Tina is adorable and holds a positive online presence on Instagram grey hair community. You can find her on Instagram at @tinacclark687
I was super excited when Tina agreed to share her going grey journey! She has one of the most beautiful grey hair and is on her way to embracing her curls.
What were your age and thoughts when you got your first grey hair?
I was in my early 20s when I found my first gray hair. There was no question I would dye and cover up those grays. I strongly believed, at that time, that gray hair equalled old, and I was absolutely sure I wasn’t old. I actually thought I would live forever without ever getting old. But, ah, the blissful ignorance of youth (errrr, I mean… “innocence” of youth).
Did you ever dye your hair? At what age, and for how long?
Absolutely, I dyed my white shining strands back to my dark charcoal color as soon as I found them! I was in my early 20s when I started dying my hair, and I really enjoyed it at first. Dye coats the hair cuticle and lays it flatter – at least, that’s what my hairdresser told me. So, the dye seemed to really help calm my hair, even when I used boxed color, and it was easier to style. But, that deep, rich, vibrant colour didn’t last long. It quickly faded to an orange tinge, and I was not too fond of that. It was just not attractive against my skin tone. But I continued my dutiful dye jobs for about 26 years.
When and why did you think of giving up dye?
Around the time I started noticing “gray hair” as a fad, I considered letting my silvers grow out. I had covered my roots every two weeks, but my silvers could be seen only days after my colour. The silvers were screaming to be seen.
And, seeing how much of a trend gray hair was becoming, I thought I wouldn’t look so odd or out of place, that I could blend in, and that it might be the right time to grow it out.
What was your way of going grey? (Pixie, Cold turkey, Highlights, Lowlights)
Initially, I went to the salon to blend the grey hair demarcation line. I tried toners at home to blend the faded dye, but any attempt always faded to an ugly orange.
“This picture is from May 17, the day after “toning” it with an at-home toner. You can see how much the toner blended the yellow from the previous pic, but this was actually “breaking my base“. It lightened my new hair growth, the color of my dark strands, which were eventually fading and turning my hair orange.”
All that upkeep, trying to blend, and disguise the grow-out, just didn’t work for me. So after a salon job in May of 2017 (that set me back to “square 1”), I decided just to go cold turkey. I left it alone and let it grow!
“This picture was right after my last salon visit. It was such a horrible cut. The bottom left and right photos were waking up the morning after my disastrous cut. It was horrific. I could style it and make it presentable, but this was the worst haircut and blend job I had ever received. It felt like I started over – back at square 1. “
Any inspiration online/in real life?
I perused Pinterest for photos of grey-haired women who were absolutely stunning! And all those beautiful photos of women who were still vibrant, still glamorous and still just gorgeous made me think I could do it too! Why not?
Any experience that you think is unforgettable while growing out your greys?
The most unforgettable lesson was this: Any negative comment I received was never about me. It was about the one who was making the negative comment. Most remarks rolled off my back, and I was unbothered. One comment, though, really irked me because it was overtly insulting. Working through that mentally, realizing that the insult did not belong to me, and arriving at a place where I was completely unbothered by it, has been quite an unforgettable lesson! So, I’m good!
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How do you take care of your silvers? Do you have any product recommendations?
Hands down, my favourite product for my silvers is Blond Brilliance. It’s an ash-toner conditioner. I use it almost every wash: with my shampoo, my conditioner, even “as” my conditioner. It is sulfate and paraben-free and is CGM-approved. It works well for me.
After going grey, did you think of changing your styles? (makeup, wardrobe, accessories)
The colour of your hair definitely affects what makeup and clothing colours look good. I’ve often had to adjust my makeup after a hair colour appointment. And, it’s no different going gray, except growing out my gray gave me a PERFECT colour match for my skin tone! As for clothing, I still favour black and white; but I’ve become a bit bolder with colours. My jewellery has remained platinum or silver.
Your major support during the transition?
My inspiration was drawn from Pinterest. I transitioned before joining Instagram and wasn’t active on social media. I rarely posted anything. And although I had various social media accounts, I just visited for exciting content. I used those accounts similar to how I may use websites – to gather the information I found interesting to read. And then, I discovered Instagram! This has been an overwhelmingly positive flow of inspiring accounts – Inspiration after Inspiration!
How do you feel after the transition?
I feel free. For me, there’s been such a relief in that freedom, a feeling of deep appreciation as I grow to accept the natural way my hair, skin and body are changing. I don’t mean letting myself go, but rather keeping the same indulgent, self-care practice that I’ve always had but in a more purposeful and deliberately healthy way. And appreciating how much my body, mind and spirit have supported me through life. And that in and of itself feels absolutely perfect to me!
Any message for women aspiring to go grey?
As long as you are alive, you are ageing. Everyone is getting older. And if you’re lucky, you will too! Going gray is a choice, a preference; it’s not for everyone. For me, the choice to go gray was relieving myself of a social expectation that I no longer felt obliged to meet. When I realized that I didn’t want to any longer, the only permission I needed was my own. When you’re ready, you will know. You don’t NEED hair colour to be beautiful! It’s true: our bodies change, our ideas, and our looks change. I’m growing more and more confident as I relinquish the impossible belief that I need to hold on to youth forever!
This blog has been created to give voice to the women around the world embracing their natural grey hair. You can be one to boost their thoughts and experiences by sharing this post. Thanks!