i was in my early twenties when i got my first grey hairs. for a while they were countable on one hand, then they were quickly multiplying and i started my on and off affair with dye. when the grey showed it made me look tired (or maybe it highlighted pre-existing tiredness) so i would pick up a supermarket colour and haphazardly colour my hair. i started with dark brown and over about ten years i stepped down the colour scale.
sometimes i chose the brand that was on special, sometimes i thought the ones with no ammonia would be less damaging, once i bought the brand with the free make-up purse. my attitude to brands and colours was casual and my attitude to the process was ambivalent.
i would toy with the idea of going grey but it didnt seem right, it was too early and the kids didnt want me to appear any more eccentric than i already was so i continued with it but i didnt like it. i didnt like the multitude of little plastic containers, i didnt like using chemicals, i didnt like the regrowth and i didnt like being obliged to fix the regrowth.
a couple of years back i started getting it salon coloured, that made it a whole lot easier but it required me to spend hours in the salon, not to mention the money it costs.
this year i didnt want to spend the time or the money and my grey roots got longer and longer. there would be a time, i thought, when i would look in the mirror and find it unbearable but that time never happened, i started to toy with the idea of going au naturale, the grey around the edges seemed soft rather than tired, the coloured section seemed almost garish so i went and got some foils, teeny fine foils of blonde and hazelnut, they blend the roots with the growing out colour but the grey is still there. the hairdresser was not happy, she naturally wanted to send me out into the world looking coiffed and perfect.
i wanted something that reflected the reality of my attitude, my age and my looks. i wanted to acknowledge that i am not a perfectly coiffed kind of person, neither am i anymore a dark haired, pale skinned beauty. i was also taken with the biblical statement that silver hair is a glorious crown (proverbs 16:31) so for the moment i am going grey, whether i will stay committed to it i dont know, one day i might hate it and go goth black or soccer mum foiled chocolate but right now it feels right. it looks soft and natural, it is who i am more than who i used to be, it matches my stretched stomach and my wobbly legs, it matches my crepey eyes, what i hope it matches the most is the woman i have become, a little softer and a little wiser than the pale skinned, dark haired girl of old.