Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Silver Belle

The eagle eyed among you probably noticed something a little different going on with my hair lately.

Okay, you probably don’t need eagle eyes to notice it. I’ve stopped dying my hair, rendering visible what I had long considered my follicular shame: grey hair.

The first white hairs showed up right before my 16th birthday. I attributed them to my grade 11 physics teacher: a nasty woman who informed my mother under no uncertain terms that I was a terrible student, I had no comprehension of physics and that I would be failing her class. As a life-long honours student, I was a stressed out wreck. My mother told her off. I passed the class, but the white hairs appeared.

I also became a mechanical engineer. Eat your heart out teach.

I hated the idea of dying my hair when I was younger because I didn’t want to bother with the upkeep. I also liked the colour of my hair, and didn’t think I’d be able to recreate it out of a box. For 8 years I held off on touching it, until one exhausted, stressed out day I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t feel good about my life in general, and taking control of my appearance gave me the illusion of taking control of my life. So, I dyed it. From then on I continued dying it, because the growing out period for hair as long as mine was odious.

Other than the 4” roots I was sporting by the end of my pregnancy, I haven’t really seen my natural hair in full force in nearly a decade. Only the bits in the part and around the hairline. The grow out period for dye is much shorter with my current style, so when I went in for my last cut I took what felt like the radical step of not booking a dye job as well.

The proliferation of the white hairs over the years was shocking. In a strange sort of way, I kind of liked it. It was liberating. In an era where young people are stripping and dying their hair silver, it felt downright modern.

It probably helps that I work mostly with men. Men of varying degrees of pigment and… follicle density. I received several compliments on the haircut. Not a single comment or joke about the white.

I do wonder, if there wasn’t such pressure to preserve our youth through chemical means, how many other women would look the same as I do? Once vibrant hair fading somewhat as a smattering of albino hairs crop up in between. Would we still perceive white hair as the purview of the old? Or would it be considered normal?

Maybe I’m just rambling. Looking for proof I’m not alone in this.

Either way, I have another haircut booked this week and more of the dye is coming off. I don’t know if the rest of it will be gone or not, but I suspect the majority of it will.

The more I see it, the more I’m okay with that.

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4 Responses to “Silver Belle”

  1. Xin says:

    I’ve been lucky enough not to have to worry about dyeing my hair (despite the stress in school and in my working life showing up in many other ways, it’s largely left my hair untouched) yet, though it’s hard to imagine myself keeping up with regular dye. I’m so ridiculously low maintenance with my hair (salon for a haircut once every six months, and otherwise I just wash and air dry) that I doubt I could stick with something that’d require regular upkeep.

  2. Val says:

    I noticed a few grey hairs and decided I am going to leave them. I am just okay with getting older.

  3. C says:

    I dye my hair auburn (henna) because of my ghostlike qualities. That way I don’t feel so pasty. I have done so for… gosh, the last time my natural hair made an appearance was 2000, which I think was before I got any gray. I’m definitely getting more gray under there though, now (after grad school). I think I’d like to have more gray/white before I let it show, which maybe you do? I like the look of white hair on people, and once had a yoga teacher who had this really long iron gray and white braid and it was really, really striking. I would just prefer streaks rather than sprinkles, for myself, but I’m definitely not there yet. Also, I suspect that not dying the gray while keeping the red is a lot more trouble than I want to take. Good luck with your transition! It may help professionally, you know. I work in defense, and looking young as a female is not always optimal, that’s for sure.

  4. SarahN says:

    Oh my – I have (just this week) gone the other way. I’ve only once dyed my hair in 2003 I think when I found a marked down box at the grocery store, for fun.

    I worry about the upkeep and the cost. But this week I saw a lady in the street and said how I loved her hair and where did she get it coloured (lucky it wasn’t natural and that didn’t offend her!). I’ve now booked to see her hairdresser.

    Since my euro trip I’ve thought it’s finally time, it’s getting too light for my liking. I collected recommendations, but then didn’t have the momentum for the next steps (which was going to be meeting and seeing if it was a good fit). I went to my friend’s hair appointment as she thought I’d LOVE her hairdresser. I did not. I think I cried after the consult (not at what he said, but… yeah, he wasn’t helping an already stormy mood). So here’s hoping Julie next Saturday is the start of a path I don’t regret!

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Hi!

I'm Cassie.

I'm a petite hourglass, slow adopter, food geek, Engineer, wife and mom. Welcome to the little corner of the internet where I ramble on about random things. Mostly clothes.

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