Going Gray

In honor of Alopecia Awareness month.

I am going gray. I have been going gray for about twenty years now, but I kept choosing to cover it with whatever color my hairdresser recommended… every five weeks. We’re all going gray really. We’re just on different parts of the journey. Some may choose to continue to color till they leave this world. It’s a personal choice.

I’ve always said I was going to go gray when I turned sixty. Sixty happened to me in January of 2020. I was wavering a bit once I hit the big 6 0, but I still had my eyes fixed on the goal. Then Covid hit and the world stopped.

A lot of women were sporting gray in various forms of the growing-out process during 2020. It seemed like a logical time to go gray because salons were closed, but I couldn’t make myself do it. It seemed like the choice to go gray was being taken from me or forced upon me because of the restrictions we had due to the virus. That was NOT what I wanted, so I kept the color going.

When I turned sixty-one a few months ago, I started seeing some more definite wrinkles on my face that I hadn’t noticed before. And then there were the straggly gray hairs that were slowly mixing in with my original colored eyebrows. I feel like no one told me about that little life event, but hey, I’m not bitter.

Turning sixty-one seemed like the perfect time to go gray. I was all in. Even when my very beautiful, trendy and fashionable hair dresser told me I was too young, I stuck to my guns and we did the thing, or rather we didn’t do it, because, y’all, I have a lot of gray hair coming through.

alopecia, hair, it's just hair, alopecia awareness

But I got to tell you what finally helped me make up my mind. It was


Madison is my beautiful, vibrant, intelligent, athletic, funny and talented niece. She tends to be on the quiet side but she makes her presence known when the need hits. This young woman is my hero in many ways, but this thing she is doing now, makes it even truer.

Madison is dealing with Alopecia, an auto immune, issue. A few years ago she started experiencing small bald spots on her very full head of hair. Her parents took her to the medical professionals and they started treatment. Things seemed to be getting better. Her hair was growing back and all was right with the world.

Until it wasn’t.

At the end of 2020, Madison started showing up at family events looking as cute as ever, but she was never without a bandana or cap of some kind on her head. It seemed that Madison was losing her hair again, in greater quantities.

How hard that must have been as a parent, seeing your child go through something as traumatic as this, knowing there wasn’t a thing they could do.

How difficult is has to be as a seventeen year old high school girl to lose her hair, something most girls that age put a lot of stock in.

Madison is handling this so gracefully and with such maturity and wisdom.

At the beginning of 2021 she chose to shave her head.

alopecia, hair, it's just hair, alopecia awareness

Madison has a huge support system around her. Not just her parents and other family members, but her friends too. So many of them showed up to be with her when she shaved her head. One friend she has known since childhood chose to shave her head too.

alopecia, hair, it's just hair, alopecia awareness

I continue to be amazed as I watch Madison not only make the best of something she never wanted to go through or didn’t ask for, but to see her embracing it and bringing more awareness to people about Alopecia, and hopefully more acceptance. And the coolest thing of all is that she is using this adverse circumstance in her life to help other woman dealing with this issue to not feel so alone and different.

alopecia, hair, it's just hair, alopecia awareness

Madison is the reason I finally decided to go gray. I figured if she could do what she is doing, as well as she is doing it, then I, a sixty-one year old woman, could surely go gray.

alopecia, hair, it's just hair, alopecia awareness

I have a different outlook about going gray now than I have ever had. My hair, no matter what color it is, does not define me, much the same as Madison. It’s just hair and mine will grow back.

Seeing Madison embrace something that would throw most young women into a downward spiral, has had an impact on me to a depth that she will never know.

She is also having an impact on others too, and I’m pretty sure she may never know the extent of that either.

I am going gray because for me, it is time. I am choosing to let the courage and grace that my niece is displaying have that influence on me as well.

I am excited to share a video of me talking with Madison about her journey in the next week or so!



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