#302 Grandma hair


You’re a walking talking Grandma.

Well, if you made it this far then I think life’s treated you pretty gosh-darned well. You got born into a brave new world full of possibilities and you grew up and grew into someone who’s managed to spread their life, ideas, and sensibilities deep and down into future generations so they can keep our planet spinning and spinning into better places.

Lean back on that creaky rocker and smile in the dusty sunbeams by the window as you survey your grand ol’ time getting to be a grand ol’ Gram. You played with dolls, you shopped in malls, you now that you’re finally here it’s not time to chide nature for those cruel fates of wrinkly skin, poor vision, and gray hair, no!

No! No! No! No! No!

No, now’s the time to love it lots because that long life gave you all that you gots.

Grandma hair is any beautifully manicured mane of white hair bundled into buns and bunches right on top of Grandma’s cute and dainty head. It can be hidden under a flower hat, permed out in cottony waves, or hanging like Christmas tree tinsel in long shimmery  strands.

Grandma hair is a sign of seeing things. It’s a sign of wisdom. And it’s a sign that Grandma’s ridden some long roads in life so now she gets to look beautiful at the end of it. When you get old enough to have a beautifully bright white swirl of Grandma hair it sure is time to say thanks.

Thanks for a life full of love, thanks for a life full of laughs, thanks for a life filled all the way up with


Photos from: here, here, and here

54 thoughts on “#302 Grandma hair

  1. My grandma died when I was 5, but I remember her white hair. It looked so lovely and according to my older siblings, she was proud to have her hair.
    I have never died my hair and when I do finally grow old and gray, I am going to keep it all natural!

  2. My grandma is awesome. Seriously.

    She lives alone. No walker. No wheelchair. No dentures. No hearing aids. No assistance. None.

    She’s 91 and AWESOME!

    1. Wow, good on her!

      Next time you see your nanna, tell her that some Australian chick that you don’t know concurs that she is rather AWESOME!

      ; )

      1. Awe, thanks! Will see her next week.

        I love everyone’s different names for grandparents. Here in New Orleans, we have Maw Maw’s and Paw Paw’s but I like Nanna too!

        1. I know, I’ve always loved the different names, too :) I always called mine Grandma and Grandpa, but I have friends who say Mimi and Papaw, Mawmaw and Pawpaw, Gram, Grams, Granny (for real), etc.

          1. It gets pretty ridiculous. We have strong genes in our fam so we have to create a bunch:

            gandmother – lil maw maw
            great grandmother – big maw maw
            great great grandmother – grand maw maw

          2. Here is the list of my daughter’s grandparents

            Maw maw caw caw- my mom, she raises farm animals, mostly chickens….she use to call chickens caw caws…
            Maw and Paw-my mom’s parents
            Paw paw Tom-my dad
            Meemaw and Peepaw-my dad’s parents
            Paw paw Jeff-my stepdad
            Gammy and grandad-her father’s parents
            maw maw and paw paw- hubby’s parents
            Paw paw Plumley-hubby’s mom’s dad
            grandma and grandpa-her grandad’s parents
            maw maw Linda-her gammy’s mom

            Of course my son doesn’t have as many grandparents as she does.

        2. I’m Russian, so for me it was always Baba and Deda for grandma and grandpa and Mama and Papa for the parents :)

          1. I’m half dutch and half french-canadian, and my wife’s family is chinese, so our kids are going to have an Opa, a Grandmaman, a Po Po (maternal grandmother in cantonese), and a Gung Gung (maternal grandfather in cantonese).. It’ll be great!

            btw: Anyone see Parks & Rec last week? Apparently “Gizmo” is an alternate term for grandmother.. ;)

          2. It was a long time before I realized that there were people NOT on television that called their parents mom and dad. I thought it was a TV thing. I only heard Ma or Mamma and Da or Daddy growing up from everyone I knew. (think Mamma’s Family)

            1. I call my grand parents Memere and Pepere. It’s a french nick name, and most french speaking people where I’m from use this :) They are the two people I love most in this world!

        3. I’m from Australia too!
          & since I have a maltese heritage, my grandparents are called ‘Nanna & Nannu’ ( But pronouced ‘Nunna & Nunnu’ lol, I dont know why it isn’t spelt the way it pronouced!!)

          & for great grandparents its ‘Buz Nanna/Nannu’ (but pronouced ‘Bouse’ lol)

    2. Same with my grandma! She lives alone with no assistance at all and is 94. Definitely VERY awesome! (Even though her house smells so strongly of mothballs that you can’t even eat any of her baked goods … )

  3. My granny is now 98 and she’s still completely with it. She’s kind and good for a laugh. I’m so lucky to have her, She’s awesome! :D

  4. This post makes me miss my grandmother so much. The last time I saw her was in the hospital and her hair was like a white halo around her head. I kissed her forehead and felt her hair between my fingers. The next morning she was gone.

  5. My mom’s aunt was so cute. She would go every week without fail to the beauty shop to get her hair washed and styled. We always said she looked like a Q-Tip … very tiny-skinny with a white puff on her head. She wasn’t my grandma, but she rocked her grandma hair, hard.

    Even after her health started declining and she was chair/bed-ridden, her sister (who took care of her) would still take her to the beauty shop for her standing appointment.

  6. Today is my Grandma’s 89th birthday and I live 2000 km from her, so thank you for making me smile and think about her this morning (she has AWESOME Grandma hair! All white, with curler curls!)

  7. my grandma takes great pride in her hair, i actually think its so funny when i bring a friend and she gets embarassed cause she hasn’t done her hair yet haha. she is a cutie with her puffy hair, we all call her poodle now cause her hair closely resembles one haha

  8. I’m watching reruns of The Cosby Show right now while playing hooky from school and Claire’s mom is rocking some seriously awesome grandma hair!

  9. Now that’s a stereotypecast if I ever did see!
    This is worse than piggy went to market!
    I am a gramma and have known some awesome grammas too!
    Most of which are not collecting dust!
    No sir Neil, they are not. They are out shaking it up at the local dance halls, up on the ski hills, hiking/biking trails and on and on and on, to make this world a better place! Participaction Action Gramma’s are also Awesome:)
    Recently saw a great, great, great, great gramma on Ted X, How to Live to be 100…Remarkabley Awesome!!!

    1. ps. no offense and all due respect to those grammies who sit in rockers and knit too, with whatever coloured hair, so long as you’re a loving grammie too:) And yes, you’re still awesome and loved too, Neil:)

  10. Hi Neil,
    I cannot explain in words how much your TED video has inspired me. Your blog is the tops. This post reminds me of my mum…she is 87 years old…still independently living on her own and still ruling the roost in our family.

    Just love your stuff, mate …shared your TED video on my blog and with all my fb friends!

    Best wishes


  11. I work in long term care. Most care homes have a hair dresser and once a week all the ladies have their hair washed and “set” in rollers then under the dryer they go (where they promptly fall asleep). After they are coiffed and hair-sprayed they look and feel like a million bucks. Awesome when you are 90 years old and have been having your hair set since you were 16.

    All my grandmas are gone now and I miss them. Great post.

  12. Found your blog via TED. It’s great! My father had all white hair at age 30, but he was a guy. At age 35 I decided to let my hair go natural (no more blonde dye. I had my first white hair at age 17!) and have loved it ever since. There were a few rough moments, like when my son’s kindergarten class mate said, “Oh, now I get it! I thought your were Giorgio’s grandmother, but you are his MOTHER!” Ouch – at age 35?!! But since then I have had so many people stop me on the street to tell me that my hair is beautiful. It’s funny, no one did that when I was blonde. It also makes me feel closer to my father, who is no longer with us unfortunately. Life really is about accepting who you are. AWESOME!!

  13. My Nannie wore her long hair in a braid wrapped around her head. She took it down once a month, and washed it and sat behind the clothes line in the back yard and combed it dry in the sun. We were not allowed to see it down. In those days, your hair was your glory, and you did not flaunt it. If we peeked and got caught, we were whipped with a carpet beater!. At age 88, my Mom talked her into her FIRST EVER haircut, and she loved it! It was like a halo. She lived to 93, Mom lived to 101. I’m 78 with 16 Grands, and 14 Great-grands. Loved your blog. Life is short, Be happy.

    1. Sally, My great-grandmother wore her long hair all wrapped in bun at the back of her neck. She never allowed anyone to ever see it down except my great-grandfather. She never cut it, that I know of. The full dark brown bun of her youth was replaced by a white bun about the size of a small cotton ball by the time she passed away at age 94. She was such an incredible woman and someone I always looked up to. I hope she is “looking down” on me with approval in the way I am trying to carry on many of the family traditions she started many years ago. Aren’t we fortunate to have known our grandmothers? You are so right….Life IS short, Be Happy!

  14. As you can see by my “name” I am a Grammy to 9 grandchildren and love every minute of it. At 60 years old, I’m glad I don’t have “the white fluffy do” just yet. I’m feeling young and want to look it. Maybe when I reach OLD age I’ll allow the gray hair to show. I do remember my own 2 Grans and their beautiful white hair—when they were in their late 80’s and 90’s. Thanks, Neil, for bringing them to mind tonite as I read this sweet post! Truly Awesome!

  15. My gramma died last month, and my family and I had spent the better part of a year taking care of her once her battle with cancer went downhill. I combed her silky gray hair so many times, and this post reminded me of that in such a wonderful way. She was the most beautiful person in the world, and I loved to see her eyes close as she told me I was sweet while I slowly combed her hair.

  16. This is a very recognizing situation for me because my two grandmothers and especially one of them always does her heir with curlers. Earlier there was a woman who does this for her but now that woman doesn’t do that anymore. So I had to do it sometimes when I’ve got the time. It wasn’t easy, but now I’m quite good at it. But I’ve got a lot of homework now and it’s difficult for me to do it every week, so now she does it all by herself and she’s very pleased with it. If I’ve got the time than I still do her hair sometimes, but now she can do it by herself when she thinks it’s necessary. Because her hair is very important to her and she wants it to be nice.

  17. omg i luv luv luv this website it shows how grandmas can be ssssssssssssssssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy like us that do will put some excitement in that bed more often!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! then shell be able to say ” im sexy and i know it”

  18. im so sorry about the one being sexy i told my teenage daughter to type it i was drunk now wait im about to go have sex with my boyfriend eventhough im married p.s.im gay and love having sex with women

  19. Dr. Desmond Tobin, professor of cell biology from the University of Bradford in England, suggests that the hair follicle has a “melanogentic clock” which slows down or stops melanocyte activity, thus decreasing the pigment our hair receives. This occurs just before the hair is preparing to fall out or shed, so the roots always look pale. ”

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