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A woman was left heartbroken when she started going grey at 10 – and further down the line, she was mistaken for a grandma.
Evgenia Denisova, 38, from Serbia, is a marketing and business development professional who has learnt to love herself just as she is.
But this took time to achieve, as noticing her first grey hair at such a young age had a profoundly negative effect on her.
READ MORE: ‘I went grey at 14 – people judge my silver locks but I don’t care’
She told Daily Star: “I was shocked as I was only 10 – shocked and ashamed. I was afraid of being bullied at school and was dealing with this shame for years until I decided to ditch the dye.”
Evgenia thinks she inherited the silver locks from her father, who was almost completely white in his 30s.
She was 14 years old when she started dying her hair, first with henna and later, when she had more grey hair, with box dye.
Over time she made the difficult decision to stop dying her hair – but this wasn't without struggle.
“It was a tough decision and months of feeling vulnerable and insecure when I first ditched the dye. I actually had two attempts at embracing my grey hair,” she explained.
“It was already a couple of years before first ditching the dye that I had been feeling so annoyed by the need to cover my roots every 10 to 14 days and still being unsatisfied with the result.
“Two days after the dye – and I could already see the huge contrast between my growing white roots and the dark brown colour on the length.
“Nonetheless, I continued dyeing my hair, horrified by what the social reaction could be when people see me completely white at my age – I was 34 at that time.”
But all of this changed when Evgenia gave birth to her son.
She had no time to keep dyeing her roots, nor did she want my baby to smell the toxic chemicals from the dye, and one day she realised that she had a two-months of regrowth.
“I decided to give it a go but wasn't ready to wear that demarcation line, so I made an appointment at my hairdresser's to bleach my ends,” the 38-year-old explained.
“Fortunately, it never happened! Thanks to a mistake in the schedule, my appointment was cancelled.
“That was my fourth month of the grow-out and right before a long-awaited family trip where I wanted to look and feel good, so I dyed my hair again!
“I regretted dyeing my hair really quickly, especially after noticing my white roots glimpsing in the sun again. That was when I realised there was no way back and started growing it out again.”
Thankfully Evgenia has never felt judged for choosing to stop dying her hair.
That being said, she has had one painful experience when she was mistaken for her newborn son’s grandma.
She hasn’t let that interaction stop her from thriving – and the support from her close friends and family has helped the transition.
“I was a bit worried about what my colleagues would say when I was back to work after my maternity leave,” she shared.
“I work in a large corporation and have a lot of meetings by the nature of my work. It turned out I collected tons of compliments the first day I went to the office and I continue receiving them!
“Some people don't even realise it's my natural colour and ask to share my colourist's contacts.”
Evgenia said that ditching the hair dye has been incredibly liberating and therapeutic.
“You learn to be kind to yourself, you discover who you are and you meet the real you when you are free from the artificial beauty and social standards,” she explained.
“It may sound weird, but embracing my grey hair made me a happier person. I shine from within and people see this shine, not my hair.
“If you hesitate about embracing your grey hair or embracing other peculiarities you may have. Give it a try and see what this journey brings you – disclaimer: it will be many positive things.”
Evgenia told us that she’s received more positive attention now that she’s grey compared to when she was dying her locks.
She puts this down to the fact that she is an inspiration to others.
The mother added: “It's interesting to compare how insecure I felt at the beginning of my journey and how bold and empowered I feel now.”
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