Photo: Michael DeYoung/Getty Images
Embracing The New Black...and Blonde...and Brown...
Take one look around your office, gym, school, supermarket, subway, mall, etc., and you’ll see that silver is the new black. And blonde. And brown. Many celebrities have proudly sported silver hair for years, such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, and Helen Mirren. But what’s new is that it’s not just the over-forty crowd who craves this hair color. There are young women who went silver early and have decided to ditch the dye and accept the gift nature gave them.
See the transformations...
"I was thirteen when I saw my first silver hair. It was so embarrassing, but my mom wouldn’t let me dye it. She said it wasn’t good for my hair. Instead, I would pluck the silver strands out with a tweezer. That was until my aunt told me that for every hair you pluck, you get eight more in its place, something I’ve since learned is a myth. By the time I was eighteen, my silver was much more noticeable. Once I was old enough, I began dyeing my hair. Nine years later, I spoke to my colorist about growing out the dye. She suggested continuing to color everything except a strip of silver around my face, so I could get used to it. I really liked the way it looked, so when I went back to my colorist seven months later, she dyed even less of it and left most of the silver. Then I decided not to dye at all." —Katelyn Triola, 28
"Within the past year, my silver hair has been received in such a positive way compared with when I first started growing it out. I constantly have people—women and men—coming up to me and asking if it’s my natural hair color, giving me kudos for growing it out, and saying how cool it is. Recently someone asked me how I got it this color, and she couldn’t believe it was natural. It’s also amazing to see how many people struggle with the thought of growing out their dyed hair. Some people don’t have confidence that it will look good, because they can’t bear the awkward phase of growing out; some people feel their significant others won’t like it or that they will just look old. It’s been a great feeling to speak with these people, relate to how they feel, and hopefully encourage them to be themselves, not to be afraid, and to learn from the process, as I have." —Katelyn Triola, 28
"Be positive about your decision to go all silver. Keep your vision of your future hair as you let go of the hue that may not be serving you anymore. Of course, some days are better than others, and small adjustments can help, like a bit more pop on your eyes with eyeliner and mascara, some blush, and a stylish hat. During my grow-out, I imagined this journey like a road map, because a map has a beginning, middle, and end and takes you somewhere." —Lorraine Massey, 50s
"During those moments when you think you might want to throw in the towel, try this: Wait just one more day before deciding to dye it back. You may feel differently tomorrow—and then you are already another day closer to uncovering the hair that wants to be discovered: your glorious new color." —Lorraine Massey, 50s
"One day it hit me that trying to fight my silver hair was a losing battle. The color wasn’t adhering the way it used to, and I was tired of it. My mom and aunts color their hair every week. My mother will go to her grave with a bottle of hair dye in one hand and a bottle of relaxer in the other. I don’t want to be that person. To make the grow out more subtle, I dyed my hair blonde and stopped coloring it from there. Around the same time, I cut my shoulder-length hair really short, so it was a much easier and faster transition to silver." —Melissa Malebranche, 44
"I’m surprised by how many people stop me on the street or at work and tell me how much they love it. It’s also amazing how many women approach me, compliment my hair, and then say, “You’re so brave! I wish I could do the same thing.” I understand where they’re coming from because that was me a year ago. But I had nothing to lose by embracing my hair color, and now I’d never dye it again. I used to think I’d feel ugly with silver hair, but not only do I love it, I realized the time when I felt the most unattractive was when I had to get my roots done. But the naturalness of your silver hair means you’re owning it and you’re confident and there’s definitely something really sexy about that." —Melissa Malebranche, 44
Excerpted from Silver Hair: A Handbook by Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender (Workman). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Jeremy Saladyga.