Each and every one of us decides when the time is right to ditch the tint- if at all. The statement for a woman is a very different statement to that of a man. The term “Silver Fox” has very sophisticated and sexy connotations, whereas for a woman going grey signals the end of her fertility, her sex appeal, her transition into “invisibility”. In some cultures this is very marked, in others we are slowly progressing with celebrity role models to light the way. My decision to stop the tint was born from intrigue and dogged determination to not get that “ skunk stripe” down the middle of my head. I had time on my side to let the greys blend in as I aged without having to have a short crop either. (By the way- I love those short silver elfin crops but for me it was not an option). I have three blonde sisters and a mother whose hair we were tinting even on her death bed (God bless you dear Mary) and so I had no idea how my grey was going to grow in. Would it be a dirty grey, a shining silver or a clean white? Would it be in patches or evenly spread around?
Other deciding factors are how irritating it becomes to see grey hairs spiking up like short spiky beacons from my brunette locks every 2 to 3 weeks and knowing it was time to call the hairdresser again! The chemical load on my body was also a deciding factor . So I had about a 30% grey coverage which is very light to start the transition but I had decided so that was that and hey! if I couldn’t cope with it all I had to do was call Nikki and she would have me dark brown within minutes!
3 months. This photo is without ColorWoW, but from 3 to 6 months I am using it after every wash to blend the virgin hair into the old tint. ColorWoW is a new product very much like an eye shadow that you brush onto the grey roots and it blends to your own natural hair colour. Even in the pool and sweating on the pillow in the summer heat there is no loss of colour. It´s amazing stuff and really helps in these early stages where you just feel “unkempt” the whole time. Its a strange time and you find yourself explaining (mainly to other girlfriends who do not like what I am doing) the whole time.
6 months. It’s obvious now as the old tint fades in the sun and a yellow tobacco hue takes over! I find myself looking at photos of Silver beauties and keeping them as an inspiration on my laptop so whenever I waver they are there to keep me intent on seeing this process through. Who knows? I could look bloody gorgeous?
7 months. A blow-dry obviously always helps. There is frizz and spikes of white hair. The colour of the virgin hair is getting more marked and I haven´t seen that colour since I was about 15 year old! I am naturally darker haired than I thought. Alongside the lack of confidence I feel at not having my “ crowning glory” looking well maintained I find myself telling people what I am doing almost immediately on meeting them. Maybe I am just being paranoid but I do get quizzical stares and looks of bemusement, so I find I am pre-empting any awkwardness from both parties. In general men are kinder than women and some of my closest girlfriends have protested too much. “ Why Kay? It just makes you look older, why are you doing this?”
9 months. The fake eye lashes are helping me out so much. Total distraction from the hair on my head! I feel a bit more glamorous instead of the messy unkempt feel. I am still apologising and explaining my journey especially when at more formal events!
9 months. I think I´ve almost stopped explaining what I am doing now as it´s so damned obvious that I have a silver streak or tuft appearing on my hairline at the front. I kind of like it and think this may work out despite all my days and times of doubt. I know it looks dry and messy, but I am now sourcing products especially for silver hair and know that treatments to help smooth the hair shaft and reflect light to make it look healthier and shinier are the way to go.
11months. Feeling ill and looking rather sad too!
1 year exactly. Wow! those ends look orange! (Yes in my dressing gown and no make up too!)
15 months. New hair cut. A long fringe that is almost all virgin hair and so disguising the orange ends.
18 months. Another trim and keeping with the layered rock-chic look. Love a good blow-dry. Feeling the end is neigh and that to turn back now and hit the dye is not even a consideration.
20 months. Using a shampoo for silver hair to keep it from looking “yellowish”.
21 months tint free.
Getting more compliments as time goes by but still wondering if I should go to Bleach hairdressers in London (who specialise in bleaching locks silver or white) and have these streaks at the front exaggerated so it is more of a statement.
22 Months. The bob again. I am now changing all the colour palette of lipsticks and clothes. I love wearing silver, grey, white and black whereas my earlier wardrobe of neutral and sludge colours is taking a back-burner. I have never been great with make up but I think I may now go back to bolder lip colours, like vibrant reds especially when I have a sun tan again. I have started using a great John Freida product called Color Glaze Clear on a weekly basis to keep it shiny.
25 months no tint and the hair is all virgin – the transformation is complete. Now I just want to grow it long and hope to let more silver grow to transform into a silver goddess! Phew! It´s been a learning process about ageing and acceptance. Thankfully my body still feels young, vibrant and pain free, so a few grey hairs are of little significance as I accept the beauty of ageing with grace and ease.