An article on hair color just reminded me of an extraordinary experience I had in my late thirties: my hair was beginning to turn gray at the temples, then it turned back to its youthful color!
My hair was beginning to gray. I didn’t mind. I minded lots of things, but not that. My friends had long been way more gray than I was yet becoming. Just a little silver at the temples. My beard was still a rich auburn. The top of my head was brown.
One thing I did mind was feeling that my bad habits had abused my natural resilience. I’d bruised my hand. That’s OK, I’d hit something, stupidly; but a day later it was still bruised. Could my days of quick healing be over? It had to come sometime, but did it have to come yet?
After a week with a sore hand I complained to my friend Anton that my mortality was looking awfully damn normal in this respect. Anton said that I should try some vitamin E. Hmm. I’d never thought of that. Vitamins. The specific vitamin E.
I take Anton’s advice very seriously. I went to a pharmacy. He pointed to a shelf. I bought a small bottle of E capsules of very small dosage: fewer than 50 IU, like 38. I took one. The next day I took another. But it wasn’t my habit and I don’t think I took a third.
My hand healed without my noticing that it had done so. When asked about it, I realized: oh, yeah. Much better, for some time now. And I didn’t even bother to speculate about the effect of the vitamins. It wasn’t until I looked at something on my face closely in the mirror that I saw that there was something else to notice: my hair at the temples was now layered: brown, gray, brown. The ends were brown, the middle was gray, but now the roots were brown again!
Vitamin E reversed my graying!
Dumb ass me I still neglected to take the E capsules for years to come. In my forties I began a regular regimen with Vitamin C, then added super-doses of everything: E 400 IU daily.
I’d lapsed from the full therapy. Hypertension meds already max out my tolerance for pills. So I sometimes take C, B … But I noticed one other thing a long time ago: if I want my dick to work, I’d better take E. No, no, thank you, seventy-two, I don’t need any Levitra. Just a woman I love, and lots of vitamin E.
Actually, just a woman I love.
PS In 1990 I befriended my elderly neighbor, Catherine. She became my best friend, and mutual helpmate! I spread my mega-vitamin habit to her. That and a little (or a lot of) TLC reversed some of the worst effects of her crippled blind aging. Her pot belly reduced by half, softened! Her old woman’s osteoporosis hump diminished, at least by half! The bruises and burns disappeared from her arms and hands. Much of that was her ceasing to bake muffins: she couldn’t use the oven without burning herself to hell and gone, resting her poor arms on the stove floor! Her hands were still mottled, but she was 83!
Once, mad at her, I said something like, “You listen to me …” and held her upper arm firmly. Then I realized: blood was seeping all around my fingers! The skin over her biceps had shredded, like she was lacerated! like her skin was peeling off: like a barber pole!
But: yes, I initiated that, yes I was squeezing her arm with force; but I was not tearing her to pieces; she was falling apart!
But: before long, vitamins had fixed that too.
Catherine became healthy like the neighbors couldn’t believe!
But then, in her nineties, she stopped taking all pills. She wouldn’t take vitamins! Mistaking food for drugs?
She wanted to die. I’d gotten mad at her one or two too many times. She never understood what I was trying to say to her. Neither has anybody else? Why was I born with a tongue?
Anyway: it’s years later. I tell a different girl friend about vitamins: about what the B vitamins did for Catherine, her skin, her arms, hands. This girl is complaining about her age spotted hands: beautiful in all other respects!
I tell her for years. Now she’s complaining more than ever! But she’s never taken the vitamins I recommended she try!
Maybe it’s a good thing we’re only partly capable of following good advice: the universe would be chock-filled with nearly immortal humans!
Gene for graying hair identified
2016 03 02 update