Fade to gray or all in one go?

Sarah Harris recently covered the issue of being young and gray in a technicolor and age-phobic world for The Times. I'm sat here as yet another girl who had youthful glimmers of gray in her hair, but, unfortunately for me, I look more like the human equivalent of a walking game pelt than a graceful salt and pepper, meaning dishwater and gray all over, just like a deer meant to blend into the trees. How does one with my dishwater blonde (red by choice, not nature) hair go gray gracefully? I, unlike the deer, have no need for camouflage and thus, no need for such unflattering hair, thank you very much. 

It's true that the minute I let my hair grow, as I have done since my wedding in May, my follicles become as confused as Zac Efron's sexuality. Yes, it's probably time I did some hair maintenance on my head, but I just couldn't be bothered before. On the road in Zanzibar or in a rickshaw in India with a scarf around my hair, who cares? Plus, the worse you look, the better when on a budget in third-world countries, I say. You draw less attention.

In any event, I'm back in the western world and, well, I suppose my hair needs to makes its re-entry as well. And while I'll be more than happy to let it grow gray one day, I'm not quite at that stage yet, partly because I still want to keep it long, and am consumed by fear that I will look like Jessica Tandy from Batteries Not Included if I let said flowing locks go silver. And, well, there are still so many other hair colours I need to try before going through the final phase, being an unfaithful companion to any single hue.

How do you propose to deal with the eventual lightening of your locks? Do you let it go all game pelt-y and/or salt and pepper (if you 're lucky enough to start with a base of black hair like my mom) or do you chop it off (at least to shoulder length) and dye it silver, a la Pixie Geldoff and the other Trustifarian trendsters who think it's ironic and cool to be gray and under 20?

Gray hair does, I think, have a wonderful edge to it, a sexiness if worn right. Men look downright distinguished with it at times and women can look regal or even a touch mysterious. Daphne Guiness sports a shock of white in her fringe, and of course, there's always Cruella DeVille (evil, yes, but she did have a wonderful mop). I've seen countless women who don't look matronly or like they've lost an ounce of appeal (on the contrary) simply because they've gone gray. Yes, it's mostly in places like New York and Switzerland that I've seen such good and stylish gray maintenance but, really, if you have the determination to NOT let it all go to pot when you go gray, you can be anywhere. I suppose you just need to be feisty enough to not let the world put you on the shelf once you don't fit the young and bouncy mould anymore. Woman have a hard time doing this because they so often believe that their perceived power is born in a youthful appeal and good looks, but I'm willing to bet you have an entirely different appeal and power if you can just own, so to speak, your grays.

In any event, I'm curious as to the most efficient path to going gray as mine, unless I do the proper research, will be none too pretty. There's no easy way to do it, is there? Anna Kreamer wrote a book last year called Going Gray, What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Matters. That, perhaps, is where I will start with my exploration of the whole process.

In the meantime, I will be taking the advise of Michele Mallet to head to Sally Beauty for the proper dyes to do an at-home job. Red? Blonde? Brown? I'll decide when I get there... but not gray just yet. And, I won't waste another minute of the day on it, because my eventual fate of gray-dom is not exactly a worry. Just a passing thought about another thing on the continuous list of beauty to-dos...