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Just recently my bestie and I were discussing Madonna. Both of us are over forty and what prompted this chat was a feeling that as we were both out shopping for an upcoming conference, we had both experienced ageism in particular stores. For me, it was one of the stores that I shop at quite frequently and I am often upset when I leave. So this started off our discussion about reinventing ourselves (the Madonna effect), keeping up with the times, how exhausting it all is, where is the comfort level and where is the breaking point. This all got me to thinking about what I am doing lately to try and up my game. Here is one major change I have made and here is the story of another friend of mine, Michelle who took 8 months to decide what she would like to do with her look for completely different reasons.

So my biggest struggle is with grey roots. As many of my friends know I am constantly trying new products and bouncing back and forth between salon and home treatments for my root coverage. I have had grey hair since I was 21 so now I am 90% on the top of my head like a skunk stripe and the percentage goes down to about 2% just above my ears. So full grow out is not an option right now. My roots have to be done every 3 weeks. Gross!!

Here is the solution I am now going for this summer and we’ll see what the fall brings. I have decided to let my “blond” out to play. My hairdresser has done full highlights in a variety of tones and rather than putting the lighter near the bottom, she has done it at the top. Over the next few visits I will have her continue to add blond highlights and leave the grey and see what comes in. I made the decision over the course of a weekend and am determined to play it out through the summer.

My friend Michelle on the other hand has been chatting with me on and off over the last 8 months about needing a major refresher. Michelle Major is the Owner of Foxglove Design in Aurora, Ontario. As an Interior Designer she, by nature, looks for creative ways to revitalize and refresh so, it only stands to reason that when someone like this feels that it is time for a new look it isn’t a fleeting thought for them. It is in fact, an idea that grabs hold until she is ready to take that leap. Just recently she told me that the moment was right, things had been falling into place and when the opportunity presented itself in the form of a bridal party trip to the hair salon to test hairstyles for friend’s big day, she had already done all the metal prep she needed to just go for it!

“People take 30 seconds to make an assessment about you, your work and even if they want to work with you. Looking put together is really important to me. Far more important than looking younger. I just found lately that I was looking too severe and needed to soften my face. This is only the beginning. I will continue to lighten the colour little by little.”

So I guess both Michelle and I “pulled a Madonna” even though we came about it by two different roads and at two different speeds. Overall the lesson is about an honest assessment of the authentic self we present publicly and how that influences how we feel about ourselves and how others feel about us on first meeting.

Carrie-Ann Nihmey-Smye

Special thanks to Michelle Major at Foxglove in Aurora for being such a good sport and my hairdresser, Jessica Amaro from Curio Hair and Body in Newmarket for taking chances with me and being a great friend through this journey.

My continuing my reinvention journey! Dealing with the GREY!!! Thank you Michelle Major from Foxglove Design Inc. and Jessica Lee Amaro from Curio Hair and Body! Happy read for a gorgeous Monday! All the photos for this article can be found at this link.

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