Today, I am sharing the story of a woman who is letting the gray show—on purpose no less.
I understand that dying one's hair is a very personal decision—except that for most women it isn't. Society weighs in heavily. So do loved ones, co-workers, and even strangers. Everyone has strong opinions on this personal subject.
Many women dye their hair for one reason and one reason only.
Fear they will no longer be seen at all. They fear they will disappear from society to enter the world of the elderly, the unseen, the forgotten, the unsexy.
Or, instead, they fear they will still be seen. But, seen as old, frumpy, unproductive, no longer worthy of love and belonging.
Fear they won't be attractive or sexy.
Fear they will be seen as lazy or as letting themselves go.
Fear they won't be enough.
Just plain fear.
For most women, deciding to stop dying their hair is a big step, one they do not take lightly. Many ponder this dilemma for years before they take the final plunge in what feels like uncharted waters, waters that are certainly murky ones.
Being seen as sexy and young is a big deal in our society, and few want to balk at that system. It feels too much like braving the wildnesss—alone.
I have heard many women's stories and while some are positive—as the one I am about to share is—others are not.
My prayer is that this story will inspire you to be you without apologies whether you choose to dye your hair or not.
Blessings to all.
Letting The Gray Show
When did you notice your first gray hair?
I was 16 when I noticed my first gray hair. At the time, though, I thought it was a random blonde strand, so I thought it was special.
Did you ever think of dying your hair? Why or why not?
Yes, I was always thinking about dying my hair, but not to hide any gray. I was a teenager, and all of my friends were getting highlights and playing with fun colors. So, of course, I wanted to play too.
If you colored, how long did you do it?
I started out with a temporary burgundy color when I was 17. At 19, I started visiting salons for bleached highlights. If I didn’t feel like spending money for retouches, I’d play around with boxes of color in my spare time. My hair color was changing at least once per year.
What made you want to stop coloring?
I was irritated with how my silver sparkles were interfering with the warm color tones of my expensive dye jobs. Every few weeks, my highlights were being drowned out by my bright, shiny roots growing in.
How old were you when you went natural?
I decided at 36 that enough was enough.
How long was the transition process?
I’d say it took me about two years to grow my natural hair to the point where I could fit it all into a ponytail. Ponytails are important to me.
Did you have some support?
My number one supporter is my husband. He had been encouraging me to grow my natural color for over a decade.
Did you have some nay-sayers?
I haven’t had any negative feedback about my hair.
Do you have a partner? If so, what does he says about your hair?
My husband loves my hair natural. He says it’s sexy.
Do you personally feel less attractive because you have gray hair?
During the transition, I often felt that way. But I would receive so many compliments that I would hang onto those and remain positive and confident.
What has going natural done for you?
Well, for one, it’s saved me tons of money. It’s also been nice not having to plan my life around salon visits. People love to take photos of us when we aren’t looking, so now I don’t need to worry about whether or not my roots will need to be photoshopped.
Do you ever consider dying again?
Absolutely. But not in the ways I was before. I will never return to permanent, full coverage color. I do, however, have every intention of fulfilling my hair color fascination with wild temporary colors that wash out after a month or so. It’s in my nature to change my look often, so I will continue to do that.
Any advice for someone who wants to go natural but is afraid to?
There is nothing to fear when embracing your true hair color. It’s who you are. Once you accept who you truly are, there is no fear. Only confidence and joy.
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