“Grey Hair doesn’t mean you’ve let go! It just means you’ve let loose.”
What’s it like to go from staying black to going natural grey with silver strands? I thought I’d create a timeline of sorts with the most asked questions from acquaintances.
The transformation was complete. I was quite happy with it. My hair was completely Silver. I had accepted aging with grace.
A friend told me that it takes guts to go completely silver. I laughed when she said that, ” As long as you are comfortable and don’t get a fright when you see your face in the mirror, you’re OK.”
I had reasoned with myself that we cannot go on looking young. And why should you not look your age? At 67, I was in fact now proud of my silver crown. The advantages of short, silver hair were many.
Here are a few that I’ve quickly penned down :
I was easily spotted and recognized
I could wash my hair every day. It would dry in a jiffy.
I think it has helped me to look distinguished and certainly a little glamorous.
People would graciously give their seats for me in a train or bus, sure now that I was a senior citizen.
Being a proud member of The SilverSurfers’ Club, I qualify to be a member so perfectly now. A Silver Surfer in the true sense!
My mind took me back to the time when I think I was about 30 years old. I had screamed one early morning. My mother had come running into the room ready to admonish me thinking that, I was as usual, screaming at the sight of a ghastly lizard or that of a harmless, but disgusting cockroach. No it wasn’t that. My problem was much worse. I had just caught sight of the first strand of silver hair in my beautiful, thick and curly jet black hair, worn shoulder length at that time.
I was upset and couldn’t accept the fact that I was beginning to grey. A sign of aging wasn’t it?My mother laughed at my silliness and got back to her daily chores, which I had interrupted.
But I was determined to fight the single strand of grey hair. So off to the chemist shop I went and equipped myself with a bottle of Godrej Hair dye (black), a pair of gloves, a packet of Mehendi and a brush to apply the vicious hair Dye.
After shampooing and drying my hair, I mixed the hair dye in the correct proportions and on a war footing applied the dye, followed by a coat of Mehendi. After an hour, I washed my hair again and was happy to see that the silver strand of hair was not to be seen.
I had spent one and a half hours in the process of hair dyeing and shampooing to cover up just one strand of silver hair. The bottle had said permanent hair colour. But after a month the silver strand made its appearance again along with a few more. The strands kept increasing. Finally, it was down to colouring my hair every 20 days.
It was the most tiring thing to do. But, my vanity got the better of me and I was determined not to look a day older than I actually was. This activity was carried out tirelessly for 35 odd years of my life.
Many friends and colleagues had started going grey and were comfortable with their looks. I told myself a hundred times to follow suit. But no, when I had to attend any function or club meeting, out would come the tubes of L’Oreal and another tiring three hours would be spent in the ordeal.
Finally at the age of 67, I decided I had had enough. One day, I took my friend with me, marched into Bounce – a fancy salon for ladies in Bangalore, and had my hair chopped short. I had never worn my hair so short in all my life and wasn’t sure I had done the right thing. But now, the hair had been cut and nothing could change that.
It was a total transformation. I reached home and the first person to see me was our security. He gave me an odd look but dared not cross his limits.
At a wedding, someone asked me whether I had cut my hair as a ‘mannath’ or a vow. I was annoyed and retorted as politely as I could that I had cut my hair to be fashionable.
I had many sleepless nights. Had I done the right thing? Had I done something foolish? These thoughts kept plaguing me for the first couple of days and continued to do so for almost six months.
My friends were saying, “It is 2018. Why do you care?” I avoided relatives for quite some time. But how long could I hide? I had to attend weddings and gatherings. I had cut my hair to stop colouring my hair and to look glamorous. I am glad now that I stuck to the decision. I had wanted a pepper and salt look, the in thing for senior citizens, but within six months my hair had turned completely and beautifully silver with not a strand of black hair. The transformation to a silver senior had been complete and I was quite proud of the new look.
Some people liked it and some didn’t. But for God’s sake, I hadn’t gone short and silver to please others. And I hated the thought of going back to black. I think, I would scream at seeing myself with a single streak of black hair, now!
As written and contributed by Usha R. : Author, Silver Surfer, Blog Contributor, Actor.