One of the fun things that’s happened in the past 6 months since turning 39, besides my stiff left hip, is that my hair is going gray pretty quickly - I have a lot more of it, according to my hairstylist, than I did even 18 months ago. She suggested that I might want to consider an all-over color sooner rather than later, unless I want to embrace the gray.

I’m pretty conservative as far as hair color goes and have had highlights done in the past, as well as varying experiences with the kind of drugstore hair color that shampoos out in 6 weeks in or so. Dyeing it red was fun and interesting, but in general home hair color is too yellow-toned for me. My natural hair color is somewhere between dishwater ashy blonde and light brown, and it’s also very curly, so the gray will be camouflaged for a while yet.

For those who’ve done permanent hair color, how often do you need touch-ups? How much longer does it take than having foil highlights done (about 2 hours, for me)? For anyone who’s covered up gray, have you noticed any difference between gray and other hair? Anything else I might need to know?