Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Grey Matters

When I was 20, I discovered my first grey hair. I was totally fascinated, if a little freaked out, and insisted that my roommate at the time come and check it out.

She was horrified and promptly yanked the offending alien being from my scalp, squealing, "WHY do you have grey hair???" before I had a chance to decide what I thought about it.

Since then, slowly but surely, that first tinsely strand has been replaced by a steadily growing number of grey hairs.

My boss and I were chatting about hair the other day and I mentioned that I don't think I'll dye mine to hide the grey. She refused to believe me, telling me about a friend of hers who went grey early and looked terrible, and demanded that I send her a photo of myself at 40 to prove it.

While I guess I should never say never, after all, I did go through that month-long purple manic panic phase in high school, it's just not something I see myself doing. For one thing, just the thought of having to keep up with maintaining my rapunzel-gro mane over time exhausts me. I'd have visible roots every other day. As it is, I'm lucky if I manage to schedule a trim more than twice a year.

I'm not crazy about dumping a bunch of chemicals on my head (that's where my brain lives!) and into the water supply on a regular basis either. It's bad enough that I wear makeup with who knows what in it at least a couple of times a week. While my vanity and insecurity does win out more often than I'd like, for the most part I figure the fewer chemicals leeching into my skin, the better.

My mom started going grey at my age and to this day has never felt the need to try to somehow fight a futile battle with time. She looks natural, lovely, and comfortable in her own skin.

I think having an example of aging gracefully (mom, I don't mean to insinuate that you're vastly aged, I just mean aging in the sense that everyone is, from birth on), so close to home is probably one of the main reasons I'm not devastated at the thought of losing my current hair colour.

Most of all, I think for me, being expected to hide the grey hair healthily growing away on my scalp is just the straw that broke the camel's back.

I already spend god knows how much time, energy and money shaving, waxing, plucking, pinning, curling, straightening, most of which are not terribly fun activities, and some of which are downright painful.

I deeply resent being told, whether by advertising or the people who buy into it, that now there is one more thing I will inevitably have to add to that already ludicrous list if I don't want to be cast out of society as some kind of deeply unattractive leper.

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