Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Calico Grams

"So what do you think of my hair?" I asked Gabby having let my natural color grow out these many months.

My question is greeted with a few moments of silence.

"Well," she said with her nine year old, mother voice. "I like it better all light. You have a lot of colors now." She continued listing off the colors, "White, kinda yellow, black, that brownish color....."

Color by color, my new confidence to natural is weakening. "That yellow color is blond," I say defensively. I should know better than to ask a child.

My friends like my hair....or do they? Now I'm wondering if people pass me by and wonder at my calico hair. Maybe I'm a brindle. Oh, I'm in trouble. I'm comparing my hair color to that of animals.

"I wish my hair looked as good," said a friend. Hm. Does she really?

With my top layer of white (or fading yellow, as Gabby would put it) and dark hair beneath, I see myself as having low lights, or is it highlights? In my mirror, it doesn't look too bad. Yes, the blond is still there, but fading more and more beneath a blanket of white. I wonder if my mirror lies.

In a few weeks I will have a reading of my short page and a half in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandmothers. Do I go as is? Or, do I once more start the cycle of hair coloring? If I do, am I being honest with myself? Grey and white hair might make me more credible with the others toting the same colors. Maybe I should shoot for a younger look?

This process of allowing my hair to go natural has been a bit of a journey. I've had to ignore the awkward stage of 'roots'. Thinking that I was mostly white came as a surprise when I noticed the dark low lights. Most days I'm oblivious to the color. Other days, I wonder what color it is. Still on other days, I wonder what I'm doing.

My hair is healthier these days. I think maybe I don't primp as much. I seem to feel a bit better about myself by not worrying about this aging thing. Maybe this new color is still a little sexy and attractive. Perhaps with the longer life span, this is the color will be more popular. Maybe, just maybe, my hair isn't me. I'm very lucky to have light hair that just gets lighter. Were it darker, I might reconsider. Men with greying temples or those with white hair are very classy. Perhaps I need to think of myself as classy.

"Grammy, maybe you color it again," Gabby adds.

Maybe she doesn't understand 'classy'. Hm.


  1. I've often thought of letting go of the color. My dark brown hair started greying at age 22 and is naturally more salt than pepper now.

    Before I retired, I thought I might wait until a particularly hard project went in, then shave my head and let it grow out naturally!

    Maybe I will still make 'a statement' when I finally cease to color.

    I say, it's your hair, please yourself!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Marie. I began blogging about this 'hair' journey a few months ago with the support of my readers. I decided that I no longer wanted chemicals on my hair and wanted to embrace the real me. It has been interesting. Most men and women really like the color. I know you will, too, when the time comes. I can't believe how it has freed me.

    BTW, happy retirement!

  3. I'm sure it's very classy. Kudos to you for going natural! I have darker hair but not the lovely dark that would make for a good salt-and-pepper look. So I keep coloring. At least for now.