Why I Am Embracing My Gray Hair
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I found my first gray hair at 16 and was utterly horrified.
I had beautiful dark brown hair, and my brunette identity was important to me since I was growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan where brunettes were practically a minority.
At the young age of 16, I couldn’t contemplate giving up that identity.
I just plucked out that gray hair and continued to do so whenever a new one would pop up.
Embracing Your Gray Hair Means Ditching the Dye
When I went to college, in the mid-1980s, my friends and I took turns applying henna to each other’s hair, and I eventually graduated from that to dyeing my hair magenta and other fun colors.
When I got married at age 25, I colored my hair occasionally…but by the age of 35, I dyed my hair frequently to cover the gray.
By the time I turned 50, my gray roots would show within a week of getting my color done, much to my chagrin.
I bought gray cover-up powders and mascaras, and I wasted hours at a salon, where the dyes would make me uncomfortably itchy…and when I had to save money, I would do it myself, sloppily and resentfully.
And then, this past February, my roots started showing again.
The thought of wasting 2-3 hours of my precious time in a salon chair became unbearable.
I bought a box of hair dye and let it sit on my dresser for a month.
And then one day I just said “SCREW IT!”
I couldn’t stand one more minute of wasted time, and one more wasted dollar.
I just couldn’t bring myself to waste one more minute on trying to conceal what we all know – I’m getting older.
Deciding that I no longer cared to conceal that fact was life-changing.
In the months since I decided to forego the dye and embrace my true age (and true hair color), I have felt more energized, creative and self-confident than I have in a long while.
I’ve also found a community of like-minded women and embarked on a number of creative projects. I feel (and I think I look) younger and more alive!
I know, I know: it’s “just hair”…. But it’s not! It’s so much more than that.
It’s about being authentic and doing what feels right to you instead of what society dictates that you should do, as explained by my fellow silver sisters in this post.
If you can relate to any of this, please subscribe to my blog and we can go through this silver hair transformation together. It’s not easy bucking societal norms, but we can do it!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments – let me know if you are transitioning to gray hair and how you feel!
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I’m 46 now, and decided to transition to my natural gray/silver about 4 years ago. I was visibly salt and pepper, dying my hair to cover gray roots, at 28. The change wasn’t easy by any stretch, but with the help of my amazing stylist I did a full transition and cut off in about 18 months. I’ve since fallen in love with my natural silver highlights and gray undertones. Women ask me often who does my hair, and are surprised to learn it’s natural. I’ve been hit on by 70 year old men thinking I was in my 50’s, and have been asked if I was my sister’s mom. But I don’t care. I feel more natural and confident in my skin, and don’t feel like I’m trying to be something else then who I am. Embrace the change ladies! Gray is the new blonde after all!
I have 2 legs over the fence but haven’t quite jumped to the ground yet. Last time I colored my hair I said “I’m too young to go gray!” But something happened between then and now. When my roots started showing before 2 weeks was up and I had to go buy more root cover up spray I thought, “why am I doing this?” Then I parted my hair in several different places and realized that my gray really isn’t ugly. I’ve already gone from brunette to dark blonde in attempts to hide it longer and while it helped, it’s still a battle I’m tired of. I’ve started noticing women in my life who have embraced their gray and I hadn’t even noticed, so what the heck! It’s terrifying for me though. I am a school teacher so I’m worried it might look terrible growing in. I could go short, but I’m not ready for that yet either. So here I go, ready to hit the ground on the gray side of the fence. I’m finding that so far, people are pretty supportive of my thinking.
Wonderful, Teri! You can do it – just look at the Before and After photos whenever you need a boost of confidence that you’re making the right decision. If you have a hard time with the roots showing, there’s always the Dye Strip Technique or going gray while using wigs to cover the line. Best of luck to you!
Just decided yesterday as I sat in that freakin salon chair for another 2+ hours of my life and another $90 of my hard earned money … I couldn’t do it anymore! I just turned 50 in December and have started embracing a lot about myself, my personality and my age. I am a feminist, I am a hard working single mom of a 16 year old daughter and 19 year old son and I’m starting to feel like I deserve to be me and be naturally my authentic self. I have shoulder length naturally curly hair and have had a full head of gray starting early at about 30. I want my time and money back and I want that wild curly naturally gray look. Now I’m getting pushback because I’m single. I like being single, I’ve given enough to bad relationships for a while and am taking time for me, my kids and my own life. I’m being told it if ever decide to date again… no man will ever come near me with gray hair. I’m moving forward with my decision as long as it will take to grow out anyway. My personal mantra “Nevertheless, she persisted” will get me through.
Wonderful, Michelle! You will feel so free when you stop dyeing, I swear – It created a great feeling of liberation for me, and I’ve never looked back! In terms of being single, a lot of women feel like gray hair is a great way to weed out guys who aren’t a great fit. And most of us find that men LOVE gray hair! Good luck with your transition.
Went silver in March after a bout with shingles in my head and face. My husband loves short hair, so, h
e was happy, me, still not sure.
Katie, I’d love to use the Quicksilver mask, but when I went to pay for it, it only used PayPal. I don’t do PayPal. Is there any other way of paying for it???
Hi, Kay: Click through as if to pay via PayPal and you will see an option on the next payment page that says pay with CC. It is below the PayPal account login. Thanks!