About a month or two before I turned 25, I noticed my first grey hair.
At the top of my head, the silver distinct amongst my natural dark chestnut hair (I stopped dying my hair three years ago). I wondered if it was just a very light blonde hair (that has happened before) but no, it was indeed silver and grey. Now at 26, there are a few grey hairs now streaked amongst the chestnut.
I don’t mind it too much. I think it adds a bit of character to my hair, adding to the many tones it already naturally has. It shines red and mahogany in some lights, chestnut and copper in others. My natural hair is one of my features I really like, and like to take good care of it best I can.
But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit gutted about going grey younger than I’d imagined. Society’s view of women with greying hair under the age of 50 isn’t exactly kind. It’s basically ‘dye it or you’re unattractive.’ With men it’s more celebrated, especially with the ‘silver fox’ adage. And so it should be! Grey hair on men looks gorgeous (actor Jay Harrington? Wow!) Hell, even one of my original characters is called Silver Fox!
But like with a lot of things, there’s a double standard when it comes to women, or people who are feminine presenting. Sod that, I say. My scalp is sensitive as it is, and when I’d dye my hair, it would itch and burn for a day or two before finally calming down. So with that, on top of wanting to see my natural hair colour for the first time since 16, three years ago I stopped dying my hair.
As well as practical reasons, seeing folks of all genders starting to embrace grey hair, or even dying their hair grey, certainly helps with me embracing it more. If it wasn’t the case, I’d probably be reaching for the box dye, regardless if my scalp hated me for it, I’m sorry to say.
Going grey earlier does, somewhat, run in my family. My uncle started going grey at 18 (to be fair, now in his 50s, he rocks it) and my sister has one or two that she systematically pulls out at the slightest showing! But aside from that, the rest of my family have started greying around the time everyone else does. So whichever ancestor me and Uncle inherited that gene from, no disrespect, but we have a few questions!!
I do wonder how fast the grey will start to come through now. Within a year, a few more silvery hairs have joined their lone comrade, blending in with the rest of my hair. Amongst the chestnut you’ll see those long grey hairs making themselves known. So I wonder what it’ll be like next year, or by 30 (not to be morbid, but given everything going on with COVID19, I honestly hope I get to that age.) Maybe it’ll be more noticeable and perhaps by 40 I’ll have a full head of grey. Who knows?
If I change my mind and decide to dye my hair, it would probably be with one of those wash-in and wash-out ones, and just for me, not anyone else. However, I don’t particularly like the idea of it, at least not right now. I prefer right now, to just leave the colour as it is.
So for now, I’m embracing the grey.
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*Image – The Runway Archive, Pinterest.