“I don’t fight with gray hair”: why does it meet the resistance of others?


I began to turn gray after forty-five, and in the first years I followed the path of the majority: I dyed my hair. However, after a couple of years, I decided to leave the natural gray hair. Why?

I’ll be honest, first of all I’m tired of painting. When there was a lot of gray hair, I had to do it regularly. I don’t understand how women live on a biweekly schedule. They say gray hair looks sloppy. No, regrown roots look sloppy.

I also find gray hair to be beautiful. In many women’s forums, there are heated discussions about natural aging. Most agree that they will always dye their hair. Before I had gray hair, I realized that I like photographs of gray-haired models. They seemed beautiful to me. And now, having stopped dyeing my hair, I got an incredible feeling of freedom and self-acceptance, which I did not have in my youth.

However, if you want to try on gray hair without being a deep old woman, you will have to prepare for the resistance of others. Those who consider giving an unsolicited opinion the “truth” that you need to know is vital, will openly assure you that gray hair will disfigure you. Others will say more diplomatically that the previous color was “somehow better.”

I think this is an idea imposed on us of how a self-respecting woman should look like.

It takes a lot of self-confidence to resist external pressure and do what you feel comfortable with. You will be suspected of being depressed or accused of laziness, which a woman who wants to look good is not entitled to.

However, I don’t have any depression, and I like looking good. It’s just that gray hair does not scare me, just like wrinkles. And the impending inevitable old age.

They say that gray hair ages. The whole appearance as a whole can grow old, first of all, the absence of vital fulfillment. Young people can also become old internally.

If gray-haired women do not terrify you, you can try to grow your gray hair, but this is not the only condition. There must be a high degree of self-acceptance, otherwise you will be affected by the negative perception of others and you may stop liking the reflection in the mirror.

Why is someone else’s gray hair so worried about people? I think this is an idea imposed on us of how a self-respecting woman should look if she does not want to be suspected of depression or banal laziness.

“Fear of old age and death can trigger defensive aggression”

Natalia Artsybasheva, gestalt therapist

Being yourself in an unfriendly environment is difficult, it requires different skills. For example, say “stop” if you are faced with a boorish invasion of your territory, unsolicited advice and assessments.

They say to you: “The gray hair disfigures you.” Do you want to be left behind? Are you ready to say in response: “Does your aggressive manner of communication disfigure you”, accompanied by a short lecture about personal boundaries? True, there is a risk of being known among relatives and friends as a harmful and quarrelsome person. And the rejection of the pack, we as social beings do not tolerate well.

How to deal with this? Answer yourself how many people from the environment treat your gray hair with understanding or neutrality. And with clear condemnation? If the ratio is in favor of the latter, then it’s time to think about the people with whom you communicate.

The aspect of your sensitivity to other people’s opinions is also important. Usually we have a reference group, that is, a circle of people whose opinion is really important to us. And there are others. If it is not a member of the reference group that condemns, are you ready to let his opinion deafen? Or are they sensitive to all opinions, without discount on the closeness of the person?

It should be borne in mind that even the most significant people who coincide with you in views on many other issues may suddenly have a different opinion about gray hair. This will be a test for you too – how tolerant you are of dissent. Are you ready to accept this distinction, if it is expressed correctly, and allow a person to be himself?

Stronger than fear of a “stranger” who is different from us is the fear of old age and death. If a person has not worked out this problem, then any trigger like gray hair can trigger unmotivated defensive aggression in him. And this is definitely not your problem, he needs the help of a specialist.

Of course, a person should not talk about this, but it is useful for oneself to understand, it changes the perception of the whole situation.

Natalia Artsybasheva

About the expert

Natalia Artsybasheva – Gestalt therapist. Her website

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