Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is Going Gray "Greener"?

This is not me---->

This was my second attempt to go gray, and it's going very well. I'm starting to look more blond (like when I was a child) and find that my hair is softer now. It wasn't easy to make the change at first, and it involved a change of hair stylists. The first stylist, who I had been with for several years, seemed to have a really hard time with the idea of me going gray and she also kept cutting my hair and styling it as though it were straight and silky (like hers). I finally changed stylists to one that was on an opposite schedule at the same salon and who liked the idea of pulling highlights through my hair to let the gray grow in gracefully.

My sister has decided to go gray, too. We both have some medical issues that make us sensitive to chemicals. (Early this year I had the worst all over body itch that came on within a week of dyeing my hair at home. It lasted for over a month!) She has cut her hair very short, so she has kind of a Jamie Lee Curtis thing going. It made me wonder, are we actually going green by going gray?

And then I read an interesting "reader-to-reader" letter in this month's issue of Body + Soul magazine. Rheama Koonce of Berryville, VA, says that she decided to go gray after realizing that she was "paying extra for organic food and home products" and then slathering "chemicals on [her] head to pretend to something [she's] not." Tired of "the upkeep and the expense--and even the hypocrisy," she decided to lop off her hair down to the gray roots, donating her former hair to Locks of Love. What a great idea! Of course, mine wasn't long enough to cut off and donate when I started going gray.

I felt self-conscious at first when going gray. I felt as though everyone was staring at my hair. But does it make sense that when I'm shopping at the local co-op, picking and choosing my (hopefully local) organic produce, locally-raised/grass-fed meat, that I should be walking around with chemically altered hair. I guess you can say that if we choose not to douse ourselves in chemicals, as we choose not to douse our foods in chemicals, that we are going greener. It's actually stylish, if you think about it.

So if you see me strutting my graying self through the organic produce aisle, give me a nod or a high five, tilt your head forward so I can see your graying roots, and thumb your nose at the $100+ color jobs at your local salon. Put that money into something you'd enjoy more, like a massage and a facial. Or maybe a dinner and movie for the family. Whatever you do, find new ways not to harm the planet or yourself. You never know. You might create a new trend!

Peace - D


dot said...

My hair is gray and I used to color it but it was too much trouble. I hope you like your gray hair.
I'm sending you an invitation to the B@W blog. I'm sorry it has taken so long but my computer has been down.

Jay said...

Ah, no, no ... I'm keeping my colour for a while longer yet! I love being a redhead, and I want to wait until the grey is properly grey and not a dirty mix before i stop!

You're right though, grey is the new green!

MamaGeek said...

I feel ya. GREY IS the new green. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. :)

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Oh momma...what can I say...yes, I have toyed with the idea of going gray......but as soon as the greys come in, I start to look at least ten years older...and vanity wins out...

But I have given serious thought to just how long I am going to stay on the dye-go-round....and I am thinking that by my late fifties, I will have just *had* it, and earned the right to be exactly what I am....however, this may change as that date approaches...

I do applaud you for going au naturel...it takes a lot of guts to do in this youth-obsessed society....

Daryl said...

Having been SILVER since my mid-20s I have to say good for you! BUT stop calling it gray .. gray is for old farts .. silver is for us in our youthage (to steal a word from Leslie over at http://leslieinvancan.blogspot.com/

And a tip for all who would like to go silver ... color your hair a light blonde shade and then let it grow out .. no roots .. no fuss


leslie said...

My hair used to be quite dark brown but I've been going lighter and lighter over the past few years. Hopefully, it'll just gradually turn into a lovely silver - like Daryl's. But in the meantime, I just don't like the look of those roots that are grey and brown. I've been getting an itch on my head after getting it "done" and have to shampoo again the next morning (or even the same night). So my hairdresser is going to try something different next time. I sure hope it works, cuz my vanity is just too strong still. *sigh*

Momma said...

Dot - Thanks! I'll dig up a couple of photos and send them along for your site. Thanks for the visit!

Jay - Yeah, I do miss my striking red hair, but I don't miss the itch that hit me last time I did the color.

Mamageek - I hope it is! Maybe we're trendsetters?

Lavinia - I wish I could say that I did this for some greater good, but honestly the thought of that blasted itch coming back scares the Bejeezus out of me!

Daryl - Silver it is! And you are the leader of the great silver movement!

Leslie - Well, darlin', if the itch continues, you can join our great Silver movement! There are many ways to do it without the stark roots.

Peace - D

Anonymous said...

Oh, I tried so hard to do this and totally applaud your choice. I started finding grays at age 23 and was about half gray (okay, white!) by age 38 while at the same time people were always saying I look much younger. Stupid contradicting hair, messing with my youthful look. ;o) So I caved and started using real henna as my compromise because the chemicals scare the crap out of me. So there ya go. For anyone who needs an alternative that's also green. Pure body art quality henna (google the info and don't get some junk in a box). Can be done by yourself at home and it's not costly. You have to want to be a redhead though, because henna only creates some form of red. Wait, you can also use indigo with it and create brown or black. Yeah, there's still the hassle with roots but atleast it's not poison. :o)

Not Afraid to Use It said...

HA!! I love your "This is not me" disclaimer! LOL Too funny!

Momma said...

Anon - Thanks for stopping by. Henna is a good alternative, but I've decided to be au naturel. It's not so bad!

NATUI - Yeah, I thought you'd like that ;-)

Peace - D