Yes, yes, yes, there are millions of stories, blogs, and Facebook pages showing you how its been done before by thousands of other women. No, scratch that – hundreds of thousands of… nope, let’s make that millions of women around the world embracing their silvers.
Once we’re past that ‘certain age’ we really shouldn’t have to worry about what other people think. We should be setting an example for our sisters and daughters that we aren’t afraid of embracing age and with that, change. I could write a book about why we started dyeing our hair, why we continue to dye our hair and why so many women are resistant to changing that. However, I’ll focus on why we should stop instead of why we continue to do it.
Why should I stop?
No longer having to worry about your regrowth being seen is a big drawcard. I know mine used to kick in only three days after it had been covered. Right there in the corner of my right temple. So vividly white against the dark brown of the hair dye.
Your body, just like mine, will thank you for no longer exposing it to the chemicals we use to cover up our silvers. So much over so many years just cannot be good for us.
Your pocket will thank you. It is unfathomable how much we fork out over the course of a year to cover a few grey hairs. A simple dye job is expensive enough but once you go down the road of going blonde you can multiply that by ten.
Contrary to the old wives tales, embracing your greys wont make you look older! Often, it can actually make you look younger. Our skin tone changes as we age and our silvers begin to enhance our new skin tone and make our eye colour pop. For those perusing those Pinterest boards you’ve already seen this time and time again.
The ‘Granny Grey’ hair trend is one of the most popular hair trends ever. Think about that – if millions of young women are now torturing their hair into a state of greyness then, why are we continuing to try and cover our naturally grey hair?? It’s aspirational now isn’t it?
How should I approach the transition?
I’m a member of many ‘grey hair groups’ and have followed thousands of transitions. There really are only two ways to go. You can either cut it all off into a pixie and watch it grow from there, or you can just cold turkey it with the dreaded demarcation line.
The Pixie was my preferred option. I literally shaved down to a number three and went from there. Some people have called me brave but I didn’t think so. I had already been wearing my hair short for years because it was easier to hide the regrowth.
Then there’s the demarcation line. See for me this is the brave choice, as you will have to endure that solid line denoting where you gave up the dye, for months. A lot of women try this to a point but then cut it short once there is enough regrowth.
Highlighting or lowlighting is something I’ve seen work successfully only a handful of times. It is a slow process to weave through natural colour, requiring an expert colourist to do properly. A hairdresser may recommend it as the best option but tread carefully, they may have your annual spend rather than your best interests at heart. If your hairdresser isn’t supportive of your choice to change, there are plenty out there who will be.
Going blonde – I tried this too! It cost me an arm and a leg and essentially, as my blonde was warm and my silvers cool it just didn’t work for me. There are hairdressers out there that can get it right but as per my point above… it requires a huge investment, and still more chemicals.
It is important to note that as you embrace this journey, you keep your hair in top condition. Get plenty of trims and keep it styled and tidy as much as you can. A big part of other peoples’ judgment about grey hair is it can look ‘witchy’ if left untamed, so don’t give them any fuel for the fire.
If you notice your silvers turning a shade yellow, this can be caused by hard water or pollutants in the air. You can safely use a purple shampoo or mousse every now and again to lift the yellow out. Just don’t leave it in there for too long!
Just remember, there is no shame in going back. I’ve seen many women start to transition to a point then cave in. It’s a big commitment, and pressure from peers and family can drive us go back to the dye bottle.
As a model who embraces age, I’ve been trolled many times over my hair. About its colour but more so, about its length. Many people hold the (outdated) opinion that older women shouldn’t have long hair. That long hair looks best when worn by younger women. I have never read a reason as to why this might be the case – just another one of those old wives tales people like to cling to.
I say let’s get with the times people. If you’ve ever wanted to see what lies underneath the hair dye, right now is a pretty good time to lift the bonnet and take a look. There is plenty of inspiration out there, and so much support from other women all over the world who are all doing the same thing.
Just remember there is no shame in going back if you get halfway through and decide it’s really not for you. But, you have to be prepared it might take some time before you really see what’s going on. If one thing is for certain, we’ll all get there in the end, but not first without trusting our intuition.
Mel Brady is Melbourne based a stylist whose silver hair led her from working behind the scenes as a stylist to being in front of the camera as a mature model and age-positive advocate. Her mission, ‘to be what I wanted to see in the world,’ and to show her peers that women don’t have to be invisible past ‘a certain age’, Mel has a website and YouTube channel dedicated to Embracing Age, and a killer instagram feed for your daily fix of Mel goodness and humour at www.instagram.com/missbrady