Thoughts About Going Gray Part 1

**As of this blog post, I have gone three months without having my hair colored.**

I started professionally coloring my hair about 15 years ago.  I had previously used a boxed, at home color, but vowed that when the gray became too prevalent for me to cover it and look good I would go to a salon.  That could add up to as much as 20 years.

Last year at this time, I thought about going through with letting my natural gray grow out by having my stylist give my hair a lighter color each time, but changed my mind when I got to the very lightest color.  What spiked my interest in it again this year, was a delay in getting my daughter to do it on top of not having an established stylist in town.  A bonus would be that since I am in an area where nobody knows me, I wouldn't be getting anyone making random comments.  Not that I think I would have gotten negative comments, just comments in general.

Coming to a decision to go gray or not causes many of us to face fears.  I wanted to  break this down as a thinking exercise for myself, as well as, sharing, in case someone else was or had given it some thought already.  So let's take a look at what may be negative about letting our hair go gray (in no particular order).

1) Less desirable to men.  It may be that we become less desirable because we are no longer at a peak "procreation" age.  Regardless, men will recognize within seconds that we are, indeed, older whether or not our hair is gray.  And, no joke, if I'm out with my of my daughters, they get all the attention, not me and that is with colored hair!  Our bodies wear out over time, it's a biological reality.  We can't avoid "things going south," laugh lines, imperfect posture...

2) Worth and opinions devalued.  This is a youth oriented culture, so this may be true.  We can preach a different message all we want, but we may do best to advance our worth by living vibrant, active lives.  Remember, too, that women can began to gray quite young, so the more of them who forego dyeing their hair will add more youthfulness to the ranks.

3) Becoming invisible.  I think this is a combination of both #1 & #2.  A partial antidote, at least, would be to present yourself well by being pulled together with the way you look and dress and, most importantly, taking an interest in other people.  

4) Looking older.  Well, we are older.  Aging is a privilege.  There's only so much we can do to look younger.  I read a statistic that 75% of women color their hair.  No wonder we look "older" if three fourths of us are coloring our hair.  It's one of those social cues:  Gray hair=old.  

There are things other than hair that can age a woman, however, such as ill-fitting or out of date clothing, shoes, makeup and hair style, for instance.  As well as, hair that is overly dark (fake looking) or all one monochromatic color (from a box) without natural variances on someone obviously old enough to have gray hair.  At some point, the very dark hair colors look harsh around the face anyway. (There are some folks who are genetically predisposed to keep their natural hair color well into old age, but that isn't most of us.)

Have you given this any thought?  Is there anything you'd add to my list?  If you already have naturally gray hair, did you accept it right away, or have to go through a process?  Are you currently going through this process?  I'm not sure where I'll end up on this journey.  In a FB group I'm in, a woman said give yourself six months of not coloring your hair before you make a final decision.  Hmm, that sounds doable.  If I don't like it, I'm only one hair appointment away from getting my hair re-colored.

Join me again next week when I take another look at the ins and outs of making a decision of whether or not to go gray.

Shop Going Gray Part 1


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