I had a professor in University who I really looked up to. She was tall, slender, older and had a gorgeous full head of grey hair. She was so confident and poised and I wanted to be like her when I was older (minus the tall and slender part because who was I kidding? ). I told myself back then that I wouldn’t confine to the beauty standards of society and dye my hair when it went grey, I would embrace it.
In the meantime, I dyed my hair all different colours. And I almost always had highlights. Going to the salon on a Saturday morning became very relaxing to me. I could easily spend hours getting spoiled and leaving looking like a brand new person. No matter what was going on in my life, my hair was always taken care of.
I found my first grey hair in my mid-twenties. It was smack dab in the middle of my hairline. Upfront and intimidating. So I plucked it out! I’m sure you’re wondering if the age old myth is true, if you pluck out a gray hair do 3 grow back in its place? Well when it grew back, it was still just one but it was stubborn so I plucked it out again.
I went on and dyed my hair and got highlights as I normally did. And then I noticed some more grey hair in between salon visits but still it didn’t bother me and my salon visits continued. Recently, I was too busy to maintain my trips to the hairdresser and I noticed that a lot more of my hair was greying. I asked my husband and he said it didn’t bother him at all. I looked over and saw that his beard was as salt and peppered as my hair was. The only difference was that I liked it on him. It showed his maturity and at that moment I realized I wanted to show mine too.
As my greys became more visible, I noticed people glancing at them while in a conversation with me. No one said a word about them but my kids. They didn’t want me to get older (and eventually die) but I reassured them the colour of my hair didn’t change anything about me. The fact that they noticed the change and spoke up about it proved to me that the beauty standards women have to live up to were obvious to my two young boys. I didn’t want them to fall into the trap of media telling us how we should look or feel.
Why can’t the description of a mom dropping off her kids include a few strands of grey hair? We all have them or will have them eventually but why don’t we ever show them?
I stopped looking at my greys in the mirror and agonizing about how long those strands were or about how many new strands there were. I had to show them that greying is a part of life regardless of your age.
While this is happening a trend was taking off, where young women were dyeing their hair grey! A lot of style worthy celebrities also did the same. And the ironic thing is that they looked great. It was platinum grey or grey with a nice tint of colour, not old lady grey. It’s so funny how the same experience can mean two different things to two different people. I wondered if these same women would proudly display their grey hair when it was natural or would they cover it up?
The greys are now a over an inch long in my hair and are scattered throughout. Most are along my middle part. I don’t think I’m ready to grown them out entirely yet. I still like to get highlights during the summer and be adventurous with my hair. However, I know I will not be running to the salon to get root touch-ups in between my visits. My gray hairs do not define me or change anything about me when they are visible. They’re just proof that I’m living my life and enjoying it without worrying about what others are thinking about me!