Around the age of 14, my hair started turning gray. It wasn’t a major deal for me. My mom had gray hair, my dad had gray hair, as well as my aunts and uncles. Gray hair was just something that was rampant in our family. It was never really odd to me, so I expected it to happen eventually. I was happy when I got my first grays at 14. My hair has always been my crown — I was the girl with long, gray hair, so it’s always been a part of me, always been the topic of conversations. I have a really good, healthy relationship with my hair, which is why I unabashedly am who I am.
I started my blog Gorgeous In Grey because at the time, the internet was kind of popping and I didn’t want to be outside the conversation. One time during New York Fashion Week, I was staying in a hotel and there was a segment on a TV show called “Gorgeous in Gray.” My then-boyfriend (who is now my husband,) was like, “Oh my God, I think you should name your blog after that.” Three months after, that was it. I bought the domain and never stopped blogging.
I wash my hair (which is relaxed) maybe every 10 days. I just wash and condition it, mold it by putting Nairobi Wrapp-It Shine Foaming Lotion mousse on it and then setting lotion, and then wrap it and sit under the dryer for 45 minutes before I bump it [with volume] a little bit. It’s really easy to maintain my hair because it’s short and I can literally finger comb it out after I put a few curls in it. I hate washing my hair at any length, so I swear by Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Co-Wash. I love it because unlike other dry shampoos for black hair, it doesn’t leave a white residue. A lot of the others aren’t really made for our hair, so Cantu has done a really good job creating something that’s still a dry shampoo but cleanses without having that white residue.
I also swear by Chi products. I love their flatirons and their oils. I have their thermal protectant spray, and I love it. Clairol’s Shimmer Lights Conditioning Shampoo and Conditioner for Blonde & Silver is a classic. My mom used it as a gray-haired girl and I use it, too.
Around once a month, I do a deep condition of three parts: hydrogen peroxide, water, and conditioner. That helps gets rid of the brownness that forms from general wear. When you have gray or silver hair, even the sun can change its color and make it brown, so at least once a month, I do a clarifying treatment to keep it really crisp and silver.
I went natural for a while, but I personally didn’t like the way my hair looks curly. I wrote about it last year on my blog but people kind of didn’t care, which is crazy. I think they would be more upset if I actually dyed my hair a different color. But because I also wore my hair straightened even as a natural, I’m not sure they even made the connection. It’s just easier for me to have a relaxer now while it’s short. It was also hard to keep the curls at bay and keep it straight during the summer time. I’m growing it out now, so I may go back to being natural. I try to stay away from heat as much as I can, which is the other reason why I got a relaxer. When I was natural, I had to straighten it constantly to keep it straight.
Gray hair is in now. You see young girls and young women wearing gray weaves and gray ombré styles, but the stigma still hasn’t changed for women who naturally have gray hair. And that’s probably because all our lives, we’ve been told that having gray hair means that you’re aging, and no one wants to age. As a society, we’re beginning to look at women differently, whereas before, if you had gray hair, people would say you should dye it because you don’t want to look old. But the more that that narrative changes, having gray hair willo be acceptable and aging will be normal and okay.