No I ain’t talking about EL James’ erotic fiction series. This is my little tale…..
A couple of winters ago, one morning the sun decided to peep out of the thick fog, right through my bedroom window. I sat in front of the mirror combing my lovely tresses that was so “fantastico”, when amidst them I spotted a few strands of grey. Ha! I thought to myself. That’s just a few and could be hidden within my thick locks of black hair. But wait… What is this behind my ears? A whole bunch of them! I was aghast. I wasn’t even forty and was already graying!
Seeing me trying to pull out strand by strand, hubby dearie said, “Didn’t you know, hair strands turn grey faster in winters? They should be fine once the summers arrive. Relax!” For some reason, his odd explanation comforted me, despite me not finding a single grey strand on his head! That evening I chanced upon an advertisement of a popular hair color brand. It claimed to color hair, well “ naturally”, without damaging it. The next day, I was at my neighborhood salon to get those few strands colored. The results were amazing. My hair felt soft to touch and the grey strands had disappeared. This now became a monthly routine where I would turn up at the salon as soon as my roots started to show up as white.
Months later, I soon realized that my hair had thinned down considerably. What was once a thick, bouncy pony tail, was now a mere rat’s tail. My next try was the so-called ammonia free hair color. But despite my hair being transformed into the darkest shade of black, they had started to feel like a broom- prickly to touch. That’s when Mrs. Khanna my neighbor told me to go the “natural” way with Henna. With utmost patience, every Sunday I would sit for three hours with the messy green paste on my head. I wouldn’t answer the door bell and my kids preferred to stay away from me.
It was too tedious a procedure. And by now each strand of my hair had almost three or more shades- a jet black, a rusty orange or auburn, and the roots were white. My hair remained prickly and thin. These were my fifty shades of grey(or should I say graying). By the end of 6 months, I had had enough.
Why do we fear grey hair, especially when it is premature? I asked myself these questions to arrive at a few answers.
- Was graying a sign of growing old?
Probably I feared the natural process of aging. One fine day, looking at the mirror, I said to myself, age is what I feel within. It is not linked to the color of my hair.
- Would graying affect my appearance?
We humans are a bunch of weirdo. Where it is ok for the skin color to be white, it probably isn’t for one’s hair to be white. I realized(maybe the hard way)- it’s no big deal- the salt and pepper look is just fine.
- What would be people’s notion of me?
I often wonder why we humans are impacted by peoples’ opinions about us. I guess I was apprehensive too, about what people would think seeing me graying. I decided to finally go back to my roots-literally.
Irrespective of whether it was grey, white or black, I decided to stop further color experiments on them. Within a few months, my hair started gaining reasonable volume and the prickly feel subsided considerably. I often get asked by family and friends as to why I don’t color my hair. I just give them a polite smile and say, “I like it this way.”
It sure is a liberating feeling. I have left my hair to grey naturally.