Hair-Do Or Dye:Embracing Change And Putting Down The Bottle

When I was young, I changed my hairstyle and colour almost as often as I changed my underwear. I never really gave it a second thought. I wanted a change, out came the scissors or dye bottle. Even if I didn’t like it, I liked it. Because it was different.

It has been a good twenty years now since I have changed my hair, in any way, shape or form. It’s not like I haven’t wanted to, but the process seemed to take on a life of its own. Look at thousands of pictures, ask everyone’s opinion, make appointments, then chicken out. Please, I thought, don’t turn out to be one of those women that still wears their hair and makeup like they did in their twenties. For me, that would have been the eighties. I’ve seen the pictures. What the heck were we all thinking?

Why, when I talk a lot about change on this blog, was this so difficult for me to do. Especially when the decision was not a permanent one. Hair grows back. I’m not stuck with it forever. And geez, how superficial am I that I peg so much of my identity, of my femininity, the way others perceive me on something so frivolous as my hair and outward appearance.

And so, this past week, after all my obsessing, researching and contemplating, I did it. I chopped my hair all off. As well, I am letting the grey flourish. I did not dye my hair, even though at the ends, it is fifty shades of shit. The stylist assures me that with the next trim, that should be gone. I imagine that time will tell if I pick up the bottle again but so far I am steadfast in embracing nature and the course it has set.

Honestly, it’s only been a few days, but how liberating this experience has been. I am so proud that I did it. I almost see this low maintenance experience as a form of minimalism for myself. No more fuss. I can now focus of the next challenge.

The funny thing is the reaction from others. Suggestions were made that I take this process in steps, buy wigs to try out styles, try lighter shades of colour. And when I posted a pic of my transformation, I was touted as brave. Brave!

When all is said and done, is this about cutting my hair? Letting my hair go grey? No. It IS much bigger than that. It’s about changing the things I can, and accepting the things I can’t.

Everyone wants to change things in their life. Sometimes we feel stuck, mired in over-thinking. Sometimes you just need to do it. And as silly as it seems, cutting my hair feels like a first step.

So here I am, facing midlife with a new enthusiasm. If I want change, I am the one the needs to make it happen. And I’m going to do it, one hair at a time.

Drastically changing your hair can seem like a momentous decision. This is my transition story, from long and brown to short and grey. This is only the beginning.
Elena Peters

The following are a list of products (affiliate links) that I use on my gray hair. It needs special care to make sure it doesn’t go brassy or really coarse and frizzy.

Recommended Products:
Pantene Pro-V Silver Expressions Shampoo 13 oz
Pantene Pro-V Silver Expressions Daily Color Enhancing Conditioner for All Silver and Gray Shades, 13.5 fl oz (400 ml)
One n Only Shiny Silver Ultra Shine Spray 4 Fl Oz
Heavenly Hair Coconut Oil Hair Serum – Chemist formula heals, protects and returns your shine!
Marc Anthony True Professional Bye Bye Frizz Keratin Smoothing Blow Dry Cream Cream, 4.7 fl. oz

Drastically changing your hair can seem like a momentous decision. This is my transition story, from long and brown to short and grey. This is only the beginning.
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29 thoughts on “Hair-Do Or Dye:Embracing Change And Putting Down The Bottle

  1. You look beautiful and happy.

    I personally love shorter hair and when I was growing out my hair for two years (for charity), I was miserable. I felt so free this past June when I finally got a haircut.

    As far as gray hair goes, I’ve been going gray since I was in my early 20s. So even though I am only 34, I have quite a bit of gray and only recently I started dying it, but with henna, so I can change my mind any time I want.

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    1. Thank you so much Ula! I absolutely love it and it is so easy to do now and almost always looks perfect, even in a wind storm! lol I’m liking the gray and some people even think that I highlighted my hair, which is great.

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  2. I too gave up the bottle nearly two years ago partly for financial reasons and my grey and natural brunette hair have been happily co-habitating since then. I didn’t find it as big a mental shift as some or even as much as I thought it would be. I’ve even had quite a few compliments about my salt & pepper look. It feels more me than when I dyed. It makes me sad when I read/hear women coming out with phrases such as they worry their job might be a risk or that they’ll be viewed as over the hill.

    Women more than ever had the voice, money, position to say let’s stop equating grey with being old. Let’s stop perpetuating this myth. There are some great bloggers out there who have written about going grey such as Kristin at Highland Fashionista and recently Glenda at So What to Twenty.

    Of course, if women do want to dye their hair, more power to them but do it because it’s a personal choice and not a pressure (real or otherwise) from society at large.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing. I think it sucks that women feel that pressure whereas men do not. I feel it is something we most certainly contribute to and as you said, we should celebrate individual choices.

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  3. First of all, your hair looks fantastic. It’s not brave. It’s just plain gorgeous, as are you. As someone who is also mid-life, I do love colouring and styling my hair. I will not stop until I’m too senile to mix the hair colour, and even then, I’ll probably end up lime green, but so be it. I embrace change, and for me I think it has more to do with the fact that it’s something I can control in a world where I have so little. But I’m a firm believe in “whatever keeps you sane,” and if letting your hair do as it will is something you want to do, well, awesome! Plus I have a sneaking suspicion you would pull any hair style or colour off.

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  4. It looks fantastic! I’ve contemplated going natural, but still am not there yet. I still have a lot of fun changing my hair. Every six months I need to do something new–cut it short, let it grow, go blonde, go brown, have highlights, cut it again, etc. Even if I let the gray grow out, I’d soon get bored with it. My hair is the only accessory I truly wear everyday.

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  5. You look pretty and so energized. I went gray in my early twenties. I colored for the next twenty. I went natural when I turned 40. I am 50 now. It really makes me happy not to have to maintain color and I get a lot of positive comments. I don’t work anymore so I don’t care now but I did second guess my decision while job hunting five years ago. Again, you look great!

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  6. That’s gray? You look great!
    My hair is coarse, frizzy, curly and straight all in one. If I went gray I would have to spend more time on it so while I love it for everyone else, I’m lazy…

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  7. Beautiful picture, I love the cut! Going grey is brave because youth is preferred over age. The day I go grey will be the day my job tries to get rid of me, so I dye and style and know that someday, I’ll have the option to go short and grey too!

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  8. OMG! This is me!!! I started going au naturel a few months ago. Like you, I started with a good cut though I haven’t been brave enough to go as short as you. I started going lighter before I began to embrace my greyness so now I am a mix of blonde/grey which is a little odd for a “WOC” (live this acronym!!). As you say, the thing that has surprised me the most is other people’s reaction though whether they are just being polite or they genuinely do “love” my hair I have no idea & frankly, it’s not really my major concern right now! I have to say, I am sooooo much more grey than you though! You look fab!

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    1. The grey really didn’t show up in this pic because I didn’t use the flash. But believe me it is there. And honestly, I am with you. I don’t really care if people like it or not. It is much better than dealing with roots that show up almost a week later.

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  9. That’s great! I snorted out loud at the fifty shades of shit. And the cut looks great on you! This aging thing ain’t easy, and I hope I can do it with as much grace as my mother did. I am currently sporting the soccer mom stacked bob (pun intended), but will gradually morph into the same cut my aunts have which is uber short, no blow dryer needed.

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