Going Gray Journal Entry 4: Criticism

Original Date: Feb 27, 2017

I finally went with the pixie hair cut. Unfortunately, I still have dyed ends as the gray hasn’t had a chance to grow out very long. I might do a few more hair cuts, or I might let it be as it is. I am a bit impulsive I haven’t yet decided. Eventually, I would like to grow out my hair long again but I don’t want the two toned dyed and gray look. I would rather go for the all silver mane of hair. Meanwhile, I have taken to wearing a hat or head band most of the time. I guess that is my own insecurities showing through.

Josh told me the other day that he can finally see my gray. I wasn’t sure what he meant, and he clarified that he couldn’t really see the gray before and now he can tell that it is gray. I think this was simply an honest observation. But it did make me realize that at the 8 week mark, I am moving into new territory. It will be much more obvious to others that I am letting those gray hairs grow. Most people in my circles know what I am doing, and they either are in total agreement and encouraging, or they are staying quiet about it. But I realize that there are plenty of folks, mostly other women, who have strong feelings about their own gray hair. I have not yet experienced rude comments and criticism, but from the various gray hair groups that I am in, I see that sometimes other people are not as supportive as my own family and friends. Going gray brings up all kinds of insecurities for ourselves and for some folks around us. The comments others seem to get from their unsupportive loved ones are: “you look unkept and unwell with gray hair” and “your gray hair makes you look so much older,” and “you look like shit.”

How sad that people feel the need to say unsupportive and negative words to people they supposedly care about. To me, this is like going up to a pregnant woman and saying ” geesh, you know that baby you are growing makes you look so awful and fat.” We know that pregnant women gain weight, it is a necessary and healthy transition step. Ditching the dye and going gray can be done in several different ways, but at some point it will be obvious that those gray hairs are coming in and something different is happening. Seeing the “line of demarcation” or those gray hairs coming through, is a necessary and healthy transition step. Ditching the dye is essentially ditching the poisoning of our own bodies and of the earth. This is a healthy step and to me it is one of beauty.

Old is a perspective of the mind. If we feel old, we project old. Guess what? We are all older than we used to be! Getting older is a healthy and necessary transition. “Old” is not about your age or years, gray hair or wrinkles, those are inevitable and you can’t control the years you gain. You do have control over your vitality. You can eat healthy, exercise, practice mindfulness like yoga and meditation, and feel good about yourself. Let’s stop pretending to be what we are not, let’s stop harming each other, the environment, and our own selves to meet some marketing standards, and let’s start being real. Gray hair means being free. It means thinking for yourself, letting go of false standards and superficiality, and embracing what is real and true and good. Nothing is more beautiful than that.