Radhika is an educator for TESL Ontario, and being a creative person, she has always had a different take on grey hair. She always believed grey hair was beautiful and made people glow.
Connect and follow Radhika on Instagram @duskysilver9
As we get older, our faces, in my observation, do not look good with dark hair framing them. Nature gives a perfect beauty as we age… lighter hair!
I was so amazed by my grandma‘s beautiful grey hair and how graceful she looked without any makeup. She was my inspiration to age gracefully.
I began greying at 32 and used henna to cover up the greys. As I turned 40, my greys became prominent, and I had to start colouring my hair because henna’s stain did not go well with my skin tone.
Now, it felt dry, unhealthy, and most of all, fake.
Towards the beginning of 2019, I decided to live more in tune with my desires. Since I hated colouring my hair, I decided to stop colouring.
I also made this decision because I was tired of planning my life around trips to the salon and the whole process made me anxious. I didn’t like the smell of the chemicals nor the itchy scalp.
This was also the time when I was on my way to a healthy, minimalist lifestyle and had started using environmental friendly products.
I went cold turkey and kept my hair short with regular trims.
Some friends and my mom initially insisted that I should keep dyeing my hair as there is a stigma attached to grey hair, especially in the Indian desi community.
I even received unsolicited advice and queer looks from strangers. Finally, I decided not to let the opinions of others upset me or question my decision. After all, why should I please everyone? And people are all going to have their own opinions.
Some friends supported and cheered me along the transition.
My husband initially hesitated; his friends said, “ So, your wife is going grey? Why?” Later, he stood with me and joined me by ditching the dye.
My two teenage kids hardly bothered about the colour of my hair. At work, I didn’t get any negative comments. On the contrary, my students and colleagues thought it looked cool.
The initial transition stage was bumpy, and it took a few weeks for me to adjust to my new hair colour.
Whenever I passed any mirror, either at home or at the mall, I became conscious.
Sometimes, I felt washed out but kept my reasons strong and stayed focused on the result. I used hats, scarves and bands to cover the demarcation.
I focused on being fit, healthy and at peace.
After I crossed the six months mark, I never really bothered, and time just flew.
I took pictures during my transition and admired all the silver sisters on Instagram. The support and inspiration I got from the silver sisters made the transition fun and exciting.
My transition is complete now, and the next is to add some length to my hair. The pattern of grey is mainly on the crown of my head, with few at the nape.
As women age, society makes them unseen. I refuse to be invisible just because I am growing older. So here I am, accepting and loving myself, my wrinkles, curls, white hair and all.
Our society’s message gets into our subconscious and believes that it’s not okay to go gray.
We see commercials, magazine ads, billboards and dozens of brands of hair colour in every drug store and supermarket daily, reminding us at all times that we will attract a better man, a better job, and a better life if we colour our hair.
Gray equals old is so hard-wired into our psyches that we don’t even think there is a choice, and most of us don’t seem mentally ready to consider anything but colour. I too, fell into the trap.
We think that by dying our hair, we will look younger, no matter how we eat, exercise, rest, or care for ourselves.
I may look older now, but I am happy with myself as a whole during this transition.
I have learnt to love myself for who I am and just how I am, and I owe it to my hair. In addition, the process has given me other gifts in self-acceptance and self-love.
Going grey isn’t something that everyone embraces. Instead, I get comments, mostly compliments, all the time with their own opinions. It’s what I had expected, though, and I’m okay with it.
People are certainly entitled to have their opinions and perspective.
I want to be part of the movement that changes the attitude- grey hair is natural, sexy and beautiful.
Ageing should not be feared; it should be embraced and appreciated. If we start thinking differently and do not care much about what others say, we will be happier and more comfortable in our skin.
Love your grey. They are part of who you are. I love mine; they are part of what makes me unique.
Gray hair transition stories have inspired many ladies going grey as they give us hope and encouragement to stick on our journey. I hope you find Radhika’s story inspiring. If you are looking for more stories, click on the link below.