Monday, April 5, 2010

Hare Today, Goon Tomorrow

I think that's the punchline of a joke that one might tell around Easter.

Anyways, I'm sitting here with a whole bunch of mixed emotions. I am practising yoga. I'm breathing into the sensations and noticing the feelings and allowing them to be there. In a couple of hours, I will be sitting in a chair at my hairdresser's for a few hours. For the first time. Ever.

It's not the first time going to the hairdresser's obviously. And if there was ever a question about my preference for monogamy, it's clear, based on my relationship with my hairdresser, that I am committed to our relationship and one will do just fine. I live in hair salon paradise down in the Market, yet I drive out to a small strip mall in the west end where she works, because I've chosen to stay with her. I like how she does my hair and that's that.

It's come up over the years about whether or not I should dye my hair as the grey starts to come in. My hairdresser is a long-haired silver. All grey and beautiful. My mother has never dyed her hair. I have friends who spend as much as a car payment on their hair each month and I have scoffed.

However, it was brought to my attention by a friend a few months ago that I "could dye my hair." I spoke to my hairdresser about it back then and she said I could dye it but that would be the beginning of the end. I'd need to keep dying it. "What about highlights?" I asked. She said it takes three hours and it's well over a hundred dollars. As if I'm going to sit for three hours and pay that kind of money! Ha!

And then I started looking around. The people that got to me the most were my students at CHEO. They almost all dye their hair. And they're not doing it to look younger. Most of them tell me it just is fun and it feels good. I remember Elizabeth Lesser telling me about 15 years ago that nothing made her feel better in the winter than getting some good highlights put in. Elizabeth? Unnatural hair? You bet. "Feels great," came the answer.

One my clients who's just a couple of years older than me and who's a shade or two darker said, "look at it this way. I've been dying my hair since my 20s. I'd say you've done pretty well."

When I called Francine to discuss this, she said "if we're doing highlights to cover the grey, you'll need to dye it first and then add highlights." I said, "what if I just want highlights to have fun and mix it up a bit?" And she said we could do that. I don't want to look stripey. She said not to worry, she does "foils." Apparently most people know what that is. It'll look "natural."

I feel like a freak when I get my eyebrows done, which is like every other year. This is not going to look "natural" to me one little bit.

I've had big conversations with Kat, who used to dye her hair and who has given it up. I'm thinking, well, I do other things for my appearance. I used to not shave my legs or armpits but becoming a yoga teacher for work encouraged me to just do it - I decided I didn't want to educate people about body hair and I could go either way. I work out. If I stopped working out I'd be overweight so fast. So that's artificial. I participate in my culture in many ways; drive a car, heat my house, all kinds of things that aren't natural, so surely, I could get over having my hair done.

It's not that I think I look that old. I'm just noticing that there's an opportunity to play as a woman that I haven't taken. Like trying high heels last year. Turns out it was fun and I'll do it again! I still don't know what I'm supposed to wear with those shoes, but I think that finding out could be an area for me to stretch and grow in.

So anyways, I've made the appointment and am leaving shortly. Then the same friend who suggested it'd be okay to dye my hair points out this morning that Cyndi Lee recently let her grey out and looks lots older, but that was the point, to be authentic.

I feel like I should lead the way towards natural grey and hold my head up and say it's okay but there's a part of me that feels like I didn't take the chance to play with what I was given, so I'm going to do that first. There's lots of time left to go naturally grey afterwards.

1 comment:

Jenni Young said...


First of all you do look beautiful as you are. However going to the hairdresser getting a trip and colouring your hair does feel great! If doing things that feel great on the inside project towards the outside then that is great too! Someone told me once that natural is for birth, not for hair! I recently discovered an entire section in loblaws full of natural hair dyes - you might consider trying this out if you like the experience. Oh and it's not true that you have to keep doing it. I coloured my hair for years and recently stopped. I had my hairdresser colour my hair to what we suspected my natural colour was and we will see. Not that I won't go back but right now it is not in the long term budget.
So have fun getting your hair done and please post some pictures!