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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