The Gray Hair Trend
Are you for it? Are you excited that the gray hair trend (grey hair trend if you are British) has finally arrived? Some of Hollywood’s celebrities are proudly sporting gray locks these days and what Hollywood does tends to filter down to us mere mortals. No doubt gray hair is a sign of aging and many try to cover it up – at least up to now.
I wrote about my personal experience with premature gray hair in Living with Gray Hair: A Bird’s Eye View and continue to sport the gray stuff. Though, I don’t think I have a single gray hair. Really. What I have is mostly white hair with a few dark hairs scattered throughout blending in to create the illusion that the hair is gray. To some degree gray hair is a real illusion. Look at the “mature” woman in the photo above. Most of her hairs are either white or black with a few that are maybe gray.
This website is all for trying to naturally delay the effects and signs of aging. And, we are not against a little nip and tuck here and there if it helps you look more consistent with you chronologic age or a few years younger. But, should a 50-year-old try to look 30 and should a 70-year-old try to look 50? We will let you decide.
About 12 years ago or longer I was channel surfing and got to the E Channel and stopped my search when I heard a former Penthouse Playmate of the Year talk about her face lift. Her words caught my attention when she said, “And, that’s why I had Dr. Frank Ryan do my face lift.” I stopped surfing because I went to medical school with a Frank Ryan (same class at Ohio State) who went on to become a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. Surely, it had to be the same Frank Ryan – and it was.
Watch the video of an interview with Frank Ryan, MD.
In the E Channel segment I saw Dr. Ryan said the key to good plastic surgery especially involving the face is that it should be subtle. It should look almost as if nothing was done yet make a difference by providing a more youthful natural look for the patient. And, he then want to show how just subtle alterations through plastic surgery could yield very natural results. You should not be able to detect a good face lift. And, if you have seen the television infomercials hair transplant surgeons say much the same thing. You should not be able to detect a good hair transplant, either.
Some people go overboard trying to look younger, though. They try to do too much. Subtle they are not. Let’s face it Joan Rivers did not look natural with all her work and neither did Michael Jackson.
And we probably overdo it with hair coloring, too, by not being subtle. Plus, it’s expected that a little graying of the hair and wrinkling of the skin will occur. Having neither after a certain age just does not look natural. A common mistake people make when they color their hair is to color back to its original color. But, that usually ends up being too dark. As we age we tend to lose pigmentation in the skin. In other words, our skin gets lighter just like our hair.
Coloring hair too dark does not contrast well against lighter skin. We see it everyday when we watch older TV personalities report the news. They don’t show any gray and typically sport a head of nice black hair. But something looks amiss with the way they look – it doesn’t quite look natural. Their hair is jet black but their skin is lily white – too much difference to look natural.
What Causes Gray Hair?
Why does hair turn gray? What are the causes of gray hair? Like skin hair loses its pigmentation as we age. It loses something called melanin not to be confused with melatonin. There are only two types of melanin (eumelanin which is dark and phaeomelanin which is light) which account for all the variation in hair color that we see. The amount of the two pigments vary from person to person.
For reasons we don’t fully understand melanocyte production – the cells that make melanin – decline as we age. It seems that hydrogen peroxide production plays a role in that graying process, however. Here are some other factors that can alter hair color:
- genetic defects
- chemical exposure (chemotherapy agents)
Many people seem attractive to blonde hair especially women with blonde hair (for men it is spelled “blond”). On the color spectrum blonde is not that far from gray, isn’t it? Blonde is certainly much closer to gray than brunette is to gray. So if blonde is okay, why not gray? Just food for thought. Which of the females in the photo looks more attractive especially if you are a male – the younger blonde or the more mature gray hair looking woman? It probably depends on your age.
Are you going to join the gray hair trend when the time comes? Or, are you going to fight it? If you do decide to fight the gray hair trend and color your hair just be sure to be subtle and natural!
During the first week of the first year of medical school in 1982 a group of us new medical students were talking and asking each other what everyone planned to do with their career.
I said that I was going to go into sports medicine and after Al Gore invents the Internet that I was going to start a blog. They all asked “what’s a blog and who is Al Gore? And, what’s an Internet?” Now they know!
More seriously though, we might consider Frank Ryan to be the original Doc Hollywood (movie came out in 1991). He said he was going to become a plastic surgeon and move to Beverly Hills. And, he did! His career and life were suddenly and tragically cut short, however.
Frank Ryan, MD was killed in a single-car accident on August 16, 2010 – five years ago today. He was just 50 years old.