Going Grey in Your 20s? This Might Help.

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I spotted my first gray hair a few months after my 23rd birthday. Standing in front of my bathroom mirror, I was shocked to see that the tiny vellus hairs around my part were not lightly colored gold highlights. Instead, they were colorless, white strands. The singular hair in question was less than a half-inch in size, but it didn’t keep my mouth from dropping open.

What? But I’m so young!

I plucked the hair out with a pair of tweezers and quickly forgot about the whole thing … until it grew back — with friends. In just a few years, I had at least a dozen gray hairs blazing white against my otherwise dark scalp. I was heartbroken.

Up until my 23rd birthday, my hair was the biggest pride and joy of my life. My auburn locks were nearly five feet long and still growing strong. And then, less than three decades into life, they started to fade out. But I’m not here to give you my sob story. I’m also not here to tell you I’ve fallen in love with those little white monsters, because I haven’t. I did, however, find great ways to cope with my changing mane. 

Here are three ways I cope with having gray hair in my 20s.

1I’ve Learned to Laugh It Off

It’s easy to latch onto one terrible thing and ruminate on it forever, but I’ve found that finding humor in that “terrible thing” is the key to letting it go. 

According to researchers Nezlek and Derks, humor is actually one of the best ways to cope with psychological adjustments inside social interactions. Their study found that the use of humor when talking about personal struggles actually increased social enjoyment and personal satisfaction for the sufferer. Did I mention that humor was correlated with boosted confidence levels as well?

So keep your chin up, fellow sufferer. We may not know why we look suspiciously like Albert Einstein, but so long as we can crack a good joke about it, we can carry on just fine!

2I Remind Myself We’re All Human

I might be going gray faster than others, but everyone else will catch up eventually. In fact, almost every single person on planet earth will be gray in the next 50 years (spooky, I know). The point is, all of us will look this way eventually. Going gray is just another part of life, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Coming to terms with the natural aging process might be a tall order, but I’m glad I get a head start on it. 

3I Learned That Some of the Gray Is Reversible

Science tells us that stress can drain the color from certain hair patches, including beards. Periods of high stress cause these hairs to lose color quickly, while periods of low stress actually let your hair color return. Exciting, right?

Knowing that stress reduction could potentially bring my hair color back puts a huge pep in my step. Even if it doesn’t reverse all my hairs, the thought of a potential healing process is definitely something to look forward to.

The Bottom Line

If you’re in the same “going gray” boat as me, I’m terribly sorry. I won’t tell you that things get better, or that I understand what you’re going through. But I can tell you that I’m standing right alongside you, yanking little white strands out of my hairline. Believe it or not, you’re a lot more than the color of your hair. And for me, that’s enough.

Tags: Body Image, Self Care, Self Confidence, Stress Mangagement, wellness

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Written By

Meagan Shelley

Meagan is a professional writer in VA who specializes in content marketing. See Full Bio

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