By the time baby #2 arrived, I was well on my way to my mid-thirties. I noticed a few gray hairs here and there but nothing crazy. Then about three months postpartum, it started. My thick and flowing pregnancy hair started falling out. And to my horror, it started growing back in … GRAY!! All of my blonde hair was now being replaced by unruly, white strands. I thought about running to the store and grabbing some dye to fix the problem but decided a trip to the salon was probably a better idea.
During my visit to the salon, I talked to my stylist about the grays. She suggested a few options, including a hair stain and semi-permanent colors. While these options both sounded good in theory, in reality, I just know that keeping up with any color at all is just not easy. As a mom operating on limited time constraints, adding another item to my beauty regimen was overwhelming. I decided to go against the societal norms for a woman of my age and go gray.
Growing up, my mom always donned gray hair. She refused to dye her hair, even when I begged. I thought she looked “old.” I was so worried about what all my friends thought and never looked at it from her perspective. Now that I am in the same boat, I see that she was truly rocking her feminism and showing the world that a woman can grow older with grace and dignity without being tied to a box of Clairol. She always told me that I should never dye my hair because in her words, “People pay a lot of money to have hair your color.” Those words rang through my head as I made my decision. People may not pay to go gray, but I thought my hair color still looked beautiful. The white strands even looked like highlights. To keep the grays looking white, I invested in a good violet shampoo which takes away the yellow tinge and any brassiness. Using it once or twice a week is all that is needed to keep my gray hairs looking nice and white.
The big benefit to going gray, though, is the amount of time and money saved by not being a slave to the salon chair. I love a good hair cut or blow out, but I don’t love the thought of spending two hours every few weeks at the salon. I really don’t like the cost associated with it either. Bonus: the money saved on my hair can go into other things to help me feel younger such as great facial products. I may not care about the color of my hair, but I do believe in taking care of my skin. Using sunblock every single day is a great way to keep my skin looking great. Pairing that with a glycolic acid based face wash and glycolic acid night time lotion helps keep my skin smooth and (almost) wrinkle free. But my priorities are in taking care of my skin over the color of my hair.
Choosing to go gray is not my statement to the world but more of an embracement of my age. I’ve done a lot over these past 30-something years. I’m not embarrassed by my age. And my thought was always, “Would people really think I was younger if I changed my hair color?” And truthfully, I don’t want to be younger. I’d much rather be a Dame Maggie Smith over Madonna any day of the year. Maggie Smith gets all the best roles and can throw out some great zingers. Madonna just looks like she is trying too hard to be 25 again.