I was sitting in the back waiting room with foils and dye in my hair as I reached for a glossy magazine on the end table at the Avalon Spa. “I’ll be back to check on you in a half hour” said the hairstylist. By this point, I was already in the salon for at least a half hour getting the foils and dye put into my hair. I’ve always used to enjoy this time of pampering for myself, but this day was different.
November 2018, it was a Sunday morning, I was 38 years old and was treating myself to ‘fresh hair’ but I didn’t feel anymore relaxed or pampered. I felt like I was checking off another ‘to do’. I didn’t enjoy sitting there, having my hair processed. I would have rather be anywheres else, playing with my kids, biking on the trails, hiking in the woods, making art, anywheres but sitting in that chair.
That was the last time I got my hair dyed. I didn’t decide to stop dying my hair that day, but I distinctly remembered no longer enjoying the experience of getting my hair dyed.
I’m not anti-dye. I think it’s beautiful when we can express ourselves through our hair and try different styles and colours. My criticism is with the messaging that having grey hair (specifically for women) is bad and undesirable. For me, it was no longer about having fun with colour but ‘maintenance’.
It wasn’t until I read an article (I think it was this: These 50 Women Who Ditched Dyeing Their Hair Look So Good It May Convince You To Do The Same) a couple years ago. It introduced me to #GROMBRE — an online community of women, of all ages, all ethnicity, all embracing their beautiful grey locks. I read their stories and experiences with grey hair and by the end of it, I was ready to DITCH. THE. DYE.
What I love about the #grombre movement is that it normalizes grey hair for young girls and women. In doing so, it helps to redefine and expand our definition of ‘beauty’. As a mother to two young girls, this is especially important for me.
I’VE BEEN DYE-FREE FOR 2 YEARS NOW! 🙂
Here are 5 ways not dying my hair has simplified my life
Not dying my hair has given me so much time back in my life. Every time I had a hair dye appointment, it would take ~2 hours each time. Oftentimes, on my weekend (precious free time!). Not to mention the time to schedule an appointment, commute time and time that I may be researching colour styles on Pinterest if I were considering a different highlight colour.
I estimated I’ve saved between $500 – $750 per year from not dying my hair. This is based on an estimate of $150 per salon appointment and mixed with your $10 boxed dye when I want to save money 5-6 times per year.
3. REDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
By not dying my hair, I’ve helped reduced my environmental impact by keeping the dyes, chemicals, materials and packaging used from the landfill. Since having children, I became even more environmentally conscious than ever before. I want to live in a way that helps to preserve as best I can the world that they would ultimately inherit.
4. REDUCED CHEMICALS
I’ve been moving towards clean beauty products with less chemicals. By not dying my hair, it’s one less ‘product’ to use on my body, and less chemicals that I may have breathed in or absorbed into my body as a result.
Two years ago, I wanted to be anywheres but sitting in that chair waiting for my hair to process only to do it all over again in 8 weeks to cover up the grey roots that would ultimately push itself out of my scalp, so desperate to be free.
I realized I could either continue with the battle with my hair or let my hair be free to be. I chose to surrender.
I gave my hair the time it needed to grow and morph into what it always has been underneath all that dye.
It is freeing to step off that hamster wheel, that never ending cycle of dye and repeat.
It is freeing to walk past all the hair dye products in an aisle or watch a hair dye commercial and think ‘Thanks, but no thanks!’.
It is freeing to just love my hair as it is.