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Gray hair! If you’re over the age of 40, you probably have it, and if you have any vanity at all, you probably hate it. At Dish, some of the staff recently reminisced about the days when gray hair was a far-off eventuality, not a bald-faced blemish staring back at them in the mirror each day.

Our editor even joked about an eccentric she once knew who claimed he had invented a formula that would allow hair to regain its original color, thereby making dyes obsolete. He sold the formula to a beauty conglomerate, received a check for millions of dollars, and started driving a cab on the weekends to occupy his time. Meanwhile, the giant hair care company threw the formula into a dark vault and never mentioned it again. Cue the ominous music.

The younger members of the Dish staff obviously thought gray hair horror stories were amusing, if irrelevant. After all, they still believed their hair would never go gray or fall out. Indeed, if there’s one thing that can be said about youth, it’s that it’s extremely nearsighted, which is ironically a problem we literally experience as we grow older and our eyes weaken. But of course, age tends to give us a new kind of vision: wisdom. It’s just too bad that we’re practically blind by then.

Many problems are associated with aging, and among the most irritating, if least harmful, are the ones that target the scalp. Hair care companies play on your fears of aging, and they convince you that this product—and this one—and this one—will help you look your best and youngest. To sum up, the long, luminous curls you once took for granted will be totally gray by tomorrow morning unless you run to the store and buy that dye.

Those trips to the hair dye aisle may soon become a thing of the past, however. Researchers say they may have found the cause of gray hairand if the cause is known, then the cure can’t be far behind. According to an article on WebMD, “New research shows that hair turns gray as a result of a chemical chain reaction that causes hair to bleach itself from the inside out.” The study, published online in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, found that decreased levels of the enzyme catalase are responsible for an increase in the permanent damage done by naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide. That means graying hair. Though we should expect to see a cure one of these days, nobody really knows how long it will take scientists to discover the formula that may all but bankrupt the cosmetics industry.

While we’re waiting for researchers to come up with a cure, or for that beauty conglomerate to release that secret formula from their underground vault, we’ll just have to settle for dyeing our hair or letting the gray shine through. And what’s so wrong with a little peppering here and there?

Still, we can’t help it, can we? It must be human nature to never to be content as we are. When we’re young, we want to look older. As we age, we become increasingly obsessed with looking younger. Maybe soon we’ll all look like we’re in our mid-twenties, no matter how old we are. That way we can live slow, die old, and still leave good looking corpses.
www.Dishmag.com / Issue 113 - September 2018
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