gray hair

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atlanta_dad
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gray hair

Post by atlanta_dad » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:34 pm

What's Bogleheads perspective on gray hair? Do you care to hide it by coloring or don't bother?

I am in the mid-40s, ignored it for the past 2,3 years for the additional work every month and also feared it might cause bald head. Now gray hair is spreading more rapidly, wife and kids are stressing to color, I am thinking of going for it.

What are some safe brands to use? Do I do it just after the hair cut? Please share your thoughts. Thanks

dsmclone
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Re: gray hair

Post by dsmclone » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:39 pm

My hair has been gray for the last 10+ years but it really doesn't show because I'm going bald so I keep my hair short. I stopped worrying about what others thought about my hair a long time ago. When I was in my teens and twenties, I did care.

Arinbjorn
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Re: gray hair

Post by Arinbjorn » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:41 pm

I started losing my hair in the 6th grade. I've been shaving my head for years and love it. Doc says my testosterone levels being high can have that effect. Anyway, If the gray truely bothers you, it's a nice option to just shave it off!

My yearly hair costs for shaving vs hair cuts are also practically non-existent. Maybe $30 a year. Double edge safety razor, a few packs of Feather brand blades, some shave soap and a brush for lathering. Italianbarber.com is my jam, if I am allowed to mention an external website like that.

Rupert
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Re: gray hair

Post by Rupert » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:41 pm

I think you're fighting a losing battle, but if you're going to do it, have it done by a professional. The stuff out of a box usually looks, well, like it came out of a box.

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Pajamas
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Re: gray hair

Post by Pajamas » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:42 pm

Seem pretty normal for a mid-40s man to get gray hair but I suppose that if your wife is encouraging you to do it then it is worth considering.

If you decide to do it, have it done professionally and maintain it and repeat it as they recommend so it doesn't look like you're wearing a toupée.
Last edited by Pajamas on Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: gray hair

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:42 pm

atlanta_dad wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:34 pm
What's Bogleheads perspective on gray hair? Do you care to hide it by coloring or don't bother?

I am in the mid-40s, ignored it for the past 2,3 years for the additional work every month and also feared it might cause bald head. Now gray hair is spreading more rapidly, wife and kids are stressing to color, I am thinking of going for it.

What are some safe brands to use? Do I do it just after the hair cut? Please share your thoughts. Thanks
atlanta_dad:

I have noticed that there are two kinds of people: Inner-Directed and Outer-Directed (which worry about their hair-color)

It is your choice to become who you want to be.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

onourway
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Re: gray hair

Post by onourway » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:44 pm

I found my first grey hairs when I was barely out of high school. By my mid-30's I was 90% grey. I have never given it a second thought other than to laugh about it now and then.

Swarm Trap
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Re: gray hair

Post by Swarm Trap » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:45 pm

I'm 41 and nearly all gray. I embraced it. I paid to have it colored a few times when I was younger but it became a pricey chore. Now that I'm all gray, I prefer the look. All that said, its a personal decision. If it makes you self conscious, or displeases the wife, give it a shot.

GCD
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Re: gray hair

Post by GCD » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:45 pm

I've been greying for awhile. I'm 53 now. My wife likes it. My kids tease me about it. The shorter I cut it the less noticeable it is. I'm not concerned and would never dye it. YMMV.

PVW
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Re: gray hair

Post by PVW » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:47 pm

atlanta_dad wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:34 pm
wife and kids are stressing to color, I am thinking of going for it.
If you give in to this, next thing is they'll be forcing you to trim your ear hair. Where does it end?

Rupert
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Re: gray hair

Post by Rupert » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:49 pm

PVW wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:47 pm
atlanta_dad wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:34 pm
wife and kids are stressing to color, I am thinking of going for it.
If you give in to this, next thing is they'll be forcing you to trim your ear hair. Where does it end?
Nose hair then back hair then toe hair. I think it ends with toe hair.

TravelforFun
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Re: gray hair

Post by TravelforFun » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:52 pm

I became completely gray in my early 50s. I go to this salon for haircuts where they also do hair coloring but they advise me to keep my hair gray and I concur. I like my gray hair.

TravelforFun

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HueyLD
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Re: gray hair

Post by HueyLD » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:56 pm

My BIL was in his 50's and had almost 100% gray hair. After being offered senior discounts repeatedly without asking, he decided to color his hair in order to regain his youthful appearance.

JBTX
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Re: gray hair

Post by JBTX » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:09 pm

When you are bald gray hair is not so much of a factor. I just shave it down with a hair trimmer.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: gray hair

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:12 pm

Years ago, i had a personal trainer; a youngish guy, wide shouldered, exceptionally fit, with a young and beautiful wife. I’m oblivious, but one day someone else at the gym mentioned his toupee, and once i saw it, I couldn’t unsee it. This trainer was always bloviating about personal responsibility, owning your body, owning your health, etc. i got a new trainer.

Toupee is, imo, one step further along than coloring, but it’s the same road.

Full disclosure: what little hair I have is gray and white. I keep it short.

AerialP
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Re: gray hair

Post by AerialP » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:14 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:42 pm
atlanta_dad wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:34 pm
What's Bogleheads perspective on gray hair? Do you care to hide it by coloring or don't bother?

I am in the mid-40s, ignored it for the past 2,3 years for the additional work every month and also feared it might cause bald head. Now gray hair is spreading more rapidly, wife and kids are stressing to color, I am thinking of going for it.

What are some safe brands to use? Do I do it just after the hair cut? Please share your thoughts. Thanks
atlanta_dad:

I have noticed that there are two kinds of people: Inner-Directed and Outer-Directed (which worry about their hair-color)

It is your choice to become who you want to be.

Best wishes.
Taylor
As usual, Taylor "hits it on the head".
Another way to put this might be the old style vs substance dichotomy. Of course there is very very little in life which is binary, but it has been my experience and observation that focusing on inward development is much more rewarding on most every level than focusing on the outward. Of course be outwardly focused as it pertains to family, situational awareness, 'street smarts', empathy, etc. but those who are happy with their inner life generally metaphorically shine such a bright light that any outer socially-imposed flaws are obscured by the brilliance.

HeartinAK
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Re: gray hair

Post by HeartinAK » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:16 pm

I love the look of gray hair. If DH wanted to color his I would strongly try to influence him not to do it :happy

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greg24
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Re: gray hair

Post by greg24 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:17 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:56 pm
After being offered senior discounts repeatedly without asking, he decided to color his hair in order to regain his youthful appearance.
Definitely not a boglehead! I look forward to senior discounts.

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dm200
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Re: gray hair

Post by dm200 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:18 pm

Dr Richard Kimble (the fugitive) dyed his hair ;)

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dm200
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Re: gray hair

Post by dm200 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:18 pm

Dr Richard Kimble (the fugitive) dyed his hair ;)

alfaspider
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Re: gray hair

Post by alfaspider » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:21 pm

I started to go grey in my early 30s. If I follow my dad, I will have white (not just gray) hair by my late 40s. Problem with coloring your hair is that once you start, you can't really stop without it looking strange. You are wed to hair appointments for a long time.

For now, I don't really mind it. I'm otherwise fairly young looking for my age. Before I started getting noticeable grey hairs, I occasionally got asked if I had just joined my company from the internship program. That was a bit flattering, but got old. I'm in a profession that highly prizes experience, so youth tends to be suspect.

xkunalx
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Re: gray hair

Post by xkunalx » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:24 pm

I'm graying a fair bit in my early 30s (it runs in the family). The whole dying your hair at x intervals seemed like too much work. I've been using https://www.amazon.com/Just-Men-Control ... ZQQ3G?th=1 for a few months and it works great. Once a week like clockwork, no extra work needed.

Ron
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Re: gray hair

Post by Ron » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:27 pm

I earned my grey/white hair by a lifetime of experiences (I'm 70 :mrgreen: ); I'm not giving up a current look that took me a lifetime to achieve :beer ...

- Ron

f35phixer
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Re: gray hair

Post by f35phixer » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:29 pm

nope to dye, wife loves the gray....

Wait till your beard starts getting gray, i had a nice soft black beard, now i can't stand the sucker, course and itchy all the time.....

TravelGeek
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Re: gray hair

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:31 pm

greg24 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:17 pm
HueyLD wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:56 pm
After being offered senior discounts repeatedly without asking, he decided to color his hair in order to regain his youthful appearance.
Definitely not a boglehead! I look forward to senior discounts.
Just this past weekend I got my hair cut at my regular "hair salon" (a national chain) and I noticed that the price they charged me a was two bucks less than before. A glance at the price list (menu?) revealed that I got the senior discount. Not sure if that's because of my graying hair; I am still a decade+ away from full retirement age. But hey, I'll take it. Wish they had started that earlier; the gray color isn't new. Now off to Denny's to see if they let me order from the senior menu :)

Accrual
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Re: gray hair

Post by Accrual » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:33 pm

I can usually tell when someone's hair has been dyed. Usually judge and ask "What's the purpose of hiding it?", but this could be because my hair is still brown :wink:

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Sandtrap
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Re: gray hair

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:36 pm

Nearly pure white.
Could consider it a look of distinguished wisdom, hard earned.
But it was turning gray in my 30's so it never mattered to me anyway.

I'm a photographer. I know what side of the lens I belong. :shock:
j

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dm200
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Re: gray hair

Post by dm200 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:38 pm

atlanta_dad wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:34 pm
What's Bogleheads perspective on gray hair? Do you care to hide it by coloring or don't bother?

I am in the mid-40s, ignored it for the past 2,3 years for the additional work every month and also feared it might cause bald head. Now gray hair is spreading more rapidly, wife and kids are stressing to color, I am thinking of going for it.

What are some safe brands to use? Do I do it just after the hair cut? Please share your thoughts. Thanks
Due (I believe) to heredity - in my mid 70's - my hair has only a little gray.

Glockenspiel
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Re: gray hair

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:39 pm

I'm only 33 and have been sprouting some gray hairs on the sides for a couple years now. I use Just For Men 5 minute hair coloring. I usually do it after a hair cut and I usually do it once a month or so. I don't care, but my wife has been pressuring me to color it, so I do. It looks very natural, and no one has ever been able to tell that I color it. It's only like $6 a box, 5-7 minutes to apply and wait, and then a little extra time in the shower washing it out.

MJW
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Re: gray hair

Post by MJW » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:42 pm

In my mid-30s with a smattering of gray hair. My hair says energy AND experience! :!:

TwstdSista
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Re: gray hair

Post by TwstdSista » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Ha! I've recently given in and started dying my hair. But I am also female. My dad dyes his hair sometimes -- it looks horrible and fake.
Last edited by TwstdSista on Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TxAg
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Re: gray hair

Post by TxAg » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:54 pm

Regarding men's hair, coloring is the same as a comb over. Neither is a good look.

If you do it, go ahead and get a sports car and an earring.
Last edited by TxAg on Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rupert
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Re: gray hair

Post by Rupert » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:56 pm

TwstdSista wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:46 pm
Ha! I've recently given in and started dying my hair. But I am also female. I work with a 70 year old woman who looks 50. And I also work with a 70 year old woman who looks ... well, she looks 70.

I choose 50! (when I'm 70)

That being said, men should let it go grey (or bald). My dad dyes his hair sometimes -- it looks horrible and fake.
Most women I know color their hair, sometimes just with highlights. For some reason, it doesn't look weird when they do it, but it does look weird when men do it. Maybe because men are less likely to use a salon and more likely to use the stuff out of a box? As for the few brave men who have admitted coloring their hair in this thread, I doubt your claims that no one seems to notice it. I bet they do, and they talk about it behind your back. No one is ever going to tell you it looks bad to your face (except maybe your wife or kids).

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: gray hair

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:59 pm

TwstdSista wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:46 pm
Ha! I've recently given in and started dying my hair. But I am also female. I work with a 70 year old woman who looks 50. And I also work with a 70 year old woman who looks ... well, she looks 70.

I choose 50! (when I'm 70)

That being said, men should let it go grey (or bald). My dad dyes his hair sometimes -- it looks horrible and fake.
Without disclosing the other things that “trigger” me, I love the look of a woman with salt and pepper hair. It softens the complexion.

Glockenspiel
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Re: gray hair

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:00 pm

Rupert wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:56 pm
I doubt your claims that no one seems to notice it. I bet they do, and they talk about it behind your back. No one is ever going to tell you it looks bad to your face (except maybe your wife or kids).
If my box dyed hair looked bad or unnatural, my wife would tell me and make me go to a salon. She has not done that yet, so I will keep using the Just For Men boxes.

adamthesmythe
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Re: gray hair

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:01 pm

1. If you have gray hair it mean you have hair.

2. Be the gray hair.

livesoft
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Re: gray hair

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:04 pm

I just assume that anybody over 40 that doesn't have gray hair just dyes their hair or shaves it off.

I used to have great scientist-looking beard. When it went white, I shaved it off. Underneath was baby-soft skin and a very smooth complexion, so the beard kept the sun off of most of my face for decades which I do not regret.

Coloring products of the 70s and 80s had heavy metal compounds in them like lead (Pb), so watch out what you do -- if you do anything.
Last edited by livesoft on Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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djpeteski
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Re: gray hair

Post by djpeteski » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:05 pm

I have a younger wife, and she looks a lot younger than she actually is. Me the same, except for my head of completely gray hair. Colored, I can pass for 38, natural 61. So I color. We buy the stuff from the beauty supply place and my wife does it. It takes her about 5 mins, and I do it once a month after I get a hair cut. It looks pretty good. Luckily my eyebrows are not gray yet, and I do not wear facial hair.

Plus she likes it, so is really all that matters.

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fire5soon
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Re: gray hair

Post by fire5soon » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:06 pm

In my 20's and 30's I never worried about going gray and assumed that I'd never go bald. Fast forward a few years I started to thin out on top which was a total shock to me. Went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't due to an illness, but she confirmed it wasn't. I kept cutting it shorter and shorter until I realized I looked like a guy who was balding. I would rather be bald than looking like I was balding. So I had a cold beer one night, accepted my fate, and shaved it all off. Afterwards I wondered why I didn't do it sooner.

If you start coloring your hair, when do you stop? Those ladies who are obviously in their 80's who have jet black hair look silly. The men do too. If you can't accept your age now, when will you be able to?

I say accept the gray, don't let it bother you, and just be happy you have hair at all... :beer
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. - Bob Dylan

HongKonger
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Re: gray hair

Post by HongKonger » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:06 pm

Get a sharp haircut. Silver Fox ;-)

Broken Man 1999
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Re: gray hair

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:07 pm

No remaining strands of brown hair left, only grey, white, and a growing visible scalp.

My hair and old friends/relatives are leaving me steadily as each year passes.

I'm not sure whether my front hairline will reach the top of my head before the growing bald spot on the back of my head. Seems a race to the top! :(

I keep my hair short, due to the heat (currently 97F according to my remote sensor in the shade) plus the short cutting allows me to go longer between haircuts, much to the dismay of my long-suffering wife. I hate to shave so I sometimes start to look like a homeless person. :oops:

Occasionally around the end of summer I start growing a beard for Christmas, the grandkids like it, so that is as much encouragement that I need. My wife and daughters aren't nearly as supportive.

My wife recently had her last hair highlight session, she decided to just let the gray come where it may.

Dear daughters are noticing and freaking out when they see a gray hair or two on their hair, they are around 40 now. Eh, welcome to life, Daughters!

Broken Balding Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

dcabler
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Re: gray hair

Post by dcabler » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:08 pm

The grey started with me in my mid 40's. First around the temple - I had that "distinguished" look. I just let it keep going. Starting in my early 40's, I had a goatee, alternatively just a 'stache or beard, but never happy with how the beard filled in. So went back to the goatee. Then about 3 years ago, I was on a temporary assignment overseas (by myself) and I just stopped shaving altogether. Lo and Behold, in my mid 50's I can now grow a decent full beard. And I wear it pretty long, but trim it/get trimmed pretty often to keep a decent shape. Oh, and wouldn't you know it - now that I can actually grow a decent one, it's almost completely white! Whiter than my hair. Just today at lunch I was headed to the parking lot and a guy drove buy and unrolled his window and said "Hey Santa! I've been looking for you for 53 years!!!". We both had a chuckle. Well, he had a chuckle and I had a "Ho Ho Ho". :sharebeer

AnonJohn
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Re: gray hair

Post by AnonJohn » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:10 pm

There have been some scientific studies finding correlations between gray hair and cardiovascular disease. cite:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 100371876/

So I take my gray hair as a sign that I need to exercise more and eat better. Unlikely to matter, but actionable!

Frank Grimes
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Re: gray hair

Post by Frank Grimes » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:12 pm

I’m half gray in my early 30s and it’s moving to my beard as well. Never used any dye in my life. I look great though, so that helps.

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dm200
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Re: gray hair

Post by dm200 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:18 pm

Several women we know (in their 60s and 70s) who had dyed their hair for years, recently transitioned to the natural all gray.

I do not object to dyed hair - IF it is done well AND is done frequently enough to never show the gray as it grows out.

drawpoker
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Re: gray hair

Post by drawpoker » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:23 pm

djpeteski wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:05 pm
....except for my head of completely gray hair. Colored, I can pass for 38, natural 61. So I color.......
So, what are you really? About 73?

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: gray hair

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:28 pm

Most of my hair is gone now, a victim of male pattern baldness. What little remains is dingy gray varying to white. I don't care. I have never considered dying my hair at any point. Nor have I ever considered any "remedy" for baldness. I earned my gray air / baldness; I'll wear it proudly.

As Robert Heinlein wrote, "be who you are, and be it in style!"

:beer
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: gray hair

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:31 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:38 pm
Due (I believe) to heredity - in my mid 70's - my hair has only a little gray.
Ahem........I think that would be hairedity. :D
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: gray hair

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:31 pm

I started going gray in my early twenties. There were only a few grays back then but I was self conscious, so I dyed it. One day I was talking to a cute girl, and she called me out on it. :oops: I haven't dyed it since.

Fast forward twenty years. Last night my wife showed me a picture she took of me from behind. I had to ask if it was me because the mirror doesn't show as much gray as her camera does! Oh well, cheers to gray hair and low maintenance. :sharebeer

Katietsu
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Re: gray hair

Post by Katietsu » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:46 pm

I would start with considering a change in hairstyles. Men can often put off the aging effect of the grey hair by 5 or 6 years by a change in hairstyle.

If you buy solid good quality color, most people can DIY. I would consider starting with a shade lighter than your natural color.

I am surprised by the responses here that talk about this being a vanity thing or an outer driven thing etc. In many jobs, it is also a financial thing. I know quite a few teachers who feel strongly that coloring their hair makes their job a lot easier (controlling teenagers who see age as weakness). And there are many industries where looking older can have a detrimental effect on your career. On the other hand, in my twenties, I had a friend who was an audiologist who went prematurely grey. He said it worked well because his predominately older patients quit asking him if he was old enough to be doing the job.

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