Back in the day, gray hair used to be associated with wisdom and knowledge. In many places, it still is, for men at least. But our society still seems to have a collective issue with the natural aging process of the female human being, so reaching for the dye as soon as the first silvery sprouts appear is de rigueur for the vast majority of women under the age of 60.
However, the times they are a-changin.’ Think of the hours and money spent in the hairdressers’ chair, unquestioningly accepting the ‘taboo’ surrounding something perfectly normal and natural. Why should it be this way? 26-year-old Martha Truslow Smith decided that enough was enough, and founded the Instagram account grombre as a place of support and positivity for those women who choose to embrace their roots.
“The underlying reason I started Grombre was to start a different dialogue around gray hair on women and find the answer to some earnest questions of my own: “Is it true that my gray hair is ugly, makes me look old, and means I’m no longer good enough?,” Martha told Bored Panda. “I’m only in my twenties. If that is true, how will I feel and what will I believe about myself when I’m in my 40s, 50s, 60s?” I want to challenge the way we think about what we consider “beautiful,” and why, and propose that we have more important things to spend our precious time, energy and resources on if we find our hearts aren’t aligning with the things we find to be someone else’s biases.”
Helped along by celebrities like Lady Gaga who promoted the silver/platinum ‘trend,’ having gray hair is becoming something to be celebrated, rather than hidden, although Martha is a little skeptical about this. “The thing about silver hair dye is that it’s just that; it’s dye,” she told us. “I respectfully don’t understand the comparison between natural silver hair and dyed silver hair: between these two, one challenges the perspective of yourself, your priorities, and your insecurities, all while being a public statement of vulnerability that takes patience to endure, while the other is a chosen color that can change on any given day and may or may not reflect your natural self; the comparison takes two different categories and wraps it up in several neglected conversations. This isn’t said to knock anyone who is dying their hair- if you enjoy it, go for it! If you don’t, then the question I ask is: should you have to?”
These women have all ditched the dye and look simply stunning, and their stories only inspire more to have the courage to do the same, if they so choose. We here at Bored Panda have collected a list of the inspiring ladies from grombre, you can scroll down to meet them yourself. We’ll leave you with some wise words of advice from Martha for young women who find themselves going gray: “Don’t fret over others opinions, instead, follow your calling, and you’ll surprise yourself with how strong you are and where your path will lead you.”
“My first gray hair memory was when I was 7 years old. I remember being at school, I had long hair, and it caught my attention. I yanked it out, but never really thought much of it because I thought it was normal; both my parents have ALWAYS had grey since my earliest childhood memories. It wasn’t until I got married and I had my second child at 22 that…
“My first gray hair memory was when I was 7 years old. I remember being at school, I had long hair, and it caught my attention. I yanked it out, but never really thought much of it because I thought it was normal; both my parents have ALWAYS had grey since my earliest childhood memories. It wasn’t until I got married and I had my second child at 22 that I started to go salt and pepper. One day, my female boss was leaning over from behind as I sat at my desk, and she made a comment, ‘oh my goodness, for such a young woman, you sure have LOTS of grey!’ I felt so embarrassed and ashamed; I did not want to be considered old! So from the age of approximately 24 I started to dye my hair dark brown, the closest I could get to my “natural” color. I did those until I was 41 years old. By then, I was coloring every 2 weeks! I hated it. It grew out so fast, all I could see was a white skunk line. Sometimes when I traveled, I would pack a box of dye in my luggage, just in case. I would be mortified if anyone even suspected that I had grey hair. Many times I tried growing it out, but I felt like I would look hagard and old, and then I’d give in, and re-dye; it was like alcohol addiction…always back to the bottle! Anyhow, I was going to turn 42, and I made a bet with myself… I would go cold turkey for 12 months (no matter what) and see what was really growing underneath the dye. My heart was ready. I got many (unwanted) opinions from friends and my kids, ‘don’t do it, you’re gonna look old…’ ‘Why are you letting yourself go?’ I did it, it took me 3 years to grow it out completely. I didn’t do the big chop, instead, I kept cutting the ends. I have been dye free for 6 years now; I love me and my hair. I get compliments ALL the time. As a matter of fact, people in general think I’m in my 30’s; I’m 48. …and because of my hair, I model for stock photos! I feel more vibrant and beautiful today more than I ever did than when I dyed it. My husband has nicknamed me his ‘SILVER FOX.’”
“Deciding to let my white hair grow in was a moment of acceptance of who I am. My hair color does not define my youth! I feel young, healthy, & beautiful. Having white natural hair is empowering!! Love not being controlled by societal standards of beauty but my own. I have never colored my hair…I love not being a slave to dying it. Not to mention it is massively better…
“Deciding to let my white hair grow in was a moment of acceptance of who I am. My hair color does not define my youth! I feel young, healthy, & beautiful. Having white natural hair is empowering!! Love not being controlled by societal standards of beauty but my own. I have never colored my hair…I love not being a slave to dying it. Not to mention it is massively better for my natural curls”
“I was 12 years old when the boy I had a crush on pointed out my first grey hair. He meant no harm, but I was mortified. Since then there were years of plucked hair and boxed dye. It has now been 4 years of growing out the roots and fully embracing the grey. 26 years old and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“My name is Lhin. I am 37 years old from Thailand.