Going grey seems to be a big decision for older women. My mum died at 76 and was still dyeing her hair up to a couple of months before. In a society where youth is worshipped, the spoken and unspoken advice to try and look as young as you can for as long as you can, places a lot of pressure on women. Judith of Style Crone here has decided to let her hair go grey; she's in her 70s and found it a difficult decision to take.
I never really thought about grey hair much, until recently. I started dyeing my hair myself in my 40s, mainly to enhance my natural medium brown hair, then to cover some of the grey. I began to get it professionally coloured once a month in my 50s. I remember asking my hairdresser about letting it go grey and she said it was a horrible (her words!) grey at the back and that it takes about 10 years for hair to go white. That put me off, I can tell you. A couple of years later I decided to bite the bullet and go grey because I was sick of worrying about grey roots coming through and sick of paying for having it coloured. I also began to see more and more pictures of older women with grey hair looking fabulous; Emmy-Lou Harris and Jamie Lee Curtis being two wonderful examples. I remember telling someone (a man) I was letting my hair go grey and he said "What do you want to that for?" As if it was a really silly decision...I'm happy to say he's changed his tune now and no, it wasn't my OH!
It's been the best decision, hair wise, I've made in a long time. It was last coloured in December 2014 and it has now been almost 11 months. It's a nice sort of silvery grey at the front and the back is darker. I've worn my hair short since 2009, and, as I have Alopecia Areata I'll be keeping it short. Luckily, I have pretty thick hair, so the bald spots are relatively hidden. I wash and condition it using shampoo and conditioner for grey hair, and get it cut every month. When I wash it, I use a styling smoothing product (it's curly hair with a tendency to frizz) and when it's dry I use Moroccan Argan oil; just two or three drops, and massage it through. This gives a nice shine. I've used the Argan oil for a few years now (tip from same hairdresser who is actually pretty fabulous); I used to buy it on line for about £4.00 but then I saw it in Savers - the very same oil - for 99p! Guess where I buy it now? The instructions on the bottle say to apply it to towel dried hair but I put it on dry hair, I'm nothing if not a rebel! I nearly always wear make up and in particular I wear red lipstick which goes fabulously with grey hair and helps inject a burst of colour into my face because going grey can sap your skin tone, apparently.
If I ever had any doubts about going grey, I no longer do. I have had so many compliments on it often from complete strangers that I bump into in the street or shops or the bank or the charity shops. At a family party in Ireland in the summer a woman, I had never met before, stood beside me at the bar taking photos of my hair on her phone to show her hairdresser! Despite all the compliments, I would still have maintained my grey hair even if I didn't get one compliment because if there's one thing I can't be bothered with as I get older is colouring my hair!
Have you gone grey yet? Do you think you will? Or are you dyeing until you die? Do let me know, I'd be so interested to hear your views.