I am a little late in writing about what 12 months of grey hair has taught me. But I feel it is important to have topics like this so others will feel inspired to do the same.
The whole experience brought me back to basics and simplicity. I too was growing during the last 12 months. I was going through a lot of ups and downs in one year. I experienced loss, a cancer scare to someone close to me, a minimalist lifestyle and the need to start a new career in life. Mind you I’m still the same person as I have always been but being grey and going through what I have gone through this past year gave me a new outlook on life.
Starting from where it all began. I love this picture because it’s the day I’ll never forget. It was June 13, 2015, my henna dye was freshly done the night before for this beautiful, sunny day. As mentioned my whole life was dependent on my hair therefore if I had an event or even a simple gathering such as a picnic and my roots were showing OMG everything had to be stopped to hide the indecent grey. I had to look young, vibrant and fresh in everyone’s eyes. And so that day I felt like I was on point, my roots were done and we were going to have the time of our lives at this picnic. The gathering was hosted by several of my friends from high school. We spent the whole day enjoying the weather, the food and the company. I haven’t seen one of my high school friend in years. We were once so close, we worked at the same part time job at McDonald’s in our teens to having worked for the same tech company in our twenties. But we went our separate ways as soon as she had her first child. Thankfully, we reconnected once again. That day she was glowing, always smiling, she was expecting her second child, a girl. I was ecstatic to see her! We reminisced about the past, shared stories, exchanged recipes but more importantly we made a promise that we would never part again. We had to keep in touch. And so we did. I found out that the following day we would cross paths again. I accompanied my BF who had an appointment at the same hospital my friend was going to do her ultra sound. However, that morning as my BF and I were on our way to the hospital, I received a text from her saying that she was done her ultra sound and that she was on her way to work. I was disappointed I didn’t get to see her one last time, but I respected the fact that she did not want to take advantage of missing a full day of work. So we exchanged texts, said our goodbyes and wished each other a good week. Throughout that week I stumbled upon an amazing blog called “How Bourgeois“, I’ve mentioned this blogger in my previous posts as my inspiration to my grey hair journey but this was literally a prequel to this endeavor. In case you have not read my past posts, the author created a blog about growing out her grey hairs in her early 30’s. I read her posts back to back and I was hooked. That’s when I had an epiphany! For the first time I decided to accept my roots. I did not even think twice about it. I knew this was a sure thing. I am fairly young (ok back then I was 36) and I do not have “that” many wrinkles. So why not! This meant freedom for me. Freedom that I no longer had to be dependent on my mom for retouching my roots every other week. I was all in. And for that moment I remember I was soo happy to tell my friend from high school my new journey in life. By the end of the week I found out my friend was finally going into labor. I wished her good luck on fb and that I could not wait to see her and her new addition….
That following Monday, July 6, 2015 I remember taking my first selfie to document my hair experiment, as seen above. As you can see, almost 2 weeks in and my grey sprouted. That moment I knew it was going to be a very long journey. It was week 1 and I already felt uncomfortable, but I had to brave through it. I was thinking some things could be worse than grey hairs or could it ??? I was driving for an appointment that afternoon until my whole body literally did an outer body experience. For a brief moment, my last rendezvous with my high school friend that just gave birth to her daughter flashed before my eyes. I got the news that she passed away due to complications. You can imagine every emotion, feeling, memory, thought process, realizations, theories on what had happened went into overdrive. But whatever happened did happen and it’s over. And just like that, your life could change in an instant. Suddenly nothing really mattered, not my materialistic things or my daily complaints. I was just numb and vulnerable to my surroundings. I and everyone who heard of the news were in total shock. Everyone attended the service, it was basically my 19 year high school reunion. It was at this time, in this environment as egotistic this may sound, and I do apologize for it, the second thought that came to my mind was the funeral service. This was going to be the first test in showing my grey roots in a public event. As mentioned this was an idiotic and selfish thing to worry about at that time, but I remember it so vividly. I parted my hair fully to the side, like a side sweep so no one would notice, but who am I fooling, it’s noticeable. As everyone exchanged their greetings at the service and started to share stories, I started to explain my hair experiment to my colleagues and friends. They went along with it, but who wouldn’t, basically nobody cared about my hair!! Really….
I’m the only one making a big fuss over it at a funeral that I had to explain myself!!
I thought to myself this is crazy !!!
Grow up and just face the facts, YOU ARE OLD, ALIVE, WHILE YOUR FRIEND IS NO LONGER HERE!! SHUT UP IT IS JUST HAIR !! Get over it!! ……
I just want to stress that my grey hair meant absolutely nothing in the end. As cliché as it may sound, we literally have only 1 life to live and it’s a short one. What is truly of value is our life and everyone in it. Many poured their heart out in aid to help with the widowed father (who was also our high school click). When more and more people heard of the tragic news, strangers started donating their time and generosity in terms of diapers, clothes, food, formulas and money. A gofundme page was finally created to expand everyone’s generosity. I was truly touched, I witnessed a village come together to help a single father. ( If you would like to make a donation you still can by going to the link, gofundme )
The picture below is the funeral service with most of our high school friends. My friend who passed away somehow manifested onto the flat screen at the far left of the pic, smiling. (Me, in the middle wearing glasses, hair parted to the side)
I will never forget that first month. I survived it growing out my grey in public …. Check ✔️, 11 more months to go. I remember I was constantly looking in the mirror, thinking it will make it grow faster, but it didn’t lol. My usual hairstyle would be hair slicked back, tied in a ponytail. That was my go to look for the next 4 months. As you can see below.
It wasn’t easy-going through this transition. So I decided to improve my look, my style and created a new identity. So I invested in a great pair of eye frames (great purchase for under $185, which will be my future blog post). See looks below.
LEFT: Black Cat Eye Frames
RIGHT: MINT round spectacles
These are all little things I picked up in order to distract others from the negative comments of being grey. I learned to accept my look for what it is and it’s the freedom that makes it easier along the way.
MONTHS Three & Four
So during the fall, mid October, I found out my mother had basal cell carcinoma. It’s a type of skin cancer that can easily be treated if found early, which luckily my mother caught in time and remedied the whole thing. I briefly wrote about it in my blog “. That whole experience reassured me that I knew I was doing the right thing.
This was my hair roughly 3 to 4 months. I am telling you it’s worth documenting ! I think my roots grew about 2-3 inches then.
So here I was at the 5 month mark. I love this picture, it was at this point I gained more confidence in my decision.
I pursued the natural route because I did not want to be a victim of cancer or of anything in that matter. I wanted to be independent and free. My look was slowly coming together! Here’s to 7 more months!
In January of 2016, I went away for 3 weeks to Mauritius. A tiny dot, seen in maps, parallel to Madagascar. It’s a small island in the Indian Ocean known to tourists as Paradise. I was fortunate to go on this trip because my BF was born in Mauritius and his parents reside there.
This will be my second time going to this majestic island but “my first time” letting my roots show in another country or in another time zone for that matter. I remember the “first time” I went to Mauritius about 2 years ago, I was wearing a bandana through the rest of my trip because 1 week in, you guessed it my roots began to show. And I remember my BF specifically saying “you should let your roots go” … Be careful what you wish for … Lol.. Here you can see my first trip to Mauritius, wearing my headpiece. Umm ya no…lol
Back to the trip in January, I actually did not mind that my hair was out in the sun. I brought my chemical hair free products to undo any damage the salt water did to my hair. (Which I will post about DIY hair recipes for white hair soon! ) I was actually comfortable during my stay there. The tourists and locals, well, they had a different opinions. The locals were of Indian, Asian, Muslim and Christian influenced. It is a very multi cultured country to which add a bit of grey hair into the mix and I became a minority. It was not all that bad, I did not feel uncomfortable at all. The people there were nice and polite. But you see they were a lot of senior Parisian tourists during the time that we went in January of this year. So I got a lot of stares and some were even eager enough to ask me if that was my real hair. To which I replied confidently “Oui, c’est mes vraies couleur de mes cheveux!” English –“Yes it’s my real hair color!” . They were just curious and shocked, acting more like kids then adults. I wouldn’t blame them, if I were their age I too would be shocked since grey was slowly being considered as a normal hair color. It was at this point I was 6 months in and I ventured in different hair styles since I didn’t bring any of my hair accessories like my blow dryer or hair straightener. I basically let nature take its course. The weather forecast was very hot and humid for most of the time. As you can see I just did a make shift crown, by rolling my hair to the side and pinned it. Voila! lol
But besides my hair, I also wanted to point out what I did in my 1 month stay in Mauritius !! You see it’s a 9 hour time difference and almost a 24 hr trip. So for the first time in several years I took advantage of the traveling time and the environment. So I began reading again. You are probably wondering what does this have to do with anything? Well my collection of books were of the following “The China study” and “The Blue Zones”. I was fascinated with the non-fiction books because it is a reference type of book about studies on diet, proper eating habits, food, lifestyle and illnesses. I was so intrigued about what I was reading that I was researching about making a career out of it. And it was during my vacation I was researching and emailing online schools about becoming a registered holistic nutritionist. And….. So I did !!
After I came back from vacation I choose between 1 of the 2 schools CSNN and ALIVE academy. And February of 2016 I enrolled in Alive Academy.
I’m going to blog more about my experience with Alive Academy in a separate post. But all this to say that, I slowly found myself, by accepting who I am. I let go of myself by going natural as much as I can. To be free from the washed up chemicals, and to embrace a healthier way of living. I am a vegetarian (I don’t eat meat, but I eat fish), Raw Foodst, grey haired blogger, who loves living a natural lifestyle and who is experiencing a change in career as a registered holistic nutritionist. My goal is to educate and to assist others in living a healthier lifestyle.
Oh this was my hair in March 2016. It was a long transition but the outcome is well worth it!
So during the next 2-3 months my hair started to take shape. The color blended more evenly and I decided to update my look on getting a fresh new hair cut !!
(See pic below )
It was the first time in years maybe ever that I parted my hair down the middle. I was so used to having my hair parted on the side. But by parting it down the middle it looked more natural and less of an eye soar creating an ombré effect. And with the new hairstyle I had to get a new wardrobe.
Along with the new look, I wanted to maintain a minimalist lifestyle. Being a fashion designer by trade it’s kinda of challenge since I love making and buying materialistic things, especially if it’s trending. This year has especially taught me the value of money, waste and longevity of things. I no longer buy makeup, feminine or even hair products. I make my own stuff. (Again I will post about it) I try to recycle most of my belongings and other items. I have come into realization that in the past I wasted a lot of money on clothes, accessories, shoes, gadgets, but more so on clothes. I would buy items that were in style and toss it aside to never look back on it. Or I would only wear a cocktail dress once just so I would not be seen wearing the same dress twice ! WTF is that logic? Does that even make sense! People are starving or worse dying to make our clothes for us only to wear it once! We spend money and lots of it to wear things erratically. In the end this creates unwanted waste and pollution. It was from this I decided to invest in convertible clothing. Convertible clothing are pieces to which you can wear them in different styles (forward/backwards, inside/out, etc) multiple times to get more longevity out of it! I researched like mad about “convertible clothing ” and found some really good links and brands that people should invest. Here are some links below!
Of course you can find more options on Pinterest!
It is slowly growing into a trend just like Raw Food was 5 years ago .
But because of this, I decided to make my own shop on etsy called “eme0pronouncedm“. You can also follow on ig “@eme_pronounced_m “. My collection is versatile, modern and timeless. You can wear “eme” multiple times w/o making the waste! It’s lightweight so it’s great to travel in! (Which I wore them religiously when I went to Mauritius) Take a look for yourself here! You can see more on my link,”eme0pronouncedm“.
This is my hair end of May beginning of June 2016. You can tell I was having fun with the look. I was (still am) experimenting different hair styles, like the hair pulled back look, a double French braid or the wavy look. I also discovered how to make my hair shine and stay white, which I will leave it for my next blog 😉
And so it’s July 26, 2016, and this is how my hair looks. A little over a year until my last henna dye job and this is what I learned in a nutshell.
Hair is hair is hair is hair…..
I discovered a whole new me inside and out. A lot can happen in 12 months and it does fly by quickly! If you are willing to go through growing out your grey I suggest you go for it! You are not alone .
In the end it’s just hair.
I hope you enjoyed the long read and it inspires you to do the same!
Please feel free to comment below or share!
Until then Spoil Yourself Raw’tn!!!