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Real Beauty: In Celebration of Gray Hair

Real Beauty: In Celebration of Gray Hair

When I was a girl, women like my mother never revealed their age because they feared being diminished in what was truly a youth-crazy culture. It followed that most women in the suburb where I lived dyed their hair at the first sign of gray, so my friends and I grew up never knowing what forty or fifty or sixty really looked like, or how beautiful natural gray hair could be.

Before you reach for the nearest bottle of hair-dye or call for your next salon appointment, read this: The idea of “moon hair” may change the way you think about gray.

Things are a little different now than they were when I was growing up. The graying generation is now a significant proportion of the population, with significant buying power. And while we could use that power to buy hair-coloring products, many women of my acquaintance are letting their gray hair show. In fact, two of the most vibrant and beautiful women I know have manes of silver-gray hair, of which they are justly proud. I look at them and think, “If this is what fifty-something and sixty-something look like, that’s fabulous!”

For several years now, I’ve thought of gray hair as “moon hair.” Moon hair is silvery like the moon, and it glints like moonlight. It speaks of all those sleepless nights we spend worrying over beloved children or companion animals or the state of the world. Those of us with moon hairs have earned every single one of them. They are a badge of experience, of caring and courage, and of the wisdom that comes from having lived. Together we form a sisterhood of the moon. Whenever I lie awake at night, I think of all the other women lying awake as the moon shines down on all of us, women who are sending the force of their loving concern to the ones they cherish, earning a few more moon hairs. And I am proud to let mine show.

Read more: Beauty, Body Image

By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Channels.

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.


+ add your own
7:32PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

mine is slow in turning, but i think many people do look younger with grey or white hair than when they color it and am glad to see so many here who agree.

3:00AM PST on Feb 11, 2013

Thank you

1:49AM PST on Feb 11, 2013

♥ moon for hair & healthy woman (mentally, emotionally and physically) ...
p.s. You cannot currently send a star to Duane because you have done so within the last week.

6:54AM PST on Feb 10, 2013


6:01AM PST on Dec 16, 2012

Natural hair color was dark brown but I've been red (twice), platinum blond and GREEN. Now grey mainly due to the ALLERGIC reactions to hair dye. I get many compliments on my hair. Have let it grow & find it's very curly, something I didn't realize when I kept it super short most of my life.

7:27PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

My husband and I both agree that we've earned every one of our grey hairs. We've raised 7 of our own kids, and opened our home to 3 neices and our oldest grandson so they could go to school or just so they had a safe place to stay. Our house has always been the neighbourhood drop-in after school and weekends; even now that all our kids moved out, I still have neighbourhood kids dropping It's been chaotic and every grey hair tells it's own wonderful tale!!

4:50AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Poetic little post, enjoyed reading it.

Chemicals in hair dye are definitely not good, however they are being replaced by natural ingredients (apparently) so there's less risk of your hair drying out (or worse, falling out) and becoming damaged and dull.

I'm all for leaving the color natural, as Cait advises, even if it's white or grey. Nothing worse than seeing little old ladies with pale lilac colored hair permed into unnaturally tight curls.

I can see Jane B.'s point about wanting to appear younger in order to be more seductive and appealing. Sadly, it is true that many males look for a young-looking partner in order to reflect their own virility.

9:30AM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

I love my long, grey hair.

9:16AM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

Where's all the pictures that usually accompany articles and go on for up to 11 pages? I love my hair, from a few strands in my 40's to serious "wings" of gray in my 50's and now at 60 I have swaths of gray. I'm glad to have any color hair. Let's just think about what we're grateful for instead of complaining about what we don't like.

10:55PM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

Natural is better.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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