But, I think I'm OK with it.
For many years I was highlighting, and then I resorted to "all-over" color, but the upkeep and expense seemed too much and too frequent. And, I really never even paid what some pay for this look. In fact, my husband became quite a pro at the "pull-it-through-the cap" method when I came home with Target's bargain hair color kit of the day. (He loves me....a lot. I know.)
So, I began taking informal visual surveys of women's hair color....mostly in shopping malls and airports. What I discovered was that A LOT of women color their hair! (Roots, mismatched eyebrows with hair color, and bright/extreme colors were my main clues.) The other research I was conducting at the time was entitled, "Does gray hair look good or bad, attractive or not?" My conclusion always seemed to be: Looks good on others, but probably not on me. In the last year, though, there seemed to be an abundance of it growing on my head, (and I was tiring of the whole coloring process as mentioned) so I reconsidered. If I think it looks pretty on others, why conclude that it would be hideous on me?
I have not done "all-over" color in almost two years, and my last highlighting job was in November - almost a year ago. I justified this because of an upcoming wedding (yes, Jack and Kelly, YOUR wedding!) and that it would aid the "growing out" process in looking a bit more natural. There are probably a few blonde ends left that will probably be completely gone with my next haircut. Will I still be OK with it then?
What about when I head south in January to the land of blonde?
I think I can do it. And I even got some encouragement in it today....
Today, the kids and I traveled to Connecticut for our Classical Conversations school day. I had noticed a woman there a few weeks back - another mom just like me. It has been difficult to not stare at her, but I could not help noticing her hair. She was obviously a natural blonde at one time, but now that blonde and light brown is perfectly blended with silver and gray. We have a similar haircut, and it would not be a stretch to say that we even closely resemble each other in appearance. More staring on my part....almost like I was looking in a mirror!
(I was pretty sure she was staring at me, too...and probably for the same reason!)
When she walked in this morning, I decided to introduce myself......
Me: Hi. I'm Melanie. I don't think we've met.
Diane: Hi. I'm Diane. Are you the Challenge 1 teacher?
Diane: I've noticed that we have similar hair. Are you letting yours go gray?
Me: Yes! I have been wondering the same thing about you!
Diane: Yes, I am too. Your hair looks great...a perfect blend of colors...and the gray makes a natural highlight. How did you decide to do it?
Me: Thank you! Well, I just got tired of keeping up with it, and there just started to be SO MUCH gray.
Diane: Me too. Have you received encouragement from others to let it go?
Me: Well...there are some people in my family who probably think I should keep coloring it, but my husband says he likes it.
Diane: Yes, I understand. My husband says he doesn't care, but friends and family say coloring it will help me look like a younger woman. But you know what? I'm NOT a younger woman anymore!
Me: I'm not either. I can totally relate.
A spontaneous support group of sorts....So freeing! So healing! So affirming!
I should mention that I, of course, do not think less of those who color their hair. In fact, I still struggle with some vanity and insecurity issues when I'm around others who do color theirs. Thoughts like....
"I have been living in New England way too long."
"I am letting myself go."
"She looks so beautiful with that blonde."
"I have never been one with a gift for fashion or beauty know-how, so I'm probably not making an informed decision."
"Jennifer Aniston is 40, too."
and the list goes on...
Both of my sisters and most of my closest friends, all of whom I have great admiration for and think are so beautiful, color their hair. I'm pretty sure they don't have quite as much gray as I do though.
So, au naturale still seems like the thing to do for this lady. And, of course, I am comforted by these verses from God's word....
A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.
The glory of young men is their strength,
gray hair the splendor of the old.
Meeting "kindred hair spirit", Diane, was such a nice affirmation!