I’ve never known what color my mother’s hair really is. As a little girl I was accustomed to seeing her wandering around the house with a towel over her shoulders while Miss Clairol hair coloring processed on her head. As a teenager I thought, “That is so vain! I’ll never do that! That’s so ‘high maintenance’.”
Then I turned 40. My hair stylist commented on the beginnings of gray. “Highlights would help hide the gray,” she said. I was much too young to consider going gray just yet, so I readily agreed to the highlights. I know you are gasping in horror that I would consider using toxic hair color – but give me a break! I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink coffee or tea. I eat quite healthfully.
Then I turned 45. The gray was looking pretty brassy – so I upped the ante and went for full color. Some of you knew me back then – the color was a soft red – not the candy apple red that is popular amongst the younger generations, but a natural looking red. For the better part of 10 years ‘only my hairdresser knew for sure’. I also started really fighting looking ‘more mature’ in other ways; for instance, I started working out about 10 hours per week. Between hair and working out I felt like I looked pretty good. More importantly, I was feeling great! Better than I did when I was 30.
Later, at 55, I thought, “To heck with it! Let’s go au naturel!” I was tired of the ‘high maintenance’ hair. The gray that I tried so desperately to cover hasn’t amounted to much. There are a couple of gray streaks that look kind of cool. At my age there are other body parts that demand attention as things get a little stiffer and a little saggier. My day starts with 15 minutes of limbering exercises the moment I roll out of bed, followed by the real workout of usually 60 – 90 minutes of running or biking or weight lifting. Throw in exhaustive efforts (read that as serious time investments) in caring for my teeth and skin as naturally as possible – and I spend upwards of two hours per day on self care! I’ve become a picky eater, too, obsessing about getting 6 cups of veggies per day minimum. I am aghast that I have become so high maintenance. LOL
I justify it with “I don’t want what my parents have for health.” I’m not so much fighting aging as I am fighting deterioration. If that makes me high maintenance, I’m perfectly okay with it!
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who is 50-something that has a ‘maintenance routine’. What health-promoting things do you do specifically to stay younger and stave off the aging process?