Monday, July 22, 2013

Concrete Blondes

Every two months or so I make my way to the local wellness center where I treat myself to a wonderful back massage. Thanks to the expert hands of my very funny, full-of-life massage therapist, Cathy, my back is pain-free and has been for more than a few years. But it's not about the massage I want to talk about it's what happened as I was paying for it.

I'm standing at the counter about to write a check when a woman, somewhere around my age, walks up and says, "I love your hair."

For a split second I'm caught off guard and immediately run my hand through my hair because it probably looks like I have bed head. "Oh, thank you," I reply. Then she says something I think is sad, "I wish I could let my hair grow out but no one wants me to do it."

Excuse me? Say what? No one wants you to?!!? It's your decision not someone else's! But I don't say this to her. Instead I respond, "I've been going grey since I was 30."

I can remember people asking me from time to time who my hairdresser was because it came in so evenly. While I never gave it much thought, my response was always, "Mother Nature." It's now an attractive mix of grey and brunette with the grey slowly, oh who am I kidding, rapidly overtaking the diehard brunette bits still desperately trying to hang on for dear life.

"It's really sad people associate grey hair on women as being old," I continue. "But those of us who are grey? We're called 'Concrete Blondes.'" She looks at me and I think she likes this idea.

"My hair would be snow white if I let it grow out," she says.

"I have a friend who has snow white hair and it's beautiful. I bet if you let yours grow out and had it cut like you have your hair right now, you'd be a knockout."

As an adult, hair, makeup and the clothes we wear are personal decisions and as such we have the final say on what we will or will not do or wear. While this is easy for me to say, I've never let anyone tell me about my hair. I wear my hair the way I want to. The way I think it looks best. There are so many women out there hiding behind hair color because they think their grey hair makes them look old. I can understand that. When we see a man with grey hair we say, "he looks distinguished." See grey hair on a woman and many of us think, "she's old." But let me tell you I've seen some gorgeous grey hair on women in my travels and I don't understand nor will I succumb to society's mistaken idea that if women have grey hair, they're old.

I don't know if I gave her something to think about or made her day but I hope she thinks about it and makes her own mind up and not listen to those around her. I know for some of us that's easier said than done but what has she got to lose? If she doesn't like it she can always dye it again.

I also suppose there's a possibility that companies making hair color will boycott my blog but I'll take my chances.


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