Fifty Shades of Gray


Somewhere in the midst of your 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s, depending on your genetic code, you will notice it. You likely will be in the car and catch a glimpse of that one hair sticking straight up as you are checking the rear- view mirror. It is the scout for all the others. Its sole purpose: see how she will react. It will glisten in the sunlight. It will stand proud. It is your first gray hair. And how you react in that moment is likely to determine your every six weeks calendar and an important line in your budget. Or you will rip that sucker out like the unwelcome intruder it is and carry on……for a while.

And then one night you go to bed and wake up and that one hair has spread like a communicable disease. A colony of pigment free hair has moved into the neighborhood and let me tell you, they are wild. Free-spirited with minds of their own, there is no taming them. Great! My hairs are teenagers!!

While science currently does not connect a direct correlation of graying to the hormonal gymnastics of perimenopause, but instead to genetics, if you find that your gray hairs are thinning or showing up on your chin, well you can blame that on your ovaries and their desire to retire.

While graying hair is not technically a perimenopausal issue, the effects of perimenopause will show up in various ways. Like out of nowhere uncontrollable crying when your roots show too soon or surges of anger at your ancestors and the curse of DNA they passed along.

The likely effect will be you coming to a personal conviction of how you are going to deal with aging. It is pretty counter culture for women to go gray. I observe in social settings very few women, even those settled into their 70s, with gray hair. This could be our culture’s youth centric philosophies. It could be chemical treatments help to bulk up those thinning follicles. Nevertheless, gray seems to be a bit taboo.

I find myself, a chronic colorer, at a crossroads in this whole journey. Being many weeks past my color appointment as my stylist made the amazing choice to raise her babies and I am horrible about making appointments. As the grays have spread like kudzu across my crown and temple, and with the free time I have had recently, I’ve pondered the expense of fighting age. I calculated the cost of covering my grays and in a year,  it adds up to a pretty amazing total. Like, take my family on an amazing vacation type total. Which makes me ask: If I had more amazing vacations in my life, would I have so many gray hairs?? Classic chicken and egg query.

So, I think I’m done. This girl who has colored her hair since she was thirteen is going to embrace the wild and free. I think. Being clearly perimenopausal, my emotions may lead me to be inconsistent in my thoughts, reactive in my emotions, and unpredictable in my actions. But for now, I embrace the hoary head.

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**Tune in next Monday– I have found a stylist who is teaming with me to help me  gracefully go gray. Are you embracing the gray?? Share your #silverfox photos on SaraJonesPresents on facebook!

One thought on “Fifty Shades of Gray

  1. I colored my hair for years then I received a cancer diagnosis. Suddenly keeping my hair became much more important than the color. My hairdresser was wonderful in helping me transition. It is a very freeing feeling. I have never regretted the decision. The process is not fun but you will be glad too.


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