Recently I came across an article on Hello Giggles that talked about the possible reason that people get gray hair when they are stressed and it got me thinking about gray hair and the value we put on it. Freshmen year of college I was standing in the girls’ floor bathroom brushing my teeth when I noticed I had a gray hair. It was very visible to me because it was near my hairline, and also because I have dark hair. It shown brightly in the horrible light of the small communal bathroom. I was around 19 and thought “I’m too young to have my first gray hair!” That night when I talked to my mom, she told me it was probably related to the immense stress I was under from school and my personal life (dealing with the fact that I was having anxiety attacks daily). When I came home on the next school break, my best friend from high school pointed out the gray strand. She then immediately asked if she could pull it out. I told her no and she continued to push the fact that it was a gray hair and I needed to get rid of it. She wouldn’t be the last person to point out the fact that I have some gray hairs sprouting from my head.
Since freshmen year I have found at least one gray hair a year. It never fails that a new person I meet will point them out to me. I’ve had many people ask me if I will dye my hair to cover them up or dye my hair in the future when I start getting more gray hairs. My answer is always no. Graying early runs in my family and my stress just brought the gray on earlier than normal. I hear “Are those gray hairs?!” a lot in my encounters with friends, family, and hairdressers. I wonder why people are so obsessed with gray hair, having gray hair, and getting rid of the gray. Why do we put some much pressure on trying to stop the aging process or trying to slow it down at least? I’ve come to love and accept the few gray hairs I have. They honestly aren’t that big of a deal to me. It’s just hair. One friend told me she liked my few strands because they were more silver than gray and if I had enough I would look like Rogue from X-Men. But for now I will just enjoy the seven or so strands of gray hair I have (yes, I did try to count them).