I was in the bathroom at school today washing my hands, and I looked in the mirror to make sure that I didn’t have anything in my teeth or gross on my face (as one does), and I saw something I was not expecting to see. One single, long, course, gray hair towards the middle of my head.
I guess this is a thing that can happen to you when you’re in your 20s, even though it’s associated with being “old.” But when I saw it/subsequently asked my friends and family to confirm that yes, that is a long silver strand of hair on your head, I found it to be one of the funniest things ever to happen to me. And the more I think about it, graying is actually a pretty interesting experience. Let’s talk about it.
I went through four years of college and all I got was this lousy gray hair.
That is a gross misrepresentation of what I’ve gotten from my college experience, but you get the point. As I’ve been approaching graduation I’ve been reflecting on how much work I’ve really done in such a short amount of time, and I guess the stress of that amount of work has manifested itself in less noticeable ways. I’m actually kind of surprised that my whole head isn’t silver, considering all of the stress I’ve put myself through. But at least I’m starting to get used to it at 21 years old.
I don’t know if what’s happening to me is just genetics, and it very well may be. But even if someone said to me at the very beginning of college to choose between having an illustrious experience or premature graying, I would still probably pick the former. I don’t know if that’s the right choice, but it’s the one I’m sticking to.
The social pressure that we put on women about graying is terrible.
According to the article cited above, there are quite a few things that can cause you to go gray, especially at a young age. It can be hereditary, or nutritional, or even the result of an underlying medical condition. That being said, I don’t feel any less 21 than I did before I found this gray hair, which I’m sure will have friends soon. When I do have more, I’ll embrace the change. I think it sucks that women feel like they have to dye their hair to get rid of gray roots. There are some dye jobs I’ve seen lately that are purposefully gray that I think are really awesome.
I do understand that if you’re in your 50s or 60s and you have a lot of gray hair that you may feel like you’ve lost your youth, and that dying it back to your original color restores part of it. At the end of the day, you should do what makes you happy. But I think I’m going to see how long I can go without resorting to pulling the hairs out or eventually coloring my whole head.
It’s actually pretty badass.
I’ve always envied Stacy London for her gray streak (even though that’s the result of an autoimmune issue and that really sucks) but she looks so damn cool. If I could have a fraction of Stacy London’s coolness by proxy, I will take it.
But really, just having one strand on my head has made me rethink what it means to go gray. I think you should wear your gray hair as a badge of honor at any age. Growing older and getting gray hair also means that you’re growing as a human being and getting more life experience, and that’s something to be really proud of. In the meantime, I will embrace my gray.
How do you feel about your graying hair? Let’s talk about it in the comments.