88 Comments
deletedApr 17Liked by Jenna Park
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
author

Oh absolutely relatable. I've always expressed how looking younger was a way to deal with ageism in the job market. It's freeing not to think about that stuff.

Expand full comment
Apr 17Liked by Jenna Park

Happy birthday from an other hair dyer :-) I hope you have a lovely day - and year.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you so much Blandine!

Expand full comment

Happy Birthday! I always enjoy seeing your newsletter gimmick in my inbox

Expand full comment
author

Jason! Sock cop! Whoa, hello voice from the past!!!!!

Expand full comment
founding
Apr 17Liked by Jenna Park

Happy birthday, Jenna! Hope you enjoy your special day! Appreciate your honesty as aging is tough and I can feel all my poor choices earlier in life catching up to me. My body feels like it is biologically 15 years older than it really is. Anyway enough about me. I hope Mark has something special planned for you today!! 🎂🎈

Expand full comment
author

Thank you Juliet! I have no idea what food is in store. I requested not going out to eat today, so it will be a surprise!

Expand full comment
Apr 17Liked by Jenna Park

Happy Birthday! I’m with you, I can’t embrace the silver hair yet.

Expand full comment
author

Solidarity! I do have to wonder when I will? But my mom *still* dies her hair so who knows!

Expand full comment
Apr 17Liked by Jenna Park

Happy birthday, Jenna! I hope all your wishes come true today and for the year to come.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you Sharon!

Expand full comment

Happy, happy birthday, Jenna! I hope your day is filled with unplanned joys.

I am not ready to accept my gray hair, but then I haven’t been ready to accept my dull-brownish-blonde natural hair color for decades, and have treated it as an irrelevance I can pay to vacate. I don’t feel competent to dye it myself, though, and coloring always been a stinging pinch in my wallet even as I enjoy the self-expression of it. Recently I decided I’d be happier with less hair, period. (This is accompanied by deep feelings of gratitude for LGBTQ folk who have fought so hard for survival and representation that now I get the choice, in my normy little way, to not lean so hard into femininity.) Now that it’s short, I wonder what it would look like gray, but I more wonder how I could spend less on it and still like it ok.

Expand full comment

And thanks for sharing these drawings! I’ve always thought of charcoal as a vehicle for sketchy gestural drawing, but you wield it with loving precision and I’m in awe.

Expand full comment
author

I am learning too, although these are older and they are done in pencil :)

Expand full comment
author

I am way to frugal for salon maintenance and I'm sure my hair would look better if I had some highlights in it or something. But I also don't even care. I would think that it would be easier to transition to gray with short hair?? But also, short hair is so much more maintenance for me (I had both, the last time was at ITP though!). Basically, I am going for as low maintenance as possible 😬

Expand full comment

To me, mid 50s would commence at 55.

Expand full comment
author

It makes sense, but for some reason being 54, saying I'm in my early 50s doesn't sound right to me either 🤔

Expand full comment
Apr 17Liked by Jenna Park

And PS, birthdays in the office was always quite awkward. That’s why I almost always took that week off.

Expand full comment
author

We should get birthdays off as personal days anyway - that's what I always thought.

Expand full comment

We always take it off. It might be controversial, but I wouldn’t mind if the kids took it off, but it’s usually during holidays or exams.

Expand full comment

Happy birthday! Use the dye!! Whatever feels good. Mine started going grey in earnest during the pandemic but I have lighter hair so they hide themselves more easily. Gives me more time to focus on my laugh lines and the growing furrow in the middle of my forehead from 42 years of "you've gotta be kidding me" face. Hope you eat something delicious and the weather stays nice!

Expand full comment
Apr 17Liked by Jenna Park

I have a furrow. Maddening.

Expand full comment
author

I so envy the blondes and the light haired people that can blend the gray so much easily. You can't get any more contrasty than dark brown or black hair. There is a hard line from where my roots end and it looks particularly bad in photos, gah!

Expand full comment

Happy birthday! I developed a severe allergy to chemicals in hair dye a few years ago and have been forced, sadly, to accept the multiplying grays. Dye away -- I would if I could!! :)

Expand full comment
author

oh wow. But also, chemicals!! When I saw you, I didn't even notice any gray hair :)

Expand full comment

Happy birthday, Jenna!!! 🎂

Expand full comment
author

Hey Terrell, thank you for the birthday wishes!

Expand full comment

Hi Jenna,

an other comment from a fan of your writing. You are not alone!

Hair is a such facade of our soul, a statement of how we feel at each stage of our life. Young we rebel, with screaming colors, sophisticated breathes or sharp haircuts. But when the gray appears we know that we went to the other side, there's no going back. Then the little tango danse of acceptance and resistance starts. I went with it, embraced it, owned it, I tried and tried, but my gray was not a happy gray, too dull. Then I didn't like using chemicals, it's a tedious process, it's expensive, I have better things to do. But I did it anyhow. For a long period, reluctantly. And I realized that for my well being I had to find peace with it.

So I did some research and you know as an artist like you, we love exploring and find our own way. Henna became my savior. I love it and my hair too. It is a ritual of care and a day for myself. I enjoy the process and have fun with experiencing various shades of brown playing the apothecary mixing indigo, alma, cassia to henna. I found a platform made by wonderful women, authentic and friendly. I felt that I belonged and found my sisterhood.

I wanted to share how much I learnt to love the process thanks to this platform. To add my take, I kept a color resisting very white mesh framing my face while the rest of the hair is dark brown for contrast and good appearance. This way I don't feel like I am hiding myself, it's playful, honest and fun. Plus it adds flair, I am not invisible anymore. 😊

https://www.mehandi.com/default.asp

Expand full comment
author

I love this! And also this process of accepting our grays sounds like the 5 Stages of Grief 😂.

I have used henna before when I was younger. I always assumed that it wasn't strong enough for gray hair, particularly since my hair can be quite resistant to dying. Thank you for sharing your experience and I am excited to learn more!

Expand full comment

Oh! No, henna can definitely cover gray hair and even tenacious ones. I spent some time reading on Henna For Hair, a learning platform connected to Mehandi. It's mainly about the plants and their reactions. http://www.hennaforhair.com

I'm trying to stay away from the reddish color of henna, but it can be nice too. As a painter I like mixing colors for tone variations, Blue (indigo) + Red (henna) = Brown. More indigo, the darker it is. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need help with the process. I have my own recipe and happy to share. 😊

Expand full comment
Apr 17Liked by Jenna Park

Re: going gray. I actually think the ‘line of demarcation’ happens with those who dye… whereas going gray naturally (as I did) you end up with a long while of ombré.

I’m not totally gray yet but I’m 75% there. I may end up being like this for a while, if genetics is involved. My dad’s hair at 78 looks like mine at 58.

Why I went gray? Cuz I’m lazy and cheap.

I get a lot of compliments (even though in my mind, my hair is a frizzy bird’s nest, but people do like the gray/black. I’ve been asked if it’s natural!)

Expand full comment
author

You are probably right. I have also seen some examples of women lightening their hair to blend it a little more when going gray - with some mixed results. I think I fear the in-between stage more than the actual gray itself.

I am also lazy and cheap! Hence the store-bought dye.

Expand full comment
Apr 17Liked by Jenna Park

Happy birthday! I'll be 53 here soon myself.

I have brightly colored hair and have since around 2007, in various combinations. I don't dye the parts of my hair that are still (mostly) brown. The weirdest bit for me isn't so much the change in hue, since I've always messed with that anyway, but the change in texture. I don't think I'm quite 50% gray yet, and I don't have any cool streaks or anything like that. It's something random like every third hair.

I don't know if hair-dying represents a kind of vanity or not. I don't think I care. All of us should just do what makes us happy when it comes to personal appearance. You do you anyway that makes you feel good!

Expand full comment
author

Oh the texture!!! As I get older, not surprisingly because everything seems to dry up in menopause, my hair is all the more dryer and coarse. I have thick coarse hair to begin with so this change is NOT welcome. When I get a fresh layered haircut, my hair is quite wavy. I have heard that some women start to get curly kinky hair (also after pregnancy) which is sooo interesting!

Expand full comment
deletedApr 17Liked by Jenna Park
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
author

I feel your pain on that!

Expand full comment

Happy Birthday! Gotta have cake, even a hostess cupcake or tastykake chocolate bell…

Mid-fifties is 53-57, late fifties is 57+ Maths!!! ChatGPT is an unreliable narrator; so is Google. Just telling us all what it thinks we want to hear… (have you heard about these AI boyfriends?! I know, tangent… but.. )

… I’m in my 60s and I didn’t think much about what “old” meant until I crossed over that threshold and yup, that’s it!! 😜 (also haven’t had a haircut since this pandemic started and I just now wear a hat… I’m hat-wearing-dog-walking-old-guy #2 in my little neighborhood diorama… no name, just a character 🤷‍♂️ )

And absolutely NOBODY can figure out the Apple Remote. Worst design ever… I’m convinced my kids (and now grandkids) are just faking knowing what they know. They just keep pushing buttons until something works!

Expand full comment
author

Yeah the math indicates to me that 54 is mid fifties!!! And I'm not even that great at math.

I wear a hat all the time too. Party to block out the sun (I am this close to being that visor wearing Asian grandma), but also because of gray roots when it gets too close to re-dying time.

Expand full comment