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So it’s been about three months since I decided to stop dying my hair. Mama is going gray. This is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done – and I have a lot to stack it up against! Like a 550 meter bungee over Queensland canyons…or a surprise skydive with my hubs in Orange, MA…one time I ate crocodile and emu in the same day – or what about giving birth to an 11 pound
toddler baby!? No matter what dare-devilish endeavors I’ve pursued, I still feel so venerable ditching the color and exposing my true roots. BUT it’s been only 3 months and I’ve had so many unexpected supports as well as surprises in just this brief time.
10 things that surprised me when I first started going gray
#1 A new identity…
I have a new identity. You would think that I would know myself pretty well at this stage in my life. I’m almost 40, I’ve traveled the world, had Guinness in Dublin, wine in Napa, I’ve been to Jazz Fest, Gasparilla, Highland Games and that nude bar in Key West. And now I’m married, kids; the nine. I mean, if I haven’t seen it yet, I can anticipate patterns and set reasonable expectations. But all of a sudden I am SEEING other woman going gray either in pictures or on social and I’m like, Hey girrrrrl. And then I’m like Did I just wink at a stranger!? I was like, what IS that? Then I realized, that feeling? The one where I want to inappropriately high-five the silver haired lady next to me at the grocery? That’s me identifying with this choice. And I have to say, I love it. It’s bold. It’s unexpected. And it’s against the grain. But bigger than any of this, it’s me: CHOOSING.
Support! My husband was all-in when I told him I was thinking of this change. And actually he was bummed when I came home freshly dyed from the salon for what turned out to be my last time. My mom was over the moon excited for me and my mom is pretty even keeled so that made my heart skip a beat.
But really the most surprising and encouraging place I have found support is ONLINE! Sharing this journey on social and on my blog has connected me with so many brave, passionate, BEAUTIFUL women! The encouraging comments and unsolicited pep talks have truly tickled me pink. And I say this to all the women out there who are going it alone – find some friends on social or join our Facebook group THE GRAY BOOK where you can find community, share your experience, make friends, glean inspiration, peep pics, express fears, boast successes and more. I didn’t know I needed support but I truly did and DO! So thanks to all of you who have built me up along the way.
#3 Getting to know my body
I have a brown streak in my bangs!? Who knew!? Now that my hair is growing out – I am seeing its natural intended color and patterns and its so so cool to get to know well, ME! I can’t wait to get to know more about my color story!
#4 The grass is greener
For the first time in my life I find myself wishing I had MORE gray hair.
#5 Noticing my judgement
Sometimes I still catch myself looking at other women and judging their choice about their hair and I don’t like it. It’s a learned behavior and a practiced way of thinking that will take some time to break but I am working on it friends.
#6 Maybe I won’t have to cover up as much as I thought…
I don’t think I will need to lean on hats or headscarves as much as I anticipated BUT the journey is still new my friends. Right now, I probably have about 3 inches of grow-out so I anticipate when I hit the halfway mark I will need some cute accessories. I mean my hair may be gray but my mood ain’t!
#7 A shortie!?
Strongly considering a pixie cut. What!? Who just said that!? Noodling over the idea now in hopes that when it comes time to decided I will be ready to 100% back myself. I mean if I’m shy in one department…it’s the patience department so I can see myself just chopping it off one day just to get it over with. Loving something like this….
But with the humidity in Atlanta, it will probably look something more like this…
So there’s that….
#8 A brighter complexion
I am seeing myself for the first time with gray/white hair framing my face and it’s beautiful! I LOVE the contrast of tan/olive skin with this snow white number going on on top.
#9 I don’t look as old as I thought I would
#10 What will my kids think?
My kids who are 3 and 5 haven’t said anything yet…do you think they notice!? I think the problem is when they look at me they just see “dinner” – it’s an ingrained Pavlovian response I don’t think I’ll ever be able to break.
More On Gray
- Going Gray: Why I Stopped Dying My Hair
- Going Gray: 3 Months And Counting
- Going Gray: 5 Months and Counting
- Going Gray: (at 40!) 8 Months and Counting
- Going Gray: It’s Been A Year!
- Going Gray: A Transformation Both Inside and Out
Haircut by Jen Jones at Creature in Atlanta.