Last July, I celebrated my 40th birthday, at our beloved Bowlo. My hair was bright sparkling ruby red. I was having ‘one last hair hurrah’, after being various shades of brown all of my life. But how I longed to just be me… grey.
My first grey hair appeared at 15. Sitting in the hairdressing salon, the stylist was so horrified she plucked it out in disgust. I told my best friend’s Mum, who dyed her hair regularly to hide the grey.
She said ‘tsk tsk… three will grow in its place’.
My Dad was grey by 21. He used to Just-For-Men it, along with his moustache, back in the 80s. Power suits, thin ties and a dyed mo. It was a good look. Sometime around his early 30s he threw out the dye and embraced the grey. No one really said much. It wasn’t ‘a thing’. He just went grey.
Me, on the other hand. I grew up hearing stuff like:
‘Gasp!!! You are far too young to be grey’.
‘Don’t stop colouring your hair. It’ll add 20 years’.
No wonder it’s taken me 25 years to ditch the dye!
Why is it that there is so much more pressure on women to stay forever young?
Why is it a ‘thing’ for women to go grey?
Why are men who go grey ‘silver foxes’, but women are ‘old hags’?
At the end of October last year, I made a decision that caused my hairdresser to go broke. Kidding. She does have other clients. She’s a fabulous hairdresser! Grew up in Lennox herself. Deciding to ‘ditch the dye’ certainly saves me a bucketload of cash and time. Not having to dye my hair every three to four weeks, means I can eat more of the incredible dahl at Seed & Husk.
This process of growing out my grey has impacted my life in so many bigger ways than just changing hair colour. It’s made me feel free. To be me. Grey, glittery, wonderful me.
I guess what it highlights is that we are all, in some way, hiding aspects of ourselves from the world due to the fear that we are not enough as we are.
What if we embraced our ‘grey’ (or ‘glitter’, as I now refer to it) and allowed the real us to shine through? What is your version of going grey? And how can you embrace it?