The absolute strangest thing about growing my natural hair is that I keep having nightmares that I “forget” one day and “accidentally” go get my hair dyed and have to start all over.

My anxiety comes from the stress of half-and-half hair. After one full year with no coloring, my hair is half gray streaked and half dyed. Just about 6 inches of each.

I know, I could get a short cut at this point, but I don’t want to. I like it long; I need a few more inches before I can cut it without having a breakdown. And I know, I could have done some transitional color. But I’m 36 years old, and while there’s a line where my hair changes, it’s not so striking that I can’t get away with it. At least, that’s what I tell myself. Because honestly, I just wanted to stop.

I wanted every inch from that moment on to be completely, naturally mine.

I recently received an email where a woman told me that she is equally terrified and fascinated by her gray hair. It feels just like that for me, so I’ve been documenting the transition on my blog, Everyday Goddess, under the category, Shades of Gray. I even did a vlog where I talked about Anne Kreamer’s book, Going Gray, and my own experiences.

I recently got a comment on my blog that said, “…everybody looks older with gray hair. All the personal and professional crap that goes along with looking like a woman who has passed her sexual prime is not worth it to me. When I am old, I will embrace it. For now, I dye.”

I absolutely respect and understand where this woman is coming from. At the same time, doesn’t this point out how ridiculous all this hair dyeing is? I’m 36 years old, and Hello, Sexual Prime. And my natural hair is full of gray. It doesn’t mean anything. This is what I naturally look like.

Look, I know that appearances and perceptions matter. That’s certainly why having natural hair sometimes worries me. But there’s something more important in the strength I get by being myself. By not spending time and money I don’t have on something I don’t want to appease people I don’t even care about.

The simple truth is, I like my natural hair. It’s healthier, and it suits me. So I do what’s best for me, and I make my way through society the best I can. Gray hair and all.

Cheers, Liz