7 things mom didn’t tell us about going gray

(CNN)Our mothers and the women we look up to offer our first lessons in beauty and personal maintenance.

They tell us whether it’s acceptable to leave the house without a painted face, well-coiffed hair or shaved legs. They send those messages both indirectly, through their own beauty rituals, and directly, with a well-placed “No, you are not going out looking like that!”

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Three years ago, the married mother of two left Microsoft after more than a decade to start her own consulting firm. She thinks her gray hair lends “credibility” to her background, both personally and professionally.
“I really see my gray hair as a representation of my experience,” she said. “I did something to earn these grays.”
For Kelly Barrows, her first few grays validated the stress she felt from motherhood. Barrows suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her first child, though she didn’t realize it at first. She was overwhelmed by the new responsibilities and anxious over losing her identity, but struggled to see it as something more than “run-of-the-mill” experiences of any new mother.
“To come out of it gray-haired is affirming that the stress is real and that the struggle is real,” Barrows said. “I have real visual evidence to show that it’s been hard. It wasn’t in my head or invented.”

It makes you stand out

Apart from her silver sheen, McCabe considers herself pretty average for a Seattle woman; she skips makeup and wears jeans on most days.
“I’m very vanilla in every other way, but my hair makes me unique,” McCabe said. “My hair makes me stand out physically and because I’ve chosen to do something different it has become sort of an identifier for me.”
When Alexander was preparing to launch a lifestyle blog in 2010, she knew after more than a decade of experience that her hair would be the first thing people noticed. Her blog, Gorgeous in Gray, celebrates her look while dishing on the latest in style and beauty news and trends.
“It’s the first thing people see, which is also one of the marketing reasons I chose it,” she said. “I use my hair to keep my name in people’s mouths.”

Strangers will compliment you

Alexander swears that not a day goes by without someone stopping her in the street to talk about her hair. Usually, it’s a compliment followed by questions about her age, her history with hair care and how she maintains it.
Pissarra says she gets more compliments from strangers on her hair with each passing year; some even ask whether her silver highlights are the product of a salon.
“Women come up to me and say ‘You inspire me.’ That makes me feel good,” she said.
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“Guys make compliments, too. They don’t seem to care as much about our hair as we do. It’s more in our heads than it is in theirs.”
Another reason going gray is one more option to add to your beauty toolbox: You can always change your mind!

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/07/health/style-going-gray-natural-hair/index.html

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