I had a hair appointment scheduled for the week the U.S. went into lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic. I didn’t think much of it at the time; I figured I would just let it go for a little while and see what happened. My experiment lasted 11 months.
I had just turned 41 and I had a decent amount of grey poking through my naturally dark hair. My roots weren’t quite a skunk strip, but they were definitely there. The longer it grew, the more noticeable it was. I had been coloring my hair for 25 years at that point and had no idea what my natural color was. My inability to get a hair appointment and my fascination with seeing my real hair color was complimenting one another nicely. I continued to let it go.
I would notice those little silver streaks shining as I passed myself in the mirror. They were striking. I liked them. As the months passed and things began to open up more and more, my stylist contacted me to see if I was ready to come in. I jumped at the opportunity and sat down for a big chop-bob to pixie. All of my previously colored hair was gone and my head was adorned with virgin hair that had a pretty decent amount of grey peeking through. It was so liberating to not have to be tied to a schedule of color every four to six weeks. I didn’t have to continue to buy the expensive color-enhancing shampoos and wash my hair in cold water to keep my red vibrant.
For months, I killed it in my natural hair color, grey and all. I loved the way that it looked. As I ventured outside more and more, I saw many women my age who were rocking the same vibe. We may have been forced into the transition, but we were happy and feeling free.
I found myself being more daring with makeup and clothing, too. My clothes had bolder prints and hues. I was feeling myself. I loved the confidence that I had developed. I found someone inside of me that I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was refreshing to see her face.
For months, I felt that burst of self confidence, but then I started to just feel blah. I was used to coloring my hair vibrant hues with stark highlights. I had been a red head for years and I was getting the itch to go back. As the winter turned to spring and new life was popping up around me, I couldn’t control my urge. I found myself back in the chair, but this time, it wasn’t just for a trim.
Two short hours after entering the salon with my salt and pepper strands, I walked out with a fiery do that really is me. Friends seemed almost relieved that I was back to my old self. It was as if they expected my experiment to fail. I guess no one was quite ready for me to be au natural.
Was it fun to be low maintenance? Yes. Did I feel beautiful? Yes, I truly did. But deep down I just wasn’t ready. Grey hair for me was a phase. It was similar to when I was a blonde a few years ago. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s not me.
That’s the beautiful thing about hair color; you can be whoever you want to be. And the best part is, you can change it any time that you want to. If you want to rock those silver hairs, live your best life. After trying it out, I realized I’m just not there yet.
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