Silver Hair Chronicles: ‘Growing your grey hair out is about so much more than growing your grey hair out’

Whitney Lichty

Photo via Whitney Lichty

Welcome to the Silver Hair Chronicles, a bi-weekly feature where we highlight women who have made the bold choice to ditch the dye and rock their silvers.

This week we’re featuring Whitney, the gorgeous woman behind Silver Strands of Glitter. Clearly she’s been blessed in the hair department. In addition to her long, wavy locks, her brows and lashes are on the miraculous side.

Some might not count being almost completely gray at 39 as a blessing, but we beg to differ. Whitney would too—she says growing out her gray has led to a level of self love that only gets stronger as her gray locks get longer.

Follow along with the rest of her 15K followers on Instagram for her daily hairstyles, which range from topknots to long flowing curls to poker straight Ariana Grande-esque pony tails. Also don’t miss her earrings! And check out our interview with her below for more about Whitney’s gray-hair journey.

What’s your name, where do you live, what do you do, and (optional) what’s your age? 

“My name is Whitney, I live in California, am a stay at home mom and am 39 years old.”

When did you start going gray? 

“I noticed silvers peeking through in my first years of college.”

Did you color your hair and if so for how long? 

“I have colored my hair for over 20 years.”

When did you stop coloring it? 

“I stopped coloring my hair in October of 2019.”

Was it difficult to see yourself with white hair? 

“To be honest I had always imagined that my hair was stark white underneath the dye, or at least that is what it seemed like every few weeks when my roots would start to reappear and lay in stark contrast with my dyed hair. I was surprised to find I was much more of a mix of salt and pepper. It did not take me as long as I thought it would to feel at ease with the growing color and I have in fact grown to love it. So much so that I look forward with anticipation to a full head of grey.”

Do friends/family/strangers have opinions about your transition? 

“Yes, it seems everyone has an opinion, some are more vocal than others. I know that the choice to ditch the dye is not for everyone. But comments and opinions, whether they be good or bad, are simply comments and opinions and they don’t and never will have any bearing on my self-worth or the decisions that I make for myself.”

How do you respond to unwelcome comments? 

“I don’t. I don’t feel the need to nor should I have to defend my decision, especially about something so insignificant as the color of my hair. I have found that negative comments have more to do with the insecurities of the one giving then than about much else. This is my hair and my decision; no one else’s. I love it and that is how I respond.”

How has going gray changed the way you feel about yourself? 

“To intentionally reveal your grey hair and then undergo the long and often emotional journey of growing it out does require a certain amount of self-acceptance and ease with who you are and I have noticed a shift towards a greater self-love and acceptance. I didn’t necessarily start out with as much patience and self-love as I would have wanted but it has developed and deepened, slowly and gradually, just as my silver growth has.”

What advice would you give someone who’s considering going gray? 

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You may find that after a few months of starting the journey, you are not ready to ditch the dye. You may find that you feel more comfortable with your hair colored. Either way it’s ok. It’s your hair and your decision. It’s more important that we love and have patience with ourselves. That we feel comfortable in our own skin and understand that one person’s journey may not always be our own.”

What’s been the most surprising thing about going gray? 

“One of the most surprising things I’ve learned is that growing your grey hair out is about so much more than growing your grey hair out. It is both an external and internal transformation.”

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14 Comments

  1. August 6, 2020 / 5:07 pm

    I was 65 before I grew out my gray. I tried several times but was forced due to chemotherapy to shave my head.
    I Couldn’t have d one it otherwise and I love it. I wished I had done it sooner.

  2. Kim
    August 6, 2020 / 6:16 pm

    Im recently finished chemo therapy and used a cold cap during the process so I did not lose my hair. I have not been able to dye my hair either. So thinking of letting it grow out. With the covid thing I have not seen many people. Its been over 4 months so I have a good start. Wish me luck.

  3. Karen
    August 7, 2020 / 11:42 am

    I took the plunge at 52, taking advantage of recovering from surgery and then covid and teleworking to transition to my natural color gray in 6 months. Had no idea how liberating it would be. No more worries about my roots growing out, getting in to the salon every 4 weeks for color (although I still go that often for a cut). I don’t know if I could have done it if not for the unique set of circumstances we’re in, but I’m so glad I did.

  4. Cecilia Figueroa
    August 7, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    Asi mismo estoy con mi cabello, de color gris. Mi crecimiento de canas es un 60%. Esta pandemia que nos hizo quedarnos en casa por 2 meses, senti el deseo del cambio y aceptar lo nuevo para mi.

  5. Trenell Smith
    August 7, 2020 / 3:58 pm

    I don’t think I have ever felt more confident than when I let my hair go white last year. It feels natural and beautiful, exactly how God sees us. It embraces your inner beauty.

  6. Judith Swain
    August 11, 2020 / 4:41 pm

    I’ve been thinking of going grey for some time now…im fixing to start now…i think my real hair color is light silver whitish something…i will have to wait and see….ive been dyeing my hair for 42 years now…im 60 yrs old and wanna see how I feel as I transform from blonde to grey….my hair is down my back and I’ve also been thinking about cutting it short in a Bob….i love to read the transformation stories and look at the pics….

  7. Rachell Simmons
    August 12, 2020 / 10:23 pm

    I stopped coloring my hair 2015. I’m so glad that I did! My mom said I look like I spun sugar in my hair. I also have the same gray streak that she had as well as my grandmother and I think that is cool. I also feel more freedom and I don’t worry that I have to have my hair a certain way.

  8. August 13, 2020 / 2:45 am

    I am happy that grey hair is popular. Since this past March I have been letting the grey grow. I eventually would just like to have some high lights. Loved the artical.

  9. Cindy Neivert
    August 13, 2020 / 4:37 pm

    My Hair has finally grown out and is a stark white.
    Really do love it. But….
    Is there a wash out product on the market I can use to color roots Black, or Dark Pewter for a contrast!
    Product must be mild enough to wash out!
    Thanks

  10. Kasey Kesl
    August 13, 2020 / 8:35 pm

    I have been noticing gray hair since I was 16 years old! I am now 32 years old and have to color my hair every three and a half to four and a half weeks. For a while I embraced my gray, and I dyed it bright purple. This was a fun time, my gray is very predominant and my frontal hairline. I am a nurse and so I wear headbands often in order to cover it. The coloring is so inconvenient and well I don’t have time to go to a stylist, not that often.

  11. Barbara
    August 14, 2020 / 11:32 pm

    With the assistance of my hairdresser I am growing out my silver-white hair. I would normally darken my roots with highlights throughout. But this year, with not being able to go to my hairdresser, I’m growing out to my natural silver color. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about it. I’m using darker mascara and eye makeup so I don’t look “washed out”.

  12. Lisa C
    August 22, 2020 / 4:04 pm

    Exactly. I started my transition 5 years ago. I deliberated for about 5 years before deciding to “ try” it.
    I absolutely love my gray hair. It’s many different colors, it’s constantly changing, and sometimes it’s frizzy.
    Sometimes it’s absolutely smooth and shine. I have “ ribbons” of shades of gray which is very striking.
    The change, for me was both my hair and my new attitude towards my outlook on life. I think I’m softer, I don’t feel the need to rush.

  13. Laura
    August 26, 2020 / 3:39 pm

    Going grey tired of waiting for salons I’m 52 10 grandchildren just think it’s time. My only concern I used to dye it black now there’s a straight line horizontally what do I do

  14. Pam Mooneyhan
    August 27, 2020 / 5:25 pm

    You look amazing! I just started growing mine out. So tired of the salon visit every 4 weeks.

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