Going Gray Update

Posted by Dr. El - January 5, 2010 - Personal Reflections - 8 Comments

In my May 10. 2009 post, I mentioned I’d decided to stop dying my hair. After reading Henry Alford‘s book, How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They Are Still on This Earth), I started thinking about the message I was sending my patients. Almost all of them are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, and I’m trying to help them to be comfortable with aging and the phase of life they’re in, but I was hiding my own aging. Dying my hair no longer felt right to me.

I’ve been letting out the silver for the past 8 months and the reaction I’ve been getting is interesting. Some people (mostly women with dyed hair) recoil in horror, some tell me I’m brave and are curious about my choice, and some of my patients are cheering me on and giving me beauty tips.
For me, the hardest part was getting past the phase where I looked like Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos. Now that it’s obvious I’m growing it out and not just becoming lax with my self-care, it’s more bearable. It helps getting awesome haircuts from Stacey Lyn Weinstein of Loft 26 in Manhattan. Here are some mid-process photos just before and after my salon appointment with Stacey in September. I’ll post about this again after my next appointment.