So, today is roughly the 3 month anniversary of the blog, and therefore of my decision to go grey. As I also turned 32 last week, I thought that now might be a good time to reflect upon the things that I have learnt so far.
- Having grey hair under the age of 40 makes you pretty unique, and is therefore something to be celebrated. That’s part of the reason why I started this blog in the first place – I could find very few people writing for women my age about how to go through this process. It is also really empowering to challenge society’s expectations of you and how you should look.
- If you try to bleach hair that has been dyed 468565 times, it will go orange. This was the first stumbling block that I hit in this process. I had naively assumed that I could go to the hairdresser, ask them to bleach and then dye my hair grey, the roots would assimilate and that would be it. Nope.
- It’s a good idea to cut off as much of your hair as you can bear. I cut about 3 inches off mine, and I am thinking about going shorter. It shortens the time that it takes to grow out the roots, and it means that the hair that is left looks as healthy as possible.
- It is also a good idea to think about looking after your grey hair as early in the process as possible. Although you don’t necessarily have to do what I did, which was to get very excited and buy the most expensive shampoo on the market. Do your research and shop around. There is a good article by Sali Hughes about grey hair products here.
- Related to the above point – there are frustratingly few products readily available that are specifically for grey hair. Blonde hair, yes. But not grey. You can use blonde hair products on grey hair, but that is beside the point. I was in a major branch of Boots just this morning, and could find ZERO products specifically for women with grey hair. They are out there, but they are pretty elusive.
- I am pretty lucky that my hair colour at the time that I decided to go grey was a kind of reddish-brown. This has definitely made it easier to put up with the roots. They don’t show up as much as they would against very very dark hair.
- Many people (including me) go much greyer at the front of their hair than at the back. I have no idea why this is.
- I have been surprised by how unfazed I have been by my grey roots. I actually quite like them. I rarely wish to cover them up, and often I actively show them off. I may change my mind further down the line, but at the moment I don’t feel that I look like I have ‘let myself go’, which seems to be a common fear when people start this process.
- This may be a controversial statement, and I am sorry if I offend anyone. I am glad that I decided to go grey now, rather than in 20 years’ time. I think that for a lot of older women, the ageing process really starts to get scary and inconvenient, and growing out grey on top of that is just an extra stress. There is more pressure to look polished as we get older, and to not ‘let the side down’. I think that being young with grey hair will enable to me to have a bit more fun with it (e.g. pink rinses!), which I may not be so up for later in life. Most people in my life, especially those my age, have been really supportive of my decision and seem to be quite excited by it. For some of the older women I have spoken to, this hasn’t been the case. This in no way applies to everyone and is just my opinion. It is tied in to society, and sexist attitudes to greyness, which I intend to write about soon.
That’s about it. It will be interesting to see how I feel about this in 6-12 months’ time. Thanks for reading, as always!