My hair started going grey when I was about 20 years old…just what every 20 year old wishes for. I had already been dyeing it for several years, but it was serving a new purpose now, to cover my grey.
Those grey hairs symbolized yet another effect of the chronic stress and abuse I experienced and was surrounded by through most of my life. I mean, how could it not have some effects at a cellular level. I wanted to hide that
When my ex-husband and I divorced, I had been a stay at home parent, and now had to figure out how to do it on my own and trips to the salon every few weeks was just not in the budget. I decided I needed to accept I had grey hair, save my money, and try to love it (I did eventually love it)
It took a couple years to fully grow all the color out, and in the beginning the “roots” were a rough and awkward period to get through. This was not an easy decision to make surrounded by women covering their grey, to keep youthful and attractive.
A month in, someone (I don’t know all that well) came up and touched the roots of my hair at the side of my face and said loudly, “What’s that?!” in front of several others who are now suddenly staring at my grey roots.
I was instantly pissed off, mostly upset for being exposed of something I was already sensitive about. I walked away to collect myself and my tears.
When I walked back, they all acted as if nothing happened, no one spoke to me as if I had done something wrong. He didn’t apologize, and never will, because that is the type of person that he is. I didn’t know him well then, but I’ve come to over the years since and now know that was not personal…BUT I DIDN’T FEEL THAT WAY THEN!!
But it wasn’t personal, and I’ve had to learn how to detach myself from 1 – people who need to put others down to make themselves feel better 2 – the idea that anything has anything to do with me. This is still hard for me to not feel that is personal, or my fault that someone does or says something rude and not be hurt by it.
Recently, I was at a rock concert coming out of the bathroom and a woman stopped me and asked if my hair was natural. I told her yes, laughing in my head thinking is she serious but I guess there is the new fad of dyeing your hair grey (which I do not get btw!)
She said, your hair is beautiful…I was unexpectedly surprised!
This world is not built for us to age naturally in, in fact big multi-billion dollar companies are built on defying the aging process. Making us all feel “ugly” if we don’t jump on that bandwagon (and it is a bandwagon people)
As I age, as I overcome more life events and health issues, it’s become easier for me to just not give a shit.
I don’t wear makeup, not because I disagree with it, but I don’t feel it’s worth my energy OR money. Same for dying my hair, it’s not worth my money or energy when there are so many more important things to think about.
Things like my mental and physical health, it requires a large amount of my energy to still not keep up with those things. To do the things my body requires to feel good, to stay alive. I need to focus on the inside, and not the outside.
When I focused on the outside, I felt much more anxiety around my looks and physical appearance. It’s almost a relief to not give a shit, and go to the store with my messy bun and sweatshirt.
Yes it almost guarantees I will run into someone I know, but I’m more relaxed not having to make sure I’m showered, hair done, make up etc before I can even leave the house to go to the store.
There will always be someone waiting to criticize you in some way, those are not your people. Surrounding yourself with people who love you as you are is beyond important, and helps you feel at home in your own skin…no matter what your hair, makeup, or clothing looks like.
And screw the rest!