I’m Annie, I’m 57, married, and live in Scotland.
I first noticed silver in amongst my dark brunette hair when I was still in my teens, and I remember being absolutely horrified!
Premature greying is a genetic thing in my family, and by the time I was in my late 20’s I was dyeing it lighter and lighter to try blend with the grey. I continued dyeing it every shade of blonde under the sun for the next 30 years. Warm golden and strawberry tones being my preference.
By the time I reached my 40’s it needed retouching every 3 weeks, and the silvers were visible after 10 days. I was spending half of my life with bright white roots! I assumed that I’d be dyeing it forever more, and if anyone had told me 5 years ago that I’d grow the silver in while still in my 50’s I would not have believed them.
A few years ago, while browsing on Pinterest I started to notice some lovely inspirational images of silver haired women. Cindy Joseph was the first I think, then Yazemenahe, Simone Jacob and Annika Von Holdt, queen of cool. I thought these women looked gorgeous and different, that they stood out from the crowd. And I loved the idea that they were challenging society’s perceptions of what grey haired women ‘should’ look like. Up until that point I’d seen no positive role models of how I’d want to look with long (preferably), silver hair, and I just thought ‘Wow! How fabulous!’
I guess the seed was planted and I started to consider that I might stop dyeing when I got to a ‘certain age’…my 60’s probably!
This must have all been working on my subconscious, I honestly had no idea when I dyed my hair last March that it would be my last. But somewhere along the line I felt that, although I really loved my dyed golden blond colour, something was compelling me to let my silver grow in. It became an instinctive thing, something I felt I needed to do. I’d also started to suspect that the colour I was hiding was actually rather lovely. I just decided when the next time to dye came round, that I didn’t want to do it again.
My hair was quite long, I didn’t want to cut it, and also didn’t feel I was brave enough to go the cold turkey route for the 2 years plus it would take to grow out. So my hairdresser, who is also my friend, and has been very supportive, gave me two rounds of bleached highlights, to a very light white blonde. She also advised me to use a toning mask on my hair regularly to cut out any yellow tones. This route is not for everyone, it depends on the colour of your dyed hair to start, and also the colour of your natural hair growing in, but it has worked for me, and has made the transition relatively easy.
In certain lights I already look fully transitioned, but I’m only about halfway there if I want to hang on to the length.
Apart from the actual transition, my main concerns were that it would age me, and also that I just wouldn’t suit the cool tones of the silver. I’d had ash toned highlights in the past that had made me look awful, and I was convinced that warm tones were what I suited.
I think I was wrong on both counts! What I once viewed as a curse, I now see as a blessing!
I’ve had no negative comments, only compliments so far, from men and women, and I’m loving my silver, and think it flatters my complexion more.
An unexpected bonus has been that I’m now feeling able to wear shades of lipstick and clothing that I felt didn’t suit me before. I’m loving that and I’m busy experimenting.
I’m also loving the support of the #silversisters movement on social media platforms such as FB, Instagram and Internet blogs. This has been invaluable. It’s a wonderful time to be doing this and I know that I couldn’t have done it a few years back without all the inspiration and support.
Important to me is helping to inspire other women and challenge society’s stereotypes by showing that women can still look vital, attractive, vibrant, stylish, sexy with grey hair.
I’m seeing small changes in mainstream media here in the UK and am hoping that continues going forward. I believe the more that people get accustomed to seeing silver hair on women of all ages, the more ‘normal’ it will become.
And I’m proud to be part of that. I only regret that I didn’t embrace my silvers earlier and kept them hidden for so long.
Annie's Hair Care regime:
I use Maria Nila’s Colour Refresh Toning mask in Pearl Silver every couple of weeks after shampooing. Leave on for 10 mins to tone down the yellow. Its a vegan product with no harmful chemicals, also smells great. I love it.
Also I use Olaplex 3 once a week and every time I style it.
Annie's advice to anyone planning on transitioning by bleaching:
- Get a stylist who knows exactly what they are doing to do the colour blend.
- Use Olaplex products on the bleached areas to keep in tip top condition.
- Find a toning product…shampoo, conditioner etc that works for you, and that you can use at home regularly to keep the bleach from yellowing.
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!