Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Not Time

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:
  1. I still like my long hair
  2. I can't presently afford to color my hair, and
  3. 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.)


      Jennifer said...

      I've been coloring my hair FOREVER and go to bed with wet hair all the time and have never stained my pillowcase or clothing! If you can't afford to go to a regular beautician, consider a beauty college (but only when you are ready)! Aging is such a challenge and I refuse to age gracefully! I am 38, by the way.

      grace said...

      they sell organic/ non permanent no-chemical hair dye for like $6. that's what i use. You might some day if you are feeling curious, try it just to see if you like it or not. If not. Wash your hair lots and it will be all gone in a jiffy. and no damage to your hair. btw-i have one towel i use soley for dying but other than that no stains. We have too many towels. I'll send you one of ours if you don't want to stain yours :)

      otherwise, rock out your long hair it looks great :)

      Sarahlynn said...

      Jennifer, I'm glad to hear it. Is your hair dark?

      Grace, I think non permanent dye would be worse for me. Washing out is the part that concerns me.

      Thanks. :-)

      Jennifer said...

      I've done dark, but mostly I do a light reddish brown color. I do permanent color and don't ever see the color coming out when I shower, although it does fade a little over time. Once you start coloring it, it is hard to stop, because it is impossible to not have roots. You are truly doing the right thing to give this a lot of thought! Have a happy Thanksgiving!!!

      Sarahlynn said...

      Very helpful; thank you!

      Happy Thanksgiving!!!