hair project

I have decided to go gray. It sounds so simple, but as with many female struggles, it isn’t. People ask, “Are you sure?” The answer is, “No, I’m not…” but I have still made the decision. -April 23, 2022

May 25, 2022: From unsuccessfully veiled looks of disapproval to seeming indifference, the grays emanating out of my part feel like they are on fire and my self-consciousness weighs heavily.

July 10, 2022: As the weeks pass I find myself becoming more and more sure, and comfortable with my endeavor. I am no longer trying to hide my gray hair and there is something freeing in that. Not only that, I actually am loving the new growth. I notice more and more women with beautiful gray hair. Just today the woman in line in front of me was talking to the receptionist and they were sharing notes about their journey to gray and I happily announced that I was in the process of going gray. Seeing both of their beautiful locks, and their encouragement, gave me a bit more confidence. Plus this project has cemented my commitment as I continue to photograph my hair every time I wash it.

August 22, 2022: Someone asked the other day how long I had been growing my hair out for and I said it’s been at least 6 months. Then I came here to look at when I started and realized it’s been only 4 months. It feels like it’s taking forever. And, yet, I think about it less and less and forget sometimes to even be self conscious. I was going to shoot a concert and was in photos and didn’t even think about it. However, having said that, I am quick to tell people what I’m doing so they aren’t thinking “she needs to get to a salon.”

October 28, 2022: Wow, may hair is getting long. I’m getting it cut tomorrow to clean up the ends. It’s amazing to watch the gray infiltrate my color. It comes through the layers sometimes and I’m excited to see that it’s not all white-gray, but there’s some darkness there too. My cousin said that I look older, and I do, but then I guess I am older. It’s a little hard sometimes to let go of the youthful feeling my colored hair gave me, but it’s getting easier and easier. When I look back at the dark hair at the beginning of this journey it feels somehow fake. Kind of how I feel when I see myself wearing makeup. I’m looking forward to it growing out, or rather, in, completely.

December 5, 2022: I did get my hair cut and it doesn’t look very different thanks to Rick who cuts it. I wish the brown would be gone already but I’m not going to cut it out because I like my hair on the longer side. I’ve also had moments where I’m scared of losing the brown completely even though I don’t love the bleached out color it’s become. Speaking of the colors, I will have to adjust to those that are emerging. My hair has been dark brown for so long, and I though it was so before I dyed it, but it seems to be shades of black. Was that how it always was? I guess it doesn’t matter because it’s how it will be. Also, its weird when I tell people I’ve decided to go gray and their facial expressions says “OBVIOUSLY.” Some have said “You can always dye it again.” However, I can’t imagine going through this again. Oh, and, I got new glasses to go with the gray. I was going to wait but started wearing them already. Funny how people usually notice I got new glasses about 3 months after I start wearing them.

It’s come to my attention from working on this how much I wear the same shirts. My comfort wardrobe for weekends. Ok, weekdays too. Maybe that’s the theme through all this, getting comfortable with myself and this time in my life as it flies on by. I was surprised to pull up my hair for one of the photos and see lots of dark hair so I included that in this batch. I really have no idea what this is going to look like in the end. I’m getting sick of the “brown” ends but I remind myself it’s just temporary. Anyway, this is just a minor thing. I started reading a book about gratitude and it resonates because I have been feeling such gratitude these days for the people in my life and the places I get to go. I’m truly lucky. But this page is about the hair.