Story on Feeling Insecure

City: Los Angeles

Industry: Cannabis Media

My gray streak became a symbol of pride.

When 18-year-old me woke up one day to wild stray grays infiltrating my hair, you can bet my internal dialogue was loud with opinions – you're stressed, you're prematurely aging, you're different than everyone else. As if I needed something else to harp on during the most emotional of years! But thanks to readily accessible boxed-dyes, I quickly found a way to cover it up and pretend like it wasn't really happening. 

Years later, I moved to California and tried out life as a blonde. While it was indeed fun, it also required much more maintenance than I was willing to commit to. At a time between dye jobs, I was invited to an intimate birthday brunch with a group of people I didn't really know, the only exception being a new guy I was seeing. I arrived with my hair styled so my white streak was under wraps, but as the day unfolded and the sun beat down, I had to put my hair up. I had forgotten about my wiry grays (thanks, brunch cocktails!) and, immediately after pulling back my hair, the group turned to me.

"Is that streak natural?" one girl asked.

"Oh, this? Yeah, I usually dye it, I've had it for years, it's basically the bane of my existence...” I began with the word vomit.

"Don't dye it! It's SO cool" she urged on.

"No, really, I hate it," I countered.

Everyone got quiet, then one of the guys chimed in. "It reminds me of Rogue, from X-Men.”

A chorus of agreement ensued. I froze. Why was this such a pain point for me?

I realized in that moment, as I sat in a circle of strangers adamantly complimenting me, that I needed to let go of whatever the insecurity was that resided in this gray streak. It's part of my character, a conversation piece, something that makes people intrigued and curious. Almost immediately, my gray streak became a symbol of pride – and I haven't dyed my hair since.