Lady Smarts The 8 emotional stages of going gray

Your parents casually mentioned at Thanksgiving that they went gray in their 20s. But that won't happen to you

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The 8 emotional stages of going gray play

The 8 emotional stages of going gray

(Lipstick Allay)
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Stop. Now breathe...

Many leading ladies have embraced their silver fox status (read: Glenn Close, Helen Mirren, and Diane Keaton). It's admirable to go gray with grace...but it’s also totally normal to find yourself wishing away the pigment-free color, at least for a few more years (thanks, genetics).

Kendall Jenner knows how you feel: The model took a break from the catwalk to freak out over a premature gray strand that she quickly deemed “blonde." Others use coping mechanisms that involve “color correction.”

However your journey with silver strands begins, here are the stages just about everyone experiences next:

1. Blissful Ignorance
Your parents casually mentioned at Thanksgiving that they went gray in their 20s. But that won't happen to you—you’re a green juice-drinking, crystal-toting yogi who knows how to keep stress in check. Their lack of Zen contributed to early-onset white. You’re just going to Namastay brunette, thankyouverymuch.

2. Denial
You pop in for your weekly blowout and your stylist gleefully states that he's spotted your first gray. You don't laugh. Instead you make a mental note to switch to a new stylist who isn't colorblind.

3. Shock
The mirror has betrayed you, too. Looking into it confirms that, yes, you may have a gray hair—but it's probably just one and then you'll be done until you're 66. You pluck it just in case (that whole "three others will come to its funeral" thing is a myth anyway, right?).

4. Dismay
Five more came to its funeral! This can't be right. You're too young! Is it too soon to start telling people that you're channeling Dacha Polanco's silver strands?

5. Problem-Solving Mode
Aisles of root-concealing spritzes confirm that many others must want temporary coverage. You find comfort in knowing that you're not alone as you choose a formula and head for the self-checkout line.

6. Anger
The quick-hit formulas only work if you never want to sleep on a pillow or scratch your head again! You're probably scratching your head now just wondering how people don't end up with smears of this stuff on their faces.

7. Bargaining
You silently praise whichever glossy dubbed the ponytail the hot new style, as it erases your part like a champ while you figure out what to do about the grays. Is wearing a hat or headband for life out of the question?

8. Acceptance
You step away from the accessories and realize that it won't be so bad to color those roots every few weeks (while your wallet screams, "no, no, no!"). You can use the boxed version—or consult a professional—until you're ready to go full on sexy silver.

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