Saturday, July 9, 2016

Grey Matter

I made a big decision this week.

As a gift to myself for reaching the half-century mark in six months, I've decided to do something that I've wanted to do for a while now.

I'm going to let my hair go grey.

I've been coloring my hair myself for years...Miss Clairol here, Natural Instincts there (because I'm too cheap and impatient to do it at a salon). And each time, I've hated it. The process, the smell, the toxic chemicals, the results...the works.

I've noticed that every time I'm out in public and I see a woman's hair that looks really healthy and beautiful, well, nine times out of ten she has let it go grey.

There are a few things I'm coming to realize about myself, likes and dislikes. I dislike painted finger nails. And this summer, I decided to forgo painting my toe nails as well. Oddly, no one protested or wrote their congressmen or started a Facebook campaign. It turns out no one noticed. Huh. Guess my painted toe nails or lack thereof are not that important in the grand scheme of life. Go figure.

Women are funny about their hair. It's one of the last vestiges of youth that we cling to. But let's face it...fifty is a great time to say "You know what? I'm no spring chicken, and I don't want to pretend to be one either."

I like who I am now. I'm blessed with good health. I'm cultivating a life of godly character. I have talents and abilities that I could never imagine in my younger years. And I'm resilient and stronger than I could ever imagine, too.

I'm going to let God give me the natural highlights instead. Those sparkly strands that say "This woman has seen a thing or two, and I've got big plans for her future as well."

I'm a little nervous about the process. Truthfully, I want my hair to look like the beautiful silver sister in the photos above. That's my mom, classy and beautiful all the time! I know that growing out the dyed hair will be weird. And I may have to let it grow a few months, and then go in one for one of those dramatic cut it all off Jamie Lee Curtis styles. But after that, I plan to let it grow....because it turns out I hate getting my hair cut at the salon, too. Hate it more than going to the dentist. There's nothing relaxing about it for me. It's an all out white knuckle experience each and every time.

I'll keep my cafe friends updated on this experiment. In the meantime, I plan to stay my sassy self. My hair may not be "young" any more, but I'm thin and fit and have cute clothes. I can pull this off, right?


  1. My experience: I am not quite 40, but I have a lot of grays. Not enough to dye my hair and but too many to pull! I got to the point several years ago where I had to make the decision to color or not. I call my grays my "hair bling" because they are very white and sparkly. I reserve the right to color my hair, but so far, other than a demi-permanent hair color that my sister did (for free) I haven't colored my hair. One of my sisters (a cosmetologist) remarked a year or so ago that for my age I really didn't have many grays. So honestly if, at my age (late 30s) most women have gray hair - is it really "premature gray"??? Probably not!

    If you get to the point where you are really disliking the process of growing your hair out, I actually highly recommend the demi-coloring - it washes out in about 20-30 washes so it fades gradually. It might be more expensive up front, but it might be an easier way to deal with it! :)

    1. That might be a good future solution, Tammy. I think the Natural Instincts I was using before is semi-permanent. It might help if I can't stand the telltale skunk line when my roots grow out!

  2. Good for you! I made a similar decision the year before I retired. Honestly, I grew tired of the expense as I had my color done in a salon. I knew I wanted that money to go towards fun things when I was no longer working, so I quit the coloring. I had always bemoaned the fact that because my hair was red, highlights never showed up well. And I thought they were awesome on others. Once I stomped coloring, natural highlights (read white hairs) appeared. And it looked cool! Just what I had always wanted! Win Win! And now I am also letting it grow. Not sure where this will lead, but also know it is just hair, and can always be cut, or grown back again.
    Lu C

    1. That's what I'm hoping for, Lu! I'm hoping that when it grows in with the sparkly greys, it will be the look I've always tried to get but couldn't achieve in a bottle. And you are's only hair, and it grows. That's what I tell myself every time I cut it myself in the bathroom! LOL!

  3. I chose to go gray 2.5 years ago when changing my bob style to a short, layered cut. It was way too hard to keep up with the roots. Fortunately my hair stylist had recommended years ago to only use a semi-permanent dye at home. My grow out took about 3 months and it never was harsh due to the fading of the semi dye. Good luck! You can always color it again.