Monday, September 24, 2012

Going gray...

Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained by living a godly life


I'm going gray.

And not just gray as in I-found-a-few-stray-gray-hairs-on-the-side-or-the-back-of-my-head. No, I mean gray, as in a nice large swath of gray hair smack dab on the middle of the front of my hair line. It's about a a nice square inch of gray hair in the middle of my head of brown hair. Right on my part line. And it's the hair that frames my face.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind going gray. I'm sorta resigned to it. I'm pretty sure my mom had a head full of salt and pepper gray by the time she was 40 (but she colored it dark black until after I got married).  My sweet husband has had gray hair since he was 16. So I don't get a whole bunch of sympathy.

What I don't like is that it makes me look old. On a particularly tough day, I can look positively haggard. I get called Ma'am and get sympathetic looks from random strangers.

And I'm 35. I'm not ready to look or feel old. And I believe that gray hair can be absolutely beautiful.

I've seen it on my friends who are just now crossing into their 40's. They have a smattering of gray around their temples. I have a friend who's hair is regularly styled, and her stylist is able to hide her cute little gray streak.

For the past year or two, I've started coloring my hair, ever so little. But let's face it, I'm pretty lazy and it costs money we don't have. So, I'm trying to decide....what do I do about this gray?

I did a quick Internet search on attractive ways to go gray. And all the advice was for the 50 and up set. For the 30 year old graying set, the suggestion was essentially this: get it colored.

And where this takes me is to this place: I want to feel beautiful, every single day. I want others to think so too. But the beauty I want is internal. I want my beauty to be Holy beauty. I want to shine the radiance of Christ's love so brightly that the color of my hair or the makeup I don't wear or the simplicity of my clothes doesn't matter.

And that's my prayer. I tend to pray it a little more when I feel insecure--like the gray in my hair determines my worth as a woman, like when I feel that culture norms that I don't fit, like when I don't know how to feel about this gift that God has given me. So it's a prayer I pray often these days.

But the question still remains, what do I do with this hair?


Deb Potter-Simmons said...

I couldn't resign myself to leaving mine gray either - however, I also didn't want the hassle of coloring every month, wondering what color it would be "this time". So I opted to highlight with a kit to do-it-myself. It didn't get rid of the gray, but it blended it enough to not make it so noticeable. I started doing it in my 30s and still continue to do so in my 50s.

Gail said...

I don't have advice for you because I live with my gray. But know that it's your crown and your wisdom. Love you girl!

Meika said...

Since blonde hair doesn't really noticeably gray, I don't have any thoughts from personal experience.

It sounds like you don't really like it gray, but you feel like coloring it would be a waste of energy (and time, and money) rooted in vanity. Since vanity is a sin, you feel like you SHOULD leave it gray... but that's a profoundly counter-cultural thing to do, and doing profoundly counter-cultural things takes a lot of energy.

If you have the energy to be at the leading edge of the gray-hair trend, go for it! But I don't think that dying one's hair is any more vain than choosing a shirt because you look good in that color, or wearing a bit of make-up for a date night, or NOT going to Meijer in your pajamas (and thank you for that). If it's a battle, I don't think it's one that's worth the fight.

I should've just called you. :)

Karla Coffman said...

I love the comments! But so you don't feel alone, I'm gray too.
Being the only female in our small group of Beuker grandkids, I can see that we ALL inherited it.
The good thing is that I get more respect from youngsters and I also like to think that it is a sign of wisdom. It is a crown from conquering tough situations and surviving with more grace in the end.
So, in the end, I love my gray streak and when I rarely get my hair colored with highlights and/or lowlights, I have my stylist avoid thatgray streak because I am proud of it.
Also, I will never make fun of you for it. Its what makes you and my cousin look so perfect for eachother. Love you, girl!