the five developmental stages of going gray
Stage One: The Decision
After years of messing up the bathroom floor with L’Oreal Feria #58 and spending countless hours and money in the colorist’s chair, there comes a point when a woman just surrenders. “I give up!” she says as she quickly touches up her fresh gray roots of 2 weeks. “The insanity needs to stop!” And thus, secret meetings are held among friends and family. Options are weighed and debated. The worries of looking old are replaced with a vision of an elegant woman with beautiful white locks. And the decision is made. But the hair color paraphernalia in your bathroom cabinet stays.
Stage Two: Curiosity + Excitement
This stage is full of idealized visions of beautiful white, long locks. People with white hair seem to pop out of the woodwork and a whole new world of white-haired people seems to emerge. “Wow! Who knew there were so many young guys with white hair,” you muse. Your crush on Anderson Cooper grows even stronger during this phase. This is also a time of immense curiosity and long visits in front of the bathroom mirror wondering what lurks underneath all that colored hair. You may become pre-occupied with the possibilities and you start to venture out and learn more about what you can expect. Typically, the woman in this stage has no idea what’s in store for her – if she knew, she might start seriously looking in her bathroom cabinet.
Stage Three: Creative Hair Dressing + Impatience
Your roots have been manageable with the help of ColorMark’s color wand but slowly you’ve noticed that your roots are much longer and the magic wand has lost its power. Once a woman has grown out about 2” of white hair, the skunk stripe is so prevalent that wearing a pretty scarf or hat is a necessity. The temptation of L’Oreal is quite large. It is during this delicate yet critical stage that a woman may give in and go back to her colored locks.
Boredom and impatience set in and one may find themselves in wig shops and hair replacement boutiques looking for relief to their transitional-woes. A quick Internet search for Miracle-Gro for Hair is conducted. Women in this stage also tend to get their hair cut a bit shorter in anticipation and in preparation for Stage Four.
Stage Four: OMG! What did I just do?
This stage is probably the most difficult because there is no turning back the clock so to speak. Women in this stage have just cut off all their colored locks leaving themselves with 2” stubs of gray and white hair that stick straight up on their head. They begin to consult their husbands and male friends for short-hair styling advice. The attention or looks they used to receive from strangers have suddenly disappeared. Friends don’t recognize you. Strangers think you are some punk-mama. At times during this stage, a woman can feel just plain unattractive. Who is that person staring at me in the mirror? Why does everything look weird on me? Your image and reactions to it take some getting used to. Every night you find yourself staring in the bathroom mirror wishing for your hair to grow faster.
And then you realize something incredible. You have the ability to change everything about you right now because you are undergoing a huge metamorphosis and no one’s going to recognize you while you do it. You start to work out more (fat may jiggle but who cares! No one recognizes you anyway.) Although this stage is mostly focused on the physical changes, it is also in this stage that you start to think of the possibilities and implications of sporting gray hair. And the most important realization happens during this stage: YOU ARE FREE! And you’re never going back.
Stage Five: Acceptance + Confidence
By this point your hair has grown out to a length that you are happy in. The compliments start rushing in. You have a hip haircut, you’ll looking svelte and you are active and joyful. Well, that’s what I *think* will happen. I’m still in Stage Four so I’ll make sure to update you once I’ve arrived at the end of my journey.
Until then, I’ve photoshopped and updated my picture to show you the possibility. It is this color but the 2” stubs are now 2-1/2”. You have been warned.
DC and Philadelphia are looking like some true possibilities for a Wardrobe 911 Style Seminar the week of October 20th. We don’t have enough people yet so if you are interested please let me know!