Silver Hair and Silver Linings
How embracing my premature silver hair has helped me live a more authentic life".
Women regularly come under fire when they decide to show themselves as they are and leave society's expectations aside. And nothing says, "I don't care about social rules" like letting your silver hair shine wild and free. Even if you're 29 years old.
Embracing my growing silver strands has become my silver lining in a world that often judges people -and especially women- based on their appearance. It helps me stay authentic every day. It helps me stay ME.
Deciding to leave my gray hair show has been one big step in the process of accepting myself just as I am. When I was younger, bullies would pick on my big and curvy nose (a classic trait from my Italian heritage, which I have learned to love).
At one point, I even considered having surgery to fix it. But even though the negative comments hit me hard, I always felt deep down that having surgery -just because of how others saw me- was a way of rejecting myself, not only in appearance but as a whole.
"Why should I change part of what makes me, well, me?"
I feel the same way about my hair. Seven years ago, when my silver strands started peaking out, people reacted negatively, surprised that I was "aging so young". And, therefore, suggesting I had to cover that natural process up as quick as possible. "You should get highlights" was my regular welcome at the hair salon (one of the reasons that I stopped going).
Society seemed to deem it unacceptable for a young woman in her early 20s to show signs of aging.
Today, somehow I get more compliments than criticism and I think the main reason is that I now feel comfortable with my hair and in my own skin.
Don't get me wrong. For a long part of my life, I've been too concerned with my looks. I have many, MANY insecurities which I have to work with and learn to accept (and love) every day.
Gosh, I'm still sometimes insecure about my gray hair! But I think in every woman's life there comes a time when she gets tired of trying to squeeze into a mold and fit everyone's expectations. It's exhausting!
The Point of No Return
Women who have more experience dyeing their hair can tell me if I'm wrong: I always thought that once my silver strands were visible, the moment I dyed them would be life-changing. A point of no return. It would be so hard to stop. I've seen my mom, relatives and friends go through it.
Something about that really bothers me. Why do I have to make myself a slave to regularly showering my hair in chemicals just because my genes (and my body) work the way they do? And isn't that also something that pretty much every woman faces nowadays with hair removal, facial treatments, cosmetic surgery, etc? Where did these standards come from?
Lots of women say my shiny, silver strands work for me because I'm young -recently turned 29- and they have a point: One of the reasons society is terrified of women having gray hair is that it's a sign of aging or better said "getting old" (God forbid we follow the normal process of Nature!).
Therefore, if I have silver locks but I can still prove that I'm in my late 20s and have bouncy skin then it's all good, right? Wrong.
Why are we so desperate not to get older? Not to be ourselves the way nature intended it.
And yes! Why are men with gray hair allowed to be called "silver" foxes when women are called old or unkempt?
Luckily, many badass ladies out there are defying social expectations about what we should look like. From celebrities to regular women, more and more important conversations are taking place in the public sphere. Take Sarah Jessica Parker, for example:
Recently, she received criticism and harsh remarks from media outlets and the public for letting her silver hair show. The good thing is that she, like many women, stood up for herself and openly called out toxic "ageism".
"I know what I look like. I have no choice". "What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?"
- Sarah Jessica Parker
We need more voices like this to be out in the open. We need to have more of these conversations.
The more we decide to be brave and show our true selves to the world, the more we open the path for other women to do the same.
The Silver Lining
There's true power in showing ourselves as we are inside and out. When we accept ourselves UNCONDITIONALLY it's like a weight is lifted off our shoulders. Life gets much lighter!
I'm still insecure sometimes, I'm only human. But I've learned to love little parts of myself on a daily basis, and luckily I'm surrounded by people who see me and love me for who I am. Silver hair and all!
I'm grateful to be inspired by women who decide to be their true selves every day.
I'm a work in progress, still growing every day. I'm discovering new sides of myself and learning to accept them. I'm not even sure if my silver hair will show forever, but I know one thing: I'll always stick to what makes me feel "me". I'm unique and I'm beautiful in my own way. And so are you!
So, if anything is keeping you from being your authentic self -whether it's insecurity about your silver hair or something else- just do an Elsa and let it go! You're perfect as you are.
Thank you for reading! I hope you liked this article. Tips, shares on social media and any kind of support means a lot to me as a writer. ♥️
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like one of my favorite posts: a letter to women and little girls everywhere.
About the author
I'm a work in progress! On top of working in communications, I love writing for fun (mainly short stories, informative bits and heartfelt pieces to make people happy).
This is my personal writing page.