We women are funny about our hair colour. Either we dye because it's fun and we like the artistry in playing with our hair colour, or we are worried that our natural hair colour will make us look old.
The Evolution of Melissa's HairI first started going grey in my late 20's. This disturbed my stylist at the time, though perhaps in hindsight she was just dredging up a new client for the salon's colourist. In any case, it started a cycle for several years of highlighting and colouring.
I asked the colourist once could she just tone in the grey hair to my natural colour. She gave me a disagreeable look and pulled out a colour card with the "natural" pigments I could choose. She pointed to a dull, slightly greenish looking brown and said, "Well, this is your natural colour."
Ugh! Who would want hair that colour?
Of course what I know now about the colours you can acheive in a salon is that you cannot actually create natural colour. The pigment that naturally occurs inside your hair can't be easily recreated, particularly for the colder browns and blondes that in reality aren't that dull at all.
By my mid-thirties I was having trouble with my hair. After three pregnancies I had lost a lot of hair (turns out I have a sensitivity to oestrogen - lucky me!) and my heat styling, dying and straightening were not doing my hair any good at all.
Fed up with fighting with my hair for up to an hour every morning and still feeling that my hair looked terrible, I decided to go natural. Cold turkey. I knew I would probably look awful for a few weeks, if only because I had a head full of damaged, weak hair that I had no idea how to style properly.
Going Cold TurkeyI stopped all heat styling entirely. I stopped colouring. I used very basic shampoos and conditioned my hair a lot. I told people I was "giving my hair a rest" which they seemed to accept as a reasonable thing to do. But I can say that no one was handing out compliments on how wonderful I looked!
I'm quite a determined sort of person, and I was very curious to see what my natural hair was like. I consoled myself on the days I hated my hair and hated this process, that when my curiosity was satisfied, if I didn't like it, I could always go back to colouring my hair. No problem.
This period lasted about two months. I used lots of hats and alice bands while my roots grew out. It became completely clear as the weeks passed that my coloured hair really had no structure, while the new hair coming in was very strong and healthy. Most surprising of all, my hair started curling in large loopy, "boing-y" ringlets.
Cutting Out the Coloured StuffAfter about six months I made the fateful trip to my stylist. It was time to cut the "dead stuff" off. My stylist was not impressed with my experiment in going natural. This was clearly not a behaviour she wished to encourage. It also became clear that actually she didn't have much idea of how to cut curly hair. Our relationship did not survive my transition.
Initially, my hair was mostly brown and auburn, with strong white streaks around my face, and some random grey appearing on other parts of my head. As my curls grew out, I started to enjoy my new look. I began to get compliments on my hair colour and on my texture.
Life Naturally GreyNow I love my hair. I like to see new sections of my hair going from dark to absolutely clear white. I like to wear my hair as big as it will go. I especially like that my hair is incredibly easy to care for, the ultimate wash-and-go style.
My hair and I now live separate but harmonious lives. I've accepted that because my texture responds to the humidity in the air, that my hair will make it's own plans for the day. Sometimes it is long, soft and wavy, and other days it is mad curly. Just as I cannot control the weather, I can't control my hair. But I can help it look its best by taking good care of it.
My hair no longer makes me feel bad about myself, but because my hair is fundamentally healthy, it always looks just fine. And sometimes it looks absolutely marvelous. But it never has anything to do with me.
And if worse comes to worse, I wear a nice hair clip!
Find Out More About Your Hair at The Girly Day OutClaire and I have been putting a lot of work into our Girly Day Out , which is now finalised.
We are meeting up on Monday, 15 November in the very heart of the beautiful city of Bath at the incredible Thermae Bath Spa .
An Event Only If You Want To Know What Your Future HoldsIf you are in your forties, fifties or sixties and are wondering about what the coming decade has in store for your skin and hair, the Girly Day Out is the event you want to attend.
This event is not for women who want to look like fashion models. We can't help you. There are lots of great courses and seminars available to cover that sort of information.
The Girly Day Out is only for women interested in real beauty and how the skills you need progress as you age. We will be working with just 10 women, teaching you how to work with your natural features, your real hair texture and showing you how you can easily and without fuss look your natural best every day.
How Much Do You Spend On Your Basic Beauty Routine?The average woman spends up to £600 a year on just her hair, and at lleast £250 per year on cosmetics and skin care. Much of this money is wasted on products that don't work or that end up sitting in a drawer unused. Doesn't that bug you when that happens?
You know here at Stone Bridge we are not into bogus sciency sounding explanations that Beauty Industry is so fond of using, along with their drawings of skin layers and cross sections of hair.
Stone Bridge Does Not Sell Beauty ProductsIf you've ever wondered if the claims are true in the glossy magazines about all these things which will supposedly hold back time, we will be going deep into which products really are effective and which ones are just pretty, nice smelling bottles.
Claire has teamed up with some of the world's top luxury brands, such as Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, so you can have the opportunity to learn hands-on about proper cosmetics, using proper application techniques along with the colours that are appropriate to your complexion as your skin matures over time. She will also be introducing you to some high street products as well as some very small, specialist companies who really know their stuff when it comes to mature skin.
But we aren't here to sell you cosmetics, so Claire will tell you the real deal about which products, brands and colour ranges are right for you.
To attend this event, the regular price is £650. But if you book now we're taking 25% off. Or you can pay by installment in two payments of £250 each, and still get the benefit of booking early.
But early booking ends 24 September, and we only have 10 places availalble for this very special day.
Click here to find out more about the day's events (which includes a 2-course buffet lunch and a free 2-hour luxury spa session at the beautiful Thermae Bath Spa , plus many more goodies).
I do hope you can join us for what will truly be an amazing and eye-opening day.