One of the most visible signs of aging is gray hair color.
Our hair is right there on top of our head, next to our face. So when gray hair color starts showing up, it’s immediately apparent.
We usually begin by plucking out each strand of gray hair as we find it.
Those kinky ones that pop out like exclamation marks from our head are especially insulting, and always the first to go.
We Google ways to stop gray hair, we continue to pull them out, and we feel the first pangs of awareness that our body is going to start doing things as it ages, over which we have no control.
Next we decide we’re going to cover our gray hair.
Nervously, many of us start by experimenting with home color.
The dazzling array of boxed color at our local drug store is a bit confusing, so we pick one based upon things like the picture on the box, and how well their advertising has worked.
We teach ourselves how to color gray hair, and some of us are happy with the results.
Some of us run (somewhat embarrassed) to a professional hair dresser after we’ve tried to color our own hair.
We beg that person to make things better, startled by the results of our own attempts at self-care.
Like you, perhaps, I went through many of these steps.
And now I’m done trying to color my gray hair.
Here’s my journey.
I found my first gray hair on my thirtieth birthday.
Quite honestly, I was startled to discover it.
I don’t know if that’s an early age to start finding gray hairs, but I confess–it did get my attention.
I ambled along, living life, doing my best to manage the gray as I found them.
But then I had a defining spark that started the journey of acceptance for my gray hair color.
Here it is.
I used to work for a publishing company.
As part of my job, authors would send me their head shots, and I would create their media kits.
One woman, who was probably in her sixties, sent me her photo.
Her face looked like it was sixty, but her hair looked like it was thirty.
I thought she looked ridiculous.
I’m sure she’d had her hair done specifically for this photo, so it was freshly colored and styled.
The hair stylist had done a terrific job–her hair looked beautiful.
Except–it looked like it belonged on a completely different woman.
Her hair looked like it belonged on someone who was going to PTA meetings and waiting in carpool lines, not getting the senior citizen’s discount at restaurants.
The disconnect in her appearance disturbed me, and made me uncomfortable.
I’ve never forgotten it, and it’s ended up defining how I approach my own aging.
Genetically, I don’t stand a chance.
All of the women in my family have had white hair (not gray, but white) by the age of sixty or so.
I recognize that’s probably going to be my fate, and as an early fifty-something woman well on her way, I’ve completely accepted that this is, more than likely, going to be my outcome.
So I’ve found peace with my gray and silver hair color.
Just to be sure though, I recently tested my theory. I used a temporary hair color, just to see what if would feel like to have my darker hair color back.
I hated it.
In the mirror was a glimpse of that sixty something woman, who was wearing a thirty-year old’s hairdo.
It felt like I was trying to deny my power as a woman who has overcome multiple challenges, and instead, settle in to what society says I should look like.
I’ve decided that who I am outside needs to match who I am inside, and part of that means letting my hair do its own thing.
In case you’ve also decided to keep your gray, and want some specific hairstyles that will definitely work with this look, here is a great article to check out: 60 Gorgeous Gray Hairstyles
But this is what is right for me. You may need a different approach.
Beauty and self-image are incredibly personal things.
You may be happier maintaining a look you’ve had for years.
Because ultimately, whatever you look like is your own business–no one else’s.
What makes you happy is important.
The things that make you feel like ‘YOU’ should not only be identified, but embraced.
If you identify yourself as a redhead, or a blonde, and that’s an important part of your identity–there’s no reason in the world to change.
So if you have decided you prefer to color your hair, here’s an article that rates various home products. I hope it’s helpful!
I feel more like ‘ME’ with my gray hair color.
You may feel more like ‘YOU’ with shades of brown, or red or blonde on top of your head.
It’s all good, Beautiful.
The most important thing in the world, especially as you age, is that you learn to love YOU, however you feel most gorgeous.
Because you are.
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**Chanler Jeffers has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent and was a single parent for many years. She has survived cancer, and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.
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