There's been a trend for a while now to dye hair grey, in what ever way that works - fully grey, balayage or ombre, it all looks great when you're in your 20's and 30's. The problem with grey hair when you hit middle age (mid 40's and beyond) is that it stops being a trend and feels all too real. Pair it with a few wrinkles and a not so flexible back and all of a sudden the grey hairs start to cause some anxiety.
For women though, it's really not that straight forward. Let's start with the perspective of those that believe we should "embrace your grey!". There is no denying that there has been a wonderfully positive influx of women in the public eye that are embracing their age, along with their grey hair and their wrinkles (people's faces do move). It's a really encouraging sign, one that we hope doesn't go away with the trend. It's a reflection of how women can embrace their image and accept themselves for who they are and how they look.
Hopefully this means that we don’t have to feel limited by outdated stereotypes that grey hair equals old.
There's also the positive political aspect of a woman going grey, to stand up and help younger generations see what a real women getting older looks like. There simply aren't women under the age of 50 years that really allow themselves to go grey and if they do they're considered "brave", while men going grey is revered as sexy, powerful and wise. Empowering women to finally embrace their grey is truly a wonderful thing, however, as with anything there is a flip side.
At The Selkie Collective we are lucky enough to be surrounded by women that embrace themselves in all shapes, sizes, ages and states of grey. We spend time together, connecting to each other, to nature and back to ourselves. This would probably mean that we would be in the camp of women that accepts grey hair with ease. This isn't true, or not entirely true. We too swing from feeling empowered by our grey hairs to also feeling empowered to dye our hair, and realising that at times we feel judged no matter what we do.
What if going grey doesn't make you feel good, what if dying your hair various shades makes you feel connected to your younger self that experimented without a care for what others might think, or what if going grey makes you feel your best. This all seems like an easy theory to follow... live and let live. So why then do women so often feel judged?
It seems more often these days that when one trend is embraced, another is rejected. It's difficult enough juggling all the nuances of being a women, maybe it's time to start celebrating whatever makes us feel comfortable. Looking more at the emotional trigger of why we do something, if that something stems from a place of insecurity, jealousy or pressure then it may feel like a negative to maintain a look that doesn't feel like your true-self. However, if you feel empowered and joyful from dying your hair, going grey, getting your nails done or getting a facial then go for it!
As women maybe we have had so much social conditioning that we just don't know what is our true-self anymore. Taking space, time and compassion for yourself is so important in understanding what truly makes YOU feel good. We should feel empowered as we age, in whatever form that takes and remembering that ageing naturally doesn't mean not caring for ourselves...