Each and every going gray journey is exceptionally unique. Culture, society and deep rooted beliefs regarding the beauty standards in various parts of world may exhibit diverse confrontations.
In this post I’ve tried to throw light on various factors that may create barriers in a smooth going journey and how to create a supportive environment for an easy ride through such barriers.
Starting with Family...
I know the battle starts at the home itself.
Not everyone is lucky to have a family that would agree and say,” Go ahead, it’s your hair. Do whatever you feel like.” You may come across the questions like:
“This is not the age to go gray”
“You will look old”
“Wait for a few more years before you quit dying your hair”
Chances of getting such reactions and suggestions are more if you are young. Well, but YOU have made up your mind. Right?
These questions may arise from any of the family members ( including your spouse). The reason behind their reactions to your decision must be out of their protective attitude, and concerns or not liking the very idea, both in a positive and negative sense. They know it’s your hair and you have the right to take any decision but you need to handle their reactions politely. Convincing them by putting up your strong reasons and points for embracing natural hair is advisable. Let them know how dye is affecting your health in general and hair in particular.
You may persuade your family by suggesting a mutual path of ‘Let me give it a try’. Assuring them you can always go back and colour your hair again. This way at least you may start your journey with their consent.
While talking about the family I can say that the most important supporter must be your spouse. If he/she is supportive, others’ opinion doesn’t matters much or let’s say won’t matter, as you need to spend your whole life with him/her. Mutual understanding will make things easy. Being your closest companion, they may cheer you up with some encouraging words and love.
The concept of documenting gray hair journey can be super helpful for anybody going gray, especially for the women who are single or may have zero real life support. Instagram is the most popular platform for creating such documentations, allowing you to share your hair progress pictures along with stories. Instagram provides you two options on privacy setting on your account:
- Private– You may opt for private account settings if you wish to keep your documentation private, which allows access to your followers only to your posts.
- Public– If you are comfortable sharing your documentation with random visitors to your account.
When I created my account I kept it private as I never wanted inappropriate comments and suggestions from strangers that may shake me up on my decision. I accepted follow requests ONLY from women going gray.
Virtual support in the form of discussions, inspiration, and connection with the like minded women on Instagram is incredible.
You may insert these popular hashtags to your posts to be seen in the silver sisters community on Instagram- #silversisters #goinggray #ditchthedye #silvervixen #saltandpepperhair and so on.
There are a few large supportive communities to follow and get inspired by the women featured with their inspirational stories. The most popular are @grombre @embracethegrey @silversistersinternational
Facebook Gray Hair Closed Groups have been in existence for many years now providing support to women going gray around the world. These are large communities of women with different age groups and countries, supporting and inspiring each other during the journey. You may join any of these amazing groups on Facebook:
No doubt the support and love from the friends will be unconditional. They won’t sit back and judge your decision. Rather, provide a safe emotional space for you ‘to be yourself’.
Picking one or two very close friends, someone who knows you better and sharing your thoughts about your new adventure (going gray) can be a wise move. They will be there to give you advice and to support you through the difficult time you may face during the transition. They will understand you and no matter what the situation is will give you positive vibes, your real life cheer leaders to share your experiences and small successes.
Though you must be very confident about your decision and able to face any challenge that may come in front of you, but some days are bad days and you can’t help it.
I was committed and confident enough to face any external situation during the transition but some days I felt low within. It just happens. And girls, believe me its Ok to feel like that sometimes. As a part of human nature it may happen. This was the the time when I grabbed my favorite books: The Secret, You Can Win, OSHO, Rising Strong and Wishful Drinking.
Here’s a list of some Silver Hair Books recommended by our Silver sisters:
“Why you letting yourself go?”
“Is everything all right in your life?”
“You look ugly.”
“Did you miss your colour appointment?”
..and many more such comments. People are people. Some may welcome your decision silently and some may bombard you with awful questions at your work place. You must be lucky to have some of your colleagues appreciating your decision. Those are the best to stick with along the journey.
As workplace can be a very sensitive and tricky place to react. Letting yourself get too serious trying to justify what you are up to will only drain you out. Keeping things light can be a game changer.
Humor is another way to deal with rudeness at workplace. In a freaky moment laughter may restore normalcy. Some women find self-enhancing humor to be useful for providing an effective mechanism to cope with real circumstances.
Otherwise you may just ignore with a smile. Have a look at how some of our fellow silversisters responded in different situations:
When I started going silver, several coworkers said- oh you need to dye that! You’re going to look old! I told them- No way! I’m proud of my age and I worked hard for every silver strand. It’s the beginnings of my crown.
– Kica Savage
I was given advice by someone out of style and frizzy hair..that I would look younger if I coloured. I said my goal isn’t to look younger but my age ..that’s perfect.
– Freeda Ricardo
Other people’s comments are almost always really about them and their issues or fears. When people offer unsolicited comments or opinions, just offer a ‘Hm’, and move on. No one but YOU gets a vote on YOUR decisions about YOUR body/life.
– Ena Logan
Ive has friends say “I would never do that” or “I’ll never let myself go like that.” I just say, well you are not me and I am really happy being my true self.
– Ellen Gore
And last but not the least, YOU.
Who can give you more love and support during the transition than YOU yourself. I have seen so many examples of women who ditched the dye successfully with almost no support from the surroundings. How did they do that?
This journey makes you stronger no matter the way you choose for the transition. Three months of my grow-out time gave me an insight of my inner strength. I found myself courageous to face difficult situations.
For a woman her looks and hair are the prominent features of external beauty. Compromising with this fact can only be tough. And here the battle begins to accept the yourself and concentrate on the inner beauty.
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Did you face any difficulty initiating your gray hair transition or had some pesky comments on your hair?