(photograph courtesy of Eva Wu)
 
 (photograph courtesy of Jonathan Ryder Photography)
 
 
Welcome ~ you have probably stumbled across my blog page by searching on the web for items to do with women and grey hair. Maybe you are grey already or are thinking about it and just need a little bit of inspiration to take the plunge?

Well, I am grey and I am proud! Not the old 'over the hill' grey - but the new generation 'grey and chic' grey. And, I want to inspire other women to have the confidence to give grey a go. I want women to have choice. I'm not saying that women should not dye their hair - but they should have the confidence to choose. There is a huge trend for women going grey and it is becoming very popular.

(photograph courtesy of White Hot Hair)

The way I see it, the beauty of grey hair is one of nature's best kept secrets and is only revealed if you give it a try. If you don't like it, you can always dye again. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to be afraid and don't be put off by other people's opinions. You will get people who will be negative about it, even your closest family and friends, especially during the transitioning phase when your hair will most likely look a mess. Keep focused and keep in mind the end goal. Only then will you see the new you - and then you can judge if you like it.

And, remember, it's only hair! 

After you read this page, please take time to click on the sections along the top of the page to see more. Thank you x

 

Why I dared to be grey ...

Live and Let Dye Die

I always say 'each to his/her own'.

I decided to ditch the dye at the age of 45 for a number of reasons. My decision was based on the fact that as I was getting older I felt I did not look natural with brown hair. As we age, our complexions get lighter and I found that continuing to dye my hair brown actually made me look older - it emphasised the aging lines in my skin. I noticed too that, as is normal for women of the peri-/menopausal phase of life, my hair was getting a little thinner, especially at the front - so my scalp was more visible through the dyed hair. I was frustrated by the fact that I was having to colour it every two weeks to get rid of the new grey regrowth coming through and I resented putting chemicals onto my scalp which might not be a healthy thing to do. I thought to myself, 'stop fighting it, let the colour grow out and see what I really look like'. So I gave it a go.
 

The Journey to Grey ...

It was a difficult road ...

I went ‘cold turkey’ and it took me about a year, with a lot of patience, to grow out the dyed coloured hair. Firstly, I decided to get my hair cut short - it had been in a bob style. During the growing out phase my hair was such a mess, a mixture of the old dyed colour, my new natural dark brown and the grey coming through. I felt that I looked like I was letting myself go - that I didn't care about how I looked. Of course this is not true - I really cared! And, being honest, it was so difficult.






I purchased a book at this time and it really helped me to keep going: 'Going Gray' by Anne Kreamer. In her book, Anne Kreamer describes her own personal journey to grey. I owe so much to this author - her book gave me great hope and confidence to carry on. [Thank you Anne!]




I stuck with growing out the colour and every time I had a new cut I could see the grey/white strands of hair shining through more and more (especially round my face like a light). It was like a metamorphosis. I felt so free - free of the shackles of colour. I can't wait for my hair to go even greyer/whiter and hope to enjoy the continuing journey. For me, it's not just the outer look, it's how I feel inside too.




 


Destination Grey: clothes and make-up - adapting to the new look

I consider my grey as a new colour – not the absence of colour

Clothes

Once I had grown out my dyed colour, I quickly learned that it is not enough to go grey and expect to wear the same colours in clothing and make-up. I had to look at my colour palette and discovered that I could no longer wear warm autumnal colours like browns, creams, beige, green and yellow because these simply did not go with grey. In fact, they look terrible with my grey hair! I had to re-stock my wardrobe with cool colours to match my new look, ie black, charcoal, grey, blue, aubergine, purple, pink, white - jewel colours are perfect. The bottom line for me is to avoid colours that contain any warm yellowy tones.


Here is a very helpful website about colour palettes: http://www.jillkirshcolor.com/


 
 
 
 
Make-up

I had to look at my make-up and learned to highlight my face so that it did not look washed out. I use a slightly lighter foundation both in colour and texture, some pink/natural blusher, smokey/taupey/silvery eye shadows, charcoal grey eyeliner, black mascara, and pink/natural lipstick. I learned to define my eyes and lips so that they stand out but in a natural way to complement the lighter hair around my face.






Less is definitely More



Jewellery

I discovered that I could no longer wear gold jewellery as it did not go with my new appearance. I now wear silver and it looks stunning with grey/silver hair or coloured beads to match my clothing.




Because we are worth it too!

Caring for Grey Hair

I find that my grey hair can get a bit dull over time and, in order to keep the white strands vibrant, I use L'Oreal Silver shampoo specifically for grey hair about once a week (or just when I notice that it needs done). I also wash my hair daily with Jhirmack Silver Plus mixed with a little Wash and Go 2 in 1 shampoo. I find that the texture of my hair is quite fragile so I use my electric straigheners on a mid-setting to avoid damage. I love Touch of Silver Glamour Hairspray.



A wonderful new range of hair products was launched in June 2013 by a UK-based company called 'White Hot Hair'. The products are fantastic and I am using these too. Hair experts tell us that it's good to use a variety of products and I am delighted to include these in my hair care routine.
 
 
 
 
 
I am hooked on White Hot Hair Shooshing Crème - amazing stuff! 
 
 

 
 
 
 

What Have I Learned on the Way?

Observations ...

- I have learned that grey-haired women are in the minority and that the vast majority of women colour their hair.

- I have learned that men with grey hair are viewed differently to women. If it's OK for men to go grey and in fact praised and glorified (I'm thinking George Clooney here - and he's gorgeous) then why is it not the same for women?

- I have learned that women with grey hair are not used very much in advertising. There are very few exceptions to this, eg supermodels Yasmina Rossi, Cindy Joseph and Pia Gronning who are all naturally beautiful. However, it is generally very rare to see grey-haired women used to advertising beauty products or fashion.


- I have learned that there are very few women employed as television newsreaders and presenters.

This list goes on ...


Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Grey

Advantages

- I feel a sense of freedom - both internally and externally.

- I feel I look more harmonious. My eyes, skin and hair match.

- I don't have the burden of having to physically colour my hair every two weeks.

- I am not putting chemicals onto my scalp which might not be a healthy thing to do - we don't know what they might be doing to us.

- It's free!

Disadvantages

- I sometimes miss my lustrous, shiny, rich deep brown natural colour I had when I was younger (although I don't miss the dyed colour). But, I suppose this is really a hankering after my youthful days which we all think about from time to time - a growing older thing.

- I miss being able to wear any colour under the sun.

- I don't like the way my grey hair gets dry - but I try to deal with that in my hair care products.

The advantages for me far outweigh the disadvantages and I will NEVER colour my hair again!

Advertisers - Listen!

I mentioned above how grey-haired women are not used very much in advertising and in the media. 

Since I joined 'Gray and Proud' on Facebook, I have learned that there is a huge number of women who are being ignored by companies in their marketing of products. I think attitudes need to be changed about grey-haired women, ie attitudes in women themselves, society in general, the media, and in the world of beauty/fashion and advertising where trends are set and where influence is created. I am convinced that there are a lot of women who would consider going grey if they could only see how beautiful they could be by the example shown in advertising. Advertising is so powerful and has so much influence on people's attitudes and lives. So, advertisers please listen - we want to see chic and sassy grey-haired models on television, in magazines, in newspapers, on billboards, on the internet, etc!

We grey-haired women have a voice and we matter too!
 

The Grey Hair Tsunami ...

I believe that the 'grey revolution' is happening now from the ground up. Usually, trends are set and promoted by the large fashion and beauty industries and the consumer follows. But, my perception is that ordinary women are taking the lead in ditching the dye and becoming the trailblazers for grey. Perhaps the fashion and beauty companies will catch up with us. If they would only wake up! There is a real market for products for caring for grey hair, fashion, make-up, jewellery and accessories. Grey-haired women are ready to spend their money on these things - money they save from expensive hair salon colouring.  

The 'Gray and Proud Colour Swatch' - ordinary grey-haired women leading the way:


Advice to Anyone Considering Going Grey

- Give it a go. You've got nothing to lose. You can always colour your hair again if you don't like it.

- It's a hard journey during the transitioning period but stick with it - it's worth it in the end. Be aware that you need to see your hair totally naturally grey, ie when all the dye is gone, to see how you look. Don't judge yourself during the messy transitioning period. Stay strong!

- BUY Anne Kreamer's book, 'Going Gray' and Kama Frankling's book 'Daring To Be Grey.

- Join 'Gray and Proud' and 'The "GGG Going Gray Guide" on Facebook. You'll get plenty of support, guidance, help and encouragement from the best friends anyone could ever have. You'll also see so many beautiful women who are from all walks of life and who have grey hair of all shades. They will really inspire you. You might even get hair style ideas from them!

 

 
Check out the '50 Shades of Gray Hair' video on YouTube: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5dM7X1Gr00.



- Get as much information as you can from websites, blogs, forums, etc and search out images of women with grey - this will give you the inspiration and confidence on your journey to grey.

- Enjoy the new you - it's a GREAT EMPOWERING FEELING!