A slower metabolism, the ticking of my biological clock and societal pressure to wed are all things I anticipated in my thirties—gray hairs were never one of them. Grays are for, like, legitimately old people, I always thought, not realizing (now) that there are plenty of young people who have them, but use hair dye to conceal them.
I recently visited a much younger cousin for the first time in a couple years, and as we hugged she said, “Oh, you have grays, too! I’m glad I’m not the only cousin in the family.” I was totally taken aback by her comment. This was the first time I realized these stray white hairs were visible to the eye. From that point, I’ve never looked at my hair the same. Chances are, if you, too, have also just started noticing grays, you’ll relate to the following eight things below.
1. The Initial Feeling of Shock and Awe
Like with most bad news, there’s always that first denial reaction. Like, how did you go from one day with “normal”-colored hair to suddenly white strays? This has got to be a mistake! It’s definitely just a fluke this week.
2. You’ve Added Hair-Plucking to Your Morning Routine
Who knew tweezers could be so multifunctional? You’ve used them to remove splinters, pesky chin hairs—and now, gray hairs. Your skincare routine has had to be cut in half, because suddenly you’ve added plucking stray hairs to your AM ritual.
3. You’re Destined to Pluck Them All
Let no stray go unplucked! You plow through your hair, stopping at nothing to ensure those grays go bye, bye.
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4. More Grays Are Coming Out of Nowhere
The good news: You’ve successfully plucked yourself clear of a color you never asked for. The bad news: a day later, a whole new crop of strays pop up. Oh, and they’re full-length. How on earth did you not notice them before?
5. You’ve Changed Your Part
At this point, you’ve come to terms with your hairy new situation. Therefore, you’ll stop at nothing to make it all go away. You don’t have enough grays to dye your roots, but you definitely have enough to switch things around in some way—starting with your part.
6. The Topic Has Slowly Made It Into Convos with Friends
When did you ever used to discuss grays with your 28-year-old friends in front of a mirror? Enter: now. What used to be “does my smoky eye look okay?” has morphed into, “If I wear my hair like this, can you see my grays?” And, of course, as you start noticing yours, you need to know if other friends have the same problem.
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7. You Suddenly Notice Other People’s Subtle Grays
Unless someone has a huge chunk of gray hair, when did you ever pay attention to them before? You went from never noticing to suddenly being able to spot even the slightest stray—and not being able to unsee it.
8. You Fear Where Things Will Go From Here
You want to tell yourself that everything will be okay, and that the issue will probably dissipate over time. But deep down you know the truth. It’s all downhill from here. Hurry and cherish those last couple of years before your head is just one big mound of gray.