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« The Jerusalem Post Gets It | Main | 'Green House' Communities Reinvent Elder Care »

January 23, 2008 |Permalink |Comments (4)

To Gray Or Not To Gray

The twin driving impulses of age, at least from my point of view, are...




It is the combination of choice and a growing capacity to influence that opens the door to life beyond adulthood.

Therefore, I take no position on what color men or women young or old should make their hair. Hair color is not a predictive marker of wisdom, influence or worth.


This young woman has gray hair and, it seems from this photograph, is at peace with her appearance. We should all be so fortunate.

The Health and Life Mixing Bowl has more...

Whether or not women should go gray is a hot issue these days. Time magazine has a great article that compares the gray hair wars with the "stay at home with the kids" vs. "go to work" debate. The article shows two pictures of Condaleeza Rice, one with gray hair, one with black hair. I'll let you be the judge. Included are remarks from the hair dye king, Clairol, who states that their role is to help women create an authentic connection between how she feels internally versus how she looks externally. Hmmm....So they get to decide what your hair color says about how you feel? The article's most controversial quote came from Rose Weitz, author of Rapunzel's Daughters: "What Woman's Hair Tells Us About Women's Lives". She quotes, "Even if, in the abstract, we think we look all right with gray hair, we nonetheless feel as if we are losing our 'real selves' if we no longer have our 'real hair color' - the color we had when we were young and looked our best." Feeling as if we are losing our 'real selves'? As if hair dye is real? If anything is real it's the stigma attached to going gray. It took me forever to find a picture of a healthy, attractive woman with gray hair. Type in "gray hair women" in a photo search engine and you'll come up with tons of frail and sickly looking women sitting in wheelchairs and nursing homes. Where are the vivacious gray-haired mamas? I know you are out there! After searching a bit I finally found the picture above. This woman went gray when she was 13 and decided to leave her hair natural. I think she is beautiful.

Comments ( 4)

Thank you for referencing my post. Great blog!

Hair. What a charged concept. Remember the sixties when the issues were are her skirts too short, is his hair too long? Remember Hair, the musical? Men, when graying, are considered more distinguished. Woman are considered old.

A few years ago, for the first time in my life, I started bleaching and dying my hair. Not to cover the grey, but to have fun. One morning I found a bottle of purple hair dye that one of the kids had left in the medicine cabinet and just put it on.

For a couple of years I had lavender and pink hair. In my line of work as an artist it was totally acceptable. In public, I made more friends of strangers than ever before in my life. In an odd way, it felt more like my natural hair color than my natural hair color. When I applied to the MAgS program, my friend Carol cautioned me that my purple hair days would have to be put on hold. Nobody will take you seriously she said. And she was right.

I think woman can age very gracefully. Besides gray hair isn't as bad as back hair.

I started graying in the 5th grade. I colored it for years but now as a senior in high school I am letting it grow naturally. I have learned to love what God gave. I am proud to say I have a full head of beautiful and healthy gray hair.

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