Each going grey journey is exceptionally unique. Culture, society and deep-rooted beliefs regarding the beauty standards in various parts of the world may exhibit diverse confrontations.
In this post, I’ve tried to throw light on various factors that may create difficulty in a smooth journey towards embracing our natural gray hair and how to create a supportive environment for making things easier for a smooth ride through this journey.
Starting with Family...
I know the battle starts at 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.”
The 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 the dye is affecting your health in general and your 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.
Read Gray Hair Transition Stories for encouragement from women who embraced their natural silver hair: Sparkling Silvers Stories
While talking about the family, I can say that the most important supporter must be your spouse. If they are supportive, others’ opinion doesn’t matters much or, let’s say, won’t matter, as you need to spend your whole life with them. Mutual understanding will make things easy. Being your closest companion, they may cheer you up with encouraging words and love.
The concept of documenting a gray hair journey can be super helpful for anybody going gray, especially for single women who may have zero real-life support. Instagram is the most popular platform for creating such documentation, allowing you to share your hair progress pictures along with stories. In addition, Instagram provides you with two options on privacy settings on your account:
- Private– You may opt for a private account setting if you wish to keep your documentation confidential, which allows access to your followers only to your posts.
- Public– If you are comfortable sharing your documentation with random visitors through your account, set your settings to a public 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 the follow requests ONLY from women going gray.
Virtual support in the form of discussions, inspiration, and connection with 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
Let me know if you have an Instagram account documenting your Gray Hair Transition in the comment box. I want to connect with you! Mine is @sparklingsilvers
Facebook Gray Hair Closed Groups have existed for many years, supporting women going gray around the world. These are large communities of women from 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 friends will be unconditional. They won’t sit back and judge your decision. Instead, 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 grey), can be a wise move. They will be there to advise and support you through the difficult time you may face during the transition. They will understand you, and no matter the situation, your real-life cheerleaders will give you positive vibes 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 before you, some days are bad, 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. It just happens. And girls, believe me, it’s Ok to feel like that sometimes. As a part of human nature, it may happen. This was the time when I grabbed my favourite 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 workplace. You must be lucky to have some of your colleagues appreciating your decision. Those are the best to stick with along the journey.
As the 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.
Humour is another way to deal with rudeness at the workplace. In a freaky moment, laughter may restore normalcy. Some women find self-enhancing humour to help provide an effective mechanism to cope with real circumstances.
Otherwise, you may ignore it with a smile. Have a look at how some of our fellow silver sisters 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
Also, read an article on practices to avoid frizz on gray hair and how to calm the dryness: 5 Mistakes That Are Worsening Your Gray Hair Frizz
And last but not least, YOU.
Who can give you more love and support during the transition than YOU? I have seen many examples of women who successfully ditched the dye with almost no support from their surroundings. How did they do that?
This journey makes you stronger no matter how you choose for the transition. Three months of my grow-out time gave me an insight into my inner strength. I found myself courageous to face difficult situations.
Her looks and hair are the prominent features of external beauty for a woman. Compromising this fact can only be tough. And here, the battle begins to accept yourself and concentrate on your inner beauty.
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Did you face any difficulty initiating your grey hair transition or had some pesky comments on your hair?
2 thoughts on “Go Gray with Online and Offline Support”
Thank you for this wonderful wealth of support for those choosing to go au natural! I have just started my transition (accidentally at first as I hadn’t ordered a new supply of henna before lockdown nor did I have the energy to waste time hennaing my hair when not seeing people anyway!) Then something strange began to happen, I was starting to LIKE my grays, becoming so much more comfortable and confident with being myself and the current Covid situation just adding to the ease of embracing these new found feels of acceptance.
I have poured over your website, joined supportive groups as you have suggested (even announcing my pledge on one!) and set up a private Instagram account to document my exciting new adventure. I also have the advantage of having support from my own beautiful Mama who is herself a ‘silver sister’, that gave up henna a number of years ago, she made transitioning look easy and is absolutely rocking her silver locks.
I can’t thank you enough! My Instagram is @silvers_the_new_black
That’s wonderful! I am happy to know your mama is their to cheer you up. And yes, its the best time to embrace your natural grey hair. Best of luck!!