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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Dora Weithers

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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Liz. Glad the article helped you to be accepting of your beautiful self. Stay happy!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks Catherine. "Badge of honor" it is: our gray hair. Enjoy the benefits!

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        4 months ago from UK

        I long ago gave up pulling out the odd grey hair (through fear of ending up bald!) My hairdresser told me that once you start using hair dye you have to continue and I'm way too lazy to do that.One of my greatest role models went grey naturally, so that's the path I'm on. In an age when most of my peers go for the hair dye, your article is refreshing.

      • CatherineGiordano profile image

        Catherine Giordano 

        4 months ago from Orlando Florida

        I saw the title and I just had to stop and read it. I love my grey hair. I think of it as silver hair--it shines. And also silver is precious. I wear my grey hair as a badge of honor. Also, it is great when I want to play the age card.(ha Ha) P.S. I've been using an old picture on HubPages. I just never got around to changing it.. I'm going to change it today so that my maturity and wisdom will be evident.

      • CaribTales profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Larry, you're one of the lucky ones to arrive at age 70 with lots of hair, whatever the color. I like your attitude.

      • Larry Fish profile image

        Larry W Fish 

        4 months ago from Raleigh

        Dora, as I approach 70 this year I have a lot of grey hair and even some white ones showing through. I never intend to color my hair. I am just thankful that I have a lot of hair. One of my biggest fears I had when i was growing up was that I would be bald when I got older. Just another way of thinking. No matter what the color of your hair or if a man is bald they are still witty, wise, and look at life as a pleasure every day. Bless you, Dora.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Mike. I just may borrow your quote sometime. I also feel "extremely wise."

      • Readmikenow profile image

        Readmikenow 

        4 months ago

        Good article. My favorite grey hair saying "They are not grey hairs. They are wisdom highlights. I happen to be extremely wise."

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Natalie, thanks for your input. Of course, you have to know what's best for you to apply and what's not. Be comfortable with your choice.

      • Natalie Frank profile image

        Natalie Frank 

        4 months ago from Chicago, IL

        Dora - You've definitely given me something to think about. I can't promise that I'll stop coloring my hair - when you have dark hair I think it's a bit rough when it starts going grey - but at least I'll look at it differently from now on. Thanks for the article.

      • MariaVirgil profile image

        MariaVirgil 

        6 months ago

        Thank you, you are very kind!

      • CaribTales profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        6 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Maria. I like your attitude toward your gray hair. Embracing who you are means embracing the color of your hair. Yes, you are still young, and the gray does not change that. Stay beautiful!

      • MariaVirgil profile image

        MariaVirgil 

        6 months ago

        I absolutely love your article. Some family members tell me I should dye my hair because I am still young and have plenty of time to be old. A lot of older women I meet are inspired and wish they didn't dye their hair. All I can say is I love my gray hair. I'm almost 50 years old, and along with accepting gray hair, I believe people need to embrace aging gracefully. Thank you for your very uplifting article.

      • CaribTales profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        6 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Vladimir. You taught me something new about the angry white. I appreciate your input, including your kind sentiments.

      • ValKaras profile image

        Vladimir Karas 

        6 months ago from Canada

        Dora, my friend---I like to think how self-acceptance comes from a wisdom of not being concerned about how others see us. We naturally accept ourselves---until we stop doing it.

        You know what I mean---that nagging inner voice of our negative feedback mechanism composed of all those past, and especially early voices of criticism aimed at our impressionable young souls.

        White hair comes from liver not producing enough melanin, and it can look one way or another---but mostly as a part of a personality wearing it. Some graying people, like yourself on this profile photo, keep glowing with that girlish charm crowned with a deep spirituality which shows.

        On the other hand, white hair on a constantly angry person looks "angrily-white", and they should at least "dye that anger" in some brighter colors---which might make their white hair look good on them, without dying it.

        Now, I would give a deserved praise to your article, but I don't want to overdo it, because I already said something nice about you as a person.(LOL)

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 months ago from The Caribbean

        Way to go, Kathy. Thank you for sharing and affirming in the interest of our beautiful gray. Yes, it is a privilege which not all will get.

      • KatWin profile image

        Kathy Burton 

        7 months ago from Florida

        Thanks for the article on gray hair. I stopped coloring mine years ago. I think I have earned every single silver hair I have. Kathy

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks Frank! At the end of the day, hair is hair. Love your attitude. Happy New Year to you and yours!

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        7 months ago from Shelton

        hmm, I'm starting to lose my hair... wish I could have enjoyed it full and gray.. Hell, I'll love it full and purple... Just let my hair stay on my head!!! Merry Holidays MsDora and bless you

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        8 months ago from The Caribbean

        Catherine, you are as wise as you are beautiful. You deserve the silver.

      • CatherineGiordano profile image

        Catherine Giordano 

        8 months ago from Orlando Florida

        I love my grey hair. I call it silver or pewter. I celebrate my age; I don't want to hide it. Plus, I get to play the age card. Thanks for a great essay.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        8 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Silver...I like that!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        8 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Peggy. Good for you that you thought your grandmother and her hair were beautiful. Now you know that you would be just as gorgeous!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        8 months ago from The Caribbean

        Audrey, glad to help you make up your mind. Don't think gray; think silver.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        8 months ago from Houston, Texas

        My paternal grandmother had pure white hair at the age of 35. All my life I saw her that way and thought that it was beautiful. While mine will probably never be pure white I have let the gray hairs move in and do not try and hide them. Enjoyed your article!

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        8 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        I'm really happy you wrote this hub. I'm thinking about letting my gray hair grow out. Been going back and forth about what to do. Your wonderful article has pointed out the benefits of being "natural". So here I go. No more hair coloring for me. Thanks so much Dora.

        Audrey

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months ago from The Caribbean

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

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months ago from The Caribbean

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

      • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

        Yancosky 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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

        Yancosky 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months ago from The Caribbean

        Bill, you look very distinguished in your gray. I wonder how you can be so sure of exactly when the first strand came in. Glad you can laugh about it.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months ago from The Caribbean

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

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 

        9 months ago from Richmond, VA

        Thanks for your article because I love my gray hair.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months 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 imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months ago from The Caribbean

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

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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

        Yancosky 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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 

        9 months 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.

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