tiredofvampires Posted April 1, 2014 Share Posted April 1, 2014 This is something I've been wondering about for some time...but it's really been more on my mind the last year or so, since it's gotten more pronounced and is bugging me. I started to notice my first "grey hairs" (actually, they're silvery) at least 7 years ago. I haven't really dated since then, as a couple of crisis-like situations have befallen me, especially in the last 3-4 years, consuming all my energy and time, and then some. While I'm sure I would have continued to gradually see more grey hairs naturally, since time is passing...just in the last couple of years I feel like my hair has aged at some kind of time-warp speed. I have no question in my mind that it has been due to the several SEVERE ordeals I've undergone. Last I went to the hairdresser for a cut was about a year ago, and I asked him if I was technically "salt and pepper" yet -- dreading his answer. And he kind of laughed and said yes, but then as he tossled my hair around and asked the other ladies in the salon, they concluded it was more like about 30% grey. So from a distance, you can still tell I'm mostly a brunette. But most of the change is around the temples (which is typically where grey hair starts -- I wonder why?), and I like to pull my hair back in ponytails or buns a lot, because it's so easy. So that exposes the areas of grey that are most obvious. And this is where I've seen the most dramatic, rapid change recently. I never thought that I'd be someone to see a need to color my hair, but now I find myself torn on the issue. I'm not exactly ready to start dating...I feel that I have some recovery to do, as the situations I've dealt with have been quite traumatic. But I find myself daydreaming about dating, and finding someone...something that I haven't allowed myself to do for a long time, as I've been in pure survival mode. And so, I find myself really wondering how men feel about grey hair. I have often been told in the past that I look more youthful than my age, but I am very conscious nowadays that the grey adds years to my appearance. This is starting to take up more of my thinking than I'd like -- especially given that after what I've undergone, it almost feels silly to be vain. I'm thinking about coloring my hair (something I've done once in my life), but am really ambivalent, and here's the dilemma: On one hand, it goes against a kind of core philosophy I have, which is that clinging on to things to try to deny change is to embrace denial, which doesn't align with the rest of the way I live my life. I see old women who dye their hair and think it's a little silly to try to fool everyone into thinking you have the hair of a 20-year-old, when it's SUPPOSED TO BE GREY AT YOUR AGE. To me, it kind of shrieks of fear -- fear about death and change, and I'd like not to shrink from those things. Also, on some very practical notes -- which are significant considerations for me -- once you start dying, it's high-maintenance. It won't be 6 weeks before the grey is showing again, especially where it's most visible at the hairline, and I'm not sure if touch-ups can be done on a continuing basis, but it would mean a costly, time-consuming addition to my life (and my budget is rock-bottom low). I mean, this whole hair-dying thing is A COMMITMENT, and an indefinitely long one. On top of that, most hair coloring products are toxic, and I try to stay away from use of toxic chemicals on my body or in my lifestyle, especially if it's going to be a regular thing. There is one natural hair studio here that does henna, and I could also do henna at home -- but to get good results, it's laborious, messy, and the one professional treatment I had took hours. Finally, SOMETIMES, the shocks of silver seem to play off the silver jewelry and black/silver clothing I often wear, and it can almost look cool to have "hair accents" to match the grey/silver/black accessories and clothes. So aesthetically, if I'm wearing the right thing, it sometimes has its own appeal to me. (But on average days wearing other clothing, it doesn't have that effect at all and looks more drab.) On the other hand, I can fully admit that I've absorbed the message that a woman with greying hair is not "distinguished", as men are when they grey, and that self-consciousness/vanity is running neck-and-neck with my "core philosophy" on change/time. Society in general is really ageist/sexist when it comes to HAIR, and not only that, I've always been a bit hair-obsessed. But in addition to that, when I look in the mirror, what I see is the pain I've gone through in the last couple of years, as my hair serves as a constant reminder. I almost feel like the grey hair is a scar of sorts. I could "embrace" that and say, "I earned all those extra greys," but that's not how I feel. I just feel aged and warped by time before my time. So in a way, coloring my hair might temporarily feel therapeutic. And why not do this to "pamper" myself and feel good, I say. Albeit temporary. When I think about these pros and cons, though, I keep coming back to this question: what is my biggest motivation in considering coloring my hair? And it really comes down to: will men find me less attractive with greying hair? How big of a difference does it make on whole, if you are otherwise wearing clothes that flatter you, have an expression of being friendly and cheerful, have a youthful "vibe", have a decent figure, and carry yourself well? (I'd have to work on a couple of those, mainly the clothing and carriage, but they're not out of reach.) How much would the grey be outweighed by such other factors? And it keeps coming down to, if I knew this actually mattered very little to a lot of men (kind of like women are more obsessed with makeup than men really need them to be), I might just save the money, energy and time. It's true, I'd color my hair "for me" if I did it because I'm the one it'd be boosting, ha, but in the end, it's about how men are perceiving me. So I can't separate out those two. I think if my hair got to the point that it was almost all white or white, I'd be down with that. That looks nice, to me. It's just this in-between stage that seems to scream, "YOU'RE LOSING IT!" I have to say, I'm in great admiration of women who aren't coloring their hair and looking quite stylish anyway. But many of them are married, so it's a little different. They're not competing against anyone (and younger women!) anymore. I really don't have a clue how -- other than the implicit social pressures women live with to doll up -- real men feel about this. So I'd love to get some feedback from you guys. (Women you can feel free to chime in!) Link to comment
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