As I was plucking out gray hair after gray hair from my head last night, I realized the time has come for me to finally deal with my hair color. There’s no way around it, gray hair is a sign that I’m getting older.
Could I imagine going gray? After all, gray became the “in” color for models/trendsetters like Kate Moss, Kristen McMenamy, and Daphne Guinness a few months ago. (Check out these esteemed sources if you’re in denial: NY Times, Vogue, and AOL.) The new looks represented the new frontier of hair color. The ultimate rebellion. Celebrating the beauty of older women, yeah! And plenty of older women look positively fantastic with salt and pepper hair.
But let’s put things in perspective. The “gray hair movement” doesn’t necessarily advocate the natural aging process in all respects. After all, Kristen McMenamy, who decided to let her hair go gray naturally (versus dying it gray like Kate Moss), talks about eating a macrobiotic diet, running daily and her painful thrice-weekly yoga lessons that she endures because, she explains, “yoga is my fountain of youth.” Clearly she’s working to appear young.
What can we learn from this? Is growing old cool or not?
Maybe we don’t have to be so black and white about this. The fact that we can actually celebrate one sign of aging in our youth obsessed culture is a dramatic step. I actually think that abstaining from coloring your hair while keeping in optimum physical shape is probably, far from contradictory, the most sensible reaction to the situation. After all, going gray doesn’t make you any less healthy. Letting your body go does.
So am I now willing to keep the gray hairs in and forego the salon visit? Not sure I’m mature enough yet to say yes.