Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Is Going Gray "Greener"?
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