Thursday, May 28, 2009

Embracing the Gray: An update on the quest for my organic self



This is my hair. And my eye. Peaking through my too-long bangs. Can you see it?


I thought it was time to do a little update on the
Quest for my Organic Self or What Color is My Hair?

I have not spent any money or used any chemicals on my hair since I embarked on this quest. And I think you can tell. I love progress, don't you?


The last time I dyed my hair was in January. It was almost black.
Very dark brown. Now, 5 months later, it looks like this:


How many colors do you see?
I see at least 3.
And a clear grow-out line.
I’m still not quite sure what my natural color is yet-
(dirty blonde??)
-but I’m getting closer.
And finding a lot of gray along the way.
Would you just look at that streak of gray!
I have a lot around the temples too.
I don't mind the color so much as the coarse texture.



This 'quest' began on March 24th. I should have taken a 'before' picture. I didn't. But I did write about it in a post here. It began as an opportunity as I wrote:

Yes, this is an opportunity. To let go. To confront all of my "looking good" issues. To see myself au nautural after years of being chemically enhanced (so dramatic, I know.) It's an opportunity to let my hair rest. I'm letting it go. Through all kinds of crazy striped color weird and potentially extremely ugly awkwardness.

I'll be honest. I'm a little afraid. I'm afraid I'll look ugly. That people will point and stare. That I'll have way more gray than I can possibly handle. That I'll look old, haggard and unkempt.

So why am I doing this? To embrace my fear. To strip me down to my organic self. To save money. To make a small personal sacrifice for the benefit of our household. To just see. See what? I don't know... what I really look like, what comes up for me. I'm just gonna see.



How do I feel about it now? Well, it is what it is. I’m definitely saving money and that feels good. I'm allowing my hair to 'rest.' I’m letting go of looking good. It’s kind of fun, actually. It’s more of a fascination. Each day more gray…. The "crazy striped color weird ugly awkwardness" is kind of fascinating. My response is, “Wow! Look at that!” instead of: “Oh no! Damn! Help!”

One day a couple of weeks ago while Bob and I were eating lunch together, he just looked at me and said, “I like your gray hair coming through.”

And I said, “What? Really?!”

And he said, “Yeah. It’s pretty. It’s you.”

I just kissed him. What more could I do?

When you strip everything away and are just left with you... nothing added, no house, no material possessions, no money, no make-up, no chemically treated hair, no fancy clothes and expensive lingerie... will you still be loved?

That’s the question and the fear, right?

If the answer is yes, you know you chose the 'right' partner. If it's no, well, to quote Liz Lemon from NBC's '30 Rock': "That's a deal breaker, ladies!" But that's just an opinion.

And I do believe more than anything that it has to first come from you. From within. Right? Everything else is gravy.

Wow, I just made what was supposed to be a lighthearted post, dramatic.
I guess I can't help it.

What do you think?
Did any readers join me in this quest? If so, please share your progress.
If not, anyone want to start now?

6 Comments:

Jessica said...

Funny, I'm with you and I didn't even know it! The last time I got my hair highlighted I felt so guilty about wasting the money that I pretty much hated the way it looked. Hum, when was that? January I think. So I've been working on growing out the processed color. I like that you are making me think about it as a much deeper, more meaningful experience. ;)

I have been back reading--I'm up to the middle of April. I'm sure I'll catch up soon. You have a very entertaining blog.

Holly said...

Even though I haven't fully ventured aboard the "let my hair do its own, natural thing" bandwagon, I can completely relate to where you're coming from. When my boyfriend lost his job in December and it was just me bringing home the paycheck, all that fancy hair salon stuff was the first thing to go. Each month, as I hole myself up in the bathroom with a DIY root touch-up kit, I keep wondering when I'll get the courage to let my hair just do it's natural thing. There is *a lot* of grey up top--and at age 35, I'm just not ready to share that truth with the world.

Fabulous concept for a blog, btw. Props to Jami for mentioning it on Facebook.

Love in the Time of Foreclosure said...

I feel like no one told me that it's possible to go gray in your 30s. It's like a secret. I'm 33 and have way more than I expected. I feel like it happened over night. Like Laura Palmer's dad in Twin Peaks...
Freaky

bejaypea said...

No matter how many times my wife suggests "Just for Men" I'm letting my hair go one little gray at a time. And I don't really care. Yet.

PPJ said...

Just wait until you are my age....Stephie knows.
I have been killing my brain cells with chemicals since I was 13....starting with peroxide on the bangs in the 50's.
I do not know what the real me looks like.
As soon as the (not MY!) gray appears, I am attacking it with dabs of Colorsilk. I'm an expert.
After being the only dyed one in a poetry class with women my age who all looked totally natural I promised myself that I would let it go, stop the poisons and give the gray permission to just grow.
Welllll, after I use the last 2 boxes.
Beleive me, it doesn't get any easier when you are older!
Auntie Marilyn

PPJ said...

Just wait until you are my age....Stephie knows.
I have been killing my brain cells with chemicals since I was 13....starting with peroxide on the bangs in the 50's.
I do not know what the real me looks like.
As soon as the (not MY!) gray appears, I am attacking it with dabs of Colorsilk. I'm an expert.
After being the only dyed one in a poetry class with women my age who all looked totally natural I promised myself that I would let it go, stop the poisons and give the gray permission to just grow.
Welllll, after I use the last 2 boxes.
Beleive me, it doesn't get any easier when you are older!
Auntie Marilyn

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