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…
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.