When I turned 40 earlier this year, I decided to stop colouring my grey hair.
While I had originally stated colouring my hair for fun and self-expression, by my mid-thirties I was definitely colouring it to cover the grey. After colouring it for fun for so long, and then finding I wasn't really enjoying it anymore and wishing for my natural colour, I felt daunted by the growing-out process.
But facing the prospect of monthly hair dying for the rest of my life started to seem, well, stupid. I was using hennas, so at least I wasn't dosing myself in toxic chemicals every month, but it was still time, money, and energy that would be better used nurturing my dreams.
(In fact, the less time women spend trying to change their bodies so that they can fit into some kind of ridiculous "standard", the better.? Our society is extremely juvenile when it comes to this and I have no more patience for any of it.)
So, awkward growing-out process be damned, I decided to let my greys grow out.
One month later, when confronted with how brassy and weird my dyed-brown hair was looking as the dye faded, I decided to have fun with my dyed hair while it was growing out.
I bleached out my dyed hair, and then played with various shades of purples and pinks.
This was REALLY GOOD for growing out roots, because my roots would pick up the purples and pinks a little bit, then they'd be more vibrant on the bleached hair, so it seemed less awkward than having the two tone hair.
But after several months of this started to get tired of it, and decided to go super-short to get rid of all of my dyed hair.
And as of last night, there is no more dye in my hair.
I want to make this very clear: THIS IS NOT BRAVE.
I do NOT want to live in a world where it is considered "brave" for a woman to show up as her actual self. That is just so many layers of fucked up I can't even!
Please think about that.
When I told people about what I was doing I heard so much "You are so brave!" and "I would LOVE to do that but I can't because ____".
I get it. It can feel like a big deal.
It changes how other people see you. If you read my blog you already know that what other people think of you is none of your business so while worrying about this is a supreme waste of time AND it's taking much needed energy away from your dreams.
At the same time - how you feel is also valid. So you've got to work through it - otherwise you're letting it control you.
This also forces you to deal with your own biases against and fears about aging. Which is good stuff, since you'll either age or you'll die.
But what it really comes down to is self-acceptance. If you need to change something about yourself in order to feel ok, that's a problem and it's seriously messing with your vibe.
If you think you can't stop colouring your greys, really really think about what it is that you're telling yourself.
Really really think about why you would spend time, money and energy on this particular activity and really really think about what else you could do with that time, money and energy. (I bet your creative dreams could find some fantastic uses for them)
You may also want to think about whether or not you really want people in your life who would judge you for having the hair that you actually have.
I mean, it's just hair. Why is it so important that it be one colour instead of another?
There is nothing wrong with your body doing what your body does.
There is something VERY wrong with a society that wants you to change your body so that you can "fit in" or whatever.
The truth is, the more you can show up as your self, the more POWERFUL you can be in your life.? The less you worry about what other people think the more free you are to soar.
Everything you do to change your body in order to be "acceptable" seriously messes with your energy. You wind up contorted and powerless. This is the kind of stuff that makes your dreams seem impossible, but they're not impossible it's just that you'd have to use your energy and resources differently.
I want to live in a world where we're all free to be our actual, powerful selves. The world we live in is never going to just offer that to us, each one of us has to take it upon ourselves to do it for ourselves.