I was 17 when I found my first grey hair. In my family, on my Mom’s side, everyone has grey hair. It starts early and spreads like wild fire. The blondes are spared a little longer – not because it’s not there, but because it is not as noticeable. And the thing about a grey hair… it’s not like other hair. It has no interest in being combed down or lying flat or playing nicely with the other hairs. It wants to stand up and be counted!
I bring this up for 2 reasons. Firstly, the question I get asked most often by both people I know and those I don’t, is if my hair colour is natural. It is. I haven’t coloured my hair since the beginning of 2018. At all. With anything. In my twenties, I was already 80% grey at the temples and front of my head. New hairdressers were always very confused.
The second reason is more substantial. After I gave birth to my 3rd daughter, I had a large amount of regrowth as I had not been dying my hair during most of the pregnancy. I had been to see my old hairdresser, Marianne, on a visit to my mom. She is very wise. And very direct. I was complaining about my hair not cooperating and she made it very clear to me that I was the one not cooperating. The grey hair was there to stay. It was not dry, it had a different texture. All my attempts to bend it to my will were aggravating the situation. “Why don’t you just lean into it, and go with what it naturally wants to do instead of fighting it?” she said. Light bulb moment!
And that’s what we did. Instead of going back to my brown / auburn colour, I started going lighter until I was completely blonde. The grey grew out as platinum streaks that people often complimented and asked where I had found this amazing hairdresser.
Early 2018 I saw a photo of myself and the blonde looked yellow. I made an appointment at the local hairdresser (Carmen the magician) and asked her to cut all the blonde off. She insisted this was not possible even though I had several months of regrowth. I insisted she fetch the clippers… and that was that! No more dye. My hair has never been healthier or as easy to maintain.
My point is this: As with many, many things in my life, I had a picture in my mind as to how something was supposed to look. I’m supposed to be a brunette. Mom’s are supposed to have it all together and do everything while making it look easy. You’re not supposed to tell anyone that you are battling and that you’re falling to pieces. Don’t ask for help – it makes you look weak. When reality would start rearing it’s ugly head, I would simple “dye” it away, push it down, grit my way through it.
But when I got to the point of realizing, that somewhere along the way, things had changed. It was neither good nor bad. It was. I had a choice to fight…or embrace.
Sometimes when it looks like things are falling apart, they are really falling into place. The fight to beat it back into submission is exhausting and never ending. When we insist on things being “as they should”, we spend all our energy keeping up the appearance instead of finding out what the new season holds and discovering all the new styles and options that we now have available.
How many times have I missed a blessing because it didn’t come in the box I expected it to. God has been SO patient with me!
To you reading this, I pray that you will be able to see that the season has turned, and that there is enough grace for the new one as well as endless possibilities for you to consider. And I pray that you will find joy in leaning into the amazing, unique and capable individual that you have been created to become.
Proverbs 16:31 Grey hair is a crown of glory; it is attained in the way of righteousness.