Thursday, January 11, 2018

Quitting Hair Dye

(Does this hair color make me look crazy?)

After three decades of constantly having dyed hair - age 15 to 45 - I'm out! I've actually tried to stop dyeing my hair a couple of times in the last few years, but I was trying to keep my hair longer at the same time, and the difference between the roots and the ends made me want to scream every day. Then last summer I felt inclined to partially shave my head, and eventually got to the point where I could do a pixie cut and get rid of all the dye. So here we are.

An interesting thing has happened pretty much every time I've mentioned this to women my age. I don't have a huge sample size because it's not like I go around telling everyone my hair goals... at least not until today... but I've mentioned it here and there. Every time so far, the woman I'm talking to has responded with "Oh, I could never stop dyeing my hair. I would hate it!"

I just want to stop right here and say that I'm not promoting this as a universal lifestyle choice. Really, do what you want with yourself. I don't have any motivation to stop you. Okay? Okay.

But I do find it interesting that you think it would be so terrible. I am really enjoying it! I might have an unusual perspective because my mom has never dyed her hair even once in her life, and hers was already much more gray than mine is now by the time she was in her 30s. I think that silver and white hair can look stunning.

One thing that pushed me toward this decision was that as my skin changed over time, the warmer red colors I used on my hair started to make me look washed out. Cool brown looked better, but then it would turn a brassy gold after a while, which was even worse than red. Having some silvery hair seems to brighten up my face. The silver strands are shinier, too, especially after being used to all the damage and dryness I had from dye chemicals. I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks as it grows out!

More importantly, I'm here to fight the widespread idea that being middle-aged and older is bad. I don't feel like a much different person on the inside than I did when I was younger, but I do have more knowledge and skills now. Wrinkles can be discouraging, but I actually feel better about most things these days. I know that I can handle what life brings. On the occasions when I feel down, I know that it will pass. What I'm saying is that it's good to see the benefits of whatever age I am. And it's good for the world to see me out there, having an excellent time as my 46-year-old self with my graying hair.

Since I'm known for changing my mind, there's a chance that I'll go back to dyeing my hair again sometime, but I've decided to at least take a break from it for the year of 2018. And I'll be posting at least a monthly photo to keep track of how quickly it grows. :)

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