The Gallery: Me, Right Now.
Thanks to The Gallery theme this week, it’s time to bite the bullet and get in front of the camera for a change.
This is me, camera at arms length, first thing in the morning. Glasses on as I’m on the computer, no make up because I don’t wear it and OMG, look at my roots. Can you see how much grey is coming through?
Actually, that particular state of affairs is only going to get worse. Because I’ve given up dyeing my hair.
I can hear jaws dropping all over the Internet. What? Why would you do that, I hear you ask! Don’t I know grey hair makes people look….old?
Yes. Yes, I am aware of that.
But I’m 42. I’m sorry to point this out, but this is middle age. I know some people will disagree vehemently but most definitions of that time of life include the years from 40 to 60. I, too, have been in denial for the last couple of years but this year I’m acknowledging it and I do feel much better for just embracing the fact. As humans, we are lucky that we have a state of middle age to enjoy. Other species are either young, reproductively useful or dead.
Along with advancing years come a few grey hairs. But most women deny these exist, and disguise them with dye, especially if we are are naturally dark haired. At first it’s not too bad but eventually there are reinforcements and soon we *need* to visit the hairdresser every 6 weeks or so.
I was forever looking in the mirror, checking for roots. And I’m not generally that worried about my appearance; I can only imagine what level of anxiety grey hairs induce in someone who is.
I don’t like the thought of *having* to have something done. I’m a bit of a rebel like that. So I’ve been playing with the idea of not dyeing for a while. There seems to be a increasing movement against it, so there is a lot of information about ‘going grey’ out there. But when I’ve spoken to my friends about it, the general reaction seems to be one of horror. It’s really interesting about how against the idea most people are.
There are more reasons against dye, than for. Both health and environmental reasons not to dye exist. There is a small cancer risk and a greater chance of allergic reactions. Respiratory disorders can also be caused and worsened by hair dyes. Dyes are full of toxic chemicals and I didn’t feel great about washing these into the water system and dyes are test them on animals, something else I’m against.
A visit to the GP was the final straw for me. I have psoriasis, and it’s been getting worse on my scalp. His response was ‘stop dyeing your hair’. I was initially incensed and thought it was typical advice from a man, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt the time was right to stop.
So this is me right now, with two inch long grey roots. Next month they will be 3 inches long, the month after they will be 4 inches. I’m going to keep my hair short for now, so will have the dyed bits trimmed off as it grows. I think in 6 months time I’ll have a fair idea what my *real* hair colour is going to be like.
I also like the idea of showing my girls that they don’t have to be afraid of going grey. My eldest was horrified at first but is now fascinated by it. She had no idea that this is what hair is supposed to look like when you are 40+.
Will it make me look older? I don’t know, so will have to wait and see. Maybe it will but so what? I’m 42, I’m no longer young.
And I’m willing to blog about it if everyone isn’t too traumatised by the idea, and is interested in seeing how it all turns out.
This blog post is part of this weeks Gallery theme of Me Right Now. If you want to see what other bloggers are up to, click here.