Home HealthMental Health Going Grey – What’s Your Take? Your Shade?

Going Grey – What’s Your Take? Your Shade?

by Tanya Agarwal
women grey hair
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Last year, I developed substantial grey. It did leave me thinking, and honestly started eating up on my self-esteem. But I forgot about it as my curls covered it when I needed to hide it. Obviously the world did not let me forget about it. 🙂
It had been peaking for about 2 years now, but in the last one year my daughter, my mother and my friends have made multiple mentions to motivate (read Demotivate) me to get my greys colored.
I don’t wish to as of now (wonder why) and am curious to hear what other women have to say about their silver journey.
While mine has just about started at the age of 39, I caught up with 5 women from various age groups, from various walks of life to share their ‘going grey’ stories here.

Pooja Warier Hamilton

Founding Partner and Executive Director, Conduit Capital

Age : 38  

Pooja Warrior Hamilton - Going Grey. wellthyfit.com
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On accepting my grays – Greying runs in my family. I first started seeing strands of grey in my 20s. In those days, I tied my hair back in a bun. Each time I went for a hair cut, the hair dresser would try and sell me various products to dye my hair. I tried a few times but then always ended up being disappointed. One day after a major heart break, I went into a hair dresser to try a new look. By then, I was 29 and my hair had started graying even more. As always I was expecting her to start a sales pitch about trying a flashy new dye.
To my surprise, she gave me an awesome haircut that actually brought out my greys and suggested that I should try the silver shampoo to take care of them.
When I told her about my past experience, she said – Your hair is beautiful and you are beautiful as you are. Don’t go to any hair dresser who tells you otherwise! That was it. Since then, I have never coloured my hair and never tied it back.
On go-to products – I only use Silver Shampoo when I have been in the sun too much to protect my grays.
On passing the baton – I absolutely adore my greys now. It has become a such an integral part of me and how I show up in the world as an entrepreneur. People (men and women) often ask me where I got my hair coloured and when I say it’s natural, they can never believe it. And when they do, they always say that I wish I could carry it off or I will tell my partner or parents to try the greys and I always try and pass on the message that my hair dresser gave me. What I most love is when I walk past another woman who has embraced the greys and we share a secret look, almost to acknowledge and encourage each other’s choice.

Samina Mishra

Film Maker, Writer and Teacher of Film at Pathways School Noida

Age: 50

Samina Mishra - Going Grey. wellthyfit.com
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Photo Credits : Apal

I started greying in my early 30s but it was kind of hidden then, more the inner strands. Greying has never bothered me. I never hid it or thought about hiding it. I was very clear that I would never color my hair and especially never to hide the gray – I might colour it blue or purple sometime! But I am not opposed to the idea of people coloring their hair. People should do what makes them feel comfortable. Our bodies are ours for us to decide what we want to do with them – in every way. So, grey or otherwise – whatever brings colour to your life! For me, my grey is just one more part of me, part of who I am.

Aditi Misra

Director Principal, DPS Gurgaon

Age : 58

Aditi Misra Going Grey. wellthyfit.com
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I started greying at 27-28. I don’t think it perturbed me much except that people around me started reacting as though I’ve grown horns!! For me this greying was genetic. My father had greyed in his early 20’s. I remember feeling very self conscious about the grey hair. I had no idea how to ‘hide’ them. I remember trying on henna. It was quite a cumbersome process and the result was not terribly encouraging. Then in the late 90s, we saw the advent of hair colour! This offered the fulfillment of cosmetic use and promised not to damage hair! I think foolishly I got into all these hair damaging and hair camouflaging ‘stunts’!
It is only now in my 50’s that I’ve decided to not react to stares or respond to advise and questions on hair colour! Slowly but surely I’m going grey – and loving it!

Shabnam Narula

Skilled goldsmith, Brand – Shabnam Gitanjali

Age: 59

Shabnam Narula - Going Grey. wellthyfit.com
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That I was obsessed with my mane, would be putting it mildly!
From school time, I would be regular with oil regime which was a cocktail of sorts and probably was amongst the first to use henna for conditioning and that exotic colour. This was a ritual till I turned 40, though now of course it was more to hide my greys! Transition was ghastly, so I switched to L’Oréal. A wrong decision, because it accelerated the grey for sure and I started graying much faster, alas there was no going back.  When I turned 51, I got highlights that made my hair color lighter, a process that I thought would help me transition gently. My vanity held on, cause I would still require to touch up my roots, only this time with lighter hair color.

When I was 57, I took up a programme in sustainable living and moved to Bangalore . Alas tad late in life, I realised the perils of chemicals in our lives. Chemicals in our food( through fertilisers, pesticides, GMO and hybrid vegetables), dyes in our detergents,clothes and and cosmetics. Being in a new place with new people and chemical free zone, and practically no mirror to look at, helped the transition. I couldn’t care how I looked and no one commented! finally it was not important anymore! I never felt so free in my life.. New friends and associates never once passed any judgement or comments on my looks. I dropped all pretenses. It surely wasn’t easy as it was more inner than outer!

My new look had different reactions! From bechari to wow!! Yes it’s added more years, and the compliments of looking much younger stopped, it got replaced by admiration of courage.. I continue to colour, but it’s once in 3-4 months and that too with very little colour, almost 1/4 th of what I used at a time earlier ( I comb my hair with hair colour, making sure to have the salt/ pepper/ blonde look intact). My friends bother me sometimes, but I brush it aside, literally! I am currently looking for a good hair style, which is fuss free, till then I hold on to my mane and a bit of my vanity.

Aiyana Gunjan 

Artist, Calligrapher, Brand Strategist and Semiotician

Age : 49

Aiyana Gunjan - Going Grey. wellthyfit.com
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I encountered my first silver streaks when I was about to touch thirty. I don’t remember any hysterical cry of OMG -I’m getting old. I took it in my ‘genes’ ( my dad greyed early), and carried on. I was lucky to live in times, where the dreadfully black hair dye (my mother, grandmother used) had given way to ‘hair colours’.
Since then, coloring my hair, was part of the hair-cutting ritual. I have always been experimentative and bold when it came to my hair. Sporting short hairstyles, inspite of my healthy, voluminous hair, defied the social cultural norm of – Kaale ghane ‘Lambe’ baal’.  Little did that bother or deter me.
Come 45 years of age, an inner shift led to an outer shift. The artist-in-me was going strong. As an artist, I was going through a phase of naturalness.
Bye bye to all artificial colours,
bye bye to the  laborious process,
bye bye to the expensive bills.
Going-White, was a shift in consciousness. It meant being comfortable with  myself, who I am, as I am, no matter how old i m. There is no ‘black’, camouflaging nor fooling around with my age. My natural wave of white, flowing with my black , is my style quotient, which I love to wear, with elan and grace. After all Old is Bold.

Thanks Pooja, Samina, Aditi, Shabnam and Gunjan. What’s Your Grey Story?

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Tanya Agarwal is Founder and Blogger at WellthyFit - a health and fitness blog on Yoga, Running, Healthy Living, Nutrition, Travel, Joy and everything Life! She reviews fitness products and experiences. WellthyFit is her platform where she invites passionate fitness writers to share their expertise. With her blogs and fun videos she motivates people to stay the course of health and fitness day after Day.

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