Natural grays and silvers may not be for everyone, but for the moms who are embracing the transition, a new dawn has arrived. The COVID-19 pandemic forced salons across the globe to close up shop, and many women didn’t get to keep their dye appointments, adding to the ever-growing number of those who have come to accept and cherish their natural hair color.
December 2017 marked my last dye job. Although I can’t attribute the pandemic to my decision to go au naturale, I often try to think back to what led me to make the choice. Could it have been the wonder of why I had spent all those thousands of dollars in an attempt to keep the appearance of the hair color of my youth? Could it have been the popularity of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones—a young woman with white-blonde locks, the Mother of Dragons who wielded much power? Could my decision have come from my diagnosis of Benign Positional Vertigo and to my wonder that maybe an allergy to the chemicals was causing my dizzy spells? Or, maybe I was just tired of worrying that my grays would show, that I would look older. So I took the plunge and started my journey to my natural hair color.
I was one of a few high school classmates whose gray strands started making their appearance during their teenage years. I didn’t think much of it until college, which is when my dyeing journey began. Being a less-than-prosperous college student, store-bought dye was my go-to choice. It wasn’t until my early 30s that I began hiring a professional to dye my hair. Those afternoon meetings began happening every couple of months, and as time went on I spent more and more money to keep the grays at bay.
After nearly two decades of dye, I made the decision to stop coloring those silver roots. Once I stopped dyeing my hair, I began to notice many others around me choosing to do the same. I saw these “grombre” women in grocery stores and at sporting events with their hair growing out in various shades of silver and white on top, and their dyed color showing below. I discovered the Facebook groups Grombre and Silver Revolution. Supportive posts from women at different stages of transition helped me keep the faith and continue my journey. My hair stylist also had my back. She had already embraced her natural silvers and supported me throughout the process.
During my transition, I didn’t really deal with negativity or snide remarks about my decision. I have had a couple of women tell me that they “could never not dye” or that gray would make them “look old.” To each their own. Those comments never hurt my feelings or swayed me from my journey.
My husband has always been supportive of my choice, and my mother makes a point to tell me how beautiful my natural hair color is since ditching the dye. That’s not always the case. In the Facebook support groups, I have read comments from other women who have dealt with not-so-nice opinions while transitioning to their natural color. Some have been told by their partners or parents that the grays make them look older and that they need to continue coloring their hair. Others have written about getting offered senior discounts in their late 20s or early 30s.
My journey was long, just over two years for my natural color to reach my chin, and at times, I would get discouraged about the demarcation line. With half my hair in various shades of browns and silvers, and the bottom blonde, I wished for it to grow faster. I could have had the ends dyed to match the new growth, but that would have contradicted my decision to let my hair grow naturally. That option is a choice for many now as hair stylists are making the transition a bit easier for them, dyeing the hair to its natural silver, platinum, or white. With so many shades, each person who has chosen to move forward on this journey boasts beautiful, individual, one-of-a-kind hair colors.
It’s all about choice. Keep the dye or ditch it. I’m grateful that I made the decision to ditch the dye and stuck with it. I feel my hair is healthier, and I’m also saving time and money. With support from family, friends, and even complete strangers, I have embraced my natural color and am here to support others along the journey.