before and after gray hair transition

Radhika’s SparklingSilvers Story

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. 

radhika's gray hair transition before
When Radhika used to colour her hair.

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.

Before picture

I did some research, read pro-grey blogs and watched videos. I was inspired by grey-haired models like Nikol Johnson Sanchez, Erica Henry Johnston and Elisa Berrini Gomez.

I also got motivated by so many Instagram accounts, especially @naturally_graysful @sparklingsilvers  @lori_dawnolyn

One month of gray hair grow out.
gray hair transition radhika
Two months in.

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. 

Three months of growing silvers
four months gray hair grow out
Four months in.

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.

five months gray hair grow out
Five months.

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.

six months gray hair grow out
Six months, silvers getting longer.

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.

seven months gray hair grow out
Seven months in.
eight months gray hair grow out
Eight months of growth.

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.

nine months gray hair grow out
Silvers at nine months.

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.

ten months gray hair grow out
Silvers shining at ten months.
eleven months gray hair grow out (5)
Eleven months.

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.

twelve months gray hair grow out
Twelve months, before haircut.
twelve months gray hair grow out
Twelve months, after haircut.

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.

thirteen months gray hair grow out (8)
Thirteen months.
fourteen months gray hair grow out
Fourteen months and counting.

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.

fifteen months gray hair grow out
Fifteen months in.
sixteen months gray hair grow out
Sixteen months.

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.

After gray hair transition
After the transition.

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.

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5 thoughts on “Radhika’s SparklingSilvers Story”

  1. Hi Radhika! Your blog is so inspiring. What you wrote, is so true! I went through the same thing when I decided to stop dying my hair too in my mid 40s. This is the 1st time I’ve come across a blog on greyhair by a fellow Tamil! I’m so excited and inspired. Thank you!

  2. Hi Radhika! You look fabulous – and I cannot agree that you look older! I feel many women who continue to dye their hair actually can look older. They dye it too dark – which makes them look haggard – or just get the colour wrong- wrong, wrong ! Just messes up your whole look!
    I was happy when the day came and I had enough grey to stop dyeing and embrace my salt and pepper hair. I was convinced totally when a couple of old clients came in to our office,we hadn’t seen them for some time. They had let their hair grow out and they looked so young and fresh!
    Get yourselves a good hairdresser ladies and go for it – you won’t look back.

  3. Hi Radhika – Love every word you written. I am also an Indian American and travelling in the same boat in my transitioning grey hair..

    Your blog and this site gives lot of support, confidence and inspiration!!

    Thanks everyone!!

  4. That’s it: after (2) yrs of coloring, I think I’m finally fed up with being a slave to coloring my hair. How long did it take for yours to grow out? (I’ve finally gotten my hair length close to what I loved before I chopped it off and don’t really want to cut it short again…) thank you for the encouraging positive attitude!

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