Aging the Way You Want
Embracing the Process or Making Changes as You Grow Older

To gray or not to gray? That is one of the several questions we ask ourselves, our family, our friends and our hair stylists as we age. Many of us experience emotional and physical struggles about aging and how to deal with the internal and external processes of it.

Letting go of a “youthful” look is hard for many people, and we may find it difficult to accept the inevitable natural aging process. We may feel pressure to stay young-looking as long as possible to feel that we are still viable in our work and social settings and to keep an overall feeling of being attractive. The social pressures and private battles of aging can be very stressful. But luckily, there are also so many wonderful aspects of growing older that youthfulness cannot match. 

Thanks to the bravery of many, minimal and natural beauty is all the rage these days. With that, aging in the beauty world still has countless opinions and options. Should you age naturally or fight it all the way? Do you opt for letting your hair go gray? Do you do skin treatments? How much are you willing to change your diet and exercise? Do you just embrace it and do nothing? Ugh! Finding what fits into your lifestyle and budget and what you need for a positive self-esteem is at times a real conundrum. 

I would like to offer some insight on hair color tips and options that might be helpful for your gray-hair journey. Gray hair is no longer just for “distinguished-looking” men (silver fox, if you will) but is now being recognized on women as “sassy” and “classy” and often down-right sexy. That’s right ladies, be that silver mink if you’re feeling it; but if you’re not, color it up! Our hair color and hairstyles are part of our image and personality. There’s no need to be a gray-hair martyr if you are not ready. But if your path is to grow out your natural gray, 

go for it! 

Here are popular options to accomplish this. The first way is to simply let it grow out. If you have been coloring your hair shades of red, brown or black, the difference in color can be rather obvious. And if your hair is long, you’ll need lots of patience because hair grows out at approximately one-quarter to one-half inch per month. The second way is to get rid of it with a cute pixie cut. This can be extremely liberating, but it definitely takes a lot of courage if you typically wear long hair. Third (my most favorite), is to find an experienced colorist and get highlights and lowlights and then finish with a toner. This can be a lengthy process (three to four hours) and typically takes a few of these longer appointments to accomplish your end goal. 

Another area where we tend to struggle with aging is skin care. However, as with our graying hair, embracing our naturally aging skin is becoming more and more common. I spoke with Dr. Vicky Hagstrom, owner of Medspa Divine in Rochester for more insight on the “want” for medical-grade skin treatments. She explains that many of her patients start by receiving treatments for frown lines that make them appear stern. Other high-demand treatments for looking more youthful are for fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, dark spots from sun damage, loss of skin tone and structural volume that changes the contours of one’s face. She suggests completing an individual exam and treatment program that is designed to fit your needs, goals and budget.

Remember, there is no right or wrong answer about coloring your hair, going gray or investing in your skin. It is about how you want to look, the time and money you are willing to invest and what is going to make you feel fabulous! 

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