That’s the cliché surrounding women of a certain age lately, isn’t it?
Just like 50 is the new 30. I actually heard someone say that. It’s not.
I haven’t always embraced a graying head of hair. Once I did. Several years ago I decided to stop coloring my hair. I just went cold turkey with the hair color and let ‘er rip.
I was happy with a mousy brown with increasing gray strands.
“Honey, you are so brave to do this, but let’s color it now.”
“You’re way too youthful to go gray.”
What my hair stylist missed was that I wanted to go with it. She didn’t agree. She was my age and she colored her hair. She looked nice. She felt we absolutely needed to color.
So I caved to her.
I was finishing my degrees and I knew about the widespread ageism in the academic world.
I told myself that I’d let the gray grow out when I finished my master’s. After that, I said when I finished the PhD.
Finally, it would be when I landed a full time position.
The degrees are finished and I’ve pretty much thrown in the towel on the full time position, unless it’s in a business I create. Sure, hope springs eternal. But I’m not going to continue coloring this head of hair until then.
See the gray? And, yes, that’s the ex ex-ed out the best I could manage. I tried the clone stamp tool but I think I prefer a few eraser swipes. It’s a lot less work.
So, why now? Why grow it out now?
You could say I had an epiphany.
I’ve been coloring my hair more and enjoying it less. Since I’ve been a single mom I haven’t wanted to use the money to get it done professionally. I’ve had to face what is there on my head up close and personal. And, the personal maintenance time of keeping some kind of brown hair could go into so many other things I enjoy doing.
Funny thing is, it seems like it’s easy to fudge the color through your fifties. But when? When do I begin to just let it be?
It doesn’t look impressively gray/silver, but I’ve only been doing this for two months. There are a variety of colors on my head. At the front of my face and temples, silver-white. In places, some gunmetal gray.
One of my grandmothers had gunmetal gray hair and one had extraordinary white hair. Without adding color, I’m currently and happily redefining mousy brown with all of those varieties of silver underneath. Guess I’m all in with the change.