My transformation is complete. I began going gray when I became pregnant with Rainbow Baby. Since she was getting the detriment of my beat up 42 year old body to be carried in and birthed from, I wanted to give her an advantage. Even though I had been using the most natural hair color kits that I could find, I decided no dye would touch my scalp, to keep development as healthy as I could for my little one.
It was a big leap. After all, going gray means getting old, right? Not necessarily! I did not choose gray hair, it is my natural hair color. Proverbs 16:31 says that gray hair is a crown of splendor! For me it meant embracing what I looked like and loving my 40s. I rocked pregnancy and birth in my 40s! You can read that story here. I am confident and comfortable with who I am. Changing my hair color, and its upkeep and chemical exposure seemed to say that I did not like myself. Now, if my gray turned out to look terrible and aged me beyond my years, I may have felt very differently. And I am not telling all the women of the world to ditch the squirt bottle and put Clairol out of business. It is an obviously personal choice. It was a journey.
I actually began graying in my early 20s. But I bleached my already blond hair as soon as it started to darken some in my late teens. I knew when I had grays though. They are the wirey ones that stick straight up no matter what. They were the kinky ones that were out of place among the straight hairs. By my 30s I could see whole stripes of gray when my roots needed touching up. I could call it premature gray, but it is more of a genetic gray. My hair has followed the exact genetic course as my father’s. I see my younger sister’s following suit. I told her not to pluck them out or she will be bald in short order. Good thing Dad has nice hair. In his early 60s it is now a snowy white. My grays are already showing signs of whitening.
When Dad was in his 30s he denied his hair was grey. He insisted it was overspray from his job as a painter. Just like his belly was “relaxed muscle”. Though he was able to punctuate that statement with rolling the muscles in his belly. I was never able to master that technique. It ranks high in stupid human tricks. Along with my sister-in-laws’s two fingered taxi whistle, I try it once in a while, hoping.
At 38 I was tired of coloring my hair and asked hubby if he minded my going natural. He asked me to wait until after I turned 40. Hubby likes it now, by the way. He bought me fancy shampoo that shines up the whites. Southern Living has a list of the tops shampoos for gray hair.
When I first started, and the roots were looking a little, well, like a reverse skunk, were my sister’s exact words. I needed a little help for nice occasions. So I chose a small bottle of a cheap, non-ammonia, semi-permanent color from Sally’s. I created “highlights” which were just stripes of the golden color that was still on the lower half of my hair. It blended the gray in a bit during that transition time. I went with shorter hair, though not short by any means.
I have had a few young people think I actually colored my hair a silver gray on purpose. This nice kid at the grocery store thought his girlfriend might like to know what color to use to achieve my cool, natural look. I really liked that kid.
It does help that gray is in. This younger generation has tried every other hair color in and outside of nature. Why not gray? And that is my rhetorical question in the final analysis. Why not gray? Why not this pretty, silvery salt and pepper? It is not less desirable of a color than that sunshine blond. And my hair is in better shape now. The color always kept it in a damaged state. I am learning to love it. I do not feel older. And it looks nice with pink! I love pink, but it was never my best color because of my autumn complexion, golden blond combo. Silver and pink are gorgeous. I am gorgeous. And I am gray.
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