Monday, November 4, 2013

14-Month Itch

It’s my 14-month anniversary today and it feels pretty great. Long gone are the days when I worry what someone thinks about my hair. It doesn’t occur to me that anyone could think anything but, “WOW! What a stunning shade of silver you have!!” Is this accurate? Who cares! I love it and I’m not looking back.

And although I no longer worry about the painful skunk stripe period, I DO have impatience to see the final result. It’s an urban legend that you can look at the roots and know your greying pattern or what shade you will be. There are a million shades of grey (not just 50!) and it varies from moonlight to pewter to sterling, etc., etc. So even on the eve of your final graduation cut you have no true idea what your final result will be. 

I have heard this tale time and time again. Because of this I finally stopped trying to guess my outcome (sort of). I’ve seen many sisters on Café Gray and was just as surprised by their final outcome as they were. Some looked lighter, some more of a vanilla, some looked darker. The point is that you won’t know until there’s nothing for that grey to reflect off of. 

As a child I was an anomaly. I never wanted to search for the hidden stash of Christmas presents, I loved the surprise. One morning I came out to the breakfast table and saw a wonderful little Snoopy and Woodstock vanity mirror. I was so excited (and slightly befuddled) as to why I would get a present for no reason. My mom saw me playing with it and immediately got mad because she thought I had snooped around and found it. When we realised she had forgotten to hide it, we were both equally upset: she because she gave me a present before Christmas and I because I had one less surprise. 

You would think I have the same feeling about my hair; that I don’t want to ruin the surprise- you couldn’t be more wrong. I am annoyed that I have no idea what I’m going to look like. I get SUPER annoyed when the ends reflect on my virgin hair and someone mistakes me for blonde or sandy brown. I get annoyed that my bathroom light changes how grey my hair looks from day to night. I get annoyed that I have no real ending date for graduation (will it be 18, 21, or 36 months?). And I am also annoyed that this is one of the few forums I can whine about it because the rest of the world’s priorities are slightly marred and they don’t find my daily hair growth a discussion as fascinating as it is! 

Reality check- yes, this is something that most people don’t see as very interesting or important. But it actually is a very big deal if you’re going grey. You are choosing to delve into so many unknowns. You don’t know how people will react, how many completely inappropriate comments you will get about your hair, whether the silver will suit you, and will you even like the end color? Once you’ve invested this much time you really just want to fall in love with the results. 

This is a tricky stage because I’ve been excited about this from day one. I stood up for myself and my grey, I’ve fought through that awkward skunky stage, and I’ve ventured out and tried all sorts of things to welcome my grey. After all, I’m writing this blog, I’ve changed my makeup and wardrobe, I tried short hair, I updated my outlook to style, I’ve been open and honest and accepting of who I am. And when you’re in a culture that only values youth, there’s a layer of vulnerability that goes right along with that same pride. 

So this is a pretty big deal, and a pretty big stage. It will be several months before I have enough length to trim off more of these ends. But in the interim I can celebrate the milestones I’ve undergone, and they’re quite a few. I may still be impatient to see the results but it will be a very welcome gift when it finally gets here.


  1. Oh how I can relate! And I wish we could get together for a glass of wine and talk about hair, because the people in my life (shockingly) do not find my slow hair growth or transition very interesting either.

  2. How on earth can people function daily without thinking about how much our hair has grown??? You and I really are on the same track because my color stripping and your highlights have put us at the same grow out. You probably have more length under the canopy like I do. It is too bad we can't meet up. Well we may not live by each other but I say we at least have a virtual glass of wine! :)