A colleague recently saw my picture on a hypnosis forum I belong to and thought I was much younger than I actually was until he read some of my posts and realized only someone with many years of experience could comment at that level. He wanted to know how I stayed looking so young. My answer? Ms. Clairol hair dye dark brown #42! Truly. I’ve always had a young looking face. When I was a teenager, servers at restaurants would bring me the kids menu without even thinking to ask my age. I was the last of my friends to “fill out” during puberty and often the last to be picked on a sports team because I was so short, skinny, and had that young face.
I’ve been out on the town with friends who were several years younger than me and was the only one asked to show my ID when ordering a glass of wine. I was 30 when my first child was born, so most of the other mothers are younger than me, and I often run around with that crowd because they are the parents of my kids friends. I don’t look or act like the eldest of the group…until I open my mouth and say something “old” (usually a pop cultural reference).
But the one thing I could not escape from aging was my hair turning gray. It’s genetic and in my family we go gray early. I have the worst looking gray hair too. It’s not the lovely silverly looking salt-and-pepper gray, it’s the dead-mouse-under-the couch-in-the-basement gray. I’ve been dying my hair to cover gray for more years than I care to count back. With hypnosis, I can slow the graying process now, but most of the damage had already been done years ago. There was a time in my life when I first opened my practice that I considered letting my natural gray hair grow out so people would feel more comfortable coming to me for hypnotherapy. It would age me by at least 20 years and I could look like a wise old sage hypnotist. Ha!
I nearly did that until I had a conversation with an older gentleman who is a great mentalist and mentor. One of the best nuggets of advice he imparted to me was he said he used to grow his bead out and wear glasses to make himself look older, but after many years he discovered that people just want help. It doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you can help solve other people’s problems. If you have the best solution, you can be ten years old and people will come to you for help. I no longer worry about how people think I am based on my appearance. I have skills they need to get better quickly. Clients come to be because they know they will get the help they need and the results they seek from my services. Now I’m seeing clients of all ages, so it really doesn’t matter what I look like. I can keep my beloved hair dye after all.