& Join My Grey Hair Gang
Are you afraid of those glittery grey streaks in your hair? I’m here to encourage you to ditch the dye in favour of going au naturel
“I think accepting yourself as you are is just part of growing up and some people, including myself, may never fully get there”
I have dyed, bleached and straightened my hair since I was 16 until very recently and in the last 6 years I have opted for letting my curly hair do it’s thing and avoiding shampoo all together. I really don’t miss the 20 mins straightening routine every morning and being afraid of a bit of rain in case people discover my curly secret. (see pics below)
I think accepting yourself as you are is just part of growing up and some people, including myself, may never fully get there.
We can but try
So the decision to go grey was a few months before I actually stopped dying my hair. I knew I had grey hair coming through and, being really honest, it didn’t really bother me at all. The only thing that really bothered me was dying my hair each month. I loved dying my hair different colours and I like it being purple but I didn’t like the faf of having to dye my hair or the cost (Roughly £10 a box). This is without even taking into consideration what the chemicals were doing to my hair.
I had switched from using the Schwarzkopf Live hair-dyes when I was younger to using Naturtint or Herbatint in the last few years due to vegan ingredients and having less chemicals in.
Thinking about the chemicals I was loading my hair was especially a concern since I ditched the shampoo a few months ago. Was the colouring going to undo all of the work I had done with leaving out the shampoo? I decided the best thing was really simple and quite unnerving; don’t use any more hair-dye.
The Last Box
As I held the last box in my hand, it was a strange feeling; knowing I would never use one again and that it was a conscious decision. It was a little bit sad as I remembered all of the times I dyed my hair with my mom when I was younger; it had become like a monthly pastime. I treated this last hair-dye as a ritual and took my time with each application of dye. A tiny bit of me was excited too; excited to see what my natural hair colour was as I had forgotten long ago!
Afterwards I did the usual scout on the internet for other people’s ‘transition stories’ like, do I just let it grow out and risk looking like an idiot with half my hair grey and half my hair purple/ fading red/ fading orange colour?! I came across a few options for growing out the grey:
- Just grow it out
- Grow it out a bit then beg a hair dresser to fade my hair or dye accordingly
- Cut all of my hair off, buy some wigs and/ or hide for a few years
That was pretty much the extent of the options I found. I knew I had to wait to see exactly how much was going to be grey and then I could take evasive action, if needed.
The Symbolic Towel
I had this towel, since I was maybe 6; full of holes, covered in dye and it had my old Kia-Ora swimming badges sewn on to it. It was my hair-dye towel. For years it had protected my neck and shoulders from hair-dye, protected the other towels in the cupboard from being covered in dye and mopped many a spots of dye off of the bathroom floor.
Once I had use my last box of dye, I took this towel out of it’s cupboard as a symbolic gesture to myself that I wouldn’t be using it anymore. I then decided to make it useful and re-purpose the salvageable parts of it for Reusable Face Pads (Click to see my blog post about them).
It was a sad but inspirational day. But I knew that if I wanted to give in and dye my hair again it would mean ruining one of my nice towels. I’m good at tricking myself into sticking with things.
The ‘I’m-overdue-and-my-roots-are-coming-through’ Feeling
“this too, shall pass”
Yeah; this happens, but it soon passes. Stick with it!
This stage really isn’t too bad; however I think it is fully dependant on the difference between your natural hair growing through and the dye that you are growing out. Also I think it’s worth noting how confident you may feel with growing it out and don’t feel bad if you need to consult a hairdresser to see how to maybe fade the gray into your dye or maybe chop a bit of hair off for a total re-start.
Luckily (or unluckily, depending how you look at it) I am not completely gray, white or silver yet, so my hair would’t have a definite line of dye in it. Even so; I knew that it would still pass; just keep this in mind. So I decided to just grow mine out and keep trimming it ( I cut my own hair at home so I have the flexibility of just lopping a bit off every now and again).
It’s quite exciting and empowering catching your reflection once in a while and seeing the happenings of your real hair growing through; unperturbed of negative comments and feelings it creates. I got a bit excited when I saw a few white strands a bit closer together and I could see the beginnings of a white or light-grey streak. eeee!
3 Months On
Do I regret it yet? No. I am really excited to see my awesome, natural hair coming through with amazing silver streaks. And since taking the plunge and letting it grow I have found that there are actually people out there that dye their hair to look like mine. The world is indeed a crazy place.
Am I happier? Yes. I have taken the pressure of having to re-dye away from myself AND I have saved a few quid by not having to buy dye. I have reduced my waste with the plastic containers that contained the dye, instruction leaflet that I don’t think was recyclable and the gloves that I used in the process.
Do I miss coloured hair? Yeah, I do a bit. As I said above; i have been dying my hair since I was 16 all kinds of crazy colours and bleaching and highlighting. So I miss seeing myself with purple hair as it really has become part of myself. I’ll get over it soon enough and my natural streaks will eventually become my new normal.
More updates will follow!
Best of luck always,