Turning grey is a fact of life. Yet, when most women start seeing their first greys in their 30s, many flock to the salon and spend hundreds of pounds to cover it up. But this isn’t the case for 60-year-old Valerie Lewis, who partnered with Dove last year for a campaign celebrating silver-haired sirens from all walks of life: “I didn’t really give it much thought to be honest - I’ve got natural grey hair and I’m proud of it,” she says.
Hailed as The Lifestyler, the certified life coach and curator of blog page Visualise and Bloom, is passionate about endorsing intuition, creativity and self-love. And when it comes to the latter, hair can often be a good starting point, right? “Society pressures you to look young - and for some reason, grey hair is viewed as dull, drabby and for ‘old’ people,” she says. Since partnering with Dove via her socials (@visualiseandbloom), Valerie has effortlessly redefined grey hair as chic, fun and sophisticated. We find out where it all began…
When did you start going grey and how did you feel about it at the time?
I was 25 and having my hair done when the hairdresser noticed a grey hair. I’d been through a very traumatic, stressful time the year before and put it down to that. As I couldn’t see the hair, I didn’t really give it much thought to be honest. And even when more grey appeared in my late thirties and forties, it didn’t really bother me as they were streaked evenly through my hair. People even asked if I’d had it done at the hairdresser’s because I used to relax and colour. I got bored with black hair, so I would change colour frequently.
How much do you think you have spent on hair dyes in your lifetime?
It’s difficult to say how much I’ve spent. I liked having different coloured hair – brown, blonde or plum were the main shades I went for. But, for me, it was never really about hiding my grey. Plus I’d been colouring my hair on and off since my late teens.
Looking back do you wish you had just let your hair go grey naturally?
The growth of greys seemed to accelerate in my late forties around the front and it felt as if I was having to dye my hair every second week or so to cover them up. Menopause started for me at 48 (following a full hysterectomy) and I was fed up with thinning hair so that’s when I decided to cut my hair short and go natural.
Any advice on keeping grey hair looking silvery and bright?
Using shampoos and conditioners that contain violet toning pigments, like Dove’s Silver Care, will help keep your hair looking silvery and bright. Nourishing hair proteins with keratin repair actives will make strands more resilient to damage as grey hair can be quite dry and fragile.
What do you think about the silver hair trend among Millennials?
Trends generally become mainstream as this one has. I see it as a positive in that it serves to indicate or show to the world that having grey hair, regardless of whether it’s from a bottle or nature’s own, is not unusual. Nor is it something that anyone, no matter whether they are 20 or 85, should feel they have to hide. I’m proud of my natural hair, it’s like Pantone shade Silver is the New Grey!
Follow Valerie on Instagram at @visualiseandbloom