I am not one to complain about my looks – they are just fine. In my 33 years, I have come to peace with the way things are, and dare I say I am happy with myself (on a good day). However, for about 12 years I have had an unwelcome infringement on my exterior in the way of premature grayness. I mean, really? Gray hair starting at age 21? C’mon.
I knew it was coming, as my father had a full blown silver mane by age 40. We are talking silky, billowing white hair. I knew he had gray hair that made people think he was a doctor when he was only a med student. I knew that he had always had more salt than pepper ever since I knew him. I knew that I had inherited his dark hair… with an expiration date of age 21.
BOOM. I entered my twenties, and there they were. Silvery strands, maybe just one or two in the early years. No big – the amount that you can just yoink right out of your head. Then the patch(es) gradually grew too large for said yoinking. Trichotillomania obviously was not a viable answer. I have been dyeing my hair ever since. After I moved past plucking hairs, I could conveniently use a black sharpie or even mascara to spot treat the gray. Then, as my age/stress/gray to dark brown ratio grew, I surrendered. I went jet black. I could do it at home, I could do it whenever I wanted; it was pretty fool proof, it was cost effective and I liked the goth-y goodness of it (even when I found out this guy in physics that I had a crush on called me Elvira. Whatever).
Today, I have no idea how much gray is lurking up there. I dye this mane like nobodies business, roughly every three weeks. I still see the gray in between. It’s there, everywhere. No one ever believes me that I am a silver fox. But if I dragged anyone’s eyeball close enough to my roots they would see the silver lining… of my head. It’s there. It’s not going anywhere. I continue to chase after it, though, and I will stay dark as long as I can. Or until I get lazy. Or until I get sick of people thinking I’m not old enough to be a doctor (that will end soon though, I’m sure). Or until I get pregnant and you aren’t supposed to dye your hair (I will FREAK OUT on so many levels).
It’s weird getting gray hair early. I mean, I never really cared. It’s just sort of annoying that I have one more step in my beauty regime that involves putting chemicals in my hair. More chemicals, that is. I have never been insecure about it, it’s just another bit of maintenance. And no one seems to notice. Or they are really nice. Or gray blends with my scalp. But really, it’s fine. I am proud of my Dad and proud to have his gray hair. My grandmother passed it to him. I love them both, and I will continue carry the silver torch. I am proud that all I have accomplished, so if stress contributed I am proud of that too. And like I said, the gray is really silvery. Or perhaps I can call it platinum to be fancy. So anyway, when I decide to give up the dye and go into the silvery light… I am never going to shut up about how “all natural” it is. I will be called the Silver Fox, or La Renarde Argente. I will be hunted with only my cunning to protect me.
(Yes, I will use a Wayne’s World quote WHENEVER I can).
I will also be poised to dress as the Grey Lady (of The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher, which I love) for Halloween in the future.
So, premature grays, unite! It’s no big deal, at all! We can experiment with color, and then look mature and wise whenever we choose. Win win. That said, if anyone “cures” gray hair, I’m so there.
Image via Shutterstock