Thursday, September 27, 2012

...the ole' grey hair

As the seasons change throughout the year, the seasons of our lives have a rhythm as well. We move from the Spring of forward...the Autumn is upon us. This post is about one of the rites of passage experienced by those of us entering the Autumn season...wash it away...or let it go grey.

Please do not interpret these words as an exercise in is truly the opposite. Sharing this story and these photos is humbling. That said, this post is not for the faint of heart...some of the pictures..well..they ain't pretty. Continue if you dare.

This is me. My name is Robyn and I have grey hair.

Several years ago I decided I was going to "let it go"! My rug hooking buddies were all older than me and encouraged me with their own "going grey" stories. 

So...I began to give it serious thought. The "pros" were time, save money, maybe my hair will feel like hair not straw, no more scalp burning from more roots. The cons..."I'll look old!!!".

My "Earth Brother" husband was all for it. I knew once Annie was out of school I would be staying closer to home and hair appointments go on for hours! Considering my hair grows extremely fast, it was becoming a real battle with roots...somehow grey roots look very dowdy next to brownish/blonde hair. And, I must admit, I was curious to see what I really looked like. My grandmother was prematurely grey, and was beautiful and elegant...maybe I could be grey...and not too ghoulish.

So...the decision made...I went "cold turkey"! My hair had become very light as coloring, after coloring washed out. No streaks to make it subtle...just let it grow. And grow it did. I wore a hat when possible... picking Annie up at school, grocery shopping. I'm not overboard vain, but I didn't want to scare small children!

Then...a dilemma. We had a big trip coming up to Washington, D.C.. No problem, people wear hats there...except at the Supreme Court. We were going for a swearing in ceremony for our group. No purses, no hats.

My daughter and I proudly watched as my husband stood and took the oath before the U.S.Supreme Court to protect and defend the Constitution. All the while I was thinking the people behind me were saying to themselves, "Does this woman know her roots are honing in on three inches?". "Is that a skullcap on her head?". Seriously, by then I was over worrying about my roots and had my eye on the prize...what did I really look like.

Scary, huh? I warned you.

United States Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.

So, a few years in...I wish I had done it earlier. Much in life is based on perception...blonde hair is is grey...what's the difference? Perception.

Today, I am chemical free...well, except for a Motrin now and then for my creaky knees...I have more time to hook and more money for wool....and red lipstick, a girl's gotta have some color!

Grey is not for everybody, but for me it was just one way to make my life add a few extra hours to the days of Autumn. in Central Park, NYC

The real me...

Enjoy the day,


  1. Hi Robyn, you wear it well my friend, looks good on you. Enjoyed the pictures and post, you go girl!!!!! Blessings Francine.

  2. Morning Robyn,
    What a delightful post - I think you are relaying a message that all of us think about quite often..I know I do.
    I'm not ready yet to go cold turkey but if I did I'd have gray hair quite quickly - My hair isn't a pretty gray though, not light like yours and never would be. I'm naturally dark, dark brown almost to a black so the gray is almost a dirty gray...not a pretty thing to look at so out comes the I only do the roots as the gray hasn't seeped into the full hair yet...yikes when it does it will be overall coloring.
    I love how yours turned becomes you.

  3. Looking good! Being Chinese, I've never had the temptation to dye my hair. Now that I'm getting more and more grey hair, I'm hoping I'll be brave and just let it be. Embrace the grey!

  4. Robyn, I honestly see you as very elegant and beautiful and your grey / white hair looks very distinguished. Nothing scary here at all. I've heard the analogy about our human season and I hope that your Autumn season is of long duration.

    Autumn is more comfortable than Summer. It's the Winter that I dread.

    Thanks for coming by beautiful friend.


  5. You pull off grey hair beautifully!! My mom is the same she didn't want to deal with dying her hair anymore and at 56 I think she looks great with grey hair also. Mine is just starting at the sides and the front, I'm 40 and I have chose to leave it be. I hope my hair will look as good as yours and my moms!!

  6. Being who you naturally are is always the most perfect and comfortable way to be! :-)

  7. You are lovely Robyn...I thank you for this post, as I too am at the crossroads of what to do with my hair. I was born a blonde and remained so till the birth of my youngest son twenty-five years ago. My hair began to darken, the high lighting began. The cost and commitment to this process is becoming old. Travis just may have a white haired granny after all. Have a lovely day, Julie.

  8. Hi Robyn...I always enjoy your posts, but this one made my day!!! I got my first grey hairs when I was the ripe old age of 26!!! Yes, 26...three of them! I never really did much coloring to my hair because I am naturally very light blonde, but after that I started to get hi-lites once a year. I stopped though about ten years ago and just let it go grey naturally. Then, last year when I approaching my 50th birthday, I must have been starting to go through a midlife crisis or something because I wanted to look a little "younger" for the "BIG DAY" so I got both hi-and lo-lites again, and no one even noticed! It's been a year now and I recently got another hi-lite job, only this time it was way more subtle, leaving more of the grey and I think this too will be my last trip to the beauty shop because it cost me $160.00 for my husband to ask me if they put extentions in my hair because it looked longer to him, NOT blonder!! Thanks for the wonderful post...have a nice day, Tina PS...Love the "COLOR"!

  9. My Dear Robyn...not at all fact you are quite lovely!
    My hair grows slow and I would love to wake up one morning with a full head of gray hair.
    If there were a gray hair dye I might even be tempted to try it =)

    You wear it well!

  10. Hello Sweet Friend,
    I just got back from my daughter's wedding and wanted to quickly comment!! I agree with all of my fellow definitely wear gray well!! I think you are just lovely and that red lipstick is the perfect finishing touch! I also carry a tube with me wherever I go!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful post and know you touched many, including me!! You are beautiful, inside AND out!!!
    Warm Hugs~~

  11. You, my fine fellow feathered-friend, are positively and radiantly BEAUTIFUL!! I envy you your gorgeous thick locks....and they are ever so loverly in gray. I used to have thick curly hair...As a child, each cut or trim involved an obligatory "thinning" and still I'd have to try to straighten and "calm" it so I wouldn't look like the Wild Woman of Borneo. For the past 20 years or so, though, it has become almost baby fine, but with a twisted natural curl that makes it impossible to pull off any kind of "fine" "do" successfully. I have no idea what my natural color is any more. My daddy always called it "brindle" colored (ummm, polite term for mousey brown???)....I guess the only gray I have is at the temples, but from what I've seen, it ain't gonna be any kind of color it is.... :o Now, me in red lipstick?? THAT would scare small children and grown ups alike! ;o) Great post.... Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  12. I think you look great! I use to be a blonde but my hair is really dark now. I keep it highlighted. I don't know what I will do when I start getting gray. I do think about it now and then. There's always decisions to be made!

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies! Your sweet comments have made my day and warmed my heart. I so appreciate your taking the time to come by and say hello...and your kindness has me smiling. You are all the very best!

  14. I LOVE this post !!!! First of all, your a beautiful woman, and any color would look good. Second, I think the gray is classy, natural, and sexy, compared to hair coming out of the bottle. Myself, I hate to spend time on hair and money. I use to get a highlight every now and thennnn, but that has been years ago. I am 56 and have gray in the front, and wish I was gray all over. I think it is beautiful! I love a classic hair style and lipstick and comfy clothes. Oh by the way, isn't Washington D.C. just awesome!!!!!

  15. Robyn,
    What a great post and so timely for me as I am doing what you have done before me and "gone cold turkey"! I too am trying to get as many toxins out of my system as I can and my highlights were the last thing I gave up just a few months ago. I am just about all natural now. At first it was a bit hard to rid myself of my vanity but now I am not minding at all. It is a freeing thing and besides...I'd much rather spend my money on wool! I have Tina beat tho. Found my first white hair when 21. My maternal grandmother was all white in her twenties and my mother was by 50. Your hair is lovely. Hugs, Lori

  16. You & your family are beautiful!!! Don't touch your beautiful hair :) My grays are coming all too quick myself! Your blog is wonderful! Enjoy Your Day! ~My Best, Kimberly

  17. Thank you for sharing your story. A few years ago, my sweet hubby encouraged me to give up the hair coloring. Something I had secretly desired. Can we say "totally freeing"! Blessings...Pam

  18. Robyn ~
    The "real you" is gorgeous, not that the "other you" wasn't! Be thankful you have beautiful grey and not mousy brown/grey that I have ... or that I think I have. My mom was grey in her 40's and after my dad once called her grandma, she then died her hair well in to her late 80'!
    Have a greyt day.
    Hugs :)

  19. *****the hair may be grey, but the face speaks of a women who is loved by her family and friends. blessed are you among women, may you always be a light of
    hope, love and determination to those who look to you for guidance in the daily
    walk of life!

  20. Thick beautiful gray hair is always a showstopper. Especially with lipstick and a very youthful face. You look fabulous. I still color because I look like a frump. My gray is very uneven and scattered but when it is filled in evenly, I'm letting it go.