ICONS | Natural Grays


Photo of Emmylou Harris in the 1970s via Feather by Feather.

I mentioned how my mom let her hair gray naturally in The Naturalist chapter of the Tomboy Style book and have recently been thinking of other women that have done just that. The one icon that keeps getting referenced in every story about "going gray gracefully" is Emmylou Harris. She started going gray in her early 20s and has pretty much let it fade ever since. While there are many women that stop dying their hair later in life and embrace their gray, I've yet to find more than a few examples of women that gray over time.

I caught a glimpse of my first gray yesterday in the reflection of a window, and although it doesn't bother me (can't you tell!?), I honestly have no idea what to do with it. Pull it out? Let it ride? Any advice?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Take a cue from Emmylou! Let. It. Ride.

Chronicling O'Keeffe said...

Georgia O'Keeffe is the original "Icon/Natural Gray". Check out my blog Chronicling O'Keeffe and read about Icon Georgia O'Keeffe and Tomboy Style.

Love Your Blog and the pic of Emmy Lou.

Pat Cypher

jaimie said...

I'm only 25 and have been finding pure white hairs for a few years now. Even though I like the idea of aging naturally and gracefully, it still totally weirds me out and I always pluck them. I like the idea of all grey, but not yet!

Square said...

One thing worse than grey hair, is grey regrowth, looks really hideous - ergo I don't colour my grey. Embrace the grey...

Nomadic D. said...

I had a few greys sprout in my late twenties and rather than pluck them (hello superstition) I would trim them really short. A ridiculous strategy if ever there was one. Now I just let them go. And this year I've had so many more sprout up, but I have to say, I kind of like them. I don't know why, they almost make me feel proud, like, hey, you've made it this far, good going! That said, I do color my hair a lot (for other aesthetic reasons, I like to change it up all the time) and find that if you do a semi-permanent wash, it's not only healthier for your hair in general, but it fades quite naturally so you never get that horrible grey-not grey demarcation.

www.nomadicd.com

Anonymous said...

I don't have any gray hair, but lovely whites are coming in! Why change that? I love the way it frames my face. Most people don't think I'm my age (51) anyways. It's all about your attitude and your confidence. We all need to do what's right for us. ;)

That's Not My Age said...

Let it ride! Grey is the new black. And what about Joan Baez?

Alexandra said...

Take a look at Vogue UK editor Sarah Harris! She it totally grey and wears it well!

http://herribbonsandherbows.blogspot.co.uk/

evencleveland said...

I started going grey in my 20s. I stopped dying my hair at 31, and now, three years later, it is the color of steel. It's funny, because now people ask where I get it colored.

I say let it ride!

Hannah said...

I started getting greys at about 21 and stopped dying my hair at about 25. A year later and I am getting streaks of white above both temples. I love them and get a lot of compliments. It's funny to hear friends say 'I wish I had grey hair to."

Anonymous said...

I pluck mine at the root. It's almost like plucking my eyebrows in that I maintain them when I see them. I don't like the way they look because my hair is so dark. At some point I will have to dye it when there are too many to pull out. It isn't true that more grow in when you pull them out. It's your preference and if you like the way it looks, then you leave it. If I could look like Helen Mirren with gray hair, I will leave the gray when I am older. But some people look so severe with gray and it seems to age them even more. I don't want to look older than I have to.

Andrea said...

I'm turning 45, and plucked a couple I've noticed but will embrace naturally from here on...still in denial though!

Goddess Case said...

When you pluck a gray hair there is the potential of damaging the hair follicle--which can result in the hair growing out in a wonky direction! So, embrace the gray!

Angie Thompson said...

I'm 24 and have a robust little patch of whitish grays toward the back crown of my head. More often than not, girlfriends of mine and even my husband will comment on how much they like my grays. Every now and then an aunt or co-worker will try to pluck them, but I refuse. I'm keeping them :)

mamavalveeta03 said...

Oh that we would all go gray just like Emmylou....let it ride. Do NOT pull it out! You're only damaging hair follicles by doing that. Would you rather be bald or gray??? ;-)

Schwets said...

I found my first grey on my 26th birthday (I'm about to turn 31). I freaked out about it at first, but I love my greys. I can't wait until I have a full head of gorgeous silver locks.

I say let 'em ride!

random article said...

I love seeing older women with natural gray hair (and the rare younger woman who doesn't get rid of her gray). Because my hair is fairly light, mine don't show up much yet, but I think it will be interesting to see how it slowly fades to white. It is a little bit scary in an am-I-getting-old?! kind of way, but on the other hand I love the idea of the hair on my head going through a total transformation.

Jesse said...

i've only got a few grays so far (i'm 34) and my husband says they blend and you really can't see them. BUT the vain part of me is contemplating color; although i think i would really like the gray look eventually. just not sure just YET.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine went grey at 14. Ended up being the coolest kid on the block, still people ask where it was done. Let it Ride!

Anonymous said...

At 36 I have started going grey at the temples and crown- I am going with it. I love my age and feel great, feel beautiful. Also wanting to set a particular model for my 9 year old daughter.

J.H.

Lynn said...

Oooooohhh grey hair!! Sorry I have an obsession with white and grey hair!! :D

Anonymous said...

I'm in my late forties. I have very dark hair and I'm letting my gray come in. I'm far too busy to sit around and color my hair - I'd rather be somewhere outside. Also, because I part my hair, I don't want a "skunk line."

If you are comfortable with it, let it go.

Anonymous said...

In defense of hair dye, I love how Diane Keaton accentuates her grey with really natural looking coloring. For example in The Family Stone. That kind of sums up my idea of beauty.




Anonymous said...

I'm 33 and have quite a few gray hairs. So many that my colour is starting to look mousey. However, I don't like the idea of dyeing my hair every 6 months, so I use Aveda's clove conditioner. It blends the grays without the harmful chemicals of a dye. I'm not quite as brave as Emmylou...

lynne said...

so timely... i have been thinking hard of just letting my hair go gray. i think your post and the comments tipped the balance. i will stop the dying and embrace the grey. i only have random strands through out my head at this point. my roots are still mainly dark. good time to stop.

Anonymous said...

Pull them out til you have 20 or more then it's either let continue to arrive or dye your hair. I'm 49 and have about 20 now so I'm thinking of dyeing my hair, but am a tad reluctant since my hair naturally has the ombre look going.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who got serious pressure to dye my hair from friends and family when I started going gray? I hate dying it, hate the health risks, and would love to be natural, (we're tomboys here right??) but when it started coming in big time in my late 30's, practically every female in my life told me how awful it looked, and that I needed to dye it. So I started, and now I'm in that rut, but would love to let it go. But if it looks terrible on me, I don't want that either. I look young otherwise, so people said it seemed weird. I've been told some people can pull it off, and some can't, and I'm in the latter it seems unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I just turned 50. I still have long hair (past my shoulder blades), and I let all the grays mix with my natural dark brown. My hair matches my face - what can I say. It feels good. One watch-out is that gray hair can be coarser/frizzier than your other hair. I straighten mine, so the texture is not a problem.

megan kathleen mcisaac said...

haha oh dear, i have too many grays to even account for, and am working my way up to streaks. i have never once dyed my hair and i never wash it. i spotted my first few gray hairs when i was 17 years old and have been growing more rapidly since. i can't wait to have a head of white, long hair (which i will most definitely braid.)

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