It was my husband who first pointed it out.
“Oh, look,” he exclaimed with glee. “You have a grey hair.”
That he took the time to tell me this while I was folding his undies as he sat next to me playing on a Nintendo like a 15-year-old was entirely lost on him.
“Yeah. Thanks dude.”
There are definitely a few greys on my head. But, I’m a bit of a tight arse, so I’ve never included foils or colour work at my (less than) regular hair appointments. However, if my husband has noticed then the greys are probably more prominent than I had previously realised.
This is how I’ve arrived at the hirsute crossroads I find myself at. Do I take action to cover the greys? Or do I let them go, and age naturally and gracefully?
There are plenty of examples of women who have aged naturally and with incredible style. Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close. These are beautiful beautiful women. I’m so deeply inspired by them. They seem to be defiantly natural in their appearance, and we can’t help but love them for it.
I suspect, however, that I am not Helen Mirren.
But then, deciding to cover up the greys has my bank account trembling in fear. With two small people in childcare, forking out $300 every six weeks to get my hair dyed seems like an extravagance I can ill afford.
I’ve always embraced my age.
When I turned 30 some years ago I was excited, more excited than I’d been about a birthday since I was a kid.
I figured I had a great marriage, children, a disposable income and I felt like I finally shaken off the last of the existential angst from my teenage years that lingered into my 20s.
This had potential to be the best decade yet. I was excited about aging. I imagined that I would grow in confidence. The only way was up.
But grey hair has taken the spring out of my step. What is it about the physical signs of aging that make me think twice about getting older? Is it because I know that far too often women’s value is judged by their physical appearance? Is it because I know that the feminine ‘ideal’ is young, fresh and vibrant?
It’s because I know women that women who are older, have aged naturally and maintained their status as beautiful women are remarkable and, well, a little bit rare.
And so we arrive back at the crossroads. Am I dialling my hairdresser to book in bi-monthly appointments for the rest of the year?
Or do I have the strength to resist the pressure and embrace the silver as it slowly appears?
How do you feel about your grey hair? Do you dye it, or are you choosing to leave it?