Embracing the Gray

TanyaWithGrayHair-1I recently mentioned that I have been on a journey to be more authentic version of myself.  That journey has involved a lot of soul-searching about what I value and what I want in life.  It has involved a lot of listening to try and understand God’s plan for me.
One of the changes I’ve made is to stop coloring my hair.  I started going gray at 16.  With the exception a year while I was in college, I’ve colored my hair consistently since.  That’s 23 years of coloring my hair.  I wasn’t even sure what my hair looked like under the color.  The last time I had seen it was 2003, and I had a gray streak down one side.
I started considering the change the last time I was sitting at the salon getting my hair colored.  The expense wasn’t an issue, because a wonderful friend at church had been trading hair coloring for helping her daughters with math.  I was getting the better end of the deal; I love her two daughters, so spending time with them was a pleasure!  As I left the salon nearly two hours after I came, I wondered why I was spending so much time on something that just didn’t matter to me.  It was a beautiful day, and I could have been riding my horses.
TanyaWithBrownHairWhat I found most interesting was people’s responses when I vocalized what I was thinking.  My husband was his usual loving, supportive self, telling me that I wasn’t beautiful because of the color of my hair.  Other men I knew said that gray hair was sexy, pointing to beautiful women like Jamie Lee Curtis.  The women I know, on the other hand, were significantly less supportive, arguing that there was no need for any of us to look old.  After hearing many different opinions, I decided I had to be true to myself and give it a shot.  If in the end, I didn’t like it, I could always go back.
Two months ago, I cut off several inches of my hair to try and cut out some of the color.  I prefer long hair in the summer.  I’m outside a lot and like to be able to throw my hair in a pony tail, so I’m letting it grow back out.  I’ll cut the last of it off when I have enough I can lose the 3-4 inches but still have a pony tail.
It’s been interesting to see people’s faces when they see my gray hair.  Some have said I look 10 years younger; others have questioned my sanity.  Personally, I like it.  My father was gray at 28.  My brother is as gray as I am and still very handsome.  It’s a family trait that I’m proud to carry.  Best of all, my husband loves it and thinks it’s beautiful.  In the end, I still want the man I love to think I’m beautiful.  😉
To some, it may have been a small thing, but to me it was an important step in making decisions based on who I am and who I want to be rather than other people’s expectations of me.  Are you being held back by the expectations of others?  If so, what’s stopping you from breaking free?

0 thoughts on “Embracing the Gray

  1. I love it! I’ve always been excited about the gray streak I’m developing. I recently cut out the last of my henna and while I’m thinking of dying my hair purple soon, it’s completely for the fun of it, and nothing to do with covering the gray.

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