The last time I dyed my hair was October 2018.
I had no idea it would be the last time, but I was already starting to hate being a slave to the dye, resenting the need to rush and get a hairdresser appointment as soon as my greys started to show.
I felt trapped in a cycle that I never wanted to be a part of but accepted without question. There was clearly an unspoken covenant: Thou (women only) must hide thy greys, at all costs!
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I started to notice silver strands in my early twenties, but they really ramped up after having my second child within an eighteen-month period (it’s true what they say about stress and grey hair).
Colouring stopped being about fun experimentation and playing around with new looks - it became about just one thing: cover up. I had a drawer full of root powders, touch-up wands and sprays, none of which worked particularly well, and some that would trickle down my forehead on rainy or sweaty days, Rudy Giuliani style. Not a good look.
Then, a few weeks after that last hair colour appointment, my dad died. It was sudden, unexpected and shocking. I cancelled everything and barely left the house for three months. I also made a decision - I wasn’t going to dye my hair anymore. I had a number of reasons, some practical and pragmatic, some lofty with principle.
The practical and pragmatic reasons? I bloody hated the $300 plus I was spending every six weeks. I resented having to carve out three, sometimes more, hours of my life sitting in the hairdresser’s chair when I could think of a million other things I’d rather be doing.
The lofty-with-principle reasons? I was mad! Why the hell could men walk around with patches of grey in their beards and silvering temples, but women couldn’t? Why did men feel free to exist in the world with their natural greys shining through (apart from Rudy) but women had to scurry off to the hairdressers as soon as a sparkle dared to emerge from a follicle? Why did I need to view my natural hair with shame? Why did we all?
During that time of awakening, I discovered the incredible Instagram page Grombre, which celebrates women who are ‘transitioning’ (that’s Grombre lingo) to their natural hair colour.