Grey Hair

I can remember the first time my hair stylist discovered a grey hair on my head.  It was as if I’d sprouted a snake from my scalp.  She got a no nonsense look on her face and proceeded to attacked the offending strand with a pair of scissors.   Before I could say boo it had been snipped off and was floating to the ground.  I watched it fall with a modicum of sadness because I also remember how learning I had a gray hair made me feel.  I believe my reaction was:

Cool!  I’ll look like Storm!”

Storm - X-Men

I was puzzled that she’d instantly presume a gray hair was something to be gotten rid off.    I used to wish I could have blond hair so I saw this as an opportunity to acquire lighter tresses down the road for free!   I have seen no one extol the virtues of going gray though, so it made me think.

Is this NOT a cool look?  Am I the only one that thinks it looks great?  Yes, it’s Hallie Berry, but I’m sure this look would be awesome if you took the wig off and put it on another attractive woman. So what gives?

First off, thanks to  hair dye and enthusiastic hair stylists with scissors, you don’t really get to see people going gray naturally.   No one encourages you at the hair salon or asks your opinion on the matter.  It’s a process that many woman (and men) are encouraged to hide and cover up.   It’s presumed that your grey hair is something that you want to get rid of.

Kat Moss with <gasp> grey roots

My experience and research has taught me that going grey happens sooner than I thought.   Sure, there are only a couple of strands on my head, but I think in my mind I wasn’t expecting to be visited at all by the gray fairy at all until I was well into my 50’s. 😉

I googled gray hair online and I noticed that some peoples locks can look a bit dull and dry after going gray (your hair naturally gets coarser) , but that’s not dissuading me.

There are glossing treatments you can get to glam up your strands and a slew of awesome hair revitalizing products so there is still cause for hope and excitement.

Fabulous!

People who have cool skin tones tend to look awesome with gray hair and are really lucky.   I am so relieved that I fall into this category because I’m tempted now not to color my hair.

It’s scary – but I’m wondering what I’d look like if I just let nature take its course?  I don’t know what I’m going to do down the road yet.  I look young for my age (I’m, ah….32.  Surprise!) so maybe a more sophisticated hair color will balance the scales.  My Grandmother has the most gorgeous gray hair pattern I’ve seen on anyone – so I’m hopeful that genetics will tip my hand favorably!

I’ve been paying attention to my subconscious reaction when I glimpse gray hair and I think my gut reactions for a split second is: “old”.   When I stop and think about it though, I don’t really feel that way when I look at someone with gray  hair.  It’s an automatic learned response.   I’ve been brought up and conditioned to form this association by my culture and the media I’m constantly exposed to.

How many commercials have we seen showing someone rushing to cover their gray hair – scrubbing away any evidence of slick silver tresses showing through.  Every witch I’ve seen in a Disney movie or book has grey hair and it’s not fair.

I resent the constant negative association being forced upon my psyche.  The media is not only swaying MY perceptions but the perceptions of those around me – so I might decide to feel enlightened about this whole business, but I have to deal with other people who aren’t.

I think that if there was a way  to buffer ourselves against the media onslaught, and become exposed to different images associated with gray hair, heck – getting older in general the whole process might feel different for women.

I think gray hair is beautiful.  What about you?  Do you think it would work with your skin tone (it can be hard to pull off for warm skinned gals)?  How might the people around you sway your thoughts about going gray one way or the other?

Enjoy!

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Sue says:

    Love it! Thanks for bringing up the subject. I’ve dyed my hair for ages, primarily to maintain an appearance that I feel is more accepted. I want to be brave enough to make the change and let it go grey. We need to talk about this more!

  2. Cat says:

    All the way with you, sweetheart. You are not alone.

    1. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  3. Good information and incredibly enlightening. Thanks for taking the time to write it and post it!

    1. 🙂 Thank YOU for reading my blog. I appreciate the support!

  4. sadie says:

    i ran into your blog after googling grey hair. i am 44 and VERY grey…but have been attempting to keep it covered. with very little success. not only is it costly, but it is frustrating. so i am ditching the bottle and letting nature take it’s course. let’s do it!

    1. From where I stand, grey hair is just a color – beautiful as any other. If dying your hair is a bother, and you’re only doing it because you feel obliged to, then that’s a thought worth examining and challenging. If you want to experiment by seeing how you’d look with grey hair then give it a whirl and don’t feel bad about it. Let YOUR hair color be a choice you make based on your preferences and not something others dictate for you. Go for it!

  5. Naya says:

    I`m 30, brunette, with wavy curls and I’ve been coloring my greys since I was 16. Now my curls are approximately 25% grey and I stopped dying last November, after I visited goinggraylookinggreat.com. That site really made an impact on me.

    I always loved silver and white hair, but my friends kept on pestering me that grey hair is for grannies. And young me, just rolled over and succumbed to the “Dark Side of the Force”… God I feel so free, now that I just let it grow naturally.

    Some of my friends still think I’m crazy, but most understand what it means to me. Funny thing: my Mom is 55, about ninety percent grey and totally supports me, even though she gets her roots covered up every month. 😀

    I was really worried about looking old, but I’ve come up with a kind of mantra, I tell myself whenever I’m in doubt: “The way you feel and act, determines how ppl perceive you, not your hair color! Plus you LOVE silver!”

    That always gets me smiling 😀 I can’t wait to be completely white!

    PS: I wish I could just chop the colored part off, but I’ve just reached bsl, which is the longest my hair has ever been (thx to naturallycurly.com!), so I’ll just hold on to it a little longer.

    1. I think it’s time for a societal change. If YOU are happy with your grey hair then it shouldn’t matter. Grey is a pretty color. If you don’t want to be dying it constantly and it’s too much bother then why go through all the stress? If people start making it fashionable others will follow. That’s the way of trends. Do what you like first and use that as your compass.

      I used to fight with my hair, trying to smooth it out and make it look dead straight. I felt so much freedom when I was able to just let it go curly, so I can relate to how you’re feeling, I also suddenly started really positive feedback about my hair too. Being true to yourself and comfortable in your own skin is attractive and others notice!

  6. Jess says:

    It’s so easy to say “embrace the grey” when you grey evenly and all over like the women in the pics above. No offense to anyone in particular, but where are all the pics of models and celebrities with dark hair and grey temples? Cause that’s what Im in for down the road, Bride of Frakenstein minus the beehive. When that look is featured in Vogue and Oprah magazine, then and only then will I embrace the grey.

    1. I’d love to see some pictures of grey hair at the temples! I don’t understand why that wouldn’t look really awesome. I’ve noticed that I have grey hair at the sides of my head by my ears and I think it looks neat. My grandmother got grey hair like this when she was younger and I always was struck by how elegant she looked. I have seen people with stripes of gray hair in movies and stuff. Why would this look be any less cool that full grey hair? (Thanks for replying by the way!)

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