Article by Leslie Goldman
Jordan Monroe* didn’t go looking for trouble. The 38-year-old professional fund-raiser and mom of two was just sitting on the toilet one recent morning, savoring a minute of relative peace and quiet, when she looked down and saw it.
Her first gray pube.
“I think I yelled, ‘What?!’ the natural brunette says. “I was shocked. Even though I’m getting older, I still kind of perceive my vagina to be 17. Even after two kids, it just feels younger than the rest of my body … certainly my mom boobs.” For Jordan, that lone wiry little guy was evidence of the aging process — especially in combination with recent changes to her menstrual cycle, possibly a harbinger of perimenopause. “Not only am I saying goodbye to my 17-year-old vagina, but also to my baby-making abilities. It just seemed like a reminder of my own mortality.”
Jordan plucked that bad boy, then bitched to her husband about it. Periodic spot checks prove it has yet to return.
Jordan isn’t the first woman to contort into a spread-eagled Edvard Munch Scream pose upon discovering her first silver pubic hair, nor will she be the last. Ladies have been freaking out over the humbling milestone long before Samantha Jones found hers on Sex and the City in the middle of a bush-is-back experiment.
Tahl Humes, M.D., founder and medical director of VITAHL Medical Aesthetics in Chicago and Denver, says all women tend to go gray at around the same age, regardless of their hair color, but those with dark hair will likely notice theirs first, simply because gray contrasts more with brunette or black than with blond or red. Plucking is a temporary fix, she says. For permanent pubic hair eradication, brunettes can try laser hair removal. But — and this is a big but — you have to start before you stumble upon a bunch of gray needles in your haystack.
“Gray hair doesn’t have enough pigment to absorb the light, which is what treats the follicle in a way that, after multiple treatments, it stops growing back,” Humes says.
If you prefer 50 Shades of Grey as soft core entertainment, not a pelvic nickname, you can dye it with a special made-for-down-there hair dye like Betty Beauty. Besides conventional hues such as blond, auburn and brown, it also comes in circus shades like purple and orange for those women who really want to cause a scene in the ladies’ locker room. Another option for dyeing to check out: MiniKini Colour.
One caveat: Vaginal skin is extremely delicate and prone to irritation, so always do a patch test first on a very small area, waiting 24 to 48 hours to make sure no redness or pain occurs.
But perhaps your inaugural gray guy needn’t be cause for tears. Meg Furey-Marquess, 34, from Austin, Texas, found her first while at work. “At the time, I was working as a contract copywriter in a dead-end gig that left me spiritually drained and mentally exhausted by the mind-numbing content I was creating,” she recalls. “One day while using the restroom at work, I hung my head in exhaustion, feeling mildly depressed.” That’s when she spotted it.
But rather than let it get her down, Mr. Gray spurred Furey-Marquess into action.
“I had been at this job for too long, and the gray pube felt like a sign that if I didn’t get out of there, I’d have a fully gray bush before I knew it, and nothing to show for it.” That gave her the push she needed to make some big changes in her life, including quitting that job to focus on building a freelance career. “Strange what a little gray pube can do.”
*Not her real name
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