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  • Writer's pictureKim Carillo


Updated: Jul 17, 2020

It was the hottest hair colour for 2019 and the trend looks set to continue through 2020.

As celebrities like Diane Keaton, Helen Mirren and Blythe Danner ditched the hair dye in favour of their natural grey, women from around the world followed suit.

Thanks to lockdown, many of us have been forced to get reacquainted with our natural hair colour for the first time in decades! But as restrictions ease more and more women have made the decision to stick with their roots and transition to grey.

I spoke with four fabulous women who were ahead of the curve and say they have never looked back!

Lisa Land, 53

Going grey led to my instagram account

My natural colour was brown but I noticed I was going grey in my

mid- thirties and spent the next twelve years having highlights to camouflage my grey roots!

By the time I was 48, I was tired of going to the salon every six weeks so made the decision to let my hair go grey.

I never really talked about it until I decided to do it but when I told my husband and daughters, they were my biggest cheerleaders which really helped.

I went cold turkey and it took two years to completely transition my shoulder length hair. I started in the summer and was able to wear hats for the first few months.  I tried to not really think about it in the beginning.

My friends and family were very supportive of my decision, but what surprised me the most was the amount of support I received from complete strangers who told me how much they liked my silver hair.

Going grey did not have an effect on the condition of my hair.  If anything it is healthier now without all those chemicals in it.   I believe there is a myth that grey hair will make your hair coarse.  This was not my experience.

I now use purple shampoo to help with any yellow tones I may get from sun exposure. But that’s it!

Going grey has allowed me to embrace the ageing process.  I’m not trying to look like a younger version of myself.  I am 53 and I’m okay with that. I would like to think society is becoming more accepting of women ageing gracefully.  

My advice would be to hang in there on those days when you’re doubting yourself.  Try to remember the days you were doubting yourself even when you were still colouring your hair! 

I rarely had my picture taken but since going silver I’ve received so many compliments that I’ve created an instagram account. If I can help and support one other person with their decision to go grey, then all of the awkward photo shoots with my husband will be worth it!

To follow Lisa’s grey journey on instagram go to: okaywithgray

Rene Steelman, 66

At 66, I feel more beautiful and true to myself.

Almost three years ago, at the age of 63, I stood up to my hair dresser! I’d spotted silver threads through my hair in my thirties and had graduated from simply adding “highlights” to covering grey, to a multistep process that took hours. The more grey I acquired, the more intense the search for a stylist who specialised in colouring became!

Even when I was 80% grey, I was able to stave off the full day salon experience to every 4-5 weeks. Once my grey migrated from my parting to my temples, I surrendered. I began to notice other women with perpetual grey stripes and decided to go from honey to ash to platinum blonde. 

As I once again sat in the chair at my hair salon, I said to my stylist, “I think I’m just going to go grey.” She responded, “absolutely not!” That was all I needed to finalise my decision! I called another stylist I’d been to before and made an appointment the next day. This young lady was willing and able to cut my shoulder length hair and make the transition in one day. I was only able to do this because I was already very blonde. 

When I walked in the house with my new short silver hair, my husband of 45 years was shocked but immediately loved it. The general reaction was positive...until I washed my new silver hair. As the toner began to wash out, my silver hair turned yellow! The stylist I had bravely called to make my transition was a “former” stylist because she had a habit of not writing down her formulas and every time I would see her, I walked out with a different shade of blonde. Now I was walking out with different shades of grey! 

I turned toYoutube and started watching “grey transition” videos and really loved Monique Parent’s use of wigs and simple products. Once I gave up on toners and switched to purple shampoo, my transition became easier. 

I loved the new freedom of my natural grey colour but hated my short hair! If I would have known that cutting was not necessary to make the transition, I could have saved hundreds of dollars that I paid on extensions! 

It took me two years to grow out my length and finally have natural grey and natural length. Literally one week before the Covid shut down, I had my last extension taken out! Whew! What made my grey journey so rewarding was the feed back I received daily from complete strangers. Not a day goes by that I’m not complimented on my grey hair. The idea that grey ages you is completely debunked by the fact that people ask if my hair is natural, do I colour my hair, and how old am I? 

What surprises me is how my silver hair actually brightens my face and makes me look younger. It’s not harsh, it’s not an unreal colour for a mature women, and it allows me to wear grey, black, and hot pink without looking washed out. 

Now at the age of 66, I feel more beautiful and true to myself. It seems crazy to feel empowered by a hair colour, but it’s more about the decision than the colour. 

To follow Rene on Instagram:

Katrina DiMare 50

Looking a certain way is important to my career as a singer and a model

I noticed my first silver hair (I prefer silver to grey!) when I was just 19. At that time and at that age, having grey hair wasn’t an option for me. I wouldn’t even consider it for a millisecond. So, I started what I refer to as “ Dying my hair captivity!”  

By the time I was 45, I had to dye my hair every fourteen days to avoid looking like a skunk! I was about 70-80% silver. At the time, I was near black in hair colour and I knew it would be difficult. I also had to consider my profession. For the last thirty years I have been a singer in a band and looking a certain way was important.

But, finally, at 49, I’d had enough. I set off on a journey to find someone to help me with the transition because every hairdresser I’d asked, refused. I think they were worried about the damage it could cause. Still, I was determined, so I searched and finally found someone I trusted and she lived close by. At the consultation she said, “You have to be patient, I don’t know how long it will take, but each time you leave here…..I will make sure you look pretty.”  Sold!

My last dye was Dec. 2017 and my first process was in Feb. 2018, and next was April 2018. During my first session she removed as much dye as possible as safely as possible. At the time my hair was almost to my waist and it took twelve hours and four people to get me to a medium/light brown.

The second session, took nine hours and two people which got me to a light blonde.  Over the next couple of weeks, I lived in purple shampoo but it was worth it because it toned to a beautiful silver.

In all it took approximately five months to get my hair to match my roots.

Stripping and bleaching caused considerable damage which is why its so important to find a hairdresser who really knows what they are doing. Over the next year, I had to be so careful with my hair and I lost about 5-6 inches as the ends broke off.  It was expected but remember every month, shiny silvers were growing out more too!

My husband always knew I coloured my hair. It wasn’t a secret.  He was not necessarily on board with the idea at first, not so much because of going silver, but because he just doesn’t like change. I think everyone wanted me to be happy, but weren't sure that I’d like my silver hair after this big process. My female friends were the biggest “naysayers” as I think they equated silver hair with age. But, now, they love it!

I probably get at least one compliment a day and that never happened with my boring brown hair! It makes me sad that I covered it up for so long. Women just have to be shown that silver hair doesn’t make someone old. Your attitude and spirit does that.

If you want to transition to silver, now is the time! Silver/Grey hair is so fashionable and in style You’ll be so glad that you don’t have to wear the "Dyeing handcuffs” anymore! Show off those tinsel tresses!

To follow Katrina’s grey story on Instagram: glamorousaging

Riley, 48

My fiancee loves my grey hair

I started turning grey in my late twenties and for many years I highlighted the front of my hair. I knew just how white my natural colour was becoming, so the light blonde sort of blended and “tricked” people into thinking I wasn’t going grey!

By the time I was in my forties, I was touching up my roots every three weeks and it was gruelling so, last year when I turned 47, I thought I’d try growing it out.

I did it myself by adding some more super light highlights and toning everything grey. I soon discovered that the toner washed out quickly. I tried multiple brands and colours for several months until ultimately deciding to just leave it alone completely about ten months ago.

Before I took the plunge I did have doubts. My friends and family were hesitant, but they eventually came around. My biggest supporters were my daughters and, my fiancee says he loves my grey hair!

I’m feeling pretty good about it most of the time, although I’ll occasionally catch myself in a mirror and it scares me that I don’t recognise my own reflection!

I love that it’s so easy to maintain. I don’t do anything special to it whatsoever, it just is what it is! I didn’t even change my make up, but maybe I should have! But, I’ve always used browns and dark plums to compliment green eyes and that still works for me.

I feel like times are changing and women feel more empowered than ever, so we’re not as concerned about other’s opinions. 

If you’re thinking about going grey but not sure, I’d say give it a try! Worst case scenario you hate it, and you can throw some dye back over it!

To follow Riley’s journey on instagram: going.going.grey

Oonagh Connor-Brazier works with some of the biggest names in TV and fashion. Here she shares her top make up tips to compliment grey/silver hair.


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