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CurlyNinja
May 11th, 2008, 03:16 AM
I just took a good look through my hair and discovered it's even more gray than I realized. I knew I was beginning to see a number of silvers threading their way through the top layers, but it's only now, when I lifted the hair and looked at the roots in sections that I realized the extent of the silver hair. I'm coming up on 2-5% gray as I near my 21st birthday, and while a big part of me does want to go natural, I guess I'm just afraid of the commitment to staying silver at such a young age. I have to ask myself if I'm really ready to be a silverhair in my 20's, because as much as I love the look of natural silver heads, you tend not to see them on women in their 20s and 30s. Naturally, I can go a good while at this stage without being noticeably gray, but I want to start figuring out how I'm going to face this transformation in my hair, especially since it seems to be coming up sooner rather than later. I hadn't expected to have to make a real decision until I was 30, but the way things are escalating I may be moving that up to age 23-25.

I was just hoping someone had some advice and wisdom to share, having faced a similar dilemma.

DiyaC
May 11th, 2008, 03:43 AM
Hiya, CurlyNinja!

I got my first gray hair at the age of 12. Very unusual, I know, but my father was a premature gray-er too. I'm now 22 and recently I noticed a sudden spurt in the graying that was happening gradually till then. Of late, I've not been able to hide the silver so well and whatever be the hairdo, the silver is visible in places. I can relate to what you're feeling, since I am also about 5% gray now. I was thinking about whether to color/dye or not, but I decided not to. For one thing, once I started coloring, I would be under pressure to keep doing it and if I went for long without touching up the roots, once the silver starts showing again, I'd probably start feeling depressed. And for another, I've noticed people whose age can be seen in their faces, but their hair looks unnaturally un-grayed. I've decided to embrace what nature has given me, and take the graying as part of my natural aging process. This is how my body is naturally, and despite social pressure being what it is, I think I'd regret it if I went against my body.

AprilElf
May 11th, 2008, 04:55 AM
Indeed, greying hair is a natural ageing process as DiyaC said, but it might not happen for you at a consistent rate - you may have years of grey-stalls ... who knows?! :shrug:

Anyway, this thread reminded me of a magazine article I read recently and had been meaning to post about. The article is available online here: The Joy of Going Grey (http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/213/features/10976/the_joy_of_grey_.html)
In relation to your concerns, CurlyNinja, I think the last three paragraphs are quite interesting:

As for the widely held belief that dyeing your hair makes you look younger, Kreamer has good news – and bad news. In another experiment, she asked respondents in an online survey to estimate the age of seven people, using photographs of them with brown hair and with grey hair.

The good news is that in all cases the respondents thought the brown-haired subjects looked younger. The bad news is that the difference was relatively small – just three years on average, and even less when the subjects were in their 40s and 50s.

It’s that finding, more than anything, that helped convince Kreamer of the folly of dyeing her hair. “To me, the data clearly indicates that [from our 40s onward], when grey hair is age-appropriate, we don’t actually fool people about our age when we dye our hair.”


:rolleyes: Okay, I admit that last paragraph isn't particulary encouraging because it assumes grey hair is not appropriate for those under 40 ... but, I know a girl in her 20s who dyes her (darker) hair white-blonde and silver and it looks great. Very striking, though probably not so great for her hair. ;)

Rosamaria
May 11th, 2008, 08:20 AM
The only wisdom I have to offer, having a number of in-laws who went totally silver in their 30's, is that when you are that young and have got silver hair it isn't aging.:) Your face is still young-looking and the silver hair looks interesting, unusual, arresting!

So my feeling would be that you should just let it happen and enjoy it. After all if you start using dye now, that's a lot of years of putting chemicals on your head, and a great expense! And all the time you could be turning heads with your unusual looks ;) !

TammySue
May 11th, 2008, 08:40 AM
As other members above said, silvers can make you look striking, interesting, and unusual and save your hair from years of coloring. Having said that, I wasn't ready to deal with silvers when I first saw them at the age of 26 and didn't stop coloring my hair until age 44. Now, at 50, I am loving my silvers.

I say do what makes you happy! You have a lot of years to enjoy your hair! :)

mira-chan
May 11th, 2008, 09:28 AM
Hiya, CurlyNinja!

I got my first gray hair at the age of 12. Very unusual, I know, but my father was a premature gray-er too. I'm now 22 and recently I noticed a sudden spurt in the graying that was happening gradually till then. Of late, I've not been able to hide the silver so well and whatever be the hairdo, the silver is visible in places. I can relate to what you're feeling, since I am also about 5% gray now. I was thinking about whether to color/dye or not, but I decided not to. For one thing, once I started coloring, I would be under pressure to keep doing it and if I went for long without touching up the roots, once the silver starts showing again, I'd probably start feeling depressed. And for another, I've noticed people whose age can be seen in their faces, but their hair looks unnaturally un-grayed. I've decided to embrace what nature has given me, and take the graying as part of my natural aging process. This is how my body is naturally, and despite social pressure being what it is, I think I'd regret it if I went against my body.

I got my first gray at the same age, 12. My grays are coming in slow for now after a burst of a batch, due to stress most likely. Most of mine grow in a streak at the top of my head and can be hidden or shown with parting.

I don't intend to dye them to hide them, though I henna for the conditioning effect I'm resistant to the dye so it fades especially on the whites. The only dye I'm considering is using Manic panic on a streak. Get the fun colors without bleach. :D

ItalianFlower
May 11th, 2008, 11:02 AM
Go for it! :) Since you (obviously) know how to care for your hair, the color wont even matter. It's sheen and length will take grey to "ZOMG STRIKING SILVER" and everyone (even you) will love it more. That said, if you don't feel comfortable with grey hair, don't rush yourself. Unless you make peace with it, you wont like it no matter how much everyone else does. Flow with both your physical AND emotional natural processes.

Katurday
May 11th, 2008, 11:52 AM
I've been seeing some silvers on my brother (whom will unfortunately suffer from a receding hairline soon, but fortunately looks phenomenal with a shaved head).
My mother got them at 30.
My grandmother at 30.
My father...45 I think?
He still is sporting the dark dark hair he has, he just has a few silvers whereas my mother is covered and dyes.
I have a very scattered genetic code, as you can tell, and frankly...
Having two or three silver strands through my black hair I'm convinced would look phenomenal.
Punk rock, even. ;)

az_sweetie01
May 11th, 2008, 12:19 PM
I started to notice my first bits of white at 23 or so. Now I have a full on streak and some scattered ones through my hair. MY grandmother was white in her 30's (mom is s&p @ 47). Anyhow, it's entirely a personal decision as to whether to rock it or not. Grey's and silvers do look extremely striking!

I personally dye because I'm just not confident enough yet :)

Nynaeve
May 11th, 2008, 12:45 PM
I'm coming up on my 21st birthday as well and also having a case of some silvers pop up, and they aren't grey, they aren't white, they're silver. They show up VERY well in my very dark brown/black hair. :rolleyes:

At this point, I'm trying to look at them in a positive light. :shrug:

I agree about having thought I would be able to wait till my 30s to decide. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do. I love the look of silver hair, but I also love the brown/black, and I still can't decide. :(
I've never colored my hair, and was never planning on it, but then again I wasn't expecting to have several very long very silver hairs pop up before 21.

CurlyNinja
May 11th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful replies.

I found my first silver a 12 too, and my three older sisters who are in their early 30's are all quite gray by now--some more than others. I asked them, and mine seems to be coming in even faster than theirs did. Our maternal grandfather was totally gray by age 25. (Better than our father though, who was 50% bald by age 30!)
It's good to know I'm not alone in this!



In relation to your concerns, CurlyNinja, I think the last three paragraphs are quite interesting:

As for the widely held belief that dyeing your hair makes you look younger, Kreamer has good news and bad news. In another experiment, she asked respondents in an online survey to estimate the age of seven people, using photographs of them with brown hair and with grey hair.

The good news is that in all cases the respondents thought the brown-haired subjects looked younger. The bad news is that the difference was relatively small just three years on average, and even less when the subjects were in their 40s and 50s.

Its that finding, more than anything, that helped convince Kreamer of the folly of dyeing her hair. To me, the data clearly indicates that [from our 40s onward], when grey hair is age-appropriate, we dont actually fool people about our age when we dye our hair.


:rolleyes: Okay, I admit that last paragraph isn't particulary encouraging because it assumes grey hair is not appropriate for those under 40 ... but, I know a girl in her 20s who dyes her (darker) hair white-blonde and silver and it looks great. Very striking, though probably not so great for her hair. ;)

I suppose my concern with this is that it seems that for people (especially women) in their 20's and 30's, it can be a lot more aging, because people see silver hair as a 40+ phenomenon. A "young face" at 22 isn't so much different from a young face at 38... but that can be a big gap, even though both ages are "young." I guess I'm not ready to look like I could be 35 when I'm really 25, even though 35 is a young age. I suppose I'll have to see what effect the silver hair has on my face. With darker skin like mine I have some concerns that the white might wash me out even if it can't create wrinkles.

Going the Manic Panic route on occasion sounds terribly exciting though, especially for someone like me who could never get temporary color to show up on such dark hair! :p

tmmycat
May 11th, 2008, 05:23 PM
When I see gray hair on people in their 20's I always think it looks unique and beautiful and mysterious, like a sorceress. That's just my two cents ... :)

I am 26, saw one gray hair on my head a few weeks ago (it's about two inches long). I decided to keep it. I might be right there with you in a few years!

CurlyNinja
May 11th, 2008, 05:41 PM
When I see gray hair on people in their 20's I always think it looks unique and beautiful and mysterious, like a sorceress. That's just my two cents ... :)

That's a great way of thinking about it!! I really love that image.

Here's some inspiration I went hunting for (sorry the images are so big!!!):

Li Bing Bing in the new movie The Forbidden Kingdom:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/janani/libingbing.jpg

Halle Berry as Storm:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/janani/storm2.jpg

Or, in from the pre-Berry-as-Storm era:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/janani/storm1.jpg

psvzum
May 11th, 2008, 06:26 PM
I started turning grey in my early twenties. At first it was just around my hairline but gradually inched it's way back. I started using a temporary color and this worked well until the greys got more pronounced. I didn't like the way my hair would look as the temporary color rinsed out so I turned to semi-permanent. This was a little better but still washed out. It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I began having it colored professionally-permanent hair color. While grey hair is lovely on many women, I like the way I look with my brown hair : )

Nynaeve
May 11th, 2008, 06:31 PM
Come to think of it, I found my first silver around 12 as well.
Didn't Sailor moon have silver hair in the flashbacks to the moon kingdom in the manga (not the anime, we don't talk about the american version of the anime.)
:P