Waiting for growth
Several months ago, I wrote I had stopped coloring my hair and was letting my natural hair color, along with the gray and white, grow in gradually.
I did my research on YouTube and watched videos of the "grow out" process. One woman shared that she bleached her dark hair to match her gray. Her hair was damaged so badly, she had to cut very short, anyway. I decided not to do that.
My hair was last colored in early June 2016. Back then, I thought it would take a year for my blonde hair to grow out. Fifteen months and another haircut later, I still have an inch of blonde hair on the front ends.
One thing I do not miss is watching for the graying roots that always came shining through. Some of the younger aides have asked if I would color it again. I emphatically said I would not. Even though I liked my hair colored, I often felt like I was a slave to the box of hair color. For several years, aides have not been able to assist with hair coloring, so it was never done on the spur of the moment.
Although gray regrowth is no longer disconcerting, I do miss the pampering that came with coloring my hair. It was nice to have a cosmetologist color my hair. It relaxes me and allows me to focus on making myself look better, which usually makes me feel better.
The new growth hair, particularly the gray and the white, is much drier than my colored hair. I am aggravated there are few products advertised as specifically made for gray hair. The only thing I can find is the purple shampoo blue-haired ladies used back in the 50s and 60s. Clairol has made gray hair products for decades, but they do not advertise them on their website.
When I asked a friend whose hair is mostly white in the front how she keeps it from looking dull or yellow, she says she uses shampoo and conditioner for regular hair to keep it bright. However, she does acknowledge that keeping it properly moisturized is more difficult.
When my blonde colored hair has been cut off, I will have a new photo taken for this blog. I do not know when that will be.
If my readers, male or female, are thinking of giving up coloring their hair color, try letting it grow out for a couple of months. The first three months are definitely the worst, psychologically at least. Looking in the mirror made me feel like I was lazy and did not get my roots touched up.
After that, the new growth no longer has as much of an impact. Of course, living in a nursing home and not being able to look in a mirror every day was definitely an advantage for me. The only image I saw was in the glass around the nurses' station, which did not show the "grow out" line.
It has not been that difficult to grow into my gray.After so many months, my friends and family are getting used to my hair. Some twentysomethings even tell me it looks highlighted. Another benefit is that caring for naturally colored hair is much less expensive than coloring.
Will I color it again? I do not think so. The only thing I have considered is to highlight the new hair growth, which is darker. That way it will blend better with the gray. But I cannot do that until all my colored hair is cut off.
So for now, it is a waiting game.
Kathleen Mears is a long-time blogger who has been a nursing home resident for 21 years. She is an incomplete quadriplegic and uses a power wheelchair to get around. Her computer is her “window on the world.” This blog shares her thoughts and view of life as a nursing home resident as well as ideas of how it might be improved in the future.