I’m 36 and recently decided to NOT dye my greying hair. I started going grey in the my late 20s. Like most people, this freaked me out. I don’t think any of us like this first sign that youth is on the way out. I used to pull the hairs out, even employing my husband in the task! That is until one day he said ‘there’s too many’.
I always knew I would never use chemical dyes on my hair so started out on a long journey to find a natural dye to cover these early greys. However, anyone that has done this will know that there is no natural way to truely cover grey. Natural dyes coat the haircut shaft, rather than replacing the hair colour inside (which is what conventional dyes do). This means that your greys will still look lighter than the rest of your hair, and I’ve always found that these dyes, although permanent on my brown hair, annoyingly seemed to gradually fade off the greys, so that I’d have to dye my full length of hair every 3-4 weeks.
The process of dyeing my hair naturally at home was messy, long-winded and expensive (although not a patch on going to the salon every month, how anyone affords to get their hair dyed that way is beyond me!) I understand using conventional dyes at home isn’t much different. I found it a struggle to keep up and that was before I had children!
I also found it hard to find the right colour. Natural dyes are limited in the colours available, and you may have to experiment a lot to find a colour you like (I certainly did). My goal was to match my natural hair colour, to disguise the greys like they didn’t exist, I didn’t want people to know that I dyed it. But so many 100% natural dyes are henna-based and have a distinctive reddish tinge that shouts ‘I dye my hair with henna’ so I didn’t want that. Ironically, it was just as I found the perfect shade that I decided to leave it grey.
I was in the supermarket a few months ago when I saw a woman at the next checkout with the most beautiful silver hair. I guessed her to be in her late 60s maybe, but instead of the traditional old lady shorter hair styles you see, she had her medium length wavy hair tied up in a pony tail (as I wear my own hair) and was dressed in a modern casual way in jeans, a baggy jumper, scarf and boots. She looked so chic, so effortlessly beautiful. Her whole look was so youthful. But what struck me the most was how her grey hair made her seem so strong. She wasn’t trying to fight away the years, a struggle none of us can ever win. She was beyond all that.
It was a defining moment for me. In her I saw myself – how I want to be when I am older. It was then I decided to ditch the dye. It might sound silly but I suddenly felt at peace, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. No longer would I struggle trying to hide what was inevitable – no more wasted fortune, no more hours spent in the bathroom with henna everywhere, no more panic as the roots start to show.
I spoke to the lady at the supermarket and told her how beautiful she was and how she had inspired me to not dye my hair. She said ‘trying to hide greys was one of the worst mistakes of my life, just let it go.’
It is truely liberating to ditch the dye. If you are thinking about it please do it! See my Pinterest account for pictures of gorgeous grey hair – where I found the rally call ‘ditch the dye.’ It is so rare to see younger women embracing their naturally greying hair – be one of the few, be a rebel! If you are a lover of beauty and fashion like me, there is no reason for grey to be ageing – keep your make-up and outfits modern, keep your hair in good condition and it will only make you look strong, unique and beautiful.
PS – Taking photos of my hair for this post made me realise that I’m going grey in streaks, like Morticia Addams, how cool is that?! 🙂