Gray hair is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, pure silver looks utterly fantastic. So fantastic that you might want to flaunt it in front of the world. And that's what the Grombre community is all about at its core—celebrating gray, silver, and white hair, as well as helping women find confidence in their natural look.
Liberation and empowerment is the name of the game and below you'll find women showing off their fabulous natural hairstyles, as featured by Grombre. Scroll down, upvote the photos that you liked the most, and be sure to drop us a comment below telling us all about your personal relationship with gray hair. (Personally, I used to be scared of turning gray, but it's already happening, and I'm starting to look like a silver fox which is awesome in so many ways!)
When you're done enjoying this stylish list, Bored Panda invites you to have a look through our previous posts about the Grombre community here, here, and here. And you'll also find our recent post about ‘freeing the silver' right here.
“When I was 21, my sister was diagnosed with cancer -- and my first stripe of white almost simultaneously appeared smack dab in the center of my head. We lost my sister a handful of years after her diagnosis after a long, painful battle. Within the same three months of losing her, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, my father had a massive heart attack and I underwent a mastectomy of my own. With every major event, more grays appeared. Amidst the chaos of life, I still found time to be horrified at this new addition to my hairstyle.I spent a decade fighting them, pushing back at every bright, wiry hair with chemicals and grim determination. But one day about 9 months ago, I was done. Life had been showing me my priorities in a not so gentle way -- and I finally received her message. I no longer have time or patience to achieve an expected hair color. I've survived and thrived through so much worse than disappointing societal standards and expectations. Now at 31, I embrace my white hair and everything it stands for -- every last hug, kiss or I love you, every tear or day that I'd have rather stayed in bed and didn't, every war my family has fought and won. I am a warrior and my hair is a battle scar.”
“I started greying at the ripe age of 13. I dyed my hair all thru my 20’s and 30’s. At age 39 with my mom’s encouragement I let my grey go and now I LOVE my salt & pepper crown! With my mom, who doesn’t have IG.”
“I started going grey in my late 30s for a while I would dye my hair back to its natural grey. When I turned 40 I decided to just let my grey come through. I am now 51 and I love my all natural grey hair. I have completely natural hair which means I don't use any chemicals. My grey hair makes me feel strong and confident. I like to show that a woman can have grey hair and still be sexy, beautiful and stylish.”
“We believe there are more important things in life than the beauty standards that women are so often told define our value, and we're finding liberation and empowerment to live fully and celebrate the complexities that make us beautiful in each season of our lives,” Grombre defines its mission on its website.
With 231k followers on Instagram and 26k fans on Facebook, the Grombre community has nearly doubled its online following in around a year and a half.
“I never had the confidence to let my hair be natural. I covered those grays since they first started showing up at age 23. When I turned 40, my husband said I should just ‘let it go’ and stop coloring my hair. I told him I wasn’t ready for that, he said he respected that, but he wanted me to make a deal with him. He made me a deal that if I would let my hair be natural at age 50, he would take me on a dream vacation. I agreed, it was 10 years away! Long story short, I kept my end of the bargain (and so did he) and since allowing my silver to shine, I feel I’ve let my soul shine! I have more confidence at 52 than I’ve ever had. I love being so shiny!!”
“I had my first grey hair when I was 11 and I started colouring my hair black later in my teens. I never actually hated my greys; I merely loved the colour black and I wanted to fit in – I wasn’t aware of anyone at my age having grey hair. However, I was lacking the confidence to expose my true colours until I turned 30 – just over a year ago and I wish I had ditched my dye earlier. I feel liberated for not having to hide my silver waves (plus tones of money and time saved) which I adore and make me look unique.”
“I have been dying my hair for 24 years now, since I was sixteen and found my first gray hair. Growing it out has not been easy, once I think I’ve grown out of one awkward stage, I hit another one. I look to the grombre Instagram for inspiration. It has been 9 months since I’ve dyed my hand and although frustrating it has been quite freeing, and in this current climate I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about my hair.”
Earlier, I spoke about gray hair with Ahu Michaelides who had been featured on the Grombre Instagram account.
“We are a group of women from all around the world with different backgrounds and stories but we have a similar approach to society's standards of beauty which is: ‘You don't need to fit in to be considered beautiful,'” she told Bored Panda during an interview.
"I’ve colored my hair pink or purple for quite a few years now. It’s become a big part of my identity. I’d go in every few months to have my brown roots bleached out, to redo the whole thing fresh. Over the last several years, my husband became extremely ill and I became a caregiver. Then our marriage began massively unraveling. Then he died. Through all of it, I bleached and dyed. Through my stress, I bleached and dyed. It’s been nearly three years since his death, and only during my life’s huge exhale over the last year or so did I start to go lax on the bleaching. Imagine my surprise to find this, then, growing out. It’s like I finally let my body relax into all it had been through. This is my wisdom hair. My hard-won life lesson hair. And I love it."
“I had been coloring my hair since I was 20. It was never quite the right color, roots would show within a week, I had to plan colorings around special occasions, overall a giant pain in the butt. My goal was to turn 50 with long silver hair. With a little nudge from my very supportive husband, I finally stopped coloring in 2017, and I just turned 50 with long silver hair that I have grown to love. 😊"
“My choice to go naturally grey had to do with that specific moment almost 3 years ago. I took a good look at myself in the mirror wondering what would happen if I quit dying my hair. At first I couldn’t bare the thought of ‘looking’ older. But once they came through and I embraced my greys like I do today. I even felt more confident than during the time I dyed my hair. Whenever I get the chance to convince others to embrace their greys, I also tell them that they always can dye their hair again. I truly love my hair now! ”
For Michaelides, gray hair wasn't much of a choice: it runs in her family and she's had it since very early on. “I've always had gray hair since I was a teenager but back then gray hair was associated with older women only, so I didn't even think of it as an option back then. So I started to dye my hair,” she opened up.
“Being silver for me means that I am able to be more of myself... peeling back the layers. I am beautiful. I am a woman maturing gracefully. One thing that I have learned is that someone is always watching. By loving myself and being more of myself I’m creating a space where other girls and women can do the same. I’m showing them another way to BE.”
“2/29/20: We woke that morning together, had breakfast at our favorite diner as we do every Saturday and then drove to our friend’s cabin in Winthrop Maine ...and when the time felt right we said, ‘Now?!’ A few minutes later in a pink velvet dress on a frozen lake at sunset with a wind chill temperature in the negative we secretly eloped in a private ceremony on Leap Day. We wrote our own vows and tied a fisherman’s knot to seal the deal. And yes, our officiant WAS wearing a Viking helmet. Followed up with champagne & chocolate cake.”
“It has now been almost three years since I started the process and I am so glad I did! I just got my hair cut and with this trim, I think the last of my box-dye hair has been cut. So many stylists at the salon took a moment to comment on the lovely color of my hair. And when I’m out, I meet so many women who just have to ask about my hair and who are themselves yearning to be free of dying. I’m happy to be a part of this community of women who are proudly going gray.”
“As the years went by, it became more and more difficult to maintain. I never really enjoyed spending hours and hours at the hairdressers, but back then it seemed like the only option. In the meantime, my mom's hair had gone silver gradually and I really admired the color but again it was a ‘mom color.'”
“This has been quite cathartic. I actually cried at the salon. I experienced a lot with the hair that I let go of today and over the last 10 months.It is amazing how much of your self esteem and identity can be wrapped up in your hair. Silly me...the best is yet to come!”
“I feel like I read a ‘grey hair rule’ that said to not wear grey ... that it’ll wash you out or something? Here is to breaking all of the rules then, because I am discovering that I love the way I look in grey (hair and clothes!)!! And any other color I want to wear!”
“I am 4 months into this process, 50, recently divorced, in love with a new man who not only supports me in this process but encourages me. I changed my Facebook profile picture to this photo last weekend and received so much love. It feels amazing to be happy, secure and owning my true self.”
Michaelides said that she eventually decided to get a pixie cut and stop coloring her hair altogether to save time and money. “It felt like I've reconnected with my real self. Best decision I've ever made,” she shared.
“Three years ago I had to get a bone marrow transplant and decided to let my hair come in naturally. I’ve actually been going great since I was 15 but over the last 10 to 15 years I have been dying my hair. Since gray is such a fashion statement now, I get a lot of questions from people asking if I get my hair done when the reality is all I do is take good care of my natural gray hair.”
“I loved my brown hair as much as I love my grey. Infact I don't see the transition to be difficult personally. I got greys in my early 20s. I colored them for several years till I wanted to. Stopped coloring when I didn't want to. I have had greys on and off for a couple of years. And last year, I finally decided to not color them any more. I didn't want to put unwanted chemicals in my body any more.Personally I don't see much difference in myself with either brown or grey hair However, I do realise it's different for others. Every now and then I have strangers looking at me in different ways ~ from being amused to being shocked. Some ask my age, some tell me I look odd, some whisper and laugh. I am growing used to all these now.I think there is no problem with coloring but I want people to realise 'Not Coloring' is also fine. It's not weird and definitely not abnormal. It's natural.”
"In December 2016, I was 42 with an 11 month old and bemoaning my 'disrespectful' grey halo that I needed to henna/indigo. Two younger colleagues at work who always expressed their love of silver hair said to me, 'Why don’t you stop dyeing it and let it grow out?' My response was, I’m not ready yet, maybe when I’m 50. They responded (due to my length), 'If you start now, you’ll be done by the time you’re 50!'Well, a few short months later, around May of 2017, I still hadn’t gotten around to that henna/indigo. They grey was no longer a halo, but a thick headband. I was on vacation at my in-laws and was in the bathroom in a marathon session washing my hair. I had slacked on doing it for weeks and was going through massive shedding that I couldn’t understand, but now believe was because I was nearing the end of menopause. After dealing with it, I looked at the dye bottles on the counter. I was planning to forgo henna and just do a quick color with Jazzing. I looked at the bottles and thought of my family and 1 1/2 year old upstairs with whom I had already lost 2-3 hours of time. And I thought of the additional 1-2 hours I would need to spend applying dye, waiting, rinsing, conditioning, and styling my hair. And I was tired. In that moment, I was just so over it. And my grey hair journey that had begun in December, unbeknownst to me, officially started.It wasn’t smooth sailing, there were a lot of bumps in the road in the first year and a half. Doubt, insecurity, negative comments. But I had started following Grombre and others and was always looking at inspo pics to help me stay the course. I remember telling an older colleague who would come behind me and whisper 'Dye it!'.... 'The road is rough, I admit it. But I have seen the destination and think it will be worth it.'I cut off about the last 5 1/2” of colored hair this weekend. And today, I stand here at the destination. And guess what? It was DEFINITELY worth it. I am so happy I made the decision as I love my silver and being comfortable in my own skin. And my two colleagues were right, at 48, I’m done before I turned 50!"
“For many years, silver hair has been associated with older women. And even getting older is a privilege that's been given to men. A man with silver hair is considered attractive, but when it's a woman, well, she's simply old. And no one wants to be seen as old and unattractive and I understand that,” Michaelides explained to Bored Panda that there's a double standard when it comes to gray hair.
“My mom noticed my first grey hair when I was in about elementary school. I have never dyed my hair and have always embraced my grey streaks. While I have gotten pressured by family and friends to dye my hair, I never have. Some people even think I have professional highlights! I love my hair and the compliments I get make me feel beautiful and unique :)”
“In light of our current quarantine situation, I intentionally practice daily gratitudes. One of mine that may seem insignificant or menial to many has been a great blessing to me...no hair color! The journey for great health led me to choose breast implant explantation about a year and a half ago. Among a plethora of serious health issues, I believe one side effect of those toxins in my body was rapid greying. I choose to embrace my “sparkles” and I’m ever so happy I did! Hopefully I’m providing inspiration to others to embrace your “youness” and let your beauty radiate! Greys and All! In this extremely stressful, uncertain time, it’s even more important than ever to recognize all of the blessings in our lives. We have so much to be thankful for! Give love, grace, and kindness without reserve and don’t worry about covering your roots! ”
“I got yelled at by a man in a deli for supposedly dying my hair gray. He said it looked so unnatural. I just laughed. I went gray in my 20s and kept it. My young students really love it. They think I’m a character from Frozen.”
“They should [stop dyeing their hair] for themselves to feel free and to feel comfortable in their own skin. Once they realize they're beautiful regardless, people will see them through their eyes too," she told Bored Panda earlier.
“I was compelled to stop dying my hair by the realization that I was only hiding my natural beauty. At first my family and friends where confused and thought I was letting myself go/abandoning my self care. But I explained I was only truly embracing it and fiercely falling in love with my natural beauty. Outsiders many times doubled glances at me. In a funny way everyone is extra respectful towards me since lol. I have learned that being different is beautiful.”
“I started going gray at 15 and wouldn’t have it any other way. ”
“Silver hair is part of my history, it’s a given in my destiny as my maternal grandfather and my mother are completely silver. I have no desire to dye my hair and I’m thrilled that grey hair is now a popular fad! Each day that God allows me to live, I am less and less concerned with the opinion of others. At 52 years old, each wrinkle, smile line and grey hair have meaning and I embrace them because I certainly don’t look like what I’ve been through! Thank you Grombe for celebrating them!”
For Michaelides, silver hair is just like any other hair color and shouldn't be discounted because of its associations. “If you're happy with yourself, with who you are, your energy will identify you, not your age and not your hair. Don't let society make you think you're not beautiful enough just because you're different. You're beautiful because you're different!”
“I’m 27 years old and have been slowly (or quickly for that matter) been going gray since I was 17! I’ve never dyed my hair because I consider my grays part of my identity. It reminds me of who I am and where I came from- I am my mother’s daughter, full of strength and resilience! It also represents my bond with my sisters, who are going through a grombre transition as well. I love my grays and wear them proudly. Your site has been a great reminder that beauty is about confidence and staying true to who you are.”
“I have very thick hair and it grows very fast. Therefore, I was spending way too much money and time on maintaining it. My family and friends were against my decision to go gray. Simply put, it boiled down to me accepting and embracing myself. I did not set out to prove a point or gain attention. I just wanted the “freedom” to grow old in grace and live out Proverbs 16:31 ‘Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is gained by a living a godly life.’ Swipe to see a photo of when I served in the USAF. I’m a Chaplain with the VA hospital in Houston and people may forget my name but NEVER my hair!! 😊”
“I’ve dyed my hair for years, because I didn’t like the grey because society says you old. At almost approaching 48, I decided to embrace my grey, and forget what society says...I’m free from the negativity of having grey hair. Grey hair doesn’t make you old, it’s really hereditary. I feel more sexy, and complete. Loving the new me, can’t wait to see what it will look in months to come.”
Your hair turns white when the pigmentation cells that are responsible for color (aka melanin) stop being produced. Your hair color can be affected by various factors, from nutrition and hormones to stress. However, largely, whether or not we go gray early on in life depends on our genes.
“After my fourth child was born in 2014, my thick, long hair was thinning, hopelessly dry, and so unhealthy. Over twenty years of hair dye, hormones, and stress had taken such a toll on my hair. So, I decided I was done with color forever. I didn’t know anyone who was thirty six with gray hair. I was so scared but also determined to see it through. I kept telling myself (and all the naysayers), “I can always dye it back.” Two years later, while pregnant with my youngest child, my hair was finally dye free. It was stronger, healthier, and thanks to pregnancy too, thicker. Growing it out was wonderfully liberating and completely discouraging at the same time. Now, I love my gray hair so much! I would never color it again. My teenage daughters call it my “famous” hair because everywhere I go, women ask me about it. How I grew it out, what it is like to go gray, how they wish they could go dye-free. It makes me so sad every time I hear that. Women feel trapped because society tells us we should fight aging with a box of hair dye. 😉 If you’re in the awkward process of growing out your grays or just considering it, keep going! You can do it! ❤️ These are photos from my two year journey. The one of me almost totally gray and totally pregnant is my favorite! 😆”
“Greek ancestry on my mother’s side destined me to gray early in life. I developed a gray streak in my brown hair at the top of my head during high school. Silly me, I dyed my poor hair for three decades. Finally, in my 50’s, I got a crew cut and endured an Ugly Duckling stage for a year. I’ve had fun with white hair well into my 60’s and I’ll never go back to dye. Now, I’m That Swan. “
“This has been an amazing lesson in sitting with my feelings. There has been some discomfort in this 3 year process but I’ve learned to sit with the discomfort and honor my own opinions and thoughts and goals and hold these in higher regard.”
Note: this post originally had 127 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.
How you react to going gray, however, depends purely on you. Do you embrace it and go all-natural? Do you reject it and dye your hair? That depends on each and every single one of us. Let us know what you think, dear Pandas!