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I’m 39 years old, and the mom to four kids (8, 6, 5, and 1).  I am completely gray.

I noticed my first grays in high school.  By the end of college, I was using semi-permanent dyes on a regular basis.  By the time I was 25, I had switched to permanent colors.  At 30, I was using permanent dyes and highlighting also.  I highlighted about twice a year and colored about every eight weeks.   At 35, I was coloring, highlighting and also lowlighting. I had stepped-up my coloring to every six weeks.  At 39, I was coloring, highlighting, low lighting, and touching up roots every three weeks.  I had a standing Friday morning appointment every three weeks.  I needed it at about two weeks, but I pushed it to 3.  By that time, everyone knew I was gray.  Who was I really fooling?

By chance, in December 2007, I was in the bookstore looking for Christmas presents.  I was lost in the aisles and came across Anne Kreamer’s book.  It was eye-opening.   I stood in the aisle and read the whole thing.  The seed was planted and began to grow.

My last color occurred on December 21, 2007.  Of course, it had to be in time for the holidays.  With the New Year, I decided it was time for a change.  I was done coloring; transitioning began, and boy has it been hard.  I probably only have support from 50% of my family.  My in-laws have never mentioned my changing hair; they act as if it’s not even occurring (I know this isn’t a positive because previously when I discussed it with them, they all tried to discourage me from experimenting with the gray).  My first-grader asked me not to come to her class because she didn’t want everyone to know my hair was all gray “because no other moms have gray hair.”  She eventually changed her mind and let me come.  To transition, I had to go from long hair to very short hair, and that’s been hard.

In the end, I’m glad I made the change.  There is still a “disconnect” when I see a photo of myself or catch my reflection in the mirror.  Who is that person?  But, I love the freedom of not having to dye my hair.  I love the feel of my hair.  I love the color.  I wish I had my length back.  I wish I weren’t prematurely gray.  But I am.  I’ve accepted it.

I look forward to having my length back (and more of my curls), but that’s really all I miss.  Oh, and the day after I got it all cut off when all that I had showing was the gray, I got carded when I tried to purchase a bottle of wine.  Go figure!

Aileen

Please visit Aileen’s blog, Make Mine a Quad,  for more thoughts and more beautiful pictures.  Thank you, Aileen.