To color or not to color

I have decided to grow out my gray hair, at least for a while. There are a million reasons why I am trying this, but for starters, coloring my hair makes me feel a little like a hypocrite. All over the internet you can read about the perils of black hair dye, and yet, that's what I use, despite my penchant for living naturally, and preaching about chemicals in beauty products. I rationalize this by saying that I am doing what I can, that some things may not be negotiable. And yet I color my hair without really knowing whether I would like the gray that I have. Honestly, I don't even know how much gray I have because I started coloring the minute it showed up. At the very least, I tell myself, I should see just how much gray is in my hair.

I also want to grow out my gray because a woman should not have to feel that she must have no gray roots. Men have gray hair all the time and look fantastic with it. Women can look fantastic too, if we let ourselves believe it. I am tired of feeling compelled to try to look younger. I am 52 and nothing can change that. I also don't have a problem with my age.We are a society obsessed with youth, so much so that we are willing to risk our health and sanity to achieve it. And who says dyed hair is more beautiful than gray hair? As my hair has become more gray, the dye jobs that I have done have become more visually obvious, at least to me. I look in the mirror and see very artificial looking hair, and I don't find it pretty. Yet I believe that this is prettier than the alternative of gray, because society tells me this. But I really don't know if this is true or not unless I see my natural hair for what it is. There are a lot of factors that can make a woman attractive, such as maintaining a healthy weight and keeping active. My hair is only one small part of my appearance.

I can't tell you how many women have told me that I was "brave" to grow out my gray. I know they are trying to pay me a compliment, but gray hair in a woman does not make her brave. There are many things that I have done in my life that might qualify for bravery, but growing out my hair is not one of them. What does it take for a man to be brave? Speaking out against injustice? Risking personal comfort or safety for the well-being of others? And all I have to do is forego my L'oreal?

Right now I feel strongly about growing out my hair, but who knows how I will feel in a couple of months when the top half of my head is white and the bottom is black. I may not be that "brave" then. But I do want to give it a try and I hope that this blog will help me to stay focused on my reasons and not give in to the status quo. Here is a photo of me, hair dyed a lovely shade of Soft Black. I will keep you posted.



» Tagged: black, dye, gray, hair, women
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Gray hair

Greetings! Good article, and I understand how you feel conflicted about dyeing versus natural. I am probably 90% gray and still, at age 63, I am not ready to go gray. I have been using henna for about a year and I love the results; I do use a mix of henna and indigo to achieve the color I want. is a great place to start if anyone wants to give up using chemical dyes but still continue to cover their gray. Good luck with your journey.

Thank you for the advice.I

Thank you for the advice.I know how you feel. Sometimes I get up in the morning and can't believe how old I look. But by afternoon usually feel better. I've been looking into henna but I had read that if you have EVER colored your hair, then you can't use henna. Since most of my head is still colored from before, I thought I wasn't a candidate. If this isn't the case, I'd love to hear that. Thanks for the good wishes and thanks for sharing your story. All the best!

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