Should You Go Gray? Ask Your Mechanic_The Old Gray Mare is More Than She Used to Be

I started dying my hair when I was in my my early forties. I had a few grey strands and after having the kids and nursing, the color got mousy and I wanted those rich, glossy tresses back; sleep deprived, at least, my hair would look great.
Year after year, I kept coloring not really noticing that I was getting a lot more grays.  In the past couple of years, after swimming in the ocean and chlorinated pools in the shining sun, my hair had a tendency of becoming more of an orange-brown that looked frizzy and worse than that, each time I shampooed, my hands were full of hair.  Yet all of this was better than going gray, showing my age, looking like an old hag, my sister's term.  I continued to dye my hair becoming a slave to my failing follicles which were replacing melanin with colorless air bubbles.
In the Fall of 2016,  after returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic,  my hair was fried and I decided to stop dying it with the encouragement of my hair dresser.    I even spoke with my mechanic about my decision.  "You know, I am thinking of going gray."  I said.  He raised his eyebrows and said, "If any one could rock the grays, it's you!"  It was good to know that I did not need to search for a new mechanic or a therapist.  With my motivation tank filled, I walked home thinking how great I was going to look in gray.


Happy Woman Going Gray It Helps to Keep Your Eyes Closed.


At the beginning, it didn't look like much but as the months wore on, the grays got very noticeable.  When I texted my hairdresser to make an appointment, I added in a panic,  "I think I need to eliminate the grays."  She texted back, "Remember your goal."  I couldn't help thinking, what the hell is wrong with this woman?  Why do I have to have an ethical hairdresser who doesn't put complete and total value on one's appearance and doesn't want to make 100 bucks?
In a moment of pathetic mourning, I wondered why I hadn't appreciated the gorgeous hair I once had.  Maybe  I did?  I couldn't remember.  Aargh.  I was too busy living to think about pretty hair.  It was part of the youth package.

Sad Woman with Great Work of Art Going Gray.


Why now?  Why pay attention to my hair now that it is gray?  Well, first off,  those wiry strands beg for my attention.   I look at them defying gravity around my head with a mix of admiration and disdain.   They are also defying me, defying the misconception that I can be forever young and live in the past,  and they defy the illusion that I will not age.  Someone get me the Clairol!  And the Kleenex!  Yet, those misbehaving grays also represent the defiance in me and I like them.  Do I like them enough to don a silver crown?  Will I be strong enough to have the same color hair as my husband?


Happy Woman Going Gray with Great Work of Art.


The dark brown color of my youth persists between the silvery white and the defiant whites are trying to choke out  the pliable browns.   Then I figured it out!  There is an epic struggle playing out on top of my head for all to see.  My graying hair is  metaphor for middle age where I find myself in between my youth and my old age. Dang!

So, I made a list of misconceptions to accompany the graying battle, which I totally believe!
  • Women with gray hair are not sexy. 
  • Young people will refer to me as an "old woman".
  • People will say that I am too old to be doing certain things like being alive!
  • In business, I will be considered past my prime, out of date, out of touch, stuck in my ways, out of new ideas.
  • Boy Scouts will help me to cross the street.  
  • I will start wearing age appropriate clothing. Goodbye faux leather jacket.
  • I will buy white sneakers.
Or folks will look at me and my grays and say:
  • Wow! That old lady has a six pack.
  • Look at the old lady dance!
  • That old lady just gave me the finger!
  • She's funny for an old lady.
  • You can bounce a quarter off of that old lady's tush.
  • Look at that crazy, old lady.


The Grays Like to Hide in the Back.


So here I am, one haircut away from the last dyed strands.  My hair is a lot healthier and fuller which is great and I don't have to worry about my roots, the honest-to-goodness truth, showing. Will I be brave enough to embrace my natural color gray, misconceptions and all?   Probably not, I am way too vain! I am now perfectly aware that the hair of my youth will never be available in a box or tube but I am planning to do some gray blending with temporary color.  Going gray doesn't mean that you don't want to look good!
I am not sure how long it will take for my hair to go completely gray, when the pliable browns will loose their epic battle to the stubborn silvery whites.  I would be pretty darn happy to live that long and to reach a point in life where there is nothing left to hide and if I still have any hair left, that's when I'll paint my lid a nice shade of purple or pink to match my shoes.



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