Before they shut down everything here in California, last week my sweet neighbor and I went to the grocery store and then to Sally’s Beauty.
I can hear you now, “Sis, it’s a pandemic, what do you need from the beauty supply?” And I can tell you with a straight face that I needed a Denman brush to detangle my curls and my holy grail of hair dye, Wella’s Color Charm Demi-Permanent in 2N. Sadly, the brush wasn’t in stock, but I sure did grab that dye with pride, because the last time I covered my grays was Friday, January 29th at 11:30am.
Here we are nearly 8 weeks later and I’m starting to look like Mrs. Claus. I’m beyond due for a touch-up.
As I walked up to the cashier, my neighbor, who got some hair gel, asked me, “Who is going to see you that you need to cover your grays?”
Well, for starters, clearly her because she pointed them out, unsolicited, I might add. I shrugged and mumbled something like, “I am going to see,” all dumb-like and stumbled my goofy self back to the car. But when I got home, what my neighbor said, sat with me. Why was I so worried about covering my grays that had clearly already grown in and were highly visible?
That, and literally as a single childless sista, no one is coming over to my crib. My Mama and Daddy are in Florida for the winter, my brother and his family are in Texas, everyone else in Los Angeles is stuck inside the house and I deleted Bumble and OK Cupid cause I am not letting horniness be what ends it all for me, I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE.
So other than Facetiming my loved-ones who also already know that I am graying, the only people that are gonna see me on a weekly basis are the cashiers at whatever grocery store has frozen pizza in stock, the girl at Big Lots where I get my toilet paper and protein bars and old boy at the liquor store who supplies with my medicine, I mean wine.
Yet, knowing the limited interactions I was going to have, I was STILL STEAMPRESSED about my gray hair. Every morning, I would look at my hairline in my mirror, frown profusely, tell myself, “Damn you look old Kel,” and promise to color it the next day.
But I never did and haven’t yet, cause like work and stuff. But just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, I saw this post of Tamera Mowry letting her grays pop in.
“Hello grays. No getting my hair done during #socialdistancing, and I’m okay with it!” The Real co-host wrote in the caption on March 21.
Here’s another one from as early as March 9th, where you can see them grays sprouting up a little:
Now look here, I know that Tamera’s hair doesn’t look like say Victoria Rowell’s mane, which is all white and glorious. Nor is she declaring that she’s letting her grays grow in as some kind of revolution against a sexist and ageist society and beauty industry. I’m pretty sure the second her salon is open for business, she’s gonna have that hairline shellacked with the most luxe color her colorist has in their arsenal. But I have to admit it was really nice to see a celeb, my age, just put those little unruly grays on blast like that..and be well, OK.
(Granted, when my best friend does it, I laugh and tell her about my Wella 2N boyfriend, but hey we’re a celebrity-obsessed world, what do you want from me?)
But when it comes to my own, I’m usually not that OK with it. Most times, the second I see one peek out, I cringe and it reminds me that menopause or deep forehead wrinkles are soon on its way. Getting older, at 41, is scary. It feels like every day, I am becoming more and more invisible in the real world, even if the new real-world is being isolated from everyone else. Even in my self-quarantine, the pressure of Black don’t crack is still lurking around the corner, especially with women such as Halle Berry and Angela Bassett out still there looking their best and youngest in their 50s and 60s on the ‘Gram.
Cause you already know, Halle isn’t letting nobody’s ‘Rona mess up her skincare routine. TRUST.
But all jokes aside, there’s a serious pressure to keep up. Not age. Be young forever. Quite honestly, it’s exhausting.
So, like Tamera, for right now, I’ma just chill out on the color for a minute, focus on the actual health of my hair, and other things like my physical and mental health and my family instead of worrying about the fact that I might look like somebody’s grandma. So yeah, I’m gonna let my unruly gray hairs grow in…for now.
But trust and believe the SECOND they let us out of the house for real and happy hour is in full-effect, me and my beloved Wella 2N are finally gonna dance. #SorryNotSorry