Ten days after last dye

Before going grey

– I wrote this article at the beginning of my grey transition, in 2019. –

In the last couple of years I thought on and off (but mainly on, to be honest) about going grey. Simply let my grey hair grow, and finally stopping dying them.

I’ve read about it, I’ve looked for an awful number of pics of women embracing their grey, I’ve been over the pros and cons, then decided not to, then started thinking about it again, and again, and again.

But let’s start from the beginning: I’ve been dying my hair since I was 16. I’ve inherited my mother’s predisposition for early grey, and at 16 I was already battling with teenager pointing at my hair and shouting loudly “You actually have grey hair!”.

My hair was naturally black, there was no chance of hiding the newcomers, so I decided to dye them, quite happily anyway, anxious to try all the colors I could possibly obtain. And I went on many years simply enjoying dying my hair differently until… Something changed.

The struggle to keep up the dye

The grey increased exponentially over the years, claiming always a greater attention to ensure I covered my roots timely. I am now 43, I’d say 27 years of dying your hairs could be enough to be exhausted only at the thought. Though the real problem is that my hair grows out fast, and usually I need a good root touch up after only 2 weeks, as the regrowth on top of my head is bright silver.

I’ve used the roots sprays, but I find them uncomfortable on the long run. Unfortunately, the wider the size you cover up, the noticeable the difference with the rest of your hair, and the covered part is visibly mat compared to the rest of your hair.

Month after month, looking at myself in the mirror and seeing a shiny white line appearing after only a week from my dye is so frustrating, like you are doing a lot of work for nothing, and you feel as you are never ok, always in need of a retouch, always needing something in order to be good to go.

In the last few months, the thought of going grey is so appealing, so comforting to me, that I often take that though with me while going to sleep, as a happy thought, that would make me feel better, and sleep well.

Looking for advice

However, when I’ve discussed this with my husband and friends, I’ve received no feedback whatsoever from the latter, (Maybe they thought “are you crazy?” But they were too polite to tell me), whilst the former went for several objections to discourage me to proceed.

“If you go for it, you should cut your hair short, or maybe you should wait until you are older, now you are too young to go grey.” But I am grey, am I not? Why should I wait longer?

“Do it for your daughter, don’t let her have a mother that looks old.” Really? This actually did put me off in the beginning, but luckily, I’m so convinced that I simply did not care anymore, and so I’ve decided to go grey anyway.

The decision: start of the going grey journey

The nice thing here is that at first my daughter was a bit surprised, but now she’s my greatest supporter, together with my mum.

In the first month I used a bit of root spray, and then tried out various outfit to cover the first growth, and I enjoyed doing it.

Bandana to cover the growth

Towards the second month the silver lining is long enough, and I’m beginning slowly to show it off.

Lately, having had a careful look at my roots, I thought: What if I actually look nicer in my real colour? What if the crazy pattern of grey that I have, that makes it so difficult to cover them properly, is actually the greatest feature of my hair, something unique that I could not obtain from the best colourist in London?

I know at first glance I might seem older, but I’m seeing always more women going for this choice and the more we are, the more we’ll be able to fight the preconception that grey is old.

And then of course there is the thought that if I struggle now, maybe I’ll be one of many that changes the perception, because on the other side isn’t it absolutely crazy that men can go silver fox maintaining their charm, and we can’t? I’d love to change that, and I’m prepared to bet that I can look charming too. It is just a matter of having the courage to do that, and let other just adapt to it. Or not, their problem anyway.

Why is the best choice I made so far:

  1. I’m excited every time I look in the mirror, and I’m surprised at the grey that I discover, because I have no clue of what I will look like with my real hair. Isn’t it crazy not knowing what colour your hair really is?
  2. For the first time in 28 years my scalp is not itching, and not inflamed. My hair is softer thanks to the lack of dye in the past 2 months. It never felt so good!
  3. I’m quite proud of the silver as it makes me look wiser, and I’m beginning to think that I look more like myself!
  4. At this time in life, with so many big changes that just happened to me, this is a way to affirm myself, I simply feel that his is the right thing to do.

Now as to how to do that… I’d love to just let them grow, but unfortunately the colour I used to dye my hair does not make it easy. I used a dark brown dye, andsince it was an herbal one with a lot of henna in it, it’s fading to a reddish dark brown, that clashes with the grey growth.

Finally, after careful documentation on the web of the pros and cons, I’ve decided to have highlights/lowlights in order to blend the grey in a more natural way, and then…. I’ll see from there.

So far, I can’t stop smiling at myself, and that’s really something that did not happen since a long time.

If you want to know more about my 2 years transition and the challenges and joys I’ve faced, just read here.


Martangelo Grey Hair Journey

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