Embracing my Grays

How is it that on some men grey hairs can be sexy and distinguished but on women, they are seen as negative and something to get rid of? I am so over that, and I am also over coloring my hair every four to five weeks because my new gray hairs are aggressive.
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I normally use henna to cover them and it works great. The stubborn greys that I have covered before are still that love reddish color. However, the new growth demands attention. I probably never would have even started covering them if it were not for the fact that they are right in front of my head and I notice when people are talking to me, their eyes focus on my grayish hairline rather than my eyes. It made me a bit self-conscious. Couple that will the fact that there is a stigma attached to gray hair like being old and unkempt. Who wants to be old and unkempt?

Before all of this COVID stuff happened and people found themselves not having easy access to barbers and beauty salons, I had long decided that I was going to stop this new monthly ritual of hair coloring. Firstly, I always loved salt and pepper hair on Black women. It is gorgeous to me. I look forward to when my hair looks like that. I figured, if I want that to be my ultimate goal, I better stop coloring my hair at some point. Additionally, I believe that I can be beautiful and gray at the same time.

I will admit that it is taking some getting used to. I have to personally inject myself with a good dose of daily confidence-boosting self-talk. It reminds me of when I went natural 18 years ago, when hardly anyone was doing it, except my girlfriend who I remember ridiculing about it right before my eyes opened up (not a bright spot in my growth journey). Approximately three years before I went natural, my girlfriend had already cut off all her permed hair and I actually had the nerves to tell her, "You better do something with that hair if you are going to walk in my wedding." What a shame on my part. At the time, I could not fathom our natural hair being beautiful enough to be in my wedding. That was 22 years ago and I have grown so much. Especially, considering that I too faced backlash when just three years later I decided to cut out the creamy crack from my life.

I was rocking the Halle Berry hair cut, you know the one in Boomerang, for a while. Then was letting it grow out. At the time, there were a few news reports of Black women having a difficult time in the cooperate world because of their natural hair and I was incensed. Crazy that we still have that issue. I decided to do some research and what I learned was eye-opening. I also found out I was pregnant and was not planning on perming my hair during my pregnancy. Ultimately, I decided that I can be beautiful with my natural hair. It was not an easy journey but here I am 18 years later now rocking my mane in locks.

I can be beautiful with my hair gray hair too. I call my gray hairs specks of moon dust. They are sprinkled throughout and I look forward to more coming in. Every time I tell someone I am no longer covering my grays, they kind of look at me like I am nuts. "Why are you doing that?" they ask. It's like 2002 all over again. I am okay with that. It gives me a small window to get on my soapbox about conforming to European beauty standards that were never ever meant for us. It gives me an opportunity to fight for the love that I have for myself and I am all good with that.

Check out these beautiful sisters unapologetically rocking their grays.

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