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Jojo’s Salt & Pepper Curls

Jojo is 36 and lives in London. She’s a life coach and public speaking trainer who started her silver transition in September 2017. You can find her silver hair account on Instagram at @saltandpeppercurls.

As a little girl I would don the rubber gloves and colour my mum’s hair with a box of L’Oréal no. 4 every few weeks.

I remember the stink of the dye, and the stress she felt if I missed a bit of the grey at her temples.

I told myself I would NEVER be enslaved in that way. When I started to go grey, I was going to let it happen without a fight.

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Fast forward to my teens and my first greys started appearing.

Back then, I actually thought it was cool to have a few greys peeking out (oh for those confident days when I felt fully entitled to be myself!). I didn’t try to hide them.

However, like most teenagers, I did experiment with hair dye for fun, adding various shades of plum and russet that I now know looked terrible.

I honestly can’t tell you the point at which dyeing for fun became dyeing to cover the badger stripe at the top of my head.

It happened subtly, and almost unconsciously I found myself – in my twenties and then thirties –  in a routine of buying a box of dye and hanging my head over the bathtub; first once every couple of months, then once a month, and then every couple of weeks.

I recall catching sight of myself on camera during a conference call at work and thinking: “oh man, there’s that stripe, it’s terrible.”

Looking back, it was the stripe/contrast that I hated, more than the grey hair itself.

I’ve never really subscribed to the idea of having to look youthful in order to be beautiful, but I still fell into the trap of thinking that there was something wrong with my greying hair and I felt compelled to change it.

image woman dyed hair black curls
JoJo with Dyed Hair

A few years ago, in my early thirties, I went to see a colour consultant in London.

Her name was Morag and she was spectacular, with bright lipstick and a stunning, sleek silver bob.

In fact, a couple of years ago I told a live story about going to see Morag that I’d love you to watch if you’re interested in the power of colour to change your attitude to yourself and the world:

Anyway, as well as giving me the gift of lipstick, which genuinely changed my life, Morag also suggested that I ditch the dye and let my silvers shine.

Excited, but lacking confidence, I reached out to a couple of friends with the idea, looking for encouragement to do what I wanted to do.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that I was met with horror. I was going to look too old, it wasn’t going to suit me, the transition would be terrible, etc.

The wind came out of my sails and for the next few years, I continued buying bottle dye every couple of weeks, whilst at the same time becoming increasingly aware of the futility of my battle against the grey.

I felt inauthentic, especially when encouraging my clients to live their best, boldest lives   –  I’m a coach and public speaking trainer –  but I also felt caught on the merry-go-round of covering my roots.

It was a picture of the drop-dead-gorgeous @embracingthegrey on Instagram that finally convinced me to embark on the silver journey. (Strangely enough, her photo was shown to me by one of the friends who had been most staunchly against my transition when I first suggested it!)

Sabrinia had short curly hair that looked similar to mine and suddenly I could conceive of a future in which I could release myself from the slavery of the dye, and – hopefully – look good too!

That was almost a year and a half ago, and I have not looked back since. It’s been a weird time, for sure, and there have been moments of mourning, doubt, and surprise.

But I love the sense of authenticity and liberation I have found through making this transition.

I’ve stopped wishing that my hair was different and instead grown really curious about how I can make it look and feel happy and healthy.

And even though it’s not (artificially) shiny any more, it is softer and more moisturised than it has been since I hit puberty and the frizz kicked in.

I’m a huge fan of Cantu beauty products, and I’ve come to use ‘the Laura method’, both of which I learned about from my Insta community of silver sisters.

People talk a lot about the toxicity of social media, and how women can be so cruel to each other, but I have taken huge strength and joy from the women I have met online.

They are beautiful and bold and brave; they are gorgeous and kind and supportive; they are human and thoughtful and fun.

I have been so inspired by so many of them, and whenever anyone tells me that I am inspiring them on their journey, it fills my heart and puts a spring in my step.

So, THANK YOU so much Katie Goes Platinum, and your readers, for allowing me to share my story here.

Embracing your natural hair is not, for me, about looking a certain way. It’s about being a certain way; authentic, courageous, self-confident.

And the best thing? My mum has finally decided to ditch the dye too! She’s one month in and wearing a lot of hats right now, but I can already tell she’s going to look amazing.

image of woman salt and pepper curls


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Related Posts:

Rhiannon’s Gray Hair Transition

Lisa’s Transition to Salt & Pepper

Marci’s Stunning Transition to a Silver Pixie

Andrea’s Silver Hair Transition

Note: All of the Instagram and other photos on this site are used with permission. Please show your support to these awesome gray hair influencers by following them on social media. You’ll be inspired, I promise. ❤️

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  1. Your video was spot on! Thanks so much for the honesty. I can’t tell you how encouraged I was to see somebody with hair similar to mine. I stopped coloring my hair about a year ago thinking it was going to turn gray/silver right away but it is very slow going. I am a salt and pepper girl. Love, love, love the lipstick. Would you please share the color and brand? I have been a reluctant lipstick wearer mostly due to the “drying” feel from most lipsticks. Thanks again for your story!

  2. Suzy Daley says:

    I really needed to see that video! And I have YOUR HAIR! I needed to see someone with curly hair, like mine! I am only 4 weeks in, but committed. You inspire me. The things we tell/call ourselves really do matter and, in many cases, hold us back! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I have similar hair. Have been wanting to stop colouring for a few years. After seeing your gorgeous hair I’m more determined than ever! Our daughter is getting married in July. Is it a terrible idea to start this now? My hair is longer than yours but I’d be happy cutting it a bit shorter. Thx!

    1. Hi, Valerie!

      I don’t think it’s a terrible idea at all! If you look through the Silver Revolution facebook group, you’ll find a lot of women who wear transitioning hair to weddings and other big events. If it makes you really uncomfortable to sport transitioning hair, you can always try ColorWow Root Powder or another method to temporarily cover your roots. Good luck!

  4. Debora Hoffmann says:

    You look so beautiful, Jojo! Love your short curly silvery ‘do. Thank you for sharing your journey. You’ve helped to inspire me to embrace my curls if my hair turns out to be curlier when it’s silver. And possibly embrace a shorter cut. Hmm . . .

  5. James Thomas says:

    Very powerful and inspiring word and things I never knew about you Jojo. You are right social media can be an awful place to be especially if your not feeling too great about life and yourself. But used in the right way it can be uplifting and supportive. Thank you for sharing and being so honest. I think your so brave and inspiring and I think your great.

    1. Jojo Thomas says:

      Ahh, thank you my lovely one! ??

  6. Michele @polished_grey says:

    You had me laughing and crying. Love you and your hair and the positive message to your silver sisters

    1. Jojo Thomas says:

      Thank you so much beautiful! ?

  7. Lisa Casas says:

    I absolutely love your hair—and YOU! Such an inspiration!

    1. Jojo Thomas says:

      Gracias Lisa, that means a lot! ??

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