Another empty nest mom embracing her freedoms and this freedom is all about the hair. Going Gray Baby!
I’m letting my hair go to it’s natural gray color, naturally!
There, I’ve written it and I’m really excited!
The intention is two fold:
- Letting my true ‘hair self’ glitter and shine in it’s natural color -which at this point I really have no idea what it will be because I’ve been coloring my and covering gray for close to 20 years. I know there is some speckled white and dark brown in there.
- Letting Nature take it’s course. I’ve decided not to do highlights, low-lights or any other type of lights to help the transition. The only thing I will do is keep my hair trimmed as I grow my hair longer. Yes, I’ve decided to go gray and grow my hair into a long, flowing mane of tresses all at the same time.
I am grateful I made the decision about gray in October 2013. Of course, this was AFTER coloring it for a photo shoot. I wasn’t ready yet to have the “skunk streak” of salt and pepper gray running through my part in the middle of my head on a photo that I was paying hard earned money for.
I was able to keep my plans and intentions under cover for a couple of months, just in case I chickened out. But, around December my husband realized I had not performed my usual ritual in a few weeks and he mentioned something about my hair. Mind you, he is no fool and treads upon the topic of my hair very carefully.
It was in December that I confessed to him that I was intending to go gray. Naturally.
In February, I made the public proclamation on a YouTube video which I had filmed as part of a video challenge (in order to get over my hang ups about doing videos). I was still in my ‘I could change my mind mode’ though because not very many folks saw the video.
However, I am now proudly proclaiming my intention in written word. Because, after all, we all know that if something is written down it means more and will really come to pass, right?
Going Gray is about Freedom
For me, going gray is about proclaiming freedom.
Freedom from the social stigma that gray hair means you are “old”. So what if I’m old? I’m about to turn 40-bunches years old this month, and I’m really ready to let folks know my ‘true age’ and that I may have a little bit of wisdom stored up in this noggin of mine.
Freedom from the “male” stigma that for men, gray means distinguished. The the woman, gray means old. No Mas! I’m on a mission to break that barrier and to encourage other women to do the same!
Freedom from the waste literally washing money down the drain. At least I didn’t professionally color all these years.
Freedom from time and the bi-monthly reminder of my “skunk streak” that it was time to devote half an evening to “washing the gray away”. I used to could remember things and when they happened around how close it was to the last time I had colored.
At first it was a scary decision. But at the same time, no one really KNEW so I could turn back if I chickened out. However, as time progressed I knew it was becoming visually obvious that things were changing, or in this case, NOT changing.
Freedom from chemicals and toxins is one of my intentions for 2014 and fueled the idea for going gray.
I want to decrease my exposure to toxins. I’m not a complete “natural”, organic, stay away from all chemicals person – yet. I’m slowly making conscious decisions to decrease or eliminate toxins and chemicals when and where I can. I can’t even imagine how many chemicals I have dumped on my head and has soaked into my body over the years. But, I’m making changes.
Freedom from hidden agendas. Hence, I decided not to use highlights to blend in with the gray as I’m growing out the old color. I’m not going to hide it. I’m just being ME and letting it all go and grow. It’s really as though my head is a growing canvas of art since it seems to change daily.
Since I work in the corporate world, for me, that was my biggest hurdle. I’m not really open about too much of my personal life at work. I’m not a “gather around the water cooler and chit chat” person. I’m more of the ‘put the nose to the grindstone and don’t look up until the end of the day.’ However, after finishing an intense project that was nerve-wracking I pulled out a section of hair and said “See, this project and the ones to come are why I’ve given up on trying to keep up with covering the grays. I would be coloring weekly.” That was back in January. It’s now April. Now I think they know I was serious.
A letter to my gray hair
I’ve written a letter to my hair, and it goes like this.
Thank you for being my constant companion my entire life. Thank you for all those days when I looked at you with a fist pump and said “YEA! Good Hair Day”. And I even thank you for those mornings when there was no hope but a clip or scrunchie and you and I were not on the same page.
I am thankful for you.
Now, as we make this transition together I thank you for what you are and how you are growing. You are becoming your own ‘self’ and a true extension of the REAL me.
Thank you that when I get in a certain light, it looks as though I have fairy glitter in my hair. I always wanted to BE a fairy and this is the next best thing! Thank you for feeling healthier than you’ve ever felt. Now that I’m not bombarding and killing you with chemicals, your elasticity, softness and bounce are starting to return, naturally.
Thank you for that cool little streak of white I’ve found growing over my temple. I may have a cool, solid streak and if so I’ll be pushing my hair over my right ear, a lot!
Thank you for the fun I’m going to have with this. Because, think about it. How many women in their 40-bunches almost 50 actually go GRAY? The gray is usually reserved for the upper 50 to 60 crowd. So, I’m going to look like a YOUNG, mature person. It may be time to rake up on the winnings at the Fair and any of those “guess the age” games!
I would be remiss though hair, if I didn’t give some thanks to a blog that I’ve visited a few times. The Going Gray Blog has been a source of camaraderie, encouragement and inspiration from other ladies who have journeyed before me with their Going Gray Journey.
Thank you Hair for this fun journey we are on, together.
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.