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!
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.