Eeeek. I’m having some withdrawal symptoms this week. I’m giving up the bottle. The L’Oreal #5AR bottle.
I’m talking to women everywhere for support. I got new glasses this week and spoke to the woman who helped me about her beautiful white hair.
Her name is Terri. She used to dye her hair, until a friend got cancer. “That scared me away from it,” she told me. “She had dyed her hair for years. The argument is still out about what all those chemicals might be doing to the brain, but I just decided it wasn’t worth it.” To her surprise, Terri discovered she loved her natural color.
“That’s the color I want,” I told her.
Then there’s Theresa, the wonderful woman who works at my parents’ ALF.
She didn’t want her body in the photo, but was happy to share her “sometimes I dye/sometimes I don’t” hair. She doesn’t feel compelled either way. I love that.
This week, I asked women (some I know, some I don’t) about this gray hair thing. I told them I’m writing about this ritual we women have of painting our heads, and that I want to stop doing it. I asked for their thoughts on the subject.
At first, they kind of looked around to see who was listening. They stepped closer and spoke softly. The topic of hair coloring is a sensitive, private, almost ceremonial practice, and we all feel protective about its secrets.
Then, they shared from the heart.
“I’d like to quit dyeing my hair, too,” one woman said.
“I don’t think my husband would want to see my gray hair,” said another.
A third one said, “When I started going gray, people told me, ‘you need to dye your hair. It looks awful’.”
Good grief. Are we under pressure to maintain the illusion of no-grays-here, or what?
No one ever remarked on my incoming gray strands. I spotted them first and immediately thought, Oh my, we can’t have this. My mother never dyed her hair, so I don’t know where the repugnance came from.
Somehow, somewhere, I just came to know that gray hair was not wanted.
I‘m trying to get to the bottom of this.
This morning, I tried to get a picture of my roots and the new growth that is showing. I have to admit, I’m not crazy about it.
Some of my problem is I don’t like the color gray in general, and I don’t own anything gray because it’s not on my color wheel. It always looks dull to me – flat, boring, dirty. It’s just not a color I relate to. That’s why I want white, angel hair like Theresa’s. Like my Irish maternal grandmother had.
In reality, my Cherokee blood is going to override the Irish in me, and I suspect I’m going to have battleship gray hair.
This is going to be harder than I thought.
The start of this journey…PART 1
Good luck! I'll be waiting to hear how it goes. It's getting to be time for me too.
The root thing is why I do the wash out kind of dye (when the spirit moves me to do anything). 5 years ago I had my hair colored for my sister's wedding (since she had commented on the gray and I didn't want to mess up her photos)…I misunderstood and thought I was getting the wash out kind. My gray is more around my temples and such, so instead I just had two tone hair while that slightly redder version of myself grew out. I finally got a short haircut at one point to get rid of the color.
Michael Ann says
I admire that you are doing this, I really do. I think about it sometimes but am not ready. Don't know if I ever will be. I the wash-out kind and it's not THAT much of a hassle, but I still hate doing it. In fact, I am getting ready to do it this morning and just putting it off. It's such a pain. But I just feel I look "better." What is better? I don't know. Younger probably. I feel when my gray comes in, I look tired.
debi o'neille says
I have a few gray coming, and my daughters want me to hop on the dye wagon. I'm not keen on increasing my chances for cancer, so I'm going to associate the word gray as just an abbreviated form of graceful. That sounds better. I will not be gray; I will be graceful.
Living as a clutz throughout my life, this sounds good to me. Also, like you, I'm hoping for snowy white, but my heritage is probably not going to allow it. 🙂
Jo-Anne Meadows says
At times I wonder how I would look if I went grey and maybe one day I will find out just not today
Maybe it will look more angelic white than you think. Or naturally frosted. You can't judge by that tiny bit showing. 😉
Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom says
Oh my, I worry about the chemicals in hair colour too. Maybe I'll switch to henna.
I think I would be grey, not white.
Anyway… enjoying this journey of yours.