Going Gray. Head or Heart?

Going Gray. Head or Heart?

…or, I want to be like Helen…

There are so many fun things that happen to your body as we approach and cross over into our 60’s. One of the few times I’ve quoted Browning… “let me count the ways…” There are too many changes to address in a single post here, but the one that’s weighing on my mind most right now is the hair. More specifically, the hair on my head. It’s important we be specific because if we’re honest we locations other than our head where hair has morphed – or otherwise disappeared.

But for this post, I want to talk about the hair on my head – the color of the hair on my head. The thinning catastrophe aside, the color conundrum – continue coloring or going natural – is weighing on my patience, my wallet, and frankly my soul. Here’s my thought process:

I am so tired of coloring my hair. I can’t afford to have it colored regularly so I do it myself with store-bought products. The color seems to come out fine initially but fades to an icky red/orange tint quickly and the gray is showing faster and, in more places, than my temples. (I get so self-conscious when it’s been a few weeks since I’ve colored my hair and the wind gusts from behind. I’m sure I look similar to a man who’s beginning to bald at the back crown of his head.

Who Am I?

Do you know how your car always seems to drive better just after you get it washed? Even though you know it really doesn’t drive any differently, it feels like it does. Well, that’s what I’m afraid of for me. I’m afraid I’ll feel less vibrant, OLDER with gray. Even now, with just a bit of gray showing through, I look in the mirror and see a tired, middle-aged woman. Spray on a bit of color ‘coverup’ and, poof, I’m baaaaaack!

Nice color, Great Sister, and makeup always help.

As much as I fail, I continue to practice authenticity. I strive for authenticity. It’s a struggle in more ways than one, but gray hair is proving to be a tough one. It doesn’t FEEL like me. But, then again, it IS me. Isn’t coloring my hair just a tiny bit inauthentic?

And, why doesn’t gray hair FEEL like me?? Because we’ve been conditioned to feel like that. Men who are salt and pepper or silver-headed are considered (by yours truly, included) suave and sophisticated. Women, not so much. But … my girl crush, Helen Mirren! Judy Dench, May Musk, Diane Keaton… and the beautiful Donna Rogers which whom I went to school… But, then when I think about ME, I don’t know…  Gray, like any hair, can be gorgeous. Look at these ‘normal’, beautiful, authentic women who are embracing the gray.

So, let’s think through the pros and cons:

Pros for Going Gray –

  • Financial savings;
  • Time savings;
  • Less aggravation;
  • Living more naturally and authentically;
  • Living environmentally healthier.

Cons for Going Gray –

  • Self-image shift;
  • How others think it looks;
  • Society’s stereotype – a woman with gray hair versus hair with color;
  • Gray’s course texture will make me look like I have a white Brillo pad on my head.

PROS – Practical or CONS – Emotional

Head or Heart. Isn’t it always?

Typical. (rolling eyes)

What should I do?

Me? I’m not sure yet. But, when I am, you’ll be the first one I show.

What about you?

Update – Going Gray? Yes, but not yet…

Yes, I agree. The picture I used of Ms. Miren (Did you know I LOVE her??) does show her to have blond to platinum-blond hair rather than gray. My bad. So here you go.

And, did you check out the link above? You really should look at these pictures. I think they’re gorgeous. ‘Normal’, beautiful, authentic women who are embracing the gray.

And “Thank you” to Ms. Laurent for sending me this link of organic/natural hair colors. I indeed have decided that I’m still a brunette – at least for the time being. We are always evolving. One day I will also evolve into a normal, authentic woman who embraces the gray. But not today. Until then, I think I’ll try the Tins of Nature Light Golden Brown. Stay tuned.

Tints of Nature
Light Golden Brown

3 thoughts on “Going Gray. Head or Heart?”

  • I have loved these posts and discussions. The link to women who have let their hair grow naturally grey struck intrigued me. It appears that all of these women are under 50, or have been grey since they were under 50. Is it possible that our society has allowed more of the women who have come behind us (and more of their wonderful men) to have developed a greater self worth and a more expanded idea of beauty? If so, go us! Collectively we have raised strong women who appreciate their bodies and the things that make them different. I am only just getting there. Hugs all.

  • Maybe I’m unusual among American males, but I find natural color/graying very attractive, while dyed hair looks… Fake.
    “What is she hiding? What else is she “lying” about? “, etc.
    I get that our society glamorizes youth and disparages maturity, but I reject that stereotype. Women who show off who they really are, who embrace their survival to this point in time, are women I respect and – yes – find damned attractive.
    Let it go, I say!

    • Well, I do declare! Thank you, Keith. I was expecting commiserating comments from fellow females in / or have been in a similar quandary, but it is so nice to get your perspective, which I LOVE. I am sure many of my friends feel the same. You prove that much of the time when we project thoughts of others, we are wrong. Still, I do wish that our society’s “image” of a mature woman with gray hair wasn’t “old, calm, quiet, motherly/grandmotherly, retired…” you get it. I appreciate your comment. You reinforce for me the importance of letting my head and heart work together. My head isn’t always wrong – and visa versa. 🙂 Lynnelle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.