Solid silver


All of my private students are interesting to me, but some more than others.  One of them, a woman around 65 years of age, utterly fascinates me.  She is married to an oncologist and they live in a huge Western-style house in a part of town known as “the Beverly Hills of Japan” because so many celebrities choose to make their homes there.   She does charcoal ink painting for a hobby, and is rather good at it.  She goes to Paris every year just for fun.  She collects Leonard Foujita prints.  She loves Italian food, and is planning to spend next summer in Tuscany at a cooking school.   She assures me that she likes cats, albeit “from a distance.”

She is also one of the most ruthlessly self-centred people I have ever met in my life, who thinks of nothing but her own happiness, and doesn’t understand why anyone would want to do otherwise. 

For all these reasons, she is interesting to me.  But the reason I’m most fascinated with her is that she doesn’t dye her grey hairs black, or any other colour.  Unlike most Japanese women, she has let herself go naturally silver, and it’s a good look on her, in fact it’s very striking.   (Of course, it helps that she flies to Tokyo every six weeks to have her hair cut and styled by one of Japan’s best, but still it’s a very unusual decision for a Japanese woman of her age to let nature take its course, and choosing to do so is really swimming against the tide.)  I’m still trying to pluck up the courage to ask her about her hair – what made her decide to leave it be?  Why is she content to look her age, and not younger?  Whatever the case, she looks exactly like what she is: an extremely happy and beautifully turned-out 65-year-old woman, who is extremely happy to be 65 and not 35. 

Needless to say, I’ve added her to my list of role models, which gets longer all the time!


5 comments on “Solid silver

  1. Petra says:

    My hair started to turn grey when I was in my ’20s. No, I was not ready for that at all.

    When I moved to the US, W. always said “why do you color your hair? Let it go.” No, I was not ready for that.

    I even let my hair grow a bit, because around here very, very short hair bleached nearly white was just too expensive to keep up (it had to be cut and colored every two weeks).

    Then, some years ago I woke up on the morning of January 1st and said to myself: “Why indeed? This is ridiculous.” The next day I had my hair cut very, very short again and presented myself to those around me with this style

    in a melange of varying shades of natural grey.

    Yes, finally I was ready for it; and I’ll never, ever will go back to colored, longer hair.

  2. Miko says:

    That’s a very nice style, need good bone structure to carry it off though. Isn’t it mysterious that some people go grey so early, and others don’t? I’ve only found a few so far, no doubt caused by Benbeam.

  3. Petra says:

    In my case it was hereditary – my mother had completely white hair when she was 40. Although I must say, I was the only one of her children who took after her, silver-wise.

  4. Karen says:

    I let mine grow out years ago, and it doesn’t actually have much grey that shows. It’s a melange of colors. I wish I could wear that hairstyle, Petra. But one needs an elfin face and good features. I have too big a nose, too long a face, and not enough chin.

  5. Petra says:

    And it is the easiest hairstyle to manage. Just a swipe with a towel to dry it, put in some product to make it spiky, done. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s