Going Gray Gracefully
My first strand of gray hair made its appearance when I was in my early thirties; no need to mention I was horrified. It wasn’t even a subtle dark gray that blended nicely with my natural dark blonde, no it was granny white – white! –out there for everyone else to see, and reminding me I was getting older every time I gazed into the mirror. Before that, I never dyed my hair, freighted of all the toxic chemicals and the damage it would do to my hair. The most shocking thing I had done up until then was bleaching my hair with lemon juice and vodka and then sit in the sun, but this ‘lemon drop cocktail’ wasn’t getting me anywhere this time. Only a trip to the salon could free me from the offending silver locks I’m sure weren’t mine at this age.
Every few months I had highlights added to my warm blonde hair, and over the years all the bleaching lead to split ends and dryness, and, still suffering from chemophobia, I was worried to develop an allergy.
It was a huge dilemma, but, last year, after spending a vacation on my favorite Balearic island Mallorca, I decided enough is enough. I was so fed up with the brassy hair, the never-ending visits to the salon, not to mention the hit to my wallet, that I decided to give up the dye job and embrace my silver locks. If only I had them…
Suddenly inspired by giving myself a whole new look, I studied the images of all those beautiful women with silver or gray hair on Pinterest for weeks, and it’s safe to say I got obsessed with the granny hair look. I never knew there was a whole world out there with all these brave women going for the natural look and saying adios to the beauty standards. These women helped me hugely in my own transition to let my silver roots grow out. And the funny thing is, I suddenly love my silver strands, welcome each new gray hair, and I can’t wait until they reach my waist. And not to worry anymore about the lengths of my roots feels so great. Even liberating in every sense of the word.
And now, thirteen months down the road without seeing any hairdresser whatsoever, I found someone who’s now helping me with the transition to go gray as gracefully as possible. It’s a process that takes time and requires patience. Of course, I could show her a picture of a gray-haired woman on Pinterest and tell that’s how I want it, and I did, but she shattered my illusion of becoming a silver vixen overnight – not without damaging my hair anyway, or cutting it all off.
So, here’s what we did. We used a semi-permanent hair color that matched my own dark blonde hair and got rid of all the yellow hues. The hair color doesn’t cover gray hair, so, after a few washings, my natural gray will blend perfectly with the smokey gray hair color. We’ll repeat this process in a month or so to keep a beautiful color and, in another year, my natural silver strands will finally be long and blend in beautifully with the darker gray shades. Can’t wait to see the result, but so far, I’m truly happy with the choice I made last year. The cool gray tones make my face less reddish and it’s amazing to see what color can do for you. Deciding to grow out my natural hair was the best thing I could do for me.