Going Grey

I’m not finally “growing up”.
I’m not “GIVING UP”.
I’m also not pregnant.

I’m simply not dyeing my hair any more.

Many people who see me for the first time since I’ve made the decision (this past May) make the comment about my lack of pink hair. Those 3 questions up there, are the 3 most common ones that I’ve been asked. It doesn’t bother me to be asked but I figured I might as well come here and explain myself in one fell swoop. Only, I’m not sure there is much explaining to do.

Sometimes for expedience I have said “Yup, I’m giving up.” I’ve not explained further that I’ve simply given up coloring my hair and not the deeper meaning that might be implied of giving up on life. I actually feel more lively if you can believe it.

My lengthier answer; It’s a little gross/sickening to have those chemicals burning/stinking away on my head. Yes, I know it only lasts for 20-30 minutes but that’s 30 minutes I could be doing something better. For 20 years or so I’ve been adding chemicals to my hair and stripping the color out only to add the pink in. Only, pink doesn’t like to adhere to the grey as I once hoped it would so the frequency was ever increasing.

I had started to use dye to darken other parts of my hair and even it out so the pink would pop more even when it faded. I was covering up my grey and the truth is….I LIKE MY GREY HAIR. I have an all of smattering and at my temples I have 2 sections of beautiful grey. My racing stripes. I like them. I didn’t want to cover it up any more.

In preparation for writing this I wasn’t sure if there was a loftier way to explain my decision but it’s just grey hair. Still I did a quick search (google is a modern miracle) and found a few other things if you’re reading this with any interest.

Advanced Style This is one the only style blog I frequent. Not all the ladies there are grey though they have all taken a few trips around the sun. They’re stylish and gorgeous.

Someone that loves her grey too

10 reasons to go grey with photos of fabulous grey ladies

You tube video diary of a woman going grey – there’s quite a few of these. Watch through this one and then you can watch others.

Do your own googling if you’re interested. You should know though, there are lots of articles written that will talk about women “giving up” and women becoming invisible. I think the “Invisible” aspect of my age showing is a really interesting one. I look forward to seeing if this bodes true. It feels like the negative articles are trying to make women feel like they’re less of a vibrant woman if she decides to go grey. It’s not true.

The one really amazing thing that I’ve noticed since I stopped fighting my hair color is my skin. I was thinking it look blegh. I was willing to counteract that with cosmetics. Clearly that’s my problem, I need more creams or something….or better food. Something. Little did I know it wasn’t adding it was taking away that would change my skin. Yes, this could all just be in my head but my skin looks warmer to me. I wear less makeup if I wear any because I like my skin better.

You may not have noticed (or not have grey hair at all) but grey hair behaves differently than other hair. I have had short hair for a while now and the greys behaved one way while the brown hairs behaved another. The browns laid flat and did as they were told. They were easy to style. The greys were like petulant children and stood at odd angles and just generally behaved badly. Part of my dyeing the hair was to keep the mingled greys in line.

The new haircut helps with this. Longer hair can make the greys be ok and so can crazy short hair. In searching for a new hair cut this is the one that really caught my eye. Its an undercut. Before and after the cut:

I feel lucky that I’ve made it to an age where my hair can turn grey. Someday I may go back to fiddling with the color but right now the hair is pretty awesome natural.

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13 Responses to Going Grey

  1. Jennifer says:

    I met you for the first time at the New England Fiber Festival a couple of weeks ago. I have always had the good fortune to see people from the inside out. When I met you, I was struck by what an incredibly beautiful person you are. I had no expectations about your hair cut or pink hair. You’re beautiful from the inside out and it shows. In my 50s and with only a few lovely grey hairs, I am in love with not having to care if anyone else finds me attractive. They can be dazzled or put off by their perceptions of me because my well being doesn’t rely on the approval of others. I haven’t given up even a little. I’ve just learned to focus my attention on the things that really matter to me. http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/halsman/halkeef.htm

  2. Emily says:

    Your grey is gorgeous.

  3. vicki says:

    Love.it! It is/you are beautiful! I don’t have a lot of gray, mostly it’s a streak that frames my face, and I’ve only had my hair colored a handful of times — last time was a temp wash, and I had them LEAVE THE GRAY ALONE!!

  4. g2-38042710b4d945d8b746772b47a95075 says:

    I think you look gorgeous!

  5. Lorette says:

    Your grey is gorgeous! I had colored my hair for years, and stopped doing so about a year ago. I had my colorist put in some light highlights in January to disguise the growth line, and that’s the last time. It’s almost completely grown out, and I’ve gotten way more compliments on my hair now that I have a fabulous white streak in the front. And it’s way cheaper. I think women have all these weird expectations imposed on them by outside us, it’s nice to just decide for ourselves who we want to be.

  6. amy says:

    I tried it (with more grey than you, but still no more than half grey) for 2 years. I loved not going through the 6 week “my grey roots are in and i hate myself” phase, but that was all. from a distance, when i caught my image in a mirror, i felt invisible TO ME, which was the last straw. so i’m dyeing again.

    when i have MOSTLY grey, i’ll stop. i love a beautiful white head and can’t wait till i have one.

  7. LadyRebecca says:

    I had completely forgotten that I’d written that blog post! I really enjoyed your take on going gray. I am playing an Italian waitress in a play and since my Italian is pretty horrible, I dyed my hair black so I’d at least look the part more but I find that I miss my grey. Thank you for a beautifully written post. :)

  8. Maryse says:

    I noticed that when I went darker again, back to my nonhighlighted natural color that my skin looked better too. I don’t think it’s in your head. I think your new look is fantastic

  9. Tina says:

    After 25 years of coloring my hair, I stopped. I found that no matter what I did, the color simply would not cover my grey and I would be touching up far too often. I have to admit I love my salt and pepper look,and so does my hubby :)

  10. Kathy says:

    I have been thinking about my grey hair lately — it’s pretty grey at the temples — and it’s a never-ending battle to with the dye. Not sure whether I’ll make a change, but I’m thinking about it.

  11. purlewe says:

    I was talking to my hairstylist about my “platinum hair” as he called it. And he wanted to reassure me that as a blonde no one will notice until my head is at 50% grey. But that is my problem. I *want* people to see my grey hairs. *sigh. I am so contrary.

  12. samknits says:

    Love the grey and the haircut!

  13. Rubiy says:

    You look fantastic! But then, you always look good. :) I like my greys too. They make me feel accomplished. Now if I could only figure out how to get that great white streak that Rogue has, but without the head injury…

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