So, I made the decision to let my hair go gray. That’s a tough enough decision on its own – at least it was for me – but, then the next question is – how exactly do you go gray when your hair has been colored blonde for so many years?
When I first asked my hairdresser this question, his immediate response was, “You don’t.”
Ha Ha — the decision was already made. I just needed to figure out the best way to do it.
So, I set about researching the options and talking to people to find out their thoughts and experiences. Come to find out, there are several different ways to do this:
- You can just let it all grow out. That’s fine if you want to look like a skunk for a while and then have a line running all the way down your head until you get brave enough to cut it out. No thanks – that wasn’t going to work for me.
- You can use the new color products. Have you seen this new fad? Many young adults are going to a gray color on their hair, so there are a host of new products out there to accommodate this fad. At first I thought, “YES, I am FINALLY going to be ‘IN STYLE.’ If I go gray I will just match all these young kids – and maybe people will still think I am young, too.” Of course, nothing is that easy. Besides, the true point of going gray isn’t to look younger – it is simply to look your age. I know that is a difficult concept for women in this country, and I will write another blog about that later.But, once again, this option was not going to work for me. It required a LONG process of bleaching all of my current color out of my hair, then applying the new gray color, and then living with something that looks extremely fake. My point in doing this was not to be fake – it was to be more REAL.
- Onto the next… The 3rd option was to do it gradually. Lighten the hair a little bit (this works when you’re blonde, but might be more difficult when your hair is darker.) Then let it grow out. This is the option I chose. I figured if I do it gradually, it will give me (and everyone around me) a chance to get used to the idea.
So, that’s where I am now. I have lightened my hair a little bit and have started to just let the gray grow.
Here are some observations:
- I feel so much LIGHTER (and not just because my hair is a lighter blonde!). Honestly, I never realized how much time and energy I put into my hair. After doing the first lightening process, I stood at the counter ready to make my usual 3-4 week appointment with my hairdresser. He said, “You don’t have to make an appointment. Just call me when you want to cut it again.” That moment was so EYE-OPENING for me! You mean I didn’t have to come back again in 3 weeks? You mean I didn’t have to worry about my hair until I was ready to get it cut? You mean when I come in next time to get it cut, I will only be here less than an hour rather than my normal 1 1/2-2 hour process? I was so surprised and HAPPY about that revelation! I left the shop so much LIGHTER!!
- I can pull my hair up again! WOO HOO! As a fitness professional, I used to always wear my hair back in a ponytail – until the gray started creeping in so severely that I didn’t want to pull it back and show all those roots! But now I can pull my hair up with no concern at all. The gray is showing, but it blends in really nicely with the hair. It feels incredible to be able to pull it up and not have any concern about what is showing.
- I notice that I feel compelled to tell everyone that I am going gray. For some reason, I feel like I have to explain. Maybe that is part of my insecurity about it. Maybe it’s because I’m proud of the fact that I’m doing it. But, whatever the reason, I do notice that it’s my reaction. For example, someone might come up at the grocery store and say, “Hi Kelli.” Of course, my immediate response is, “I’m going gray.” This then leads into a lengthy discussion of the topic that they had no idea they were going to get into because they really just wanted to get their gallon of milk and go home!
- My kids are curious about it. They aren’t fully on board with it as they are concerned it’s going to make me look older. But, that is a story for another day.
For now, it seems to be going well, and I feel good. If you’re still interested in my progress, I will be writing more along the way. Until then —