Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Simple Suggestion #148 revisited: Naturals of the World, Unite!

It's been a year since my hairstylist/neighbour put some natural plant-based dyes into a small swatch of my bangs. Since that bit of silly blue hair, I've decided that I'm done with all haircolour, and I've been delighting in the folks I know who are leaving their hair to be its natural tint. As my hair moves beyond ash to glacial grey, it's nice to know that others are comfortable with colour changes. We are aging gracefully, or something!

And there are solid ecological reasons to leave our hair in a natural state. To put it simply, with places like Johannesburg living with water shortages, droughts in other parts of the globe, and what's sure to be another dangerous wildfire season in parts of Canada again this year because of climate change, the idea of spoiling our local freshwater with all those chemicals for the sake of haircolour seems just plain wrong. I can live very happily with what Mother Nature has given me, even if it isn't trendy.

In an effort to encourage others to live more simply and less chemically, I thought I'd offer a poem I wrote almost ten years ago. Feel free to share it with all the Naturals you know.

Naturals of the World, Unite!

Naturals of the world, unite!
Those whose tresses have some grey or white,
All who are whom they’re meant to be,
Join in uncoloured unity.

We refuse to join the throng
who sit in salon chairs all day long
In chemicals and net and foil
while stylists all around them toil.

They say, “Hair that is ash or white or grey
makes you look like you’ve had your day.
Auburn, burgundy or maroon
will have you looking younger, soon!”

The beauty business stole my mind.
It brainwashed me, but now I find
that a haircolour “personality” quiz
can’t tell me what my true colour is.

Mother Nature seems to know best
the colour I need, so here’s the test:
Can I accept Nature’s reality
as party of my “personality?”

Why so much stress on eternal youth?
What’s so wrong with living the truth?
Does grey hair make me less than the ones
who live by the adage, “Blondes have more fun”?

My head may not look as young as theirs,
but I’ve worked hard for my grey hairs,
and I don’t feel the need to be
masked like a celebrity.

Greys like me used to be the main target
of the hair colouring industry market
but things have changed in the last ten years.
Now it’s going after my teen daughters and their peers!

“But Mom, everyone is colouring their hair,
and if I can’t do it, that’s just not fair!”
The incidence of hair colouring is up 50 percent
but the hair industry won’t tell us how much we’ve spent.

So Clairol, L’oreal and Garnier
over my head will have no say.
Nor will I give them a single cent
for their brand of hair luxuriant.

For when I think of the water I drink
running through the beautician’s sink
full of chemicals and dyes,
I ask myself, is colouring wise?

Where does that coloured water end?
How many ecosystems do I spend
to have that manufactured look
we see in many a beauty book?

If I want to be treated or pampered,
the planet’s environment shouldn’t be hampered.
And neither should I be with chemicals
or with psychological pressure from hair-dye commercials.

‘Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to be free
from chasing my roots eternally.
So friends, please join me in my quest
to lay these hair colour demons to rest.

I am who I am, I’m real, I’m free
in voluntary simplicity
I’ll forgo hair dye’s needless mask,
and am sure to tell others, if they ask:

Naturals of the world, Unite!
Those with tresses dirty blonde or mousy brown or plain black or silver or white
All who are whom they’re meant to be
Join in uncoloured unity!


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