In case you don’t believe me, here’s a closeup:
See, there’s no denying…I have gray hairs. Lately it seems like that’s all
I anyone talks about. Whether I’m at a family party or waiting in line, my hair seems to make for a great conversation starter. It invites folks to compliment me on being brave, roll their eyes at how few grays they think I have, or offer solutions to my “problem.”
I noticed my first grey hair at age 25 and immediately had a flashback to 10-year-old me. See, throughout my childhood I witnessed women of all ages in my family dying their canas (‘grey hair’ in Spanish). Sometimes helping each other in the bathroom, sometimes going to a salon, but always making sure to cover their roots. For whatever reason, I vividly remember saying to myself, “I’m never going to dye my hair. I’m going to let it go gray naturally.” I also said I would never clean toilets, and we know how that turned out, but so far I’ve stuck to my guns about the hair.
I’m boring like that. I’ve actually never really experimented with my hair unless you count that horrible perm in 5th grade and some unfortunate sun-in spray in 8th grade. I simply liked the idea of growing old naturally, gracefully. Not fighting it, but embracing it.
Anytime I saw those “Beauty At Any Age” articles in magazines, I always paid attention to the oldest woman’s picture and words of wisdom. Still do. I collected quotes that said growing old was a privilege and laugh lines meant you were happy and laughed a lot throughout life. Makes sense to me!
But I didn’t always accept my graying hair gracefully, especially at 25 when I least expected it. I used to pluck because who knew they would suddenly appear, all short, wiry, and untameable? Plucking didn’t seem so bad in the beginning, but that changed fast when I went through post partum hair loss (4 times!) and dealt with thinning hair and a receding hairline. At that point, I couldn’t afford to lose any more and it was all I could do to save each and every hair, no matter how thick, wiry, and gray.
Sometimes I wish I could speed up the salt and pepper process and just have one even, silver color. Some days I look in the mirror and wish I hadn’t. When I start to waiver in my decision, I usually put a hat on and I do have quite the hat collection going. I also just think about all the time and money I’m saving by letting it go.
I guess you could say dying my hair is a hard limit (look at me making a 50 Shades of Grey reference), and while I’m at it, so is plastic surgery, Botox, and the like. I do wear sunscreen and buy quality products for my skin so I’m not completely letting aging win. But aging healthily is my goal and I hope the simple basics of exercise, sleep, and water will help with that endeavor, not that I do those things regularly. I also hope my daughters will learn something positive from me, whatever that may be. Perhaps they, too, will make secret promises to their 10-year-old selves.
So, I’m dying to know (oh, how I love a good pun)…Is anyone out there planning on going gray naturally? Anyone? Anyone?
This isn’t the first time I talk about going gray. Read about my Salt and Pepper to learn how my kids practice their numbers.