Wisdom Highlights (aka Gray Hair) / by Andrea Lemonds

At the age of 20, I found my first gray hair...I was so excited (seriously!) that I wanted to show my mother who happened to work at the university I was currently attending. And as most proud mothers would do (or maybe just mine), she just told me I was weird and laughed.  (Note: I love my mom. She accepts me...and my weirdness.)

Aging is a part of life and gray hair is just one sign among many, so here's a little light to hopefully show you a different view. It comes from The Hair Bible by Philip Kingsley: "Greying hair, like wrinkles, is associated with age,.... Contrary to popular belief, grey hair is not coarser; in fact, the chances are it will be finer, as everyone's hair gets finer with age. It may also become drier, because the oil glands likewise function less effectively as we get older, and this may  give the impression of coarseness. Also, we often pull out our first few grey hairs in an attempt to remove the signs of aging, and this constant pulling can distort the hair follicle, resulting in more crinkly hair, which gives the appearance of being coarser, too."  Hair color comes from something called melanin which also gives hair softness and suppleness. So, when we lose melanin, we are not just losing color, we are losing what gives hair its softness as well. Adding a bit more moisture to a hair routine is very helpful as we age.

As a hairstylist who colors other people's hair, I find it fascinating that we like to alter our image. Why? Are we afraid of the unknown- in this case, old age? Is it an artistic expression? Are we just following the crowd? Mentally, what makes people tick? What experiences helped to shape the way we see the world and so act accordingly? Interesting that gray hair is trending currently, but will it change our view of ourselves, society or the world?  Only time will tell. So..., do I have gray hairs? Yes. Do I color my hair? Currently, no. Have I done it in the past? Yes.  Will I do it in the future? Maybe. I have peace with my Wisdom Highlights. I view them as a reminder of experiences past that have grown me into me now.