TRUE ROOTS: What Quitting Hair Dye Taught Me About Health And Beauty
June, 2019 Island Press

“Day after day, year after year, women, men, children, our babies, even, are exposed to carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, allergens. It is almost impossible to believe, but it is true. And our hair says it all.”  — Foreword by Dominique Browning

How’d you do it? Are you doing that on purpose? Are you OK? When Ronnie Citron-Fink decided to ditch hair dye after twenty-five years of coloring, she was forced to confront strongly held beliefs—hers and others—about beauty, choice, and aging. Armed with a mantra that explained her reasons for going gray—the upkeep, the cost, the chemicals—Ronnie started to ask her own questions. What are the risks of coloring? Why are hair dye companies allowed to use chemicals that may be harmful? Are there safer alternatives? Maybe most importantly, why do women feel compelled to color?  

TRUE ROOTS the unforgettable story of Ronnie’s journey from dark dyes to a silver crown of glory, from fear of aging to embracing natural beauty. A seasoned environmental health journalist, her truth-seeking investigation shatters the misconception that “It’s on the shelf. This is America. It must be safe.” with surprising revelations about the regulation of beauty products in this country, suspected carcinogens in hair dyes, and who is most vulnerable to these dangers.   

While TRUE ROOTS takes a realistic look at the dangers associated with chemicals in hair dye, it also highlights rays of hope, including proposed, bipartisan legislation that would mandate greater FDA oversight over beauty-product safety and safer coloring alternatives. Throughout, she introduces readers to the characters that play a role in her story—from friends and family members to rank strangers and supportive hairdressers to an online community of “silver sisters.” The result is a deeply human look at one of the most charged intersections of health and beauty facing women today. 

TRUE ROOTS is deeply personal. Through Ronnie’s expert investigation and honest account of her own experience, readers of all ages can discover their own hair story, one built on individuality, health, and truth.


InStyle: I Embraced My Gray Hair - But No One Else Did by Ronnie Citron-Fink, August 2018
Newsday: 50 Shades of Gray by Saba Ali, May 2019
Longreads: True Roots - One woman quits coloring her gray hair and investigates the human and environmental costs of this contentious female beauty standard, by Ronnie Citron-Fink, June 2019
WORT Community Public Radio 89.9 FM: True Roots With Ronnie Citron-Fink, June 2019
Moms Clean Air Force: Book Excerpt from TRUE ROOTS: What Quitting Hair Dye Taught Me About Health and Beauty June 2019
MADE SAFE: Q & A with Ronnie Citron-Fink, Author of True Roots, June 2019
NextTribe: Hair Dye and Your Health: A Must-Read for Anyone Who Colors Her Locks, Interview with Ronnie Citron-Fink by Diane MacEachern, June 2019
Medium: Hair Dye and Health: One Women’s Journey, by Marcia Yerman, June 2019
The Martha’s Vineyard Times: You’ll Never Look at Hair the Same Again, July 2019
Diane Gottlieb: To Dye Or Not To Dye: That Is The Question! July 2019
The Martha’s Vineyard Times: Sex, Spiders, and Symphonies, Oh My! Islanders Write writers ponder four big questions, August 2019
The Martha’s Vineyard Times: Writing Advice From the Pros, August 2019
Rising Up With Sonali: Interview with Ronnie Citron-Fink, September, 2019
Linkedin: Against the ‘greyn’: new ads highlight a persistent taboo by Tree Elven, September 2019
Naturally Savvy/RadioMD: What Quitting Hair Dye Can Teach About Health and Beauty with host Lisa Davis and guest, Ronnie Citron-Fink, September 2019


A Glorious Freedom: On Being a Woman, Getting Older and Living an Extraordinary Lives, edited by Lisa Congdon
October, 2017 Chronicle Books

The glory of growing older is the freedom to be more truly ourselves—with age we gain the liberty to pursue bold new endeavors and worry less about what other people think. This richly illustrated volume explores the power of women over the age of forty who are thriving and living life on their own terms.

Profiles, interviews, and essays from women—including Cheryl Strayed, Vera Wang, Christy Turlington Burns, Debbie Millman, Ronnie Citron-Fink, and many more—who've found creative fulfillment and accomplished great things in the second half of their lives are lavishly illustrated and hand-lettered in Congdon's signature style. Glorious Freedom celebrates extraordinary lives and redefines what it means to gain wisdom and maturity. 

“A Glorious Freedom captures the spirit of what it means to show up, be seen, and be free.” —Brené Brown