Gray hair might be fashionable now but it sure wasn’t hip when I first went au naturel in the ’90s.
I started turning gray when I was 18, and I’ve had a full head of gray hair since my early 30s. (I’ll be 52 this October.) My dad, who died when he was 39 and I was 9, also had a full head of gray hair by the time he was 30. My natural hair color as a child was what they called “dishwater blonde”; I added blonde highlights from the time I was a teenager until I was about 32. It was then I noticed my roots looked white so I decided to stop coloring my hair and see what was underneath. I was surprised to find my hair had turned completely gray! That was 20 years ago and I haven’t colored my hair since.
When our boys were little (they’re young adults now) it was sometimes hard on them having a mom with gray hair—like when I picked them up at preschool and their new friends called out to let them know their “grandma” was here. It’s also a little weird running into people I knew in high school or college who haven’t seen me since then. I sometimes wonder if, when they’re trying to pull their gaze away from my white hair (as one does with a car wreck), they’re thinking, “Wow, she sure has AGED.” I’m looking forward to my 60s and 70s though, when people could conceivably say I haven’t aged a bit in 30 years—since I first went all-gray. I did say “conceivably.”
In spite of all that I like my full head of gray hair. There’s the obvious benefit of saving time & money not having to color my hair every 6 weeks. I also like the idea of embracing the aging process instead of trying to fight it. (Although I wouldn’t mind a few less crows’ feet and if my knees stopped making those squishy noises going up stairs.) But one of the reasons I love my gray hair most is that it’s something I inherited from my dad—a piece of him I’ll carry with me the rest of my life.