This is the third and final post in a short series on why I chose to go gray. Read the first and second posts, if you haven't already.
I always said I'd never do it. Hair color was fake, and I like keeping it real. I don't wear tons of make-up. Don't paint my nails. And doggone it, I was not going to color my hair.
Then came the gray. Tons of it--entirely too much of it--at far too young an age. And I felt like a hag. At 34. So I did what I had to do. I changed my mind and, with my sister guiding me on the phone for moral support, I poured a bottle of Loreal over my head for the first time.
For fourteen years, I covered. But eventually the gray outnumbered and overcame my ability to keep up with it. Just eight days after coloring, a silver tinge stubbornly appeared at my part. Frantic to keep the evidence concealed, I began coloring my hair every 3 weeks. Then every 2-1/2 weeks.
And then I realized it just wasn't worth it any longer. Covering the premature gray hair I inherited from both sides of my family began to feel like a prison sentence. An expensive, stinky, messy cover up.
So, last August I made the bold decision to stop coloring my hair. For many months I endured tell-tale roots, and then on March 31st, unable to tolerate the half-and-half look any longer, I chopped it all off.
Let me just say that going short and gray was a real shocker for me. Initially, I gasped every time I passed a mirror. Thankfully my hair has grown a bit.
And now, I look like this:
Like it or loathe it, it's the real me.
One of the best things about going gray has been the support and compliments from my family and friends. (My husband thinks I'm hot.)
But it hasn't been easy. I live in Florida, where gray hair abounds. Sometimes I feel like I'm just another gray haired woman in a sea of silver heads.
I've also discovered I'm far more vain than I ever realized. Letting go of my light reddish brown hair has been hard. Being mistaken for someone's grandma, even harder. Yes, I realize that I'm a grandma, but I'm a young grandma, and I was never thus accused before. Can you say adjustment?
My favorite part about going gray has been learning to accept myself as I am. It's a work in progress, as it is for all women in a youth crazed, beauty driven culture. But I've received many whispered comments expressing admiration. Apparently a lot of women have taken courage from my decision, and if I've helped even one of them realize that gray can be beautiful, then I suppose that's progress. For all of us.