Distinguished vs. Old

So, this morning on Slate I was reading I'm Gonna Keep That Gray, a column by Beth Frerking. She was explaining why she hasn't made any attempt to cover the gray hair she started finding in her late 30s. She's now 49 (I think) and completely gray, or at least mostly gray. I hope that at the point (either 49 or completely gray, whichever comes first) I will have embraced my gray hair, or at least have accepted that it's there.

Actually, I've accepted that it's there. Just like every couple of months, my hairdresser accepts my money for coloring my hair, a perfected shade of blonde highlighting (now) that the gray blends very well with. I was coloring it auburn for awhile, and while I loved the color, a single gray strand was like a beacon. So, I've gone back to being blonde. The real issue for me is that I'm, really, rather young.

I found my first gray hairs--8 of them--at 22 years old. Actually, my dad found them. They'd appeared over night when I'd broken up with my then fiance. (That's a story not worth repeating.) Obviously, they were stress-related. I quickly pulled them out, praying the old wives' tale was truly, truly a myth. You know, pull out one and 2 grow in it's place.

The next spring, a few more showed up, randomly, during my student teaching semester. After my first full year teaching, everytime I went to the hairdresser, she pointed out some. She'd get rid of them and we'd go on about our business.

Two years ago, after being unceremoniously dumped by M, and trying one last time to be with R, they started coming in a bit heavier. So I started coloring my hair. That's when I went auburn. All over. it was bold, and daring, and...wow. But like I said before, gray is definitely a beacon in auburn hair. So, in the spring this year, I let all the auburn fade out and went back to being a dark blonde, with lots of blonde highlights.

Okay..so that's the chronicle of my coloring story. I know I could save the money, and just not worry about. I'm sure I'd be one of those women who look fabulous, sexy even, gray (especially with my hairdresser's help). But one fact remains.

I'm only 29.

Yes, I'm turning 30 this year. But I've had gray hair in one volume or another for 7 years. There's quite a few to be found now. Okay, to be honest, 'quite a several.' If I let it go, honestly, I'll probably be completely gray by the time I'm 40. Damn genes--it's my understanding that's how it was for my grandmother. It's not that I'm opposed to be graying (like I'm opposed to being 30).

I think it's because I'm still single. If I were married, doing that thing, I'd probably be more willing to just deal with it. I think I've convinced myself that no man is going to want a 29 year old who looks old.

Setting aside how silly that must sound...what do you think?
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3 Response to "Distinguished vs. Old"

  1. equarles says:
    Aug 6, 2006, 9:37:00 AM

    I never knew you had any gray hairs. Dang it, I'll start paying more better attention.

  2. paris parfait says:
    Aug 6, 2006, 4:54:00 PM

    I have a few years on you, but exactly the same problem about colouring my hair. For a long time I coloured it auburn. Then in the last two years, suddenly grey started appearing, screaming out amidst the auburn. So now I went back to my dull dark blonde/light brown hair w/ blonde highlights to disguise the grey. But of course the French hairdresser got carried away and made it too blonde! And of course now that the blonde's growing out, all you can see is brown roots - the grey is underneath. Sigh. The never-ending dilemma. At this point there's not enough gray to even worry about becoming completely gray. But I'm not sure I'd want to go that route until I'm really old. So we're slaves to the hairdressers. And have you ever tried colouring your own hair? Not only are the results unpredictable, but they can be quite disastrous - requiring professional repair jobs (yes I've done that, but not in years; I learned my lesson). :) Lovely post.

  3. NuttersNotes says:
    Aug 26, 2006, 11:18:00 PM

    From the man's side, I don't think it's that big of a deal. Then again, I am not sure that I have seen many 29 year old "grey" women because they probably all run to the hairdresser before I get the chance to render my true opinion!!! LOL

    As a man, I can't comment on that hair thing that you ladies have going on. So, do what you want with that. I will tell you this: if what is on the inside gets better and better, shave the whole mess and wear a wig when you have to because a real guy wouldn't care as long as the quality inside is present.

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