Hair colour (or color) is a confusing and controversial topic, especially if the hair colour is grey (or gray!) To start with, great swaths of the population spell the essential words differently! Although it is quite acceptable to spell grey – gray, and colour – color, having grey hair is quite another matter. Of course, the individual hairs aren’t actually grey either. They are either some shade of white, or the original hair colour. The grey colour is an effect achieved by the mingling of the white and dark strands. Sheer trickery.
A quick search for the precise term “grey hair” brings up many, many pages. A search for “gray hair” is the same. I spent a morning previewing a very small sampling of these pages and came to the conclusion that women, and the fashion industry, have more or less declared war on grey hair.
I decided to revisit the Gray Land of Grey Hair after a few years of colourful experiments in the hands of my well meaning, and much younger, hair dresser. Upon arrival at my Grey destination again, I found that my former Grey Locks were now mostly Silver Strands. There are a number of reasons why I am delighted with this colour, not the least of which is the fact that it brings out the most interesting reactions from family, friends and strangers. The reaction, for the most part, is a startled silence. During the growing out period, not a single person said, “Wow, those are some roots you’ve got happening!” And now that I have these silver strands, only two people have commented. I’ve had several compliments from total strangers, but family are not saying a thing. Curious.
The best part of grey-white hair, though, is the small silent band of sisters I now belong to. Whenever I pass a stranger who shares my hair colour, either she or I initiates a small smile. We hold each others glance just long enough to say, “Welcome to the White Side!” I’m thinking we should have a little wave, too, maybe similar to the one that is shared by the motorcyclists we pass on the road. It’s the same wave we give and get from the drivers who live near us in our rural setting. Just a slight lifting of the hand off the throttle or the steering wheel that says, “You are one of us.”
While the vast majority of women are busy keeping their grey hair at bay, men tend to accept the grey look as part of the natural order of things. If women viewed grey hair on women as a sign of power and maturity, rather than fearing it is a sign of being old and worthless, would women finally have the gender equality that they have fought so long to achieve?
Maybe what women need is just a little rebranding, and for me, what could be more perfect for a Canadian than ‘Arctic Ice Blonde’? If you are unsure of what I mean by the term, check out this Arctic Blonde Pinterest Board. Then, there are the Arctic Blonde Strippers – a group of quilters from Whitehorse in the Yukon.
If you google Arctic Blonde, you will also come across a Miss Clairol Hair Dye by that name, but we all know there is only one way to be an Arctic Blonde, and that is to let Mother Nature do the job for you.
As for a community – there are Silver Sisterhoods and Graceful Greys – but what should I call a group for Arctic Ice Blondes?