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Seeing Gray … Down Below

What my partner said about my changing pubic hair made me view myself — and aging — differently.

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Alyah Holmes
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I remember it like it was yesterday: It was a few months before my 40th birthday. While doing some landscaping down yonder, I spotted a lone silver hair standing there, gleaming in the light.

What the. … Both my heart and my mouth dropped.

See, grays had started sprouting up along my hairline eons ago. But in the nether regions? Not sure why, but that had never crossed my mind.

I quickly got rid of the unwanted visitor with a swipe of my electric razor. Then tried to forget about it. But I guess gray hairs are like potato chips: You can’t have just one. Soon after I spotted the first, her friends showed up too.

OK, I could deal with a single silver strand, but seven was too many. Yes, I counted. Convinced I was too young for this problem, I consulted my gyno and Google. Sigh. Going gray downstairs is a normal part of the aging process. Exactly when it starts to happen isn’t clear-cut, because it’s due to genetics. For some people, it’s earlier (thanks, Mom and Dad). For others, it’s later. In general, the hair up top starts losing pigment before the hair below. I also found out, much to my disappointment, that downing vitamins or using other products won’t slow or stop gray hair if it’s due to natural aging.

I wish I could say I embraced my graying after my shock wore off. But I didn’t.

To me, those silvery strings were a reminder of my mortality. They also meant she was old. In my mind, gray hair and sexiness couldn’t coexist, so my confidence in the bedroom plummeted.

I worried about what my spouse would say if he knew. What would he think? So I tried to hide it.

I went overboard trying to keep my garden trimmed low. Sometimes I tweezed out individual silvers (ouch). And I tried doing my own Brazilian wax since I was too embarrassed to go to a pro. That didn’t go well at all.

It even crossed my mind to dye my pubic hair. I sometimes use a temporary dye to cover the grays along my hairline, so why not the same for my lower locks? I could see myself rocking electric blue.

While there are products available to color pubic hair, my gyno recommended against them. He said the tissue in the area is very delicate, so there’s a possibility of experiencing irritation or an allergic reaction. Yikes, I’ll pass.

So I kept shaving and plucking.

During sexual encounters, I was guarded and self-conscious, worrying my husband would find out my secret. And if I was between shaves, I turned down his sexual advances or made sure the lights were off when we got busy.

Then one day, while trimming his bush (one of the ways we keep things sexy), I spotted several grays. “Wow, you have gray hair,” I said, surprised.

He laughed. “Yeah, we both do,” he said. I cringed with embarrassment. Obviously, my attempts to hide my gray hadn’t worked.

He must have caught the look on my face. “Hey, it’s not bad. It means she knows some things, just like I like her,” he said with a flirty grin.

He admitted he had noticed my new “maturity” months before. What! So you mean to tell me I’d been meticulously removing gray hairs for nothing? He knew I was sporting salt-and-pepper pubes all this time and still had been treating me like the sexiest woman alive.

Since the big reveal, I’m not so hyperfocused on eliminating every melanin-deficient strand. I’ve come to realize, as he pointed out, that even being on this earth long enough to have gray hair is a blessing.

Plus, my guy says my silver highlights are alluring. I can dig that!

I still keep my grass cut low most times because that’s what’s comfortable for me. Between trims, though, I rock my grays with nary a worry.

You probably wonder why I’m writing under anonymity if I’ve accepted my gray girlies. Well, that’s simple: I don’t need my family and friends all in my lady garden. These 50 shades of gray are between me and my honey!

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