Why I Want To Be Grey At 38

Recently, I went to an event with my parents, and there were many of our long time family friends in attendance. I had recently decided to embrace my natural grey hair- and for me, since I had been dying my brown hair for so long- this meant bleaching my hair super light so that the grey could grow out naturally without looking too messy.


As I walked around with my mom, many of our friends were surprised to see me. Granted- with this new lighter hair color, I do look very different. Prior to this, I have always been a brunette. When I was a kid, I had long, pitch black straight hair. And as I grew up, the texture of my hair changed a bit, but the color did not- since I had been dying it since I was in high school.

So- there was this surprise. “Oh! You’re a blonde now!” they would say. And my mother would correct them, saying, “Oh, no, dear, it’s not blonde, it’s grey. She is so grey now.” And before she could even finish the sentence, she would get interrupted, with a “shhh” sound, or a quick wave of the hand. “We don’t want to talk about that, now do we” they would say, looking at me with a wink and a knowing smile, like we shared this secret. And the topic would quickly change to something else.

I have been grey for my whole adult life. For as long as I can remember, my husband would say “Why are you so worried about coloring it? Just be you.” And I would have a million excuses- it will wash me out, it would make me look old, the color won’t look right with my skin tone. But really, my excuses were to cover up that I was embarrassed and insecure. Walking around with a full head of grey hair in my 30s? Well, that’s not what people do! We hide our grey, we mask our age, and we brush any indication that we might not be perfect under the rug.

This past spring, I went on a trip with my husband and kids to Europe. I didn’t have time to color my hair before I left, and by the time I got back, my roots were in full force. I had never let them go so long without covering them. And I realized- my natural color is beautiful- white and shiny and catches the light. Why not embrace that, and rock it as best I can? And so now, I am. No more hiding it- this is who I really am.

We all have something inside of us that is beautiful and shiny and catches the light- what is your secret that you want to let shine?

Andrea Wool