Yesterday I went shopping and then for lunch with my friend Susan. As usual we caught up on our news, we talked about family, and what we’ve been reading, and about our hair. And about how we are both in, well, a good hair place.
Susan’s hair is a lovely salt and pepper. Grey mixed with streaks of darker grey, and others of soft white. As I am wont to do, I commented on her hair when she was in the middle of a story. She was telling me about her son or maybe it was her granddaughter, and I interrupted with: “By the way, your hair is looking amazing.” Then I proceded to comment on how great her navy sweater looked with her purple and pink scarf … and how they both looked so good with her salt and pepper hair.
I might not have said all that in the same breath, but I said it over the course of the conversation. At some point I laughed and apologized for making so many comments on what she was wearing. And for analysing the way the purple and fuchsia in her scarf complimented the white highlights in her hair. She chuckled and said she was used to it, meaning she was used to me waxing lyrical about the detail of colour and outfits. Ha. She knows me so well, people.
Then we got into a saga about colours and which colours we can and can’t wear. Susan told the story about a jumper and blouse that her aunt made for her before she headed off to boarding school in grade thirteen. And how the golds and tans always looked dreadful on her. She’d wear her outfit and people would ask if she was feeling okay. Similarly with a green (I think it was) dress when she was first teaching. She said she never really understood why until she had her colours done years later and found out she was a “winter” and warm colours were an anathema to her. And still are.
It’s funny how when I see Susan after an absence of a few months, like yesterday, I am always struck by how much I like her hair now that she no longer colours it. I mean, she hasn’t coloured her hair in years. But when I encountered her unexpectedly in Nordstrom yesterday… we were both early for our lunch reservation… a part of my memory must have been expecting her hair to still be dark brown. Not that I didn’t think her dark hair looked good, just that it looks so very good now.
Susan is definitely in a good hair place. And, you know, so am I.
Back in March 2020, after what seemed like a million years of colouring my hair, with a labour intensive (for Carmen anyway) combination of base colour, highlights, and lowlights, a ton of hours in Carmen’s chair, and a lot of money spent, I stopped covering my grey. Actually it was the lock-down of 2020 that forced my hand. As it did for many of us.
I was shocked when the colour started to grow out and I saw, when my roots were long enough to really get a good look at them, that I would be white-haired when it was all over. Not grey. Not salt and pepper like Susan. Totally and completely white. Like my grandmother Burpee who had snowy white hair. Once I could push my bangs off my face, cover the faded blond and brown with my cupped hands, and see the effect of the silver against my skin, I started to fall in love with the colour. Or lack thereof.
After the dyed colour was all gone…. another few months after my first post-colour cut… Carmen and I began to talk of putting a few lowlights in the front for more definition. We experimented. The first try was too dark. The second too light and not visible enough. The third try was the charm. It took a while because the lowlights had to grow out and be cut off completely each time to avoid covering colour with colour.
I quite like the look of a bit of colour in the front. Not too much, and not too widespread. I want most of my hair to be snowy white. Like my grandmother. By the beginning of 2022 we’d got it right.
I’m currently trying to decide if I want to redo the lowlights in the front. Carmen and I discussed it when I had my hair cut on Wednesday. Should I or shouldn’t I? I don’t know yet. I don’t want anything wild. No pinks or blues. That’s just not me. But I might opt for the same shade we did last time. Or I may not.
The texture of my hair has changed since I stopped having it coloured. While the colour was growing out it was curlier than ever. Almost unmanageable when we were camping during the spring of 2020. But now it’s more silky, seems finer in texture, and doesn’t have as much curl as it used to have. I had to stop using my leave-in conditioner after years and years of needing the extra conditioning to control the frizz. Now the conditioner just makes my hair flat. This week I asked Carmen to go very short and more choppy.
I love the cut. I love the colour. Or lack thereof. In fact I’m very happy with my hair overall. I am definitely in a good hair place.
Lots and lots of women on social media have recorded their hair journey from colour to no colour. And they all look great with grey or white hair. They seem happy with their choice to stop colouring. I guess they’re in a good hair place too.
But what I have noticed is that many, many of these women are in their forties or fifties, some are even in their thirties. Some of them are former models. Fewer of them are my age or older. I’m not sure why that is. And I’m wondering if we might try to shift the balance a bit.
I’d like to write post about you, my friends. About your hair journey. And show that you are in a good hair place now that you’ve stopped colouring your hair.
So I want you to send me a photo of yourself. Make sure we can see your hair in the shot. And if you don’t mind, tell us a bit about your hair story. Perhaps you might share your age (if you don’t mind), how you made the decision to stop colouring your hair, or maybe you never started at all. Include as much or as little detail as you want. If you have them include before and after photos, during photos, or just a photo of you with your au natural hair. If you want to weigh in on why you prefer to keep colouring and include a photo to support that, go for it.
I’ll put all the photos and stories into a post. A post about the hair stories of the High Heels in the Wilderness community. If I get a lot of photos and stories, I’ll do more than one post.
You can email me at this address. Please try to have the pictures to me by March 4. Then I’ll publish the post the next Saturday. That gives you lots of time to take a photo that makes you happy.
I’ve always been interested in, maybe even a little obsessed by, hair. Usually it’s my own hair story I talk about. So I’m super excited to be able to see and read about your hair journeys.
P.S. I’ve listed below the hair care products I use now that my hair is white and more finely textured. I have provided links when I could find them. Some of the products are only sold in salons. Where a link is provided, it is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a small commission which helps to pay for the blog.
Goldwell Silver shampoo to keep the white white. KMS Hair Play: Sea Salt spray for a grittier texture because my hair is so soft now. I apply this before blow drying. Goldwell Ultra Volume Double Boost for some extra lift and volume when my hair begins to grow out and gets flat. Apply before blowdrying. Goldwell Creative Texture Unlimitor 4, styling paste. For styling after drying. Use sparingly. Helps make hair look more “piecey” and textured, and not poofy.