Sunday, August 05, 2012

50 Shades of Gray - Jaffarian Style

Last dye job - 8/13/11
This month marks an important milestone. It was one year ago that I decided to stop coloring my hair and let the gray shine through. It has been an interesting journey and not once did I think about running back to the dye bottle. My last color job was August 13, 2011. I recently had my silver and gray hair cut and my stylist and I celebrated with hugs. He told me that if I ever tell him I want to go back to dying my hair, he’s going to refuse to do it. He loves my new look and his part in it. Every time I came in for a cut, he’d light up like a Jewish kid at Hanukkah to check the progress.

9/19/11

I belong to a lovely group on Facebook called Gray and Proud. It’s a collection of men and women who have decided to stop coloring their hair and go natural. Some are having their stylists weave lighter color into their hair so that the outgrowth of gray won’t show as much during the process. Others, like me, went cold turkey, letting the various skunk stripes show for all the world to see. Going cold turkey shortens the time it takes to grow out the color. So does cutting your hair short, but I’d been wearing mine short for years already, so that was not a drastic change.


12/3/11
It has been an interesting and even fun journey. I treated the growing out of my hair color as a game. I took regular photos and posted them to face book. I wore my skunk stripe with pride. Along the way, I received a lot of encouraging comments from both men and women. I only recall one woman telling me I was too young to stop coloring my hair and that was early on. Maybe others thought that, but wisely kept their comments to themselves. Or maybe my cheery commitment to my decision kept them from seeing it as a negative choice. Whatever it was, I received great support all along the way. And now that the process is over, I am constantly receiving compliments on my hair and overall new look. Many have even said I look younger with my gray hair!


Feb. 2012
Many of the women who post on G&P have had a lot of negative feedback on their decision to stop coloring their hair. People tell them they are too young to go gray. They will never attract a man. It looks ugly and old. For some of the G&P members, the pressure was enough to send them back to the dye bottle. Even though it wasn’t what they wanted, it was easier than putting up with all the negative bullshit. Frankly, I’m angry at both sides. People who feel entitled to attack other people’s personal choices can just bite me! Personal choices are just that – personal. It’s not like these ladies are deciding whether or not to go postal the next time they’re at Target. So, naysayers, if you can’t say anything positive and supportive, keep your mouth shut! As for those who succumb to peer pressure and criticism, quit being a victim. Pull on your big girl panties and go for it, no matter what IT is.


August 2012
 A year ago, I decided to make a lot of changes in my personal life. Going gray was the easiest, but the catalyst for others. Moving my Ghost of Granny Apples franchise to a new publisher was another change. (The next time you see a new Granny Apples novel or novella, it will be released by publishing giant Penguin/Berkley.) Taking myself off the book conference circuit until 2014 was another, and a big one. This decision was made for two reasons: 1) I was falling on my face with exhaustion from juggling my careers as a writer and a paralegal; and 2) I needed to stablize my debts and spending.  Today I’m almost debt free, and ahead of my initial schedule! To be able to do this in the face of this horrible economy has been a major accomplishment and sense of great pride.

I have another goal I’m about to tackle, but I’ll share that another time since this post is going WAY TOO LONG….

15 comments:

Sheila Webster Boneham said...

Great post! I'm on the no dye journey right now and can't wait to cut the remaining color out of my goofy looking hair! Maybe I'll follow you down some of those other paths, too. :-)

bettiek said...

I was in my forties when I made the decision not to color and have never regretted it.

Dru said...

Bravo and congrats on accomplishing your goal. I like the new you. I refuse to color my hair and when it goes gray, I'll wear it with honors.

Tri-Gal said...

Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. :)

Lynne DeVenny said...

When I get more than a half dozen gray antennae waving around, I'm gonna go for the gray. Love, love, love your hair.

Also would love to hear how you reduced the debt, a personal goal of mine, too.

Stephanie Parker said...

I'm loving your hair more and more as it has gone through the stages! I am starting to see a few white hairs; mostly my hair is just losing its color. I'm 44 and proud to not be coloring my hair (although I respect everyone's right to decide for themselves). I also would love to hear more about your debt reduction process. Thanks for being you!

LibraryJill said...

My two red-headed librarians (both way younger than me) decided to stop coloring their hair a few years ago. They're both white/gray and I think they look great. Of course, since they also share the same first name, it's difficult when a patron asks for "Cathy", I ask, "which one?" and they say, "the one with gray hair". My hair hasn't turned grey yet, but I REFUSE to spend the time/money to color it when it does. Congrats on your new look, I have always thought you looked beautiful no matter what color your hair is. Your smile makes you sparkle! -- Jill

Jay Vee said...

You look very pretty with your natural hair color. Too many women feel that if they don't look young, they aren't pretty. Beauty comes from within. Thanks for being courageous enough to let your true light shine!

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Bobbi Luster said...

My hairdresser convinced me to stop dying my hair when I retired. That was three years ago and I haven't regretted it for a moment. I was one of the lucky ones and my own hair grew out beautifully. I just read your first Odelia Grey mystery and can't wait to get my hands on the rest of them. Where have you been all my life?

Bobbi Luster said...

My hairdresser convinced me to stop dying my hair when I retired. That was three years ago and I haven't regretted it for a moment. I was one of the lucky ones and my own hair grew out beautifully. I just read your first Odelia Grey mystery and can't wait to get my hands on the rest of them. Where have you been all my life?

Bobbi Luster said...

My hairdresser convinced me to stop dying my hair when I retired. That was three years ago and I haven't regretted it for a moment. I was one of the lucky ones and my own hair grew out beautifully. I just read your first Odelia Grey mystery and can't wait to get my hands on the rest of them. Where have you been all my life?