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To pluck or not to pluck....

So I've been pondering this for a few days now. What is it about grey hairs that people find "bad" (aside from the obvious "you're getting older" thing) or objectionable?

In the last month no less than 5 seperate friends have a) noticed that I have a few grey hairs in my goatee and b) suggested that I pluck them. I've asked them why and no one has actually had a good response. I mean I'm not offended or anything, it just seems odd that the grey hairs are drawing so much attention lately (when I noticed them quite a few months ago).

I checked with other family members and figured out that this is apparently fairly normal in my family. Facial hair goes white/gray fairly steadily from mid 20s on, but head hair grays extremely slowly. My dad, the oldest data point, still has a decent bit of black hair (but a very white beard) in his mid-60s and so far all my siblings seem to be going along the same way.

Ummm... yeah, totally meaningless post, but it's a question that's been on my mind lately. I mean, I always thought a smattering of grey was supposed to make you distinguished looking, and yet the consensus (among my friends) seems to be that grey hairs should be plucked. It problaby doesn't help that my hair is very black and a single grey hair really stands out, but still.

So what's the deal?

PS - I did in fact contemplate plucking one out a couple of days ago (as an experiment) but I determined that it fucking hurts. No, not like "unbearable agony" hurts, but I'd have to pluck 3 hairs right now and look forward to doing it from here on out as new ones appeared... The cummulative pain associated with that seems a bit excessive for an aesthetic point that I don't actually get. However, I may cut the offending hairs very short if I remember to next time I trim the goatee.


I think it's the "it makes you look older than you are" factor. Most people think that's a bad thing. If it makes you look 40 when you're 20, that's may not be very good in terms of being self-confident, and I could understand why it would bother somebody.

But I don't think it makes much difference and I certainly don't think somebody looks less attractive because of grey hairs.
Hmmm... interesting... Now that you mention it, I think the reason why I didn't initially parse why looking older would be a problem is that I always have looked a decent bit older than I am.

Not that I look old and haggard (most days), but apparently I've been in this odd 20-30 something zone since I was 14/15. If someone has to guess my age cold (i.e. without knowing whether I'm in school, etc...) they will always invariably guess late 20s to early 30s. I'm just hoping this continues into my 40s (at which point I wouldn't mind it if I looked to be around 30 :).

Eh, the age thing is weird. It seems like we're always trying to look older or younger than we are for one reason or another. I guess we want to look older than we are right up until the time when we realize that age=mortality=eventual death. So maybe that's also part of the reason it didn't bug me. I still feel young so a grey hair or three is just amusing, and not a sign of impending old age and death (at least for the time being ;).

Ok, rambling now.
i don't really know...i don't see the point in plucking them...i mean, a kid gets excited when they get their first pube because it's a sign their growing up....to me grey hairs are similar..just a sign that you're getting older/wiser/more mature..whatever you want to call it
Heh, it's funny you mention that, but I was actually pretty excited about the first grey hair. Nevermind that I had already bought a house, and I had a college degree, etc... A grey hair was this weird sign of maybe actually being an adult and not just pretending to be one.

I really really really don't see the point in plucking them. My attempt to do it was more of an experiment and it proved to be a decent bit more painful than I thought acceptable for a change that didn't have any clearcut benefits.


Ha! It seems you've finally stumbled into a male version of the grooming habits forced on females. There's generally no societal pressure for you to pluck your eyebrows, shave visible body hair below the neck, or squeeze your feet into positively dangerous shoes but watch out...

Grey hairs! A sign of impending mortality in a youth-obsessed culture! Pluck them out, burn them, hide the evidence!!! You only feel as young as you look!!!!@$#!@!!!

Sigh. I blame the baby boomers for blindly hanging on to youth and making aging less respectable. Enough ranting, I'm going to take a carload of crap to Goodwill.

Re: Ha!

Impending mortality? Yeah, right. Impending mortality comes from signing a mortgage on a house and realizing you'll be in your 50s when you pay it off (or realizing that it's for a longer period of time than you've been alive).

I see your point though. I've always sympathized with women on the whole plucking, shaving, waxing, primping and preening thing. I don't understand it and I'm pretty sure it's actually non-sensical.

Then again I sort of realized something was wacky in the world of beauty when I saw the epi-lady. Remember that torture device? Yeah, let's rotate a spring against your skin and have it yank out all the hairs out... oh wait, it missed a few, nevermind, we'll do a 2nd/3rd/4th time. Ok, all done.


Umm... where was I? Oh right, The grey hair thing. At least as a guy I actually can get away with the whole "dinstinguished" thing... well. ok I may not be all that distinguished looking, but a few random greys aren't going to significanlty affect my overall "look".

I mentioned it because since your goatee is black as pitch, they reeeeeally stuck out/were obvious, especially being just three stray hairs: one here, one there, one over yonder. I initially thought it was food or something and was gonna say something until I realized what they were :-P
Personally, I think grey hair is sexy. Dave has dark dark brown hair (he insists it isn't black, but it is DAMN close) and he's been going grey since about 23. I think it is hot, but, then again, I think that William Peterson from CSI is hot... So I'm not one to talk. I think it is totally the distinguised gentleman thing...