Stranger: “You’ve got grey hair!”
Me: “Yes I do.”
Stranger: “You’re very lucky o.”
Me: “Really? Why?”
Stranger: “Because you will be rich in future. It also means you have wisdom”
Me: “I claim it in Jesus name o!”
That”s the usual conversation I have with people on an almost daily basis, when they observe that as young and as beautiful (*batting eyelids*) as I am, I am greying.
It all started when I was 12 years old and in boarding school. I was talking to mommy when she exclaimed in surprise “you have one grey hair!” Before I could even see it, she grabed the single strand and plucked it out. That was it and our conversation continued.
Not long after, a friend noticed I had two strands of grey hair…
My hair became an ice breaker and the topic of conversations between myself and many people. Luckily for me it decided to crop up right in the middle of my head – “Onyeka Onwenu style”, but has recently been spreading from my right and left temples. Hoomsuk was always excited about the spread and started calling me “Storm” (from the movie X-men) and someone else called me “Raven”. I was flatttered!
Now to the reasons behind having grey hair.
My friend told me it all had to do with mutated cells during pregnancy. He claimed that if a pregnant women exposed herself to too much of something (for example sunlight), it tended to change the cell components of the baby, the outcome then becoming a heredity trait in generations down the line. So in my case, my grandma must have had some serious exposure to something that made her hair real snow white, and she passed it down to daddy, and its been passed on to me. Thats not to talk of my brother who has a grey beard and our 9-year old niece who is also greying. Hmnn, interesting theory.
Now to the spiritual theory of wisdom and wealth…
When people say grey hair is a sign of wisdom, I say its not really a gift as in “Oya take wisdom – I dash you”(*in a heavenly voice*). Wisdom is not a gift, it is earned. I always tell people that every single grey strand in my hair is being earned. Every experience I go through adds another strand (or 10) to the already existing bunch. So when you envy my hair and you want some… are you willing to go the distance?
Grey hair as a sign of wealth comes naturally. I mean, ever seen a wealthy fool before? If you are a wise one, wealth will easily come after. I haven’t gotten to that part of my destiny yet, but I am really looking forward to it! 🙂
When people say they want grey hair, I reply “think hard enough”. It sounds funny but I’ve noticed a strand of grey on people who are pretty introspective. In fact these days there is hardly a Nigerian without one strand of grey on either their heads, chin or even in their noses! (please check, confirm and get back to me). That is just because the average Nigerian is prone to thinking real hard!
Mom has tried to make me dye my hair cause she’s scared I may come off as an old woman to the guys. Ha, If I hear! She gave me this very nice black hair mask which I enjoy using only because it gives my hair a wonderful texture. I love to tint red, blond, and the works. But then again, after about two washes, the color just strips off and it shines a bright silver, which further adds to the comments: “What salon gave you the silver and blond highlights?” Lucky me eh? I wonder how I will look 10 years from now…
I have come to embrace my hair color as a gift and a sign of responsibility, but mostly, part of my personality: Beautiful and unique. Strong too. Born out of pain, yet brilliantly pleasing in the sight of men, stubbornly resisting the stain from outside, remaining pure on the inside.
Whoever thought my hair could teach me a lesson?