I have been wanting to write this post since the beginning of the year. Mentally, I have written it about a 100 different times. I consider myself a pretty low maintenance girl. For well over 5 years I cut my own hair and I cut all 3 of my kids’ hair; I don’t go to the nail salon, and I have a very small make-up bag. Don’t get me wrong…I love a good pedicure and salon trip, but those are the things that take the back burner to the crazy schedule we keep and honestly I rather spend $30 bucks on new stuff for the house than my toes that I can paint myself.
Over the last couple of years (this last year mainly) the gray hairs have been popping up in full force. If you remember from this post I am just a few months away from being 40. The number itself I am not at all afraid of and I don’t mind telling anyone how old I am if it comes up in conversation. It is all the crap that comes with turning 40 that has really given me a run for my sanity. The physical changes really amped up the last 2 years and I am having a hard time keeping up with and dealing with them. So come January…the good ol’ resolutions month, I decided that I was going to just give into mother nature and allow it to be what it was. Or so I thought.
I dug through over 2 years worth of phone photos trying to find you a good “before” but it appears that 1) I like to backlight my images and that makes it so you can’t see the grays. 2) I conveniently cut off the top of my head in just about every image I take. I think my subconscious was already screaming at me. This is the only one I could find where you can kinda see the gray “frosting” near my part. I am only at the 10-20% ish gray (how do you really estimate hair?). Not a ton, but all in the most obvious areas, my peaks, hence, my part. Although it is not a lot, on my light brown hair those perfectly white (not gray…I got the white ones) strands stand out like beacon lights. I think if I was at least 50% gray this may be an easier battle. But this tweener stage is a fight I just wasn’t prepared for and there really isn’t a lot of people out there talking about it or doing it.
This past summer I had finally had enough and did what I thought any self respecting woman would do and went to the salon for the first time in 5 years to get my hair done. Specifically to mask the new “frosty highlights” that had showed up. It looked amazing…zero complaints. Until it started to grow. My hair grows REALLY fast, like 1/2-1″ a month. For those that dye regularly know that is a root job pain in the bum. Not to mention $$$. I was battling the frequent trips, the $$, the time (2 hours in the chair) and the quick grow outs. There seemed to be way more reason to not bother, than to bother. (please excuse the silly cheesy selfie Instagram images…only ones I could find that I didn’t crop my head out :))
I spent hours, maybe even days researching “going gray naturally” on Pinterest. I read article after article, pinned images of gorgeous women with wonderful gray locks and motivated myself to my resolution of just being me the way mother nature made me. I started washing out as much of the color as I could to blend out my roots and started the year feeling insanely empowered and ready to take on the world. Yeah. That lasted until my first outing. I started noticing the glances to my head. Ya know, the “what the heck is in her hair” glances…”are those gray?….Girl needs to hit up the salon, asap!” looks. My confidence and fortitude immediately started to crumble. I am not sure if I am strong enough for this.
Still, I lasted about another month quietly fighting my self confidence each time I stepped out of the house. Then one day, I casually joked with my super adorning husband about me going gray and being his Silver Fox now. I think because he didn’t quite know the lengths I had gone through to convince myself this was the best idea, he told me “…you look way too young to have gray…”
No S&*T Sherlock…ya wanna tell Mother Nature that?
He of course followed it with, “…you will be beautiful with gray or not, but you just look to young to have gray hair.” I didn’t take this as a personal attack. It was a compliment in disguise. One side of me was cheering that I looked too young to have gray hair, but my new found o’natural self was back to square one with what the heck to do. Maybe I needed to buy myself a bit more time. More time to go more gray? More time to age? So back to the drawing board I went.
I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to permanently dye my hair again. Those vicious root lines, with grays in them, are worse than just the gray. And it doesn’t matter how close to your root color it is, the grow out is painful. I considered highlights to blend in the gray. I was a blonde in my past. Born a blonde, and was a blonde until I had kids. But I have since fallen in love with my brown hair and just can’t see myself having the streaky highlights it would take to blend these crazy things in. So again, I was back to just letting it go, dealing with it, and everyone is just gonna have to kiss my bum and maybe I will look as amazing as Sarah Harris one day.
Then two, yes TWO more people literally said the exact same thing as my husband, not even knowing my situation. And the other day I was in the hospital having a little procedure done and one of the lady doctors literally double took my chart and asked me my name because she didn’t think I was 39. Flattered of course…but confirmation that maybe I need to hang onto this youth just a bit longer while I have it.
The struggle is real people.
After a little more research I found demi-perminant hair dyes. Temp hair dyes that kinda sorta blend the gray in. Not a full cover up, but enough that they are not those icicles that seem to be catching everyone’s eye. Plus, when I do want to just let it grow out and go, the color fades over time not leaving a crazy root line, the silvers will start to peek through as normal.
For now, I am caving. This could change in a week or so. I am secretly hoping my natural summer highlights will help blend them in a bit more and maybe once again I can just let it go. I feel this will be a constant ongoing battle. I hate treating my hair over and over, but I think this will be the least damaging way to buy some time until I am ready to commit or look my actual age. I could of course go to the salon and get my hair done, but I like living life on the edge, I am a compulsive DIYer, and I really like spending my money on my house. For now I am doing my own demi-permenant coloring and it is going great. It is definitely not a 100% coverage, and lasts a few weeks or so, but it has softend the root line grow out from my past coloring, and given the grays a tint of color so they are not stark white.
If you are battling the tweener gray phase, talk to me! Tell me how you are dealing with it!