Pratiksha is a beautiful silver sister from India and recently completed her grey hair transition. You can follow her on Instagram @chandi.jaisa.rang
Read her inspiring journey towards embracing her natural grey hair as she narrates:
I saw my first grey hair in my 20s when I was in college. I was too excited to see them as I thought I would apply colour like my mom does and it would be so cool. Little did I know what I was getting into. However, initially, I remember my mom putting mehendi to cover my silvers since the greys were not too many and the coverage was fine.
I got my first hair colour during my marriage. I was 25 per cent grey and after that, there was no looking back. I was sucked into the vicious cycle of root touch-ups every 3 weeks and used all sorts of things like hair colour chalks, hair covering mascaras, root hair sprays, and sometimes even kohl.
Never did it cross my mind then, about going dye-free and letting my silvers shine. I guess I wasn’t ready.
I didn’t realize how and when my greys grew to almost 70 per cent in 10 years.
When I was expecting my kid, I went dye-free for almost six months, owing to the harmful effects of colouring.
I managed to hide the skunk line with some mascara, and hair chalks and sometimes left my hair down as is.
I realized it was not all that difficult. While that thought did seed into me, it went to the backlog after more important aspects of my life took priority like new motherhood.
Sadly my silvers got stubborn and were not ready to be covered. They would show up in a week and it was getting impossible to keep up.
In Feb 2020 I had my last hair colour for an interview which I did crack. Post which there was lockdown and we all were working from home. I just breezily didn’t colour for a few months and when asked by friends and family ‘why are you not colouring your hair?’, I said I was lazy to colour and I got past 6 months.
There was a thick silver band on my head. I went cold turkey, with no bandanas, and no lowlights. I did cut my hair short on my own and then let my silvers grow.
The first year was difficult. You look clumsy in pics, people keep staring at you as if you are some weirdo, and relatives get worried and offer advice on the midlife crisis. And coworkers taunt you in more ways than one.
Amidst all this I had the support of my inner circle, my husband, daughter, parents, and siblings all pepped me up when I felt down.
There were many not-so-memorable incidents which weighed me down. But the one place I could go and share my insecurities and get courage was the wonderful Facebook group ‘Gray and Proud’. The community helped me like none other. The group members made me feel loved and showed me so many beautiful transformations that I could envision my own.
Once the grey streak comes past the ear and down, it becomes easy to camouflage it with different hairstyles.
Some women go for highlights, some get full grey coverage, some go short and in extreme cases, women shave their heads and grow hair all over again. In my case, I did some short haircuts two times and then let my hair grow.
The second year passes by with experimenting. Getting used to the new hair colour, with wardrobe etc. and by the end of it we are pretty much done.
It’s been 3 years since closing and I have documented almost every few months of growth with pictures on Instagram. It was long, tiring, hurtful, and depressing initially but equally rewarding, beautiful and transforming in the end.
It’s a calling, and you don’t need to have it right now. When the time is right and you are ready you will know it.
It takes time but the results are beautiful. Most of all, you win back your freedom !!!
Gray hair transition stories have inspired several women going gray as they give hope and encouragement to stick on our journey. I hope you find Pratiksha’s story inspiring.
Read more Gray Hair Transition Stories here.