Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Graying





I'm often asked where I get my hair done. They don't just mean Where do you get your hair cut?, but Where do you get your highlights? This happens several times a week.  And time after time I explain that they aren't highlights. It's my hair naturally turning gray, or rather, white to be more precise. 



When I had my hair cut this afternoon by a new girl (because we frequent a local barber school), she exclaimed, "Whoever wove the color into your hair did an excellent job!" And I explained once again, No, no weaving at a salon- God placed that color there.

Sometimes when I explain that I'm graying, people look horrified, and proceed to tell me that I could cover it, and even that really, maybe I should. You're too young to be gray! 

Really? I wonder, what is the  appropriate age? 40? 50? 60? 80?

I must admit that I did color for a few years in my early 30's, but stopped about 4 or 5 years ago, and have never looked back. I'm a few months into my 40th year, and I love my hair.

Are we so afraid of aging that when we think someone has highlights we want them too, but when we learn that it's gray we are ashamed for them?

Do people really think it looks natural to stay dark until they're 70 or older? Or that because the dark is difficult to match that they look better blond than gray?




I'm certainly not saying that it's wrong to color your hair, I just wonder, why not embrace who we are?
What do you do?

27 comments:

Terri said...

I'm getting streaks of gray in my hair and don't mind it. Maybe because my hair is very dark like yours and my gray is more of a silvery white. It really doesn't bother me at all. I tried coloring it once or twice with those do it yourself kits that wash out in 30 washes. However, to me they were more trouble than they are worth.

Sherri said...

Tracy,
While I've lurked forever and never commented, I have to weigh in here. Like you, I colored for a while a few years back - and looked like a skunk when I went cold turkey to grow my natural salt & pepper shade out :) Like you, I'm not saying that it's wrong to color hair. I have a lovely daughter who at 15 is already showing a few grey strands; not sure where that will lead. My thoughts are more toward "maturing" women. I've sat behind many a couple who look like brother/sister or father/daughter from the back. I've heard many women say coloring makes them feel better about themself. I do wonder if we (ladies) are failing to apply biblical thinking to this part of our lives. Scripture speaks specifically to gray hair. We need to look at what's said, examine our hearts, and prayerfully consider message we're sending. I'd enjoy seeing a robust discussion on this topic!

Danielle said...

I love your hair! That cracks me up that people like your highlights until they learn it is gray! LOL! I wish some of these ladies who color their hair would realize natural hair and smile lines are a beautiful part of aging! My mom & grandmother color their hair... I guess I'll go gray before them!

Mary Lou Casada said...

Color me blond, baby! :-D Highlights in my hair seem to lift my spirits and make me FEEL younger! LOL So I'm off tomorrow to have the deed done before Jeff comes home on leave. With gravity pulling my face down, the highlights draw the eye upwards, I think! :-D
I think if I were not mousey brown, and had gorgeous dark tresses like yours, I would embrace the silver. So far no grays for me. And if I get them, I won't mind. It's just hair! :-D My mother-in-law's beautiful thick hair was salt and pepper in her late 30's. It's a gorgous shade of white now, in her 60's. LOVE it!
Blessings,
Mary Lou

Marilene said...

Better age gracefully! My mom was a brunette, and she never colored. I always loved her gray "highlights", just like yours.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Tim always reminds me that the Bible says "The silver haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of the righteous." Proverbs 16:31 nkjv

I am not planning to color my hair. I think we are so enculturated to think we must always look 21 years old. Sorry, it doesn't work. Everyone knows that someone older who looks 10 years younger has had work done, so why?

I love this post, Tracy!

Tracy said...

Deanna,
I almost included that verse from Proverbs in the post. I had it all typed out, and then I thought, I don't want to give the impression that I'm more righteous than others here, and so I didn't include it. I do love it, though, along with all of the verses in which God promises to be our God even when we are older and silver-haired!

rhonda jean said...

Hello Tracy, I think your hair is lovely, just like you. I coloured my hair when I was younger but as soon as I started going grey, I stopped. My hairdresser couldn't believe it and kept going on and on about how I'd look better with dyed hair. I changed my hairdresser.

Huskerbabe said...

When I was in high school the boys would sit behind me and pull out my gray hair. By the time I graduated I had streaks. I did color my hair for a few years, but when you start going really gray it's hard to keep up without looking overdyed, and I can't justify the cost of a salon every month. So...I opted to go natural. I'm 47 and my hair is almost all silver except for a bit in the back. I get lots of compliments on the color. But the people who tell me I should color are all the older women in church. My husband likes it this way, and since he has to look at it more than anyone I guess I'm content to leave it as it is. :)

Carolina Gal said...

I would love for my hair to gray beautifully, but, in fact it doesn't. It looks like I have a round spiderweb on my crown, with a few gray "smudges" around my ears. Not good.
Yours is very uniform and pretty. Lucky gal!

Michelle said...

Oh I am so pleased I am not the only one that feels this way. I have always said I will grow old gracefully!

~Ginger said...

I love seeing a natural changing of the hair color and especially on those with dark hair. I often wonder what mine would look like. I know my natural color is really mousy and now the front is white. Mine isn't coming in beautiful like yours. It's just white all around the front of my face. It's crazy. Someday I'll get brave and just let it go. If I could look beautifully aged like you I would, but I'd just look old.

Becky K. said...

I go through phases. Right now I am in the let it go gray phase. But I love change...so I could color it at some point just for the fun of it.

Although, I was looking at a photo of me from the time I colored it last and hated the fake color it ended up being...so who knows.

Right now I am embracing the gray "highlights" in my hair and the experience they represent!

Michelle said...

Tracy,

You are so right - we should embrace our gray because as we grow older they are a crown of glory - but I just can't seem to let myself embrace that crown yet, so for the time being, I'll be light ash brown for several months at a time.

Margo said...

You have lovely hair. I hope mine gets nice and silvery. I'm not sure which genetics controls this, but my mother and grandmother have not grayed much at all.

I am all for natural beauty and ageing gracefully, but I know different women define this differently.

Rachel said...

Well, I color mine regularly and am not sure at what point I will stop. My hair is NOT just peppered but much closer to 50% gray. In fact, around my face, it is much closer to WHITE.
This is just my personal choice, and I do feel better when I color my hair (I know silly;)
I am impressed that so many of you do embrace the change, and you are beautiful women!!! Isn't it great that we can all make the choice with which we and our spouse are most comfortable!?!

Tammy said...

I've only started getting silvers in my hair in the past few years and they are still fairly scattered around the crown. But my hair isn't a beautiful brunette like yours and i've been coloring mine an auburn for years anyhow. I switched to pure henna instead of chemicals a few years back and love it. It blends the silvers in so naturally- they are still lighter, and warms up my naturally light brown hair, the roots of which are a fairly dark, dull color. Most people have no idea i dye- even when i have huge, long roots, because the color suits my coloring so well. I can't see stopping dyeing for a long time- simply because i prefer the red, not so much because i hate the silvers. Perhaps when it's majority silver i'll stop. I love seeing someone who has dark hair like yours going silver naturally. I think blonde goes grey not so gracefully in most cases.

My light brown haired mom started going silver when she was 18, and was fully silver by 30. I recall her dyeing her hair quite a bit in her 20's and 30's and when she'd stop for a while she got so many compliments, but she always felt old. We loved it and always made sure she knew we'd love it if she left it silver (and it was truly gilt!) Now it's faded to a yellowish white and she doesn't dye it. I wish she'd left it be for longer when it was that gorgeous silver!

Anonymous said...

I concur entirely!!! I addressed this, and other issues on aging in a post listed on my side bar titled "My view on aging". Why are we so afraid of what God intended to be natural? Susan - Penless Writer

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I love your hair!

I had to comment because I started turning gray when I was nineteen, just a little here and there but by the time I was thirty-five, I had more salt than pepper.

That happened to be the age that my son was born and everywhere I went, people thought I was his grandmother, only because of the color of my hair.

I colored it dark brown for awhile in frustration but went back to gray. Especially after reading all the good stuff it says about people with gray hair in the Word. :)

A Quiet, Gracious Life said...

Yours is *lovely*!

I go back and forth on this for myself. I do like the authenticity of going gray naturally. But I had a friend who did this but her husband didn't have any gray (mine doesn't have much either) and everyone thought she was his mother. And honestly she looked like his mother with her gray hair (he looked quite young).

At this point I am coloring back to my med brown but use the kind that washed away so that I can go au natural some day if I wish.

Great blog topic. (o:

Becky said...

I'll very soon turn 47 and quit coloring about 4 years ago and my hair is a mix but mostly gray and pure white. I flat refuse to color ever again and I get compliments all the time on how beautiful my hair is. I also don't wear makeup and my skin looks younger for it as I've never been one to use the stuff even as a young woman. And CRINGE I wash with soap and water and use an occasional.... CRINGE again BODY lotion on my face when it feels especially dry. I'm embracing the aging process and wish that more women would. Most days my hair is whipped up into a pony tail or a giant clip and off I go.

Tracy said...

I'm with you on this one Tracy. Except, I've never coloured my hair. I am fairly sensitive and even allergic to chemicals and I've always been afraid it would end badly if I tried it. I've always thought though, that once you start to colour it's harder to stop. Going grey one strand at a time has always held more appeal to me. I'm going grey slower than my Mum, who was far more white than I am. I just doesn't bother me.

A few years back, I was also told there is a link to colouring and breast cancer. Just another reason not to go that route.

Sharon said...

I have had the same thing happen to me too! It's so funny because I tell them God does my hair. I used to get highlights in my drab brown hair when I was in my 20's, but got sick of how expensive it was and went back to my natural, lovely God-given color. It's freeing!!!

simply Maria said...

I don't color my hair! Like you, I am allowing gray to take over and truly enjoying what it is doing. Today, I had my hair trimmed and she was pushing for a coloring...but not this girl.

I am completely natural! :-)

Maria.

TammyJ said...

I don't colour my hair any more.
I like when I catch a glimpse of my few whites when standing under a skylight they do look and I'm sure people think they are the purest blonde with the sun glinting off them. I'm happy with My greys and do find it interesting the way other think about grey hair.

Mrs. U said...

What a fun topic!!

I color my hair. I always said I would stop coloring it when I was "old", you know 40. HAHA!! Well, I'm 41 and still coloring. :) But since I do it myself with Miss Clairol, I've found the color is not very good at covering my grays, so they still peek through.

I've loved reading everyone's replies!!

His,
Mrs. U

Mrs. Anna T said...

My grandmother never colored her hair. It went from dark to grey and eventually to white, and it was always, always beautiful. She was often complimented on her hair and told she should never dye it.

I'm beginning to get a few silver strands now and to tell you the truth, I'm a little bothered. Perhaps I didn't realize how fast time is passing by. I do cover my hair, though, so it's not something people would notice anytime soon.

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