Have you succumbed?
And right about now I think many women are facing this dilemma. Will I? Won’t I? The debate is rigorous; some of us adore gray hair, find it not only attractive but also liberating. Others detest it with such passion and feel it is ageing beyond belief. I agree to disagree. It wasn’t altogether an easy transition for me, easier than it is for women with very dark hair, but challenging enough.
I started the process around four years ago and not because I wanted to be silver but because the colouring was becoming increasingly difficult. Blonde was my comfort zone – for many a decade – and highlights were an easy fix and camouflaged the wayward grays for many years. It changed. The gray hairs became increasingly difficult to cover and the colour rather than being a pretty blonde was turning brassy and orange. Taking the permanent tint route plus highlights would have meant more time in the hairdresser and as my hair is super fast to grow, it would have been far too frequent. My last attempt at highlights was not pretty so I decided to give my hair a break before it did, literally. That was my intention, a break. Take a month or two, see how it looked and let it go.
I waited a month and then another and then another. The greys were coming in spasmodically and the nasty “golden” ends clipped off regularly. The hair didn’t look too bad as it has always been a melange of fair colours. As my hair grew I stayed firm and left it; cutting it more and more often. There was a moment around 4 months into the process when I decided to see it through.
That was extremely tough.
The gray journey is one fraught with emotion. I don’t believe it is easy because turning silver is about so much more than hair. There are days when it is confronting, upsetting and impossible; there are others when allowing gray into life is the best feeling in the world. I never gave in but I wanted to, many times. So, so badly. Self-confidence can become very fragile when our appearance changes and hair colour is no different. It’s only been in the last year where I have fully accepted where I am at with it. And now, it’s ok and I’m ok.
If you are transitioning from blonde or brunette to grey in normal times I would have suggested taking the time. It’s easier to stop tinting, retain the highlights and go fairer over time with gray as an ultimate goal. Regular haircuts and accessories – like headbands – really help. If it’s longer, tying it back or wearing it up was how I spent much of my time. Right now, unless you are an excellent at-home hairdresser, all that is unavailable. I am not sure about do-it-yourself hair dye; if you are in the anti-gray camp I can only say be brave and good luck.
Gray hair doesn’t have to cramp your style or mean we dress in a dowdy manner; my love of fashion has never changed. I dress with a new eye for the colours that work with my hair and embrace those I haven’t been able to enjoy in the past. Every decade brings changes to how we see ourselves and changing hair colour is simply another one.
One way to maintain the momentum and persist with this colour change is to follow other like-minded women who have made the break. Cindy, Beth and Sandra are gorgeous women who wear silver with great style. We all wear it in our own way and that is what is so fabulous about this freedom; it’s ours and we own it. We are lucky we have made the switch so management of our gray is less difficult in these times of isolation but we all still agree, we have to look after it. Nothing comes easy, Right?
How to look after the gray?
No regular haircuts – silently screaming – understanding there are greater worries right now.
No professional blow dry – help, my true can’t-live without – ok I can and I am. How much longer ;)
BUT and it’s a big one for now. There are products to manage and care for our hair and especially if you are growing in the gray.
I wash once or twice a week with a good shampoo, use a conditioning oil and mask once a month for an at-home treatment, dry shampoo for volume in-between and a fine hair spray to hold down any fly away hairs after blow-drying. I don’t use silver shampoo very often, as it tends to be too purple for my gray; if your gray is on the beige-ier side, it is brilliant. Add in one paddle brush, a strong round brush in a couple of sizes and on my wish list, the Dyson hairdryer to dry it into shape.
We all have a penchant for silver. xv
Wearing The Gray
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