Grey hair- no longer in the shade

Posted by Kay

Eve Claxton thandiekay.com

Eve Claxton

Thandie and I met British writer and journalist Eve Claxton in New York recently. We were both struck by how much her eye colour was accentuated, what a lovely effect it had on her skin tone and the overall striking beauty of her hair-and her in it.

We asked her to write about going grey, and her decision to accept, rather than correct it.

 

“When you’re a woman with prematurely grey hair, you tend to notice others who are in the same predicament.

Just the other day, I was on my way to an appointment in the West Village when I spotted a woman in her 30s with a short silver buzz cut — we flashed each other a smile of recognition as we went by. Most mornings when I’m taking my kids to school in Brooklyn, I see a woman about my age with salt-and-pepper shoulder-length hair walking in the other direction. We always glance at each other as if to say: “Does this look okay? You look good. I hope I look the same.”

At the age of 42, I’ve been going grey for most of my adult life. I’m originally a brunette, but I first started noticing silver strands in my hair I was still in my teens. I started covering the grey in my early twenties because, quite frankly, I wanted to look my age.

104-0474_IMGBut maintaining the colour took time and money, and I didn’t really enjoy dousing my head with chemicals on such a regular basis. When I got pregnant at the age of 34 I stopped dyeing, cold turkey.

It felt like the right thing to do, not only because there’s evidence that toxins in conventional hair dye can get absorbed through the scalp into your bloodstream, but also because I have a really good connotation with grey hair and motherhood.

My own mother went grey at a young age, and now that she’s in her 70s, she has a beautiful halo of silver curls.

Eve and her mother on her wedding day

Eve and her mother on her wedding day

When I first started growing out the dye in my hair, it was still dark with streaks of white, but over the past few years, it’s turned much lighter. People tend to assume that I’m being bold and daring by showing my true colour—which is funny if you think about it, because I’m actually not doing anything at all.

Still, there are always those mornings when I stand in front of the mirror and feel completely brought down by my grey.

When you have older-looking hair, it can make you feel older, especially when someone stands up to give you their seat on the bus because they’ve only seen you from behind.

Not so long ago, I decided I wanted a change: I went to the hairdressers to talk about dyeing my hair again.

The colourist ran my fingers through my grey and told me that she was sorry, but she couldn’t bring herself to put anything on my head. “Your hair is already a gorgeous colour,” she pointed out. “Why would you change that?” So I walked away with my natural look intact, and just having just saved a couple of hundred dollars. On the way home, I spotted a woman a little bit older than me, looking amazing with a sleek silver bob and bright red lip—we snuck a look at each other and smiled.”

The Grey Gallery

Toni Morrison's Locks and unknown

Toni Morrison’s Locks and right image unknown

Clockwise from left: Image from blackgirllonghair.com, Zosia Mamet, Lady Gaga, unknown, Toni Morrison

Clockwise from left: Image from blackgirllonghair.com, Zosia Mamet, Lady Gaga, unknown, Toni Morrison

 

Models Yasmina Rossi and Teruko Burrell

Models Yasmina Rossi and Teruko Burrell

Women unknown except model Kristen McNenemy bottom left

Women unknown except model Kristen McMenemy bottom left

Toni Morrison, Kristen McNenemy and Rihanna

Toni Morrison, Kristen McMenemy and Rihanna

 

 

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One thought on “Grey hair- no longer in the shade

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  1. Going Gray

    I guess when the carpet no longer matches the drapes it’s a good time to go “au naturale” with gray hair! . . .that is my personal opinion. When the rug goes gray, time to let my hair go gray.

    May 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm

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