Everyone experiences the “bad hair day”. The day when your hair is flat, lifeless, gray, crazy cowlicks -aargh! Too many in a row and time to make a hair appointment!
Of course, your hair looks great the day you are going to get it cut, right? And you start second guessing…should I keep letting it grow out? Should I just let it go “au naturel”? I’ve come this far. Maybe I will just call and cancel.
Where am I going with this? Back in late November I decided I had had enough of the bad hair days. In my case, it was color. I have been coloring my hair since my twenties, and I am now approaching sixty. There, I said it – sixty.
It was time to let go of the endless touching up, highlights, and styles to minimize the appearance of gray hairs. My hair has been going gray from early on, and I have naturally dark brown hair. Any grays stuck out to the point where my husband was calling me “Pepe Le Pew” because of the skunk-like line in my hair part that showed up every six weeks, four weeks, and now two weeks.
Time for a change. A BIG one. In my estimation, anyway. But, I hesitated. Why? Because hair is so integral to our feelings of worth based on appearance. If your hair looks good, you can tackle anything. Hair is part of the armor we put on to go to work, school, and dates, along with the makeup, clothing and shoes we choose, dependent on our role. If we look good, we feel more confident in our abilities. It doesn’t matter our age- as women we all have experienced this.
So the risk was to let my hair grow out to its natural color – which at this point is white. And I was starting a new job. This was going to be interesting – and scary.
My evolution has been from a bob to a shorter hairstyle and letting the natural color peep through. Some days it looks interesting, other days not so much. Just weird. Some days I just want to pack it in and get it colored, it looks so strange.
But I persevere (If Jamie Leigh Curtis can go gray, so can I).
I keep getting my hair cut shorter – now in a pixie cut. In fact, I’ve got a salon appointment for tomorrow night. And the hair keeps transitioning to more white than dark. And, get this, it is growing in dark around my forehead. Is it going back to a dark brunette color? Oh, the year of magical thinking!
Something else is happening too. And it isn’t about my hair. It is about how I feel about myself, without the protective covering.
I wasn’t expecting this, but I actually find this whole process very empowering and I really own it. I interviewed for my new position with a dark brown bob and started the job with a short, mostly white pixie. It was exhilarating to feel confident enough to walk in the first day with a radically different look. I wouldn’t have done it the year before.
Something about turning sixty this year and wanting to be seen for who I really am, not what I pretend to be, not waiting for acceptance, not falling into line, – this is what this journey has been about. I feel more confident today than I did in my twenties, more aligned with my values, and more accepting of others as well. I wish I had done it sooner.
What are your thoughts on letting your hair go naturally gray? Is this something you have done or are thinking about? I would love to hear from you about hair, aging, and health, of course. Drop me a line!