It all began decades ago when I started adding sunny California highlights to my hair. And now, more than 30 years later my hair is still the same color I grew up with, or at least close to it thanks to Clairol Nice n Easy medium neutral blonde. Coloring my hair has been a monthly ritual for so long that it just seems like a basic part of life, like brushing my teeth or washing my face.
I’ve been thinking about giving it up. Gray is cool now and we have many examples of mature women who look stunning, sophisticated, and youthful with their natural white or grey locks. Friends I know who have stopped coloring their hair often talk about feeling more healthy and empowered, but there are always others who say it makes them feel older and invisible. I’m afraid of becoming one of them.
I’ve come close to letting the color go a few times, but when I mention transitioning to gray hair people will shake their heads and advise me to stay blonde. They say my hair looks good now, so why change it, I won’t be respected as much in business, and I will look and feel old, old, old. Many of the women who say these things have gray hair.
And so, here I am again with the thought of letting the hair dye go tickling at my brain. I try to picture myself with gray hair as I look in the mirror, but just can’t see it. I’ve been feeling a little older maybe even less vital in this 63rd year of my life and don’t want changing my hair to influence the idea that I am aging and tip my mental and emotional scales that direction. I wonder about the transition and walking around with two-toned hair. Will I feel less presentable? Less confident? Or, like I’ve given up?
But, there are reasons why I keep feeling that this is something I want to do.
- I want to be authentic and live the truth
- I want to stop putting chemicals on my head
- I am curious what my real hair looks like
- I want to embrace who I really am at this time in my life
As I write this, I am realizing these reasons are in alignment with my values and I can feel them in my heart. The rest is simply fear.
- I look and feel old
- I stop believing in my health and vitality and let myself go
- I lose confidence in myself because of my appearance and start to live small
- People look down on me or I feel invisable
- Potential clients see me as over the hill instead of valuing what I offer
- I fall into depression
- I become the little old lady in the mirror
It’s clear to me that choosing to stop coloring my hair is also an inner game. It’s about how I choose to think about it. My heart says yes. Fear says no. It’s also about timing.
Gray hair can be a rite of passage and a polarizing issue for women. I’ve been following a Facebook group called Gray and Proud full of courageous women sharing their transformations and encouragement. The cover image at the top of the group page says, “Those Aren’t Gray Hairs. They are strands of glitter.” Now, that sounds nice.
I haven’t made a final decision that this is the right time for me yet, but I would say that writing a blog post about it and letting the world know I’m considering it is a positive sign in that direction.
So, what about you? Are you a Gray Goddess or a Queen of Color and why? I would love to hear your hair stories and feelings on the subject. I think going grey is a personal choice and it would be nice to share and support each other in whatever decisions we make.
You can share your thoughts by leaving a comment on this post.