Going grey has taught me patience. Living in a fast-paced world where instant gratification is the norm, waiting for the white hair to grow seemed like an impossible feat. I did have a lot of dyed hair I wanted to get rid of, and I wanted to do it the fastest way possible. I could have went for a pixie cut, or a fully shaved head, but a history of traumatizing boy cuts as a child seriously deterred me. I settled for a bob instead; it was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it seemed to be the most sensible thing for me to do then. Even with that I had to wait two years to be fully grey. The demarcation line was ugly, and it seemed like my hair was taking its sweet time to grow. It was painful at times, and it wasn’t my best look, but I knew that every passing day got me closer to a full head of greys. Going grey has taught me patience, but I also learned so much more than I thought I would in the process.
When I was still contemplating going grey, I asked almost everyone that crossed my way their opinion – my family, friends, my hairdresser. I needed approval and validation. I needed acceptance. Most said I shouldn’t go for it, their justifications echoing my insecurities – that I would be letting myself go, that I would look old, that I would be unattractive. I was still toying with the notion in my head then. After I finally took the plunge, I realized that external validation cannot quench my desire to feel happy with my decision – what I was seeking was a deep-seated feeling of peace that can only come from within. All the answers we will ever need are inside of us, we just need to connect with ourselves to tap into them and hear ourselves properly.
Yes, going grey taught me to be congruent with myself, but more importantly it taught me to peacefully hold my ground. People in my part of the world have an overwhelming urge to give unsolicited advice or just blatantly stare someone down, which can seriously affect confidence or sway minds. The latter used to fuel my anger, now I just chuckle silently in my head.
Where I come from, women are judged by how well they physically take care of themselves. Nails are always done and mostly everyone has the same shade of caramel blond/brunette hair. I used to always wonder if they all go to the same hairdresser, and on that note, the same plastic surgeon. Lebanon is dubbed as the region’s ‘Mecca’ for cosmetic surgery, and rhinoplasty is a right of passage for most (including yours truly) for coming of age.
Going grey taught me the importance of unlearning detrimental social norms and provided the greatest shift in perspective when it comes to defining beauty. I felt imprisoned by the vicious cycle of trying to hide any demarcation between the ‘ugly greys’ and the ‘more polished’ dyed look. Letting go of the need to dye not only gave me the freedom to not hide my greys, but empowered me to accept them, embrace them and actually love them. Nowadays, my grey hair is a source of pride for me; sometimes I see the face of aplomb and resilience when I look in the mirror, and sometimes all I see is a form of age-appropriate rebellion. Either way, it makes me happy, and happiness is what I’m aiming for these days.
The pictures in this post feature:
Aleph Beauty concealer/foundation in 3.0 and lip/cheek tint in Grounded
Nature Hedonist White Zahara Linen Shirt
You might also be interested in: Going Grey.