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Graying with grace

Daydream By Diana G. Mendoza

Manila – There is a recent scientific finding that gray hair is a sign of rapid hair growth, which runs counter to the common belief that it’s a sign of the loss and imminent death of our once glorious strands.

Gray or “white” hair— as we prefer it in the place where I come from—signifies the cruel march of time on one’s crown. But new findings in science say white hair is usually longer or thicker and it grows and reproduces faster than black hair.

This may be good news but only if you like the whites sticking out faster among the blacks or browns, otherwise you’ll consider it an annoying problem that should be dyed out to maintain your youthful look.

I don’t have a sort of ecstatic reaction to whatever science finds new about hair. And when I had another birthday last July, it moved me into thinking about life’s colors and pigments, and how I don’t look that much into the mirror anymore except when I have to dress up to go out.


A lot of my friends who are much younger than I am have completely grown out their strands of white hair. I envy them. Mine are still sticking out, mostly concentrated on both sides of my temples; others are spread out in the back and front.

Many friends experienced their first white hair in their late 20s and 30s. I remember being surprised at my first discovery of a white strand in my 40s. This makes me a late bloomer in the white hair department.

But over the years, I’ve had so much fun with hair colorants. My tresses are brown, so I prefer to color the white with the same color, even lighter. I even went honey blonde and ash blonde, and nothing darker.

In the last two years though, I became too lazy to think about hair dyes. I want to be like my friends, some “silver foxes,” so I’m waiting for my own hair to go full-on white and be happy with it, but it seems it’s taking it slow.

By the way, why are men called “silver foxes” when their crowns become all-white while the women are unkindly considered really old and washed out? It’s ridiculous.

In the meantime, I look at other discolorations and pigmentations that I am introduced to in life as I have decided to look at myself with kinder eyes, whether or not I look at myself in the mirror.


With my computer, there’s my ultra-colorful backlit keyboard similar to the ones used by gamers, with white keys. I do my writing with the desktop screen’s bluish night light on.

The reason for this? My fading eyes are aided by my ultraviolet, anti-glare protection eyeglasses that block high-energy, harmful blue-light emissions from electronic devices.

I still prefer black and my favorite blue, purple and other subdued colors for clothes. The reds, pinks and oranges are for moods and dramas when I don’t feel like going black for the day.

As a lifelong learner, I still go by the adage that it’s always better to look forward to living another day, enjoying the little colorful moments despite the presence of some darkness that won’t go away.

Diana Mendoza is a longtime journalist based in Manila. Send feedback to

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