Eternal gray or dye discussion
The discussion about gray hair color seems to be never ending. First, I did not want to join the discussion as I believe it is not a choice for me for two decades or so without using hair color. I have my father’s hair, and he did not get “gray” before he was in his mid to late 60s. The reason why I joined the discussion is that I saw a high school girl who came visiting the university for a Color of Nature class. She had her hair dyed gray and it looked lovely.
Dyeing has nothing to do with non-acceptance of aging
Some of the gray hair discussion sounds like those women who decide to color their hair are not accepting their aging and/or have problems with their age. Some of the discussion sounds like those who go gray are to lazy to color their hair. It gets even worse when it comes to men. These arguments are the extreme positions of the gray hair discussion with a lot of middle ground missing in between and that teenage girl proved it. Gray hair is a choice – not a default! Tweet this.
- First of all, beautiful gray hair in midlife is as much maintenance as coloring it. As we age, looking great becomes high maintenance.
- Hair is the accessory that you wear every day. It is the one that is always with you, sort of your business card. It is telling more about who you are and how you want to be seen by others. Imaging a Bond movie where the female M would have long beach-wavy blonde or long curly red hair. Or the bombshell Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot with a gray pixie. Doesn’t feel right, right? It would be the wrong accessory.
- Gray hair is as much work if not even more than any natural hair color and as much work as every changed hair color. When the first gray hair occurs, it will look interesting. However, when the gray is not in restricted areas like strategically placed on purpose, but all over the place the gray blends in to a washed out color. Pepper and Salt can be nice when taken care off, but is a choice and not default either. If one keeps gray or pepper and salt just as it is, one looks quickly unkempt, old fashioned, may be even lazy. Everything, but professional and serious. Hard water and/or the sun turn the color to yellowish. When your groundwater has a reddish color your hair will look brassy. This even happens to light natural blondes. To keep gray or pepper ans salt brilliant and head turning, products are needed that keep the gray silver. Keeping the silver silver is as much work as keeping the hair colored when your base color is gray or any other color. In other words, any hair color, but the natural color is a decision when it is supposed to look great. In other words, a choice.
- Most (wo)men do not like their natural color and change it a shade darker, lighter, or totally. This coloring is not because the hair is gray, but because they want a certain appearance/type. For instance, the 14 year old teenager who dyes her platinum blonde locks raven black because her style is Goth. Thus, gray hair is a choice like red, blonde, brown, or black you name it. Now when this teenager turns gray later in life or in other words a woman who colored her hair her entire life starts turning gray, why should she now stop doing what she has done all her live? So why with a sudden the choice, for platinum blonde should not be a choice any more once the base color is no longer dark blonde anymore? It is much easier to become platinum blonde when the base color is white. A colleagues of mine was in her mid thirties and turned to gray on purpose to get more respect from her students and male colleagues. A friend of mine who is in her mid eighties has beautiful brown hair. You never see the roots. Her hair is dyed, and everybody knows it, but she would not be coming over the same way if she were gray.
- Gray hair is not necessarily related to being old. I have meet several people who where gray in their late twenties, or who got the first gray hair before even being voting or drinking age. It is an educational perception that gray looks old. The grannies in comics are painted gray haired. Photos of old poor or sick people in newspapers or media foster the association. However, these people look old not because of their hair, but because they do not have the money, time, and/or ability any more to take care of them.
Hair color is about your style
In summary, the fact that most people do not get naturally gray before they are in their midlife or even later, should not make a color choice (that never was questioned before) a “character” thing. Hair color is a personality thing. Let us look at hair color as what it is – a personal accessory that conveys who we are and/or who we want to be. Gray hair can be hot or plain awful like any other hair color – natural or not natural.
When you liked this contribution to the gray hair discussion share it with your friends by tweeting them Gray hair is a choice, not default.
What do you think about gray hair? Is it aging? Is it cool? Would it fit your style? Have you colored your hair sometime? Which color? Let me know by email.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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