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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shades Of Gray

By now you know that I am tress fickle. I have had my hair long, very short, blonde, red as well as brown and every shade of both! Then of course I always go back to a shade of black. Then there was an entire two years I skipped coloring and went 100% natural to see that I was salt and pepper with an over all effect of silver before going back to black, then brown, red and back to black all in this past year...almost a year to the very day actually. Well, I have decided to go back to natural. I adore the black, but the upkeep is exhausting, and well pricey as well. I have to color every two weeks and my hair simply can not take it.

You may ask why I started coloring again in the first place. I hit a gray period with my mood. All I saw when I looked in the mirror was shades of gray. The world had lost it's color to me. Even before the gray days of Winter hit, always a bad time for me mood wise, the color had drained out of life. My teeth of course were throbbing and the only food I could eat was oatmeal for the longest time till I found ways to endure the discomfort of eating food with more substance. My skin had become very ashen, I now realize my iron deficient anemia had gotten the worst that it has ever gotten in my whole life and was to blame not only for the ashen skin, but the mood too...or at least it complicated the latter. I also had to deal with the fact that my Fibro pain was in a terrible flair and then to top it all off we became empty nesters. Of course as luck in life, or there lack of it,we were barely keeping a roof over our head or food on the table. You ever see that breakfast sandwich ad for Jimmy Dean and the rainbow that is all gray? That was me. So I did something to bring color back to life. To create change for the better. At least that was the idea!

The first thing I did was get scissor happy. I went from having a wonderful, chic cut to hacking away nearly each week, either on my own or at a cheap salon. I ended up with a crew cut. I had one a few years back and it was quite smashing when a bright coppery auburn. So first to add pigment back I started dying my hair blackish browns, adding in cherry then slowly started adding reds till I reached a shade I liked...or thought I did. But it did not change my gray mood at all. Not to mention the red would fade quickly and with it my mood would do it more so. Then came going back to black, and I began to grow my hair out again. See fickle. I finally figured out that changing my hair was not the answer and just made me more grumpy trying to keep up with it. 

Recently when I was yet again cleaning up after coloring, washing stained towels, scrubbing the tub, then my skin to get all the excess color off, I decided it was the time to stop and give it another go with the going natural. Of course the fears set in, would I age myself rapidly, would my recent ability to keep happiness in my life and push away the gray moods with greater ease, despite all odds then disappear with the hair color? Would I loose the color in my face despite my Summer color? How would I go about it? Cold turkey? Allowing the "skunk stripe" to come about? Add in highlights or tint things with semi permanent color till my gray all grew in? 

I started asking friends who I respect their opinions what they thought. I shared photos from when I was gray before....

Hard to tell with lighting, but hair is nearly 100% S&P here.
Shows up better here....Looks very silver doesn't it?
The cut I should have left alone!

Close up of what I fully expect color to be again by next Summer.

They all said I looked great, chic and beautiful and not old at all in these photos. That perhaps when I thought I was looking that way it was indeed more so my mood that was projecting out and was what I saw in the mirror. I think they might just be right.I also think however it is what the general public often put onto those of us that go gray at an early age. Constantly on every other page of magazines and ads on television we see that we MUST avoid aging, we must avoid having gray hair, there are brave few that embrace their age and the aging process naturally. Brave enough to go against what the world tells us is to be avoided at all costs. 
When I decided to go back to natural, and then to do a blog about it I started doing some research online by just doing some random searches. I found that Oprah Magazine/website had done an entire spread about doing so gracefully. Then I found several web sites that was all about going gray....

HERE and even an entire web site based on a book on the subject

With all this great support, info, tips, and well it seems more and more ladies embracing their natural shades of gray I have taken the leap. Currently I am sporting a small skunk stripe, and I notice I may have a few more shade of white, not all gray in the mix. I am almost excited to see what my hair will look like. I am using this time as well to get my hair healthy. With the anemia my hair is already weak and brittle, and there is a small animal on the shower floor each and every time I shampoo, and hair coloring so often has just worsened the situation. So I am now on a mission between taking iron pills and deep conditioning, letting my hair dry naturally, then shaping it and using heat protectants (is that a word?) when I do blow dry & flat iron and have plans to add a gloss each month as well once I have more shades of my gray showing.

The great thing about doing this now is that it is nearly hat season. You all know I adore hats. I have been buying cloche hats, sweater caps, and any other styles that float my boat and wearing them when I go out and wish to hide the stripe on my head. I figure by the time Winter has passed I will be at a great stage with my hair length as well as the amount of gray/silver/white in my hair to not have to wear them when I choose not to. Other things of course will pop up then. Things such as colors you can not wear as it will make hair look yellowish, needing to change make up colors and how I apply them...but will cross those bridges when I come to them. I shall do my best to keep my mood from falling into the same trap where I find my world colorless as my hair but instead embrace all shades of gray those on my head, my wardrobe and all about me.....shades of gray can be beautiful and vibrant and I am out to prove it!


  1. I love those pics of you in the grey. see very nice and chic!

  2. Love all the photos Ruby honey! Kori xoxo

  3. You are absolutely beautiful & too chic for words!! ❤

  4. My Friend, I love your gray hair. I stopped doing things to my hair a couple of years ago. I am liking my gray very much. I have some other friends that have beautiful gray to.I figure we have earned it and should embrace it like you said.Love Ya Girl Friend!!!

  5. I stopped coloring my hair a few years ago and love my gray. Near the front it's almost white and, I think, grey (nature's way) actually softens lines. Or, I'm deluded. I think you look great and love the pix of the hair you should have left alone. What a great style.


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