Lightness of hair color caused by the reduction of pigment granules in the hair as a result of changes in body chemistry. There are infrequent cases of premature graying, but usually it accompanies older age. It is in this latter association that the Hebrew verb siv (grow gray) and more frequently the Hebrew noun seh·vahʹ (gray hairs, gray-headedness, old age) occur in the Bible. (Ru 4:15; 1Sa 12:2; 1Ki 2:6, 9; Job 15:10; Ps 71:18) Abraham, Gideon, and David lived to “a good old age [seh·vahʹ].”
The Bible recognizes both the beauty of youth and the splendor of old age. “The beauty of young men is their power, and the splendor of old men is their gray-headedness.” (Pr 20:29) Especially is the latter true if such ones are found worshiping and serving Jehovah. “Gray-headedness is a crown of beauty when it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Pr 16:31) “Those who are planted in the house of Jehovah, . . . they will still keep on thriving during gray-headedness.” (Ps 92:13, 14) They will not be abandoned by their God. (Isa 46:4) Jehovah’s law is: “Before gray hair you should rise up, and you must show consideration for the person of an old man.”
Gray-headedness has nothing to do with the sex of individuals; neither is the natural color of the hair, whether blond, brunet, or red, a factor. Graying has long been recognized as beyond the power of man or medical science to prevent or remedy. This is a point Jesus Christ made after he said we should not swear by our heads.
Hair dyes are not of modern discovery, for they were used by the Greeks and Romans. According to Josephus, it was reported that Herod the Great dyed his graying hair to hide his old age.