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Five Reasons to Enjoy Your Gray Hair

Updated on November 1, 2017
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and counselor, is fascinated by the prospect of joyful aging. She explores and shares habits of happy seniors.

Photo by Julim6
Photo by Julim6 | Source

Because gray is associated with issues like boredom, sadness, and lifelessness, some people think that gray hair projects those images onto their persona. They surrender to the appeal of beauty product manufacturers to conceal a part of themselves.

But there are grayhaired individuals who see maturity, dignity, and elegance in their hair color. They submit to their inner urge to celebrate themselves. They do not think that hair color is a liability to one’s liveliness or sense of fashion.

This article suggests that the first group may be missing out on the pleasure of natural aging and presents five reasons to enjoy gray hair. According to Sylvia van de Logt, founder of 40+Style, “There is enough evidence that grey can look extremely good.”

(1) Self-Acceptance

It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.

-Sheryl Crow

We accept ourselves, not because we think that we are perfect, but because we know that we are valuable. As we go through the aging process, we maintain pride in the way we look; but we know that our looks cannot increase or decrease our worthiness.

Karen Springen and Marci Robin advise us in Good Housekeeping that “Our hair does not turn gray—it grows that way. A single hair grows for one to three years, then you shed it—and grow a new one. As you age, your new hairs are more likely to be white.” They also add that pulling out our gray hairs, as we tend to do when they first appear, can distort the follicles, making the hair feel coarser and look more crinkly.

So accepting ourselves—gray hairs and all—only makes life easier. Eileen Gravelle gives good advice to men and women who wish to manage the natural process in Going Gray With Style.

(2) Beauty

"The beauty of old men is the gray head."

-The Bible

Even the Bible has a social perspective on gray hair, that considers it beautiful on both men and women.

“The beauty of old men is the gray head,” according to the proverb (Proverbs 20:29 KJV). The Hebrew word [hä·dä] translated beauty in this verse is a masculine word which also means splendor, comeliness, excellence, glory.

“The hoary head [head of gray hairs] is a crown of glory” (Proverbs 16:31 KJV) uses a feminine noun [`atarah] for crown.

In both genders, the words represent more than physical beauty that wins pageants; they refer to a virtue which the admirer discerns in hard-working, experienced, and trustful men and women who come through the toil of years with gray hairs to show for their time and effort. This kind of beauty is permanent.

(3) Respectability

"When children ask you questions about gray hairs . . . Do not be ashamed of the history. . . Say what happened to you, and magnify God in the hearing of the inquirer."

-Joseph Parker

Photo by Sarah Stierch
Photo by Sarah Stierch | Source

A high school girl and I bumped into each other on the street just outside the school. She and her friends were walking more than two abreast, something I was taught not to do. She looked at me and said, “Sorry, Grandma.” I was not a grandmother at the time so that further displeased me, until she added, “I called you grandma, just because I saw your gray hair. That’s what we do.”

Younger people who have been taught to respect their elders, respect seniors at the sight of the gray hair. Because they think that we have lived three or more times the years they have lived, they expect that we have acquired enough knowledge, wisdom, and grace to respond cheerfully to commonplace negative situations. They expect us to teach them, but without the anxiety and frustration that they see in their younger parents.

What good reason is there to cover up the color that nature chose to be our symbol of maturity and wisdom? True, it is only a symbol, but our respect for it increases our respectability.

(4) Courage

"There is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice."

-John Calvin

Grayhaired people dare to find beauty in a color which is associated with transition—from youth to age, from brightness to darkness, from merriment to sadness. Instead of focusing on the drabness of gray, they visualize its closeness to silver and white, images that sparkle and add life.

And graying naturally is not without its challenge. One of the many manufacturers who advertise products for gray hair explains: “Unfortunately, due to lack of pigmentation, gray, silver or white hair is prone to turning yellow if not properly cleaned and cared for.” Then adds, “With a little tender loving care, plus the right products, your hair can be luscious, vibrant and more lively than ever.”

It takes effort to maintain our good looks and shiny hair, but we are even more attractive when we are brave enough to reveal what other people try hard to hide. For us, gray is the color of courage.

Women sharing one of nature's best kept secrets (3 minutes)

(5) Gratitude

"I believe that every new gray hair and wrinkle are gifts to remind me that life is fleeting, and . . . precious."

-Russ Towne

The most gratifying fact about gray hair is that it is still hair. People who lose hair because of heredity, stress, vitamin deficiency or any other nutritional or medical reasons are usually happy to keep whatever is left—no matter the color.

People who insist on covering up their natural color with black or other color wigs, do not always do a good job. Have you ever seen the gray pushing through the black wig, or forming an unsightly layer around the sides or at the back of the head? It is easier to see it on someone else, rather than on yourself. Perhaps if we considered that there is a purpose to everything—even to gray hairs, we would spend less time hiding them and more time giving thanks for them.

For those who dislike the gray but are unable for whatever reason to get the color they like, an attitude of gratitude will help them become contented with the beautiful gift of the color gray.

© 2017 Dora Weithers

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    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 2 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Jo, I like that you did some highlighting instead of changing the color completely. Thank you for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 2 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Angel, you're still young. Thanks for your honesty. I sure hope that you come around some time soon and enjoy the gray. And, please read the article again! That might help.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 2 weeks ago from Tennessee

      I'm in my seventies now and my hair only recently started turning gray. I was actually old when my hair started to turn gray. I didn't mind the gray, but mine was not an attractive gray. It just made my hair look drab, so for the first time in my life I began having it highlighted. I like what I have now, but could easily live with gray if necessary. Highlighting is just a little fun.

    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 2 weeks ago from Joliet, Illinois

      Dora I really like your article and it has a really nice, positive perspective. However I'm 32 and have some gray hair...I hate it! Lol

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Denise, I love your attitude. Hope others will too. Well said, and thank you.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 weeks ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I have adopted a phrase that I tell myself whenever I am questioned about my gray: "Gray is beautiful!" It reminds me that no matter what others think of my gray hair, it is okay to be proud of where I am in life. I do not need to make excuses or try to cover it, but rather be grateful for all I have learned and experienced.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Tamarajo, the cost of maintenance is an attraction. If we can keep our money and keep our beauty too, why not accept the precious gift of natural gray gift? Thanks for your input.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      So Eric, when you look at your gray, you look at a reason to be grateful. All the best, Buddy, and thank you for sharing.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 3 weeks ago

      Hi Dora,

      Your writing provides us with great reasons and encouragement for accepting this natural and beautiful process of aging.

      I have decided to embrace the gray. It works with my low maintenance grooming wishes and I think gray hair is beautiful. I'm looking forward to the full transition whenever that may be.

      God bless!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora this is wonderful. A great notion to write about. Every one knows about chemotherapy makes you go bald but they do not really know that when it comes back it is way different.

      From dark, thick and curly to grey as heck and very fine without curls.

      I just love to look in the mirror and thank God that I am here with my funny hair.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Tamara, sorry for your loss. Thank God for the blessed hope.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Moore 3 weeks ago from Uninhabited Regions

      Yes, I told him that he was already handsome just the way he was. He was a very sweet man. Unfortunately, he passed away from a heart and kidney issue. He is sleeping in peace now, and will go to Heaven when Jesus calls :-)

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Tamara, that was sweet of your boyfriend trying to do what he thought you would like! I hope you let him know that you liked his natural look. It would have been easier on him.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Linda, it takes courage to not yield to the temptation. I think it will still be prettier if it gets completely gray. I'm also enjoy the differences in the British and American spelling of colour/color and gray/grey. We love gray in two different languages!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Lori, you're a woman after my own heart when it comes to celebrating our gray. Avoid the mess of covering up, and sport natural beauty!

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Moore 3 weeks ago from Uninhabited Regions

      Dora,

      I forgot to mention something... I had a boyfriend quite awhile back who had gray streaks in his hair, and I came to find out that he was coloring over the gray streaks with the men’s Hair Dye.

      I thought he looked so much better with the gray streaks that he had! But, he felt that he wanted to look younger for me. He was quite a bit older, than I. Yet, I thought the gray streaks looked so handsome on him. He didn’t need to cover it. No way..

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Several of my female friends have coloured their grey hair, but I think it often looks unnatural. I have partially grey hair and have been tempted to colour it, but I've resisted the temptation so far. I like your list of the benefits of grey hair!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 3 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      I love my gray hair. It is a beautiful shade of grade. I get compliments all the time. And quite frankly, I earned every one. Many of my friends and family die their hair even though they are in their 50s and 60s. It's a messy process. I say grow it out gray and celebrate.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Good for you, Mary. You look beautiful too. Like you, I feel that I've earned it; not every one will have that privilege.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great article. I show off my gray hair with pride. It took me long to have this, a lot of experience support it. You are right, I feel more respectable.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Peg, that attitude of gratitude is what I'm talking about. We see gray as a blessing that we've been privileged to earn. Thanks for your input.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Mary, it's great to know that you accept your hair color. Less worry and more satisfaction. Your hair looks great!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Rev, I love your gray hair too--and mine. We make gray look good. Thanks for weighing in.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, seems like you enjoy what you have now, and will enjoy the change when it comes. Best attitude to have. Thanks for your input.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      As always, some good thoughts, Dora. Of course, I can relate to them as I've been officially gray for quite some time. I tease my wife about it, but the truth is I got my first gray hair on our honeymoon, and they've been coming ever since. Thanks again for another inspiring article filled with your wisdom.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Interesting that you were taught not to walk more than two abreast. Things like that don't seem to be included in today's parenting. We were taught that, too.

      I remember a time when I was in the grocery store with my mother and a store clerk moved his stock cart and apologized for being in the way "grandmother." I found that to be truly touching and sweet.

      Grey hair is earned with time and experience. You've said it. We can be grateful that we've lived long enough to grow into our new colors.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 weeks ago from Brazil

      For me the transition has been from blonde to white so it wasn't too startling of a contrast. When I have worn it braided, I received a lot of compliments from strangers because of the variety of shades. Here in my area of Brazil, many women wear their hair long although I have only seen a few with gray hair.

      I don't think I will ever color my hair again, as I am quite pleased with my look of maturity.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 3 weeks ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks for your article because I love my gray hair.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      I’ve been very late to grey, but both of my younger siblings have lots of grey hair. My younger brother’s hair is almost entirely white. They have a lot more children than I do. My great grandmother was naturally dark haired until she was in her late 50s. Same with my grandma. I’ll roll with it when it comes. I loved your perspective.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Jackie. I loved gray before I had it. Interesting to know that products made for African-American hair can benefit straight hair. Almost sure that there are other strange facts we can learn bout caring for our hair.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Kari, you're beautiful and your hair looks lovely. Why should we not love the gray when the young are trying to get it? Yes, it's all about wanting what we have.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Tamara, it's a blessing to live long enough to have gray hair. If you ever get gray, you will not be any less pretty. Thanks for your kind sentiments.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, I'm happy that you're happy with your gray. You're proof that gray doesn't affect your love of live. Stay happy and excited!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, you do look distinguished in your gray. That's all I've ever seen of you and I like it.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Devika, glad that you like my perspective. I admire your honesty about not liking the gray; it may literally grow on you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Nadine, thanks or sharing. Your hair blend looks beautiful. Enjoy it.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

      I am grey and love my hair. Luckily I took hair from my mom to be so thick but I hated the coarseness of it so looked into some African American glosses and softeners and now all I do is wash, add some soft and shine and go! Nothing prettier than shiny grey hair I don't think and yours looks beautiful!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 3 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hi Dora. As you can see in my picture I am white mixed with grey (and a little brown left). I used to dye my hair but I stopped. I decided it was too much money and trouble. It is funny to me that young women are dying their hair grey and white lately. Suddenly my look has become fashionable, lol. I loved that Sheryl Crow quote, so true.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Moore 3 weeks ago from Uninhabited Regions

      Hi Dora,

      I don’t have gray hair yet, but I think it’s really pretty-looking. And indeed, it is a sign of wisdom. This is not to say that everyone who has gray hair is exceptionally wise, but I can’t say for sure as I am not familiar with many people who have gray hair (actually, I am not familiar with many people, period; I don’t get out a great deal). But, that’s another story.

      Excellent and positive post!

      Tamara xxx

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 weeks ago from SW England

      I've always thought that grey hair on a man looks distinguished but on a woman can look just old! However, that was until my own hair turned grey. I have dyed it in the past but it never satisfied me. I'm now happy and comfortable with my natural hair colour and my partner has always encouraged me to stay natural. My grandchildren ask funny questions but that makes it even better - I love their humour!

      Anyway, I'm still 20'ish in my mind!

      Great article, Dora. You accentuate the positive and make all women appreciate their own value. Amen to that!

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      My first gray hairs appeared in my early twenties. I better enjoy them by now. :) actually, I choose to think they make me look distinguished. LOL It's all about attitude, my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I have some grey hair and not keen on it. I agree with you to enjoy grey hair. If only more people would see that way. The moment others see a strand of grey hair on someone else, the first they say is '' getting old.'' I enjoyed your side about the grey hair.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I was very attracted to read your article on grey hair since I have to admit, I still color my hair very light blond so that my grey hair blends in instead of showing an outgrow. My first grey hair appeared in my late twenties. Only when I'm totally grey all over will I probably give it an overall white tint.