Gray Is The New Blonde

I wrote on Facebook today, “If one more person asks me when I’m going to start coloring my hair to cover the gray and make it more blonde again, as it was when I was younger, I think I will SCREAM!”

Why do perfect strangers feel it is their duty to inform me (in case I hadn’t looked in a mirror in a year) that a) I have gray hairs peeking out above my ears and near my temples and b) they need to be hidden by hair dye? Yes, a conversation about this very thing happened to me at a doctor’s office this week.

I don’t go around asking people, “Whatever made you pick out those shoes?” or “Did you know that color green you’re wearing makes you look ill?” So why should they ask me, “When are you going to start covering your gray?” and “You don’t want to look old, do you?”

Maybe they assume one or all of the following:
1. I have let myself go.
2. I don’t care about my appearance.
3. I’m too frugal.
4. I’m afraid to be daring.

I try to eat right and exercise to take care of my body. I like my appearance as does my husband of 34 years. When the coffee I really like gets shipped to me from Washington State, frugal is not the buzzword. I’ll be daring on a ski slope or speaking in front of a crowd of 300 thank-you, I don’t need pink hair to do so.

It is my personal choice to have never dyed my hair. I have always felt that there are enough chemicals streaming around and in my body by what I can’t prevent, that I choose to be very careful about what chemicals I knowingly put on and into my body.

11 years ago I had a large benign breast lump removed. It was  a scary time as I awaited the pathology results. Though breast cancer does not “run” in my family, my mother (who died of lung cancer) had numerous “suspicious” cysts and masses removed over the years. I am cystic as well. The surgeon who performed the lumpectomy gave me a list of products and chemicals to avoid that were possibly linked to increases in cyst formation and some cancers. On that list among many others were hair dyes and caffeine.

Now, if you know me, I’d much rather keep my coffee than dye my hair. We all make choices.

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
Proverbs 31:16 (NIV)

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