Tuesday, May 21, 2013

about being young with gray hair {making peace with my hair}

It happened this weekend. I looked in the mirror and actually liked the hair that I saw looking back at me. The whole story? I’ve mentioned it here and there but I have never put it all together at once. So here’s the scoop: I grew my hair out, longer than it had ever been. And I loved it. But, I was also growing out my natural color at the same time. Which left me with some crazy color variations. I finally had enough and told my stylist to chop it.  

Making peace with my hair has been a bit of a process. I’ve waffled. I’ve cried. I’ve driven my husband crazy.

It all started over a year ago when I decided that I was just about fed up with hair color. I hated the maintenance. I hated the itchy scalp. I hated the smell. And I hated the roots that always showed up much too soon. 

So, in an effort to embrace a more natural me I decided to ditch the dye. Well, I whined about the fact that I was gray an early age (It's because I'm an over-achiever, right?) And I drove my husband to insanity over the wondering and worrying about whether I would instantly look 85 and no longer be the young, sexy wife he knew. And finally he said to me, in all manner of husbandly love and manly practicality, "You're not getting any younger. And anyway, you're smoking hot and I'd say that no matter what color your hair is. You should just be you." 

Okay, decision made. But then I wondered, "Now what?" How does one gracefully go gray at the age of 33? The Internet only proved vaguely helpful, while I found lots of tips on how to make the transition, they were only geared towards women older than me. Which is why I've decided to tell the whole story.

This was a work in progress with my hairstylist. When the roots were about two inches along she did highlights with a fine weave. The goal was not to match what had come in, but to cause they eye to see lighter color everywhere. I was also growing my hair so I wanted something that could be grown into, without an obvious transition. And since then we just reevaluated every time I visited her. In the meantime I learned about color, and realized that a different hair color will require different makeup colors. The book Going Gray, Looking Great has some really good tips, so I read it cover to cover.

Embracing your true, real self is a journey. I remember my mom’s monthly trysts with the color, dye dripping down her forehead and fumes filling the small bathroom. I would watch, and even though words were never spoken I learned. I learned that gray is unacceptable. Loreal is. Every month it was the same, her silver roots indicating that it was time for a rendezvous with dye again. So it’s not a surprise that I followed suit. 

But now? I just feel like I’ve got better things to do. 

And that all brought me to my regular hair appointment a week and a half ago. I came in feeling so fed up with the light ends and dark and gray roots. Here I am that morning, doing the whole inner dialogue about the hair.

I decided to go for it. And while I was thrilled with the cut, I was also shocked. I know in some lights it doesn’t really look that gray, but in others it’s so very obvious. The combo of the new color without the light ends to distract from it and the new short cut, well, I was in full on identity crisis mode.

But something happened Saturday. I liked it. I felt like it worked. And I looked in the mirror and smiled about what I saw. I am finally feeling at peace with who I see in the mirror. Peace about my current place and season in life, peace over who I am-just as God made me. Growing up is tough. But it’s something we all have to do, one year at a time. 

Like it or not, this is who I am. Gray, salt and pepper, or whatever you want to call it. This is me and there is a whole lot of freedom in embracing this version of me, the most authentic version of me there is. I've learned that it's about way more than the color of my hair, it's about me-deep down. Accepting my flaws, accepting my age (35 this year), accepting me for just who I am. It's been a process that I've gone through since the teenage years, and finally I feel like I am there. Unapologetically me. Sure I've got stuff, stuff I don't love about me-stuff that is inside and stuff that is outside. But I am at peace, while still looking to better myself. Does that make sense? I know that my journey in life is just that, a journey. And I accept where I am, with full knowledge that I am still growing and learning, I'm not there yet. It's about way more than my outer appearance. It goes down to the core of me. 

So has embracing my true hair color started a revolution in me? I guess so. Whatever you call it, it's been good. 


  1. What I know is, sister friend, you are a beauty through and through.

  2. I LOVE it! I think you look great! :)

  3. Your hair looks fantastic! and you don't look a day older :)

    1. Oh thank you! Sometimes I wonder at what I've done!!!


  4. This is very inspirational to me. I'm 34 and going through the same light ends/dark roots ordeal. I just may have the courage to chop it off now! Thanks for sharing! You look marvelous.

  5. Just came across your blog. I'm turning 30 tomorrow! I'm mostly grey and have been dying my hair to cover it up. I think it is time to embrace it! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Bless nice looking women who fade gray.. They're a unique group of really beautiful people.. Every once in a while a stunning women that's nice looking and shows her lovely self.

  7. This computer goes haywire; I wanted to comment-- Bless women who are both beautiful and go natural. Every once in a while.. A young lady shows her inner beauty.. Your beautiful.. Fade and enjoy the transition.. You'll still be attractive when your ninety and attractive when your thirty.. It's all fantastic.

  8. Thanks so much for this post. I'm 30 and grays are multiplying. Really considering going gray yet finding some opposition from others. Kind of frustrating but makes me want to go gray that much more lol

  9. Thank you for this post. I am 36 and ditched the dye almost a year ago and now chopped my hair like you did. It took a while to accept this new me and it was so refreshing to read that someone had gone through the same thing as me around the same age. You look wonderful with your new hair, thanks for the inspiration :-)

  10. Thank you for this post. I am 36 and ditched the dye almost a year ago and now chopped my hair like you did. It took a while to accept this new me and it was so refreshing to read that someone had gone through the same thing as me around the same age. You look wonderful with your new hair, thanks for the inspiration :-)

  11. Just playing around on the internet and came across this post! It looks great, hope it's still working out for you. Also, just so you know, I'm 26 and my 3 year old thought your picture in this post was of me because of the hair! :)


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