Should I Go Grey? – The Art of Saying “F#ck it!”

JFC 50 Shades of Grey!

This post is for all those people out there thinking about going grey…

I have a lot of hair. And, like most women, my hair was always a very big part of my identity. Still is.

I started going grey when I was 19. No exaggeration.

It turns out that premature greying is an indicator of Pyrrole Disorder, but I didn’t know about that when I was 19. I didn’t know about a lot of things when I was 19. I just thought I did.

So at age 42, when I started thinking about actually going grey, I had been dying my hair for over half my life.

And, if I work out that I spent at least two hours colouring my hair every five weeks  – which is a conservative estimate, it was getting down to every three weeks in the last few years – that means I spent well over 250 hours in the colourist’s chair. Probably a lot more.

Don’t ask me how much money I spent. It’s too depressing to consider.

“…the amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.” – Nora Ephron

That’s a cheery thought, isn’t it?

I don’t remember my Mum ever dying her hair

And she has a fantastic cap of shiny, healthy grey hair. It looks wonderful on her. So I guess I had a strong role model.

But none of my girlfriends is grey. nary a one.

And when I first mentioned that I was thinking about going grey to my nearest and dearest, the general consensus was something along the lines of, “Have you lost your mind?”* Even my happily-grey haired Mum counselled me against it. She thought I was too young.

People thought it would age me. My hairdresser thought I would regret it and resent him.

So, I kept dying my hair…

JFC 50 Shades of Grey copy

One of my last ‘pre-grey’ pics

It is only when I go searching for a ‘pre-grey’ image of myself that I realise just how much I avoid being in photographs…

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I make a personal decision, I seek advice from people. And, if it’s not the advice I want, I mull it over. And, I chew on it. And, I consider the angles.

And, then sometimes I just say, “F#@* it!”. And choose to do it anyway.

Which is exactly what happened with this decision!

I went with my gut.

To be fair, it was hardly a life-threatening call. And, I reasoned, if I didn’t like it, I could always dye it back…

But it did mean a dramatic change in my appearance.

And it did take some time.

And, something unexpected happened

What I didn’t expect when I went grey is that I would feel more ‘me’.  After having dark locks for most of my life, chopping it all off  and showing my face to the world (no more hair to hide behind) was strangely liberating. I didn’t expect to be SO happy with my decision.

Of course, I’m saving money and time. And, I’m no longer putting all those chemicals on my head.

But I also feel more authentic.

I really love my grey hair.

Sometimes, in this life, it pays to say, “F#ck it!”

After all, you can always dye it back if you change your mind.

*It must be noted that LM thought I should do what made me happy. Bless him.

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Comments (18)

High Five! What an awesome post – listening to OUR gut really is the message time and time and TIME again isn’t it!

Yep. And what works for one, doesn’t mean it will work for another. It’s a hard lesson at times, I think!

I adore your hair as it is. I know I will get to that F it point and not use henna on my hair. I’ve had greys since 20, but did make the switch to henna a couple of years ago. It’s gentle, nourishing, nicer on the wallet, and I love how my hair looks. My mother reached her “I’m done” point with coloring her hair fairly early on and like your view of your mom, I think she has beautiful hair. 🙂

Erin – It’s such a deeply personal thing, hair – isn’t it? We have a complex relationship with it. I’m sure my Mum’s decision to go grey – and now, silver – was a big part of my ‘f#@* it!’ attitude.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you have the best blog post titles ever!

🙂 Awww! Thanks Eileen. Bless your cotton socks!

I am pretty sure there was wig back in the 70’s… the photo series of us in our matching purple mothercare suits and mum in her lovely crocheted waistcoat… and wig!

Yep – there definitely was a wig (I don’t have a pic – sadly!). No colouring, though…

The old guy tells me that Mum’s hair is white, not grey. I think its more silver.

Well there you go girl. I’ve had grey hairs since my early teens and as I found out earlier this year I tested positive for Pyrroles. If only I had had that dealt with way back when I may have been able to avoid my autoimmune issues. But not entirely sure Pyrroles was even recognised then as so many dispute it’s existence even now. I also had colour issues – I’m a redhead and it took a long time to accept that after the bullying and teasing etc I went through at school. But I didn’t start colouring it until my 30’s and and then it was only highlights once a year. The last few years have been with natural – no nasty chemical colours but one of the side effects of my RA meds was hairloss – lost 3/4 of my hair volume so no point colouring that little bit. And now after a year it’s finally thickening up and is coming back wavy (always had dead straight hair!) and with more copper in it!! Time to grow up and grow older gracefully I think and be thankful for what I have
FYI you rock that hair or is that too young of a thing to say 😉

You are NEVER to old to say ‘rock’, lovely Amanda! Never, ever!

I have been known to think ‘If only I knew then what I know now’… But then, I might not be the person I am today.

Happy to hear that you are getting your hair back!

You ROCK Jo! I love the grey locks and wouldn’t want you any other way. Your vulnerability and courage is in equal parts inspiring and refreshing.

Awww – it helps when I have people like you in my corner. Cheers Rory 🙂

I can’t stop thinking about this post. I just think about it -you know- when I’m doing laundry or something. And the picture of you keeps popping into my head and making me smile. It’s thought-provoking. And makes me like you very much~.

You make my heart smile, Petra.

It’s very much a mutual liking, my friend.

i know we’ve talked about exactly this, and congratulated each other on seeing the light. lovely that you wrote it up into such a great post. so much YES!
my decision to go grey (at 36, & i’ve also got pyrrole disorder) following identical conversations with dear friends didn’t just make me feel more authentic- it has also led me to embrace more imperfections in my appearance & even my life, to see the beauty in things as they are.
rock on, silver fox!

How did I miss your gorgeous message?!?!

Absolutely – Rock on YOU silver fox! XXX

also, i feel you should add that going shorter was part of it- we both felt it was necessary to show clearly that going grey was a style decision, & not having got too complacent about colouring schedules!

It must be said that when I finally took the plunge, it was so obvious that I wasn’t just getting complacent about colouring schedules… I was VERY grey! Nothing gentle and graceful about my transformation, Possum!

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