So What’s It Really Like To Grow Up With Grey Hair

ty alexander gorgeous in grey1
On most days having grey hair at a young age (I’ll be 39 in November) can be annoying! Every day I walk my door and enter the world outside people stare at my hair. Although I am kinda use to it, it can be really aggravating to catch folks in their moment of gaze. Some people totally deny it and look away the minute I give them a smile. Others begin to grill me with crazy borderline stupid questions that they honestly believe no one has ever asked me before?! (insert really confused face)

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Once people get the actually stop staring and ask me a question, I can normally play them all out in my head before the interrogation starts. It goes like this,”Oh my God, that’s your REAL grey hair?”…”Oh my God, how long have you been grey?”…”Wooooooow, really!”…. “I bet you get this all the time!”…”Oh my God, how old are you?”….”Wooooooow, really!”….”Have you always embraced it?”

ty alexander gorgeous in grey

I’ll probably have blue hair forever.

Insert my legendary laughable side eye followed by a really kind but forced polite smile!

That last question always stumps me. Should I have been ashamed to rock my grey hair? People usually ask so assertively. Like, they know a tear-worthy story will soon follow. It kinda makes me rethink my childhood. But I promise you it hasn’t been a traumatizing experience for me to go grey. Maybe I’m not remembering things correctly?!

I wasn’t born with grey hair and it’s not my birthmark. Truth is… I thought everyone went grey at some point in their lives. Both my mother and father were grey at a young age. A few of my aunts and uncles are as well. My grandmother is grey. I just thought it was the natural progression your hair did in your early 20’s.

ty alexander gorgeous in grey bangs

Kinda missing my bangs (& that waistline)!

Honestly though, if we really wanna talk about how I grew up…grey hair was the least of my worries. Growing up a “big girl” weighed more on my confidence than anything else. The idea of having grey hair was far from my mind. I was dealing with the unfortunate fact that I was 9 years old when I got my first menstrual cycle. I also wore a 36C bra. There was no training bra moment for me. My mother told this story to everyone not in our immediate family, “I sent that girl to visit her Aunt and she came back with someone’s fully matured body, what did they feed her!” I hope you read that with anger in your voice.

So sorry guys…I don’t have a horrific bullying story about my hair that I had overcome.

pantene-gorgeousingrey

I look like Aunt Mable… no more short hair!

But that’s not to negate the struggle of my natural hair journey. Each time I walk past a relaxer in Target I think about joining #TeamCreamyC. My hair is just as complex as my personality. I’m always searching for a product that won’t leave my hair crunchy and wet looking all day (special shout out to You Be-Natural’s products for always holding a sister down).

Plus add on the challenges that come with having grey hair—mainly the lack of products on the market specifically formulated to treat and care for grey hair. So every two weeks I wash my hair with a combo of conditioner, peroxide, and water (here’s that process explained).

ty alexander gorgeousingrey

Here’s what I can say about my natural hair journey. And it’s something that I don’t think I’ve ever said out loud.

I’m just grateful to be here… with hair!

As a beauty blogger, you’d think I’d be more responsible with my hair…but I’m not. I’m a rebel in every sense of the word. I’m also very much here to experiment with products so that you guys don’t have to. I’ve been lucky that nothing has gone wrong and I still have a full head of hair–some girls aren’t this lucky.

ANYWAYS… I could write a book about my hair journey (*adds to to-do list*) so I’ll push the wrap-it-up-b button on myself. *cues Oscar music*

READ MORE POSTS ON GREY HAIR:

What Products Do You Use To Keep Your Grey Hair Shiny?

What’s The Best Hairstyles For Women With Grey Hair?

Dear Celebrity: So You Wanna Dye Your Hair Grey, That’s Cute & All But…

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17 Comments

  1. Mulos
    October 12, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    As a young man prematurely graying, this has been a great read.

  2. Kimberly
    October 12, 2015 / 11:44 pm

    How do I love thee? lol I’m also a silver fox at 44! I finally embraced it about 6 or so months ago? I’ve had grey hair for a while, just continued to dye it since it was only in the top of my head. Once the rinses started lasting for only 2 weeks, I said it’s time to embrace the grey!
    I hated the ugly in between stages, but since I’ve cut it short, I love it….and so does everyone else! Like you, I get stares and positive comments from people of all races! Women compliment me, but admit they’re not ready to embrace it for themselves! lol
    So continue to be Gorgeous in Grey from one Silver Fox to another!

  3. Wendy
    October 18, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    Hi GIG, I am honored to be part of the “Be all natural” crew which for me, also includes leaving my “glitter” to grow and show. I was greying from 27 years old but dyed hair until February this year. Now I am 41. Thank you for sharing your reality. Most inspired!!

  4. T. La'Vern Richardson
    October 25, 2015 / 11:31 pm

    Hello Ty…This is my first visit but not my last to your encouraging website. I have just begun embracing the inevitable grey hair I started getting serious amounts of for about 10yrs now. Like some others I felt as long as they continue to make dye I would continue to use it, HAPPILY. That is until last year…the 2nd year of my natural hair journey. I would have my hair professionally bleach and died a variety of lovely colors but the grey was coming so fast that keeping up was impossible without damaging my fragile previously bleached hair. That being the decision to big chop AGAIN and thus grow with my grey. You have inspired me to keep pushing forward with loving the hair I am blessed to be STILL falling in love with at 48yrs young. I recently started henna treatment with trepidation since I did not want color. Hmmmmm Surya henna from WholeFoods cured that hesitancy. I use the no color formula and my grey has a sparkle that has literally left my mouth hanging open. My experience soooooo exceeded everything I read and every video I watched. Since I was terrified of having the pumpkin orange effect on my grey hair I did have a finger comber unit on standby which I gladly did not need at all. My grey has the sparkle of tinsel on a tree. Even my co-workers of other cultures were making comments on the same hairstyles without knowing why they were so drawn. I am so very sorry for being long winded but I had to share. Now I can embrace fully my natural hair journey w/o the sadness of going grey with your encouragement as well….Thank You

  5. Wendy
    November 1, 2015 / 5:02 pm

    T. LaVern, your comment is also inspiring. Enjoyed reading it.

  6. November 23, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    Looking forward to seeing all the great tips for gray hair.

  7. Jen
    January 8, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    Thank you, thank you for this post! I’m completely gray at 37 – bright white in the front, steely gray in the back. I get so. tired. of. the. questions. I quit coloring to simplify my life and somehow it got more complicated with daily questions from strangers. It’s been aggravating to my introverted nature. At the same time, I love it the way it looks and want to encourage others to rock the gray hair at any age. I came across your blog as I was looking for how to remove yellow from my silver sparkles. I think it is from heat styling – dang flat iron. If you have a preferred method, I’d love to know. Cheers from a silver sister!

    • January 10, 2016 / 11:28 pm

      Make sure that you are cleaning your flat iron regularly and that’s it’s not too hot when you are straighten your hair. All I normally try to get my hair as straight as I can with the blow dryer and do only one pass with the flat iron. Hope that helps. 🙂

  8. March 21, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    Not sure why I haven’t been to your blog before but as a fellow gray haired natural I figured I’d stop by and wave. I got my first gray hair at 12 and while it didn’t collect friends for a while I was regularly dying my hair in my 20s to keep the gray friends at bay. And at the time they were my friends cause it would create these awesome highlights. I quit dying my hair in 2012 I think because like someone else mentioned the hair dye started losing and my dye was permanent lol. Two weeks later and the gray army was advancing. My natural decision was accidental after not relaxing my hair because I kept putting it in twists. I chopped all the relaxed ends off in February and now I’m growing out my TWA in some silver twists–love them. I will have to live vicariously through your rebel phases. I am always super reserved about major hair decisions.

  9. Rashetta Gooden
    April 29, 2016 / 3:32 am

    This article had been a true inspiration! Thank you!

  10. May 26, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    Not for nothing, I’m a little low key jealous that I didn’t grow up with grey hair! I am anxiously waiting for the moment that my hair turns gray. I’m glad that you’ve embrace it. Keep it pushing! You’re beautiful!

    Saphia Louise recently posted..You Are A BADASS: Self-Help Book Of The MonthMy Profile

  11. October 21, 2016 / 11:33 pm

    My hair started going white when I was around 21. By age 31 I thought I should start coloring it. I did that in some fashion for the next 14 years, until one day I realized it was part of my family’s legacy on my mother’s side and, frankly, hated using the stuff all the time. Never looked back after that. I applaud you for coming to grips with it earlier than I did.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..The Need For IntentionMy Profile

  12. Bnita
    October 23, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    I love your site. You have a beautiful spirit. My Hair started graying slowly. I have always loved gray hair. (Found out that I was allergic to hair dye in my 30’s, I didn’t care. ) I am also allergic to hair products that have alcohol in the ingredients. This has left me with natural options. My styling options are few. So, now with no product in my hair, I am in search of a style that compliments me. While growing all of the products out of my hair I have tried wigs. I always try to find wigs that have about the same amount of gray that I have, without looking like my great-Aunt. That has been a challenge!
    With the suggestions on your site see solutions! Thank you!

  13. August 27, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    I love all of the hairstyles. That blue is sooooo cute. I relate so well with the nontraining bra thing. My physical being went faster than some other things. It was weird some things were late but others were not. I think we all have our hair struggles. I have a bday today and the jokes pour in about grey hair. I’m like I’m just fully into my 30s why are you all so obsessed with coloring your hair. Grasp who you are. I wonder who started the whole covering up the grey hair thing. Why is it bad? Sometimes as many people don’t do, is to be you! Enjoy who you are. That’s why I enjoy following you.

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