Sincere, but a wee bit crushing

I have a natural bent;  I avoid chemicals, and I like thing to be the way God created them to be.  Plus, I’m just… low-maintenance.

I didn’t used to be low-maintenance;  I had to buy my first alarm clock when I was 14 because my mom wouldn’t wake me up at 5:30 to get ready for school, when we left the house at 7:45;  she would wait until a more reasonable hour, as she thought 2+ hours for me to get ready was excessive primping time.

But, being a mom of five kids now, I have to be very careful how I distribute my time, and personal care, while not exactly falling to the bottom of the list, isn’t on the top any more.

Lovely hair....

I love the look of ladies in their 50s or 60s, with thick, healthy, silver hair.  Seeing an older lady with unnaturally dark brown or auburn, chemically fried hair is an instant reminder to me, instant motivation: “That is SO not going to be me.”

All of that leads me to where I am now:  36 years old and graying, with nary a bottle of color in sight.  I haven’t colored my hair since I was in college and I semi-regularly tinted my short locks black.

Still, it’s not like I’m HAPPY that I’m graying.  I feel like I’m way too young for gray hair.  Yeah, I’m not 22, but golly, I’m only 36!  I have a baby!  It seems like babies shouldn’t have mothers that have gray hair.

My husband has tried to silence my worries:  “No one can even SEE your gray.  I can’t see it.”  I suspected his perspective were through his eyes of love.  Now, I know that’s true, all because of a compliment I received from a friend’s husband.

He’s a great guy.  I know him well;  their family is a near-perfect match for ours — all the grown-ups get a long well, and all the kids do, too.

After church, he said to me, “I hope this doesn’t come out wrong, but I love all your gray hair.  I think it looks great, and I hope you never dye it.  I’m trying to convince [my wife] not to dye hers, either.”

Me:  stunned silence for a moment.  Then, ~oof!~  (That was the air being socked out of whatever remained of my pride over my “no-one-can-even-SEE-it” gray hair.)  Then, I made a quick recovery, saying that I am so looking forward to being 60 or so and having longish, healthy, silver hair, and that I loved that look — but it was the getting-there part that was a little difficult, that I feel a little young to be graying so.

He smiled the whole time, showed me his graying beard that used to be red, and repeated that he thought my hair looked great.  “Glowing.”



About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on November 1, 2009, in Hair, Random Stuff. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I have blonde hair, I won’t grey gracefully and I have been highlighting for about ten years now. Luckily my mum is 58 and doesn’t have any grey hairs and doesn’t dye her hair so I’m pretty confident I will fare well in that department. I have her thighs which are not such a blessing so I have to be grateful for something.

    I say dye to a certain point and then submit to the grey!

  2. newbeginnings09

    I’m not sure how much it will help, but I turned 30 in September (gasp! Oh no!) and probably 35% of my hair is gray. It’s a lovely, white silvery gray, but it’s still GRAY. People often comment on how much stress I must have to be this gray so young — it started when I was about 21 — and often attribute my VAST amount of children to the cause (I have only 4, btw).
    At least you made it to 36!
    Have you ever thought of using henna dye for just a bit, until it makes up it’s mind which color it wants to be? Just a thought.

  3. I’m not sure what gray will look like on my strawberry blond head. Some of those hairs that I think are very light blond may actually be gray – a thought that occurred to me only recently. I am pretty low maintenance, too, and like to think that I will never dye, but one never knows I guess… it depends on what the gray looks like and how old it makes me feel!

    My best friend had gray hair coming in when we were in college (early graying runs in her family). She held off dying until she was 26 and about to get married. She just couldn’t stand the thought of having gray hair in her wedding pictures!

  4. I haven’t colored my hair in 13 years — and I have lots of gray in my mid-40’s. I think people who color their hair are *chicken*. *wink* We’re the brave ones! LOL

  5. As unexcited as I am about my gray…it’s the silky hair that has turned wiry that irks me! 4 kids later and my nice hair is not so nice in color OR texture. How do you fix that??? In a low maintenance, natural, cheap kind of way.

  6. I’m 36 and started turning gray earlier this year. Actually, the hair that isn’t blonde is white–pure white. And it’s more wiry than the blond hair, like tina mentioned above…sometimes I do pluck any that are short and sticking up near the part of my hair (my hair is quite long).

    but i don’t mind the color of the gray. It’s white, and silvery, and I imagine it will be nice to go from gold to silver. My husband is just shy of 40 and has had gray hair (just a sprinkle here and there in his dark hair) for nearly 20 years.

    I once got highlights, as a treat for my birthday, and it did tame down the wiry hairs for maybe a week or so. The cost wasn’t worth it. 🙂

  7. Karen Joy, I wonder if your friend’s husband has been looking for examples of beautiful ~natural~ hair to show his wife and noticed yours, or maybe he has become sensitive to his wife’s feelings about her hair and thought you might like to know how beautiful your hair is in case you’re going through the same thing. Not the kind of thing I’d want to hear, either, though. lol

    My parents both had pure almost pure white hair by the time they hit 50. My mom tried dying or bleaching for a while, and I have done that a couple of times, but there’s nothing quite like natural color. It’s harder to make a huge mistake coloring your hair when you leave it natural, too. 😉

    I’m with Tina and Karen on the change in texture. I tried plucking them when I first noticed them, but then I started getting these little wiry spikes around my head, so I decided to stop that. Good conditioner and styling gel helps mine, somewhat.

  8. I”m 29 and I have gray hair. does that make you feel any better? 🙂

    how I wish for long think silvery hair… but just like having perfect red hair – it’s not that opften found. most people have dull colored hair. and even in some of the gray colors I think they must be touched up. the weirdo stuff in our waters and what we eat has a lot to do with how healthy our hair is. they make silver washes to bring out the shine.

    I JUST colored mine for the first time in years… but not b/c of the gray (that doesn’t bother me so much). I have tremendous PP hair loss and it’s only getting worse with each kid. my hair is sickeningly thin and I have balding spots on my temples. coloring it TEMPORARILY makes the strands a little thicker. it’s the same color so nobody ever noticed.

    but yeah 70 yr olds with fake auburn or jet black hair – it’s not all that appealing, I agree.

    • Your hair doesn’t LOOK thin! It looks really thick and wavy. Maybe it used to be crazy-super-thick, and now it’s just normal-thick. 🙂 Also, thinning at the temples can be from pulling your hair back every day. And… usually pp hair loss is from all the hair that you RETAIN during pregnancy. The hormones in pregnancy make you lose less hair during those 40 weeks, then you go back to normal, pp, and lose all the hair that you DIDN’T lose during pregnancy. Hope that makes sense.

  9. Someone’s worried about greying at 36. I was all of 14 when I first began to notice silver streaks in my hair. My father went full out white haired when he was in his 20s and I had more grey hair in my 20s than my mother who never completely went grey and had salt and pepper hair into her 80s before she passed away. She was jealous of how mine silvered, wishing hers was that way.

    I’m now in my 50s and have yet to reach for a bottle of coloring for it because it’s so uniformly silver and never was that coarse bristly feeling wiry grey either. I use a silver enhancing shampoo and conditioner on it and get compliments about it all of the time.

    Funny thing is, there are actually celebrities dying their hair grey, so when you’ve got it naturally
    and it looks nice, flaunt it, don’t be afraid of it.

    • Since this post a year and a half ago, I started using henna on my hair. Light Mountain brand, light brown color. For me, it seems a good balance: No chemicals, but not gray at less-than-40. 🙂 It makes my white/silver hair a sort of coppery color, which looks like I’ve highlighted my hair.

      My brother is 40 and is almost completely white, just a wee bit of pepper with the salt. It looks great on him.

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