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Is Letting Your Hair Go Grey Brave?

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  1. Jen says:

    It’s always nice to see others writing a bit about making the decision to give up the dye job. I haven’t coloured my dark-brown hair since around 2004. I am 53 now and looking forward to having a chic full head of silver-white hair. I have an obvious salt/pepper grey head and often am complimented on it. I wear it around shoulder length which I’ve decided is best as I can pull it back in a big barrette/pony tail, especially helpful when I’m exercising/running and when I want to avoid heat on the hair from hair dryers, straighteners, etc. This question of being ‘brave’ is now interesting to me as it’s been so long without colouring now that my grey is natural and totally me, my look. I just forget about it but am ‘reminded’ when people comment. Some think I’ve had it professionally done, as there are some areas that are more white streaks next to dark-brown, almost black. On the other hand, when I’ve gone to professional salons (as opposed to my regular guy who works from home) for a cut, some hairdressers try to talk me into getting colour – for a ‘boost’! I guess you can say it feels ‘brave’ sometimes, but I kind of get a bit bored with the conversation. Having said that, it’s an important conversation to keep having because it speaks so much about sexism and ageism. Men don’t get all this with their grey hair (although I notice many more seem to be colouring their hair – obvious when light color eyebrows show next to dark heads!). We’ll only know we’ve been able to beat some of this problem when people just accept it as okay and stop worrying about it. There is still some way to go. What I do notice is that this new grey style celebration move, showing older models with grey hair, etc, is also sometimes problematic as the women who’ve cracked it and are celebrated, tend to have younger looking faces/complexions, are slim and of course look the height of fashion – ie., they ‘look’ younger in spite of the grey. What about all the others out there? But this is all about style, I know. Good luck with your greying journey, Mel!

    1. Mel says:

      Hi Jen, Thank you for your comment and sincere apologies for the delay replying. I have actually only just seen the message. Yes, I know what you’re saying about the models with grey hair and younger people. I agree with you and I think that this is why it is important that we see a range of women of all different ages, appearances, cultures and backgrounds, to give the whole community of women who choose to wear their hair natural, someone that they can relate to, particularly as they are coming to terms with their decision. As I go deeper into my transition, I do become more at ease with it and so I can understand for someone like yourself, who has been grey for some time, that it is a conversation that must become tiresome, since you are so self accepting of it. Thanks to women like you, other women will hopefully see that grey hair, if relevant for them, is a choice they can make instead of using dye to cover it if they so choose. Thanks so much again for your interesting comment. I really appreciated reaing it. Mel x

  2. Claire Gartland says:

    Loving your blog… I’m 41, and have decided to transition to my natural grey… I’ve been colouring my hair for 20 years (shortly before my first grey hairs put in an appearance) and I’m excited and anxious in equal measures! I realised I don’t want to still be colouring my hair in my sixties, but also I dont want to miss the stage where my hair is all shades of silver through to white. I’ve been toying with the idea now for a few months, and your blog amongst others has beem encouraging! I must admit I am a little nervous as the Mum of a 10 month old surprise baby (as well as 11 & 9 year olds!)… I gearing myself up to being referred to as baby’s Grandma…!!!!

    1. Mel says:

      Hi Claire, Thank you so much for your comment and I am so pleased that you like the blog. Please don’t be concerned about what others will think of your grey hair. Remember, that these days, people are waling aroun with an array of different colours, two tones ombre shades, purple, bright green as well as the conservative colours. Not to mention that grey is a really popular artificial colour and you may find others envious that you have it naturally. It is a transition and it is not always easy, particularly at the beginning, but once you are in the zone, there will be no stopping you. Check out instagram, because there is a whole community of women on there that are going through the tranisition and I can’t tell you how supportive they all are. So if you haven’t already, then I would suggest that be your next step.x

  3. Katrina Evans says:

    my transition is 7 months old now, and I am grey from roots to about the tops of my ears, the rest (just past shoulder length) is dark brown but getting lighter. This is about the same as yours in your pictures. I have enjoyed the process up to now but beginning to wonder if I have reached a more difficult stage now! I am hoping to get through the whole length without highlighting and still persevering! Thank you for your helpful and inspiring blog.

    1. Hi Katrina, you have done so well to find the first few months easier. I’m sure you won’t find it any harder. Maybe it’s just that you get sick of seeing the two tones and day to day you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere but actually you are making progress it’s just a slow process. Perhaps use this time to wear your hair up more and experiment with new up dos! That way from the front you will look like your hair is aleady Silver. I have been wearing my hair up a lot and only just started wearing it down more now that that the grey is really starting to take over.thanks for reaching out and contact me any time. Mel x

  4. Ina says:

    I am 48 years old and am so glad that I stumbled across this blog. I have had so many people tell me that I “look better” with my brunette hair. My stylist and I are going through several phases to move my hair to grey. People are surprised by the fact that I am completely “white.” I tell them it reflects all of the wisdom my grown children and estranged husband have fancied upon me. Periodically I find myself pulled towards a box of medium cool brown hair dye, like Gollum’s ring. I hold it lovingly and chant, “my precious, oh my precious….” Then, I remember, I can make this journey (even without elves and fairies to help me along the way). Thank you so much for posting this. The greys will continue their journey, despite the judgement, comments (you look old), and strange looks. I do not recognize myself at times, which is amusing, but, after all, I don’t recognize myself from my 20, 30 year-old self at times too (thank goodness).

    1. Hi Ina, yes, I was tempted to dye again in the early days too so I can empathise, but I luckily relented as I was so happy with the colour once I was fully transitioned. You can absolutely do it and sometimes people are surprisingly supportive. I have come up against very little negativity other than people saying not to do before I started. However once I got going, I found people encouraging. Hopefully, you will find the same. I hope it all goes well and do keep in contact. Mel 🙂

    2. Ley says:

      Hahaha. I had to laugh at your comments because I feel as though I could have written them myself, right down to my “precious” ash brown. I also started down this path to grey with my trusted stylist at the first of the year, just when I turned 50. I’m on the fence about it nearly every day, but am determined to be brave and see it through. I keep telling myself it’s just hair, for God’s sake! But there’s no denying I feel like a societal rebel. And I’m terrified to be mistaken for someone’s grandmother or have a boy scout insist upon helping me across the street, lol. Thanks to all for the inspiration and sharing your experiences. It helps. =)

      1. Hi Ina, you are very welcome. Yes, we often have very similar stories. It is just hair but it is important to many of us. It is a large part of how we present ourselves to the world and at the moment Grey Hair still has a stigma for women although this is shifting all the time when people like us decide to stop dyeing our hair and show that grey hair is something beautiful and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Thank you for your commment and good luck with your journey.

  5. Marianne Milledge says:

    I am 66 and have been bleaching just the top of my long hair for years now. I have my natural grey/brown hair underneath and I get comments all the time of how pretty my hair is. I have decided I want to see what my natural coloring is all over my head. So far the very front and sides are growing in with a light silver and from the middle to the back the roots are darker. I have long hair, to middle of my back and wear it up as well as down. I really want to stop with the 6 weeks root bleaching, My hair grows about 3/4 to one inch every six weeks. I am guessing I should start to cut more length off as my grey grows in. It’s doesn’t really look terrible at all as the light grey is just highlighting the blonde. I am looking forward to ditching the bleach and becoming the natural grey haired beauty I know I will be. I am actually looking forward to the new me!

    1. Your plan sounds absolutely wonderful. Thank you for your message 😊

  6. Lyne Martineau says:

    I loved reading this. I kind of feel alone in my process of going to my natural gray color. I was also tired of having to go get the roots done often. My natural color beside a lot of grey is very dark brown. So I went every 4 weeks. I thought it was ridiculous to spend that money and time on changing my hair. I have been wanting to change my colour for years but my previous hair dresser refused to help me in the transition. I changed hair dressers…. My new hair dresser looked at me as if I was crazy when I said I want to go natural but she really did a good job to keep my hair from looking skunky (white on top and very dark for the rest). She bleached it to be able to give it a ashy grey colour so my natural coming out really blends well with it. I must say that I think it is a brave move. So many people have tried to convince me to not go that way. And some strangers think I am a lot older than I am. For example I have been asked if I was 55 plus for a discount. I am 47. I passed as my sister’s mother and I was asked why I was not planning on retiring….Everytime, my instinct was telling me to run to my hair dresser to bring the dark brown back. Everytime someone tells me why are you doing this, what if you dont like it in the end. Well if I dont, I will change it back! I have to say that sometimes when I look at myself in the cars miror, I LOVE the colour of my natural gray. Its beautifull, because it is natural, it is me. I embrase my hair, my smile lines and my age.

    1. Hi Lyne, thank you for sharing your story. Yes, unfortunately not everyone is as supportive about our transition especially in those early months. You will find that now you are starting to love your new hair colour, often the comments don’t effect you as much. Just as a thought, I am a big advocate of getting your colours analysed. It may not be for you but if you are open to it, it can be a real confidence boost as you find the colours that work with your hair and complexion and it can make you look and feel great at whatever age. There are many companies that do this worldwide such as itsmycolour house of colour and colour me beautiful as a couple of examples. I hope that helps. Mel 🙂

  7. Gray Morris says:

    For me I have decided to live by a motto, “Live life grayfully!”

  8. Denine says:

    Thank you for your blog. I lost my hair from chemo and now as it begins to grow back it’s very white in the front and sprinkled with white in the back. I’m struggling to decide if I’ll colour it or not. None of my friends have gone natural yet and my husband has barely any white throughout his dark hair so I worry about looking so much older. My husband and family are encouraging me to leave it natural and my friends say colour it. I still have a few months before I can colour it.

    1. Hi Denine, yes it’s not uncommon for hair to grow in a different color after chemo. It can be quite a shock to get used to if it’s come in suddenly. Only you can decide what’s best. I wonder if you kept it natural for a while and see if you get used to it. You can always dye it down the track if you so choose. What’s important is that you do what’s right for you and not to be dictated by other people’s perceptions. Pinterest is a wonderful place to look at women just like you who have embraced their natural hair and it might inspire you. Whatever you decide- it will be absolutely the right decision.

  9. Gray Morris says:

    Your family is a good guide. Why not follow their advice and see what you think as it grows out. It can be freeing to ditch the bottle. What a great time to try it while gray is the new blonde. Good luck!

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