The 50 Shades of Silver Project

This project was born from the idea that we all go into ditching the dye having no real idea what our natural color will be. Several years ago, I had this idea of showing you as many variations of natural gray hair as I could find. I couldn’t quite figure out how I was going to accomplish such a large-scale project, and get all the photos I needed that would work to show the many variations of silver there are in the world.

Then, just recently, a beautiful silver sister posted her photo in one of the silver hair groups on Facebook it was a photo of her ‘after’ hair at the salon…the quintessential photo of the back of her freshly styled hair. It all clicked into place…these were the photos I needed to show the true variations of silver hair.

Along with this idea of collecting photos, through the years I have been giving unique names to silver sisters to describe their natural color. ‘Gray’ seemed so blah, boring, and tainted by the horrible hair dye commercials and ads. For many, they don’t resonate with ‘silver’ and some are bored with ‘salt and pepper’ as a description. The idea was to give you options to describe your unique color.

I wanted to share ALL the potential in 50 Shades of Silver. I wanted to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness that Mother Nature bestows upon us as we walk through life. Our hair is this canvas of many colors, that truly cannot be replicated in the salon.

 

Please note monitor colors vary widely from device to device. The original photos in this post were given to me by their owners and have been unfiltered and unaltered except for size. The natural translucent property of white hair is to reflect light and the colors around it.

Woman facing away with hip length long white hair

M.G. | AGE 62

Hair Color: Snow

Silver here is defined as any color of the natural graying process.

I’ve labeled the photos with some creative alternatives because gray hair comes in a multitude of shades depending on your born-with-it color. Some of these ladies are my friends so I was able to give them a color that suited not just their hair color, but also, who they are.

Call it whatever feels best to you, but whatever you do let’s stop calling gray hair ugly and old.

Silver is a color too and there are as many words to describe it as there are different shades of it, which I hope I have proven in this project.

Woman facing away with short curly white hair

K.R. | AGE 63

Hair Color: Cloud

Silver is now what we call gray. Why? Because gray has a lot of societal angst tangled up in it. From women being shamed to dye their grays to keep their husbands, friends, and jobs to being outright called old and ugly.

Woman facing away with long whit hair in a bun.

Barbara K. | AGE 85

Hair Color: Silver & Gold

Woman facing away with shoulder length white hair in a bob.

Christine C.

Hair Color: Pearl

From the brightest white to the golden hues remaining in a former red head, to the darkest charcoal, no matter what color your silver is, it has a unique beauty all its own.

Woman facing away with waist length white wavy hair.

Bek J. | AGE 52

Hair Color: Moonstone

Woman facing away with mid back length white wavy hair.

Linda H. | AGE 54

Hair Color: Frosty Champagne

Woman facing away with mid back length straight white hair.

Susan S.

Hair Color: Winter White

Woman facing away with short gray pixie haircut.

C.C. | AGE 63

Hair Color: Brushed Chrome
Social: @sssilver_cc

Woman facing away with long white hair.

Elizabeth C. | AGE 54

Hair Color: Platinum Ice
Social: Elizabeth on Facebook

Woman facing away with wavy short silver hair.

Suzanne R. | AGE 49

Hair Color: Brushed Sterling
Social: @SuzBoop7

Even those that add a little flourish of color from teal and blue to purples and pinks…they create a beautiful patina to accentuate their natural hue.

Woman facing away with long white hair and violet "ombre" dye on the ends.

Bobbie W. | AGE 62

Color: Patinaed Silver – Violet Ombre

Woman facing away with shoulder length bob with white hair.

L.J.A. | AGE 64

Hair Color: French Cream

Woman facing away with shoulder length bob with white hair.

Nico M. | AGE 42

Hair Color: Honey & Cream (born a natural red head)

Age & Hair Color Have Nothing In Common

Woman with medium length gray hair sitting on a rock outside.

Kassi S. | AGE 48

Photo Credit: Jeff Anderson
Race or Ethnicity: American Indian
Hair Color: Silver Mist
Social: @Kassi.Sedgwick

Woman facing away with shoulder length curly silver hair.

Terry M. | AGE 58

Hair Color: Argentan

No matter if your hair is sleek & straight, beachy waves, curly spirals, or soft cherub curls the silvers sparkle and shine through.

Woman facing away with short curly silver hair.

L.B.S. | AGE 65

Hair Color: Nickel Spirals

Silver hair reflects its environment and changes accordingly. With subtle shifts from front to back…

Lauren Stein owner of The By The Way Co.

Lauren Stein | AGE 46

Hair Color: Icy Silver
Owner: The By The Way Co.

Lauren Stein facing away from the camera showing her silver wavy hair hair.

Not only do the hues and variations of silver hair change from room to room or from artificial lighting to natural, but it changes when straight, wavy, or curly.

Joli Campbell facing away with long silver hair straightened.

Joli Campbell | AGE 48

Joli Campbell facing away with long silver hair in soft loose waves.

Joli with Loose Waves

Hair Color: Frosted Nickel

Joli Campbell facing away with naturally curly long silver hair.

Joli with Natural Curls

Katie Emery facing away from camera with long silver hair.

Katie E. | AGE 56

Hair Color: Champagne Silver
Website: KatieGoesPlatinum

“Going gray is fun! It’s counter-culture, it’s rebellious, and it defies a society that tells us that women must look a certain way or a certain age in order to be valued.” ~Katie

Woman facing away from camera with long straight silver hair.

Maryeileen A. | AGE 55

Hair Color: Brushed Steel

Woman facing away with short curly silver hair.

Lisa S. | AGE 63

Hair Color: Slate Gray Spirals

The front and the back can be entirely different with Mallen streaks on the temples or a natural gradient of white in the front to darker gray at the nape. It evolves and changes depending on if it is long or short.

Woman facing away with long curly silver hair.

Sherry M. | AGE 67

Hair Color: Marbled Slate

Woman facing away with short wavy silver hair.

Nicole G. | AGE 51

Hair Color: Whisper Gray

From year to year, it can change growing lighter and lighter and even sometimes regaining pigment and going dark again.

Woman facing away with short curly silver hair.

Laurie K. | AGE 62

Hair Color: Brushed Steel Spirals

Woman facing away with curly silver hair.

Juliann W.

Hair Color: Dove White

Woman facing away with short wavy curly silver hair.

Peggy M. | AGE 63

Hair Color: Mercurial Waves

One’s silvers can change from haircut to haircut, wavy to curly, the color can look different on one side versus the other, and depending on the color you wear or the light you are in.

Woman facing away with long wavy silver hair.

Paula J. | AGE 56

Woman facing away with long curly silver hair.

Hair Color:
Platinum & Ice

Woman facing left with short wavy silver hair.
Woman facing right with short wavy silver hair.
Woman facing away with short silver hair.

Tina C. | AGE 66

Hair Color: Blue Chrome

Woman facing away with long silver hair.

Mags A. | AGE 60

Hair Color: Silver Mink

Silver hair is like Mother Nature’s Brush strokes, some have streaks throughout, some have streaks underneath, some are white in the front and their natural born-with-it-color at the nape…

Woman facing away with short wavy silver hair.

Mary F. | AGE 71

Hair Color: Salted Chocolate

Woman facing away with short silver hair.

Sandra H. | AGE 44

Hair Color: Brown Sugar & Cream
Social: @arr_enn

Woman facing away with long wavy silver hair.

Liz E. | AGE 59

Hair Color: Newark Silver
Social: @libslifedaily

Woman facing away with long wavy silver hair.

Kim H. | AGE 55

Hair Color: Copper & Ice

Mother Nature does it best, matching natural silvery highlights and lowlights to our skin, eyes, and even our personalities.

Woman facing away with long wavy silver hair.Woman facing away with long wavy silver hair.

Bhairavi K. | AGE 53

Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Hair Color: Cool Pewter

Woman facing away with long wavy silver hair.

Michelle T.

Hair Color: Bronze & Ice

The same hair, the same day, the same color, only difference is light, and it can be like a chameleon.

Woman facing away with long wavy silver hair.

Charisa B. | AGE 45

Woman facing away with long wavy silver hair.

Hair Color: Chocolate & Vanilla

Woman facing away with really long wavy silver hair.

K.P. | AGE 47

Race or Ethnicity: Black and Hispanic

Woman facing away with really long wavy silver hair in a bubble braid.

Hair Color: Light Graphite

Woman on a beach facing away with long silver hair.

Zen S. | AGE 55

Hair Color: Dove Tail Silver
Social: @simply.zen.photography

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Woman facing away with curly silver hair.

Barbara S. | AGE 74

Hair Color: Thundercloud

Woman facing away with short wavy silver hair.

Anastasia O. | AGE 52

Hair Color: Steel & Ice
AnastasiaOlson.com

This color evolution can begin in puberty and continue well into your 90’s. There are a rare few who are immune to the process of graying, but even those who seem to not be gray may actually have pigment loss and change that just doesn’t fit into a gray zone at all. Think of your sister with blond hair which has grown darker as she has aged. Or your red-headed husband whose copper has patinaed over time but hasn’t turned any sort of shade of silver.

Woman facing away with shoulder length wavy silver hair.

Anne H. | AGE 62

Hair Color: Blue Granite
Social: @cater3cook

Woman with short curly coily silver hair.

Carmen P. | AGE 48

Hair Color: Midnight & Stars
Social: @mysilvercrown_ 

Woman facing away from the camera with short curled dark silver hair.

We tend to have this idea that gray is a blend of black and white, but it can be warm gray, cool gray, red tinted gray, blue tinted gray, greige (a beige tinted gray), and so forth. It can be white as snow or as dark as graphite, and everything in between.

Woman facing away with waist length wavy dark silver hair.

Bobbie A. | AGE 58

Race or Ethnicity: Hispanic

Woman facing away with waist length wavy dark silver hair.

Hair Color: Forged Steel

Woman facing away with mid-back length wavy dark silver hair.

Diana | AGE 46

Race or Ethnicity: Mexican
Hair Color: Smoky Obsidian
Social: @silver.is.the.new.black

Woman facing away with pixie cut wavy dark silver hair.

Anne B. | AGE 59

Hair Color: Inkwell Gray
Social: Anne Beaudoin_Writer

Woman facing away with waist length wavy dark silver hair.

Karla F. | AGE 48

Race or Ethnicity: Mexican
Hair Color: Brushed Bronze
Social: Karla on Facebook

Woman facing away with shoulder length wavy dark silver hair.

Joanna M. | AGE 52

Hair Color: Bronzed Steel
Social: @joannameehan 

Woman facing away with French braided dark silver hair.

Lesia P. | AGE 70

Hair Color: Tahitian Pearl

Woman facing away with shoulder length wavy dark silver hair.

Loretta L. | AGE 47

Hair Color: Salted Caramel

Woman facing away with above shoulder length curled dark silver hair.

Susan W. | AGE 55

Hair Color: Mystic Dark Pearl
Social: @greyjourneyuk

Woman facing away with shoulder length dark silver hair.

Ashley WK | AGE 39

Hair Color: Dark Chocolate and Cream
Social: @aj_goes_grey

Woman facing away with just past shoulder length wavy dark silver hair.

Mai B. | AGE 53

Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Hair Color: Dark Tahitian Pearl
Social: @vupeedupee

Woman facing away with pixie cut wavy dark silver hair.

Preeti P. | AGE 44

Race or Ethnicity: from India
Hair Color: Peppercorn

Woman facing away with hip length dark silver hair.

Tracy M. | AGE 61

Hair Color: Pure Graphite

When I started this project, I wanted to make sure it was a very diverse collection of women, not only in hair color; but age, race, and ethnicity. The women who submitted photos for this project range in age from 39 to 85. They are Indigenous People, Asians, Indians, Black, Hispanic, and White, they come from ethnic groups from all over the world. It was a pleasure to put this project together and meet (virtually) all these beautiful women. They shared their journeys with me of ditching the dye or never having colored their hair at all. They were not only generous in sharing their photos but genuinely excited to be a part of this project.

Thank you to all of you for being in the 50 Shades of Silver Project.

I hope you enjoyed this post and video. If you did please share it, the point of this project was to prove all shades of silver hair are BEAUTIFUL!

Author Joli Campbell with long silver wavy-curly hair.

 

I hope you found this post educational and helpful.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.

As always it is about so much more than the hair.

signature: Shine On, Joli Campbell

 

 

 

 

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