In Celebration of Grey Hair

Well, on the heels of the Lisa LaFlamme situation, I figured I’d talk about the elephant in the room: I too have grey hair.

If you’ve seen my picture in many past posts, you’ll have probably noticed this. I found my first grey hair in junior high, which at the time was a bit of a surprise. Yet at the same time, my grandma had gone grey at about that point and family members often talked about how remarkable that was. Well, seems I’m a bit remarkable in that way too. I may have been expecting this in a way.

In fact, I was so convinced I was going to go fully grey early, that at one point I even had my hair turned white, professionally. Yes it’s true. No you shouldn’t do it. I think my scalp burned fully off. It was many hours of pain. But in the end I had really cool hair, and I was excited at the idea of having this hair without having to get first degree chemical burns on my head.

The proof, circa 2008.

Around the time I decided to go full-on naturally grey for real, grey hair was becoming popular with women of all ages — including those much too young for natural grey hair. Salons began offering this service… but I had no need for it. Yay!

Andrew wasn’t as on-board as I was. However, he changed his tune the day an acquaintance asked me how much I had to pay to get my hair dyed this nuanced shade. (Each hair is a different shade of grey, some are white, some are black, et cetera. I cannot imagine how this could be achieved in a salon to this degree of detail!) They guessed this would be expensive but worth it, as the look is quite convincing, haha. They were surprised when I announced it’s just my own natural grey hair so it’s entirely free. And Andrew saw the cost savings so at that point he was all for it. 🙂

Prior to my going-grey, I had been dying my hair black pretty frequently, and with that centre part, I often looked like a skunk. It was such a relief to say goodbye to the skunk look forever. (No shade on skunks, I’ve always wanted one for a pet, to be honest. I find them to be so very aesthetically pleasing!)

I’ve noticed that with many people grey hair is still considered to be a source of shame, as it represents aging. Well can I just say that having lost friends far too early, the privilege of aging having been denied them, I’m here to celebrate it as long as I’m alive and continue to age.

Also I’ve noticed that fear of aging is encouraged, particularly in women, as it drives consumerism. Pompous white men in board rooms everywhere are driving this and I resist. I will happily offend their delicate eyes with my blatantly grey hair, and I celebrate the growing number of women who are independently making this same decision.

P.S. About the feature photo, not only is my hair grey, but it’s also really short (more men prefer women with long hair? GREAT. I’ll just be keeping it nice and short forever, thankyouverymuch.) AND I’m also eating carbs and sugar in that picture. Because diet culture is garbage. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. 😀

Andrew took this picture of me last month when we were on vacation on the East Coast!