Monday, July 17, 2017

choosing to go natural

I did something--something that shouldn't be news, but probably is. I let my hair go natural. And, I didn't ease my way in.

My Traveling Companion, Alt Summit Conference 2017, Palm Springs, CA


Now, I can't tell what I'm not sure about: the cut, the color, or the texture.

Eden Hensley Silverstein at The Saguaro Hotel, Palm Springs, CA


Going natural for me was fraught with self doubt. Before going too much further, let me say that for me, natural meant: salt and pepper or grey color and naturally curly hair. (I already wear little to no make up.)

I decided to give my natural color and texture a try because I don’t want to be one person here and one in real life.

I want readers who meet me in person to feel like they’re meeting the same person they imagined when they interacted with me online. So, in this space, I strive for my online persona to be a slice of my real self. A task, by the way, that's not as easy as one would think.

I try to be open and vulnerable in what I write and how I act with my daughter. So, not being afraid to be myself is something I take very seriously.

To match up words I share with my daughter to my actions, right before the New Year I decided to do something bold. I exchanged locks that hung to my mid-back length for a pixie cut.

Eden Hensley Silverstein with Traveling Companion at Alt Summit Conference 2017, Palm Springs, CA


I grew up having a hate-hate relationship with my hair. I’d have it perfectly coiffed. Then the fog. And my hair went from smooth waves or tight curls to frizz double or triple the size of my head.

For as long as I could remember, I’d had this idea that short hair would result in an out-of-control permanent (the type that was popular with the over 50, caucasian granny set in the 1980s). I also believed that unruly hair was unprofessional; I’d been counseled both by undergraduate and graduate career placement services that I needed to straighten my hair when interviewing.

Still Showing Up and Doing the Work 30 Years Later


When asked how short I wanted to go, I directed my stylist to cut until all of the color was gone. (She’d cut it to my jawline less than six months before, so it wasn't as dramatic a makeover as it could have been.)

I’d never had hair this short. A pixie cut was a first for me.

Eden Hensley Silverstein, Alt Summit Conference 2017, Palm Springs, CA


While I love the freedom of the short hair, I have to admit, I’m still not sure about the color. (And my feelings about the color may have to do more with my wardrobe choices than it.)

Eden Hensley Silverstein at The Saguaro Hotel, Palm Springs, CA


I’ve gotten used to seeing myself with reddish brownish hair with blonde streaks. Hair that’s smooth and long. (After pregnancy I didn’t like the texture of my post-pregnancy hair. For 4 years, my solution was Keratin.)

Stay grey a little longer?
Or, play around with bold colors?

So, what would you do?

Credits: All images taken by Nycia Emerson of Inspired Events and Designs for The Road to the Good Life.