I got my first grey hair when I was 25. On Christmas day, no less. I woke up in the morning, looked in the mirror, and thought ‘what is in my hair?’ So I pulled on it. Ouch! The damn thing was attached! I plucked it out, of course.
That one white hair turned out to be only a harbinger of things to come. The first of many. A colonization of my cranial surface, if you will. Yeesh! By the time I was 30, I was dying my hair on a regular basis, and it wasn’t for fun.
I’ve been everywhere from brunette to blonde, from light auburn to dark chestnut. I’ve done highlights and hennas and a season with hair mascara that is best left unexplored. And for two decades I worried about the harm all those chemicals may be doing to my body, how they were effecting my nervous system, disrupting my hormone balance. But every attempt to break free eventually resulted in a desperate rush to the pharmacy for a quick-fix box of hair mud.
For the past two years I’ve been trying a different approach. Instead of covering the grey, I started bleaching the rest to blend it in, slowly grow it out and learn to embrace my natural colour, whatever that may be now. Well, that was the original plan. The reality is that each subsequent visit to the salon to add some more foils for the root area, left the ends of my hair increasingly damaged and, well, yellow. Which makes the roots too obvious yet again. Resulting in another trip to the salon . . . you get how this goes on and on until the damage is pretty damn noticeable.
Enter Covid-19. No salon. No foils. No hair cut. My head began to resemble a brassy yellow fuzz-ball with bits of white & brown where it was anchored to my scalp. It got ugly, folks, but my husband was the only one who had to look at it and he wasn’t complaining (he’s also stuck with me 24/7, so considering that, silence on the subject was probably his best move.) For just a fleeting second I thought about opening that box of brown hair dye that inexplicably remains stashed beneath the bathroom sink like an emergency bottle of hooch. But the quarantine blues got me and it didn’t seem worth the effort anymore.
And then one morning I dragged my sad self out of bed and looked in the mirror and thought ‘Meh. What’ve I got to loose?’ So I grabbed the scissors from my desk and did what history may come to recognize as the benchmark of Covid Isolation Desperation…I cut my own bangs. And it wasn’t worse.
Random trimming of problem areas has continued, now and then, here and there. I still have 3 or 4 centimetres to go. I think it’s getting better. At least it’s not worse.
I’m ok with it.
They are talking about loosening the restrictions here in British Columbia by mid May, and thus will end all this time I was given to accomplish all those things I never had time to do in ‘real’ life. You know what? I didn’t finish any of them. I didn’t even begin most of them. But years from now, when subsequent generations ask me “what did you do during the Covid-19 quarantine?” I will say, “I grew my roots out and made peace with my grey hair.”
Stay safe, be kind to each other, and send your hairdresser a virtual hug!