After touching up my roots this weekend, I found myself going down the rabbit hole of “Going Gray” videos on YouTube. Every time I’m less than impressed with how the hair dye goes, I find myself wondering yet again if I should just embrace my natural hair color and get off the dye, touch-up, repeat carousel.
And every time, I’m reminded that a lot of these women still bleach their hair to get an even color, or use purple or blue shampoos depending on their personal tone to keep their hair from turning off-colors like yellow. Point being, going “natural”, whether that means white or gray or a patchwork of colors (like mine is underneath the henna and indigo), does not mean “no maintenance”. It just means a different kind of maintenance.
I ask myself if I’d truly be happy embracing my natural color, and the answer is no. Could I, if I had to? Of course! I’d never have started dyeing my hair at all if the lab-made dyes were all that was available, but I have natural powdered plants to dye with, so, it seems less damaging than the nail polish I use weekly.
So why then, am I do annoyed with the fact that I need to maintain my dye job? Mostly because I have trouble getting a consistent result, honestly. I miss spots, or I don’t get the color “right”. It’s because I’m not “perfect”, even though I’ve done root touch-ups exactly four times now.
Seriously. That’s ridiculous.
I do my nails every Saturday night. I started that habit decades ago, and it wasn’t because I really liked doing my nails. It was because my nails grow fast and are hard, but tend to break easily at the tips if they aren’t maintained regularly (cut, filed, and at least top-coated).
So as a way of making the nail maintenance I needed fun, I learned to do a full manicure and started doing nail art. A new design every week, and my nails were protected and maintained. Now it’s one of my favorite times of the week, because it’s a time to relax, watch YouTube videos that make me question my life choices (and also the occasional movie or series – currently the second season of Virgin River), and eat questionable snacks gingerly as my nails dry.
Could I let my nails just go au naturale? Sure. They’d still require maintenance though, and it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as a new color every week.
So how is my hair different than my nails? It’s really not, I’ve just built it up that way in my head. And I’ve put far too much pressure on myself, especially when it comes to being perfect. It’s just hair. And if I miss a spot, I can go back and catch it later. Or next time, even, because no one is going to blink at eye at the occasional stray white or gray hair on my head, just like most people don’t notice when I have to cut one nail shorter than the others for whatever reason.
And if they do…does it really matter?
No, no it does not.
There will probably come a day when I can’t dye my hair for whatever reason, and I’ll deal with that. For now though, I need a change in perspective. And a weekly hair-pampering routine on the weekend that makes the necessary maintenance seem more like a treat and less like a chore.
To that end, I’m going to appoint some time every weekend for hair care. It might be a hot oil mask, or maybe just trying a new hairstyle, but it will be scheduled time that will hopefully become like my nail nights, or my foot care nights (I do foot care while budgeting and grocery shopping online late Friday nights). I think that will make the root touch-up nights just another normal thing I do, like polishing my nails and shaving my feet (yes, that’s a thing…and in my case, necessary).
On a related note, I think we all need one day a week where we can just focus solely on caring for our bodies. It would be so helpful to have time set aside that didn’t also have to be used for household chores and errands.
Weekly spa day for everyone! Wouldn’t that be the life?