Fade to Gray" (perma-FREE on Amazon US only), then this post is specifically for you.
The last time I colored my hair was June 15, 2013.
For the first several weeks after I had missed a month of coloring, I used a temporary color to dab on the roots. This was just to tone down the bright silver of the ever-increasing stripe of gray that covered by crown.
At month three of no color touch up, I decided to fully embrace the gray and get my bangs cut short enough to where there was no color on the ends any longer. Although there was still a wide silvery gray streak at the roots of my hair, at least my bangs were all one solid salt and pepper gray tone.
During this same time-frame, I also began experimenting with pony tails, headbands, scarves and hats that would cover the ever increasing length of gray. The wide-band head bands seemed to work the best and made the harsh transition from gray to dark auburn a little less abrupt.
Nine months into this, I became accustomed to the soft salt/pepper gray that was fully framing my face. I had even had musings of getting my hair cut short just to see what the overall blend of gray would look like without any color at all on the ends.
Just a few days ago, I gathered the courage to get every bit of color completely cut off of my hair. I now have a very short, salt/pepper gray hairstyle. Jamie Lee Curtis can be rest assured that I will not be stealing the limelight from her anytime soon.
This journey has been rough at times, especially when dealing with negative comments. Some have been rude and some have been just plain stupid.
“Your hair looks like crap.” More aptly, “Jamie Lee Curtis’s hair looks like crap since she got it cut so short and it is gray and of course yours would look the same if you get it cut that short ...”
“You really do not want to stop coloring your hair, you will look too old.”
“Your hair looks beautiful, I love that you have the courage to let it go like that.”
“No, it does not make you look old at all. You hardly have any wrinkles, so it just looks like you are prematurely gray.”
“I hadn’t noticed the last time I saw you, but did you do something different with your hair?”
The thing I have noticed most about all of these opinions during this transition from colored hair to gray hair is that everyone has an opinion – either a strong opinion for gray hair or a strong opinion against gray hair. There does not appear to be any middle ground on the subject.
Seriously, folks, it is just hair!
I did not think it would be such a huge topic of discussion from friends, family and strangers alike when I started this transition. But, apparently it is and it speaks volume for the shallowness of many people these days.
Today, I looked in the mirror and saw a nicely maturing woman in her late forties, on the cusp of becoming a half of a century old. I thought, I still look pretty good for my age.
Sometimes I feel older, sometimes I feel younger, but most days I feel the exact age that I am – almost fifty.
Every gray hair on my head has been earned through a lifetime of trials and tribulations, of jobs started and jobs ended, of relationships enjoyed and separated from. But, mostly they were born from plain old stress that takes its toll on each one of us on a daily basis.
The main lesson I have learned from this past year's transformation is this:
Once I stopped worrying about my looks and about getting older, I became freer to experience life and not give much credence to what others think.