Meet MaryAnn, A philanthropist and a writer who claims going gray to be the best thing she ever did. Her hair has grown thicker than it ever has and is healthier than before.
Read her inspiring story as she narrates:
A story of change—a story of becoming.
I have learned how to surf waves rather than get pulled under the current of life’s ups and downs. My story is so much more than about going gray. It is about allowing nature to grab hold of me and show me the real meaning of beauty. In a way, isn’t this is every woman’s story?
I believed that because I had good genes, a slender body, nice skin, and a great smile, it was my job to care for it. I spent years exercising, nourishing, and appreciating my skin, body, and appearance and fought against this thing called age.
The world around us continually reminds us, especially as women, that aging is a bad thing.
It tells us that when a woman grows old that she’s not as useful anymore. Others judge women on how old they look or how youthful they look by other women, men, and the media. We are all in this giant pressure cooker fighting to stay youthful-looking so that we can feel loved, valued, and hold a meaningful place in the world.
There came a time in my life when I wanted out. I didn’t want to be in the pressure cooker any longer. Feeling or looking youthful wasn’t enough for me anymore. I wanted more. I wanted to be in the age I was in and to feel happy where I was. I tried to stand up for aging and grab hold of it and celebrate all of the wonderfulness in it. Going gray was a choice, but Mother Nature had been asking me to for years. Looking back, I only wish I had done this sooner.
I started noticing the grays in my twenties. It’s hereditary. My grandmother had a full head of silver hair in her twenties, so I had a feeling that may be coming my way. However, I fought it for years, dying it from a box and eventually spending hundreds of dollars at the salon. I kept it close to my natural color, but as I aged, it became darker. By the time I decided to change, I was in the salon every two weeks to keep out the skunk line.
It was as though the change was imminent. A few years before the transition, I began noticing older, beautiful gray-haired women. I admired them for rocking their silver. I saw them in magazines, on tv, and in my community. I had a clear vision of how I wanted to look in this next stage of my life.
I took my hair a few shades lighter to begin with, then wove in lowlights and highlights. I went the long way to preserve the quality of my hair and take time to enjoy and experience the different stages of a redhead and then as blonde for a while.
I let it grow long, then added extensions and even chopped it to my chin at one point, throughout one to two years. Finally, one day, I was ready. The more the gray came in, the more I loved it. I was at the point to commit to the full-on gray, and the lighter shades had set the stage with my natural grays woven into low lights, like a welcome mat. I just went for it. I wanted to be 100% me, full-on Gray. This transition was not easy.
There were many times that I wanted to go back, but my heart kept saying no.
I had a few safeguards in place, like a supportive hairdresser that vowed not to let me go back.
I had many people comment, begging me not to go gray, exclaiming how much they loved my dark hair, to which I would reply that I wasn’t doing this for anyone but myself. Unfortunately, women were worse than men. They would not hold back their thoughts on how gray hair ages a woman, to which I would reply, so what’s wrong with aging?
The best compliment came from my thirty-year-old daughter. She thanked me for going gray. She said it helps her know that it’s ok to grow older and that being gray is a beautiful transition in life, and aging needs celebrating. She is my biggest cheerleader and always tells me how much she loves my hair.
I cannot express how wonderful and freeing it feels to be off the train of keeping it up.
My hair loves me now. It has grown thicker than it ever has and is healthier than it has ever been in my life. If you are on the fence, do it! You will not only be ok, but you will shine in the beauty of finally being your authentic self.
Going gray has been the best thing I have ever done. Thank you, Mother Nature.
Tips for Taking Care of Gray hair from MaryAnn
- Don’t wash it too often (once a week at the most)
- I added a water softener apparatus to my tap, it made the world of difference in protecting my color from brassiness
- Get a good hair trim every few months
- Silk pillowcases work wonders
- Take vitamins for hair growth and eat a healthy diet.
- Don’t use the same shampoo every time switch it up.
- Buy a good hair dryer like a Dyson.
Tips for Transitioning
- Clip out photos or make a board full of women that you admire with gray hair
- Use them as inspiration
- Re-look at the clothes you wear, give away clothes that don’t go with your new look to women that need them.
- Stick to your own new color pallet when buying new clothes.
Gray hair transition stories have been an inspiration for so many ladies out there going gray as they give us hope and encouragement to stick on our own journey. Hope you find MaryAnn’s story inspiring…If you are looking in for more stories and gray hair care posts please subscribe…