#StoriesOfStyle: My Journey To Natural Silver Hair
Author: Melinda Tickel
I first connected with Melinda via instagram after discovering her profile Silver Style Life. More and more women over 50 are feeling comfortable going grey, but to truly end ageism it needs to be accepted at all ages. So I found it refreshing discovering a profile and blog that explored going grey at a younger age. I appreciated Mel's open and positive attitude, as well as her supportive, inspiring approach and am delighted to be sharing her story.
There is a stigma in society that suggests that women who have natural grey hair are considered old, unattractive and past their best. Therefore many women (and some men) avoid this natural process at all costs. This is why millions of women around the world carry on with the perpetual cycle of dyeing their hair for many years, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
My issue was that going grey early was a family phenomenon. Many women on my mum’s side of the family had reported going grey at a young age. Having found my first grey hair in my teens, it was obvious that I had the ‘going grey early’ gene and by the time I was well into my 20’s, I found myself no longer dyeing my hair for fun, but as a way to ‘cover up.’
The issue I had was that my temples were going white ‘faster than heavy snowfall in winter’, but there remained a stubborn dark stripe right in the middle of my forehead. So, regardless of whether I dyed my hair dark or blonde, there would always be tell tale roots within a week or two.
I resisted showing the ‘world’ I was going grey for a very long time (approximately 20 years), until I got to the point where I was tired of the upheaval, the mess, the money, the time… and I started questioning myself and society’s views on grey hair.
I started searching for images of other women with natural silver hair, spending a great deal of my spare time looking on Pinterest for inspiration. It was there that I found the motivation I was looking for!
Pinterest was full of women who were embracing their grey hair across the globe- all looking wonderful with their own shades of grey to silver to white. It was at this point that I finally made the decision to start my own transition process and let my hair grow out to it’s natural silver. I was 40!
I was determined that it wasn’t going to look frumpy and old, but could be just like any beautiful hair colour that was healthy and shiny if looked after and worn with pride. So that is what I set out to do!
I started transitioning to my natural silver hair early in 2016. At that point, I had very dyed dark hair, so I decided to get some highlights to break up the very dark colour.
This took approximately 4 months, because every set of highlights I had, I then had a one month break in between to keep the integrity of my hair. This worked well for me as it lessened the transition line between my coloured hair and my new silver hair growth.
Some women transition from their dark colour and I love that it really makes a statement, but it’s important to find your own way to succeed with the transition process, and I just knew that this was unlikely to work for me.
The photo on the left is a before and after. The photo on the left is me with my hair dyed dark brown. It was taken just before I started my highlighting process.
The right hand side is when I was well on the way to my natural hair. The silver works with my complexion and suits my ‘cool’ skin tones and is a contrast to the colour of my eyes.
I am now 15+ months into my transition to grey hair and what a journey it’s been!
I have met many women online who are either transitioning to their natural silver hair colour, have completed their transition or have never chosen to dye their hair. Each one of them is, in their own way, showing that natural grey hair, in all its authenticity and beauty, is just another hair colour. However, because it is still quite rare in society, it is often striking and eye catching and often sparks up conversations with strangers.
Very few people experience negativity when they have transitioned. It is mostly in those early vulnerable stages that others can be negative. It is just a reflection of old beliefs and stigmas, which I hope, in time, will disappear.
Transitioning to natural grey hair is a vulnerable time for women when they are just starting out and the time that they need support from others. That is where social media is at its best. Many women from around the world come together to pledge their support for one another, which is absolutely wonderful.
If you are thinking of letting your hair grow out to its natural colour, then I highly recommend you head over to Instagram and Facebook, where you will be showered with support regardless of your age, culture, or background. It is truly remarkable.
When women decide to stop dyeing their hair, it is often a symbol of an inner shift and is a time of Personal Growth making way for new opportunities in their lives. This has certainly been the case for me.
Writing is a passion of mine and always has been, so to blog about this subject and about natural beauty is truly a blessing.
My blog can be found over at www.silver-style-life.com. I am also active on Instagram (@silverstylelife).
I get to share my own experiences with others, pass on natural beauty tips (skincare, makeup and health and wellness), encourage women to embrace their authentic selves, inspiring women at midlife (or at any age) to avoid getting drawn into the need to look a certain way, but instead embrace their authentic beauty.
After all, if you feel beautiful, then you look radiant and happy and that is what the world needs to see more of.
About the author:
Melinda is a 40 + blogger who writes about natural beauty and related topics. The blog Silver Style Life was founded so she could reach out to others and share topics, which encouraged women to embrace their natural beauty and to be proud of their authenticity. The blog topics revolve around sharing posts and quotes on positive ageing and supporting others in their quest to learn to be more self accepting as they approach midlife and beyond. Melinda is also an advocate and Independent Consultant for skincare, makeup and nutrition brand Arbonne, and is a fully qualified YMCA Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer and Exercise to Music Teacher. She also has a passion for natural beauty and wellness. Melinda was born and lived in Melbourne, Australia and moved to the UK in the late 90’s. She now lives in Essex with her husband and three daughters.