I don’t know too many women who are excited when their first grey hair comes in. I remember my first grey hair. It was sometime in my early 20’s. My dad went premature grey before age 30, and I guess it was in my genes to do some of the same. I wasn’t going without a fight though.
What happened with my hair that I thought was much worse than going grey was I lost tons of hair after I had my third child. I kept a perm. (everyone pretty much had permed hair in the 80’s) We were going for the big hair look, and I had it!
After my third child was born in 1983, I asked my sister in law to give me a permanent. I’m not sure what happened, but two weeks after Jenniss was born, I got that perm, and my hair fell out in the tub for three days! In the back it all grew back, but I stayed a little thin on top after that. I wasn’t a nurse then, and the doctors didn’t care to pursue WHY my hair came out like that, but imma thinking this had something to do with hormones. I had cysts on my ovaries from time to time, and while I now know this is PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome, and can cause thinking of the hair), the doctors didn’t care about this either since I had my tubes tied and wasn’t going to have anymore children.
Due to some blood loss from a c-section, and heavy periods, I pretty much stayed anemic (low red cell count) from that time over the next 18 years. The doctors didn’t do anything about that either. They chalked it up to heavy periods and really did not seem concerned with a hemoglobin that hung in the 8’s (normal for women is 12-15) Iron deficiency anemia is another reason hair loss can happen. I had great energy, so again, they really didn’t care to explore further.
I was and still am a cancer nurse, and we see many anemic patients. About 15 years ago I decided to refer myself to our clinic and have a hematology workup. Low and behold, my iron stores were less than 3%. I was like…are you kidding me! I received venofer infusions, and felt like a different person. I didn’t realize how tired I was until I got my hemoglobin back up to normal.
By that time the damage had been done to my hair, and I STILL have thin hair on top to this day. Through the years I’ve had people ask me if since I worked with cancer patients, did the chemotherapy I handled cause my hair to thin… UGH!!!
I got the bright idea to dye my hair blond! I knew nothing about doing this process so my hair turned more yellow until I got to a cosmetologist. My thoughts on the blond hair was my scalp would be less visible than with my dark hair. So, from age 40 till recently, I’ve been blond.
I was only covering up who I was. I wasn’t happy with what I looked like, so instead of embracing myself and loving myself for who I was, I tried to HIDE who I was…
As the years of coloring my hair continued, the grey began to creep in ever so quickly. Now I was coloring my hair to make my scalp less noticeable, and to cover the grey. Grey makes a women look old, right?
In 2018 I decided I was tired of my thin hair, so I purchased a hair topper. I kept the color blond, with low-lights. My hair was dyed identical to my hair topper, and only those who knew me well, knew what I was wearing was a human hair topper to make my hair look full and thick. I was really excited to have the appearance of thick hair.
After I started wearing the hair topper, I stopped coloring my hair. You could not see it under the hair topper, so it became easy just to keep my real hair trimmed so it wouldn’t be longer than the topper.
One day recently I took a good look at my own hair growing out. It was a beautiful silver grey with some dark hair in the back mixed in. I really thought it looked beautiful. I started toying with the idea of just letting it grow out and letting go of the hair topper. This of course was in the mix of my pursuit of living more “authentically”.
I took the plunge a few weeks ago and didn’t wear the hair topper to work. I’ve not had it on since. I mentioned on Twitter that I was thinking of letting my hair just go grey. Someone reached out to me and shared a few groups on Facebook where women were transitioning to grey. I joined a few groups.Some of the women were in their 20’s. What I noticed was the confidence and beauty of these women being authentic to who they are. It gave me the confidence to just DO IT!
So in the true adventure of being Authentically Joycelynn… I’ve set the hair topper aside. I had my hair trimmed today. There is purple and blue shampoo and conditioner you can use to tone down the yellow or gold tones in the hair and brighten the grey/silver. I bought purple shampoo and conditioner last week, and I’m amazed at the transformation! My eyes look brighter. It does NOT make me look older. I feel it makes me look younger.
I’m embracing and loving ME…. All of Me! It’s so freeing!
I’m Authentically Joycelynn!
A Ministry Wife’s Transparent Journey of Life, Loss, Doubt, & Faith