Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm a Knitting Rebel!

I got a good laugh recently when I read that women who do not dye their hair are rebels. I'm going grey and have been for a few years. The decision to not colour my hair has been made for several reasons. One of the main ones is that I don't want to be bothered with the maintenance and I dislike the look of roots that show a different colour. I have also watched a few friends grow colour out and I have seen how painful that stage is unless you are willing to go with a really short haircut at the same time. About 10 years ago my hairdresser made a mistake with a shine treatment I used to get. She switched products and used one with peroxide that left me with a visible growth line. I ended having to do low lights to break up  the stripe effect line and during the patch test discovered I'm allergic to hair colour. Since the low lights were to match my natural colour they were done with out touching my scalp.

I don't make any judgments on people who do colour their hair as I don't really care what other women do. I think that kind of thing is a personal decision. It has been clear to me that this can be a real hot button issue. A friend of mine who started colouring her hair when the first grey hair showed up was so disturbed by my choice that we she had to talk about it almost every time I saw her. I got really annoyed by the discussion by about the tenth conversation and I would try to change the topic but she was persistent. She was adamant that hair colour makes you look younger and was furious when I said that to me people end up looking the same age they just have dyed hair on the same age face. I believe that perceived age is based on a multitude of factors that make up ones appearance not a single attribute. Skin, teeth, weight, posture, health and muscle tone all play a subtle role in how others perceive us.

I guess I've ended up rebelling in other ways too. I don't drive and I've had people get bizarrely worked up over that one as well. I don't have kids...a previous coworker spent a lot of time trying to convince me what a big mistake that was. Even my allergist (who I saw maybe four times in total) had to explain to me what a serious error in choice I was making. I've never owned a house only a condo, clearly a subversive decision. I didn't change my last name either time I got married. Shocking!

Peer pressure is fascinating isn't it? Why do so many people feel that everyone must make the same choices that they do? What a boring world it would be if we were all exactly the same.

My most rebellious behavior you ask? Knitting. I was knitting when it was very uncool. I was still knitting when it became cool and I expect I'll be knitting as long as my hands can hold the needles. I ignored the critics, kept on my own path and I am confident that my decisions are right for me.


  1. Yeah, I figure I do what I like and sometime or other it may be cool, then it won't but I'll still enjoy it. I started going grey in HS, and did color on and off for a while, now I am chemical free and very very happy.

  2. Great post! I've been debating the "to dye or not to dye" question for a few years now. Finally last fall I started getting streaks put in. After 3 treatments enough was enough. The greys never really left and why should I be putting chemicals in my head every 5 weeks? The kicker was going to the theater and seeing that most women there, many of them my age, had beautiful greyish/grey dos.

    I agree with you that hair colour does not dictate youth or appearance thereof. The grey theater patrons looked beautiful, confident, happy, relaxed.

    As for knitting, a hand-made pair of socks will make a believer out of any doubter.

    Happy knitting!