Even though gray hair is a natural part of aging, the majority of women run for the salon or a box of do-it-yourself hair color at the first sign of gray. The reason for this rush to cover up that gray hair is because society tells women they need to look young. Traditionally, a woman with gray hair is not considered young (even though men are considered sexy silver foxes when they start going gray, but that is another story). Because of this message, women spend so much time, effort, and money hiding the signs of aging. However, embracing your naturally gray hair can be the best decision you have ever made.
Oftentimes, women in their twenties and early thirties who start going gray cover their gray hair because it either makes them feel old or feel like they look old (thanks, societal beauty standards). We all like to pretend that the only women with gray hair are older women, but tons of young women have graying hair. Lots of women start going gray early simply due to genetics. There are some thyroid and autoimmune conditions that can cause graying hair too. According to one study, smokers are more likely to go gray because some of the chemicals found in cigarettes can damage hair cells so much that they lose their color.
Women chasing away their naturally gray hair is not only pointless, as it just creates a neverending cycle, but it is also time-consuming and expensive. No one thinks it is fun to dye their hair to cover up those gray roots every six weeks. No one likes to spend the time it takes for the whole hair dying process. Most of all, no one likes the price tag of covering up that gray hair.
Even the price of at-home hair color adds up when it is needed frequently enough to cover grays since it is not like that gray hair is going to slow down or stop growing. As your hair gets grayer, it takes more and more time and effort to cover it up. Not to mention, all that hair dye is damaging to your hair. So we damage our hair in the name of looking young and then we have to put a million products in our hair on top of the hair dye to repair the damage we are creating. It is a vicious, awful cycle.
Because of all the annoyance involved in covering it up, more women in their twenties and thirties are embracing their naturally graying hair. For some women, it is an easy decision. For others, it is a struggle to take the leap and embrace the gray. It can be scary to decide to let your gray hair grow out. Will people look at you and think you are ten years older? Will you feel ten years older when you look in the mirror? Will you still feel attractive? Will someone else find you attractive?
It is easy to think you are ready to go au natural and then find that the first signs of gray hair have you running straight back to that trusty box of hair color. It is okay to feel scared about it. Embracing things we have been taught not to like about ourselves is a scary thing.
In the last few years, it has become trendy for women – young women at that – to dye their hair all kinds of shades of gray from bluish-gray to silver to white. Women from the likes of fashion editors to models to actresses and Instagram influencers are all embracing the gray. This trend of people dying their hair gray is a step in the right direction to erase the taboo of having gray hair and that is phenomenal. But let’s celebrate the natural, real gray hair too.
We need to start looking at gray hair with the right attitude. Women with gray hair are so beautiful. There is a verified Instagram account called Grombre devoted to “the celebration of the natural phenomenon of gray hair.” Women of all ages submit pictures of their gorgeous naturally gray hair. These are women of all ages, races, and amounts of visible gray hair. It began as a place to help women feel less ashamed about their gray hair. It now has over 166,000 followers.
Scrolling through the pictures on Grombre, you can only think that all of these women are so beautiful. You know why? In part because they embrace who they are. These silver vixens are so genuinely happy with the way they look. The posts and the messages are all the same. They are all encouraging. Countless women talk about how they wish they had gone gray sooner.
The fact of the matter is, letting your hair go gray is empowering. It is embracing your authentic self, whether that means you rock amazing silver streaks in your hair at 25 or whether you rock a full head of gorgeous white hair like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. Embracing that gray hair is absolutely freeing.
Going gray, especially at a young age, can be a hard choice to make. Looking in the mirror every day and seeing big streaks of gray hair that give you Cruella De Vil vibes can take some getting used to. However, if you go for it, you will find that it is totally worth it because it is freeing.
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