Although I have had gray hair since I was young, I really didn’t realize how much I had. When I was a young girl, probably no more than ten, sometimes when my aunts or my mom’s best friend would visit she would call them over, position my hair and tell them to look closely. Upon seeing the two strands of gray, they would tell me that meant I was wise. My mom would smile.
I have been coloring my gray for years. Not really to cover the gray but mainly to add a bit of pizzaz to my look. Or at least that’s what I thought. I started swimming regularly last year to try and get my cardio in during the week. Swimming takes all the hair color out of your hair. It just eats right through it. I have more gray hair than I ever knew I had.
I color it myself around the edges, when I go swimming the gray starts peeking through. I don’t like it. In fact I told Teresa that even if it is good for my health I was going to stop swimming. I thought about it right after I said the words; sounded like an alien had spoken them. I thought about the times black women told me they wouldn’t work out because they didn’t like what sweating did to their hair. Friends and family have told me that they spend way too much going to a stylist only to have the style ruined after they work out. I have heard this excuse many times.
I solved that problem for myself by going natural. I reasoned that my health was more important than any hairstyle or “look” I was trying to achieve. For years I have maintained that “enlightened” position. Let me tell you, swimming is making me question whether I really care about my health as much as I proclaim to care.
Every week I look in the mirror and see the gray and think to myself, “Let it go. Get comfortable with it and own it.” Images of all the beautiful women I see everyday with gray hair run through my mind. They seem to glow as they go about their day. I decide to just let it be. About an hour later, without fail, I am at my sink pulling out my haircolor. However, lately I have noticed that the time is getting longer before I reach for my supplies. I take that as a sign that the day is fast approaching when I will let it go. That won’t be today, but one day.