Written By: Lori Barsamian
Cover: Erica Reynolds Keelen
She has always been a tall, slender woman with gams that would make any girl jealous. As long as I’ve known her, she hasn’t wavered in her style – prematurely gray and as confident as could be. Her perfectly arched eyebrows added to her short, structured boyish cut, which she pulled off effortlessly with her girlish charm. Looking back now, she exercised androgyny before it was even a thing, and she did it well.
This past season, when I was home for the holidays, it was the first time in my entire life (30 some odd years) that I walked in and saw her with her hair finally dyed. It was the perfect mousey brown with caramel highlights accentuating each and every one of her curls. Although I had never seen my aunt with color, and always loved her hair anyway, it looked good on her, great in fact. I let her know how fabulous she looked and immediately found her sister to ask her about the change, surely her younger sister had helped her with the transformation. I needed to know why all of a sudden at the age of 83 she decided to make a change. She told me that one day my Aunt looked in the mirror and simply didn’t like what she saw staring back at her. She felt tired and her hair mirrored that, she wanted a change.
It is safe to say that this new color was not only a fun, welcomed change, but psychologically helped my aunt feel better. With the stroke of a brush and the help of some bleach, my Aunt felt years younger and her demeanor echoed that.
This new phenomenon has begged me to look inwardly at what makes up a person and how outward expression can internally change a person. Being a hairstylist myself, I’ve seen transformations of every kind over the years; I just never thought I would see someone so steadfast in her beliefs about beauty wait until the age of 83 to dye her hair for the first time. Is it the demand of society? Is it the evolution of natural looking color? Had she seen someone’s color that she fell in love with? Or had she finally let down her guard enough to try something new.
Going and being gracefully gray is an absolutely beautiful thing for women and men of all ages. Although for most, I think it takes self-confidence not all of us can commit to. In this day and age, it is so easy to change the things we don’t automatically love about ourselves that it takes more guts to accept who we are naturally. Born a brunette, striving to be a blonde my entire life, I know this concept all too well. Except for me and anyone who knows me, they would agree; lighter hair color is more “me”. So do we accept nature as the cards were dealt, or do we strive to figure out our true selves through exploration, experimentation, and trial and error?
From my experience and observation - I say, try on all the colors of the rainbow if it pleases you. Grow your hair out and cut it all off if you like. If it’s one thing I’ve learned this year it is that; 83 isn’t too late to try on a new shade if you want to and life is too short not to gracefully look for a style that suits you…
How does hair color make you feel? Please share your stories with us below or tag a friend who could use a bit of inspiration for his or her style!