Did I marry Dorian Gray?
November 15, 2010 11:27 AM   Subscribe

My 50-year old husband has no grey hair. None. Has he discovered the Fountain of Youth?

My husband is 50 years old and has dark brown hair, almost black. He has no grey hair and has never had any. He does not (I'm SURE) dye his hair yet none of his hair (head, body, eyebrows) is grey. He has a full head of hair, though it's slightly receding in front.

His father had brown hair and is now totally white at 81 and started going grey in his 40s. His 75 year old mother has dark brown hair that's streaked with grey. We're not sure when she started going grey. Is it weird that he has no grey hair? Did I marry Dorian Gray? What's going on here?
posted by otherwordlyglow to Health & Fitness (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My SO is 61 and not a grey hair yet. (His father was all grey as well) I think he's just lucky.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2010

This is perfectly normal.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:32 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some people just don't go gray. My grandfather never did. (His hair lightened once he hit his mid-70s from black to a medium brown, but that was it.)
posted by ocherdraco at 11:32 AM on November 15, 2010

not everyone goes grey.
posted by violetk at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some people are just lucky. My 65 year old aunt's hair is about 5% gray. The rest is pitch black. Sadly, she is not my biological aunt.
posted by raztaj at 11:35 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, my mom found her first gray at 12 and was 100% white by 40, but her older sister didn't have any gray at all until she was well into her 50s, if not later. Natural variation.
posted by katemonster at 11:35 AM on November 15, 2010

This is completely normal. My grandfather's hair stayed black until he died (in his mid-sixties). I, on the other hand, found my first gray hairs when I was twenty-two. I'm thirty-one now, and they're becoming more frequent.

And, ladies, I am going to be a silver fox.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:40 AM on November 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

My dad just started going grey at 65. My mom has been coloring her hair since her early 40s. Normal.
posted by electroboy at 11:47 AM on November 15, 2010

When I was 30, I developed a couple of tiny patches of white pubic hair. Yes, I freaked out a little, but it's now twenty years later and the patches haven't grown any bigger.

When I was 40, I developed a small white streak at one temple and a few visible white hairs that showed up singly from time to time. Ten years later, the streak is the same size and the solo white hairs are as rare and hard to see as before.

Meanwhile, my younger sister is close to 50% grey if she doesn't color her hair.

People can develop white hair in various places, in various ages, but may not see a smooth progression to overall grey at the expected rate of change. Within the same family, greying patterns can differ. So your husband is not a mutant, just a natural variation.
posted by rosebuddy at 11:48 AM on November 15, 2010

Variation on the norm. Some people start to go gray earlier (like me, at 15), some later, and a very few never go gray at all. Average is probably late thirties to early forties, so your husband isn't even so very far behind yet.
posted by orange swan at 11:52 AM on November 15, 2010

My dad's 71 and has very little hair these days, but what he has is still the same strawberry-blond color it always was) His 4 brothers all have full heads of completely snow-white hair, and have since their late 40s.
posted by deadmessenger at 11:53 AM on November 15, 2010

Nah. It just happens with some guys. I'm not doing as well as your husband but I'm 51 and the grey isn't that bad yet. Check my profile picture and you'll see (I was just short of 51 when that was taken). And yeah, I'm pretty receded. I know. Shut up. :-)
posted by Decani at 11:55 AM on November 15, 2010

My dad is 57 and only in the last few years has started to gray (a few strands) near his temples. His beard started to go gray/white at the very tip of his chin about 10 years ago. I have a friend who was completely gray/white by 24. Both of them are completely normal.
posted by phunniemee at 11:58 AM on November 15, 2010

Yeah, it is rare but not impossible. I am still a few years shy of fifty but I have not a single grey hair yet. (I do have more and more flesh-coloured ones, though.) I am alone among my friends in this regard.

The guy who cuts my hair has been cutting hair for decades and says that in his experience, the number of people who pass forty without any grey at all is minuscule (i.e. I am one of maybe a dozen or so greyless types out of the thousands of heads of middle-aged hair he has seen) but not zero.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:00 PM on November 15, 2010

My dad is almost 70 and he hardly has any and no one believes how old he is. Just started sprouting the odd few just a few years ago.
posted by like_neon at 12:08 PM on November 15, 2010

My dad started losing his hair in college, and by 4-something was perfectly hairless on top...but the sides stayed dark brown until his mid fifties. His father (my grandpa) had the same dull-medium-brown color on the day he died at 84 as he did at 20. *His* father had a shock of thick white hair by age 45.

My other grandpa is decidedly gray, full head of hair on top, but his temples are balding. My hair's likely gonna be...interesting.
posted by notsnot at 12:08 PM on November 15, 2010

Also note that certain ethnic groups are more prone to going gray, or graying earlier, than others. People of Native American heritage, for example, often have jet-black hair well into old age.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:10 PM on November 15, 2010

My dad's 60, no gray hair. My grandfather actually went gray in a very short period (month or so) after a bad shock, in his mid-70s, as I recall. (He's 90 now.) Which makes me now believe Les Miserables about Valjean's hair.

My husband is 33 and I find them everywhere on him. My friend's husband is 35 and silver all over; he was noticeably gray already when he was 25.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:50 PM on November 15, 2010

I, too believe Les Miserables: my grandma's hair has been snow white for as long as I've known her, and she wasn't very old when I was born. Her hair was dark brown when my mom left for college, but had turned completely white by that Thanksgiving. She was 40.

I'm greying a bit in the front, and I'm 22. Grey hair doesn't necessarily correlate with old age.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 1:01 PM on November 15, 2010

I started getting gray hair at 17, lots more gray in my twenties. Good for hair dyes like blue or red or purple, because the gray really takes on the new color.

My father and mother also grayed early. Don't know about grandparents.
posted by indigo4963 at 2:11 PM on November 15, 2010

I'm 49 and have the same 5 unnoticeable gray hairs I got after I had kids a decade ago.

It's genetic in my case via my mother's mother. People think I look about 10 years younger than I am.

However, there may also be dietary causes. Supposedly B vitamins help. If your husband has been taking vitamin supplements regularly through the years, he may have postponed the graying he's genetically predisposed to.
posted by Araucaria at 2:22 PM on November 15, 2010

My dad didn't start greying until he hit 62 or so.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 2:23 PM on November 15, 2010

My father had jet black hair until he was in his 60's and didn't go gray until he was nearing 80.
posted by availablelight at 3:06 PM on November 15, 2010

Okay so it's not so uncommon. For the record, he's not Native American and doesn't take any vitamins.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:10 PM on November 15, 2010

Normal. My dad went gray first at the temples (a la Mr. Fantastic) in his late 40s. I'm in my mid 40's and am only showing gray in my beard and, oddly enough, chest.
posted by plinth at 5:05 PM on November 15, 2010

My mom is 75 and barely has any gray just some streaks underneath. My SOs grandmother is 85 and has only a bit of white at the temples, though her hair color has dulled from bright red to auburn.
posted by desuetude at 9:23 PM on November 15, 2010

It's not that weird. My grandfather is 81 years old. He has barely any hair left, but what he does have is brown, no gray. And believe me, he does not dye it. When he was young, up until he was about 50, he had red almost strawberry blond hair (or so my mother tells me). So it's gotten darker, but no gray. Maybe this is something prevalent among redheads, as I see a few other people saying that their ginger relatives have escaped the gray.
posted by katyggls at 3:47 PM on November 16, 2010

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