Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Growing out my grey

At what age do you think it is appropriate to accept your grey hair?

I have been going grey since I was about 16. It became quite noticeable when I was in my mid twenties, and after a few people suggested I dye it, I finally did. I have been trapped in the cycle of dying my hair ever since, at first by using home dyes, and then when my hair started to suffer, by going to the hairdresser - or the 'grey line police' as one friend calls them.

I've been wondering about when to stop. At what point in my life should I accept the fact that I am grey? And how to grow grey? A work colleague from Darwin shaved hers off for charity and then embraced the grey when it grew back. I liked that idea. But now I have short hair anyway no one will be interested in sponsoring me - I should have done it when I had it cut last time.

There have been a few things that have been stopping me from embracing the grey up until now. Firstly for BB's sake. I live in a town where there a lot of young mums. I tend to be the same age as the grandparents of BB's peers, and sometimes older. I was worried about how people might respond to him for having such an old mum. Perhaps he would get called names at school.

There was also the whole issue of TTC. Could I really be a white haired pregnant lady? I got enough stick last time about being a 'geriatric pregnancy' and I was only 39 with brown hair. Being 43 with white hair would certainly make me stand out in the labour ward.

But we are planning to leave this town, BB is not going to school yet, and I think I have just about accepted that there won't be another attempt at TTC, so my reasons not to embrace the grey are becoming irrelevant.

Reasons to go for it are the money I would save every six weeks from having it dyed, the time I would save sitting in the chair waiting, the need for child care while I do such, the horrible grey line that appears in my parting,  and the damage it does to my hair.

Also, I feel kind of ready to step into that phase of my life in a way that I didn't before.

The only thing I am still concerned about is that I will look like a zebra. My grey is very uneven. At the front of my head I have no grey hairs at all, my hair is naturally really dark, almost black. On the top and sides it is almost white. My hairdresser tells me that the back is mostly dark too. I could end up looking like I have tried some strange two tone stripy look. But I guess I won't know unless I try.


My roots on the top of my head - nearly all white


My roots on the front of my head - all black

So the next question is how to do this without looking like a complete idiot in the interim. I have already had my hair cut really short so that should help - it shouldn't take too long to grow it out. I have also thought about using a semi-permanent dye for a few weeks until all my permanent dye has grown out, and then I can stop. It's also winter and I have a great collection of woolly hats!

My next hair appointment is booked on my 43rd birthday. I think I am going call and cancel the dye. My gift to myself will be to embrace the grey and all that goes with it. I hope that includes maturity, wisdom, and self assurance - and maybe an affinity with zebras!


If anyone out there has any tips or tricks to share on growing grey, I'd love to hear them!