Now if you’ve got a little gray showing, you’re probably bowed up like a Halloween cat by the title of this post, but those are  Jessica Topper’s words, not mine. And for good reason. Jessica has gorgeous, and I do mean GORGEOUS gray locks.

Jessica shares my philosophy about my hair, which I likened to the way I raised my children. My hair can do whatever it wants to as long as it behaves itself and doesn’t hurt anybody. That’s meant a lot of things over the years. Pixie cuts. Bangs. BIG HAIR, the list goes on. You’ll hear from Jessica in a minute, and when you do, I want you to listen for the element in her voice that refuses to go unheard. FREEDOM.

Our hair is a way to express our freedom. A way to say to the world, “THIS IS MY HAIRSTYLE AND I’M STICKING TO IT! For now. Until I change my mind and do whatever I want. Again.” 

We don’t always get that in other areas of our life. But when we stand on our bathroom vanities and raise our favorite hair product in the air and shout, “It’s MY hair,” we are truly free. In a look-at-yourself-happily-in-the-mirror kind of way.

You know me, at this stage in my life, I’m all about the color. But hear it now from the GORGEOUS gray, Jessica!

I “unfixed” my hair when I stopped coloring it at the age of 40. I found the change to be very freeing, and believe it or not, I had a very supportive stylist who helped me through the transition! And in his own words: “If we didn’t know each other and we were at a party full of blonds and brunettes, I would cross the room to talk to you – because you’d look like the most interesting person at the party.”
The stubborn roots at my part line that used to embarrass and betray me every three weeks are now my favorite – a silver, signature streak in my otherwise dark hair. Sure, I got strange looks when my hair was half-natural, half-oxidized dye during the 14 months it took to grow it out completely, but every day I knew I was getting closer to what I wanted to achieve. And in the back of my head, I knew I had a CHOICE. If I didn’t like the way it looked, I could always go back to coloring. I had nothing to lose by giving it a try and letting my silver freak flag fly!
Since then, I’ve met similar-minded gals from all over the country, participated in a group “gray” photo shoot in the middle of Times Square, and have been interviewed on CBS morning news about my decision to go gray. I know my “fix” isn’t for everyone, and some might think I didn’t change anything at all, but I think my hair is wiser for it!


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About Kim Boykin

Kim Boykin learned about women and their hair in her mother’s beauty shop in a tiny South Carolina town. She loves to write stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows. Kim is an accomplished public speaker and serves on the board of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.
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  1. OK, I may be a wee bit biased, but what a great, thought-provoking post, Kim! I may be shades of gray, but I am tickled pink that you used my “going gray” story as an example of freedom, and yet another way of looking at changing your life by changing your hair. Thanks!

  2. My grandmother Thelma…the dearest woman on the face of the planet to me, always wanted to be a silver fox. But the older she got, the redder her hair became! She is still the only woman I have ever known that prayed for gray hair. HaHa! But her red hair spoke to her personality and I always loved that it did.

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