Grey hair is such a sensitive issue isn’t it?
Often, when we discover our first grey (or white) hair, it is with a sense of gloom. It is a sign that age has caught up with us, and that we aren’t the spring chicken that we thought we were.
I remember that sinking feeling when I discovered my first grey hair sticking straight up the top of my head in my early 20’s. It was at that exact moment that I knew what the old saying “It’s all downhill from here!” meant.
I then swore that when I started greying, I’d start colouring my hair again. It’s been 20 years since, so have I kept true to that promise to myself? 🙂
Well, no I haven’t 🙂
I used to colour my hair a lot when I was much younger. It was one of my personal luxuries, when I started earning my own money. Spending lots of money on my hair, and changing the colour now and then, was something I was happy to do.
Along the way however, after the realities of adulthood had sunk in and personal commitments started building up, I cut back on these luxuries. I also felt that I was putting unnecessary stress on my hair, and spending money unnecessarily.
I haven’t coloured my hair in at least 10 years, and I’m fine with it. It’s not something I want to do anymore, having been there and done that!
When the first grey/white hairs started coming through, I’d sometimes pluck them out as I see them, only to be told “Don’t pluck your white hair! 3 more will grow in its place!”
True or not, I wasn’t risking it! LOL! 😀
But now that I have more white hair coming through, a decision had to be made. Would I leave my hair au naturel, or was I going to hide the grey?
The decision was an easy one to make. I decided to leave my hair as is.
Part of the reason is due to self-acceptance. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching over the years, and with it has come self-acceptance and a ‘Fuck that’ attitude.
The other reason is because I have a supportive hairdresser, who essentially told me not to colour my hair, because if I did, I’d have to keep at it, and the grey/white hair would be more noticeable, when they grow out. Rarely do you have a hairdresser who isn’t out to milk you for all your money, and encourage you to do all sorts of unspeakable things to your hair! I liked that he was a voice of reason.
The final reason is simply me giving the middle finger to society. Why should society dictate what my hair colour should be, or why growing older is so frowned upon?
Women have it hard enough as it is in society. We take one step forward thinking we make progress, and are then pulled back 3 steps, by both men and other women who think we don’t know our place.
We are reminded everywhere that showing signs of aging is frowned upon. We are encouraged to reduce our fine lines and erase wrinkles. We are sold procedures to remove dark spots and brighten dull skin. We are encouraged to keep our hair dark, to maintain the illusion of youth.
Well, there comes a point when I draw the line, and I’ve drawn mine. I basically said “Fuck that!” and decided to just leave things as they are. If I look older, so be it. There is a story there. There is privilege to growing older.
Besides, I roll my eyes every time an older man, with his greying hair is hailed as distinguished, and an older woman with greying hair is looked upon as “old”. Enough of the double standards already!
Perhaps I find it an easier decision to make, for greying seems to come late in my family, and with short hair, it’s less visible. Perhaps, if I found myself greying significantly in my late 20’s, I might be less secure in making this decision.
So, this is the position I’m taking. I’m letting my grey come through. I hope one day, to have a head full of snowy white hair. That would be very cool! 😀
But till that day, I’ll be showing off the greys in my hair. I’m comfortable with it, and that’s all that matters.
If someone else were to take the position that they prefer to hide their grey hair, I have nothing to say against it. My mom does, with henna. It’s a decision she made that she’s happy with, and ultimately, that’s all that really matters – what WE think and feel, not what anyone else does! There is no right or wrong answer 🙂
Do you or do you plan to cover your grey hair?
It is a little bit of a sensitive topic I know, but it’s always interesting to hear what people will do 😀