“Babe, your hair is getting so blonde!” my hairstylist said. “What are you doing to my beautiful red hair?”
“Nothing. It’s fading,” I said, nearly in tears. My coworker S has been telling me lately that he thinks of me more as a blonde than a redhead. Le sigh.
“Are you going grey? You’re too young to go grey! You’re in your 20s!”
“Are your parents grey?”
“Yes, but they’re almost 70.”
“Ask them when they went grey.”
My hair started fading when I was 25. It was an indescribably stressful period in my life.
Everything in my life was going wrong. Work, relationships, friends, apartment-living. I was absolutely miserable. I lost so much weight that when I finally gained a few pounds back, my doctor told me I looked much better (while everyone else was of course telling me how great I looked, even though I was likely underweight and definitely not eating much).
It started straightening then too.
My friends from back home looked at me judgingly. “Did you relax your hair?” they asked. They didn’t like the way Chicago was changing me into someone they used to know.
I didn’t like it either. I liked that I was becoming a better, more outgoing version of myself though.
Anyway, in a very new agey way, I told myself it was my fault my hair was fading. Maybe I could manifest my hair going back to its natural redness.
I just had to figure out how to develop non-attachment to it.
Then I realized I was being an idiot. People go grey. I’m no exception. My hair is still red, according to the DMV, my dermatologist, my hairstylist, fellow redheads, my sister-in-law’s mom’s girlfriends who fawned over my hair at my brother’s wedding, and more.
Maybe it will entirely fade to blonde eventually.
And that’s OK.
Because blonde isn’t a bad color.
And going blonde doesn’t make me lose the MC1R gene.
Plus, there’s always henna.
I also always thought that God gave me my crazy curly red hair to teach me that I couldn’t ctonrol everything, that perfectionism wouldn’t work for me.
And as soon as I started accepting that lesson by loving my hair, that hair challenge started to go away.
And now a new one is slowly creeping into place.
So I asked my parents. They said between age 30-40.
So I might be fully blonde by 40.
But I’m going to set the intention to stay red.
And try to release any attachment to it. And know that even if I go blonde, I can still accept myself.
And identify as a redhead.