50 Shades of Grey-ing

To grey or not to grey…that is the question


Last year, I was talking on my phone with a friend.  I was preparing for a job interview, the first one in almost ten years.  My friend is one of those super-professional women.  She helped me pick out the perfect suit (after shooting down my first 10 choices).  Then she said, “What are you going to do about your hair?”

I am one of those all-natural-crunchy-granola-hippie-wannabe-types.  “My hair?  Nothing.  If they don’t want to hire me because of my hair, I don’t want to work there anyway!”

My friend’s philosophy is if you face doesn’t reveal your age then neither should your hair.  Translation: Color your hair as long as you possibly can.   I was blessed with a baby face but, unfortunately, at the tender age of 42, I was going grey….rapidly.  What started as innocent grey patch in my late thirties had spread like dandelions across my hairline, seeping into my sides, the nape of my neck and weaving its way through several of my dreadlocks.

I had always been defiant about coloring my hair.  For starters, I don’t have the time, money, or energy to run to the hair salon every 6 weeks trying to fight nature.  I had tried coloring my hair at home.  Yep – I liked it. Yep – I looked younger. Yep – I hated when those grey roots started to creep back in.

dascha-polancoBut what bothered me even more was why was it not okay to go grey?  The irony is that while we in the 40 and over crowd are fighting grey, many of the younger people are embracing it.  Dyeing your hair grey is a popular trend.  I guess it’s different when you choose to do it.

And this problem isn’t unique to women.  I’ve noticed that as men get older many of them will shave their beard or mustaches and even shave their heads as a way to hide the grey.

I’ve decided to not care.  When I want to play around I put some color in my hair, but I am not slave to every-six-weeks-or-die (or dye) schedule.  It is what it is.

What about you, do you color or shave your grey for the sake of looking younger?

Written by Myrtis Smith

African American. Female. Christian. Sometimes-Vegetarian.

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend.

Writer. Teacher. Zumba Enthusiast.