The first time

The first time... I embraced my white hair


57 years old

Going “blande”

Until now, any sign of wisdom was not really my thing: even the slightest white hair horrified me. Since I was 30 years old, I have dyed my hair every color, even with plant-based, homemade dyes. It was tedious, it cost money, and it was a race, in vain, against time—against myself. And those white roots that reappeared every month were like humiliation.

And then there was a change in my life. A new job. I was transferred to the department that had interested me for years. At 57, I felt at the top of my game. I had nothing left to prove... well, almost nothing. There was my hair. I wanted to be at peace with it. To not be living a lie anymore. I told myself, after all, the signs of time are not a catastrophe. I'm not going to struggle all my life!

But I was still asking myself a thousand questions: won't my eyes look too dark? Will it go with my curly hair? In short, I was looking for all the excuses to postpone the moment.

The real fear was the judgment of my loved ones. I decided to test the waters at home. My daughter thought it was great: “going gray is so cool,” she said. Deep down, at the age of twenty, she saw it as a game. She felt less social pressure.
I asked my husband directly if he would still love a white-haired woman. He smiled. "You'll be unique," he said. I was a little less discouraged, but still I didn't want to be noticed.

I googled for advice and came across this intriguing term: "blande,” a French word that etymologically means “soft, sweet, gentle.” Sophie Fontanel, a famous novelist and fashion critic, had coined it. I ran out to buy her latest book, “Une apparition,” which delves into this question. She says that it was her white hair that brought her into the light. I read it in one sitting. She talks about rebirth, honesty, freedom. I thought: why not me? I spend all my time preaching body acceptance, so why am I freaking out about a handful of white hairs? It was a wake-up call.

Well, the transition period from colored to white hair was very complicated. But I felt more and more in tune with my choice. After a year, I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. And I had my husband's unwavering support from the beginning.

Today I feel fulfilled. Relieved. I’ve understood that showing off gray hair means freeing myself from the fear of aging. Author Tatiana de Rosnay said so. We have a lot of inspiring women!

With this white hair, I've even discovered new charm. It's crazy: in the street, in a crowd, you are spotted, you become visible. Contrary to what you might think, men are watching. And it seems that mine has fallen in love again!

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