Baby boomer · My Thoughts

Color or Go Natural? A Hard Choice!

Larada with her red hair color
Larada with Light Intense Auburn Color

Do I color my hair or let it go natural? I have white hair around my face and the rest is salt and pepper. Choices, choices! Yesterday we colored it once again!

Really, it was a retouch—I’ve colored it since July 2013 this time. There’s a great story behind my choice of color that goes back to before 2008.

We were at a square dance festival in Norfolk, Nebraska and my best girlfriend noticed a woman standing in line in front of us at a restaurant.

“Go ask her what color she uses,” Kathi encouraged me. “You would look good in that color.”

So, I wiggled my way up in line and asked that question.

“Hot Tamale by Garnier.”

Naturally, I am a dark brunette with no red highlights! My dad had red hair when he had hair. I only knew him balding and grey headed. In fact, he was so red-headed his nickname was “Red.” I had a half-brother and a half-sister with red hair. I always wanted red hair!

My Hot Tamale hair color!
Hot Tamale Larada

The next time Mom and I were together, we colored my hair. She loved doing things like that with me. My ex wasn’t too excited, because as you can imagine, it was outrageous. I wore it that way for a year, then tired of the repeated care and work to color it.

March 2013, Mom died. I needed a pick-me-up, grieving her loss so much. Once again, I colored my hair with “Hot Tamale,” and it picked me up. So, I have been coloring it ever since; however, Garnier stopped producing “Hot Tamale,” so I had to find another color of theirs that suited me. I resorted to “Light Intense Auburn” which is darker and not as spicy, but a sharp auburn color.

When I color my hair, Lin helps to make sure I’ve covered my outgrowth completely. Then he helps rinse the color off. I was a beautician for fourteen years, so I know what I’m doing about coloring my hair.

You may wonder why I wrote about this. So many older women, us baby boomers, must make this decision—color or go natural? When I let my hair go these last few months, the white hair by both ears distracted me. It kept getting whiter and brighter, and I wondered about what to do.

I’ve had health issues recently that remind me I’m getting older. My white hair, which seemed whiter than when I let it go for several months during the pandemic, reminded me of my age every time I looked in the mirror. In reality, it shocked me as the white hair around my face reminded me of Mom and my Grandma, Mom’s Mom. Neither one of them went totally white—Mom always wanted to have a head full of white hair.

Am I trying to recapture my youth and ignore the truth facing me each morning with those white wisps intensifying? I don’t care, really. I told my beautician recently I was going to die a redhead, and he laughed in lighthearted agreement.

My website motto is “A baby boomer with a purpose,” so that’s the other reason I tackled this hard choice right now. I will be a red-headed baby boomer until I can’t.


What’s your take on coloring your hair as a baby boomer? Do you color yours? Let me know! Commiserate with me on this touchy topic.

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2 thoughts on “Color or Go Natural? A Hard Choice!

  1. I stopped dying my hair when my grandchildren became worried about using brown dye and some of the health implications. I am enjoying the changes as I go more gray year by year.

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