Silver is the New Black

Written by Alicia Maxey Greene

A woman’s hair is her crown and glory. But when silver strands start showing, usually around the edges at first, most women run for cover — and a bottle of dye.

Nowadays, a number of women not quite considered mature are confidently embracing their and loving it.

“I got tired of trying to keep it dyed,” says Mildred Bean, 54, a life and business coach who lives in New Jersey. “It just became a lot of work trying to keep the roots dyed. My hair grows very fast and it was not fun. And I like to have fun, do different things with my hair.”

Bean’s gray locks have turned her into a social media enthusiast in the community under the moniker Natural Silver Sista. She is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and has a following of 6,200.

In spring 2013, Bean, a single again mother of a daughter and son in their 20s, began posting vacation and lifestyle photos on Instagram just for fun. One of her photos was reposted on Facebook by Natural Hair Mag and that photo went viral receiving 42,800 Likes and was shared or reposted 4,600 times. A second photo received more than 18,500 Likes and was shared or reposted 900 times.

“A lot of women are finding the courage to actually embrace their gray hair now, says celebrity stylist Ursula Stephen says. “I have a couple of clients at the salon who have amazing, beautiful gray hair.”

“I’m happy about it,” says Stephen, who has a boutique salon in Brooklyn. “It’s less stress for the stylist, less stress for the hair. It’s so much better because there are so many products out there that promise to cover the gray, but at the end of the day you really cannot fight nature, and you have to let it go.”

Bean says she was inspired in her 40s, to ditch the dye after meeting a woman with beautiful long silver hair. Bean shaved her head in 2002 and to her surprise discovered her hair was about 75 percent silver.

“I get stopped practically every single day that I leave my house. People ask me if that’s my natural color, how do I get it like that, what do I do to it, what products do I use. A lot of people are interested in the color itself,” Bean says. “I get a lot of different comments. The younger girls want to wear their hair this color they think, they say. The older people, some are not ready yet. They say, `Oh I wish I had the courage to do that. I just tell them when you’re ready you’ll do it.”

For maintenance of silver hair, Stephen recommends Bantu Yellow Out and Clairol Shimmer Lights. Bean says she uses products by Shea Moisture, EcoStyler and Curls that are white or clear only. She avoids products with color, also uses coconut oil and light-colored oils.

For more information about Mildred Bean visit, on Facebook: NaturalSilverSista, on Instagram: @NaturalSilverSista and on Twitter: @Silver_Sista.

For more information about Ursula Stephen visit Facebook: Ursula Stephen, on Instagram:  @thesalonbyursulastephen and on Twitter: @ursulastephen.

Alicia Maxey Greene is a freelance writer in the New York City metropolitan area. Her email address is

Images Sourced: Photo Credit: Kelvin Bulluck, Kel B Pics Photography,