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Grey is Trending

It’s curious just how absorbing the subject of ‘Going Silver’ becomes once the decision has been made to jog down that road.

Having been researching since the top of last November (in my spare time, you understand – wink) I have to say that I’m ever so respectful of women who transitioned to silver before the advent of on-line support groups.

On-Line Support Groups

Let’s take a look at the type of members that populate these marrrrvellous forums ..

  • Lurkers – The ones who join while they’re ‘considering their options.’ (This is my speciality. You don’t have to poke your head above the parapet until you’re ready to join the conversation. ‘Phew’ for lurking, I say!)
  • ‘Ready-to-Go’ Newbies – Confident of their decision to go ahead .. and ready to mark their cornerstone.
  • The ‘Hoorah!’ gang – Those who’ve discovered there is ‘company’ to be enjoyed on their way to the finishing line, having stepped into their transitions alone.
  • The Wisdom Wonders – The ‘been there, done it’ ladies who welcome post transition reassurance and become a guide to others.
  • Convention Cutters – Women who have never touched a hair on their pretty heads with dye.

The more I read about this silver hair malarkey, the more understanding I have of the hurdles that may need to be overcome before, during and after the decision to ditch the hair dye.

Emotional Considerations

When are You Ready to Embrace Silver Hair?

I found this quote on-line recently … and designed it onto the beach scene below. (I only mentioned the latter part, because I’m learning to design fancy things in templates at the moment. This blogging requires lots of techy skills you know.  All gushing praise most welcome. 😉

NOW IS THE TIME - MEME

Women who’ve walked this road alone have not only traversed a tricky solo obstacle course .. they’ve stuck the course, having completed their metamorphosis.

Not everyone does.

Remember .. a bottle of dye is only a drive/bus ride/phone call away!

Some women who’ve ditched the dye and fully transitioned, return to colouring their hair.  They reach their initial goal, which is an achievement in itself. However, leaving hair colour behind for good isn’t just a visual matter.

If any unresolved emotional issues surface after transition, there’s a strong chance they could entirely transform the concluding chapter.

It’s also not to be underestimated just how powerful an impact simply one negative comment could have on someone who is coasting along without complete confidence regarding either her new, or emerging new, appearance … or even, in some instances, her inner self.

It’s been a help to me personally to read a variety of responses to naysayers. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to arm myself for particularly negative feed-back and hope, if it comes, I’ll be able to react with the same grace that blesses those who stride confidently. Discreetly.

When you make a decision to eschew the society ‘norm’ you expose yourself to the potential tide of disapproval that, for many, greets them at work, home or social gatherings.

Before I was aware of this (reading stories direct from those who’ve experienced various shockers) I wondered why these focused, strong women were joining a group of new transitioners.

Of course, it soon became crystal clear – and totally understandable – that it was a sense of relief to finally sit amongst like-minded souls.

These seasoned silvers are highly valued community members; generously passing on their knowledge, sharing photos, tips and praising all newbie progress.

In short, they inspire the next raft of silver sisters, whilst being admired themselves by the very same.

If this seems a little dramatic, consider how many women you personally know who have not only embraced their natural colour without question, but have even touched on a conversation regarding this sensitive matter.

I had indulged in only one brief exchange about hair dye in my entire life, when a friend raised the subject by chance last year.

CHEMISTRY-JARSThe Hair Dye Industry

It seems that we are socially conditioned to believe that it’s ‘normal’ and ‘expected’ to colour our hair. Statistics say that 75% of American women do just that. Globally it’s a 7 billion dollar business. And growing.

To understand why it’s so socially ingrained, we have only to note that the colouring of hair dates back to ancient times, when dyes were obtained from plants. Moving forward, the 1860’s signalled the development of the first synthetic dyes. In 1888 PPD (para- phenylenediamine) was patented.

Here’s an interesting potted history on hair dye:

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-3/Hair-Dye.html

To recap on an earlier post where I linked to various articles about hair dye, I’d never considered the potential health risks with any intent.

I once had a perm during the 80’s (it wasn’t the kindest decade for personal image – ha!) that burned off the long hair at the base of my neck. A wispy little neck-fringe displayed itself whenever I tied my hair in a ponytail.

Another hair trend.

Another batch of chemicals.

I also been prodded my scalp with the sharp end of a comb for over a decade, because of the tingling sensation as the dye worked its ‘magic.’

Scan down to the sub-title ‘Health Concerns’ and the reference numbers (that link to other pages) if you’re curious to explore this area further:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_coloring

Grey is Trending – Ooh La La!

The press is currently busy reporting that grey is trending as ‘one of the biggest looks of 2015.’

This trend has seen a host of celebrities investing a great deal of time and money in bleaching and colouring their hair various shades of grey.

Meanwhile, women who choose to allow their own colour to grow in are still often overlooked as ‘ageing before their time.’

While a handful of glamorous actors will no doubt continue to celebrated for being true to themselves, the passing ‘grey trend’ will inevitably pass and the status quo likely return to ‘grey = old.’

Which are the Toughest Months?

From initial research, I had concluded that months 5-6 were the most testing time of a transition.

Wrong!

I was subsequently advised that the first 3 months are the biggies.

As I edge my way towards the end of week 10, I’m now aware that those first 12 weeks are a time when transitioners are likely to immerse themselves in a number of the following activities:

  • Reading everything they can get their hands on about ditching the hair dye
  • Questioning the health aspects of colouring hair
  • Searching out photos of silver haired women to affirm that there is beauty in the colour grey
  • Seeking support (within their own circles or on-line)
  • Wrestling with how to manage the transition on a practical level day to day
  • Meeting with negativity from friends/family/colleagues/strangers
  • Bolstering up personal reserve to greet this challenge head on
  • Measuring new hair growth with a tape measure (I know I’m not alone – wink)
  • Cutting long hair short
  • Deciding to bleach/lighten their hair in order to maintain length and deal with the demarcation line more successfully (many women struggle as the new colour emerges, particularly when the colour difference is dramatic)
  • Checking the mirror with alarming regularity, to see what shades of silver/grey/pewter/white are coming through
  • Regularly checking the ‘glittery-ness’ of shining new silvers in bright sunlight, in comparison to the dyed hair (trust me – it’s HUGE! 😉
  • Beginnning the process of transition, then returning to the dye

So what did I do next?

Check in tomorrow to find out. 😉

Have you had experience of any of the above?

I’d love to hear how you dealt with it ..

KISSES - CBemail-signature1

About the Author Sarah Jackson

I love to experiment with food, write, read, walk by the river, watch vintage TV dramas, good documentaries and comedy.

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2 comments
Susan Wilkinson says

Good for you. The worst bit must be the in-between stage – that’s true whether it’s grey or any other colour growing through.

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Hi Susan. Thank you for your support! If you keep reading tomorrow, you’ll see how I’m dealing with it at the moment. 😉

    I’ve looked at so many transition photos. Darker haired women do a lot more ‘mental wrestling’ about whether to bleach or cut. And bleaching is a biggie. It has ruined many a head of hair. Some get away it. Some don’t.

    Reply
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