Greying? Take it all in stride

Reading Alyssa Woo's feature Grey And Proud Of It (Life, Dec 22) stirs up bittersweet memories of my experience with premature greying.

A day after the article was published, I was unceremoniously called out for my white hair on the streets by an ex-colleague whom I have not met in a decade. "You have aged! Look at your white hair!"

As a 38-year-old with more than half of my hair grey, I probably still have it slightly better than Woo, who, in her 20s, is already going grey (The Colour Of My Mane Is Uniquely Me, Life, Dec 22). I, too, started greying rapidly in my 20s, but at least I can now console myself that hitting 40 gives me weightier justification for greying - or not colouring my hair.

Regardless of when grey hair strikes, it is very difficult for many people to swallow.


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But I am gaining confidence in the things that really count, such as depth and maturity of character, a sense of humour, not judging anyone or anything by looks alone and being sensitive to others' feelings. Most importantly, I am learning to be secure in who I am and not seek the constant approval of others.

To all those struggling with their looks and what others think of how they look, I say take the stares and criticisms in stride. After all, when we breathe our last, no one will remember our hair colour or whether we took their advice to colour our grey hair, but what we have done and the values we lived out.

Foo Mau Reen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2017, with the headline 'Greying? Take it all in stride'. Print Edition | Subscribe