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The How-To Lounge: Coping With Gray Hair

A girlfriend of mine just noticed her first gray hair! Since I haven't spotted one on myself yet, I couldn't commiserate with her, but since we aren't getting any younger, I thought now would be a good time to address the issue!

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  • First and foremost, don't panic! Most of us will eventually get gray hair and, in the grand scheme of things, it isn't the end of the world
  • The science behind our hair going gray is down to the cells in our hair follicles called Melanocytes. Over time, the Melanocytes stop generating pigment which causes our hair to have a transparent appearance in turn, looking gray against our darker hair
  • If you have a lot of grays that you want to get rid of, find a great hair stylist. Get your hair colored every six to eight weeks and stick with highlights and or low lights, as they have a smoother grow out period than all over color
  • I was always under the impression that if you pluck one gray hair, more will grow, but luckily, it's an old wives' tale. Since the hair is technically dead, all you are doing is removing a dead cell from the follicle, which will not cause more to grow
  • Unfortunately, going gray is just a part of getting older. Some go prematurely gray while others, thanks to their genes, don't go gray until later in life, and some are lucky enough to not go gray at all. Then there are some that look great with their gray hair, or even salt and pepper (George Clooney anyone?!) so whatever your reaction is to the change, try to keep it all relative!
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Join The Conversation
elena2354 elena2354 9 years
I spent years coloring my hair to avoid the gray. With the fast growth of my hair--WOW--it got very expensive. So, I finally decided that I would embrace it. I have an excellent stylist that was able lighten my hair just a bit each time I got it colored until finally you couldn't tell where the color stopped and my natural color began. I also discovered that the steel gray that I was fearing wasn't what I had at all--my hair was actually white! Since then I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is to know I never have to dye my hair again. Don't know about you, but I can think of a million things I would rather do than sit in a salon chair with foil all over my head!
sparkle-sugar sparkle-sugar 9 years
wow i cant believe so many greys so young. im 21 and i have two very fine white hairs which was shocking when i saw them (while straightening my hair once. never seen them since). i thought it was weird! my hubby is 26 and hes got a few greys here n there but no patches or anything...its all good!
MamaD MamaD 9 years
I hear you Greggie...I've been covering gray since age 16 too! Sometimes I hate being a slave to the dye bottle every 5 weeks but then no one ever thinks I'm my age either. I just look at it as a necessary evil!!!!! I know I'd feel horrible if I really thought I looked old in the mirror. Now my husband on the other hand went gray at 29 and went completely white at 50!!!! He looks awesome!!!! He's very fit and people usually think he's older than he is until they see what he's still able to do!!! Then they ask his age!! He gets a kick out of it! He's 8 years older than me but people think he robbed the cradle since I have lovely dark locks!!!!
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 9 years
I'm a red head, and have had pure white hairs apear on my head since I was like 14. I don't plan on coloring or anythign because I figure with my pale skin and odd hair, I'll age well with lots of wrinkles and pure pure white hair. I might get little surgeries here and there [I am naturally hourglass figured, but with large [DD] breasts and a curvacious behind.] like a breast reduction/lift or something of the sort.. but other than that. Nothing. I decided after I bleached my hair out in third grade that I would never again do anything to my hair to change or hide color. i'm too proud now. :)
NMM911 NMM911 9 years
I started going grey as a high school freshman...I runs in my family. I coloured my hair for several years, but had to do touch ups every 3 weeks. (I have very fast growing hair.) I finally threw in the towel. The best part of being grey for a long time is that you don't really show your age that quickly!
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
I'm the only one of my friends not yet greying. They all hate that I'm not there yet. I don't really plan on covering the grey, but I do color my hair from time to time now, so I don't see why I would change that when I get grey. I did some time ago find a red, which isn't shocking since my first hair when I was a baby was red (mine fell out 3 times before the last set came in) and my hair now is a dark auburn. I can't find it now, so I have no idea what happened there. I am ok with the grey though. When I get it.
amyinthesky amyinthesky 9 years
i got my first grey, or white really, hair when i was 15. i pulled it out as soon as i found it. and then as i grew older there was this one spot on top of my head that seemed to grow the most grey hairs. the most i've seen at one time were about 4 white hairs so i just pulled them out. i'm asian and it seems to be common for asians to get white hairs every now and then. my parents always told me it was stress that caused white hairs, but i don't know if that's entirely true. i was also told that pulling them out made more grow, but clearly that's not true.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I am 33 and i dont have one grey hair, my husband who is 25 gets more everyday!
cassandry cassandry 9 years
I turn 25 October 6th and for the past few weeks, I've noticed one gray hair after another showing up. Luckily, I have to lift the top layer of hair to find any greys, so they're not showing obviously yet, but still. Is me hitting the quarter century mark cue for my hair to shock me into "old"? I'm embracing it and I WILL NOT dye it since I just went through the very long process of growing out my over-colored hair. But still...I'm just not ready yet.
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
I shouldn't say what I'm about to say because I'm young and I don't want to jinx anything, but... I can't wait to get gray hair!
RiceGirlReese RiceGirlReese 9 years
Whew, glad to hear I'm not the only 20 something going gray, I don't want to look old before my time, so I keep my hair colored. Maybe when I'm 35+ I'll let them show.
ALSW ALSW 9 years
I don't have any grey hairs yet. My hair decided instead to go straight to white. My sister has the same problem. I've had white hair since I was 18! Right now, I'm dying my hair and I plan to continue doing that until I'm at least in my thirties. Just not ready to embrace the white!
stefsprl stefsprl 9 years
When I'm in my 50s, I plan on letting my gray hair shine...I think it's beautiful when a woman has really pretty gray or white hair. That being said, I'm only 25 and already going gray around my temples. My mom and grandmother both went gray really early, so I've been expecting it but I still don't like it. I don't want to have a head full of gray hair when I'm having my first kid.
starofsorrow starofsorrow 9 years
I first started noticing grey hair when I was 16.... =( I'm almost 24, and I have a few gray strands, so I'm betting I'll be completely gray by the time I hit 30-35. No big deal, really, though I color my hair for experimentation, not to cover. Whee?
Vannuccia Vannuccia 9 years
I'm 24 and I first noticed my gray hair about 2 years ago! Whenever I see them, I just pull them out.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 9 years
I have found a few grays and I get mine colored regularly. There's no need to look like I'm 65 when I'm not.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
I love to see women grow old gracefully and embrace the fact that their hair will eventually turn grey. I will not color my hair to hide the gray, ever. I think older women look silly when they clearly color their hair to look younger....
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I actually originally started to brighten my natural hair color, not cover greys. For a little bit in my early 20s the goal was to cover grey, but since then I've searched for a hair color that DOESN'T promise grey-coverage. There aren't any.
ecodork ecodork 9 years
I'm too lazy to bother coloring my hair. I figure that everyone goes gray eventually, so I'm just embracing it!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I'm really mad at myself for coloring to hide my greys early on - I started going grey at 16. Now I want my grey hair to show but it would involve either stripping my hair of all color, which it would never survive, or cutting it EXTREMELY short to allow the roots to grow. And extremely short hair looks great on Halle Berry, but like hell on me.
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