worry too much, he will be just fine.


  13. phuchu says:

    Hey, i have a “recipe” that i know is effective for a fact. For this you’ll need amla, reetha and shikakai. soak all three overnight and boil em in the morning. Use the boiled water after shampoo. amla is known to give shinire and intensify the texture of the hair. Continued usage can actully turn all your grey hair black. I am not exaggrating one bit. My mum uses it still and at 54 years of age she dosnt have one single grey hair. But for it to show the benefits use it regularly. At least once a wk.

    The post was good…enjoy your blog…


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