What does that mean?
What I mean is the grey hair, the going grey and the wearing of grey hair can get you down.
It is not all smiles and confidence and feeling fabulous. Grey hair can mean grey days.
I want to be honest – I have done the whole grey thing – but some days looking in the mirror is tough. I don’t like it. Not because of how I feel inside but more for how it looks outside. I wax and wane; I love it or I don’t.
It is not a simple relationship.
The confusion can cause all sorts of poor decision-making.
Changing a style for the sake of colour, not for the right reason or plying the make-up in the hope of a changed vista. None of that is what is worrying me on those days. The reality is going or being grey is confronting and anyone who tells you otherwise is a legend and I want to meet him or her.
This week I don’t like having grey hair.
Now let me preface this by saying I am not feeling rational over this and it is very much a female whim. I am however in the right mind to know I am feeling fickle and I need to remember that. When I feel like this and for any of you, who are going through the process of letting grey hair dominate, remember it is natural to react to change and all this evokes.
Grey is not simply shades of; grey is an attitude and state of mind.
Yesterday, I sat with Nicola our new beauty writer at VA – she has magnificent grey hair, wears it cropped and looks fabulous – and lamented my feelings of blah around going grey. With all “girl” issues, as ever, it helps to talk to a kindred spirit. We decided that the alternative, going back to the bottle, was not an option for us and the solution was to find a way to handle those days when the mirror feels unfriendly.
How To Handle The Grey
Most importantly if the grey hair looked good last week, it will still look good this week.
It is more about you and your state of mind than hair colour.
When the grey gloom hits don’t rush any momentous decisions.
Those will be the ones regretted not the colour of your hair.
Grey hair does not have to look like “old lady”.
Keep your role models front of mind and focus on why you are growing out or wearing grey.
Be practical but not adventurous.
Have a blow-dry, a trim or wear a new lipstick. Mix it up but don’t make an irreversible decision. (I was all ready to cut mine off but knew to sit it out for a moment. I would not look good with very short hair. This is how the mind works with the blahs – what we know will never work, suddenly becomes a great idea.) Avoid this at all costs. The grey malaise will pass; the hair will take a lot longer to grow out.
Growing in the grey is a lot like a diet.
We are doing it for all the right reasons but it doesn’t make it easier. The diet is for our wellbeing but there are times we want to break it and go awol in a major way. When we do all that is left is remorse and regret; better to hang in and see the results.
Write a mental list of the pros and cons.
This is simply a way of re-establishing why you wanted to wear grey in the first place. For me, I know deep down I like the look and admire it on other women. My mood is most likely about everything other than the colour of my hair.
Listen to you.
Don’t ask others for an opinion until you are convinced of your own. Whether to wear the grey is a hot topic of conversation and women, rightly so, feel divided over it. Some women don’t like it and others do. Know yourself and speak to like-minded friends when you get the wobbles.
Forget the hair when these feelings strike and work on activities to boost self-confidence. Taking ourselves out of “us” and working at a deeper level puts everything into perspective.
Boost the wardrobe.
Try a new piece or re-engineer one you already have. Making a change in the wardrobe is the easiest trick to feeling better and look more up to date. Wearing “grey” does not equate with a lack of fashion focus. It is even more of a reason to do so. Linda Rodin (pictured) is the best example of someone who wears grey well with a fashion-forward focus.
Writing this morning has helped me understand my feelings and why I have been a little disenchanted with “going grey”. I do have the not-so-sure-about-it feelings but you know what?
I will wait this out because one thing I do know, it will pass. xv
image of linda rodin, lo donna magazine