I’ve bowed down to societal pressure now. I’ve coloured my hair an all-over colour to hide my greys. Yes. I’ve caved in. And yes there is a noticeable difference in the way I’m treated.
People are generally nicer to me; pay more attention to me when I talk; smile more at me; I notice men especially are more attentive, and the best thing about it is that women AND men both have stopped making the odd comment to me about the fact that I have white hairs – yes, ladies, you too are guilty of putting pressure on other women to look young. Yes you.
For the last 4 years, I’ve been living with my natural hair colour, and I’ve realised that there is no joy in it other than knowing I am not planting lots of harmful chemicals on my body. I believe people should not judge someone on superficial appearances, yet it’s what people do a lot, and I feel I am swimming against the tide by not following convention. Like swimming against the tide, life was just not as smooth and pleasant when I did not colour my hair. Perhaps I’m too sensitive to social rejection. Actually, I’ve just done a DNA test to find out about my ancestry as well as finding out what my genes tell me about my inherited traits, and funny enough, it does say that I have the gene (Gene “rs1799971” to be exact) that makes me more receptive to pain (and painful experiences) than average. That explains why I have never been someone who can calmly shake off social rejection as easily as the next. It always takes longer for me to get over a hurtful incident. And maybe I just feel that my hair colour is a battle I do not want to waste time over engaging in and then having to deal with all those feelings that come about.
Life is back to normal now (I.e. how it used to be when I used to colour my hair 4 years ago and before that, since the age of 17) and there’s a sort of peacefulness in that. It’s so damn superficial, but I guess it’s a trade-off I have to take. I still have ambitions and plans for my life and career, and I’m now taking steps towards it… I’m not gonna let something like white hairs ruin it now.
I have a baby face and a figure naturally resistant to weight gain. People mistake me for a person in her early 20s but really, I’m in my mid 30s now. People always seem surprised when they find out what my age is, or the fact I had a few kids, one of which is nearly a teen – though if they caught a glimpse of my wrinkly overstretched tummy, they would see the evidence for me having had children! It’s a curse in disguise because when I have my natural hair colour on me, I really look a bit odd and unattractive at the same time. I do not have the sort of skin tone that looks good in salt and pepper hair (which is my natural hair colour now). I have pale olive skin and no matter what some online beauty article might say – my skin tone seriously does not look “gorgeous” with white hair. And my baby face does not go well with the more mature look that my hair gives.
I had my first white hair at the age of 16 and it has not stopped since then. It just gets more. And now I have naturally salt and pepper hair. You know I wouldn’t mind it so much if it was like white all over, or black all over… but the salt and pepper effect really doesn’t look good on me.
If it was white all over then at least I can colour it lighter colours like pastels or blondes… but I am gonna be stuck with this salt and pepper hair for a long time before that even happens. And salt and pepper hair is not nice on me.