Whether you spell it gray or grey, it’s not blonde, brown or red.
I got my first grey hair at the age of 21. I was sitting outside a friends house when another person said “Sharon, you’ve got a grey hair!” and promptly pulled it out (thanks Mrs. Haines). It’s all been downhill from there.
In the end I ended up colouring my hair once a month. In Kenya it’s pretty expensive to buy the hair dye so I would get it in bulk when I was back in Australia and it would keep me going for a year. I’d do it myself because it was way cheaper than going to a hair salon.
I made a decision that by the age of 50 I wanted to stop dying my hair. That was easy to say but what about the important thing – what my husband thought.
I started by researching online, watching YouTube videos and seeing photos of people who looked fantastic with silver hair. Silver sounds more glamorous than grey. Pete was silent on the matter, which meant he didn’t approve. Basically he didn’t want an ‘old looking’ wife. Fair enough, but he wasn’t the one putting chemicals on his hair and therefore going into your body.
So, I stopped colouring my hair about August and when the skunky look happened I started using a coloured hair spray. It’s one where you match your hair colour with the bottle and just spray it on. It’s fantastic, but only till you wash your hair again. When you go running every second day, it was becoming a drag.
We were heading to the US in December on a speaking tour so Pete suggested that I invest the most money I’ve spent and get my hair professionally done. I went into the salon in Nairobi that specialises in foreigners hair, which is totally different from Kenyans. I told the lady that I wanted it to be highlighted as I was growing it out. I walked out exactly the same, and cried. Thankfully the owner organised for it to get redone and I absolutely loved it.
The first thing Pete said was “You look just like your cousin Jeanette” This is the only thing I felt I had ever really been selfish and done for myself, and I was okay with that.
And I’m never going back to colouring my hair.
In most cultures, having grey hair is really not appreciated, in fact, it is very much looked down upon. Well, too bad, my grey hair is going to stay. I stopped colouring my hair simply because I decided enough is enough – for me.
I’m over 50 and I’m embracing the more senior years of my life. We should enjoy each stage of our life and what it offers. Be comfortable in your own skin, and if you feel you need a few adjustments or something that makes you view yourself better – then go for it.
So if you want to go grey here’s some things to consider:
- It will take at least 2 years to grow it out
- You’ll need to put oil in the ends of your hair to stop it going straw like
- There’s a high probability that you’ll need to change your makeup colours
- Use purple shampoo once a week to stop the ‘brassiness’ that can occur
- Get regular hair cuts to promote hair growth