I like this picture, taken last month at a fundraising dinner in support of Opt sexual health services. Even with grey hair, pigtails really do take the years off!
Although you can see that there is still brown dye at the tips of my ‘do, I have recently realized that the grow-out process is almost finished! Not only is the dye mostly gone, but my hair is back at the length it was when I started the process a year ago. Early on my hairdresser cut of four inches to stimulate the process, but recently we’ve been just trimming and I’m finally digging the length again.
The process of going grey at thirty-eight has been an interesting one – and although I still worry (I really do) that people are going to mistake me for twenty years older – I’m not sorry at all that I’ve done it. No more chemicals, no more fussing every four weeks, no more hiding the fact that women go grey at all different times in their life and can look good doing so!
What’s been most interesting to me is the overwhelmingly positive response from women and men – even strangers – to the new hair. With the dye mostly out it now ringlets at the bottom naturally, and the variation in colour from dark brown to silver gives the appearance of streaks in the right light. Even though grey hair is coarser, without the continual chemical assault, it is not nearly as dry and damaged – especially if I treat it right. I am of course always nervous about the pouffy dry look that grey hair can have, which happens to me only the day after I wash it and only if I don’t blow-dry it.
It’s definitely different – and I do realize that letting it grow out is part of being “aged” in our society – that I don’t look as young as I would with a dye-job. But do I need to? Do I need to look twenty-five even though I’m pushing forty? I don’t think so. I don’t think I have to make my life about being “attractive” in the most superficial ways to strangers. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to look good, and yes I do realize that the more attractive we are the better we get treated in society. But I don’t to have to compromise my health, the environment, or my sanity in order to get there.
As it is, I think I do okay with what I’ve got. And besides that I like the life I’m giving. Going grey feels like an alignment of what I believe with what I project in a way that’s healthy and not self-hating. So hooray for grey!