Guess what? I am growing out my premature grey hair and going back to what my ‘natural’ is.
I posted on my personal Instagram this recent decision I had made about my personal appearance a few days back and it occurred to me that it might make a fun little project to document here on the blog and on my blog Instagram.
The last time I coloured my hair was in early December 2016. After nearly 2 decades of colouring my hair one way or another, I have finally decided that it’s time to go completely natural.
Ok, as I was writing this I seem to recall maybe I had mostly natural hair at my wedding in 2000. It’s kind of hard to tell in pictures what the ends might have been like but definitely natural at the root. However, my hair was bleached blonde in the years previous, and coloured all sorts of colours and shades afterwards until now.
But why? Why go grey? Hmmm, good question. It was something I had considered in early 2016 actually. I even made the decision to stop colouring my hair dark and went to a salon to have my stylist ease me into a lighter shade, with highlights, to help blend the greys. The ultimate goal was to allow the grey to grow in gracefully. However, what ended up happening is I just ended up getting my hair coloured and highlighted at quite an expense every 6-weeks and I was no closer to letting my greys come thru than I was when I was colouring it dark. I gave up, mostly because the cost and time commitment and went back to doing my colour at home. I had missed the dark hair. I like my hair being dark. But when it’s this dark, and my hair grow as fast as it does I was needing to colour it every 4-5 weeks. And because my hair is so coarse it takes a lot longer to process the colour, leaving my scalp wrecked for weeks after each dye job. My poor peeling scalp would make my dark hair look like I had a bad case of dandruff. It was unbecoming, and literally a pain.
Last November I noticed a small lump on my scalp. I assumed it was a pimple or an ingrown hair that would go away on its own. It didn’t. It got worse and the strong creams the doctor prescribed didn’t make it better. I ended up having the lump removed at the end of January after months of bleeding and pain. (The lump turned out to be nothing serious, thankfully.) The doctor suggested that I avoid colouring my hair for about 8 weeks afterward, as the area would be very sensitive and chemicals could be irritating to the newly healed skin. By that point, my hair had already been growing out for 6-8 weeks. I would have a giant ‘skunk line’ no matter what, so what better time to go ahead and commit wholly.
I want to share pictures of what I used to do to my hair in the years past but most of those pictures are old school, in actual photo albums. Those photo albums are in a storage unit right now, awaiting our coming move into the new house. Maybe I’ll do a special Throwback Thursday post once we’ve moved in an unpacked all the albums, with all the embarrassing pictures in one place.
I will be sharing pictures of my transition to grey hair on Instagram. The hashtag I’ve chosen is #megsgrowsgrey and I’ll be posting on my personal Instagram as well as the public blog Instagram @thesethingsblog. (Sorry to my friends who follow me on both, you might get sick of the double-take.)
There are a few immediate thoughts when it comes to sharing this journey with the world:
My selfie skills suck. I guess I’ll get lots of practice at taking awkwardly angled selfies so you can see my regrowth.
Who really cares if I’m going to grow out my premature grey? I think people will want to see what a mid-30’s curly-haired woman does with premature grey hair. I know I did, and I scoured Pinterest and Google Image Search to find examples to embolden me to go for it myself. A shocking number of grey curly haired women pictured are in their 50’s and older. I may have spotted captioning on one picture indicating that grey hair was for ‘mature women’. Sigh. I did find a couple inspiring photos of younger women who either ditched the colour or chose to never colour their hair. For inspiration I have created a Pinterest board for all things grey haired called Grey Goddess.
This is going to motivate me to do more fun things with my hair, I think. I’m not sure what I’ll do once my hair gets unbearably grown-out looking. Likely, I’ll have to brave chopping it off in a cute short cut. I actually pinned some cute curly hair cuts on my other Pinterest board for Finishing Touches. A decision to chop my hair off, 5 years ago, would have caused severe anxiety. (I’m talking actual, legit anxiety people.) I am finding this time around, the idea of chopping off my hair isn’t as panic-inducing. It’s kind of exciting, actually.
Is it ‘grey’ or ‘gray’? Auto-correct is telling me it’s grey. I won’t judge you if you spell it the other way though.
Have you ditched the colour and going au natural? How old were you when you began going grey? I’d love to hear about your experience and journey, and any tips you might have about what to do with this regrowth when it gets unbearable!