I met the lovely Sherry on Instagram, after following people through hashtags like #greyandproud, #greyhairdontcare etc. She has been documenting her journey growing out her grey, and has just had the last bit of dye cut out of her hair. I was very inspired by this and she kindly agreed to let me interview her.
How old are you (if you don’t mind disclosing that!)? 50, 100% natural and loving it!
When did you first start going grey? In my 30’s they began to creep in through my dark brown hair. I wasn’t ready for it, so I decided to dye my hair dark brown to cover up those unsightly roots until about seven years ago. I then started dyeing my hair caramel with blonde highlights on top to blend in with the gray and hide it. So during the past seven years or so, I basically was only growing out the blonde highlights on top, which made the process easier and quicker.
What made you decide to stop dyeing your hair and go fully grey? Was it a difficult decision? How did you think it would work logistically? How have people responded? I have had a goal for the past seven to eight years that when I was 50, I was going to let all of my grey/silver/whites grow out and be 100% natural. No more dyeing! The decision was not difficult for me at all because I had that goal for so many years and knew when I turned 50 that I was going to accomplish it. It has been one of the greatest decisions of my life and it has been just for me! I work in an office and our clients have been very accepting of it. There were definitely days that I felt “drab” but then I would just amp up the makeup or change the color of my clothing and all was good. People have been all across the board with their responses. Most have been extremely complimentary and very few (negative people who I don’t listen to anyway) have been not so complimentary with their “opinions” and those can only be counted on one hand. People’s opinions and comments don’t steal my joy and affect my decisions in life. At 50, I’m very confident in my own skin. It took me many years to get there, but I can say that I am there now. Overall, the experience with other people has been very encouraging and I’ve even been able to inspire quite a few women to let their gray grow out. That thrills me! I love to be an inspiration and help other women gain confidence in who they are and not hide their authentic self.
How do you think that having grey hair will change your makeup/wardrobe, if at all? I have noticed that some colors just don’t work as well anymore. Cooler colors seem to make my silver “pop” but it’s kind of tricky because I have somewhat of an olive skin tone, I really don’t let that keep me from wearing what I want though. I live in a very casual laid back beach town on the Outer Banks in the USA and wear a lot of colors. Summertime, you will see me living in sundresses and beach cover-ups (when I’m not working) and they are all wild prints and very colorful! I LOVE color! I’m pretty much a laid back beach-bummin, seashell lover, island explorer and grandson lover and don’t give a whole lot of thought to colors in my wardrobe. I’m drawn to my favorite colors and wear what I like and I think that is important, that we wear colors that we love! We may have to tweak the shades of the colors we love but our clothing is an extension of who we are! I do tend to wear too much black and grays in the winter, but am a turquoise, purples and burnt orange lover and accent with those through jewelry, kimonos, and shoes. These colors tend to compliment my silver really well. Huge bohemian style lover here and with that style, color definitely plays a big part of my wardrobe! So yes, my silver locks do affect the colors I wear, but I haven’t gone out and bought a new wardrobe because of it. I’m pretty organic and natural in my lifestyle and am not a big makeup wearer and kind of just go with the flow with my wardrobe style.
I have been re-working my makeup a little bit…felt my eyebrows needed a lighter shade of pencil to match up with the silver/grey/whites, but other than that, I haven’t changed too much else. (I’ve switched over to a medium brown eyebrow pencil rather than black.) I’m not a lipstick person and only wear eye-shadow when I go out on dates and have changed those to grays and purples, but other than that I stick to mascara, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, concealer under my eyes and bronzer….oh and gotta have my lip balm! I’m sure down the road, I will investigate make-up a little more and tweak it a bit.
What do you think that going grey means to women vs. men? Men are distinguished when they turn grey and for the most part don’t let the grey get them down by stressing about their appearance, as women often do. It seems to be more acceptable for men to grey and let it show. Sadly, women go grey and they freak out. Letting one’s grey hair grow out is a big decision for women. It completely affects our identity! Our society has put so much pressure on women to stay young forever with hair dye, make-up, Botox, face lifts, breast implants, moisturizers and on and on. I have never been one to jump on the bandwagon with any of that. I’ve used a simple inexpensive moisturizer all of my adult life that has 15 SPF in it and that’s pretty much the conclusion of my “staying young” routine. I do strive to eat healthy, power walk and soak in Vitamin D sunshine and ocean salt air. My life’s motto for aging is to “grow old gracefully”…silver hair, wrinkles, laugh lines and all! I’m very comfortable in my own skin and feel I’ve earned every silver strand and every wrinkle on my face and there’s no need to be ashamed of any of it. They each have their own story to tell. I feel my natural hair is a work of art and I love and embrace it! I’m thankful for all that life has brought me along my journey that has made me who I am today.
It seems more and more women are gaining the confidence needed to step out from society’s norm and break the chains of bondage that hold them down from letting their authentic selves shine through and of these ways is through their silver locks! It’s exciting to see this movement among women. Gray is now the new blonde! I love it! Becoming 100% natural has been freeing and liberating and I hope my journey can be used to inspire and encourage other women!
Sherry can be found here:
Facebook: Sherry Hurst and SeaGypsyVintage
Vintage online etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SeaGypsyVintage