I saw my first gray hairs at about 19. There were a couple. Evidently, at night, they did what bunnies do, and now, a few decades later, I have a head full of gray hares … er, hairs.
One day a lady at work asked me, “Why don’t you dye it?”
I looked at her as if she had spoken in Portuguese (which I don’t speak).
“But why would I?”
Of the dying persuasion, she evidently believed that dying her hair made her look younger. It’s a funny form of self-delusion that affects many peri-menopausal and menopausal women. I guess, statistically, up to 95% these days.
Evidently, there is no honest friend to tell these people, “You don’t look younger. You don’t look youthful. It doesn’t look good. It doesn’t match your complexion and it clashes with your wrinkles. Your jet-black thinning hair looks silly.” All that stuff.
It makes me kind of sad. I think a lot of these women are dying, and sometimes dieing, to catch a man, not lose their man, or cling to something that diminishing estrogen seems to be taking away. I think it often goes hand in hand with low self esteem. Sure, sometime I psychologize about other people. But what good reason is there to make one’s natural hair color look like cordovan loafers? What weird reality distortion wave affects their brains and tells them it looks good?
Gray hair – my gray hair, anyone’s gray hair – isn’t something that is broken. It doesn’t need to be fixed. I embrace it as the badge of having lived long enough to have some dam sense. I embrace it because it is me, as I am, and that is a wonderful thing. A few years ago, after some medical treatments, I lost all my hair, then when it came back, it was this iridescent white. It was stunning. People stopped me in stores to tell me how great it looked. It was bizarre and wonderful. Then, slowly, the color (what little was left) returned. I was so disappointed. It no longer looked stunning, and people no longer stopped me in the store. But that’s ok.
Here’s the thing: how we perceive ourselves and how we project ourselves creates an aura (really, don’t groan) guiding how others perceive us. Embrace your youness. You’re the only one who possesses it.