To be honest, there is not much more that I remember of that haircut, not even whether my boyfriend liked it or not. All I have is a handful of photos from that time to remind me what my short, unruly, hair looks like in the mid-summer humidity. The one memory that I do have, is of walking into a friends dorm room, crying.
"What's wrong!?" she said. "My hair!!!!" I cried. "It too short. I HATE it!" I went on.
My friend tried her best to console me, when one of her suite mates piped in, in the kindest way......... ........"My sister had cancer. She lost all of her hair. It'll grow back...... It's only hair."
And that is the moment that I stopped crying and stopped worrying about my hair.
Because, IT'S ONLY HAIR ! she was so right.
You guys, it's only hair!
You are sooooooooooooo much more than your hair. You are your soul, you are your heart, you are the smiles that you give and the hugs and the brilliant ideas and the helping hand.
The YOU on the outside changes each day as our cells die off and new ones take their place. The outside you is replaced as years roll on. A new wrinkle, a new lipstick, a new diet......
But the INSIDE you, oh the inside you! THAT my dear is precisely the REAL you. The BEST you there is !!!!
When you strip away all of the commotion and fear of growing out your gray hair, what you're truly left with at the heart of it all, is learning to be comfortable and PROUD to show the world the true YOU!
The freedom, oh the FREEDOM that comes with ditching the hair dye, the freedom from worry that your white roots are starting to show again - IT. IS .PRICELESS.
Knowing that you don't have to make the trip to the salon, AGAIN, or spend more money, or slather your head with pungent chemicals, or find drips on your bathroom floor...... it's the best feeling!
When we push through the worry and fear, when we come to terms with letting go of what used to be (like....my old brown-haired self), and embrace who we are now....... LIFE OPENS UP!
When I started this gray hair journey two years ago, I thought it would be about my hair. I was quite mistaken. This was an exercise in learning about myself and growing into me. It was also about letting go, just a little bit, to my worries over of what the world thinks of me.
It's easy to fall into the what-if thought trap: What if I look old? What is everybody hates it? What if I'm less attractive? What if I look strange?
All I have to say is: yeah, WHAT IF!?
Ok, that's a little insensitive, but...... this is what going gray does. Eventually, it helps you to say...."Yeah, what if......"
Learning to be yourself, the INDIVIDUAL that you are, truly does open doors. For example, after I accepted the gray and just went with it, I was able to wear strange large purple Bogs boots, EVERYDAY!
Who cares I would reassure myself, they keep my feet warm and dry, they are what I need in our slushy Michigan winter. They make me happy.
Sure the boots didn't make me into any kind of fashion plate, but they're just shoes. Just like your hair is just hair!
So, step back, it's best to see the big picture in things sometimes. You'll be fine. You'll be more than fine, you will be TRANSFORMED into an even more beautifully, complex and aware YOU!
We fear so much, the growing out phase, more than actually being gray. Don't you think?
My message to you is that I PROMISE it's not as bad as you think! My message is to jump in! Get it over with, it doesn't take as long as you think to get to a place where you feel more confident.
A hill can feel like a mountain when you're hiking up it, but from the top (where I am now) a little perspective can reassure you, it's only a hill.
Yes, there might be three or four or six months that your head is a mixture of hair colors, or sports the famous "skunk stripe", but there are SO MANY things that you can do to make the transition not only easier, but fun! Follow my tips and I promise you, you won't feel as badly as you think!
And then one day, you'll see your new gray hair next to your skin tone or eyes and you'll think: "Gee, I kind of like this!" One day your gray hair will shine in the sun, maybe even sparkle, and you will say: "Wow, this is so much less harsh than my over-dyed hair." You'll run your hands through your new hair, and suddenly you will be surprised...... it feels so healthy and soft now!
Slowly one by one, people will take notice. "I like your hair!" they'll say. Women and men. "It's neat", "I wish I could grow my gray out too", "It suites you." And since you've learned to like yourself more, these compliments are not needed to boost your confidence, so you can finally take them as just that: compliments. :)
Don't be afraid to embrace your unique YOU, it really is ok. I wish I hadn't waited so long myself!
(What is this strange expression? The point is, YOU CAN DO IT! Be YOU!)