Next to your first wrinkle, one thing is as inevitable, and equally as dreaded, as your first grey hair. There are as many myths as there are solutions surrounding it.
My Great Uncle actually manufactured an anti-grey tonic several decades ago. I never had the opportunity to have a conversation with him about it, but I’ve come to my own obvious conclusion without even reading the ingredients.
What he had was not a magic formula, but marketing genius! Indeed the product that carried my families name did very little to stop the greying process-it just so happens that my father’s family does not grey! At eighty, my handsome Daddy had about 10% grey, mostly in his facial hair, much like most of the elders at our family reunions. Which sums up the first known fact, that grey hair is genetic, and can very much be inherited.
Another confused fact, is that brunettes grey faster than blondes. If you guessed true on this one, then you are correct in your thinking. Grey hair is simply mother natures way of easing us into the ageing process, consider it a natural high light.
It is not unusual for a young woman in her twenties, or even teens, to experience grey hair if she is genetically brunette. Blonde and red hair, while it will change tones, rarely produces grey strands until much later in life. Even then, they blend and aren’t nearly as obvious or bothersome as they are to brunettes.
Finally, the stress factor. How many times have you heard, “and then his/her hair turned white over night” following a particularly tragic event?
I have witnessed grieving change a persons appearance in an instant, but have yet to see someone’s hair turn grey over night. However, there have been some links to stress induced grey, particularly around the face, but still no known hard proven facts.
So the day comes, when you do discover your first grey hair. I know the pain and the panic, being the recipient to phone calls at these times, not having any myself of course, apparently having inherited that gene from my Daddy. Your first instinct is to pull it out, which brings us to the first myth, that two will grow back in it’s place.
This is absolutely false! grey hair does not mutate within a hair follicle out of spite or in an attempt to upset you, though it can seem like it. What will happen, however, is it will grow back, and when it does, it will stand straight up as it grows, seemingly with pride. If you are that freaked out by it, let your wallet take the pain, not your scalp, and let your hairdresser obliterate it in whatever way you both find appropriate.
At some point in time, you may embrace grey hair. Some women long for the day their hair is snow white like their mother’s or grandmother’s or aunties. Personally, I can’t let my own mother go grey, I can’t begin to imagine her without her chemically enhanced warm brown hair and caramel high lights!
My fiancé on the other hand, is one of the sexiest men I have ever seen (I am not alone in my thinking) with his premature grey long hair, tan skin, and crystalline eyes!
I wouldn’t change a strand of it, which brings us to the other aggravating fact that men age better than we do, and are much better suited to natural grey. Perhaps even more appealing about him, is his absolute unawareness of how attractive he is, and how mother nature pulled that one on him early added to his outstanding good looks!
As women, there are so many things we can do to boost the way we feel about our appearance. As a hairdresser specializing in hair colour, my first reaction is to get rid of the grey, or at least minimize it’s effect on your appearance, especially if it is bothering you.
Hair colour has come such a long way over the decades, I believe it to be the quickest mood booster and anti-aging strategy available, and affordable. However, as many people have proven, embracing what mother nature gives you can be the most appealing and attractive way to grow old gracefully. But why should we, when we can fight it?