Going Gray Gracefully: Embracing My Silver Streaks

I can vividly remember the day my mother was helping me put up my hair in a braid and she casually stated, “I think you have a gray hair.” I laughed at her and remember telling her that was “bull hunky.” She then plucked the hair and handed it to me. Sure enough, in my hand I held a long, silver strand. I immediately panicked and felt the tears coming.

I know what some of you saying right now, “Seriously? Tears over a gray hair?”

Well, I was only 16 years old.

Since that day, I have religiously dyed my hair. If I thought my roots were about to start poking through, I quickly slapped on some more dye. My hair is naturally dark black, which means those white strands stick out like no other.

Going Gray: Coming to Terms With The Silver Streaks

It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my oldest son that I stopped the dying. Before I knew it, white hair peppered all through my temples. As soon as my first trimester ended, I began dying my hair again.

When I got pregnant with my second son, the same thing happened–I stopped dying it, bemoaned the amount of white hair that I had throughout my pregnancy, and then began dying it as soon as I felt comfortable doing so.  I’ve dyed my hair consistently since then. The problem is, the whites show up sooner and faster between dye jobs. It was getting to the point that I covered them every 3-4 weeks. Finally, I said “Enough!”

And at the ripe, old age of 32, I have embraced my whitening hair.

I have learned to love the salt and pepper temples. No longer do I cringe at the sight of the silver streaks mingling with the rest of my hair. There are no more tears when I pluck the random white hair that is standing straight up from my head. Discussions with my grandmother revealed that I probably have my great-grandmother Helena’s hair. She was snow white by the time she was 40. She also had black, curly locks and began graying early. Once I learned that this is my fate, I accepted it.

Why should I constantly dye my hair, anyway? Because society tells me that gray hair equals old age?

As I get older, I have begun to realize that body positivity is more and more important. Sure, I should always strive to be healthier, but I shouldn’t feel the need to constantly change my looks to prove my worth to others.

I’m now comfortable with my gray hair. I actually think the silver hair is beautiful. I’m excited for the day that I am snow white, as it means that it will be so much easier to do fun colors in my hair. Bleaching black hair and maintaining it to get unicorn hair is no easy feat, which is why I’ve never done it.

I haven’t dyed my hair in almost 6 months, and I have no plans to ever go back.

Is there something about yourself that you disliked, but now you love? 

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Courtney Dayton
Courtney likes to describe herself as a lover of lists and post-its, all things nerdy, and as an all-around pretty awesome person. She lives in Marion with her husband, Jon, their two sons, and their two crazy cats. Both of her boys are rainbow babies, with Everett arriving in December 2013, and Hendrix in March 2016. Courtney is a Penn State graduate, and currently works as a team lead for a state agency. Aside from attempting to be successful at this parenting thing, she likes to go on adventures with her family that includes trying out all the local parks and ice cream stops. Courtney also likes to binge watch Netflix, attempt all things from Pinterest, and can be occasionally be found on her couch doing both