- Amanda Hanson is a psychologist, author, coach, and popular TikToker.
- She decided to stop dyeing her hair and was greying.
- This is Hansen’s story, as told to Pollyanna Brown.
This post is based on a conversation with Amanda Hansen. It has been edited for length and clarity.
“Why do this?”
Such a simple question slipped through my husband’s mouth as I announced to him and our 17-year-old son in the kitchen that it was the last day I’d dyed my hair.
I’ve lived most of my life in a fashion-forward and beauty-conscious place. Where Botox starts in the 20s, the skin should be hydrated, and the hair – hair should be rich and come in a variety of shades, as long as it’s not gray.
That’s why my choice to embrace the silver lining of my natural hair – seeing the beauty bloom in the next phase of my life – is an act of radical rebellion.
“Aren’t you worried that your complexion and gray hair will make you look faded?” my husband continued.
“No. Actually, I never thought about it. But obviously, you did,” I replied.
That’s when my son looked up and said, “Mom, you’re gonna rock.”
I keep my word. I never dyed my hair again.
My husband was not as excited or enthusiastic as I would have liked him to be at first. In my imagination, he was ecstatic as I accepted who I was and kicked the beauty standard to the curb. But in the middle of me finding and learning to embrace myself in new ways, he wasn’t sure how to feel either.
That’s when I realized I didn’t need him to be excited. I don’t need him to love my hair like that.i need love I this way.
One of the greatest teachers I have had in learning to love and accept myself is my trans kid. Through him, I understand the true meaning of truth.
Watching your child go through the rigors of being different and misunderstood is very painful. In the morning I would take him to school and watch him get out of the car and he would turn around and look at me.
He walks into school every day with such pride, fully owning his identity, no matter how isolated he feels about the negativity, ignorance and even hatred he suffers. My son kept showing up, speaking in his voice and accepting who he was. He never betrayed himself.
That’s how real I want to live my life. That’s how real I decided to embrace this sacred process we call aging.
I decided that what I expected as an older woman—Botox, hair dye, everything I did to protect the way I once lived—wasn’t right for me as a human being.
For me, aging gracefully doesn’t mean masking the signs of wisdom I’ve acquired. The wrinkles on my face and the silver hair that makes up my hair – they are part of my journey.
The truth is, brilliance does not come from youth. Radiance, charm and love – they come from accepting my own terms.
It was then that my husband was totally on this journey with me.
Now, he’ll stop me on the street for my silver hair to glisten in the sun because it looks so pretty–his word. The more I love myself and the more I embrace myself, the more my husband loves me.