Wednesday, December 4

Personal Choices Vent - Hair

I have mentioned a few times that I don't dye my hair.  I used to, I suck at the maintenance required for it to look good, and I don't really mind my white hairs.  When my hair is down, I feel like Rogue with her white streak of hair (and side note, the link for Rogue is an awesome blog post).
It's kind of hard to find a picture where she doesn't have cantaloupes attached to her chest, but she's got spunk and personality and a streak of white hair.  When I pull my hair back, those whites at the front are more noticeable because they cover the non-whites underneath.  I'm less fond of that, but I like having my hair out of my face so practicality usually wins.  Today is one of those days.

At my client site, there is an older fellow who works security.  He's generally crotchety and grumpy, but he usually calls me beautiful and I giggle and smile and my day starts off right. 

Today, I had lunch with a friend.  I'm wearing a skirt that makes me feel corporate-powerful and pretty.  I was feeling pretty good.

As I walked in, my security friend asked if I was sick.  No, not sick. 

Why don't you dye your hair? 

Seriously?  What?

You know his daughter is also young and has white hair and she dyes her hair.  White hair is for old guys like himself.  I'm too young to have white hair.


I laughed, I said I liked my white hair, it's too much hassle to dye it, I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  Not interested at the moment. 

When I got to my desk and reviewed the conversation, it hurt.  I was angry.  I'm still angry 4 hours later.

I don't really know why.  He can have his opinion on my hair.  It's my hair and I'll do what I want with it.  I might consider if Mr. Lina would like something (his vote would be long and red, but to paraphrase his attempt to cheer me up, he wants to ah... play with my lady parts regardless of what colour my hair is) but in the end, it is my head and my hair.  I said I like my white hairs.  If that's true, then the laughing it off is where it should end.

I get comments on my hair from time to time.  Sometimes from people who say they like the whites and how they mostly frame my face.  Lately it's been on the length, particularly if I haven't seen them in 6+ months and they notice the difference.  Sometimes it's on how healthy it looks for being so long. 

Other times it's about the existence of hair dyes.  As if I didn't know there were entire aisles in drug, grocery and mass stores.  Perhaps they think I don't see it when I'm buying shampoo.  Or never noticed when I had a hair care manufacturer as a client for two years.  Or that I assume that all those people with orange, pink, blond, black hair came by it naturally... 

I wonder sometimes if I would get fewer comments if my hair was dyed purple or blue.  Am I that strange that I want to age naturally?  Am I that odd that I don't mind if my hair makes me look my actual age?  Maybe I am fooling myself when I say I like my white hairs if I'm upset that someone thinks I should hide them.  I don't know.


  1. It always makes me angry/furious/murderous when people (usually men) make a comment about my appearance that they would never think of saying to a man. For instance, "smile". or "you should lose weight" or in your case "you should colour your hair". I have sometimes responded with "fuck off", or "that is none of your business", or sometimes if I have just been told I should lose weight, "so should you". This always baffles them as for some reason they think they have the right to say whatever they want to women.

    It seems to me that society seems to expect women to resist ageing at all costs. We are expected to colour our hair, slather our faces with creams to combat wrinkles, dress like a 20 year old when we are not, work out to exhaustion in order to fight the effects of gravity on our bodies, and celebrities who do all these things or who are genetically blessed and who look far younger than their years are lauded as role models.

    I don't think you are fooling yourself, and maintaining hair colour is a pain in the ass.

    I want to write more but I have to go to work in order to be able to afford the gym, hair colouring, cosmetics etc. :)

    1. Thank you so much, that made me laugh and agree and smile. I love the "so should you" retort. I'm going to tuck that away for future use.

  2. I'm with you on not colouring my hair. I don't have the focus to maintain it and I think roots look awful. I'm lucky that the white blends in with my blond, only it's super curly when it's humid so that is going to be something quire different from my poker straight hair.
    I know how hard it is to listen to other people's rude comments and 'suggestions', but I think people who age gracefully have more character than those who go to excessive measures to hide it. Just have fun!

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      My dad is like you, his hair has silvered and blended in with his blondish hair. I didn't realize how white it was until the light hit it a year or two ago in just the right way to highlight the silver. It looks good on him. And what is it with curly white hair? Most of mine are kinky (like will lay flat on a table but zig zag), but I am finding my hair is getting wavy as I age, maybe the whites are inspiring the non-whites to do something other than straight.

      Fun is right. :)

      I do like your attitude, and 99% of the time, that would slide off like oil on teflon, but

  3. I have coloured my hair since I was 16. I love the bright blond. I've also worn a full face of makeup since I was 14 or something. (I don't wear makeup to the gym or hanging out in book club.)
    I just like it. No one pressures me. I don't feel enslaved. I also don't expect others to do the same. I can't believe people who never colour. You just grow your hair and cut it? It must be so easy!
    That being said I don't think I'll ever let it go natural. I feel like this is me.
    No one should tell you how you should wear your hair or dress. Older men sometimes think women are only concerned how men feel about the way we look. Ha ha! If they only knew how little we thought about them! I dress for me and, if I'm posting, for my fellow bloggers, maybe. (I always hope you guys like my sewing makes!) But I seriously do not dress for men.
    Wear it how you like it! Feel bad for the security guy. He thinks his viewpoint is relevant. Aww. That's cute.

    1. That feeling of "I feel like this is me" is important, not everyone gets that feeling of being comfortable as they are.

      You totally made me laugh with the "Aww. That's cute." It's perfect and truly in perspective. :)

  4. One day, at church, a lady practically chased me down. I thought maybe I had dropped something. She looked at me with such surprise and said, "You are too young to have gray hair!" I was so shocked by the whole thing. I know she wasn't trying to be mean. I have struggled with the decision to "look old" by letting my hair be natural and dying it. I hate the upkeep with colored hair. It seems that society just has a hard time accepting that some people have gray hair before they are in their 70s. (I'm 37.) I even had someone ask if it was highlights or gray and then when I told them, they said it looked nice. I ended up chopping my hair and not coloring it. Society can just deal with how my hair is!

    1. Wow, so good to hear I'm not the only one who has experienced this. I'm with you, society can just deal.

  5. Sera,

    I've been on this journey as well... but I do color my hair using henna and indigo (to keep it black and not orange-red) when I want to.. I don't use chemical colors due to personal choise and will only henna my hair when I really really can - which means not very often.

    So, I've got a multitude of reactions from people ranging from - discovery - As if *they* are the first person to discover I had grey hair... to thinking somethign's wrong with my life... 'Oh my gosh, what happened to you..are you all okay? you've gone all grey suddenly"... to disgust - "Yikes, you've got grey hair"

    Since I got grey hair right from 7th grade, I've finally worked myself up enough to say "So.... ??" with an annoyed / POed look.. that says 'dude, yes, I know I have grey hair and it doesn't mean I'm any less"..

    There was a comment I read in a forum, about 10 yrs ago - "I'm not here to decorate your world".

    1. "I'm not here to decorate your world" how true.

      "you've gone all grey suddenly"... ha! that's awesome. Wake up one morning and poof! 8" of grey hair. Ah, people are pretty funny sometimes.

      I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one experiencing... odd comments shall we say. All of the feedback has been good for me to keep it in perspective. We should all have the freedom to do what we want with our appearance.


Thanks for your comments, I love to have a two way conversation. I seem to be getting a lot of spam from anonymous users and am turning off the ability to comment that way. I really would like to hear from you so if you do want to add your two cents without an OpenId, email me at seraphinalina at gmail dot com.