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This is Stephanie and me at our 20th college reunion—right around the time my first gray hairs started to come in. For whatever reason – and I think we all know – I was not too happy about starting to look, um, old.

So, I turned to my old college friend for advice. A Brooklyn-born maven whose hair, at different times, has been as dramatic as Carrie Bradshaw’s, Stephanie gave me the name of the best hair colorist in New York.

I went for a while, and then I didn’t, and then I wrote an essay about it called “More Than Fifty Shades of Gray.” And I was over the moon – which, last time I looked, was a gorgeous silvery gray – when the literary magazine The Mantelpiece said they wanted to publish it.

You can read it here—it’s on page 6 of the December issue—and if it strikes a chord, I’d be honored if you’d share it with your friends and like it on social media. You can find me on LinkedIn and @annlevinnyc on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The Mantelpiece Literary Magazine December 2023