The Beauty of Gray Hair
The Proverbs speak of the beauty of gray hair. More and more we see people deciding to let their hair gray naturally and skip the dye bottle. I am among those making this choice. For me, because my hair was naturally auburn and had many colors in its strands, the choice was partially because I knew I would never match it with dye. Other considerations were the ease of not dealing with regular coloring to cover roots, time for maintenance, and cost. It just wasn't worth the hassle for me to attempt to maintain what I had. I also didn’t want to explore other colors so gray became my path.
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31 (esv)
What I’ve found as the gray takes over, is a fascination with the way my hair changes and how my looks change. First, silver hair requires different attention in its care. Many people talk about their frustration with wiry, uncooperative locks. Yes, that’s true. It requires some care and attention in selecting hair care products that work well with the new texture that gray brings. Some days are frustrating, especially in the early stages of graying. As more hairs are gray, and the right products are used, the texture settles and hair gets more cooperative again.
What’s perhaps more interesting is how different we look as we gray. I feel like gray hair compensates for some of the loss of brightness in our skin that happens as we age. It’s a bright circle around the face and lifts the overall look. Well-maintained silver hair can shine like a beacon, especially in photographs. It can be stunning. The early gray streaks that often appear can add character and distinction to a face.
Long ago, I read that actress Cybill Shepherd thought her face was interesting as it aged. Whether she actually said that, or not, I don’t know. But that thought intrigued me. It is interesting to see changes in our appearance as we age. If we couple that mindset with an understanding that changes come with life experiences, we can find beauty in our new appearance. Stress may cause early graying but that gray may be viewed as symbolizing what we’ve endured and overcome to stand another day. Wrinkles may come from years of smiling and laughing with our family and friends. These are good things and so are the changes that appear in our countenance. If we choose to view the changes as rights of passage into our older and wiser years and don’t bemoan the fact that we don’t look twenty-five anymore, we can find peace and acceptance of our changing looks.
I love that the choice to go gray is popular right now. If you don’t choose to do so, that’s great. If you do choose to explore your gray and let it show, I’m with you. The beauty of gray hair shines in both its physical expression and what it represents emotionally and spiritually. We who wear it, have lived life and have stories to tell. We have scars and hurts that have become a part of our history. We have victories, too. Our silver strands tell the story of our experiences. I’m all for embracing those stories and searching for the meaning and victory of each moment lived.