The decision to stop dyeing my hair has catapulted me into someone, who is looking to seek the best from myself- endeavouring to put myself ‘out there’ and be vulnerable in an effort to help break up the stigma that women should NEVER be seen to have grey hair. The decision to stop dyeing my hair, indeed, has been one of the best decision I have ever made.
I am now coming up to 2 years dye free. I have no dye left in my hair. I have many a shade of grey going on- with the authentic tones of mother nature’s whites and darks. I style my hair in a way that I think looks its best- sometimes that is wavy (natural) and sometimes I smooth out the waves for a more ‘put together’ look and a lot of the time I wear it back. It depends how I feel and how I want to present myself. I just wear my hair how I like but I am careful with it now.
I straightened and dyed my hair for a long long time before I ever thought about the consequences or set out to find an alternative to managing my difficult hair. This was in line with just being super busy all the time, from studying, to travelling, getting married, having babies and so on. I had no time to look into and research non mainstream haircare. Mainstream hairdressing- generally speaking and from my experience, is just styling hair straight/smooth. I have never met a mainstream hairdresser that knows how to style my hair wavy and many (not all) would not encourage a woman to grow out her greys!
I had been straightening out my waves since I was 15 years old and I am now 42 (although I stopped the excessive straightening when I was about 38). Something definitely shifted within me about 4 years ago to prompt me to look at how I could be kinder to my hair. At that point my hair was bleached blonde and damaged from excessive straightening.
When I used to dye and straighten my hair continuously and regularly- I think it represented where I was at in my life at the time. I didn’t care about what I was doing to myself- it was just another way of being self destructive, even if it was subconscious . I read once that we should treat our hair as if it is a luxury peace of fabric- you wouldn’t wash silk in harsh chemicals, iron it every day etc because you would ruin it. Yet many of us do this to our hair all the time and think nothing of it and it’s advocated almost everywhere.
I definitely feel that other areas of my life have improved since I gave up the dye and excessive straightening. I begun to be easier on myself and more self accepting. The thought of going grey only a few years ago would have horrified me, yet it ended up being a wonderful gift I gave to myself. I saved money, I have more time, my hair looks better and it’s authentic and I definitely don’t look or feel old. Many women are proving (that the stigma that grey hair is only for people who either don’t care about their appearance or are “old”), has absolutely no foundation and is, quite simply, not true.
Since I have given up the dye, I have also given up alcohol, caffeine, taken up a wonderful skincare and makeup routine, which has done amazing things for my skin and I am winning most of the time at my new diet regime of ‘clean eating’ 90% of the time. I have a ‘junk margin’ where I allow myself small amounts of junk food, but overwhelmingly, I eat wholesome food. I am slowly starting to feel better for this, after years of feeling exhausted and low.
I am on a mission to show up feeling my best and that means I can be the best for my friends and family. It’s a work in process- like life is for all of us!
Let me know in the comments below what your experience was/is since you stopped dyeing your hair?