I had my first gray hair when I was 21 years old. At least … I noticed it at 21 years old. It must have been for a while while it was hanging about 7 inches from my forehead. I was terrified and immediately ripped off and thrown into the trash. I put it on with the feeling that I was becoming an old and gray woman. Yes, I had become old and gray after only a thin hair. It was not long before I started to color my hair. I wanted to make sure that I would never know another unpleasant and unexpected event.
As I was vegetarian and I was interested in the environment, I first tried natural versions, like henna. Although the muddy substance was not toxic, the end result was the most red hair I had ever seen. Feeling like a twin of Lucille Ball, I quickly went to the local pharmacy and I started trying different shades to reduce red. These toxic mixtures burned my sensitive scalp and leaving them on the full treatment time was pure misery. The end result, however, was a beautiful shade of auburn brown and deep auburns. I reasoned with myself, not having to endure the painful discomfort once every six weeks was worth it. The aliens started to complete my look and I immediately felt that I was part of the world of glamorous hair dyers. I felt young and stylish and I was addicted.
I thought that when women start to turn gray, especially when they are young, they have to color their hair. It's just what women do. You see, my dad started to turn gray at the age of 19, and whatever, while his two sisters, never let him know, as I supposed from pictures of their different shades of hair red over the years.
Hundreds of products and years of professional appointments later, I found myself at 34 tired and losing my hair. I was tired of the pain that my head endured every 6 weeks and tired of using products that I knew were not good for the water that washed it. When my fine hair began to look thinner, broken and sick, I realized how tired I was of hurting myself to hide my naturalness. I started looking for women who chose to be gray and who were inspired! I made the decision to start the embarrassing process of developing my roots.
After spending the ritual of root repair for 3-4 months and wearing a lot of hats, I went to my salon on the 35th anniversary of my wedding and told them to cut off all the hair that had the colour. and would they like to please try to make it look good. I will never forget the look on my face while I was studying this new look in the mirror. Now that the color and the long hair were gone, I felt lost and regretful. Instead of seeing this as a moment of emancipation, all I could see was my large gray patches in the middle of the dark brown color of the mouse that was the natural of me. The loss of my long blond hair highlighted was more painful than I was. "I am an ugly old woman and very simple," the voice in my head said to me. I could not believe that I had to be such a dull, old and ugly woman at 35 years old. I did my best not to cry, but as soon as I walked out of the living room and back into my car, I could not stop the flow of tears.
To appease my sadness, I decided to go shopping in my used souvenir shop. To my delight, I found a beautiful pair of long, dangling, glittering earrings with rhinestones of all rainbow colors that fell on my shoulders. I thought that if my hair was going to be short and ugly, my earrings would be long and sparkling. Strangely, three years later, my entire collection of earrings is filled with long, super-bright, colorful earrings. It's the signature of the new me.
I'd like to tell you after a few weeks that I got used to gray, but that would not be honest. The truth is that it took almost a year before I finally felt comfortable with the gray most of the time. There were embarrassing days when I went to the salon for a haircut and they would practically beg me to allow them to color my gray. There was also the day when my mother, who has almost no more gray at the end of her 60s, said that I looked older than she with my moms and daughters. grey hair. She was joking of course, but it was terrible.
It took me two years before I looked at my long, gray hair, and honestly saw the beauty of what it was to allow me to be me. I realized, as time passed, that the truth is beautiful. I am gray. I eat organic food, I buy natural cleansers, I choose natural shampoo, and it's only honest and true for me that I do not put chemicals on my head. I am not against the right to color, I just wanted to live my life knowing that this is not a necessity.
With acceptance and love for my own honest appearance, I started to see the world outside of me, differently too. What is now beautiful for me, is to see women who are proud to show their changing bodies, their faces and their hair colors. It's nice to know that we are not spring chickens. We are moving towards the end of the summer. And with our wisdom gained through living our honest experiences, our bodies show this wisdom to the world. Maybe at age 21, I was not ready to show the world, or myself, that I was going to be 35 or 40 years old. Now, I know that becoming gray does not mean getting old, it's getting old. Growth is the key word. And honestly for me, the growth is beautiful.
Copyright 2008 by Rainy Fordyce