I’m excited to feature Ashely Rossato’s story of turning grey young and how it led to personal empowerment for her. Read on below! You can follow along on her grey journey on Instagram here.
Let’s start at the beginning of my hair journey! I was born with a head full of black hair, it was as if I had it styled for my arrival into the world!
When my hair started to change
It’s funny when you grow up, you always want what others have. Since I was born with such dark hair, I always wondered what I would look like if I was born blonde, what if my hair was shorter or longer, etc… But never did I wonder if I would have grey hair at 14!
Yes, 14. I was in gym class, just coming inside from a run, and a girl behind me yells out, “You have a grey hair!” I felt immediate shame and embarrassment and I ran to the bathroom to pull it out. At 14, you’re prepared (mostly) for a whole list of embarrassing moments as you come into your own – but going grey? That isn’t one of them. Going grey was for grandmothers, the old, or the stressed and overworked – not a young girl in middle school.
I spent much of my adolescence sitting on the counter in my bathroom and pulling out my greys with tweezers. I cried because I was embarrassed and felt different. My parents loved the natural me and didn’t want me to dye it – so I felt even more misunderstood.
I spent 10 years of my life plucking and later dying my greys (once my parents finally agreed). I even dyed my hair blonde and then back to black, I dyed it red and then back to black. It was an ongoing cycle of damaging my hair because of how much resentment I had about my greys. It truly consumed my life.
And then I had a reckoning, I remember thinking to myself “Why can’t I have grey hair at a young age? What’s wrong with greys? Why do I feel pressured to fit in? Why is coloring my greys such an obsession?”.
Then I found a community of silver sisters!
In November 2020 at the age of 23, it finally hit me. I found myself on Instagram hash-tagging #greyhair and #youngandgrey looking for someone to relate to. I wanted so badly to be reassured I wasn’t the only one with this much grey and I wanted answers. The growth of my grey had become so fast at this point, that I was dying my hair weekly just to keep up appearances.
The community of women I came across left me surprised, and truthfully, a little angry. Why didn’t I know of this community earlier? Why didn’t I seek out other women years ago instead of plucking my greys and crying alone by the bathroom sink?
It was there I found encouragement, empowerment, and stories that I could relate to! A huge sigh of relief came over me. And it was in that instance that I knew I was hiding. Hiding from fear; the fear of words, the fear of people looking, the fear of judgment. How silly does that sound?
In early December 2020, I made a commitment to myself to stop coloring my hair. To keep me accountable and to inspire other women, I even started an Instagram to document my grey journey. Of course, I wanted to spark a younger female generation who were suffering and going grey in silence! I wanted to share my experience and inspire them to ditch the dye and embrace their natural hair. I knew that women of all ages (even women that were grandmothers!) were struggling with the idea of going grey.
I published a book!
I even published a book about my story, the struggles of growing up with grey hair, and learning how to embrace my true beauty.
Have the urge to embrace your grey?
When you have the urge – DO IT!
It’s not the easiest process, so find a support system (whether in everyday life or virtually) that are around to keep you going and remind you of your beauty, even with grey hair! My fiancé constantly told me I looked beautiful and that he was proud of me for staying true to myself – and that encouragement helped a great deal!
Going grey will not be easy. You’ll have bad hair days. You will have days where you’ll want to give up. But remember to be patient! It’s a short-term pain for long-term gain!
To remind myself of the end goal, I also saved inspirational photos of women with fully grown-out grey hair to my phone. Looking at these beautiful women and reminding myself to have self-love helped me gain a healthier relationship with my mind and my hair throughout the journey.
Fast forward to today!
I am 25 years young and growing out my grey hair! My grey is coming in prominent, with less of a salt-and-pepper look, and I’m so excited to see the final color.
I hope that my story and my journey will let you embrace your grey too so that you can fall in love again with your hair and your natural beauty! Let’s help change the way grey is viewed – you’re not old, you’re not stressed, and you’re empowered and beautiful!
Tell us in the comments! At what age did you first notice grey hair? Is there anything that you’ve had to overcome because it made you feel different?
Honey’s favorite products for grey hair
About the author:
After going grey at 14 and struggling to hide it for more than a decade, Ashely Rossato started an Instagram page to help other women (of all ages) come to terms with going grey. Her book, “No! I don’t want grey hair!” is available on Amazon. You can find her Instagram page here.
** Please note that items purchased through links on this site may result in a commission for Honey Good.