Gray, silver, and platinum-colored hair has been a fashion trend for quite some time now. Whether you love it or think that it’s merely a fading fad, you can’t deny that it’s impressive and grabs your attention. But what’s even more impressive than professionally dyed hair is natural gray hair that makes women look like they’re stepping out of the pages of a fairytale.
More and more women worldwide are bucking the hair-dyeing trend and are instead choosing to be proud of their natural gray hair. An important factor in this popular movement that simply adores the color gray is the Grombre community, a group dedicated to showing how beautiful and classy women can be when they show off their silver curls.
So you can see for yourself that gray is a great color, here are the very best examples of stylish women who are very proud of their hair as it is, and don’t even want to consider dyeing it. Enjoy, scroll down, upvote whom you think is the most stylish, and after you’re done, take a look at Bored Panda’s previous compilations of silver-haired beauties here and here. Oh, and here’s definitive proof that dyeing your hair gray has been a popular thing for a while now.
“My silver to me means embracing the aging process. It’s not for everyone and that’s totally okay. I have A LOT of silver and wanted to see what would happen if I stopped trying to hide it and, instead, tried used plant based products to enhance it. That was almost 2 years ago and my hair, and confidence, have never been better.”
“I can remember being in 7th grade during a school “break” in the courtyard and my best friend grasping at the top of my head and exclaiming, “You have a gray hair!” She affectionately termed this my unicorn hair, and we watched as the year went on and more and more unicorn hair appeared on my head. By the time I was 16, I had more unicorn hair than I could pull out or hide by changing my part, and I began coloring it on a monthly basis. This continued for six years until some time in 2015 when I began thinking, what if I just let it go, quit spending so much money and time on covering my gray, and just LET IT GO. Honestly, I was pretty hesitant, but one evening when my boyfriend and his sweet family heard I was contemplating going gray, they encouraged me whole heartedly, giving me that boost of confidence I was lacking. Now, I wish I had never even began dying my hair in the first place! Here I am today, at 27 years old, and I’ve sported a full head of gray hair for going on four years! The growing out stage was awkward of course. I even interviewed at my current firm with half gray, half brown hair thinking, “Please don’t let them think I’m crazy.” I can’t count how many people stop me on a DAILY basis to talk about my hair - it is the ultimate icebreaker. I’ve turned so many strangers into friends – young/old, male/female…, you name it. My heart feels so full when someone tells me I’ve inspired them to embrace their natural beauty as well – whatever it may be! So, what I’d like to say to you is, don’t hide your natural beauty, whatever it may be – embrace it! You’ll soon thank yourself.”
The Grombre community has grown to a large, respectable group now. It has over 139,000 members on Instagram, over 16,000 followers on Facebook, and another 222 supporters on Twitter. Three guesses which social media Grombre likes the best?
“A radical celebration of the natural phenomenon of grey hair,” that’s how Grombre presents itself on Instagram, inviting women of all backgrounds to submit their photos and the stories of their relationships with their graying hair.
Bored Panda spoke with Ahu Michaelides about her relationship with her gray hair, as well as about the Grombre community. Michaelides was recently 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.”
"Some people have black hair, some have blonde hair- those who are lucky enough get white hair. It’s not something that anyone should ever feel they need to hide from. I get so upset when people say that white hair is ‘old.’ I was only 15 years old when I started going grey (just like many others here), it’s not old- it’s natural and it is beautiful."
“Name a better way to tell society to ‘suck it’ than to embrace your natural self at the start of your 30s. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Nine months into this transition and the ignorance is real, so if you’re in the same situation, use this time to educate those around you. Gray is a color, not an age definition. Be you. Be authentic. Be bold.”
Michaelides explained that gray hair is genetic, it’s in her family. “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.”
“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 has gone silver gradually and I really admired the color but again it was a “mom color.“ So, until a year ago, after spending countless hours and a significant amount of money on my hair I decided to get a pixie cut and stop coloring my hair altogether. It felt like I’ve reconnected with my real self. Best decision I’ve ever made.”
“I was so excited when I found my first gray at eleven; family history had it that my great-great-grandfather had white hair at 30 and he was a man of myth and legend in my young life. In high school I had white streaks in my hair, earning the nickname “Rogue”. In my late twenties the story changed; I was poised to become a bride and didn’t want my salt and pepper hair overshadowing me. I dyed it dark brown and gained a lot of compliments on how much “younger” I looked. One divorce and a career change later I realized it wasn’t my hair color that was aging me. At 36 my silver is shining again and I’ve been rewarded with hair that looks like ME and all the superpowers that go with it.”
“I am an ordinary Turkish girl who has always black long hair, but i am sick and tired of dying my hair and one day and I fullshaved my hair. That's the amazing result: thanks for encouraging me.”
“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 pondered. “They should [stop dyeing their hair] for themselves to feel free to feel comfortable in their own skin. Once they realize they’re beautiful regardless, people will see them through their eyes too.”
“Silver hair is just like any hair color. 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 to make you think you’re not beautiful enough just because you’re different. You’re beautiful because you’re different!”
"8 months of transition have not been easy...for those who see me wrong.. I have been mocking a system that I don't know who invented it."
“During the time between Feb-July, my roots were long and I started to really dislike my hair. It affected my self worth, and my self esteem. My hair made me feel so ugly, because I thought it was ugly. The day of my hair appt., I was sick to my stomach, and wanted to cancel. I was really struggling with the idea of “I don’t feel like I’m old enough for all this grey hair” and I haven’t had hair this long in forever. (It was down to my waist) Soon as I walked into the salon I asked the hairdresser where the bathroom was in case I got sick. You should also know that I was on the verge of tears all day too! This was a HUGE change. I sit in the chair and my hairdresser asks what we were doing, and what my ideas were. I showed him some pictures of women with short hair and all were grey. I think he was stunned for a moment and then said ‘Oh my gosh let’s do this! You will rock this short hair!’ As soon as he made the first cut, it was almost a divine feeling that instantly came over me. When all was said and done I instantly felt better about myself and fell in LOVE with my hair again. Except this time, it was all grey and not just my roots. I have struggled with my self esteem and self worth for so long, and what an amazing, and FREE feeling it was to NOT have the stress of coloring my hair ever again! I got 22 inches of hair cut off that day, and I’ll never look back. I have had SO MANY people comment ‘you look so much younger now’, and they had no clue, the struggle I was dealing with in not feeling like I was old enough to have all this grey!”
"I’ve inherited this gorgeous slivers of silver from my father as it goes back generations in our family where the process of going grey started at 18. I’ve battled hair dyes for years and bounce around from color to color as if ashamed of this beautiful gift I was given. It doesn’t help that some of my dearest friends are hair stylists but they allow me to grieve my father’s loss by never pressuring to cover it. This is 3 months growth from (feb to April 2019)."
In a previous interview with Bored Panda, the founder of the Grombre Instagram account Martha Truslow Smith explained how she wanted to create a platform of support and positive emotions for those women who think there’s no shame in embracing who you are.
“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?” the founder of Grombre spoke with 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.”
“I started going gray at 19 but always colored my hair- especially when I was cosmetology school and working as a hairstylist for 6 years. I’ve had every hair color in the book. I used to give my mother (who is naturally a striking white/ silver, and has never colored her hair) a hard time about her natural silver. As a hairstylist, I found myself loving and drooling over naturally silver hair. Eventually I started encouraging and helping my clients grow out their natural silver. I started noticing how people looked at my mom and her striking white hair when she walked into a room. People constantly told me my mom is so beautiful. I decided I wanted to grow mine out, too. I get more compliments about my natural silver hair now than I ever did when I abused it with harsh chemicals and I’m excited to be part of a sisterhood and movement that’s au naturale!!”
“It’s been over a year and a half since I last dyed my hair and I couldn’t be happier with that decision! Leaving the stress, mess and frustration of the relentless dyeing cycle behind has been incredibly freeing. I love my hair. I have watched in fascination as the silver slowly weaves through the dark. But the process has been about so much more than hair. It’s been about accepting this change - about accepting myself. It’s been about connecting with amazing and supportive people who are walking a similar path. And it’s been about encouraging others to see, even if it’s not the right one for you, it’s a path worth taking.”
“Two years ago I wrote an article about how to grow out grey hair for @allure . I made it to 3 months of growth and then I cracked and went back to coloring it my ‘natural’ dark brown color to cover the grey again for the next year and a half. Then, this past October, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer at the age of 43. When my hair started falling out I got a pixie cut, and when it *really* started falling out 2 weeks later, I got my head shaved. I underwent about 6 months of treatment that included 9 weeks of weekly chemo, major surgery (hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and appendix removed) and recovery, and then 9 more weeks of weekly chemo. I actually didn't mind being bald, and I liked my hair when it grew in as its natural color. At some point during my treatment I had a nightmare that my hair was long and dark again and I thought, ‘Why did I do that? I like my short grey hair!’ I finished my treatment in April and am now cancer-free. I plan to keep my hair its natural grey as I don't want to unnecessarily expose myself to toxins every 4-6 weeks to keep covering the grey, or feel self-conscious about my roots as they grow in like I used to when I colored it. One of the hardest parts about transitioning to grey hair is that dreaded line of demarkation as the grey grows out. I found out the hard way that the best method for avoiding that is to just shave your head ”
Gray hair is a natural part of aging. According to trichologist (a dermatologist who deals with the scientific study of the health of hair and scalp) Madeleine Preston who spoke with Cosmopolitan, most women in their 30s see at least a few gray hairs; however, by the time they’re in their 50s, more than half their hair should be gray.
“Gray hair is a combination of normally pigmented hairs interspersed with white ones. Hair turns white when the pigmentation cells responsible for color (melanin) stop being produced,” Preston explained to Cosmopolitan. "Nutritional and hormonal factors can affect hair color as well as stress but, by and large, the predisposition to go grey earlier or later in life is genetic."
So don’t stress about a few (or a lot of) gray hairs — they’re a part of life. And I’ll bet a lot of people find them to be charming, not ugly.
“I started to turn gray at 16, at first I tried to hide it and paint it, but later I realized that my gray hair looked good and I decided that it was my feature. This is what makes me stand out from the crowd. My gray hair of the herd is a subject of pride, and often strangers ask where I painted them so beautifully, to which I reply that nature itself has tried for me”
"I got my first grey hair at the age of 9. I remember myself at that age looking at those extrange decolored hairs in front of my parents'mirror. So one day, I decided to make them disappear by cutting them off from the root, without knowing that a couple of days later they would appear triumphant on my head again. Since that day, I knew that those grey hairs were going to be there no matter what...All my life I tried to cover them, but when I started my university life my grey hairs were notorious enough for me to decide on dying my hair for the first time. From that moment on until March of this year they were covered out of shame, because of the fear of criticism BUT NOT ANY MORE. I finally want to be FREE, I want to be honest with what I really am and I can't wait to see the real version of me. Nowadays, my grey hair has become my inner force, my rebel part, my proud side...and I'm sure that I couldn't start this new beginning without the example of all of you, every one of you were my inspiration to finally accept me as I really am. Thank you all for being so brave..."
“My grays started showing in my late teens, probably a Mallon streak as it was jet black everywhere else. Over time, it’s blended in more with the rest of the grays. I’ve never dyed it to cover or hide it. The curls are all natural too. I’m so excited to see more and more silver sisters everywhere I go!”
“For years I had a hair stylist who would talk me out of growing out my gray; every single time. I had to make the decision on my own, and could even hear her voice in the back of my head telling me not to. That voice made it harder in the early stages. I constantly doubted myself and could hear her echo. Then I found Gaby. She’s been with me for a few years now, taming my mane. She not only supports my decision, but she makes me feel even more confident and beautiful every time I leave her chair. Today she was even telling me about all these other Grombre girls she started following on IG so she cheer them on. Gaby, by the way, doesn’t have a gray hair in sight. She’s simply just SUPPORTIVE. No agenda. No personal reflections. Just supportive. Find your Gaby. Find her early. Find your supportive hair stylist. Find your hair therapist. You deserve it. It makes a difference.”
“Growing old gracefully doesn’t mean giving up on myself. I’m embracing the wildness and the sass I’ve found with my gray hair. I also want to show my daughters that sometimes in chasing unrealistic standards of beauty we lose ourselves in the process. True beauty radiates from a freedom from within, and that shines brighter when we learn to embrace who we truly are made to be!”
“I was destined to gray at a young age and I couldn’t wait. And when it made its debut while I was in high school, it arrived in the most unique way. A grey spot at the front center of my head. Not a gray strand anywhere else on my head. I loved it! Only two people in my family prior to me had grayed in this way, my maternal relatives, my grandfather and my uncle. It was something that the three of us shared for the longest time. I had inherited this gene. I wore it like a crown. I was proud to represent the third generation of Jones’, my mother’s maiden name. To me it was a badge of honor, it was natural and it was beautiful. Hiding it was not an option. Growing up I was told that having gray hair was a sign of wisdom. Always believing that I was an old soul, I embraced this notion and my hair even more. Today many men and women applaud me for ‘being brave enough’ to embrace my gray. Bravery had nothing to do with it. My signature look connects me to my family. I get compliments on my hair from both men and women. Women will compliment and add, ‘My hair looks just like yours; but I can’t bring myself to wear it that way.’ What I’ve recently noticed is that many more women are wearing it this way. Even women who aren’t naturally gray. Gray hair is currently trending as “sexy”. Many non-gray young women are dying their hair gray in the name of fashion. I’ve even been asked if I dyed my hair to look like it does. With a smile I proudly respond, ‘No.’ I then add that my gray hairs are ‘Heavenly highlights compliments of God.’ ”
“I started to grow out my pixie cut in 2012 and decided to quit coloring my hair. The grey is still coming in, but I like it. The grey started in my early 30's, it can be unruly at times, but with the right amount of wind, it looks like a flowing mane.”
“I was unsure at first as the silver slowly began taking over my head. I had been covering my grey for the last 20 years and it was as if I was seeing the real me for the first time in a long time. But day after day as I told myself to just let it go and not to run off to the salon something began to happen. Each silver strand I saw claim it’s place gave me so much more of an appreciation for my hair. It was stunning these pieces of glimmer in my hair and it made me wonder why we have been taught for so long that we needed to hide it. I love my grey now and can never imagine hiding it again. I also love how it can empower other women to release their sparkle as well. In the end it’s all about doing what you feel best about it, dye or no dye but I am happy to be surrounded with other women who have ditched the color too, showing off their shimmer and glimmer to the world.”
“I ditched the colour exactly two years ago. My hair was long, down to my waist. I was tired of people pleasing and just could not deal with the burden of it anymore. One day in early June I just decided to go pixie with my locks. That took most of my colour away n then kept my Pixie until early this year. I’m very happy and relaxed since I stopped colour. I don’t miss it, I don’t miss the panic every 4-5 weeks. Even though I never used chemical hair dye I was tied to henna every 4-5 weeks. But I’m free now.”
“Have not touched hair dye in 4 years! Natural is beautiful. Embracing my natural beauty hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes I think, maybe I wouldn’t look as old if I dyed my hair? Then I’m like, nah, I am a bad ass because of it!”
"I've had grey hair as long as I can remember. At 13 I was plucking them out with tweezers. I was embarassed and anxious between salon appointments; I felt like everyone was staring at the top of my head! Choosing to stop dyeing my hair was the most empowering feeling I have ever experienced and the best part is the message I am sending to my children: I love myself as I am."
“I decided to stop coloring my hair because I am a visual artist and it always bothered me the way dye color didn't work harmoniously with my eyebrows and skin... I had the feeling I would be more pleased with nature's palette. I am more satisfied with the appearance, but it also surprised me to be rewarded with the learning process of growing out the gray...patience, self acceptance... questioning why I would ever feel that I should be ashamed of my natural self or my aging. It was a struggle at times for my vanity, but we'll worth it. I stopped coloring my hair just over 2 years ago; I'm not a big social media person, but thought I'd throw my hat in the ring to be part of Grombre because these pictures of strong, confident women with beautiful natural hair served as a great inspiration to me during a grow out phase that was very challenging for me. I appreciate the people who put themselves out there to show people it's ok to let your hair be gray!”
“I have been growing it for 4 months and am really starting to enjoy it now. I started to go grey at about 16 and have been dying it for over 2 decades. I'm not sure what it was exactly that urged me to let the grey grow in but earlier this year I just went for it. I had a bit of a wobble last month but stuck with it and am glad I did. This shot is the very first headshot of me with the new natural colour . I am an actress and I'm curious to see if my casting opportunities will change as a result of the new hair colour.”
"In my 30s I finally feel comfortable embracing my ever growing number of white hairs. Naturally, I didnt feel ready and enjoyed my rapid changing styles of colors more in my teens. In my late twenties, I felt very sure I would never go natural again thinking I had found my most natural not natural look. But now I want to enjoy the changes up close, and not hide the fact that aging can be a beautiful thing in so many ways."
Note: this post originally had 66 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.