Why is it gray?
Skipping Down the Slippery Side of the Slope: Gray hair is so not a part of ‘me'
Julieanna Blackwell, Community Contributor
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
It’s my opinion that the word gray should be spelled G-R-E-A-Y, but only in reference to the hair color. Reason: gray hair is wrong. And in my aim of complete retaliation and revenge against such a horrible thing as graying hair, I wish to spell it wrong.
While those of us who are presently skipping down the slippery side of the slope, we take with us our lessons learned, the experiences that craved out our personalities, and the knowledge of our likes and dislikes. We’ve grown watchful of any pitfalls because we have tripped a few times climbing up to the top of hill. Triumphantly reaching the top of the hill marking our 40th year, we then have to start on the trail down. Yet there is defiantly one thing we didn’t have going up which unfortunately marks us as going downhill — gray hair.
I color. I dye. I condition, because I color and dye my hair. On this side of the hill, hair turns weird. First of all it grows funny. Gray hair is not the same as the hair we grow up with. Further, hair doesn’t instantaneously change to gray, no it falls out first. Seriously, take a look at the root of a wayward hair, it’s white. And when it grows back, it will be gray. I know this because there are no gray hairs tangled in the tines of my brush. I imagine these white tipped strands on my brush as fallen soldiers who will return only to haunt my head as white willowy ghosts of the beautiful curly locks they once fell into.
I hate gray hair. I never colored my hair until after taking those first steps down from the top of the hill after I turned 40. I like my hair color, the dark colored ones, my chestnut brown, shiny, curly hair. I will admit I’m spoiled, my hair has a mind of its own and for years I would just wash, throw my head upside down, blow dry my curly mane until it looked good, stop, spray, toss and I was ready to go.
The truth is, I liked the carefreeness and wild style of my hair and felt it was an extension of myself. I’ve never been one to really conform completely. I march the beat of my own drummer and to be truthfully honest my drummer is sometimes slow on the beat, and my hair was a part of that whole thing, my look, my sound…me.
Now I have on my bathroom sink about six different hair products I use just to keep this mane from becoming insane, yet here’s the exasperating point, I personally am not insane. My life is not a frizzy mess. My life isn’t old! But my hair looks like it is!
So I color, I moose, I even use a pomade, all in an effort to hang on to me. The ‘me’ who daydreams, the ‘me’ who still plays board games and skips when walking the dog, the ‘me’ who is not old.
So standing on the downward side of the hill, I see a lot of gray. On some people it looks good, while others…well…not so good. Here we are, all of us on this side of the proverbial hill and we have wonderful things with us, our experiences, our stories that we wish to tell, the incredible creations that we built and shared; that’s what makes us special. Makes me and you, you and me. Those are the extensions of ourselves that are important and unique, not our hair.
I know this, deep down, I truly understand and accept this as a truth. I am an adult after all, and I am proud of all that is me. Me. But, I still question…why greay?