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.