I’ve had a few gray hairs since I was about 20. Now I have a rather large patch of gray that makes me look older than my 34 years.
Common opinion says I should color my hair every few weeks in order to avoid the unsightly grays. But, as you can see from the photo, I don’t do that.
Because it is such an unpopular stance, I thought I would take some time today and share why I don’t color my gray hair.
Before we get started, though, I just want to reiterate my purpose here. You’ll notice the title of this post is “why I don’t color my gray hair.” This is solely about me and my reasons, and should not be taken as a judgment on anyone else’s decisions.
There are actually several reasons, some of which are practical and some of which are more philosophical. Here we go, in no particular order…
Getting hair colored at the salon is very expensive, especially for long, thick hair like mine. I used to buy the boxed color back in my couponing days several years ago. I would get expensive brands for cheap, or even for free, and I would use it to color my hair myself. I no longer play the coupon game, and even boxed hair color can be pricey, so this is a good place to be intentional in our finances and cut out that expense.
Lack of Time/Energy
So, we’ve established that having it done at a salon is not in our budget. Buying a cheap boxed color would probably be doable, except that I really can’t do it myself anymore. Over the past year or so, my chronic illness has worsened to the point that I have to be very intentional in how I spend my limited energy and strength each day.
Even very basic things sometimes suffer, necessary things suffer. Taking a shower is a chore (and one that I can’t even do every single day!), so standing in my bathroom for all the time, effort, and clean up required to color my long and thick hair is completely out of the question.
I haven’t tried to dye my hair since I have had more severe symptoms with MCS, but I don’t think it would go well due to the harmful and toxic chemicals. Even most “natural” hair dyes contain harmful chemicals at worst, and at best they are irritants for sensitive people.
There are a few completely natural alternatives (such as henna based colors, etc.) that I could probably tolerate, but it would still be more time and energy than I want to devote to disguising grays.
God made my hair this way
There are so many modern beauty standards that I have been forced to reevaluate on God’s terms. So many standards of beauty for women that I have bought into the “that’s just the way it’s done” mentality, only to realize there is absolutely no Biblical basis for it.
The world says that I should cover my unsightly grays. Some even say that allowing grays to shine through is a way of “letting myself go” and that I owe it to my husband and myself to look my best, which includes having my younger looking hair.
While I agree that we should strive to be put together, I don’t agree that looking my best needs to be covering up or changing the way that God created me. God made my hair to turn gray.
What the Bible says about gray hair
The Bible has something to say about gray hair. Proverbs 16:31 says,
The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.
Did you catch that? The silver-haired head can be a crown of glory! So why, then, do we insist it should be altered?
“It’s what’s inside that counts.”
The Bible teaches that it’s what’s in the heart that matters, not what we look like on the outside (1 Samuel 16:7). And this is the message that I want to teach my boys about beauty as well. In order to teach that to my children, I need to believe it myself and live it. When I spend time, energy, and money to alter my appearance for worldly standards of beauty, I’m not teaching them that message, but the opposite.
In summary, please hear me I don’t think there is anything wrong with dying your hair. I have done it a few times over the years myself. I don’t think there is any problem with coloring one’s hair if it makes you happy and is what you choose to do. However, I do think there is a problem with women being pressured to “cover those unsightly grays.”
God created everything about me, including the fact that my hair turns gray after so many years. I have to believe that He is okay with my gray hair, and that is all the permission I need.