“It Makes Me Look Younger,” a 55-Year-Old Model Ditched Hair Dye and Never Looked Back
Annika von Holdt is a Danish novelist, former model, and Instagram sensation who has redefined beauty at 55 by embracing her natural gray hair. She is one of the many women who have decided to ditch the hair dye and celebrate their silver strands, despite the social stigma and pressure to look young.
Her hair started turning grey in her 20s.
Annika von Holdt started noticing gray hairs when she was in her 20s, but she didn’t think much of it until she turned 40. That’s when she began to feel insecure and self-conscious about her appearance. She started dyeing her hair every four weeks, spending a fortune on salon visits and products. She felt like she had to hide her true self from the world.
“I got my first grays in my twenties and they multiplied fast. I colored my hair for years, but then it got to the point where it became too exhausting to cover my roots every two weeks. I started by letting it grow out to see what I was dealing with — the outgrowth in my dark brown hair was about 80 percent silver and the demarcation was atrocious,” she shared.
Now, she wears it like a crown of pride.
But one day, she had enough. She realized that she was not happy with the constant maintenance and the artificial look of her hair. She decided to stop dyeing her hair and let her natural color grow out. She was inspired by other women who had done the same and shared their stories online. She also wanted to set an example for her son, who had inherited her gray hair gene.
“Now I wear my silver hair with pride and confidence. My hair is super healthy and much thicker now that I haven’t ruined it with hair dye and bleach for seven years. And as an added bonus, my silver hair compliments my complexion. I feel I challenge the stereotype of the gray-haired woman. My hair is not just gray, it’s also currently down to my waist and has become my trademark. I think it makes me look younger, and I have inspired and empowered so many women around the world to embrace their natural gray hair — that makes me feel good,” Annika added.
Her hair journey took years and an incredible amount of commitment.
She admits that the transition was not easy. She had to deal with awkward roots and had to learn how to take care of her gray hair, which required different products and techniques than colored hair. Annika experimented with different styles and accessories to make the most of her new look.
Answering how long it took her to grow out her silver hair like that, the answer isn’t straightforward. “I don’t really remember. But one thing is certain, if you are considering it, you have to be patient and stick to your hair plan. It is going to take years — unless you get a crew cut. And then it’s going to take years for it to grow long again,” she replied.
“My hair was long and dyed dark brown with highlights when I gave up on the dye. I let it grow for a couple of months to see what I was dealing with, and it looked pretty much as if someone had dropped a bucket of acid on top of my head. I had the dyed lengths bleached (3 or 4 times) to achieve platinum level. It takes a level 10/very light base to dye the hair gray with different pigments. And it lasts for about 4-5 hair washes at best.
I don’t recommend this approach. The chemical cocktails are going to destroy your hair. After the bleaching, I cut my hair off to the shoulders, shorter around the face and had many layers. And I kept trimming the ends every month until the entire bulk of hair was natural. I believe it took 2 years. It was a couple of really bad hair years, as I remember them, but they were absolutely worth it.”
She felt more confident than ever.
But she also discovered the benefits of going gray. She felt more confident, authentic, and free. She received compliments from strangers, friends, and family. She attracted more attention and admiration than ever before. She also gained a huge following on Instagram, where she posts stunning photos of her gray hair and glamorous lifestyle. She has over 200,000 followers who love her style, humor, and wisdom.
Going gray is not for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with dyeing your hair if that makes you happy. But if you are curious about what your natural hair color looks like, or if you are tired of the hassle and expense of dyeing your hair, you might want to give it a try. You might be surprised by how much you love it.
Annika von Holdt is not alone in her choice to go gray. More and more women are opting to embrace their natural hair color, regardless of their age. They are challenging the stereotypes and norms that dictate how women should look and age. They are reclaiming their power and beauty by being themselves.