Going Green (Gray)
By Marsha Tennant
As summer approaches and the southern summer furnace kicks up the heat above 100 degrees, I have decided to “GO GREEN.” Actually I am going GRAY. After more years than I care to recall, the monthly trips to “get my roots done” are over! Why didn’t I do this sooner? Oh, the money I will save and the places I will go without fear of fading. I did not come to this decision on my own.
A darling guy, Preston, who does my daughter’s color, was my inspiration and coach. I made a trip to him to try something different. Much to my surprise he pulled back my multi-colored strands exposing snowy white roots and exclaimed, “Why are you covering up this beautiful natural silver?” I didn’t have an answer. I mumbled something about my gray being washed out. He replied that my treated color was the problem – not the gray. “It’s only a suggestion but I would try it,” he said. I have to admit that over the past year I was noticing women with beautiful gray hair and thinking that it was authentic. I also observed that these women had a quiet confidence in the way they walked and acted. They were happy and carefree. Probably because they could spend the cache of funds on something else that was much more meaningful.
I am not against color. I applaud it because it served me well, but I have been trying to live more eco-friendly and improve my carbon footprint. Maybe it was all of the reading I have been doing as I turned 60 this past spring. So letting my hair return to a natural state was just one more step on my newly discovered road trip. I decided that if I am recycling and reusing, my hair plans fit right in. It only took a gentle nudge from Preston, and we started the process. His estimated time of completion was three months if I kept my hair short and sassy. I could do that. I liked the sassy part. The model in the Chico’s catalogue was sassy, so I cut out her picture for inspiration.
The Monday morning I went back to my office I was nervous. Would my friends think I had gotten a bad color job? Why did it matter? I was happy – I thought. From the moment I walked in the response was overwhelmingly positive. There was a collective “AHHHH” from the room. They said that it was natural and lovely even with the gold tone ends. “You look so much better,” they cheered. I was not prepared for this immediate support. “I can do this,” I thought. “This will be easy.”
Fast forward a month. I needed my peeps to encourage me. I headed back to the office to see Janice and Robin – the silver haired Goddesses. They assured me that I looked lovely, and the next cut would probably be the one to carry me into their realm. Their testimonials cajoled me into relaxing and not calling for a color appointment. “You will love it,” Robin promised.
“Girl, just slap this gel up on your head, and it will get your through the day,” Janice laughed as she reached in her bag for the jar.
I have to admit that when I pass mirrors I take a second look. It is a different me but one that I like. I vowed that when I hit the magical 60 I would honor my true self. Graying with Grace is a nice thought, but I prefer to do it GUSTO! It may sound silly but I am happier and more playful in my attitude about most everything. I still have my challenging moments. But even on a down day, when I walk past a mirror I say to myself, “Hello you sassy gal, you are styling today!”
About this writer
- Marsha Tennant is the author of the children’s book, Margaret, Pirate Queen. She was recently published in AARP Bulletin and Mary Jane’s Farm. She and her husband retired and moved to the beach from Calabash in an attempt to downsize and spend time with their new grandson. A second Pirate Queen book is circling while porch sitting these days!