I started going silver when I was 30 and knew – based on my father’s experience – that my hair would soon be majorily silver. I immediately started dying my hair and did so for many years. (According to the NPR interview this morning, 75% of American women color their hair!)
Then one day in a yarn store I met beautiful older lady (probably in her early 70s) with gorgeous white hair wearing a sweater she had knit out of a yarn by Mountain Mohair the color of a bright raspberry. I thought to myself, “That color is amazing! I wish I could wear it.”
It started me thinking:
* That color looks so great on her in large part because of her white hair.
* She’s an older lady with a head of white hair and is beautiful.
* So why am I dying my hair?!
I stopped dying my hair and soon my hair was completely silver and over time discovered many benefits. Immediately, of course, it was healthier for my hair, body and the environment to NOT color my hair. But I also realized I could sort of change myself. My stylist cut my hair in a short, rather spiky style, and lo & behold, I was regularly stopped by women on the streets or while on busses who wanted to know who cut and DYED my hair! I also started wearing different colors – a lot more brightly colored jackets, shirts and scarves – and in colors I wouldn’t have worn before (e.g., fuscia, magenta, hot pink, bright blue, lime green).
In addition, I was a professional woman in a male-defined and male-dominated field. In those such groups/fields, younger women are frequently given attention because they are young and pretty, leaving them wondering if it’s their face or their contributions that are garnering the attention. (Been there.) But with my shock of silver hair and, for instance, my “arty” jacket (designed and knit or woven by me), adorned with a beautiful jewelry purchased from an Etsy artist, and “serious” (aka work) black slacks, shoes, with a “serious” black briefcase – an audience immediately gives me their attention, and I think it is, in large part, because of the silver hair. I look like a “wise woman” – you know, the kind who, a couple of hundred years ago would have been burned at the stake. So I guess it’s either respect or fear I see in their faces. 🙂
And Mountain Mohair? Yup, I can now wear its Pink Pink – and do so with glee!
Do you color your hair?