Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A God-given Crown

Proverbs 16:31: "Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life."

A couple of days ago I discovered my first gray hairs, one month before my 26th birthday. A few strands on the right side of my head, just above my ear. Not just little gray roots, but completely gray from root to tip. I colored my hair last Fall with a level 2 color and have been meaning to do it again to lighten it up for Spring. I love experimenting with different colors; I don't mean green or blue, but I try different shades of brown or red. I find it fun to see what shades work well with my complexion. I've never "needed" to color my hair, just did it for the thrill. But now, I feel I have a "real" reason.

I had always thought that when I go gray, I will let it go naturally. It'd be the closest to blonde I'll have been since I was 5. But I never expected that it would start in my mid-20s. So now what? Do I just keep coloring my hair regularly until I'm in my 50s? I don't want to be one of those women whose hair stays unnaturally dark into their 70s. Or have to color my hair gray instead of brown until I can grow my own natural gray. Some people look good with gray when they're young, like Taylor Hicks (yes, Mom, that one's for you). Maybe I'll just leave these little grays alone, color the rest of my hair as I please, and let it be "character." Like Rogue (no, I didn't have to look her up; I'm moderatlely familiar with comic book characters), just not as pronounced.

I suppose getting the gray comes with being a mom, and maybe being a single mom made it come early. I don't think I've been given too much grief in my almost-5 years of parenthood, but maybe just the regular stresses I've learned to deal with are what caused it. Maybe it's like the good book of Proverbs says, I've led a righteous life. Hmm...would it be arrogant to say that I think I have, young as I may be? Or is it a sign of righteousness to come? Or is it truly a crown to wear proudly and say, "Look! I've had a good life so far! See my badge of honor!"

Maybe it's genetics. I have family members who let their gray grow in starting in their late 30s, and I have some who are past their 50s who still color it. When should I let my hair show its age? Will it be cute and endearing to have gray this young, or will it turn dates-to-be away?

I'm curious to know how many other people out there got their gray early and what they did about it. And what those who hide their gray think about those who let their gray show, either out of shamelessness or forfeit.

For now I think I'll let it be. I know not to pull them out. If I did that every time I find a new one, I won't have any hairs, gray or not, left. I can always color it, maybe a wash-out kind that will allow more grays to show little by little so I can assess the damage and make the next decision.

For now I will wear my crown proudly.

Sort of.

My fearless child, friends and I on Tower of Terror at DCA

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