Gray, Gray, Go Away -Goodbye Grey Hair!

Goodbye Grey Hair

Do we really get more gray hair if one falls out or your friend picks it out? Well, I wanted to know about this myth and why some people welcome their gray hair and while others do sing the mantra “gray, gray, go away, don’t ever come back, okay” with gusto.

No matter how you find them, most of our gray hair is based on genetics. Some people start getting gray well before their fortieth birthday. What is one to do? Well, there is this product called hair-dye. It is not worth it to try and pluck those hairs because they’ll come back with friends. What causes those wiry strands to appear?

I know that you could have googled “why hair goes gray”, but I thought that I’d keep you reading this blog post, so I included the wikipedia explanation here, “The change in hair color to gray is caused by the gradual decrease of pigmentation that occurs when melanin ceases to be produced in the hair root and new hairs grow in without pigment. Two genes appear to be responsible for the process of graying, Bcl2 and Mitf”.

Now that we know why gray happens, why are there some women that are all for shades of gray while others want to be “back in black”.

The people that embrace their gray are the proud and few. You may seem them in your neighborhood, but there are several Hollywood beauties that have embraced their gray. Some of these women include Emmy Lou Harris, Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Let’s not forget Meryl Streep’s “silver “streak” in her role as Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada. Is it just about saving time and money at the hair colorist? One particular women, Anne Kreamer, had the answer to that and much more. She also wrote a book on the topic, “Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters”. After 25 years of visiting the hair colorist every three weeks, Anne stopped coloring her hair. The results were priceless on many levels. Over those years, she had spent about $65,000 on hair coloring, not too mention the long hours sitting under a hair dryer surrounded by foul smelling chemicals.

She may have cut out the coloring, but that never had anything to do with her complete body regime of exercise, healthy foods, sun exposure, and much more. A change in hair color can only go so far, but does a gray main affect the working world of older women? It turns out that there really is no “gray” area, for now.

No Gray On My Parade. Those who just can’t grin and “hair” it when their locks “fade to gray” have gone the hair coloring route in order to feel more “viable” in the work place. Anne Kreamer described this as “gray” discrimination in the workplace, which does exist. Women do feel that their hair color has a direct impact on their consideration for promotions and pay increases. It doesn’t help matters that finding a female anchor or reporter with gray hair is next to nil and that not one of the eight women who are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies has gray hair. The list goes on. None of our female senators have gray hair. Seven congresswomen out of 70 have gray hair. So, what do those of us still in the work force need to do to stay employed? Will we have to hit the “bottle” or can we stay true to our hue.

We should all remember that hair once was considered the ideal in business and politics — white or gray powdered wigs were all the rage in the 18th century among U.S. colonists, who gravitated to gray because they equated older age with respect, power and prosperity. Even with all of the women “washing that gray right out of their hair”, I feel that there is still room for growth, even with gray hair on the horizon. If you were to go completely gray, would you “gray” or would you go?

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45 Comments Post a comment

  1. On May 22, 2010 at 11:06 pm
    Stacey Knapp said,

    No grey here *yet* I’m 35 and Haven’t dyed my hair in 7 years. Came here via the giveaway!

  2. On May 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm
    Batya said,

    Very interesting article! Would love to win the giveaway!!!

  3. On May 22, 2010 at 11:09 pm
    Janice said,

    right now I’m one of those – if I see a white hair, I want it plucked out! Probably when there are too many, eh, why fight it?

  4. On May 22, 2010 at 11:11 pm
    marissa allen said,

    i think i would just go gray… thanks!

  5. On May 22, 2010 at 11:12 pm
    Chayala said,

    I’m waaay overdue for a hair dye job, & I look more than 10 yrs older! … not a good thing :(

  6. On May 22, 2010 at 11:13 pm
    marissa allen said,

    tweet http://twitter.com/clallen1971/status/14532742890

  7. On May 22, 2010 at 11:13 pm
    Sarah said,

    I don’t like the idea of dying my hair. Hopefully not something I’ll have to worry about for a while…

  8. On May 22, 2010 at 11:16 pm
    Elizabeth W said,

    Interesting! Very Informative!

  9. On May 22, 2010 at 11:16 pm
    Kim Novak said,

    I have been coloring my hair for years and continue to do so to cover my gray. I feel much better about myself and feel much younger with the gray gone.

  10. On May 22, 2010 at 11:16 pm
    Rachel King said,

    I think we need to do whatever makes us feel nice and presentable. If that means dying grey hair, so be it!

  11. On May 22, 2010 at 11:16 pm
    Bobbi said,

    I have a few grays and I intend to leave them that way. Hopefully I am growing in wisdom as well as gray.

  12. On May 22, 2010 at 11:18 pm
    michalatx said,

    I went prematurely gray–my first gray showed up when I was about 11 or 12 and by my early 20s, I was coloring regularly. It was a big waste of money because my gray wouldn’t keep the color, even when done by professionals; within days, you could see the gray again. I colored for the last time when I got married and decided to welcome the gray. … See MoreToday, I’m 33 and mostly gray on top; the back and under part is still black. My husband absolutely loves it and when female friends or family see my hair, I get a lot of compliments on my silver hair. I don’t regret deciding to let the gray come in.

  13. On May 22, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    Dana said,

    I love it!And I need it lol

  14. On May 22, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    Karen R. said,

    This post was really interesting especially because I’ve been noticing gray hair at my roots.
    Retweeted as @karenar25

  15. On May 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm
    meira said,

    too young for gray!

  16. On May 22, 2010 at 11:23 pm
    Hannah B. said,

    I have a lot of gray in my hair but I have no intention of coloring it. It’s who I am! I wear it like a badge of honor for raising a family and since I’m a grandmother as well, it suits my self-image very well. I know I could look younger if I colored it but I don’t see any reason to go to all that bother and expense. I like being myself!

  17. On May 22, 2010 at 11:25 pm
    Ally Arendt said,

    My mom looks very chic with grey hair but she insists on dying it. I think more people should embrace it!

  18. On May 22, 2010 at 11:26 pm
    alison said,

    I used to pluck the occasional gray, but gave up when they starting ganging up on me in pairs.

  19. On May 22, 2010 at 11:26 pm
    Andrea said,

    I’m 45, have a few grays, but I highlight my hair which hides them nicely! Retweeted as andreama13

  20. On May 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm
    alison said,

    tweeted! @retelling

  21. On May 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm
    Hannah B. said,

    Retweeted: http://twitter.com/hrbeck/status/14533427000

  22. On May 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm
    Elana Aptowitzer said,

    I always admire women who age gracefully and wear their hair naturally and gray…especially the ones who invest in beautiful haircuts, but avoid dyeing their hair.
    If I went totally gray, I would certainly try to wear my hair naturally. And it always helps to compliment your hair style and colour with beautiful hair coverings, like bandanas, hairbands and hats!!!

  23. On May 22, 2010 at 11:29 pm
    Miri said,

    dont think i’d ever die my hair. natural’s the way to go!

  24. On May 22, 2010 at 11:29 pm
    Tifara Major said,

    Very interesting article. I never thought about the possibilities of discrimination based on hair color.

  25. On May 22, 2010 at 11:33 pm
    Chantal Marczinski said,

    I personally haven’t gone gray yet, but I know people who a) color it so nobody knows (my mom) or b) loud and proud about their grey and don’t care what people think (one of my older friends who went grey in his early 30s). Personally, I would prefer to go the latter rather than the former if it were to happen today. Especially among men, I find grey hair means experience and wisdom; women too, though they tend to be more self-conscious about it.

  26. On May 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    yona said,

    My mom just got a half and half sheitel and my chasidish cousins say she’s too young for it at 60. I think power to it. 80 year olds look kind of silly with black or blond sheitels.

  27. On May 22, 2010 at 11:42 pm
    amanda said,

    ha. My mom was a hairdresser for 25 years. Needless to say I have had my hair colored since kindergarten. I have always done it and often but now with the kids etc I just don’t have the time etc and NOW I NEED TOO!!! HAHA

  28. On May 22, 2010 at 11:49 pm
    Erika said,

    Tweeted the comment

  29. On May 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm
    Erika said,

    I’d love to let mine be grey streaked but my husband says no – not until I’m 40.

  30. On May 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm
    Debi said,

    my mom’s still got her natural color in her 60s… so I’m hoping I’ve got those genes!

  31. On May 23, 2010 at 12:00 am
    Debi said,

    I retweeted this article!

  32. On May 23, 2010 at 12:00 am
    Debi said,

    and I’m letting you know I tweeted again!

  33. On May 23, 2010 at 12:02 am
    marissa allen said,

    2 for tweet tweet http://twitter.com/clallen1971/status/14532742890

  34. On May 23, 2010 at 12:02 am
    marissa allen said,

    3 for tweet tweet http://twitter.com/clallen1971/status/14532742890

  35. On May 23, 2010 at 12:05 am
    Candice Orpesa said,

    i would gray gray go AWAY!!! LOL

  36. On May 23, 2010 at 12:07 am
    Candice Orpesa said,

    http://twitter.com/stashmama/status/14535360858
    i used your retweet button!!

  37. On May 23, 2010 at 12:40 am
    Leeba said,

    I’m young so my hair is not grey yet and hopefully won’t be for a while, but I cover my hair so I won’t have to worry about it. as for under a wig i always keep my my hair natural, long thick and curly.

  38. On May 23, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    Racheli Hersh said,

    Very interesting Ill be sure to tell my Mom!

  39. On May 24, 2010 at 7:06 am
    rachel said,

    did i miss the contest? am i supposed to post here? didnt see a winner posted- so im giving it a shot- well, i found my first gray hair last week- im not so happy about it 😉

  40. On May 25, 2010 at 4:09 am
    Tiamora said,

    I began dying my hair when my youngest son asked me at the age of 10 or 11 why I didn’t want to do something about the gray in my hair, prior to that I noticed that I began graying at the age of 20 after a serious illness. As time has gone on I noticed the beauty of silver and what I saw as the blah, dullness of gun metal gray, so I hoped that somehow my increasing grays would begin to turn to silver, but since that hasn’t happened for the time being at the age of 56 I’ve opted to dye. However, I must agree with Yona, if you’re blessed to live to see 80+ give up the dye jobs!

  41. On May 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm
    Dee said,

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/MyBellaMia/status/14738357242

  42. On May 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm
    Dee said,

    I’ve been highlighting my hair for years and am getting to a point in my life where I need to add a few dark strands. LOL

  43. On May 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm
    Dee said,

    My Mom turned all gray at a fairly young age and I hope I take after my Grandma (her mom), when she passed away she only had about 5 gray hairs in her black hair. Wow!

  44. On May 25, 2010 at 11:39 pm
    Dee said,

    Yes I’ve plucked a few.

  45. On February 13, 2011 at 11:40 am
    Amanda Clereon said,

    Dee, don’t you find plucking painful? why don’t you consider dyeing your hair, heard of
    Auburn hair color? its a good hair dye product.

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