Update: the gray hair saga continues

Two very different election nights
November 8, 2020
The owl and the cheese
November 22, 2020

Update: the gray hair saga continues

The gray hair saga continues. And it’s taken an unexpected turn.

A couple of weeks ago I told you how, in one of the weirder events of 2020, I’m now blonde.

(If you missed it, check the blog post titled, “Just when you thought 2020 couldn't surprise you…”.)

I told you how, after a medical scare, I decided to stop coloring my hair and go all gray. And how I was working with my colorist to go from brown to gray in one fell swoop.

As part of this process, the first of two color appointments left me… blonde.

I also confided how terrified I was that going gray would kill my business. What would my clients think? What would you think?

And I want to tell you, the responses I got were incredible. This community of women running consulting and coaching businesses… you all are so supportive and encouraging.

At the end of that email, I promised to keep you posted on the progress.

And wow, things have… progressed.

The second appointment was last Friday. That day’s plan was simple: my colorist would take me one shade lighter to get to silver, then she would hand-paint lowlights to create darker gray to mimic my hair’s natural color.

I would walk out sporting a gorgeous salt and pepper look and begin my life as Woman With Gray Hair.

And I just have to talk about my colorist here. She’s amazing.

She does color for editorial and runway. She goes on world tours as the colorist for singers whose names you would recognize. She’s a Redken color educator, and before coronavirus, she traveled around the country teaching other colorists how to color expertly.

All this is to say: she knows her shit.

The first step went off without a hitch. Things were looking good. We got as light as I could go.

Then my colorist carefully hand-painted my hair a darker gray, painstakingly matching my natural salt and pepper.

Halfway through the processing, she lifted one of the foils to check it. She was silent. That’s when I knew something was off, and she rushed me over to the sink to rinse out all the color.

When we had rinsed everything completely, she told me what happened. As a result of the processing, my hair wasn’t able to pick up the gray.

It did, however, pick up one of the pigments in that color.

Purple.

Those lowlights that were supposed to be salt and pepper? They were now lavender.

I did what any color client would do. I laughed. Because really, what could I do?

Thank God I live in Brooklyn, where silvery lavender hair isn’t anything abnormal.

So what now? Well, I can’t start my life as Woman With Gray Hair just yet.

I’m taking a few weeks to rehab my hair so we can try the lowlights again.

The saga continues. And of course, I’ll keep you posted.

But in the meantime, it’s been interesting to observe my reactions to all of this.

Because I’m someone who’s not just Type A… I’m Type A+. I plan, I execute, I stress out, I have anxiety, I muscle things through and I assume that my intellect can get me through any situation.

So for me, this has been an exercise in letting go. Letting up. Because really, there’s nothing I can do, so I might as well enjoy it.

And I am. I’m surprised at how much I’m not stressing out about this. And I have to say, I like being silvery blonde (or at least, slightly lavender for the moment). I feel renewed, more open, more free.

It's a nice change. You see, I’ve always done the right thing. What was expected of me: A’s in school, going to college, getting a great job in corporate America, and then getting the next great job, and on and on. I’ve never gotten a tattoo, and my version of teenage rebellion (piercing my bellybutton) lasted about one day.

But now here I am, I’m 40, and I have silvery lavender hair that I can’t do anything about. It feels good to let up a little.

What about you? Is there room in your world to let up a little? Is there room to shake things up just a bit? To not put all the pressure on yourself?

Over the next week or so, try choosing one thing to let up on (it doesn’t have to be dyeing your hair silver). And if you want, write back and let me know how it feels.

And of course, stay tuned for the next (and maybe final?) chapter in this gray hair journey.

To your success,

Leah

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