When someone mentions “gray hair,” the first thing that comes to my mind is usually age and wisdom. I think of older people with hair that has lost its pigment and turned a silvery shade of gray or white. But in older times, gray hair seemed to hold more significance and mystery than it does now. Accompanying this were various superstitious beliefs regarding gray hair.
Here are the top five common gray hair superstitions worth knowing.
Gray Hair Signals Wisdom
You’ve probably heard people say that gray hair means you’re wise. Even though no one knows for sure where that idea came from, the belief is that when your brain is learning and thinking too much, it uses up a lot of energy. So, it takes the energy from your hair, which leaves it looking gray.
In the past, people thought that elders with gray hair were wise because they knew a lot and had a lot of experiences. But honestly, wisdom comes from living life, not how much your body makes melatonin. Many older people may not have learned much over the years, just like some young people seem really smart for their age. Experience gives you knowledge, but age alone doesn’t guarantee wisdom. It’s about what you do with your life, not how many years you’ve lived.
Just because you’ve got a few silver strands doesn’t mean you’re suddenly a fountain of knowledge. Gray hair is simply a result of aging and decreasing pigment production, nothing more.
Stress And Hardship
When I was a kid, I remember my grandma saying to my dad, “Don’t stress too much or your hair will turn gray!” At that time, I was young and I had no clue what she was talking about. Now I understand that stress can really make your hair turn gray.
In the old days, young people with gray hair were known as hard workers who dealt with a lot of stress. But gray hair can show up at almost any age because of your genes. While really bad stress or trauma might make you go gray faster sometimes, for most people it’s mostly about your DNA.
Plucking One Gray Hair Will Lead To The Growth of Multiple Gray Hairs In Its Place
This old wives’ tale claims that for every one gray hair you pluck, several more will sprout up in its place. The idea behind that is that gray hairs protect your wisdom, and if you take one away, your brain needs extra hairs to cover up the empty spot and keep your smarts intact!
But don’t worry too much about it. Go ahead and pluck that stray gray hair – it’s not actually going to make more appear. Whether or not you yank them out, gray hairs have more to do with your genes and how old you are than anything else. Plucking, gray or not, won’t mess with how fast your hair turns gray or change the level of your wisdom or intelligence.
Looking Into A Mirror At Night
There is an old superstition that looking into a mirror at night, especially with gray hair visible, may attract spirits or supernatural entities. The idea is that mirrors can act as portals for spirits to enter our world. At night, it is believed that the veil between the spiritual and physical realms becomes thinner. So when you gaze into a mirror in the dark, spirits may gaze back at you – and be particularly drawn to the sight of gray hair, a symbol of wisdom and longevity.
To avoid any unwanted spectral visitors, it was traditionally thought best to cover mirrors at night or avoid looking into them after dark. Some also believed that combing or brushing gray hair in front of a mirror at night could attract spirits seeking to steal your wisdom, life essence or even soul.
While these may seem like old wives’ tales today, many people do still report feeling unsettled when looking into mirrors in dim light or darkness. Whether due to suggestion, overactive imagination or something more, it’s easy to understand how this particular superstition came to be.
Finding A Gray Hair
Finding a gray hair is commonly believed to bring good luck. While this may seem counterintuitive, there are a few possible explanations for the origin of this superstition. Some believe that gray hairs are seen as a sign of wisdom and experience. Since wisdom and knowledge are generally considered positive attributes, finding evidence of them in the form of gray hairs could be viewed as a good omen.
Others think the belief stems from gray hairs representing longevity and survival. Living long enough to develop gray hair shows one has made it through life’s challenges to a ripe old age. For those who find the gray hair, it symbolizes that they, too, may have a long and fortunate life ahead of them.
It’s normal to go gray as you get older. There’s no need to stress over it or feel self-conscious. Your value as a person has nothing to do with the color of your hair. Instead of worrying about that, focus on what really matters.
Rock those silver strands and know that you’re not alone – millions of people are right there with you, aging gracefully and beautifully. Don’t let old wives’ tales hold you back from being your authentic self.