Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sometimes They Still Get To Me

As much as I've learned to love my hair the way it is, I still sometimes get a little prickly when I read some articles by fashion experts or threads on The Long Hair Community and other long hair forums.

For example, just about every fashion/hair expert says that bangs should be cut no wider than the outside of the eyebrows. Mine are wider than that, and when I read or hear the experts talk about wide bangs looking funny, I start to feel self-conscious.

But then I remember that there was a reason why I ended up cutting them wider. It has to do with my face shape.  When my bangs were narrower, my face below the bangs was wider than the bangs, and my cheekbones didn't show. With wider bangs, my face looks more proportionate to me, and my outer cheekbones are apparent.

Now maybe I'm wrong, and I would look better with narrower bangs, but I like the way my bangs look right now. Really, who do I have to please but myself?

Sometimes when I read threads on LHC, there are people who are staunchly against colouring away greys. For some of them it's because of the damage that certainly occurs with hair dye, but for others, it's about principle. They believe that nature knows best and those of us who colour our hair are refusing to grow old gracefully.

I am aware of the damage that hair dye causes, so I have made an informed decison to keep on dyeing my hair, and give it the extra care that it needs in order to grow to my goal length.

As for the "principle" about growing older and nature knowing best, well, that's all well and good for those who feel happy and confident with their silvers, but I love my colour and I don't want to give it up. I do feel as though I'm trying to grow old gracefully. I make no secret of my age, I see and feel the changes in my face and body, and I am not trying to fight it.  I just love my colour!

I notice that many of the people who are against dyeing are also people who wear makeup daily, so it's not about being completely natural for them. It's about their hair being natural.

I would never tell someone with silver hair to dye it, and I don't understand why some of the people with natural hair try to make us feel "less than" because we do dye our hair.

I'm all about doing whatever we want with our hair, as long as it keeps us feeling self-confident and happy with ourselves.

To me, the only important thing is to make informed decisions. For example if you want to dye your hair, you have to know that it will cause at least some damage and will need extra care.  If you want to flat iron your hair, be informed about the risks and the safest ways to approach straightening.  And if straightening your hair makes you feel more beautiful, then do it, knowing once again that you may need to give your hair additional pampering.

The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to hair care. It's about doing what makes you feel good about yourself, and keeping yourself informed along the way so that you can best care for your hair.


  1. Franny:
    You don't really think that there is a fashion/hair expert out there that knows more about your hair than you you? That's the thing about experts, even if they are a 'good' expert, they still don't know everything.

  2. I think we should do what we want with our hair, what works best for us. Long, short, color or natural.

  3. I always have the idea that people who have very strong opinions about how other people should look/behave (like those described in your post), need a lot of reassurance themselves...don't let them get you :)

  4. Exactly and well said, my friend. I've been actually contemplating going back to coloring my hair. Maybe I would feel better about my fat self. On the other hand, then I'd be dealing with the danged roots coming in so very quickly and I am so very self-conscious of them. I'd be right back on that dizzying merry-go-round and I'm not sure I'm up for that. Still...there is a siren song luring me...I need to feel pretty, even if just once in a blue moon. 'Course too, maybe I'm just a mental case and the problems lie within, not without myself.

  5. Hello everyone,
    What a great post, so well said. I completely agree with all you ladies. All through my "adult" years I've listened to "thoughtful well meaning people" telling me I couldn't have really long hair, because I'm too old.

    Well I've finally decided "I'm" the only one that can make myself feel good, & if it's very long hair that I want dyed etc., then that's what I'm going to have.

  6. Great post!

    Aging well, gracefully, is not a matter of hair colour. It's a matter of attitude, respect for ourselves and others, and a peaceful, mature mindset. Lack of the above will out, no matter what colour our hair is.

  7. I have encountered so many "nay sayers" since making the decision to let my silvers come in, some of them very close friends and family members. Add to that decision, the decision to let my hair grow long and I hear "Oh my God, you're over 50, what ARE you thinking?? I love my silvers as much as you love your color, Franny, so I really understand your frustration when others feel they have the right to step in with their "well meaning advice." I had one "friend" actually say to me....."Do you not understand that coloring your hair would instantly take twenty years off you?" Really?? I am assuming that she had never experienced the blistering scalp sores that come with an allergic reaction to hair dye, even after coloring for over 25 years, without so much as an CAN happen.

  8. Amen! I like the LHC about 99% of the time, but at times I feel like an outcast there because I use conditioners with silicones, prefer to wear it down, and like to *gasp!* straighten it occasionally.

    At the end of the day, it's all about what makes you the happiest. What's the point of having long hair if you can't enjoy it?

  9. Ha! Grow old gracefully? I went entirely white at age 20.

    There is no way that I was not going to dye my hair. I'm sorry, but I'm only 28 now and I am not going to be white haired yet.

    Even as I get older, I see no reason not to dye. My mother is 60 and dyes her hair and it looks wonderful.

    I see those things on LHC too and I always defend my choice to dye my hair. :)

    As you said, it's all about how you like your hair, and your opinion is the only one that matters!


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