My sister-in-law also helped by pinning this picture that linked to this site which is equal parts odd and inspiring.
I've tried this before, half-heartedly. Usually because I was too lazy to take up a night dying yet again or oblivious to see how bad my roots were. I can't be the only one who forgets what I look like until I see a picture of myself, can I? But after reading Kendra's post, I felt inspired to try again and this is the grayest it's ever been.
I've been going gray since about college. Several of my sisters have the same trait and my one sister actually started in high school (well, eighth grade...she still has a memory of her teacher pointing a gray hair out to the entire class and embarrassing her!). We've always been told it's an Irish trait. Or maybe that was just to make us feel less weird. I followed my sisters' lead and started dying it from a box regularly. I've never been one to get it done professionally and have to prevent my jaw from dropping anytime someone tells me how much it costs. I'll take my five dollar box and the judgey glances from the hair stylists, thank you. Any time I stopped for a little while I would start to feel haggard and tired looking and so I would give in and do it again, tolerating the horrid smells and black neck smears and random stains in the bathroom.
But I'm tired of it and after reading her post, I wanted to try again and give it a better shot.
So behold my current hair.
It's pretty bad, I know (and these were the "good" shots!). It's in another awkward phase. Those of us non-Kendras who have dark hair have a less graceful transition to the gray and it certainly shows up a lot more. When I first started doing it a couple months ago, I actually got a few sincere compliments and I even sort of liked it. The last few weeks it's been transitioning again and I just look worn. (I looked up synonyms for haggard and got to cadaverous...eh, I don't think I'd go that far ;) Lately, I can tell people are surprised that I would dare to look like this and I can see them parsing their words and trying to say something nice. It's slightly entertaining. I'm hoping that it's just a phase that will pass and it will start to look more intentional again.
But can I tell you something? Despite how I know I look older and yes, maybe a bit more haggard, I feel better about myself. I feel like I'm looking more like God wants me to look and like I'm not trying to hold onto something that is so fleeting and fight something that I don't even care that much about fighting. I have more confidence. Maybe this could be my 'thing', you know? I feel like I'm looking at a culture that says only youth is beautiful and worth emulating and the last thing you ever ever want to be is -gasp- old, a culture that tells women they should spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to look like they haven't aged, and I'm giving it a good right smack in the face. It started out as a little experiment but now I almost feel like I can actually challenge a cultural status quo in my own little way just by refusing to accept that lie. Because, really? What is wrong with gray hair anyway? Who decided that going to a salon and dropping a week's worth of groceries only to come out looking like someone strapped a bleached tiger pelt to my head (and like every other twenty-something walking out of the salon which is always, always what they want to do to me...) is beautiful?
Who decided that God was wrong when He said,
"Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life?"
(Proverbs 16:31...I defaulted from my normal RSV translation which called it "a hoary head" ;)
I don't know about the righteous life part, but maybe I can claim that glory part.
I don't at all think it's wrong to color one's hair. Obviously. There's a huge difference between doing something because you want to and doing it because you feel like you're supposed to. I'm just not buying that supposed to anymore.
But all that said?
I still reserve the right to throw all this out the window, claim cadaverous status, and rip into that five dollar box waiting for me in the medicine cabinet.
First time here? If you're interested you can get new Better Than Eden posts on Feedly or BlogLovin' and connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Thank you so much for stopping by!