When I first started to get grey hair in my early 30s, I was already dying my hair and had been for some years. I had been a bottle blonde for years starting with Sun In spray in my teens (oh the shame!) and then the usual home dye boxes from Boots or Superdrug until I eventually had it done professionally at a salon.
My natural colour is ‘dirty dishwater’ (as described by my ex-husband) and when I hit my 30s I went darker and had brown with highlights and this is when I noticed the grey! I stopped dying it in my mid 30s and let it grow out to its natural colour and this is how it stayed. Also, I let it grow from being shoulder length with layers to very long, almost waist length. To really return to what I was given, I consigned the straighteners to the drawer and let it go back to natural waves. Every so often I found a long grey hair – how did I miss them until they were so long?! and plucked them out (not recommended because they come back coarser and ultimately you could get bald patches).
By the time I turned 40 I had decided no matter what, I was going to embrace the grey and let the colour just turn on its own. I didn’t want to feel as though grey hair was unacceptable and had to be dyed away. It was liberating! But. It didn’t last.
My grey wasn’t how I imagined or hoped it would be. The long ones had been a silvery grey and quite pretty but the ones appearing now were different shades and dull and coarse looking. I had naively imagined having a glamorous head of silky silver hair, more like the platinum blonde that young girls are choosing to have. The reality was somewhat different.
Much as I believe we shouldn’t feel we have to dye our hair, I do believe we should do what makes us feel best. It took 2 colours of dye before I found one I liked …the first was supposed to be a strawberry blonde kind of shade but went more orange than I intended. It was so awful I actually cancelled a day out with a friend because I was embarrassed. No amount of purple toner shampoo fixed it but after a couple of months I was able to try a different one and had much more success!
The colour I use now (Garnier Nutrisse 9.03) is close to the colour my hair goes in the sun and it therefore blends well even when I have roots. My greys are concentrated at my temples and they blend with the colour too so I am able to get away with dying it every 3 months or so. RESULT! It brightens my face and I think the colour does help to make me look younger even without considering the grey.
Will I continue to do this forever?
Who knows?! I think I will continue with this colour for the foreseeable future but no doubt there will come a time when I am ready for a change. Maybe by that time there will be enough grey to make a transition to natural much more attractive. Watch this space!