Coloring or not coloring is personal, and there is no one right decision.
For me, it’s a social experiment. For example, I’ve heard that this whole issue of invisibility comes screaming to the fore when one goes gray. I’m curious to see if that happens, and if so, if I can offset it with a counter-strategy. If any good stories result, I’ll share them with you.
It’s also rebellion. I don’t enjoy sitting in a chair for an hour and a half while my hair is colored, over some vague idea about societal expectations, like wearing a bra in public. “They” kind of expected it, and I complied.
But I’m old enough now that society is telling me I’m not worth a shit anyway, so going gray is a matter of personal freedom. I am pushing back. I am making a statement.
I don’t care what or IF you think of me.
Yeah, I’m calling my own bluff. Luckily, there’s nothing to risk but ego. I don’t have to look good for a living.
So I started the process:
Going natural is a way of reasserting my belief that “old” is fine.
This blog, my novel, and my book of short stories are all about aging powerfully and optimistically. I believe getting older should be a nice easy cruise. With all the challenges of aging, you shouldn’t have to worry that you’re not good enough. That you don’t measure up because of one thing: your age.
My hair will be a gray flag. It will attract a certain kind of bull.
Opinions on graying vary. I see it as passage into new country, or volunteering to run a gauntlet. To willingly take that path, for personal satisfaction in spite of the cost.
On the other hand, when I held up a picture of my mother, who is at 89 a gentle auburn, another person said, “She still colors her hair? Good for her!” I then saw the other point of view: Mom still caring enough to make the necessary sacrifices to improve her appearance. Still a fighter. Still powerful.
There’s no right or wrong stance on going gray. It’s personal.
For me, aging has just opened an exciting new avenue to freedom. I’ll report back periodically and let you know how the transition goes.
By the way, if you have curiosity about life after 70, or if you’re there and you want to interact with people your own age, check out 70Candles.com. The good stuff is in the right-hand margin. Click on any month, any blog post, and indulge.