Posted by: chlost | February 25, 2012

A shock of gray

Just this last weekend, I saw it. Unbelievable!

A gray hair.

It came as a shock to me. It is too early for this. I am not ready for it.

But there it was, just sitting there on top of the other hair, glinting in the sun. Mocking me. Daring me to pull it out.

I resisted the temptation. Nothing good could come of that.

Gray hair is not unusual in our family. My uncle, in his mid-seventies, has a full head of silvery gray hair. My father’s hair grayed in the last several years of his life. His too was that sparkling, silver gray.

But my mother, in her eighties, is still mostly free of gray. She and her mother before her kept their dark black hair without benefit of any commercial coloring. Most of her friends have a hard time believing that.

Husband’s ever-receding fringe of hair is now mostly gray. His beard also has become more gray than brown in recent years. His maternal aunt’s youthful red hair has been gray the entire thirty-five years that I have known her.  His father, too  had a gray fringe over the years that I knew him.

But this is too early. Not yet!

Is prematurely gray hair becoming for a woman? Somehow I doubt it. The natural look may work for some, and the silvery gray can be quite stunning, I realize. But it takes a brave woman to take that route. There would likely be a long time of “salt and pepper” to get to that point.

The realization that I am at this stage of my life has hit me hard. Of course, I should have known that this time would come. It may come as a surprise, but I never considered this possibility.  It is something that was not included in any of the articles on aging that I have read. None of my friends have talked about this issue. I haven’t seen it discussed  on any talk shows. Not even a sit-com has included this subject in a story line.

Not from this point of view.

This gray hair was on my 28-year-old daughter’s head.



  1. I have a couple of friends who went grey in their twenties: it is such a shock when your children begin to show any signs of ageing – I felt the same last week when my son said he had been to the doctor with knee pain and the doctor just said it was a sign of ageing joints. Where does this leave us? !!

    • Exactly! We are NOT old!

  2. Oh, I found my first grays at 16. I plucked. Not a good plan. Soon I was coloring, which I continued for many years. I have a head of thick, white, shiny hair and wouldn’t go back to the coloring for anything. My boys are also sporting salt and pepper – which makes me feel older than my own head of blinding white hair.

    • I would not have handled that well at age 16. I am still vain about my hair….even if I do nothing to it but wash and dry.

  3. You had me going for a second! 28 huh? ….. tell her not to cry too much…. I got my first when I was 19….. tell her that gray is a sign of great intellect and wisdom…..except on me of course….. 🙂

    • Oh, I didn’t tell her I saw it. I don’t think she realizes it is there. She is very smart, too. And I am wise enough not to point out the gray hair.

  4. Yes, you are right….too young.

  5. Definitely too young!!!!

    • Agreed.

  6. You had me going also. I went gray early and love it. I paid good money in my 20’s for the platinum look, now it is natural. Besides, I earned each one.

    • There is that-I have definitely earned each of my grays as well. But she may not feel so good about it at this point in her life.

  7. You GOT me! Shot to the heart.

    I’ve watched the slightest of crow’s feet gather at the corner of my daughter’s beautiful eyes and told myself they never looked better on anyone.

  8. And here I was, ready to be completely envious of you! By the time I was 28 I was at least 25% grey … and started dying soon after. I’m probably near 100% now but am not willing to let it grow out to check … it does NOT look good on me!

  9. I saw a gray hair on my younger son when he was about ten. I nearly fainted. I got my first when I was thirty but have little enough that I color it. When it is ready to be all gray, I’ll go that route.

    • Yikes! Ten!? I would have freaked. If I get all silvery, I may stay gray myself.

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