To dye or not to dye…musings of a 50 year old

11 May 2016

I started dying my hair in 1995. I didn’t need to, I wasn’t grey, but I tried it and I liked it. I have dyed it ever since that time. I’ve never been a slave to fashion, don’t wear make up (well maybe once or twice a year if that) in fact my make up wearing friends are often horrified when I tell them I’ve had the same mascara, lipstick etc for years and there is no sign of them running out before they dry out.

As I wrote about previously here I cut my dreadlocks off a bit over a month back. Even with dreadlocks I dyed them because for the last however many years, I have had greys. Lots of them. I guess compared to many other people my age, they are not so many in number, but for me there are a lot. I would say I am 25% grey now.

Since cutting my locks off, I’ve had my natural hair colour for the first time since 1995. It took some time to get used to, but now I quite like it. I had planned to dye it purple and/or turquoise and still might, but the greys that are rapidly making an appearance have got me thinking.

Yes this is very much a first world problem, I know this….

I consider myself very much a non-conformist, always have done. I don’t like to do things that everyone else does. I don’t follow fashions much, although I do like to look nice. I have had my hair fire engine red, bright purple, in dreadlocks and in all sorts of weird and wonderful styles. Apart from appearances, I like to dance to the beat of my own drum and life my life accordingly.

So these grey hairs have me thinking. On the one hand I want to colour them and cover them up because on many levels I still don’t want to look the 50 years I am now, because I certainly don’t feel it and I’ve been told I don’t look it and I want to keep that feeling as long as possible. I figure if there’s stuff out there to keep me feeling and looking youthful and different then why not. I love the beautiful bright colours that are available now and I think I’d rock a vibrant violet.

On the other hand, why shouldn’t I embrace the greys? I occasionally see them as tiny shiny signs of my years of wisdom, growth and development. I don’t think I want to necessarily conform to the cultural norm of covering them up, but on the other hand I’m not sure I like the look of them. Maybe that’s because I’ve never allowed them to be there long enough to get used to them. Then of course there is the continual need to maintain the regrowth, the chemicals etc, but there is always henna which I’ve used, is natural and great for the hair too.

My GP is my age and by the way, incredibly stunning, and she let her hair go grey many years ago, she is fully grey and she totally and completely rocks it. She owns it, and her whole look is elegant, stylish and incredibly beautiful. Every time I see her I think I would like to take the plunge.

Maybe I should let them stay and cover later if I want to, or maybe I should just go purple and be done with it. I know these aren’t earth shattering thoughts or decisions, but it’s all a part of the weird and wonderful overthinking that comes along with the ageing process.

To be completely honest and in the interest of owning my vulnerabilities, I’m struggling a little with the idea that time my time on this earth is limited. I have so much I want to do and I don’t want to run out of time and/or energy before I get shit done. Not to be morbid, but rather to ensure that I embrace every moment and be grateful for every experience. The grey hairs are a reminder of this. Maybe I should keep them to remind me to embrace life and squeeze every delicious juicy drop out of it.

I don’t know, I will however continue to ponder this and many other things.

Most likely at around 3am.

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