Lifestyle

Grey-haired Instagram influencers who embrace their silvery manes

These grey-haired influencers of Instagram have chosen to ditch the hair dye and rock their silver mane with confidence

Grey hair is a natural part of ageing, and at some point, it is something most of us will come to accept.

But what if your hair starts turning grey earlier than expected, like in your 20s or 30s?

Would you faithfully head to the salon to colour your hair every other month? Or accept your genetics and rock your (premature) grey hair with pride?

It started off as a small Instagram community in 2016, but @grombre has now grown into a global movement of women who choose to grow out their natural, undyed locks.

If you are leaning towards it and need that small little push, here are the Greysians (grey Asians) of Instagram, all influencers in their own right who have chosen to stand up to the increasing pressures of traditional beauty standards and embrace their silvery tresses.

@smitadesouza

With her silver streaks, Ms Smita DeSouza, 37, calls to mind several female superheroes whose hair we envy.

Never one to shy away from a bold beauty look, this former beauty editor and make-up artist does not believe in the term casual, and frequently posts intricate and stunning make-up looks on Instagram.

Currently, she writes about beauty on her website The Beauty Desk and when not discussing the virtues of skincare, she can be found on Instagram Stories showcasing beauty tutorials.

She said: "I have never associated white hair with 'old'. Unlike my extensive skincare routine to help my skin age well, I never did anything to prevent or reduce my white hair."

She noticed her first few greys when she was 25 or 26 years old, which were located right in front, along her hairline.

"I don't remember freaking out, but I had to start dyeing the front portion of my hair because, unlike black hair, white hair... stands up and can look quite unruly."

This is because the hair follicle produces less sebum. Without the natural oils, the grey or white hair gets more dry and wiry.

Ms DeSouza eventually got fed up with the upkeep and stopped dyeing her hair at the age of 32.

There are still days when some of the white hairs stick up, but she tries to tame them with hair wax or setting spray.

"Honestly, I got lucky with the placement. People are always surprised that it is not a dye job. And then there are people who urge me to dye my hair so 'my hair matches my face'.

"I don't really care about having white or black hair as long as my hair is thick and healthy."

@kaekaeqi

Melbourne-based Khmer-Chinese model Kae Kae, 34, is not shy of letting people know she is a Greysian.

Her journey into modelling began with red-dyed hair in her teens, followed by shades of purple, blonde and variations of brown for shows and photo shoots.

Upon taking up modelling full-time in London, she finally returned to her natural shade, black.

Little did anyone know, she had been greying for many years before this.

She said: "I was often booked for jobs as the token 'Asian model' and although a part of me had finally embraced the natural me - dark hair with Asian features - the truth was, I was still covering my greys.

"I was still conforming to society's obsession with youthfulness and eliminating all signs of ageing."

Since March last year, the Covid pandemic and lockdowns allowed her hair the opportunity to "do its own thing".

"I now feel confident enough to fully reclaim the 'real me', and more than that, bring attention to our current beauty standards, which are hurting girls and shaming women, adding unrealistic pressure on all of us who age."

@grey_evolution

Besides running an artisanal cold brew coffee start-up, 65-year-old "elderpreneur" Ong Bee Yan is juggling a second career as a fashion model.

The Singaporean grandmother has already graced the covers of Harper's Bazaar Singapore, L'Officiel Singapore and has even had a beauty feature in Her World, showcasing that age cannot stop you from pursuing your dreams.

"My image of a model is that she has to be tall, slim, drop-dead gorgeous. So never in my wildest dreams have I ever imagined myself to be a model," she said.

@agingwith_style_and_grays

Ms Jin Cruce, 53, decided to ditch the hair dye in March 2018 after her first grandchild was born, and she has never looked back.

"You cannot control everything. Your hair was put on your head to remind you of that," she said.

While she is a registered pharmacist, she also runs her popular Instagram account @agingwith_style_and_grays where she documents her journey to grey hair.

She started the account as a way "to inspire and support women on their grey-hair journey and inspire women to embrace ageing".

"Being older has brought me so much joy, freedom and confidence."

This article was first published on Her World Online (www.HerWorld.com).

WELLNESS & BEAUTY