We keep on looking for inspirations that we can relate to. When I started my journey to go grey and created an Instagram documentation account, my first concern was to follow women I could relate to in terms of age and hair colour. Amber was one of them. Her neat pictures and encouraging words were a great help to me during the whole process. My pleasure to share with you all her beautiful journey.
“38 yo, married, and grey! How about instead of hiding it, let’s start celebrating!”
Those two simple lines are the bio on my Instagram account named “@celebratethegrey”. And it was exactly what I intended to do. As a whole, women are conditioned from a young age to hate anything that shows ageing. Somewhere along the line, grey hair was included in those signs of ageing that women were taught to be ashamed of. I bought into it for many years.
I first spotted my first grey hair somewhere around the age of 17. Since I had several family members grey prematurely, I knew to expect them at a young age.
As the years went by, more greys appeared. At the age of 25, while getting a routine haircut, the stylist commented that I seemed pretty young to have as much grey hair as I had. I told her that most of my family was the same way and that if I were to stop dying my hair, I’d probably be about 50% grey. She replied that I would have been around 75-80%. Ouch! But on the bright side, it looks like it will be the pretty colour that all the older women come in to try to achieve.
Being a young 25-year-old, what I heard from that was that I’d be the envy of the nursing home. Thankfully as I’ve matured, my outlook on that has changed.
Fast forward to 2017. I was 36 years old and had been dying my grey roots for just around 19 years by then. It had gotten to needing to dye my hair every two weeks to conceal the stark white contrast against my black hair.
I remember January 20th, 2017, the last time I dyed my hair. We met some friends of a friend and wanted to make a good first impression.
Roughly two weeks later, I looked in the mirror and saw that it yet again was time to cover my roots. But, already having had one of those days where nothing seems to be going your way, I discovered that I didn’t have any hair dye at home.
The last thing I wanted to do was run out to the store. Let alone go through the gruelling process of dying my hair myself.
That’s when my first thoughts of ditching the dye came about.
For the next week or so, I tossed the idea around. I asked my husband and daughter what they would think if I just let my hair grow. Both of them told me to do whatever made me happy.
I consulted with some hairdresser friends, asking questions and for advice. I searched the internet for how women before me had transitioned to their natural grey hair. While I found many examples, I was hard pressed to find any examples of women with dark black hair and snow-white roots.
Around this time, I decided to create an Instagram account to share my story. But, if I was looking for other examples of dark-haired women going through this process, there had to be more, right?
Once I had mulled over all the options, the only one that I could stomach was indeed the cold turkey long grow out. It ended up being the best thing I could have done! As early as two months into the process, a stranger complimented my hair. I thought she must have been out of her mind. How in the world could anyone like my overgrown roots?
As my roots grew, so did the number of compliments from strangers. At the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, everywhere. As someone that was not accustomed to receiving compliments, it was a little overwhelming, to be honest. I had walked around practically invisible up until this point.
Let me be clear. I am a humble person. I grew up hating to have any attention on me. Therefore having people stop me wherever I went to ask about my hair was physically taxing. I found that trying to discredit their kind words just made it worse for me. So I accepted them with a simple and heartfelt “Thank you.” Over time it got easier. And I felt a significant shift in my confidence.
In June of 2017, I was five months into the process and started to become bored. I desperately needed a change. It felt as if my hair stopped growing as fast as it did in the beginning. That’s when I chose to go for a shorter haircut.
I had worn a stacked bob hairstyle several years before, so it was an easy decision. The cut served two purposes. First was a much-needed distraction. Distracted by the shorter style took my mind off the seemingly slow-growing process. And secondly, the style was much more modern and younger-looking.
I kept that same hairstyle for the remainder of my transition to becoming fully grey. Without really thinking about it, getting regular trims helped trim away more and more of the leftover dye at the ends of my hair.
And slowly, I saw the demarcation line I once dreaded move farther from the crown of my head. It took a long 20 months from beginning to end. And my only regret was not doing it sooner!
Now being completely natural, I feel like I’ve finally found myself. The confidence I gained through this process gave me the boost to work on my health. Knowing that I had the patience to grow out my hair gave me the confidence that I had the endurance to be patient with weight loss as well.
Along with those changes, I started noticing small changes in my choice of clothing and makeup. Where I once leaned toward black clothing to match my hair, I found myself reaching for greys. As for makeup, the only real change I’ve noticed has been wearing lipstick more often. With fair skin and white around my hairline, bold colour on my lips helps bring needed colour to my face.
My advice to anyone mulling over the choice to go grey is that you never know if you’ll like it until you try it. It is scary at first. There is absolute uncertainty in the beginning. Give yourself some time to weigh your options until you’ve found the way you think will work best for you. And then stick with it. You have nothing to lose but absolute freedom from dye to gain. Most importantly, do whatever makes YOU happy, whether ditch the dye or continue dying your hair. Your happiness is above all else!
13 thoughts on “Amber’s SparklingSilvers Story”
Wow. You look absolutely beautiful. I have to say that your natural state makes you look much younger too.
I am 50 and have been growing out my grey hair for about a year and I love it. During lockdown I have washed it twice a week and let it dry naturally, without heat. My hair finally looks healthy, bouncy and curly. I feel like me again and could not be happier. It’s worth a go and we all look and feel better for embracing our true selves. Thank you for your story. Keep being your beautiful self.
You have given me the inspiration I needed to just go for it. I am in exactly the same position you were in with regards to starting to go white in my teens and having spent my life since 18 years old to now at 42 dying it more and more often, now every two to three weeks to stop the white showing and I am finally prepared to go for it. I even cut my hair into a pixie cut thinking that would distract me from the roots but it has just made it worse in some ways as you can see all the roots at the back of my head that used to be covered. Your hair looks absolutely beautiful, as do you!
Hey Anna, Don’t lose hope. It’s just hair and will grow back. Have some patience and enjoy your pixie by styling in different ways using cute and lovely accessories. I had a pixie cut too as a transition cut. It’s almost three years now enjoying pixie and now finally at the age of 40 I decided to grow my hair long. It’s been around 7 months now without trim and I have already acquired a short bob length.
Thank you for your inspiring “going gray” story and the very cute pics.
You look so much younger with your beautiful gray hair! Your gray is lovely with all the shades of gray.
Funny how we think we look better with darker hair until we try something different! I’m just sorry I didn’t decide to go gray at your age, I am 60 something young now, still very young looking , but now I’m not afraid of “looking older” if I go gray! Wonderful seeing so many women at different ages going gray?
I know I am “so” ready now!. I’ve been reading so many articles, looking at pictures of women like yourself who went gray, all so beautiful! I’m so anxious that I even thought of going to California to have Jack Martin transition my hair!
So agin, thank you for your story. I’ve decided to go “cold turkey” and just let it grow out while cutting my hair as I go!
You and your gray hair are beautiful! I’m 69 – and sadly not “still very young looking“ like Maryann – but I’ve been doing this cold turkey since March 17th and I’m determined to stick with it! But OMGOSH its such a slow process!
Fantastic, inspiring story, your hair looks beautiful and so healthy looking. Lockdown gave me the push I needed to transition from dark brown to grey, the last time I dyed my hair was beg Feb 2020. I don’t have much patience but have resolved myself that it will probably be next summer before it fully transitions. Exciting times ahead ?
I transitioned from very dark brown hair to my natural gray over a one and a half year period.
I went to an Aveda salon where they gradually and safely brought my hair down a few steps every month or so. It really helped by not getting depressed during the process.
Once my hair grew all the way out, I experimented with cut and style.
Some things I have learned is hot irons will Yellow your hair. Use the best products you can find. Enjoy being gray. I love it.
I’m 29 at the moment and expecting my second child. During quarantine I decided that it was time to just let my grays grow out. Once they have grown half way I might go to the salon to match the lower part with my grays. I can’t wait.
Definitely you can! Go for it. Even blending can be done with a few inches of growth. Your hairstylist may guide you for the same.
You are so gorgeous and an inspiration. I just started to let my gray grow. Unlike you, my gray didn’t start as early: I am 45 years old and have probably a 30% gray head, but I want to leave it natural and hopefully in a few years it’ll be as beautiful as yours! Congrats on your amazing journey.
What an inspiration,I’m 58 and began the process of growing out my roots after 30 years of colouring.Unfortunately I lasted only 11 weeks and stupidly dyed my hair again.Now a few months later and I’m 3 weeks dye free and hoping this time to be successful.Thinking of a short cut to speed the transition,finding it an emotional situation but can’t wait to be free of the 2 weekly coverups.
I am also transitioning to grey My hair stylist is putting a temporary root touch up on my roots. I go every 8 weeks
And I use a spray to cover new growth I have shoulder length hair and have a trim each time I go in too
You’re hair looks lovely and I bet the condition is fantastic. I’m 56 and I last dyed my hair 7th July 2021 and usually had a mild reaction before to hair dye but this reaction I had was really bad. I had scabs and chemical burns on my scalp for about a month and vowed I would never dye my hair again. Most of the dyed hair has grown out and most of my hair is a light brown with silver highlights and I get compliments about it. I have to say that I don’t regret going natural at all and my hair feels very healthy now. For those that are hesitant about going back to natural hair, I promise you won’t regret it.