Earlier today a good friend sent me an email with the subject: It's Time.
She linked to a lifestyle.msn.com article called "How to Look (at least) Ten Years Younger" and said:
Look at photo 2 before and after...this is what you should do with your hair!!! Today!!!
Here's the image:
She does look fabulous. Of course, according to the text accompanying the photo, she's also 54 years old, with a dull complexion and coarse, gray hair.
I turned thirty-five this fall and have been thinking unhappy thoughts about aging. And it's true that my hair has more gray in it than it had a couple of years ago. (The gray is made more obvious by the fact that my hair is dark and very long.) This brings up the awkward question of coloring. I have never colored my hair. Never! And I don't want to! I like natural hair. I like my natural hair. I like the idea of growing old naturally and celebrating that. And yet.
I am not ready to go gray.
But I don't want to further damage my hair. I don't want the expense and time commitment of maintaining a coloring regimen. I don't want to stain my towels or pillowcases or even to have to think about staining towels or pillowcase (or shirts since I frequent dress and leave the house with wet hair). Plus, my naturally aging mother will be very disappointed. And yet.
I'd rather not have long, scraggly gray hair. Yet.
I told my friend that it's not yet time for me, because:
- I still like my long hair
- I can't presently afford to color my hair, and
- I need a cut with wash-and-go capability. Or, as I wrote her back, "My hair might look like crap when I don't style it, but it's a simple cut so it's functional. I've had shorter/layered/styled hair before and it requires daily maintenance. We can pretend that I'm going to become a person who gets up an hour early to style her hair every time she washes it, but it's unrealistic and simply not going to happen.
I've made that decision before and it just sets me up for failure and extremely crappy hair."
(I'm arching my back in this picture to make my hair look longer. The picture was taken a few months ago, so my hair really is this long now but perhaps due to winter humidity is no longer quite as curly. Anyway, the arched back and tipped head are why I seem to have no neck or waist in the photo.)