It was in looking at that picture that I got upset. Not only due to the humiliating photo, but to the fact that I felt frustrated. I spend a great deal of time and money each month to look my best, and yet, I still have that dreaded skunk stripe period in-between my color appointments. After seeing that photo, I decided that I had two choices, to color more frequently, or to stop coloring all together. At least by not coloring it, my hair, in theory, should then be all one color. That is unless of course I find that I am not fully gray, but instead a blend of salt and pepper. Even still, it would be the same blend throughout. Then, whether I have my hair pulled back for a morning at the gym, or am at the three week mark, my hair will, at least in my mind, look more presentable.
Once I decided to make the change I began doing research. In scouring the web I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of information out there. Information, that made me more and more convinced that I am doing the right thing. I always have a tremendous amount of hair loss, which I've always attributed to the fact that I have hypothyroidism. Turns out I may have been mistaken. I always blamed my dry, itchy, scalp on the coloring process, but it actually never occurred to me that the extreme hair loss could also be a result of the chemical process that goes with coloring ones hair each month. Luckily my hair is healthy and replenishes itself constantly to keep me from going bald, but the hair I have to remove from the floor on a daily basis still causes me to wonder. I am looking forward to see if the hair loss situation remedies itself once I make the transition and am no longer putting chemicals on my head.
Another thing that reinforced my decision was a comment I read. One that hit way too close to home. The writer pondered the question "I eat right and exercise, so why do I continue to put these chemicals on my head each month?" That statement was like a punch in the gut for me. And frankly it leaves me wondering why I did not consider this fact before now. Did my need for coverage override my brain? Seriously, what are these chemicals doing to my scalp? If the color can come off on a towel then isn't it logical they are also leaching into my body? What is that doing to my overall health? When weighing the pros and cons, it is clear that everything is pointing in the same direction, going natural. The big question is how to get through the process.
Transitioning, while liberating, can also be incredibly scary. I think I've nearly driven my dear hubby crazy worrying over the process to come. He is supportive. But he is also a man. A man, without any hair. How liberating. But I also remember his transition to that phase. A transition, that included a great deal of hat wearing, until that fateful day, when he finally got the nerve to take a razor to his scalp. If woman could only be so fortunate, to take that leap and not be ostracized, assumed ill or have references made to her sexual preference.
So, not ready to shave my head, I am now researching my options. Let it grow, and deal with the skunk stripe. Continue to highlight with a color close to my roots to help the process appear more subtle. Chop it all off, then continue to cut until I finally get to my full, natural, color. Wear a wig. A Scarf. Or even a headband. The bottom line is I have options. Options which, no matter what I choose, will help me get to the place I intend to go. While currently the natural look is the road less traveled, it is the road I prefer to take. A journey, such as it is, to be free. Free from deception. Free from unwanted chemicals. Will I be silver, gray, white, or salt & Pepper? At this point only time will tell.
While some may not agree with my decision, the bottom line it is "my" decision. I'm taking the stand. I'm doing this for me. I'm giving myself permission to love the woman I see in the mirror, no matter the color of the hair...