Monday, June 13, 2011

Going Gray - Why?

So why am I'm considering letting my hair go gray (not to be confused with "letting myself go")?

The primary reason is the time and inconvenience. It takes about an hour and a half to achieve my hair color (aka faux color). That includes getting all the stuff out, clearing a work space, mixing the color and developer, applying the color to the new growth, waiting, rinsing, deep conditioning, waiting, rinsing, then cleaning up my mess.

For a while it was fun to take 90 minutes to pamper myself. During processing time and conditioning time, I'd read a magazine, catch up on a TIVO's episode of "Bones." But more and more frequently, it feels like a chore. Yeah, like I need another one of those: I'm a mom of 3, you know. It stopped being something I liked to do, and became something I dread doing. Just another item on my "to do" list.

Another reason my perception of gray hair is changing. Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Mirren (okay sometimes she's pale blonde, but I know I've seen white), model Cindy Joseph rock the pearl/silver/gray/pewter.

Then there's Jill. We took a class together. She had short blonde hair. Looked fine, but not WOW! Jill became ill and missed a few weeks of class (she's fine now). When she returned to class, she was sporting an ultra-short, ultra-chic, ultra SILVER crop. Truly a WOW! moment for Jill. She looks amazing. She certainly doesn't look older or washed out. If anything, the silver hair with her somewhat tan skin makes her look more vibrant now.

There's also Mallory, a young, local artist. When I met Mallory 2-3 years ago, I immediately fixated on her hair. Light brown cut into a sleek bob, with quite the white patch in the front framing her face (natural to boot!). I thought to myself, man, if I have gone gray like that, I would have never dyed my hair. If I had to guess, Mallory is probably 30 today.

There's also the curiosity factor. I've had medium to dark brown hair my entire life. I wonder what my gray would look like: mostly dark with some gray, pewter, silver, white? A little or a lot? I have to admit to secretly hoping mine will be silver - a lot of it! I want to see what I'd look like with "light" hair. I know I could never pull off "blonde" but I bet I'd rock silver!

Finally, I believe there's nothing wrong with looking one's age. At 46, time marches on. If I had to choose between looking good and looking young, I would choose good. No one is going to mistake me for a 30 year old, and that's okay. I'd rather shift my efforts from maintaining brunette hair, to focusing on eating right, exercising and enjoying myself.

So the simple answer to "why?" is Why not?


Nadine said...

It seems to be a trend for ladies to go natural. I've been fighting that fight for a while. I'm not sure I'm brave enough, but my hubby would love it. I'm afraid with curly hair it comes in very frizzy. If you do it, I hope you post some pics. I think you would rock it.

Elle*Bee said...

Thanks, Nadine. It's great to see you again. I was just thinking about you (and your book) the other day.

Regina said...

Just found your blog and this post. I've just recently decided to go natural too. Like you, I've been coloring medium to dark brown. I write a blog on doing triathlon, but I had already thought to chronicle my "going gray" journey as well. I'm 44 and ive never had a hang up about age, I don't wear make up so why am I still coloring? My husband is not as supportive, but he doesn't get to decide, ha! I'll be following your journey.