May 3, 2010

The Gray Debate

So, I have been noticing that I've been getting more and more gray hairs -- Not that you all would notice as I wear a hijab (headscarf) but I've got them, I know they're there and I love them.

I've discovered that there are not many like me...not many women out there who are excitedly greeting each silver strand that sneaks its way into our tresses.  On the contrary, friends and family run out to the salon to dye them out, or opt for the cheaper version of doing it at home.  Some have said "aren't you going to do something about that?" as if gray hair is some sort of infectious disease.

No.  No ,I'm not.  I like my grays.  I'm looking forward to having a full head of them, thank you very much.

So, last night I spent my time googling gray hair.  It appears that "embracing the gray" is the new, hot trend....for people over 50.

Uh...I'm only 33.

I spent my time going from one site to another and each of them aimed at women old enough to be my mother - most of them telling them how to best cover them, or pushing some sort of treatment that supposedly prevents them (sure).  There are books like Amazing Grays: A Woman's Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50 or Going Gray, Looking Great!: The Modern Woman's Guide to Unfading Glory which seems to state that while graying hair may be in vogue, lines, wrinkles and rolls are not.

It makes me wonder -- am I a "crunchy mommy?"  Am I really that odd that I embrace my grays as much as I embraced my stretchmarks (which I looked on as a sign of passage)...sure, my daughter told me it looked like pork skin (thanks...) but still -- I earned those, just as I'm earning my grays.

Why does society place such a value on youth?  It wasn't so long ago that all cultures respected the elderly of society.  They were given honour, well-deserved and much justified. They were the ones we came to for advice, listened to to discover our past, or learned from to carry on our traditions. Why have we strayed so far??  Today, we plump and fill and inject and lift.  When we can't do that, we hide, whether that be through a bottle of dye for ourselves, or a move to the "assisted living facility" for the family.  The old adage of "out of sight, out of mind" rings very loudly here.

I'll be the first to admit that I have taken on a new lifestyle -- eating and doing healthy -- but it is in no way a desperate attempt to cling to my fading youth *cough, cough* -- I use that term very lightly, as to say that I am old is outrageous at best.  Getting older, yes...but what is old?  Certainly not what I used to think it was!

I'm curious though -- what does everyone else think about growing old gracefully; recognizing the inevitable results of our waning youth and embracing the changes we see -- surely I can't be the only one.


Erin said...

I don't dye mine to cover the grey ( and it is sprouting!).... I've always coloured my hair, and I get bored with brown quite easily.
If I go all grey, like my Mom, then I'd just let it grow....then it wouldn't be brown anymore! ;)

Hethr said...

I know a very funky woman from school who has all gray hair with a purple streak through it. It looks SO cool!!

Gail said...

I just lighten mine so they're not as visible. I'm 47 and they have just begun to multiply faster.

FlyBabySHE said...

I have grey hairs...lots and lots of them. Being blonde, however, helps to "hide" them as I adjust to the fact that I'm aging day by day. Don't get me wrong..I have nothing against getting older - for OTHER people! My body may be 51, but inside, I don't feel any older than I did 30 years ago.

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