A couple of years ago, I decided to grow out my chemically-dyed hair. I work in the environmental health field and I was worried about the potential toxicity of the chemicals in hair dye. But I was also concerned about how going gray would affect my identity, my beauty. For me, like many women, hair dye was “the magic elixir.” Coloring my hair helped me feel youthful. During the transition to silver, I discovered that ditching hair dye also meant confronting strongly held cultural beliefs, some of them so ingrained I was barely aware of them: beliefs about beauty, choice, aging, and femininity. It also meant flouting beauty gurus, the media, decades of powerful and seductive advertising, my girlfriends, even the expectations of men in my life.
Through the lens of my new hair story, I wrote TRUE ROOTS as a guide to the complexities of environmental health and revelatory beauty for women of all ages.
Island Press is publishing TRUE ROOTS and it will be out June, 2019. Please stay tuned for excerpts and events. Here’s the first one:Read More