Is it strange that I’m excited about writing my second blog on going gray? Probably. But I’ve been thinking about the subject all month. Of course, now that I’m here I won’t be able to remember anything I’ve been thinking, but such is life (and old age). What I do remember is that for some strange reason the song Old Gray Mare (She Ain’t What She Used to Be) keeps going through my head.
Throughout this past month, I have vacillated between being super excited about transitioning to gray and being worried that it’s going to age me big time. I don’t want to look old. But then I tell myself that maybe after the initial aging effect, I’ll get the Steve Martin effect, where I’ll look the same age for the next 30 years.
Note: One advantage to aging: Your delusions are easier to maintain.
Since I started this journey I’ve been looking more closely at the greater world around me and have noticed how many men have gray hair, and how few women do. Do women care more about being gray? Of course we do, because we’re more likely to get judged for it. If we go gray, we’re letting ourselves go. If we dye, we aren’t being authentic. We can’t win. But maybe we can change that way of thinking. When my mom wanted to stop dying her hair, I was all like, it will age you! But then I had to ask myself, Why do you give a crap, Kristina? She doesn’t care about that stuff, and it’s her hair. She can do what she wants with it. And she did, and she looks great.
Time to retire my inner Judgey McJudgerson.
In reality, going gray probably does age a person, at least a little bit. I know that when I see someone with gray hair, I automatically place them in the ‘older’ category. It’s what we humans do. We categorize. But now that I’m going through this process myself, I’m starting to look at things a little differently. Letting yourself go gray in a world that isn’t exactly supportive of the idea seems more like a ‘bold’ thing to do. And these days there are so many more ways to wear your gray hair. It doesn’t have to be short – it’s a fallacy that older women can’t wear their hair long. Of course you can. Who makes this stuff up anyway?! Just choose to do it, and the haters be damned. And if your cut is short, it can still be fun and funky, as opposed to Golden Girl Sophia’s old lady wig effect (unless that’s the look you’re going for).
So I’m going to continue to try this gray hair thing on for size, and if it don’t fit, I will quit. But if it does, this gray mare is going to be better than she used to be. Yeehaw!
**Technically I’m on month two, since the last time I dyed my hair was 2 months ago, but it’s only been one month since I made the decision to transition.