As best I can remember ‘it’ first began to appear when I was about 35. At the time I was quite proud my maturity had reached the level where ‘it’ started to come into view. As time has ticked by the effect grew more pronounced and it has now spread far beyond where it first began to appear. As the effect has become more pronounced the total quantity has diminished and changed but I am pleased to possess more than the majority of my peers.
You’re may be thinking “what is he writing about now?” In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am writing about hair. As you can see in the photo above (hint, hint: I’m the one in the middle) I have a lot more gray hair than the original dominant dark brown of my youth. I am very grateful to still have a good deal of hair on my head, but it has thinned out a lot with the passage of years. At the same time the follicles on the back of my head have replaced quite a bit of my original wavy brown hair with curly gray.
A few facts: I’ve read in a lifetime a man’s scalp produces an average of 100,000-150,000 hairs. Each hair grows autonomously on its own cycle; otherwise we’d molt and shed hair all at one. The genetics of hair do not come only from a male’s mother although that myth is thought by most people to be fact. In truth the genes that control hair texture, color and quantity can come from either parent and often skips generations. So if you’re a bald male and have been blaming your Mom, you probably should apologize to her. Your hair genetics could be from your Dad’s side of the family and even come from a few generations back.
Many women say that the amount of hair on a man’s head does not matter. I believe that is true for some females, others are just being nice while to the remainder it does matter (even though most will not tell a man). Otherwise why would many men be so obsessed with the quantity and color of their hair? True or false, a good number of men have thoughts of virility being connected with their hair. Anyone who thinks this is suffering from delusion as science says there is absolutely no connection.
Here and there I have thought about dying my hair to be one color. Most women do it, some to cover gray, while others do it as a fashion statement or some combination of both. So why not? If you’re a man who dyes his hair to hide the gray and it makes you feel better then by all means you should continue to do so. However, if you think the majority of people can’t tell that you dye your hair, you are fooling yourself. There are men I know who color their hair and a few refuse to admit to anyone their color is not natural. If you say otherwise to them they will argue vehemently it’s natural. A psychologist would have a field day with that delusion.
I know most male movie stars dye their hair as they age and I suppose it is accepted by the majority it has to be done. I admire those who don’t. Many who are bald wear hair pieces or have weaves. I have no issues with that, but it is a sort of adult “dress up” as on most it is easy to spot. Personally I find it downright funny to see some of the long-in-the-tooth actors with a full head of dark hair. I think it actually makes them look older.
With all that said, I want to express my gratitude for my hair in all its phases. First, I am grateful to have been born with hair at all. Some are not so blessed. Then I am thankful the texture of my hair has always been fairly easy to manage and even allowed me to grow it way down my back in my 20’s. Many men have hair that is difficult to manage unless it is cropped short. My gratefulness is strong that even thinning, I still have hair on my head as many men I know have little or no hair on top. It is not something that makes me feel better than my hairless or thin on top friends. I am just grateful.
As I age, it is easy to see the destiny the hair on my head has. With each passing year, it will become grayer, then most likely white. There will be less and less of it and the texture will continue to change. Some hair will move from my head to other places where hair did not used to be. It’s all OK… it really is! As I have strongly professed, I pray to the power beyond me that I will be allowed to have the full life ride into old age. Only by being thankful for what is, instead of displeased about the changes my body will go through can I enjoy that trip.
I have written this wandering, long way around to get to one simple belief: The quality of my life is tied in large degree to my ability to live in the present moment. Life does not happen in the past, nor does life take place in the future. Past is past. Future is fantasy. Life is now.
In the one of my favorite books, “The Power of Now” Eckhart Tolle wrote “Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be. Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now… Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now”.
I am thankful to be here, to be living life and to be experiencing this moment as I sit here and type. I accept the changes, the constant nature of the evolution of this thing I call my “self” (even the gray hair). I find the more accepting I become of what is, the more grateful I become for my life as it is. The more present I am to live my life as it is happening the more thankfulness fills me.
If gray hair is cool with Nick Clooney and Richard Gere, its cool with me!
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Mark Twain