Sunday, December 8, 2013

Going Gray – Part II

August 29, 2013

 Carolyn J. Rose
December 8, 2013
"It’s not bad now,” my hairdresser said as she trimmed off split ends a few weeks ago, “but it’s going to get scary when you have more gray showing.”


Since my decision to stop coloring my hair cut into her income, I didn’t expect her to applaud and cheer me along.

But scary?

I found myself tipping my head to get a better view of the process underway since the end of the summer. Yes, there’s a definite line of demarcation. Yes, it’s obvious I haven’t been touching up the roots. Yes, it’s clear that there are strands and streaks of gray and even white.

But is that scary?

And if so, why?

Because we fear aging, fear the wrinkles and sagging and graying? Do we see those things not as symbols of wisdom and experience, but simply signs that time is passing and we’re no longer young?

If so, is that fear rooted in opinions about outward appearance? Is it based on what the makers of cosmetics and creams and diets and exercise programs tell us?

Or is the fear deeper, primal, coded into our DNA? Is it a fear of loss of ability and power and place in society? Is it fear about what comes next?

I have no idea. Do you?


  1. I have no clue, but it does seem to me that keeping our hair from going...er, looking...gray is the one thing we have control over in the aging process. The sags, bags, and wrinkles are just minimally within our control if, indeed, they are at all. But when all is said and done, gray hair fascinates me. There is such rich variation in the way it presents itself. The only thing that keeps me from covering my gray, however, is pure and simple laziness.

  2. Well, ithe fear is "rooted" in something, whether it is DNA or Social in origin. However, the last time I saw you, a couple of weeks ago, you were as beautiful as ever, so you may set aside your fears.

  3. The abyss always looks scarier when you get close to the edge, and let's face it at our age the edge feels damn close. That said, I do whatever it takes to look as good as I feel including haircuts, dye (yes, men too), bathing and the occasional new pair of sneakers.

  4. Hi Carolyn,

    I have to come clean and admit that I still get my roots touched up, although my hairdresser has worked hard to get as close to the original 'mousey brown' colour of my own original hair, to keep things as natural as they can be.

    I do sometimes wonder in awe, when I see his young salon staff with a different hair colour almost every day. I know that things have moved on since the days of bleach laden hair dyes, however I do wonder whether these young people will actually have any of their own hair left to colour, when they get to my age!

    I'm afraid that once you get past 50, it appears that life is worthless to the younger generation and whatever power and influence we might have once wielded, disappears overnight!

    Unfortunately appearances influence our standing in the community much more than we can ever have imagined, but as it is impossible to completely turn back the ravages of time, it is much easier to go with the flow, don't you think?

    Going grey gracefully (disgracefully? LOL) suits you very well!

    A belated Happy New Year.