Korean Folk Belief

“If you pull out a gray hair, three more grow back to replace it”

The informant was born in South Korea, but was raised in California since the age of 6. She is currently going to college in the Los Angeles area. My informant said that she remembered her grandmother, who lives in South Korea, telling her this when she was younger. She can’t remember why or what it was in regards too. She doesn’t believe that it is true, but says that her grandmother believes it to be fact.

She is uncertain as to where the folk belief came from or why people say it. She guesses that it might have something to do with trying to prevent the natural process of aging being considered a bad thing. If you try to slow down the aging process you are punished by aging even faster. The more gray hairs you pluck out the sooner your entire head will be covered in gray hair. I agree with my informant’s explanation. It seems like a warning to prevent people from pretending to be younger than they are or to accept aging gracefully.