While I’m in absolute favour of taking such high praise if true, half-true, or even sort of true, this was just too much and I needed to stop them. I wasn’t courageous, I was cheap. It wasn’t a statement, I had just gotten too busy.
At the time I made the decision to go natural, my hair was so grey that I needed a full head root touch up every ten days. When I self-coloured at home my hair began to look oily with so much colour so soften. If I did it at the salon it was expensive…..so, so, so expensive. Both methods took too much time. At home it was a messy hour and a half and at the salon it was three hours – every ten days. Then there were the days leading up to the colour when I took on the tell tale “skunk” look and my hair styling technique was all about hiding the white roots. My life was packed and I resented all time and effort this one area in my life was consuming.
However, what finally tipped the scale was the travel factor. I had to take a root touch up kit wherever I travelled. While I was on a vacation in Europe in needed to take the time to touch up my roots in the hotel bathroom. Not cool.
The money, the time, and worry spent on hiding my roots became an unnecessarily miserable experience. So I decided to go grey.
Nothing I’ve done has been as controversial or as visually loud, so here are the four big things I’ve learned:
- Whether you cut your hair and let it grow in, or work with a professional colorist, the process takes a long time. I worked to do it gradually, first highlighting my hair, then having it coloured lighter and lighter. However, at some point, I just had to let it grow out. That means that at some point it looked like I was growing my hair out. Suck it up Buttercup and accept the grey line. It took 3 years before I could say I have grey hair
- You look older with grey hair. My grey turned out to be a glorious colour. It’s rich and full. While I feel so lucky about the colour, feel and texture, I look much older than if I had colour. No way around that. However, I do feel more authentic; this is me, just me and at this time of life that’s worth a lot.
- Purple shampoo keeps the yellow away. I had never heard of purple shampoo but I had a fear of the dreaded yellow grey. Without purple, grey turns too yellowishy from the sun. It looks unkempt and adds even more years than the grey. My colorist turned me on to this secret. But not just any purple shampoo, Clairol Shimmering Lights is the stuff to find and buy. It’s been around forever and after trying more high-end products I went back to Clairol for good. It keeps my hair silver and chases the yellow away. Just the shampoo though, their conditioner, and all purple conditioners I’ve tried dry my hair instead of conditioning.
- I had to change my clothing and make-up palette. There is a reason that stunning women with grey hair wear black and grey tones, because nothing else really matches. I add bright colours as accents, but bright colours or warm tones as a base will just wash me out. I fought it until I gave in and accepted and not my closet is primarily greys, blacks and whites. Bright make-up can look garish against the silver. I needed to go to a professional to find the right colours for my skin tone and grey mane.
Do I regret going grey? Often. Do I miss the effort to hide the “skunk” look? Not at all. Just the hint of all that time and money spent is enough to keep me grey, despite the occasional wish for coloured locks.
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