So, I'm going grey. It has happened, and not in a one or two wisps underneath all the lush dark locks I've known all my life, but sprinkled about so that any breeze that goes by reveals another half dozen grey hairs. Conveniently I know I'm not the only one this is happening to, a few of my friends just have them. The weirdest situation was when my best friends husband noted my greys, spent some time peering at the top of my head and then compared them to his wife's. Clearly this is what happens when you get older, fine. Hairs go grey.
This is what my hair looks like if you're, say, the width of a tube carriage away.
And here is what it looks like if you're me standing in front of a mirror. Clearly, grey hairs.
Here is my problem - do I dye it, or do I not?
I want to be that lady that throws it all to the wind and says fuck it - I'm going GREY! Holla! I want age gracefully, and accept that this is what is happening with my body as I age. You get grey hairs, you have a slower metabolism, things heal slower. You get more experienced at life, rock all the adventures, you finally like red wine. Ageing, it happens when you live, and I want to high five that process. It's a natural thing, right? To be celebrated! Surely going grey can't be that big of a deal?
That, and I'm lazy.
This is clearly a bigger driving factor than ageing gracefully. I don't really want to spend every 6 weeks spending too much money at a colourist so you can't see that I'm ageing. I don't want to put all those chemicals in my hair, having my head smell of peroxide or whatever, and spend a long time having someone stranger touch my head and tell me I need to use some kind of fancy conditioning treatment to keep it nice. The thought of spending more time in a hair salon just sort of makes me want to cry. I've lived in London almost three years now, and I have yet to find a hair dresser I like. Mostly I put off cutting my hair until it's unbearably long.
However, there is a kind of cognitive dissonance going on. Going grey clearly IS a big deal, it's an emotional thing, I think.
Women dye their hair. It's a statement, rather than a casual stylistic choice now days. It's war against greys, and as far as I can tell, no lady I've talked to is lukewarm about which way they fall. They're either right-on-high-five for keeping it natural (the clear minority), or OMG-dye-immediately! All the ladies bar one that I talked to where in this category. Dye it dye it dye it, they told me. Get rid of your greys.
I've heard all the reasons: it's unprofessional, you'll look older, be perceived as older. People will call you ma'am. It'll make you feel better, lift your confidence. You will just look better. You'll fit in - no one openly shows their greys if they can help it.
None of those are compelling reasons to dye my hair. It's all social pressure, with how we look, how society says we should look. This is an old argument, really. I'm not even going to say I'm above it, because clearly I'm rocking a sweet pair of skinny jeans and pluck my eyebrows just like everyone else. We care about how we look. We care what image we're putting out to the world in general, and typically, grey hairs are not associated with the young and the beautiful.
Ideally (and unrealistically) I'd just to not have to deal with it. Either have all the greys magically disappear, or have my all my hair turn silver overnight and rock that. It's this in between that bothers me most, because now I have to worry about it.
I thought perhaps I'd go partway, and get a white streak (a la Paloma Faith, Stacy London or Bonnie Raitt). Maybe it'll provide context to all the other salt and pepper bits. Maybe it'll be easier to maintain. Maybe I'd just end up looking like Lily Munster.
Maybe I'll impulsively dye it. I hear Lush does fun stuff with henna that doesn't smell horrid. Perhaps I'll pay out ridiculous amounts at some fancy place and just do it, and live with the inauthentic, give in to the pressure and resign to the rigmarole that dying hair is something I now do.
Perhaps I'll just put it off, and not worry about it for today. Let the grey hairs keep doing their thing till I'm pushed to do something about them. Or not.
What do you do with your greys?