Now I’m not talking waking up one morning and discovering I’ve gone from black to white. Now that would be really really traumatic. No, I’ve actually been going grey for years, and I mean years, my beautiful dark brunette hair started sprouting greys in my early 30’s by my early forties I would have very clear badger stripes if I didn’t stay on top of the dying. The grey made me feel old, yet I wasn’t ready to go grey. So, my next step in taking control of the greying situation, was to go platinum blonde!
Well, I say platinum blonde, but in truth first attempts from dark brunette to blonde were more ginger in nature. To be brutally honest I looked like a worn-out hooker. My daughter cried when I got home. I cried with her.
Not to be deterred and after investing hours in salons and plenty of money I got the blonde I wanted. Which worked for a time…
Being blonde is fun. You do get noticed more on the bus (very annoying from the perspective of a previous natural dark brunette) and I celebrated the greys coming through, theoretically it should be easier for the blonde to shine…hmmm, not quite the case. Five years later, my hair was like straw and wouldn’t sit in any style having been so fried with the bleach and if not managed well with every purple shampoo known to man, or woman, my hair went very yellow, edging closer to that perilous ginger.
Last year, I’d had enough, time to take control once again. I let the natural colour grow out bit by bit then chopped off the frazzled bleached blonde hair and here I am in my shiny short silver hairdo today.
It’s actually a really lovely colour and I can’t stop stroking my hair these days, it’s chemical free now and so smooth and soft to the touch. I’ve had three compliments this week about my eyes and how striking they are, (one from a very cute waiter, but I’ll save that conversation for another day). The point is, that my natural grey suits me, I can see that now. The decision to embrace my greys though was not an easy one. It actually involves admitting to yourself your aging.
So, let’s talk about some of the reactions I have gotten from women…
“Oh, you’ve changed your hair”…. This one I have always found annoying, do you want points for being observant? Clearly you don’t like it otherwise you would have said that you did!
This has often been followed by;
“I’m not ready to go grey” … Now I get this, I too wasn’t ready to go grey for years. Am I being overly sensitive to this statement? Possibly… What I hear when someone says this to me though is that you are saying you believe you are younger or can look younger than me which doesn’t exactly make me feel great when we are talking about my hair.
The corker response so far has been…
“What were you thinking?” … Now that one definitely hurt. Without a doubt I have had some corker impromptu haircuts, (an 80’s perm springs to mind) but this was a considered decision, it was me being brave enough to own my grey, my attempt to be a real woman and own my age rather than always trying to look decades younger than we are. So that statement hurt. It actually really hurt.
It’s been several months now and I am proud and loving being grey. The more comfortable I’ve gotten with my beautiful soft grey, healthy shiny hair, the more beautiful compliments I’ve subsequently received. The funniest one being a woman in her early 20’s who wanted my colour and wanted to know the dye brand and shade number. Cue big smile on my face and my inside voice saying “how ironic”.
If you are thinking of embracing change, I say do it, it’s liberating and for those beautiful women still dying and bleaching, I am with you too, I feel your pain, hours in the hairdressers, or the perils of DIY dying choosing the wrong shade, ruined towels, stained bathrooms and burnt scalps are still very recent memories for me.
And the next time you notice your friend has changed her hair, if you like it tell her it’s fabulous. I you think it’s a shocker please say nothing and move the conversation on 🙂