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Growing Out My Grays: Chapter 3


salt and pepper hair april 2019
Six months in

Next week, I’ll officially be six months into “The Journey to Grow Out My Grays,” and let me tell you…it’s been hard! It’s been even tougher than growing out my brows, which is sort of counter-intuitive, right? Because I’m not actually doing anything… The hair is doing all the work. I’m just living my life, but dang if it hasn’t been a test of will and a test of my mental state.

Ah, man!

Yet again, I came *this close* to dying my hair, because, to be honest, I’m still not loving it… I don’t want to say that I “hate” it, because there are definitely some aspects that I like, like the freedom from not feeling like I have to go get my roots done every few weeks, and not always feeling like my hair is in a transitional state. I like feeling that my hair just is what it is, you know? This is the color, this is what it looks like now, and I don’t have to maintain it. I don’t have to spend the money, time or effort making it into something it isn’t.

That’s been liberating…

But there are other things I still… I really, really don’t want to say “hate,” because it’s such a strong word, and this is my body. I don’t want to hate anything about my body. Plus, hair is just the frosting, right? It’s just the outside stuff. I tell Connor this all the time: “It’s what’s in your heart that matters. What’s inside determines your worth.”

I know these things are true.

But then I see myself in the mirror, and the person looking back at me doesn’t look like the person I grew up with. I’ve cried more than a few times over the past few weeks. It’s hard for me to say that, but it’s true. Because I really am not loving how I look with salt and pepper hair.

Connor and I took this selfie at an Easter egg hunt last weekend, and I’m almost full-on gray now.

At this point, I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to keep doing this experiment. At the start, I told myself that I was gonna go at least six months… I may try for eight, or I may walk into a rand-o salon this afternoon and walk out with pink hair! It could go either way.

What have I learned so far? Well, some of the best advice I’ve gotten was from a friend who grew out her grays last year, and she said, “I oil the crap outta my hair.”

You know what? That has been really helpful, especially since my hair has gotten progressively coarser as I’ve gone more gray.

The more oil I work into it (I do it when my hair is damp, right after I get out of the shower), the better off I am. My hair feels less crunchy, the grays are less unruly, and they’re generally better behaved.

Also, and I don’t know if this is considered kosher, but it’s been helping me out, sooo…when I do my hair, and I’m doing my best to tame the flyaways, if there are any rogue hairs that simply refuse to bend to my will, I freakin’ pluck them out, man!

I know they’ll just grow back anyway, but I can’t deal with the two- and three-inch pieces shooting out at weird angles. But I *only* pluck them after making a herculean effort to smooth them down.

At this point, I think the rogues are all gone… Again, I don’t know if this is cool, but I’ve been doing it, and it’s been working for me.

Oh, and I can’t believe I forgot to mention this next thing, because it’s one of the nicer consequences, but I’ve met a few very nice moms lately who’ve told me that I look young for my age, which always feels good to hear. I can’t deny it. I tell them I had Connor at 40, and I’m always upfront about it. I’ve met a few moms over the past few weeks who’ve said that I look like I’m in my mid-30s.

I thought gray hair would make me look older than my 43 going on 44 years, but maybe it hasn’t?

I dunno… Maybe that’s just me reaching.

Anywho, that’s been my journey so far.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen



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