Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Gray Hair Story

                                           This, FYI, is not me :+)
Although this was piece was written a decade ago (c.2005, when I was nearly 45), it still rings true for me today and I’m sure going forward as well. In the past year, two friends who are my age (54) have decided to stop coloring their hair and let the gray come through. I dedicate this article to them and anyone who decides to just be themselves—gray hair and all.

I have gray hairs; more and more every day. I am in my 40s and the stray grays started appearing around age 35. It began as just one solitary gray hair I found one day. I didn’t pull it out, I think I marveled at it actually.

A few years later and after a few more gray hairs had appeared, I was getting my hair cut. Mstylist was on his way to pulling one of them out and I said, “Stop!” I’m sure for him it was instinctualto get rid of the gray, but for me these hairs were almost indicators I had graduated to a new phase of my life. Even at this early stage I was determined to adopt a different view of aging than most people I had run across. Certainly different than the massesand the media.

1926 gray hair dye ad—!
As the years have gone by, the gray hairs have increased. I could color my hair and get rid of the gray, but that is actually not an option for me. I don’t want the maintenance of having to dye it constantly, and I truly don’t want to mask or cover up what is naturally happening with regard to my own aging process.

For me, it all boils down to choice. I have the choice to love, hate, or be indifferent to my gray hair. I am somewhere between indifference and love. And since I do have a choice, why would I choose to hate my gray? Although the outside world begs us to change the way we naturally are, I dont feel moved to do so. In the end coloring my hair is my choiceand yours!

I am sure some of you think I’m crazy, but I know there are others who can relate to my story. My reality is based on the ultimate truthI am aging. And to hide it is at best temporary, and at the worst it is a pain in thewell, at least in the wallet. And then theres the element of time. The time and money I save on not focusing on changing my gray hair helps to fund other things I enjoy.

Recently I was waiting in line at a movie theater. The woman ahead of me, probably in her late 50s, had gray and brownish hair. I looked at her and thought that might be what my hair will look like in another 10 years. I thought she looked good. And I always appreciate someone who wears their age as is. It’s a statement of acceptance.

My path, my choice, is acceptance. And along with accepting the gray, I am saying I love it just for good measure. Since I am choosing to keep it, I might as well love it too. Then when I look in the mirror, I have good things I am thinking about myself instead of the alternative.  If on a daily basis I resist the truth and wish or want things to be different, until they are different I will be unhappy.

Obviously this is my way of handling the aging process and may not be (and probably is not) your way. I am certainly not against coloring over gray hairjust my gray hair! We live in a world filled with choices; hair color is just one of many. So go forth and color your gray away or not. Regardless, do try to enjoy the aging process. Some parts are easier than others, to be sure.