Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for...Grey Hair

When I was 21, I did volunteer work for my church for eighteen months. About the same time, my thick, black hair started to turn grey.  With the help of Madame Clairol, it was fairly easy to cover those pesky grey hairs in under an hour.

After turning 30, however, my grey hair quadrupled in quantity.  What was once so easy to hide now took $100 every three weeks to keep a secret.  I looked like my 20 year old self for about a week after getting my hair colored, then the 'skunk stripe' (where the grey meets the dye) would appear and I would comb my colored hair over, to hide it, until my next appointment.

One day, after hearing me lament about my skunk hair, Mountain Man said, "Why don't you just let it go grey?"  I'd toyed with the idea for a few months, but I just couldn't come to terms with being a 32 year old with a head of grey hair.  After an exasperating week of comb-overing, I went to my hair stylist and begged her to take her clippers and buzz it down to an inch long all over my head.

The hair I had been fighting against for so long was gone.  I had never felt so liberated from my body.  Usually, it was something I fought against. Frizzy hair begging to be flat-ironed, tiny crow's feet needing moisturizer, nails and toes that need polish--the list could go on and on...there is just a lot of upkeep.  And one huge item on the list was gone.

Eventually, my hair grew in, in all its grey glory.

I am the only 37 year old with grey hair that I know.  Often, other women ask me when I'm going to dye it and oh-so-subtly encourage me to join the rest of women kind who dye their hair...but I just can't go back.  My grey hair is a part of me--it isn't who I am, because I am not my hair, but I won't fight against my body and the aging process that is a part of living.

Not to say that I don't try to eat right, get enough sleep, use sunscreen, and just take care of this precious body I've got.  But as far as my hair is concerned--its grey, just the way I like it.  And if you dye your hair and it works for you--well done you for doing something that makes you feel good about this husk you've been blessed with.  Do what works for you, and I'll do what works for me; and hopefully, one woman at a time, we can come to peace within ourselves about embracing the changes our bodies experience as we get older.

Women are like fine wine, we get better with age.  Yes, I have grey hair. My bum is bigger that I would like it to be.  Sometimes I groan when I get up off the floor.  However, I have never felt better about my character and the person I have become.  And that well-being extends to my appearance too.  My grey is a part of me, so is my backside and even my bad knees.  I can fight against this body or I can give it the honor and thanks it deserves.

And I've found there's more joy in honoring it.

So, if you see a new wrinkle, or a few greys pop up overnight, don't fret. You are beautiful just the way you are.  After all...you earned every single one of them.

All my grey glory.



How do you feel about aging?

Leave your comment here, or e-mail me at squaretoothedgirl@gmail.com...be sure to check out what other A to Z-ers are talking about by clicking on the buttons to the right!!

32 comments:

  1. Love it!! I have been tempted to let my greys grow in as well, but I'm not sure how they will look against red hair... maybe, I'll have to see! :-)

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  2. When I first saw your picture on FB, I (as a hairdresser) was sure it was grey... but because I am color challenged (as a hairdresser) I never seem to know when someone is coloring or not. And in the photos I just couldn't tell for sure if it was highlighted or grey.

    I.Love.It. I think it looks fabulous.

    I have never colored mine, but it was always grey on the right side more than the left and could mostly cover with a part, except when long then since I usually wore it back had my "racing stripe" as JB called it.

    I truly dislike the helpful hinters that reside in our lives. Butt out, I say, Butt out.

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  3. Those with grey hair are queens in the land of the balding...

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  4. Oh my goodness, I love this post! Good for you for going with the grey hair! And WOW, I can't believe you chopped it all off. I love that. I think I have issues with aging but they are not superficial (yet) because I look like I'm 18 (I'm 30). My issues are more with getting things done in my life that I want to get done. I have to remind myself it's not a race. Just like dying your hair is not a necessity.

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  5. You go girl! My husband calls my gray hair "racing stripes." I embrace them! Mostly. But to be honest, the gray eyebrows that are coming in now are getting on my nerves.

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  6. @Kate (aka Jim's girl,)
    I don't know how I'll feel about the grey eyebrows when they come too...maybe I WILL have to dye those! ;)

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  7. I'm a lot older than you and don't have gray hair but if I did it wouldn't bother me. And the women who turn gray early end up with this glorious white hair by the time they are 60 that is just stunning.

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  8. Driving around with two newly permit-ed teens is making my brand new hair gray!

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  9. Okay, so the body's not what it used to be. The hair's getting gray, my neck is getting wobbly, my hips (oh my) and well as for the rest ... but I wouldn't trade the experiences and the knowledge I've gained for that 17-y-o body again. I've worked to hard for these wrinkles. Hooray for us!!

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  10. How do I feel about aging? I guess when I'm not paying any attention to it, I'm okay with it. It's happening without me having to get involved. But when I have to acknowledge it - for example, while being a 40 year-old bridesmaid alongside cute, precious, high-breasted 20-somethings - it makes me feel uncomfortable.

    Lucy

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  11. A beautiful post - apologies for being so late in seeing it. I can sympathize about the skunk stripe - I, too, went gray young. I was still a teenager when the hairdresser found gray hair. I've been colouring it ever since. A while ago I got sick and tired of having a skunk stripe after only one week so I decided to dye it blonde. I asked the hairdresser, what do I have more of, dark hair or white hair? And she said it was more white. So blonde I became. At first I was shell shocked. Now I'm liking it. And I REALLY like how I can go two months without having to retouch my roots. Funnily enough, though, when I had dark hair, my roots were white. Now that my hair is light, my roots are dark. Stoopid roots.
    Oh! I also have bad knees. That sucks even more than the hair-thing.
    And back to your hair for a moment - you look GORGEOUS. Totally suits you. And I love what you wrote about your grey hair being a part of you. Brought a tear to my eye.

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  12. Well - I'm really late, but that's me, too. But now I'm nearly 70 I have never regretted giving up on damaging colouring and just letting it go. That moment when I changed from having highlights, to lowlights to ... nothing was superb. And I've never regretted it.

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  13. I love grey hair! And your's looks fantastic.

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  14. At about 16, I developed a white streak in the front and I began to color my hair. I am now 41 and I am so sick of all the money I spend on coloring. Plus, as you said, the color lasts about a week and there's the white stripe again. I've cut my hair really short in the past, but now I'm in a growing out stage. Maybe I'll see about transitioning to grey.

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    1. Go for it--it really is easier to maintain. I'm also an advocate for doing whatever makes YOU feel the best about being you. :)

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  15. And I thought you had it colored grey since it's a trend. I was like, "Wow, I want my grey hair to be like that, it looks cool!" :-)

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    1. You are a natural beauty, Jovanna!!

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  16. Ageing appearance is one thing, it's when bits begin to stop working properly that I am more worried about, roll on the grey, just hold off on the arthritis:-)
    thanks for sharing

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  17. I'll just remind all of you young ladies (Lisa is an old friend of my second oldest child) that "aging is not for sissies". Or "it's not easy getting old". And "any day on this side of the grass is a good day". And "it is better to be seen than to be viewed". And so forth. Yeah, I'm 70 now. In good health, thanks to various doctors and such.

    Cheers
    Dan Lester

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  18. I dyed my hair every color in the book. Every 2 months faithfully roots where touched up for years. 1 1/2 years ago I had a bad dye job and that was the final straw. I buzzed my hair off, had a cute pixie, now my hair is a short bob and all my natural hair is proudly shown off. I'm about 40% grey. I just turned 40. Alot of people don't get being natural...I never did until I did it. My hair is so kid soft it's crazy, my husband is always playing with it because it's so soft...no more straw.....Congrats to you. You look amazing and no toxic chemicals. You realize to be grey in your 30's means you are a bit of a REBEL. Really that takes guts and confidence and you pull it off.

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    1. Don't I know it! Rebel Lisa, that's me! ;) Well done, you for buzzing and starting anew...you're the rebel! Let's rejoice!

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  19. Thank you! I have been stressing over this for a few months now. As a 29 year old, with now almost 30% grey, I have been dying my hair religiously for over a decade. As the big 3-0 approaches, I've been strongly reevaluating that habit. The problem is, there are SO few people out there who would recommend embracing the grey at such a young age. I know, deep down, it's what I want to do, no matter how scared I am of it. It's so great to finally find some support out there :)

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    1. There's not too many of us--that's for sure! And for me, it's not even about the chemicals as much as it was about the upkeep. Do what works for you and you will be and feel beautiful!!

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  20. I think we could be friends! My mom dyes her hair, my two older sisters dye their hair, everyone I know that is going gray (and often even when they aren't) dye their hair. I've always wondered, even at a young age, why we all hope to live a long time and yet at the same time cringe at the thought of getting old. I decided to brace it. I don't, I won't, dye my hair. I will not cave just because I'm 35 and "graying" throughout. I don't even try to hide it with how I do my hair anymore. My sisters don't like it because if I go gray it might make them by extension look old. I don't wear much makeup, just a touch, mostly eye makeup, for color and pop. This also bothers most people.
    This post makes me happy. I found your blog when you wrote about supporting equality in marriage and I've been reading since and trying to "catch up" on your old posts. I love reading good blogs and yours is fantastic, makes me even think about blogging again...maybe ;)
    Hooray for 30 something year olds with gray! We need to stick together

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    1. Absolutely!! We MUST stick together. Be beautiful you--and do whatever makes you feel good.

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  22. Have you identified the genetic source of your patch? I have one, too. I believe they're usually hereditary.

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    1. Yep. My mom and gma were gray at my age too.

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