Today I went to the hair dresser and was in the chair for about 3 hours. Now, I don’t like going to the hair salon but as I like to change my hair cut and colour as frequently as I change my underwear, the hair dresser now seems to be a place I frequent.
Over two years ago now, I started to go lighter as my ageing skin was too stark against the dark colours I was choosing. I decided to put some highlights in my hair varying everything from auburn, chestnut and ash blonde.
Here’s my 2019 & 2020 look (my favourite).
Meanwhile here was my 2018 look – totally dark and long. I look different. Too corporate, professional and austere for my liking. I should be running a company or some such. As this is the LAST thing I’d ever want to imagine for myself, this hair cut simply HAD to go.
During lockdowns, I was looking at how many women had simply let their grey grow out and I recalled in 2017, I did exactly the same thing. It was excruciating to wait for up to a year before my natural pepper hair came through wiry and rough. I don’t care much for cutting hair short either because in my Navy years I had it extremely short (I recall the times I used to head into the barbers of HMAS Cerberus or the one at RMC Duntroon in Canberra and ask them to put the shaver to my hair (I started doing this earlier going through Officer Training at HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay where having long hair at this busy was simply a hindrance). I got tired of the short hair afterwards and then grew my hair right down to my back and it was quite thick. However most of the time it was scrunched away into a HUGE bun at the back at times making it difficult for me hat to sit in my head properly.
Once I got out of the Navy and entered corporate world, I left my hair long but it never felt “like me”. People kept touching it or saying things, “wish I had your hair” but as I got older, the hair started becoming grey at the roots, as it does and I was always touching up the roots. It was annoying for me to have to do this.
Over the years, I decided to cut it and reached a point where the layered chin length bob was “my cut”. My best cuts seem to be French bobs and layered cuts. These seemed to fit my face, my lifestyle, and it was just “me”. It also fitted with my preferred way of doing makeup and the types of clothes I like to wear which I can describe as natural classic. Not too relaxed or casual, never suits nor trends.
I also loved that I could curl it or flat iron it to wear new styles dependent on my mood. I noticed that when I changed the hair colour, I also had to change the colours of my clothes or makeup but it gave me the freedom to experiment with different looks. Learning to express creativity through makeup and clothes was an outcome of changing hairstyles. I never used to do that in my younger years. (In fact, I never wore makeup until quite late in life in my late 30s).
However back in 2017, I decided to really make a drastic change and let all my dyed hair grow out and then HACK the hair off completely in the back and sides and leaving it long on top like you can see in this video below. I didn’t mind this hair cut but I didn’t like how the back looked. Also my hair was WIRY. It was like I had steel wool for hair. No one told me about how my hair would feel.
The other thing I noticed were the amount of compliments by strangers on the street.
It was really weird. People always seem to comment on grey hair.
Women would come up to you on the street and look at your hair and exclaim in one breath, “how fabulous is your hair” then quickly follow it, “I could never leave mine grey.”
There seems to be a stigma with grey hair.
To be fair, I didn’t leave the grey in because by 2018, I had changed it again….
I think grey hair is a state of mind and attitude.
There are so many women who look fantastic with their grey hair and what I notice about all of them is their attitude. I mean, look at these women….They look fantastic!
However, to go through that rigmarole of growing out my hair and having that “strip” again was too much. I couldn’t be bothered and I’m impatient.
Today, I was ready for an extreme cut (pixie cut just to hack off all the colour and have my natural hair) but at the last moment, I asked the hair dresser if it was possible to put highlights into my hair the colour of my greys and basically blend it all in. In effect, my grey strip is there but you can’t see it because now, the rest of the hair is all grey (except for the back of my head which is my natural colour).
So in a way, it’s a bit of a cheat’s way of going grey but nevertheless, my real grey hair can grow out now in relative obscurity and no one would be none the wiser.
This is the procedure I had done….
Grey hair is a BIG thing for women. Your hair is part of your identity and by being grey, you’re accepting that you’re ageing however, you may as well be invisible to others (not to women your age though).
It doesn’t help that other women also put pressure on you to keep dyeing the hair; or your hair dresser doesn’t want you to grow out your real hair. It’s bad for business.
However, every time I see a woman who has left out her real hair to grow and she’s rocking her grey hair, I see someone who is confident and self-assured of herself. What’s not to like about that?
I’ll have what she’s having.
Do men have such issues about ageing I wonder? I guess they have the balding issue….