Is dying your hair a political statement?

As I mix color and developer, put on my black nitrile gloves and mix the milky concoction, I wonder, Why am I here again, putting poison on my hair in the name of beauty? I ask myself (because I’m an asker and pensive woman, even in the moment of dying my hair)who am I doing this for? Am I doing it for me or my husband (because he swears he would leave me for a younger woman if I didn’t–even though we both know he is madly in love with me), or because my mom told me to? Or is it because I want to look young?

I admire women who can let it all go and stop dying their hair. Grey is in! Wow! How’s that for freedom, women’s lib, and anouncing your age boldly! I think its awesome that they are proud of their maturity. I envy it just a little. I see it as a statement of confidence, but maybe as a political statement too?? Honestly, it doesn’t really matter why you do or don’t do it. Every woman has her own statement of what defines her beauty, and that is exactly what this is about.

If you know me at all, you know that I do my best to be healthy, so dying my hair goes against everything I try to be. Thus my quandary as I sit here waiting to wash it out. I thought about going au natural simply because I hate putting chemicals on my body and I feel like it IS a statement, for me at least. To say, hey, the color of my hair doesn’t define me–age doesn’t define me. With every woman I know age has made them better at who they are, so why are we still living in this state of ageism especially when it comes to women, and moreover AM I SUCCUMBING TO IT????

I’m not a conformist. When I see people stepping out of the norm I think, GOOD FOR THEM! I want to do that too! especially when its something that has a global impact, like having your own garden, or having solar panels put on your house. But, yet when it comes to “beauty” am I a poseur because I dye my hair?

Although this may be just a rationalization by me, here is what I’ve told myself. I’m sharing it because I think A LOT of women will relate. I dye my hair because I don’t feel my age and I don’t want to look in the mirror and look older than I feel. So much of our health, how we feel emotionally, and our attitude towards pretty much everything starts with how we feel about what we see in the mirror. One day I went into the bathroom with my reading glasses on and realized that I have A LOT MORE wrinkles than I realized!!!! I started laughing because here I thought, I look pretty good, but it was just because I couldn’t see!

Does that really matter??? When I see someone who reflects how I FEEL staring back at me, then I FEEL that way. Maybe some people would define that as a delusion, but I don’t. What we think IS what we are. When we accept a number as our age, then we start to ACT that age. That’s bullshit! Age is relative.

I know that many women who go grey do it for practical reasons. I often think of that too, because let’s face it, this is a pain in the ass! It’s expensive, toxic and takes a lot of time, so I have often thought about the practical side. But, when my roots start showing, I lose my nerve and go through this whole conversation in my head again. Why am I doing this? Who is this for? etc, etc… For now, its for me. I know that when I see a healthy brunette looking back at me, that is me–young and vibrant. I like being young and feeling young and NOT acting my age.


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