Young woman who went grey at 16 feels ‘more empowered’ after embracing natural hair

A young woman has said she feels “more empowered” after embracing her grey hair and wants to break the stigma around being young and grey.

Going grey is a natural part of the ageing process, but for Lauryn Caldwell, this started much earlier than expected, when she was just 16 years old.

Lauryn used to be a brunette but noticed grey hairs coming through when she was a teenager.

The 22-year-old began dying her hair to cover the grey when she was 18 and had to dye it every three weeks to maintain the colour.

But at the age of 20, she finally decided to ditch the dye and let her natural hair come through.

Lauryn said she was made to feel “uncomfortable” in school when she first started noticing the grey hair.

She told GlagowLive : “I noticed when I was 16 in high school and I felt uncomfortable a lot of the time as people would point them out. I guess it’s because you don’t see a lot of young people with grey hair and it was just me.

“At school when it got pointed out by a girl who would sit behind me, she asked me why I have grey hair. She said I was too young for that, and I would say well obviously not as I have it now.

“Neither of my parents got grey hair young. Although my dad’s mum went grey young as well so it could have come from her.”

Lauryn explained that she would pluck her grey hairs out, before resorting to dying her hair to get rid of the grey, adding: “I used to spend ages plucking them out in front of the mirror as my parents wouldn’t let me dye it. They would tell me to just go with it and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

“Then at 18 I dyed it black, my hair is naturally dark anyways, so when the grey started coming through it really contrasted with the dark. I was dyeing it every three weeks because I was so determined not to be grey. I made sure it was always really dark and saturated in the black dye.

“Doing this though made it become really damaged as I was dyeing my whole head, not just my roots, and would spend £9 on a box each time.”

In April 2021, Lauryn had finally had enough of the upkeep that came with dyeing her hair constantly and decided to stop.

At first, she stripped the black dye from her hair, but this left her with undertones of a “horrible” red colour. She said that this was when people advised her to let it grow naturally, and see what happens.

While on a journey to embrace her natural hair, Lauryn found a community of women like her called the ‘silver sisters’ offered her support.

She said: “I decided to have a look at other women who have grey hair and I couldn’t believe how many people are the same as me, I found a whole community of women who support each other called the silver sisters.

“My hair maintenance is so much better as I look after it so much more now. I never used heat protection before and would also use the wrong shampoo with silicones which made my hair even worse. I also do oil treatments regularly and look after it so much more now.

“I now feel a bit more inclined to look after it more as I want to make it look healthier.”

Despite feeling much more confident with her natural hair now, Lauryn still dislikes it at times, adding: “There are still days where I look at it and I don’t like it, but it’s normal as I had that same feeling sometimes when I dyed it, but I feel better for embracing it.

“My family were so supportive of my decision, especially my parents, as they always told me there wasn’t anything wrong with it, just let it be the colour it is and go for it.”

While she used to be embarrassed about her hair, Lauryn now receives lots of compliments on her natural locks. She added: “At the beginning, I didn’t get comments. Just people would look at my hair. Especially working in retail people would stare at the top of my head but not comment.

“However, recently I have had a lot of positive comments. I think it’s because it’s a lot more grown out now, so you can see the whole colour and people will tell me how nice it looks. I guess I won’t have to worry about growing it out when I’m older as I’m doing it now.”

After embracing her own silver locks, Lauryn wants to inspire others to do the same.

She said: “I want to inspire other young girls to embrace their natural grey hair. I get messages from people older and young who tell me I have inspired them or tell me that they like my hair and want theirs to look like mine.

“There isn’t enough representation of being young and grey in society and I want to help break the stigma surrounding it. I believe that us Silver Sisters can do that. Smash society’s views on grey hair one strand at a time.

“It makes me feel a lot more empowered, as I know how I felt when I couldn’t dye my hair and I hope others will feel the same about theirs.

“I wasn’t confident when I couldn’t dye my hair before, but I definitely want more young girls to show their natural grey even though we’re made to feel it’s not normal.

“Embrace it, don’t be scared to show your natural glitter.”