At this point, more than seven months since my last appointment for a single process color, there are some serious grey hairs in my head now -- mostly concentrated toward the front. But they are so well camouflaged by the highlights that Kathleen Flynn-Hui at Salon AKS has added that I have to really hunt for them to see which ones are natural and which are processed.
The lighter hair around my face makes me feel younger and brighter, and, though I expect that with Kathleen’s help this will continue, I still have a nagging concern that when I have more grey I might look dowdy, or old, or like I’ve given up. This has translated into a subtle shift in the way I am shopping and dressing. I’ve always been interested in clothing that has a somewhat architectural or sculptural quality – Rick Owens, Maria Cornejo, Alexander McQueen – but, let’s face it, I’m a working mother of three so my default mode is jeans, clogs, and a striped t-shirt. In stores, I find myself dismissing basic articles of clothing that I might previously have purchased (and that I frankly need) – simple cardigans, basic shirts – for fear that they might look dull or old-fashioned when coupled with grey hair. Everything I’m buying right now feels special or interesting in some way. On the weekends, when I might previously have thrown on some yoga pants and run out the door, I’m taking a bit more time to put myself together.
I decided pretty early on that if I could keep my skin and body looking decent, it wouldn’t matter what color my hair was. Over the summer, I shifted my diet to ensure that I was eating about 70% fruits and vegetables. I gave up dairy (I’m still getting used to drinking my coffee black) and really moved away from any white foods. I’ve become evangelical about using moisturizer and now have a weekly appointment with my Clarisonic.
Finally, there is no more leaving the house without at least a little under eye cover and a touch of lipstick. I’m never going to be one of those women that goes to yoga with makeup on, but for every other purpose, I’d like to look like I give a damn.
Best of all, I have discovered that having grey hair is like being pregnant; it is a great conversation starter. I find myself bonding with women I don’t know over hair. It is sort of weird and hilarious and wonderful, all at once. Suffice it to say that I’ve met some amazing women recently as a result.
I now realize that the decision to go grey has spurred a lot of other, very positive changes in my life and my attitude. It feels exciting and hopeful. Change is good, right? (To see how Elizabeth's grey grow-out journey began, click here.)
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