Embracing the true me, grey hair and all!
Throughout my life I have explored many aspects of my appearance and I always felt it was a way to express my individuality. I have had long hair, short hair, shaved hair, blonde hair, black hair, purple hair and my all time favourite bright red hair!! It all sounds like something out of a Dr Seuss story, ha ha! Its shocking what hell I have put my hair through and its hard to imagine the money I have spent creating such looks. (Keep scrolling and you will see the most epic gallery of hair changes I think anyone has ever seen! Some are incredibly awful and horrible quality and I couldn't even find the one of my hair that was down to my butt in length... but I'm sure you will get the idea)
What was I thinking? Was it really about individuality? Was I searching for something more or just trying to keep up with trends? (Who am I kidding, I'm definitely not the staying on trend type, more like make up my own!!) Looking back and reflecting on the deeper reasons behind the extreme makeovers, I guess I just wanted to stand out a little, as a mostly "average" person in every other area of my life (or so it felt), I wanted my little bit of recognition and 5 minutes of fame. It always felt so good to get the "oh wow, your hair looks great" comments when you get a fresh new style.
Just over two years ago when I began my essential oil journey, I was keen to take the reduced toxins path in my home, but at that time I knew that hair dye was one thing I simply couldn't give up. It was a part of my identity and I remember speaking to some women about living a low-tox life and making a point that while I reduce toxins and chemicals where possible, hair dye was not a reduction I was willing to make.
So what changed?
The last 12-18 months has been a series of massive shifts for me. Its been a time of change, reflection and personal development but I cant say what the exact stigma was for me wanting to go grey naturally was and I know I had been thinking about it for a good 12 months before I decided to commit.
I know that my final decision was fuelled by the realisation that my cousin and my younger brother (who are both within 4 years of my age) were beginning to go grey and my initial reaction to observing this fact was "they look so god damn beautiful!" My reflective and opinionated mind then went to..."well why cant women do that? Why do we feel so constrained to what we must look like? Why cant we have the rights to growing old gracefully and naturally without being judged?"
This realisation was further cemented in when I watched the documentary called "Embrace". (I highly recommend this). This film had me questioning social norms and the messages I want to teach my children (my daughters in particular). I want them to embrace their individuality, but I also want them to be ok with exactly who they are and what they look like, without feeling pressured by social media, advertising and the ever increasing pressures of societal "norms".
All this certainly got me thinking about who I really am when I strip back all the layers of conditioning and how my children need to see the real me and watch me really loving the real me... grey hair, lumps and bumps, stretch marks and all!
FUN FACT: I was actually born with a hereditary grey streak in my hair. I have no idea if it is still there but I am excited to find out.
When I told my hairdresser that I was thinking about going grey naturally, her first concern was that it would age me. I valued her opinion and so that certainly held me up on making the final decision but I soon came to realise that I am getting older and why does it matter if I look older, I am still me! Now to be fair, it is my belief that my hairdresser was only looking out for my best interests and as she is in a business of helping people achieve a certain aspect of beauty in her everyday working life, who could blame her first reaction. However, when I came to her with my final decision to go natural she showed upmost support and I recall she responded with "go you!"
My last lot of hair dye was early July 2019, so at the time of writing this I am 5 months in... and loving it. My regrowth is approximately 10cm long and I have many grey hairs shining through. My youngest daughter told me I look like I have glitter in my hair. Bless her!
To be honest I haven't had a lot of comments but those that I have spoke with about the topic of women going grey naturally (mostly family and friends) have been so supportive and it has really opened up some conversations about media influences and the pressures on our women and children to be something other than themselves. If this is the sort of impact I can bring for people, just simply opening conversations, then I am grateful.
I thought about calling this post "10 reasons you should go grey naturally" but I never want to be someone to tell you what you should and shouldn't do. I just want to share my experience and thoughts and hope that others who are feeling torn can get some empowerment to stand in whatever they feel is right. Whether that's styling your hair in a certain way, cutting it, growing it or dying it some wild shade, just do you no matter what that looks like!
On a final note, I just want to thank my husband who never stops telling me that he will always love me, no matter what I look like. Your ongoing support is a dream come true.