From the childhood I have been a very creative, silent and happy within kinda girl. I am a nature lover, whenever I find myself in an indecisive situation it’s the best companion and a guide!
After ten years of successful marriage and a lovely daughter, it just clicked to me one day that I can start my blog. Giving one year to my embracing grey journey gave a kick to empower the grey hair movement by starting my own blog sharing all the wisdom I gained through on this path.
Relationship between me and my hair
I had light brown hair in my childhood. After puberty, at about 12-13 years old age I started noticing some changes in the texture and colour of my hair. It started becoming a bit coarser and it’s colour started changing to a darker brown shade and also soon I could see some silver strands started popping up. Since then I never liked my hair as they made me feel inferior. But now I hold a healthy and lovely relationship with my silvers.
My thoughts on women dying their hair?
According to me, it’s all about feeling good from inside. As when I saw greys on my head peeking through the dark brown hair, I felt as if I lacked something as I compared myself to other women having beautiful dark hair. Dyeing my hair gave me an ‘illusion’ of being perfect to fit in society. It’s all in how we feel and think about ourselves. We all tend to do what makes us feel happy. Dye makes us feel good.
When I dyed my hair for the first time...
As a teenager you can’t bypass the feeling of looking awesome and perfect. That’s what happened with me as I saw some pesky silver strands peeping out of my dark brown hair. I was so disappointed and discouraged. A feeling of low self-esteem as I thought something was wrong with me. So I started covering those few silver strands with heena.
After a few years it was difficult for me to cover the stubborn greys with Heena as their number increased. Then at the age of 23 came the hair dye. Dyeing hair gave me the power of ‘hiding’ the silvers and made me feel better than Heena, so I continued colouring my hair for about 14 years. For years I kept on searching how to cover the greys in a natural way as the hair dye damage was clearly visible in my dry, brittle and lifeless hair. While scrolling down on internet I saw a beautiful young girl with her natural grey hair, it provoked the urge of giving up dye in my mind. Then I started digging for more ‘stuff’ on internet as I was in a deliema to go grey in such a young age. And I come across some FB groups with lot of inspiration and encouragement of women giving up dye. Every day inspiration from those groups and a positive consent from my husband gave me the courage to take the decision.
36, I found it as the best age to embrace my natural colour and I ditched the hair colour.
What do I think people think when they look at my hair without color..
I see more of shocked and surprised faces as it’s kind of unbelievable for them to see so many silvers sparkling on a young faced girl.
Reactions of family members!
Each and every woman in my family dyes their hair except two or three ladies who are above 70. When I was growing out my greys I had least support from my family but my husband supported me fully. He was my first admirer. My family reacted according to the old belief that says ‘grey means old‘ and they looked worried for me. I always used to hear, ‘This is not the age’. ‘You must colour your hair, you look bad’. And the biggest opposition was from the elderly members of the family saying,’ Why are you in a hurry, look we are still dyeing our hair’.
My way of going grey..
I was always ready for the pixie cut. As I started this journey I gave myself the space and choice of selecting any of the paths either a pixie or cold turkey (If I had the patience to carry the skunk line for a year or more). But my instinct was more towards a pixie cut and thats what happened. After three months grow out (around a 3 inches growth) I got it cut.
The idea was to get a pixie and grow the silvers to shoulder length, thats what I always have been comfortable with. And I tried and grew my hair almost a bob length but couldn’t resist to get it cut again as I find pixie is flattering on me, also easy to maintain and can be worn casually or dressed up for special occasions too.
What my friends have to say...
It’s such a topic that you will always get mixed reactions from the people around you. All of my female friends having greys dye their hair. They say they are not comfortable showing their grey hair. They either use heena or hair colour to cover their greys. Talking about men, again mixed reactions. But after I got my hair cut I see positive reactions from the younger ones. They end up appreciating my new look indicating that I don’t look old.😊
And the life partner...
My husband, my real life supporter on my decision says, ‘You look terrific’.
People don't like it much. Why?
Saree in India represents the ethnicity of the Indian women. Women of all ages wear this traditional outfit in India. People think it to be a mistake to see a young Indian women with grey hair in a traditional look. Though the scenario has changed a lot in metro cities where so many young women can be seen flaunting their silver hair with different drapes but its still kinda taboo in small towns in India.
And the ones who liked it said...
Now when the transition is done and I have a single natural colour, the compliments are all around, ‘you look awesome’. ‘The hair cut and your natural hair suits you’ ‘you must try modelling’. Well more than verbal compliments I read the acceptance in the eyes of my near and dear ones!
Do men and women have different approach to dying hair?
Women love dyeing their hair than showing their grey hair. It’s still their state of comfort according to their definition of beauty. Mindsets and beliefs change, but takes time to change.
It’s still unacceptable in various communities around the world. If a young women is seen with her silver mane, staring and making faces is quite a sure. They take it as a ‘mistake’.
Men don’t see any pressure dyeing their hair.
Oiling on regular basis followed by a scalp massage works for me. It strengthens the hair roots and boosts the hair growth. My hair care routine is as simple as just oiling, shampooing and conditioning every third day of hair wash. I use Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo (its a paraben and silicon free shampoo and don’t hurt my pocket) and OGX Nourishing+ coconut milk conditioner. Also I use Neutrogena Anti- Residue shampoo once a week to get rid of product build up and residue from my hair.
And the best part of the story is...
Self-discovery! I was never this confident and self contented before. I love myself more than I did while dyeing my hair.
The hardest part...
The hardest part was the growing out stage. For the three months I was like what to wear, how to style and look presentable with the skunk line. What helped me was looking in the mirror and say ‘ This too shall pass’.
The Grey communities around the world...
Social media has a great platform and can bring change in society. It’s been more than a year now that I have created my Instagram account @sparklingsilvers where I documented my hair journey. Recently I created a Facebook page SparklingSilvers to cheering up the companions sailing in the same boat! And also a closed Facebook group SparklingSilvers India, exclusively for support and encouragement for women going grey in India. Gone the time when this movement was just virtual.
This journey brought me close to so many ladies who took the plunge and created their own unique story. I am inspired by each and every women I came across this journey as each one of us have something unique to share, inspire and influence.
Going grey on different media...
It’s a hot topic of discussion in media these days. They are highlighting the ‘Grey hair movement’ by featuring the success stories of women who embraced their natural hair. The matter of surprise is the participation of more and more women joining the movement. A year back when I started I had least or no inspiration from women going grey at a young age. Now I see a number of young women (even younger than me) inspiring others. Thanks to media!
Beauty industry and grey hair products...
Silver haired women around the world keep on digging various grey hair friendly products in the market. Beauty and hair care industry need to reach out to different corners of the world and create more specific products.
What more would I say...
Anyone can “pull off,” or otherwise look great with grey hair. There is no better colorist expert than Mother Nature. Hear your inner voice. If it says you are ready to embrace the greys, do it. Regardless of its positive and negative effect, change can be stressful. If you have already chosen the path of accepting you silvers ‘Be positive’. If we have the reserve of positive attitude we will be able to overcome the negative. I am 38 and look not more than it. I break the belief of Grey=Old. For me GREY=BOLD!!!
This blog has been created to give voice to the women around the world embracing their natural grey hair. You can be one to boost their thoughts and experiences by sharing this post. Thanks!