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 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 for my natural curls”
“Now that my transition is complete and with the winter light my hair seems more white than grey.... I love all the shades though! It looks different every day!”
“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. 🇹🇭 I have had gray hair since I was in high school. It keeps changing the color more through the years. I had to dye my hair almost every month.
Four years ago, I decided to let my gray hair grow out and embrace my natural color. Despite some mean comments from neighbors, I didn’t care and went on with my daily life. Nowadays, I am asked by people all the time, “where did I get my hair done!?”They love it and want to have this color too.
I love my hair and I feel blessed that I embrace it and let this color become me. I am happy to see this grombre ladies out there. Thank you for raising awareness of people around the world.
I want to shoutout for someone who is struggling with a similar story like me; keep being yourself and embrace it. Because you are absolutely beautiful in your own way!”
“I’ve been greying since the age of 13 and I’ve never dyed my hair. Furthermore, I’ve been growing it since 12 and I have entirely forfeited cutting it five years ago. I’m profoundly happy with the way it looks. The colour and the length combined are one of my favourite attributes.
Never have I ever felt like it made me look older! Instead it gets me the sweetest and most magical compliments, some of which I’m sure you’re familiar with: looking avant-garde, otherworldly or like a fairy, an elf, or Frozen-Anna.
My current life on an organic farm somehow resonates with my natural hair, and for me it’s another way for my femininity to shine through. I hope to inspire as many as possible, to be brave enough to embrace and show who and what they truly are on the inside.”
“Born with grey and black hair. First female in 7 generations! I was teased incessantly because kids are jerks so I started dying it when I was 14. When I had my first son at 29 I noticed the gray become white in the front so I began to just leave a streak out and dye from the streak back like rogue from X-Men. About year and a half ago my stylist told me that all my gray was now white so we went for it. I feel like I found hardwood under the carpet! I’ll never go back.”
“Hope everyone had a Happy Mother’s Day!
I get it from my momma!
"I have dyed my hair since I was 18, now at 42 I can not wait to see my gray curls. Gray is freedom"
Think of all that livin you get to do when you stop masking your true Self ✌🏼”
Celebrating TWO years of being grey! It's easy to get caught up in the everyday bumps and bruises, and losing sight of the scope of your progress is all too easy to do. Be encouraged! Hold onto the hope that today is easier than yesterday, and you're one step closer to your goals. How applicable to everything we put our minds to. If we can do this, imagine all that we can accomplish by taking it one day at a time. Thanks for inspiring and encouraging me with your own journeys.
“I had been coloring my hair for fun and dramatic effect since I was 16. When I started to go gray, coloring my hair stopped being "fun". It felt like I was hiding something that I was supposed to be ashamed of. About 5 years ago, I decided to go gray. All on it's own, my hair became what I'd been trying to achieve for years through dyes -- dynamic, unique, and vibrant. It feels so good to just be myself.”
“A woman turned to me when we were both warming up to be adjusted and said, ‘I’m so sick of dying my hair and I’ve been thinking about letting it go.’
We talked a bit about what the grow-out process has been like over the past year-and-a-half and made small talk but what’s been nagging at me is her words. ‘Letting it go.’
I am fully aware that there is a view out there that gray hair is less-than. That it’s unkempt or seen as not taking care of yourself. I know this because these used to be my thoughts too.
These culturally institutionalized thoughts inform our words and ultimately our actions.
But little did I know - over the past year or so, my actions have informed my words which have impacted and reshaped my thoughts. I guess it works both ways.
So hear this.
▫️I’m not letting my hair go. I’m letting myself be.
▫️I am not giving up on myself. I am getting to know myself.
▫️I am not evading old age. I am growing in grace.
▫️I’m not keeping up. I’m stepping out.
▫️Gray is beautiful.
▫️I am beautiful.
“Going grey was a huge game changer for me... It was like learning who I was all over again... same me in a different frame (of mind).”
"One of my many motivations to stop dying my hair was the fact that my husband would be referred to as a ‘silver fox’ while women with grey hair are simply seen as ‘old’. I felt that by continuing to dye I was perpetuating that sexism. Well, stuff that - I am grey and beautiful and I love it! Would never, ever go back.”
“This journey is not just about embracing the outward woman but also making peace with the inner woman. It's about knowing we are wonderfully and fearfully made. And since it's a privilege to grow older, we should wear our silver as a crown of honor. I believe confidence and self-acceptance are what truly make a woman beautiful...at any age! Rock your silver crown sisters and sparkle on!!”
“Almost got upset today when someone asked me if I was my niece’s grandma 👵 but then I got home and my husband said that I look like the best version of me.”
"I am almost 47. After coloring my hair for almost 25 years, I am embracing my transition to Wise Woman, part of which is allowing my hair to grow in with its natural color...silvery grey. My hair has always been my vanity, and being a redhead has been fun and liberating, but spiritually and emotionally, I am deepening and ready to share what I am learning with others. As a dear friend says, 'I am connecting to what feels true inside over what society has given as the rule book.' To everything, there is a season. "
“End of Summer, 2018, 2 1/2 years into the gray hair adventure!”
“I didn’t always love my grey. If I’m honest, some days Sheba (my mane’s name) and I have a love/hate relationship. 😊 Greying early was kind of a shock. Old people are supposed to be grey, right? I couldn't take it so I started dyeing it. I soon grew tired of it, because the greys always came back. One day I decided that I’d had enough. It’s been about 4 years now, and I haven’t looked back. Allowing my silver tresses to show themselves has been liberating. There are times that I wake up, and I’m over it. I want to dye it away, but I know that I never could. It’s mine; kind of like my trademark.”
“Hi! I’m from Guatemala City, Guatemala. I started noticing grey at the age of 11. Now i am 30. Havent colored my hair in 4 years. My mom, sister and me have the same haircolor"
“This page gives me so much life! 10 years ago is when I ditched the dye & began my transition journey! I know the transition is messy & uncomfortable. I know the stares & whispers can be abundant but... Silver Sisters, KEEP GOING!! They aren't bothered by your hair, they are intimidated by your fierce independence! There is an amazing thing that happens not only physically, but spiritually when you release yourself from the societal rules & constraints that are imposed on us about our age & appearance! You cannot dim or hinder the glow of a woman who has declared her own freedom! There is so much power right inside YOU! Stop waiting! Take your power back and RUN! A woman who loves herself is unstoppable! Stop dimming your light for the comfort of others! Why hide when you were created to stand out?!”
“I’ve had grays since age 23. I decided to let the grays grow at age 45. I receive positive compliments every day- most people ask who my colorist is. Their look of surprise when I tell them it is my own natural color is worth every penny I have saved by going natural!”
“I have had patches of grey in my hair since I was 13. I have dyed my hair over 50 times since then (8 years ago!) and now I just embrace it, pretend I’m Rogue from X-Men and have a grand old time!”
“When I got my hair back from cancer 5 years ago, it came back gray. I felt that my youth was taken from initially and dyed my hair every two weeks in an effort to forget. Now I embrace the grey as a sign of surviving and thriving. I love my hair. Looking forward to it being fully grey!”
“I stopped dyeing my hair at 33 and I have never entertained the thought of going back. My skin tone has changed; dyeing my hair just wouldn't look right now. It means that people rarely forget you and I'm quite comfortable with that.”
“After 2,5 years I can say my transition is completed! I am now proud owner of a grey kinda wavy/wild mane! Loving it!”
“I come from a family of people with white hair, so I wasn’t suprised when I started graying in my late teens. I dyed off and on in my twenties, but by the time I hit thirty, I was tired of the expense. I chopped my hair and most of the color with it which made going grey super easy. I kept a basic no frills pixie for almost a decade, but as I neared forty, I wanted something different. I have had the undercut pixie for over a year now, and I LOVE it!”
“I started going grey when I was about 20 years old, and I think because I was always little different (being born without my left hand) I didn't mind that my hair was doing it's own thing. Now that I am in my mid thirties, people are always asking me where I get my hair coloured - which is amazing, because I don't do anything to it! When I tell them it's all natural, many folks don't believe me - and that makes me feel kind of lucky. I have always LOVED seeing other women with beautiful greys in their hair, because I get to see a bit of myself in them. Sometimes I even feel like a bit of a rebel for not covering my greys, and that feels really fun. ps I have a one-handed cooking show on YouTube called Stump Kitchen!”
“My mom, my aunt, cousins, myself...anyone with my grandmother’s lineage has had early grays and I finally stopped dying. It has been the best decision of my life. At first my grandmother criticized me but I said this was us. This was our hair. She finally stopped dying this year. And tonight, she complimented my hair. Hers is platinum white. She said I dyed it white. I said this was all mine. And she smiled. I’m 33 and she’s 78.”
“My mom said I always had a small patch of silver from a child but not noticeable (I don't remember seeing grey hair as a child but my hair was thick and long so my mom would comb it and put it in really funky styles). As a young adult, I had dreadlocks but I would dye them black so they would look "healthy" and shiny. About 6 years ago, my hairdresser at the time said, "why are you dyeing these wonderful greys?!! People are paying to put grey in and covering yours up!". I stopped and embraced my silver patch. When I cut my locs off, my "mojo" (yes, that's what I call it) burst forth in all its glory... Did I say how thrilled I was to find this community?”
“I'm a Mexican girl, I'm 30 years old, but I have had grey hair since I was 5 years old and I actually love it. I'm very happy to discovered hundreds of women like me.”
“Well... let’s talk about funny stuff. Silver hair has its quirks too, right? The one I laugh about the most is this one: do you remember when you had a hair tickling somewhere in your back after a bath and you couldn’t find it? But then you would go to the mirror and bingo! there it was, you could see it.
Well, not the same anymore! 🙈😂 Now I pray that all the falling white ones find their way, because they just stay there tickling and I can’t find them immediately because I can’t see them!
The struggle is real #silversisters ! 😂 Tell me the quirks you found!! 👩🏼🦳💖”
“'I do wonder why people hate their grey hair so much! I think grey hair is a gift from the moon. When the moon laughs, her eyes produce tears of joy that fall to earth and land on the tops of people's heads!' -C. Joybell C.”
“It is the second time I do the « experience » of this transition. First time was 3 years ago in 2015. I let them grow but then decided to cut them very short, I didn’t find a real proper way to arrange them, neither a new style, then they grow again and I suddenly tied them with biological vegetal brown color, as I was feeling less sure about myself. And also because I like to follow my desires ;) even if I change my mind. But somehow I felt sad to have covered my « inner light » again and decided this year, after months working on myself (meditation, reading and applying lots of self-development books, drawing, taking time for me out of my last job), to let them grow naturally, not only the color but the natural movement of my hair. And it matches perfectly with my state of mind and mindfulness. I think it represents how every woman/human has beauty and light and freedom inside her. And I’m proud of being part of a movement that spread courage, healthy lifestyle and self-acceptance around the world. Others are helping me and I’d like to help others wearing that white (and grey) flag on their head and learn that patience really worths it. 😌☀️Time reveals treasure when you take it.”
No better way to wrap up a Monday than with the dreamiest curls and popping pink.
“It’s been 9 months since I last dyed my hair. A friend just saw me for the first time since my transition and told me that she could never do what I was doing because she was “too vain.” She meant it as a compliment but I didn’t say anything back. No longer dyeing my hair doesn’t mean I’ve given up on myself or that I don’t care about my appearance. It’s the exact opposite. It means I’ve embraced my authentic self - I love who I am and I don’t have any desire to pretend to be anyone else. I’m 43 years old. I’ve dyed my hair for over 20 years. when I look in the mirror now, I finally see me. I’ve never been happier.”
“I've wrestled with grey hair my entire adult life. It was so much hassle keeping up with it, and I was also often embarrassed when I saw photos of myself with the grey roots peeking through! I finally decided to quit the dye summer 2017 and embrace my authentic self. It wasn't always easy at first, but the more it grows out the happier I am with it...one of the best decisions I could have made.”
“Most thought I was crazy for giving up the dye at 44...at times I thought I was...maybe I am! 🤷🏻♀️🤣 But if I could just let others “feel the freedom” that I have for just a few seconds...freedom to pull my hair back...freedom to have healthy, natural hair again....freedom from the time spent on having to dye it every 4 weeks...freedom in my own skin...freedom from what others think...then they’d know why!”
“I don’t care what you think about me, I don’t think about you at all🖤”
“I decided to stop dying my hair as a celebration to the end of my cancer treatment at the age of 38. The grays started to show up as I have entered menopause. The slow changes at the beginning was annoying and I was self-conscious. A year in, the grays intensified and my confident grew stronger. I realized to accept the new me. I just turned 41 a week ago and I love my silver hair more than ever.”
“One year ago I embarked on this journey: the journey towards natural hair. I had no idea what to expect, both in terms of outcome and of the journey itself. Some of my friends almost begged me to go back to colour, as apparently I was about to commit the unforgiveable crime of looking older.
I may look older now, but I have rarely been as happy with myself as a whole as during this transition so far. I have learnt to love me for who I am and just the way I am, and I owe it to my hair 😊 I often hear that it is only hair, but the truth is that there is more than just hair involved.
To those of you on the fence, give it a try. If you do not like it you can always go back to colouring your hair!
13 3/4 months into transition - 11 3/4 months post blending”
“I finally saw my hair in a certain light today where I actually see what people talk about it. It really is... dare I say.... kinda cool. It’s hard to see its real effect in the bathroom mirror and photos come out different in every lighting. Truth be told, I know it’s silver, and I know it’s “different” but not until today did I see what they see. Thank you strangers.... you’re right. It’s pretty cool. Sparkly, silver, and proud. 🖤✨”
Changes are normal.
The most normal in the world, but why are changes so difficult for us? Is it the fear of not being seen by society, or the fear of losing oneself? ‘You've changed so much ...’ A big insult these days that you jump right out. But should not we be proud of ourselves when we change (positively)? It is good to change, to see the world with new eyes and to be seen by the world with new eyes. Discover more and get to know each other from another side.”
“Crazy how much light can change the look of your hair. Whenever I step outside I see its true color. Embracing my transition!”
“I made it! I decided for my birthday and one year anniversary I would get a really major haircut to celebrate and get rid of some of my old colored ends. I love it! Ive had long hair for SO long...I didnt think I would look good with short hair. This hair journey of mine sure has pushed me to think and do things that I never would have before. I have a new sort of confidence. I’m so glad I decided to join you all last year!”
Waves, braids, side-ponytails galore! There are so many cute ways to style your silver and the wonderful @young_and_gray29 wears them all so well.
“Found my first silvery strands in my twenties, and have been dyeing for 20+ years. I opted to bleach out my ends and coax the gray in- and have dark roots instead of light, a dark background instead of a halo(also fabulous, btw). My stylist was such a brave chemist- but now slightly afraid of all the referrals she’s getting😂(This approach was not easy, of course, and I sacrificed many destroyed inches). But two years in, I find myself wishing for more gray! And now I wear red lipstick everyday! I’m truly never going back. Not letting myself go. Letting myself become❤️”
“I started getting grey hair in college. From 2001-2015 I dyed my hair dark brown in an attempt to hide my natural hair. I’m not sure the exact moment I decided I was finished with covering up the real me, but it was the best physical decision I’ve ever made. I was so afraid that it would make me look older, especially since my husband has such a baby face. I would argue that at age 35 I look the best I ever have, and if that’s not true... then at least my confidence is the best it’s ever been! I often get strangers asking me about it, or complimenting it. Even without the compliments, I feel very natural, very true to myself, and my hair is the healthiest it’s ever been.“
I got my first grey hair at 14. Despite being raised by my two silver crowned parents I quickly learned how to dye and have done so for ten years. I found that with each dye I gained not identity and assurance but anxiety and a feeling of misrepresentation. I found an odd reassurance in the fact that I NEEDED chemicals and dye to feel beautiful. At 24 I've decided to go #grombre. Join me on my journey of empowerment and acceptance as I look to build a community based on the natural privilege of silver beauty (at any age!) DM me to feature your own journey to platinum beauty.