It is very common for us women to change our hair to reflect a new phase in our lives. Hair is part of the female identity. It reflects our mood and our personality. So, when we go to the salon intending to cut or dye our hair, our desire goes beyond that. What we actually want is a change in our look which reflects our state of mind.
I am 47 years old and gray hair has been part of my life for a long time. Before the age of 30, I used to go to hair stylist regularly to dye them. Like most of women, I was always very demanding with my appearance and, because I believed myself too young, I didn't want to let the gray strings show. After all, in addition to gray hair being a sign of getting older and being totally fighting with “beauty standards”, it was (almost 20 years ago) and is still considered by many to be a sign of sloppiness.
In 2015 I moved to the US with my family and came across a new reality: besides not knowing any reliable hairdresser, it was very expensive to dye my hair in the salon. Since I always wanted to have “perfect” hair, I had to learn how to color it. I confess that, in a short period of time, I was already very comfortable with the process.
In the last 2 years, I started thinking about taking on the “grays”. Although my husband encouraged me, my friends did the exact opposite. They said I was too young to go gray. I was always putting it off. That was until we were confined because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
My husband and I made a deal: he would grow a beard (since he wouldn't be back in the office anytime soon) and I would let my natural color grow in. The weeks passed and the grays took over my head. Whenever I needed to leave the house, I wore a cap or hat to hide the new hair root.
I confess that I was insecure in paying for my decision. Even seeing how much my hair grew gray for a few months and being closer to being free of hair dye. It is not easy to let go of an appearance that you are used to and feel very confident about. Let alone give up on "following the standards of beauty" of our society, which we often do for fear of judgment.
A chat with a hairdresser was the push I needed. I didn't want my 2-color hair. I wanted to take on the graying style for good. So she suggested that I let it grow as much as I could and then make a very short cut. I bought the idea right away. Even more because I love short hair and it suits me well.
Well, after 4 months without touching up the root, I cut my hair very short, in the “Joãozinho” style. Although the hair was not all gray (there was still some dye), I loved the result! Another 4 months passed and I got the result I was looking for. I have no intention of dying my hair again. I really like what I see when I look in the mirror.
It is a wonderful feeling of freedom! I am not referring to hair dye. I also mean the freeing from the beauty standards that are imposed on us by the media. And that we often follow them without realizing it. Now I catch myself looking at a women’s gray hair and thinking it’s stunning! Just as often as I do for blonde, black, brunette, and red hair.
Life is a mirror; its reflection shines your image back to you. Can you see your image reflecting your inner state?