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Gosh, I’m Totally Gray

Twenty-three years ago, at the age of 30, my hair started to turn gray.

My dark brown waves got lighter and lighter as the gray hairs multiplied and took over seemingly overnight. I began paying attention to others; noticing those who were gray, going gray, or who had maybe started coloring their tell-tale strands. At my next hair appointment, the stylist suggested I color it with a wash-out dye. Okay, I thought, clearly this is what everyone does. I let her color it and even had her add extra highlights—why not? Let’s have fun with this.

Then all-too-quickly, the color wore away. I am not one to get my hair done on a consistent basis: My daily routine looks more like, go exercise, pull hair back, workout again, top-knot it again.

All the while, I was thinking, It’s too early for me to be going gray. Then it hit me: I must take after my dad’s side of the family, who grayed young. I thought of his sister, my Aunt Doris, who has beautiful gray hair. I actually stopped and prayed right then: “God, I’m going to just let my hair go, could you let it grow like hers?”

Since then, I’ve had many hairstylists and friends ask, “What are you doing? You are too young to do this to yourself.” But I’ve also had way more compliments than detractors. While in my thirties, as my hair transitioned to more and more gray, strangers would compliment my highlights and ask what color they were! It totally caught me off guard. I’d confess I was actually going gray, and little by little, this helped me remain steady in my commitment to doing so. I’d also routinely remind myself that the only person I needed to impress was my husband, and he didn’t care if I went gray; in fact, he would love/appreciate my not spending time and money on hair color!

Personally, I would much rather go for a run than sit for hours in a chair every three months battling gray hair that doesn’t want to change color anyway.

Recently, my college-age daughter told me, “I hope my hair gets gray like yours.” A few weeks later, my 12-year-old said, “Mom, your hair is so pretty. It has like blonde, silver and gray all mixed together.” These two compliments easily beat out 23 years of other compliments. If I can show my daughters that it’s the WHOLE you that makes you amazing, going gray was all worth it. Nowadays, I’m fully gray—save for a splash of pink or purple, for fun. Bright colors look even better with gray than brown ever would! #justbeyou

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