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.
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.
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?