I was just skimming through some emails and posts on Facebook and came across one that I found interesting (and heartening). A friend had discovered her first strands of grey hair. Proudly, she owned them and was determined not to immediately run to a hairdresser in search of a cover up.
I was in my mid-twenties when I first noticed the odd grey hair creeping into my otherwise dark brown hair. I wasn’t too worried. My mum had ‘salt and pepper’ hair and she wasn’t that old. My grandmother had grey hair; she was an independent, go-for-it kinda woman who rode motorcycles and wore trousers during WWII. She was cool. I wanted to be just like her. For me, grey did not equate to old, it equated to wisdom, no-nonsense and not caring what others thought of someone.
As I got older, the grey mulitplied but not at any great speed. There was only a slight amount of salt in the pepper. My husband, on the other hand, has greyed much quicker and now has a sort of silverness to his coiffure. It didn’t really bother him until he found the odd grey in his beard. I didn’t mind as now he has the whole Gandalf-the-yummy thing happening. He is still him. He is still my love. The colour of his hair did not change anything at all.
In the past couple of years I have noticed a very satisfying thing. Most of my grey hair is concentrated around the face and, in particular, a streak at the front. It is a most pleasant white colour. I had always hoped I would get a grey streak – a Rogue-ish type mark. I bided my time until it was long enough to let loose on the world.
I like my long hair. Even as a child, I envisioned myself as an old granny (well more of a nonna possibly) with long grey plaits. None of this recent trend of ‘cutting the locks short when you reach 40 as it is more mature‘- shit for me. Oh no! I wear my long hair with pride.
When I get bored, I get my hair coloured instead of cut. I have red (that look more purplish some say) streaks. For some time, I have made the hairdresser leave the grey streak in - ’cause I can! I recolour when I feel like it, not everytime an errant grey pops up or when the roots are showing. Why should I conform to the Youth Cult that Society seems to want to force me to follow. I am happy in my skin (ah plastic surgery – a whole other blog post!).
I am proud to have lived life; I have survived many trials and situations that I hope others will never find themselves in. I have learnt a lot. My grandmother used to say things like ‘It is good for your soul’ and ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.
My advice to my friend was to wear her grey hair as a badge of honour! It is a sign that we have been through stuff! We should wear it proudly! It is not we that should conform to Society’s narrow restrictions, it is the rest of society that can’t handle it!
But she knew that already.
But she knew that already.
The Colour Grey.