When we asked our readers who love their gray hair to send in photos, we thought we'd be lucky to find 50 shades of gray. Instead, we heard from more than 70 readers who love their gray. From grandmothers in their 90s to our platinum 40-something-year-old cover model, these real women want others to know that gray or white or silver or whatever shade of gray they have is beautiful and uniquely theirs.
“I really like the color of my hair now,” said Cathy Steincamp, 46, of Oklahoma City. “Although sometimes when I am out shopping with the kids (10 and 7), the person at the checkout will ask the kids, ‘Are you out helping Grandma today?'”
“We smile and I say, ‘Kids, help your old grandma out to the car,' and we laugh all the way!”
Artist Bert Seabourn, 82, and his wife, Bonnie, 79, have been married for 63 years — long enough to watch their hair grow white together.
“We both feel it's taken a long time getting our gray hair, but the trip's been well worth it,” Bonnie Seabourn said. “We like the quote by George Bancroft: ‘By common consent, gray hairs are a crown of glory; the only object of respect that can never excite envy.'”
A sign of health?
If we live long enough, most of us can expect to go gray. Though some people see it as a weakness, or a sign of declining health and vibrancy, it may well be that going gray is actually a sign of health. NBC News reports that in 2012, researchers in Spain found that wild boars with significant graying hair “were actually those in prime condition and with the lowest levels of oxidative damage,” researcher Ismael Galvan, of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, said in a statement. Translation: The gray-haired boars seemed to be in great shape.
Getting to the root of the ‘problem'
Also making gray hair news is the fact that a “cure” may be on the horizon. European researchers recently announced that they've found the root cause of gray hair and a treatment for the “condition.” The treatment is also a possibility for people with vitiligo, a skin condition that causes patches of light skin to form. The findings were published in The FASEB Journal. Oxidative stress — or an imbalance in cells' ability to detoxify — was found to be the main cause of the skin-lightening effects of vitiligo, as well as the loss of pigment in hair.
“For generations, numerous remedies have been concocted to hide gray hair,” Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of the journal, said in a news release. “But now, for the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed.”
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