On my Insta feed I see women aged forty, fifty and sixty plus with long grey hair, leather jackets, slinky necklaces and a sexy attitude of absolute sass.
Just a few years ago we couldn’t possibly have predicted a movement like Grombre or that the Grombre hashtag would be used in over 149 thousand posts on Insta alone.
I was following the Grombre hashtag for at least six months before Covid hit. Four weeks into the first lockdown I saw the needle moving rapidly on this hashtag. No one could get to the hair salons and women were being forced to embrace their skunk-line!
How Long Does It Take To Become A Silver Fox?!
I’ve been wearing my hair in natural grey for over three years, and prior to that it took two years to grow out my ash blonde highlights. The reason I did it? I didn’t trust that I’d be able to maintain blonde highlights in Vietnam – and I was moving to Vietnam!
Being a Leo I’ve always had a high maintenance, co-dependent relationship with my hair and it’s a love hate one. To be honest that hasn’t changed. For every person that tells me how pretty my silver colour is there’s an echo in my head that says, I’d still rather be blonde!
Why I’m a Silver Sister!
So I guess you could say that I am a Silver Sister for practical reasons. And the reason is that I couldn’t cope with any more tangerine stripes while experimenting with South East Asian hair products that are made for South East Asian hair. (I’d experienced that a few years previously while travelling around Asia.)
Every time a European hairdresser rolls into Hoi An (my adopted town in Vietnam), promising European products, I am sorely tempted. But the hairdressers never stay long and I’m not ready to go through the rigmarole of growing out colour again!
When I first started growing out my hair, back in London, Game of Thrones was massive on Sky. I never watched it, but I saw the poster, of the girl – that girl – the one that started a fashion moment – two fashion moments actually. Plaits and grey hair.
That Winter lots of my London Mum friends started wearing complicated plaits to frame their heavily blushered pale faces (It was 2016). I wondered how they had time to plait their own hair as well as their children’s. They were obviously starting their mornings earlier than I was! So, for me, it was a definite no to the plaits. The GREY moment however, I was TOTALLY ON BOARD WITH!
Why The Grombre Movement Rocks!
Three years into having completely natural grey hair and a year into obsessing about everyone else’s grey hair, I can say this;
The Grombre movement is empowering middle aged and older women to become more visible and it’s other women that are making that happen!
I’ve only ever received compliments on my grey hair. In fact women seem to like to talk to me about my hair. – No it’s not dyed… Yes this is my natural hair colour – yes really!
We all know fashion has a lot to answer for in terms of how women are viewed. I’m old enough to remember the Heroin Chic of the nineties and a skeletal Jodi Kidd just about making it down the catwalk. This Grombre Movement feels like the antithesis to that. It’s a celebration of older women and it’s a celebration of individuality and of having the strength to say;
“I’m not doing life that way anymore. I’m doing life in my own fabulous way.”
As I’ve said in a past post you do not fuck with a middle aged woman. Because we won’t put up with it and we don’t care about being polite while being mansplained to about something we already know about. In the throws of menopause do you really think we care what some stranger thinks of our choices? No! We do not.
The thing I love most about The Grombre Movement is that this is women saying to other women, ‘Wow, you look great! Keep going!’
This Grombre Movement, which has been helped along by the Covid Lockdowns, is making a ding in Western Society norms.
Because this movement is looking to The Elders and saying,”I want to be in your gang!”
P.S. In the time it took me to write this post the tally for #grombre had gone up to 149,024 posts (and I write fast!) Advertising people take note – we want to see more women that look like us in your ads!
P.S.S. I had a lovely reaction to this post on Insta, with lots of women telling me about their grey hair journeys. This is my favourite photo, it’s of Alisha Trent age 32. She started going grey at 27. You can see more of her journey @alishas_lifeandpublications_