A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for October 23rd, 2013

Grey matter

Posted by Pepper on October 23, 2013

I have 3 strands of grey hair that seem to emerge from adjoining roots. As a result, if I part my hair, I can see a small cluster of grey. Instead of worrying about it, I feel thankful that I have only about 3 grey strands so far. Because my genetic constitution is exactly like my mother’s. And my mother started greying at the age of 16. By the time she was in her early 20’s, her grey streaks were very prominent. She introduced herself to the world of hair colour at a very young age.

I always ask her, why did she choose to colour her hair? She says she doesn’t know. That the possibility of not colouring her hair never occurred to her then. You go grey – you conceal it with dyes. That was the mantra. The social conditioning ran very deep and she says she was not intelligent enough to question the norms. Also, she isn’t bold enough to sport the grey confidently. She wasn’t then, she isn’t now. So she continues to colour her hair till date. Mehndi has not worked for her. It makes her hair too brittle. And I absolutely abhor the red haze it leaves. So that is ruled out.

All my life, I lived in anticipation of the greys. Since I take after my mum in every way, a part of me was almost sure I would start sprouting grey hair by the time I entered my late teens. Surprisingly, I did not inherit this trait. No grey hair made an appearance on me until the age of 25. Then I spotted 3 strands. I see the same 3 strands today, at the age of 27.5. Or perhaps I have more grey hair than I am aware of. I don’t know. But not much that is visible from the surface.

I keep expecting to see more grey as I grow. And they say stress and worry accelerates the process of greying. Hah! If that is true, I expect myself to have a fully grey head very soon. I am a chronic worrier. At any given point, I will be hyperventilating about my parents health, about our erratic financial management, our lack of planning and organising, Oregano’s kidney problem, our unborn kids, the piling laundry and everything else under the sun.

I give myself another year or two, before the grey is very visible. And then I wonder, what after that? Will I really be bold enough to carry the striking grey? Or will I succumb to the pressure and get my hair coloured? Mint is extremely clear. He says I should never colour my hair. Ever. The dyes that are used are cancerous. Why do people want to subject themselves to years of such harmful treatment? For what good? Mehndi is a no no for me.

At one point, I agreed with him. I was sure I would never get my hair coloured. But now, I find my resolve shaking. I happened to be getting a hair cut at a salon, and the guy working on my hair shrieked when he noticed the 3 grey strands. He told me I should colour my hair immediately. Instead of getting mad, I chose to remain calm.I told him I did not intend getting my hair coloured. Not any time soon atleast. And those few grey strands were acceptable to me.  But in all honesty, that shriek of his disturbed me more than I let on. Beneath the composed exterior lay my insecure and unsure self. I then reminded myself, if at all I do decide to go natural and never colour my hair, I will have to brace myself for many such shrieks. Am I prepared?

I consider myself to be young. Young people are not meant to have grey hair. Grey hair is a sign of age, a sign of wisdom and maturity. That is what I am led to believe. And that is definitely not me now. The point is – Will I ever think that description fits me? Or will I, like the rest, forever crave to look and feel ‘young’. I suppose we crave to look young because young equals fun, and old equals boring. I want to contribute towards changing this mindset and challenging this belief. And confidently sporting grey hair while I continue to lead a normal, ‘fun’ life will help. I just don’t know how strong I am. I will have to wait and watch.

Do you colour or plan to colour your hair? If so, I am curious to know why.

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