Embracing the Greys
Updated: Jun 26
The quest for eternal youth has always been an obsession with the human race. There are countless stories of valiant men and women searching for the fountain of youth and immortality. Today, the magic potion is found in a bottle of hair dye or in expensive treatments at the salon.
Flip it on the head
What if we change this narrative and actually embrace the greys and the wrinkles. In some African societies, the appearance of wrinkles and streaks of silver are revered and given a lot of respect as they stand for wisdom. Wouldn’t it be lovely to let go of the past and the dreams we all harbour of reliving our youth. Of course we all get nostalgic and look back at lives when we were in our twenties and wish we could relive the glory days. But maybe that’s why they are so special, as the older we get the more golden being-twenty-something becomes, with the gritty bits blurring out of focus.
Each wrinkle, each scar tells a story and that is the story of our lives. These are the stories that make us who we are. These are the stories that make an evening with friends memorable and enjoyable as we recount these marvellous adventures. These are the stories that become anecdotes and then get passed on down the family tree.
By embracing the greys we are embracing our life story and being completely at peace with who we are. Age is after all just a number and I have had the privilege and the honour to meet men and women filled with youthful enthusiasm at a ripe, golden age.
The Transition Hurdle
Margarita, founder of More Than Mums says,
"I have never dyed my hair and I don't want to start now. But it is a struggle, not because of how I look or about other people's comments but mostly because I can't bear the transitional phase. I would be happy if could wake up one day be all grey all at once!
Margarita and I share the love of the silver-streak and wanted to hear the thoughts of other women who have gone grey or those that are going through the process.
''I decided to stop coloring my hair in February 2018. I disliked the products, they were so harsh and would make my scalp itch. But the transition was hard! I cut my hair short, I used temporary colours to disguise it but it didn't help. And your self esteem really takes a beating. But the support I had from other silver-sisters really helped me and I got through that phase. Today I have no regrets. White hair does not age. I think it lights up my face and makes me less strict. I have more confidence in myself and I feel more fulfilled. If you want to switch to natural hair, listen only to yourself and ignore the remarks and negative opinions of those around you. At the end of the transition, it is only happiness and freedom.''
Jane, (@greyhairchronicals) another beautiful women which has started to transition to grey hair, is optimistic and she has started a chronicle of her hair journey on Instagram. Obviously you don't have to go public but maybe a diary that documents the journey with your emotions and thoughts will help you go through the process.
''I would say to someone considering growing their grey to give it a chance. The very first stages of growing your grey can be hard, but, you can do this! As the months go by, I believe it will get easier. If you’re like me, you may grow impatient and actually want it to grow faster! I would suggest finding a way to chronicle your hair journey. Having an Instagram page has helped me to not only track, but to see my progress. Also, realise that you are not alone. I have felt so supported by all of the compliments and messages of encouragement from other women in the grey hair community on Instagram. Lastly, have fun with it! You could try a new hair style, play with temporary colours, or even look into colour correction to match your own grey. There is no rule book, so you get to define what your hair journey will look like.''
It's in the attitude
So maybe we have found the fountain of youth and it isn’t really a magic potion to be found at the depths of the ocean or at the top of the highest mountains but really it is inside of us, it’s our state of mind.
To grey or not to grey...
Are you a silver-sister? What are your thoughts about going grey? Would you embrace it, or would you prefer to keep that a well guarded secret? We would love to hear your views, so please, go ahead and leave a comment below.