Yet in other words, incredibly long ramblings about my hair, the how and why I changed it... I warned you. This is rather a journal note to myself, than anything else.
So a year passsed
That’s how long since I last dyed my hair.
If you look back, my blog showed pictures of me with a bright
red hair, up until a few months ago… Many asked what happened, and why did I
stop coloring… this “anniversary” is a good occasion to answer.
Aside from the crafty genes, from my family I inherited the “early
graying” genes as well. My paternal grandmother (yes the one that taught me to
knit and crochet, had a head full of white hair, by the time she was forty, and
that I will follow her not only down the crafty path, but on this one, could be
seen rather early.
I had gray hairs on my head, before I was 14, by the time I
was 16 they were pretty noticeable, in my twenties my hair was salt and pepper…
I started to color it to a shade or another of red in my teens, and did the coloring for about thirthy and then some years.
Originally it was dark brown, though, probably thanks to my mom’s genes (who was
a real green eyed, red haired witch) always had a reddish shine. Who knows why,
I always wanted to have curly red hair…I started with chestnut, mahogany
colors, and as there were more white underneath the dye, I used lighter and
lighter shade of red, until I got to the light coppery shade you are familiar from
the blogpictures. Maintaining is was not easy, as it was white, at the same
time it grew as fast like weeds. I always heard tales with a great envy from people
going for five even six or more weeks without dyeing their hair… for me serious
roots showed by the third week, and on the fourth one I didn’t liked to go out
of my house. To tell you the truth, if I wanted to feel my hair in good shape I
could have colored it in every other week, but that wouldn’t be good for my
purse/hair or my health. Sometimes, when for some reason I went without
haircolor for a longer period, I’ve seen that is whiter and whiter underneath, but
I really didn’t know how it looks like, until…
Sometimes I thought I should let it go… often I thought when
I will be 50, I will stop coloring it and become a sweet white haired old lady…
in fact around 2010 I lost my patient and decided to go gray but then shit hit
the fan, my life took a downturn… and I will try not to go in there just now…
However, from a few sentence you might now, that in the last
few years I didn’t had it easy. I would say it was a rollercoaster, but it wasn’t
even that as a rollercoaster have upturns, and I felt that whenever I feel I
can’t get any lower, life took a turn for the worst saying, oh, sure, but it can.
Then, when my life to yet another downturn, I took a wow to
myself, not to go to a hairdresser, and not have a haircut until I find a
solution. I had no idea what that solution could be, or if there would be any
solution at all, but no haircut until then. I could not give up coloring as I
had to stay presentable… and there passed months, even years.
When finally it seemed that I not only managed to climb to the
edge of that hole, I even managed to get a hold of that edge, in fact I could
see a hope that I might even be able to climb OUT, my hair was waistlong. To be
sure I waited another couple of months, no to scare my luck away. I enjoyed my
long hair, the braided style that became mine, though I knew it needs a
refreshing. Finally I had an appointment with my hairdresser, who done my hair
for about twenty years.. I didn’t see her all too often, but sometimes she
colored my hair, usually cut some of it off, sometimes put some weave into it… Such
weaves I asked from her now. And I have no idea what happened, but as I left,
the next day my hair started to feel like old elastic, then sticky like old
plastic, and break off by the handful. Thinking back I believe that the many
years of struggle and stress kicked my hormones out of balance, which affected
not only my weight, but my hair as well, of which my hairdresser didn’t
realized. I am not angry with her, I am not blaming her. She could have said
that “look, let’s leave the perm out, and only cut a bit of it off”… we knew
each other enough that I would have listen to her. Anyhow, in the following
weeks, I have tried everything. Poured conditioners, masks, oils on it to no
effect. Previously, when coloring my hair I often experienced that my hair felt
much better right after a session.. In fact I often wondered why the heck I am
so afraid of dyeing it more often…So in a last attempt on October 24th
2014, I dyed my hair… this was like pouring oil on fire, things got even worst.
I even tried the scissor therapy, but every time I cut some of it, more broke
off… and then I had to think…
I am not that far away from that magic number…
I am not going to get any younger…
Even if I dye my hair whoknows what color.
I do not have to appear at job interviews, what is more, I
hardly ever have to go into a office…
Asslong Waistlong white hair can be as great as my
If it was good enough for Jamie Lee Curtis, Meryl Streep, or
If someone wanted me only for my red hair… well then I do
not want them (be it a job, a friend, or a man..)
Of course the choice between having gray hair on my head, or
no hair at all overwritten every other consideration.
Then I took a deep breath, like I did years ago, when I had
to face the fact that without a degree I will not be able to get ahead, which
ended me getting through some difficult time and clenching my teeth, but
getting that degree..
This change might not took such struggle, but the same
strong decision for sure. Even though at the time I had no idea what am I
getting into. Naturally I looked around forums, blogs, read about such changes,
watched videos on YouTube and had a whole board on Pinterest, so I kind of knew
where to go from there…
One thing was sure, I will change my hairdresser. As much as
I liked her as a person, I lost my trust, and also whenever I did mention
letting my hair go gray she rejected the though. I asked my friends, and from
their suggestions I found Éva… Poor girl didn’t know where will I take her,
though later I found she kinda likes challenges, she likes to have to think
about a task…
We decided to put silver, red and light brown highlights into my hair to soften the line between the colored and the gray part, and later put more and more silver and less and less color, until it is all silver and grown… In theory this was great, but as she put the lightening agent on my hair… with almost the same momentum she had to take it off, as my hair literally started to melt under it and she knew already that I do not like very short hair… especially on my head. Bald head I like even less. My waistlong hair was in ruins by then, first it had to be cut until my shoulder blades, then
somewhere between my shoulder and ears…
I only cried through the night… I missed the braid from it the very first day, if nothing else I braided the hair from my forehead back
We could see that hydrogen is no help, I was left with the
cold turkey and the gunk stripe route… In the meanwhile I/we tried other
solutions, lightening shampoos, chamomile, citric acid, to make the difference
between the dyed and undyed part less noticeable shocking.
Sometimes I had to sit on my hand not to take a package and pour over my hair…
Pulled back, pinned up, braided… whatever form, it was not a
good view. For the day of wool in the spring I braided colorful wool dreds to
hide the blowrange ends… and I think this day was a turning point. This was the
first time I went out in public and said , hey this IS MY hair. This is not unkempt,
it is gray on PURPOUSE.
A few weeks later the ends were light enough to try ash
toner on it, and after a bigger cut I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Summer swimming often made it look yellow, sometimes the toner turned to green,
sometimes it was hard to see it is intentional, not just a fucked up messed
up blonde .
By this time I used shampoo and conditioner for gray hair…and for the Festival of folk arts I had wool dreds dyed to the lightest gray braided into it..
Today.. its been a year since I last put color on my hair. I
am not the end of this journey, the ends still yellowish, bleached, ashened,
shoulder length (instead of waist length), but I will get there.
Yes, I miss being a readhead. I miss being the dangerous,
feisty, crazy carrot head with the lamp for her hair. Sometimes catching my reflection
from the corner of my eyes I do not realize that “that white haired woman” is
me. In pictures I still look for the red spot, when I search my face, but actually,
less and less. When the magazine asked for a photo a few week ago I did not
wanted a redheaded one… asked them to shot a new one with my silver hair.
No I do not miss having to buy, and mix haircolor every
coupl of weeks, I do not miss messing up the bathroom, my towels, my pillows…
Not to mention that it turned out that the biggest hairtrend
of 2015 is actually having gray/silver hair… at the end of the summer, in the
fitness club, where I go to swim, a girl in her early twenties came ober and
asked me what color I use to dye my hair… (genes honey, pure genes)
That’s about it. A few weeks ago I had coffee with a teacher
of the university, I became friends with.. she is a few years younger than I
am, and the last I saw her was in early/mid summer. I was surprised to see she
is growing her gray out. She choose a different route by having her hair cut
short. But she said I gave her the strength and encouragement to actually go through
with it… and there are others.
My wardrobe is changing, though I don’t exactly
see where will it end up. My eyes, and skintone did not change, but some colors
still have a different effect… Luckily, I never liked yellows (lemon, ochre,
mustard, sun, whatever), orange on the other hand… In late spring I went to a
meeting wearing a brown skirt and my Golden wheat sweater. Catching my
reflection in a mirror of the shopping mall the café was in, I thought, who IS
that yellow haired deadly pale skinned woman??? If my hair will grow, and the ends
will be cut off, it might be different, but for the moment my so loved orangey,
rusty colors will take a back seat. Strangely light reflects in a way that if I
wear those my hair looks a lot more yellowish, than otherwise. Luckily I can
still wear red, even the warmer shades, and I can get more close to the colder
I already did the happydance about being part of the Hungarian version of Simply Crochet, and now the knitting version came out today. In teh first issue there was this really cute, funny cabled hat, about which I felt, its a part of my job to knit it.
The modell is simple, easy to knit, If anyone is just getting to know the tricks of cableknitting and looking for a project to practice I can heartily suggest this one...
You can see from the original magazine picture that this hat is not a thight one, and since I choose a yarn that is decidedly thicker than the one teh designer used, and did not do my homework (i.e: swatch), I can only blame myself for the first attempt failing, by being kind of too big... however only a short calculation and reknitting cured the problem... (Instead of 101 stitch start with 81, and knit 4 repeats of the cable pattern)
Now I am thinking how can I use the same cables to make a neckwarmer... from this soft and warm yarn...
And now back to our (more or less) regular progamming, that for the moment, consist of knitting, crocheting, and a bit of spinning thrown in here and there just to convince the average spectator that I am really, really weird.
So knitting...let me show you something I made in the spring and never got around to show. Until now.
As I was working with the spring and suummer catalogs of DROPS this was the one that grabbed my attention and held it thightly. There are others, that I love and would or will knit once I have the time, but this is the one that I knew will get done, no matter what. This is the one I kept coming back and the one that is not brushed away with saying "no time", or "not yet" or something similar.
Just as I knew that I do not want to knit it from the Baby Merino, a full wool sweater and summer is just not going well together in my mind. However, the Cotton Merino from Drops entrenched itself in my mind, I wanted to knit something with it ever since it came out, so I decided it is high time.
That it is a completely different gauge? Never mind, I can brave that out... right?
Thanks to the University , it went fast, as I knitted the boring stocking stitch part during classes...
I started with the numbers of the smallest size. For the sleeves, since I do not like 3/4 length sleeves, I started out with 5 repeats of the edge pattern, and then added enough rows to end up with a full length.
You've already knew the effect, my radio silence, but I can only talk about the (real) cause now.. Which is after such long time is not that things are going bad, and I am drowing my sorrows in silence, but
that I am am incredibly proud...
When a few months ago Ildikó, the editor in chief of the publisher of several craft magazin told me they bought the license of the Simply Crochet and Simply Knitting magazin and would I like to be part of it, it was all I could do not to ask back if there is sand in the Sahara, or do they sell Coca Cola in the US...
Its been long my dream that somehow I manage to combine the two things so dear to my heart, knitting/crocheting and translating... also bringing home the patterns that are, for language reasons unattainable for the hungarian knitters,
Translating the DROPS patterns was a giant step, but this was really the Icing on the cake.
I am so proud today, and thankful not only to the Universe, and Ildikó, but to all of those knitters and crocheters.. I couldn't do this without you.
A incredibly busy winter and sping was followed by an even busier summer... and I thought things can only get "lighter". NOT so. Yes I know, I usually say that I don't even have time to read, but this is much more serius... I rarely had time to eat. Anyhow, I am still alive, and will come back with stories (hopefully) and news, and pictures, and who knows what else...
Until then here is a pic to prove that even though not as much as I usually do, but thanks to some traintrips, and endless university classes I still knit... and despite the popular belief sometimes I do finish stuff. This much stuff is awaiting to get blocked and have some photoes taken.