Dear reader: As I noted in an earlier column, my daughter, Lisi, will be handling the writing duties a few times a week. Enjoy her take on today’s questions. - Ellie
Help! I need woman-to-woman advice. I’ve always had mousy brown hair that I hated. I’ve literally done everything you can imagine, from perming to a Brazilian treatment, bleaching to dying every colour of the rainbow. I destroyed my hair.
During Covid-19, I was alone most of the time. My relationship ended due to distance and I worked from home. In all honestly, I just let myself go a bit. I stopped dying my hair, like most women were forced to do as the salons were all closed. My hair is now 100% grey, too long, and stringy. But I realized I saved a ton of money.
Summer is upon us and I want to start going out to social events. I’d really love to meet someone new and I’m ready to start a family. I’m in my early 30’s but my hair makes me look like I’m 60! What should I do?
First, let me assure you, you are not alone. So many women let their grey hair grow out during Covid. There was little choice. And I get how many over 60 have decided to stay that way. As you say, it’s expensive and a time suck.
But the real question is, how do we stop looking at grey hair as a tell-tale sign of ageing? I spoke to a woman who started greying at 18, and dyed her hair for decades. A low-maintenance, less-is-more kind of person in every other way, it started to irk her that she wasting so much time and money on her hair colour. But to her, hiding the grey meant looking her best, and more her age. So, she kept it up, for her wedding, for milestone family celebrations, until she’d had enough (pre-pandemic).
She’s been fully grey for over six years now and says her hair is lusher and more beautiful than ever. She hasn’t stopped taking care of her hair – she’s just stopped dying it.
A mom of teens, she’s no longer in her 30’s, but nor does anyone think she’s even in her 50’s. She’s embraced her hair colour just as she’s embraced every other part of who she is.
My specific advice to you, Grey-haired Girl, is to go to the hairdresser. If you haven’t had a haircut since Covid, you need one – for the health of your hair. And ask the hairstylist to help you find a cut that suits your face, hair colour and lifestyle. Treat yourself to a wash and blow dry with all the money you’ve saved.
Maybe even try out a new colour top that you’ve never worn before because it didn’t go with your hair/skin tone combo. And say yes to every invitation going. It’s the summer, the sun is shining, and you should be out having fun and meeting people, and looking fabulous with your new ‘do.
“I like that all of the columns written by Ellie and Lisi aren’t just about romantic/sexual relationships. It’s important to remember that every relationship takes effort and compromise. Your work colleagues, your classmates, your parents, siblings, partners, and children. Your neighbour, your local postal worker, everyone. If we all figured out how to get along, the world would be a much nicer place.”
Lisi – I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the friend who was dumped (June 9):
“I recognize myself in the dumper. She may not have meant to dump her friends. Some of us, when we are going through rough times, withdraw into ourselves, even from those closest to us. Usually, by the time we re-emerge, we find we have lost a friendship or even worse, a spouse.
“Some people have not been able to handle the last two years without experiencing extreme emotional trauma. Perhaps that’s what happened to her friend and she withdrew into herself.”
Lisi – I love your kind and generous approach to the “dumper.” And you’re right – the pandemic has affected so many people in ways we don’t even realize. I hope you’re both right and wrong.
Right, so that the person dumped can feel some relief that the loss of friendship wasn’t anything she had done wrong. But wrong, because it saddens me to think someone is suffering so much that they are withdrawing, as opposed to leaning in to their people.