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Gray hair, proud of it!

Gray hair is not really gray is it? It is usually well, white! So where did gray hair get the bad rap and why does gray hair dredge up negative thoughts of aging? My hair is white. What is known as “gray” can be anywhere from gray or yellow. Some people even have the “salt and pepper” look. But my hair is white. I like white, it is pretty.

I am gray. In fact, I am premature gray. Not a thing I can do about it either. I started the fight against gray in my twenties. Ever so slowly as it took over I did what any normal woman would do, I starting coloring it. At first this was not so bad. In fact, it was fun. It was like changing contact lens color, something to add to my looks like well, glasses or jewelry. But then what was a gradual process began accelerating in my thirties.

I was coloring my hair once a month then every three weeks then every two weeks. It was beginning to become a major chore and the fun was over. I didn’t like the hassle. Then I hit my forties and decided this is getting really old, I mean old! No not me, I mean coloring my hair. But I couldn’t give it up because peer pressure demanded I was too young to be gray so, I kept coloring.

Then an amazing thing happened. When I moved to Europe I noticed that women did not have the vanity issue about aging and coloring their hair. And in fact, women all over were coming into their own beginning to accept and embrace their age and so I decided to bite the bullet and stop coloring my hair. And oh man! It was pure white! Not gray, that denotes a bland color doesn’t it? But my hair is white. Really WHITE! and it is healthy.

The first couple of years it was white I didn’t think much of it except what a relief not to continue a bi-monthly ritual of coloring. But then a unique thing began to happen. People would walk up to me and ask to touch my hair. There I was in Brussels Belgium walking through the Grande Place and a Belgian lady would approach me and ask to touch my hair. “It is pretty” she said, “how do you make it like that?” All I could say was, “it is just natural”. I started feeling pretty good about my white hair then I came back to the United States and first on my list was to fit in again with a cut and a dye job! I went to a stylist who wouldn’t color my hair. She said, “Why would you want to do that, it is beautiful?” And so I didn’t think about it again for years then about 6 months ago I decided I need a change again and so off to another stylist. She went on about how pretty and healthy my hair was and “how do you keep it so healthy?”

And so I decided to keep it gray. Or should I say white. I am in my fifties so it is starting to fit me and when I started this blog, Gray Gaia, it felt right to keep it gray. There are some famous women who wear their white like Helen Mirren or Jamie Lee Curtis. Though I am not famous and just a regular gal who is living a regular life I do love my white hair!

BLING! BLING!

Bling is that showy display of one’s means of living.  It’s a way of saying “Hey I am successful!” or “This is who I am!”  The older we get, however, the more we start to realize that having lots of shiny jewelry (or other material things) isn’t what makes the woman (or man).  We spend time from the ages of 13-19 in puberty then ages 20 to 40 finding our way–defining ourselves with our education, our career, and our possessions.  After age 40 we start to realize that we have only made it halfway, and there is still a lot more living to do.  By this time we’ve learned a few lessons, gained some success, and have reached a point that we redefine our motivations.  So naturally, our definition of “Bling” changes as well.

My Bling is my gray hair.

You can start to  get your crowning glory of gray at any age.  Personally, I started going gray in my 20’s. I tried unsuccessfully to cover it up for years, but by the time I was in my 40’s I realized it was just too damn much work. So I gave up dying it and spent the better part of a year watching my gray roots overtake my auburn-dyed locks.

Contrary to what I expected, I experienced a huge emotional release.  No longer was I wasting my hard earned money on two to three dye jobs a month, but I also found that dying my hair made me feel like I was hiding my real self.   To this day, I am not sure what I thought covering my gray was suppose to do for me; but what I do know now is what NOT covering my gray has done.

My Bling is out there for all to see–brilliant, true, and wise.  I am making the statement: I am here! Baby Boomer in full view enjoying this period of life!  And man, do I love gray hair. It is the prettiest color I have ever had. I have had people come up to me in a crowd and ask if they can touch it.

So the next time you baby boomers see someone wearing all that Bling point to your head say, like I do, I am Baby Boomer, hear me roar here is my Bling and it is both mine–and free (in more way than one).

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