How Will You Handle Going Grey?


Last weekend, I was getting my haircut. I’ve had the same hairdresser since I was 17 and we were discussing how my hair had changed. Just then, he found two silver strands of hair nestled in my fringe. He made a move to yank them out. ‘No! Don’t!’ I said. ‘I’ve been cultivating those!’ The concept of going grey is an interesting one for women. We’re taught to fear it. So, how will you deal with your locks if and when they change colour?

I’ve never dyed my hair and can’t imagine myself ever doing so. I used to think I’d have to when grey started to come through, but when that first silver strand came, I felt oddly pleased with it. It nestled itself in amongst my dark brown, flowing locks and got comfortable. It was literally right up front. It didn’t want to hide. It felt no shame, so why should I?

My Irish grandmother (who’s up in heaven now, probably having a right old party), legend would have it, her locks turned white pretty much overnight when she was 30. I was convinced that gene would skip a generation and it’d happen to me. So far, at 32, I just have the two silver strands.

A few years ago, when I was working in a shop in Canada, I remember I saw this woman walking through the mall and she was a real head turner. She was probably late 60s, early 70s and she had this head of white hair pulled back into a big bun. She was immaculately dressed with great skin and bright red lipstick. I think I audibly swooned as she walked by. THAT is how I want to do my senior years.

I understand that historically and culturally, youth is so prized that the second we start to show signs of losing it, we’re supposed to do all we can to cover it up. But I just can’t imagine dying my hair. More to the point, I don’t want to. I think grey or silver hair can be rocked with style. I think it’s distinguished. It represents wisdom, it shows you’ve lived a little. It shows you’re comfortable with yourself and your vanity.

Refusing to rush to cover up greys is kind of a power move for women too. It says you don’t want to conform. Proudly displaying your grey helps us all take back control. It’s a bit of a middle finger to the beauty industry. It says a lot about the time we’re living in that simply being unapologetically yourself is a powerful statement.

So, while I wait for my silver strand to hopefully develop into a streak a la Cruella Deville, I won’t be investigating hair dye any time soon.

What’s your approach to going grey? Are you in a rush to cover it up or are you going to enjoy the ride?

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