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Sunday, January 17th, 2016

I have done something (a little bit) radical. After 35 years as a blonde of various hues I have stopped dying my hair. Or rather (to get to the nub of the issue) I have stopped spending inordinate amounts of time at the hairdressers every six weeks; I have stopped worrying about how much my roots are showing or how I can deal with the sometime straw-like nature of my hair.

The exhilarating feeling of freedom is just wonderful!

It has all been a bit of an adventure, albeit a little one.

You see, I actually had no idea what colour my hair really was. I knew there was some grey, but how much, who knew?

The revelation is that my hair is MUCH darker than it was all those years ago, when it was somewhere among the masses of dirty blondes. Now it is dark without being brown. There is grey. More round the ears than on the top, but a bit glittery and if I say so myself, quite a nice soft grey. I actually rather like it.

It has opened up a whole new palette of colours to me – blacks, red lipstick, reds and oranges. Colours I never actually felt all that happy in before. Now I catch a glance in the mirror and think, who is that devastating woman? (OK, so that bit was a joke…but it did take a little time to get used to the new look me!)

It’s sooooo exciting.

There have of course been comments. Fashion designer daughter said I should immediately go back to being blonde; after a business lunch with my foreign exchange dealer (who was in a bad mood with me because I wouldn’t buy anything she was trying to sell me), she looked at me and said in a caustic voice ‘you’re looking rather grey Helen, time for the hairdresser’ (How rude was that?!!). But on the whole people have been positive. Soft grey probably suits my complexion and personality more than the blond look ever did. An elderly gentleman at church today told me I still looked like a teenager (but I guess all things are relative!)

I have invested in a rather natty short and gamin hairstyle and I have come to the conclusion that if the haircut is good then grey most certainly does not mean old lady.

In my book it means being happy with who I am and where I am in life. It means accepting that I am getting a little older and positively embracing it – together with the feeling of not needing to pretend to anybody or anything that I am something I am not. It says ‘this is me, unashamedly, this is who I am and I am ok with it’.

It is good.


PS. I’m not actually sure my dear husband has even noticed……

10 Responses to “Freedom!”

  1. stacey Says:

    I did the same thing at my last hair appointment. i was supposed to get the two and a half hour dye job and decided i didn’t want to spend anymore time doing that. My hair feels fuller (the dyes were doing a job on my scalp) and i am $100 richer every month. People have told me its the best i’ve looked in a while and one gentleman even told me i looked 10 years younger. I went from brunette a couple of years ago to blond for the past year and now just letting my hair be the color it is which is a silver, grey, light brown mix. You need to find a new foreign exchange dealer because she IS rude.

  2. Amy at love made my home Says:

    That lady was very rude!!! I am sure that you look fantastic because you sound very happy and that is all that matters! As long as you like it. I have a fair amount of grey and my hair colour has darkened, I haven’t dyed it and only one person has ever commented. They said “I expect that your hair used to be a lovely colour” I replied, that I didn’t realise that it wasn’t a lovely colour now! Go with it and if you are happy that is all that matters! I said that already, but I mean it! xx

  3. Julie B. Says:

    How inspiring Helen! I have often thought that when my hair gets a little more silvery (it’s iron gray, or “battleship gray” as someone told me), I’ll stop doing the blond streaks. I love how Judi Dench looks with her hair.

    You are a fantastic role model. Can you post a picture soon? I’d love to see the cut!


  4. Marybeth Says:

    Yea! Good for you. I do love reading your blog…
    Go silver!

  5. Ailsa Says:

    Premature greyness runs in our family so I started going grey when I was in my 30s. I have dyed my hair twice then but soon decided I wasn’t going to carry on with that malarkey! I’m far to mean to keep paying for it! Now I’m in my 50s I’ve about half grey (I thought I would be more grey by now) and I have it cut every 6 weeks and that’s it! So simple. People will soon forget that you used to dye your hair. I can’t wait for mine to go silver grey like my Mum.

  6. jan - isisjem Says:

    Happy New Year!

    I am looking forward to seeing a picture of the ‘new you’. I am 42 on Friday and my dark hair is very grey on top. I have to dye it. Unfortunately within two weeks white (yes white!) roots start to show through on top. I dread to think what colour I’d be if I stopped with the colouring. Mind it would look very odd as it grew out. I had the odd silvery strand I put up with but started resorting to colouring out when my dark hair started to look dull. I wish I didn’t have to. But unless I went completely silver all over in one go I’m not sure I am brave enough to do the aging salt and pepper hair. The pitfall of having dark hair I guess.

  7. Thimbleanna Says:

    Good For You! I’m sure you look beautiful! I do think the current trend of 20/30 somethings actually dying their hair gray helps our true grays be more socially acceptable LOL. I stopped the dying about 2 years ago. I was a brunette, so my gray is silvery and I’ve received lots of comments about how pretty it is, so I’m glad I don’t have to mess with it. I think it makes me look old, but maybe that’s just how I feel LOL. Happy Gray Hair!

  8. Susan Ramey Cleveland Says:

    I stopped coloring my hair about five years ago. I love it. And I don’t miss all the hassle of having it colored every few weeks. Now I only have to go in for haircuts.

  9. Swissrose Says:

    Join the club!! Here’s to a simpler life…
    …and how very rude of your contact :O


  10. Diane stanley Says:

    Good for you. I’m still a slave to the salon and wonder when I will give it up. I once took a color class and learned that hair color should not influence the colors you wear or your make up. It’s all about the undertones in your skin. FYI from your resident fashionista 😉