Happier Grey Podcast

Episode 9 - With Rebecca Bostock

May 17, 2024 Helen Johnson Season 1 Episode 9
Episode 9 - With Rebecca Bostock
Happier Grey Podcast
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Happier Grey Podcast
Episode 9 - With Rebecca Bostock
May 17, 2024 Season 1 Episode 9
Helen Johnson

Loved chatting to Rebecca Bostock about her journey to grey hair. 

I literally had no idea before our chat that extensions are a thing for grey hair too.

Show Notes Transcript

Loved chatting to Rebecca Bostock about her journey to grey hair. 

I literally had no idea before our chat that extensions are a thing for grey hair too.

Helen: Hello and thanks for joining me, Helen Johnson, for the Happier Grey podcast. I'm pro-ageing and love my grey hair, but I know it can be quite intimidating to take the plunge, so each week I'll be chatting to other women who've chosen to embrace the grey in the hope of inspiring and supporting you, whether you already have silver hair, in the process of going grey, or just considering ditching the dye.

Today, I'm joined by Rebecca Bostock, who is an ambitious entrepreneur with two online businesses. She started her Grey Journey back in October, 2017, and has never looked back. Hello, Rebecca.

Rebecca: Hi, how are you?

Helen: I'm good. Thank you. And you?

Rebecca: I'm great, thank you.

Helen: Cool. So, I wanted to start by asking you, obviously your journey started in 2017, which is way before lockdown when there was a little bit of a trend for people going grey.

So, I'm curious as to what made you decide to go to grey at the point that you did?

Rebecca: so, I had my first grey hair when I was 18. I remember my boyfriend, of the time, finding it. I knew genetically as well, my dad went grey really early, so I knew it was only ever gonna happen. So, for a long time, I dyed my hair like everyone else did, and my hair was getting gradually darker and darker and darker. And then I would go on holiday and get a suntan, and it made me look old, and a bit like leathery with this dark hair as well. And that sounds a bit strange. 

At the same time, I was still dying my hair, but I was ending up looking like a badger after about two days because it was just growing through again. And so, I just thought, oh, there's no point. It's like, King Canute, who tried to push the tide back. It's never gonna happen I just decided to kind of go for it. It wasn't a massive decision, I don't think, it was more, just to go with the inevitable, if that makes sense.

Helen: Okay. And so, did you just let it grow out or did you have it cut very short or?

Rebecca: Well, I did a bit of both actually, I didn't want to let it grow out because of the whole badger stripe thing. I'm too vain. At the time I had kind of like a bob, and I went and got it lightened. But the colour I didn't really massively like, so I think I got it lightened again. And then I had a tint, you know, when they tone your hair after they lighten it, and it was toned and it went a really nice grey colour, but then tones only last for two or three weeks.

And so, I thought, oh, I'm fed up. So, then I just got it all cut off. I had quite a sort of short cut, and then I just let it grow and it just grew grey.

Helen: So, did you have like a pixie cut?

Rebecca: Yeah, I had a little pixie cut for a little while, which I actually quite liked, but my husband likes long hair and he doesn't get much his way. So, I have to give him that.

Helen: How did he feel when you said you were going to go grey? Did he have a view on it?

Rebecca: He's like, he, you know, he really likes my hair now. He liked it as well when it was dark, the only thing he doesn't like is short. He likes it long. So, he wasn't bothered and he really likes the grey hair now.

Helen: Okay, and your hair looks like it's kind of a fairly consistent colour the whole way through, is that right?

Rebecca: Yeah, it is. It's pretty much grey everywhere. There's very few dark hairs left.

Helen: Okay. And so do you do anything special with it in terms of shampoo?

Rebecca: The one thing that I do, which I think a lot of ladies with grey hair, especially ladies whose hair is thinning during the menopause and is going grey as well. I actually have extensions

Helen: Okay.

Rebecca: and so, my lady who does my extensions, it's really just for thickness because my hair's actually quite fine.

She has dyed the extensions grey before now to match in with my natural hair. I want to remember to say that bit because even though you let your hair grow grey, that's not like the end of extensions and doing stuff like that. You can still, I think, do all of those things, and add thickness and volume to your hair as well.

Helen: Okay. I've not heard of extensions in grey hair before, so I've learned something today.

Rebecca: Yeah. So, I have extensions. I've had them now for over a year. I had them when my hair was dark. And then obviously through the grey period and then about a year and a half ago, I went back to the girl who did my original and she just got, an ivory-coloured extension and dyed it grey with a Clairol sort of box dye.

Helen: Okay.

Rebecca: And then puts the extensions in.

Helen: Ah, I've never had an extension, so I literally have no idea about the process. 

Rebecca: So, I'm a bit lazy with my grey hair to be honest, I do try to use blue shampoo. I don't look after it as well as I should in the sun, I don't really understand science, but you need to look after it better in the sun and probably wear a cap. So I have a few sort of dodgy bit of streaks in there, that are slowly growing out, but yeah.

I should look after it better, but I'm a bit lazy.

Helen: So, do you find that it tends to yellow in the sun then?

Rebecca: Yes, it does. It does yellow, there's some sort of oxidization process or something. And I just need to be more conscious and wear a cap.

Helen: Okay. I'm not quite as grey as you, my hair is still quite streaky and it's generally the underneath that's white. So, when I put it back, it looks white, but when I have it down, there's just mainly a streak at the front.

Rebecca: So, the underneath of mine is actually darker. So, it's quite dark. And there's a few little bits on the top from sun damage, which I'm just waiting to grow out.

Helen: Okay, I was going to ask you a question then. Obviously, you don't, follow the philosophy that when you go grey, you should have your hair cut short because you've got extensions.

Rebecca: Yeah.

Helen:  In terms of appearance generally, have you found anything else has changed in terms of your appearance or the way you styled yourself since you've gone grey?

Rebecca: I don’t know if it’s specifically from going grey, or being 53, or what, but I am a lot more confident in how I dress. And I actually, I think it might just be because I’m older, and the grey helps possibly, but I’m a lot more confident in how I dress these days and how I style myself. And I’m a lot older, and I'm listening to my inner Bec now, whereas for many years, it was more about trying to be part of the crowd.

And now, I like to stand out, a little bit more. 

Helen: In what way do you like to stand out? That's really interesting.

Rebecca: I don't know. I just, I wear now. What I want to wear. I don't worry so much about what other people think. I don't know if that's just being 53, I'm a much more confident person in my fifties with grey hair.

Helen: Okay, so do you wear brighter colours, would you say, or just more individual pieces or?

Rebecca: Not so much brighter colours, just more individual, just me. I think maybe, it's just rebelling against the grey. I was born in 1970, so I'm 53. So, you know, when you look back at the 70s and you look at your grey-haired aunts of a similar age, and they all had a lot of tweed on.

Um, and I'm like, the polar opposite, I'm sat here in like denim shirt and sort of ripped jeans and stuff like that. Just because my hair is grey and, and everything, I don't dress how sometimes you should perceive to dress at that age, if that makes sense.

Helen: Yeah, and if I look back to my grandma, my grandma, when she had white hair and I can remember her, she wore a lot of kilts in brown and, and anoraks, I remember a lot, and I'm sat here in my gym gear. 'cause I've been at the gym this morning, I tend to be either in gym gear or jeans and leather jackets 'cause that's just the way I like to dress. 

So, one of the other questions I was gonna ask you was generally, do you think, being able to go grey, and sort of feeling comfortable with it, is to do with being comfortable with the ageing process and accepting, where you are at?

Rebecca: I think so, yeah, I think, so my going grey, like I said, I did it about seven years ago. And it was kind of, just as it was sort of getting fashionable ish. But for me, a lot of it was to do with I was just fed up of dye in my hair every two weeks. It was a faff. And also, the chemicals in dye, I wasn't quite sure.

You know, for these chemicals are going into my brain. And I think for me, it was like, okay, so, it's actually quite cool now to do this. So, I think I felt more at ease because people, other people doing it and it was a cooler thing to do, if that makes sense.

 I do remember at one point, I used to laugh and tell people I was like, the pin-up girl for Marks and Spencers, because if I'd go in there, I'd have other ladies older than me coming up to me saying, oh, what colour grey is that? What box is it? And I'm like, it's natural. And they'd be like, no, it can't be, and I'm like, yeah, honestly it is. 

And I've had that a lot, especially like you say, in the very first, you know, six, seven years ago. Hairdressers, you know, I remember. Going to get my ear pierced and the hairdresser saying oh, that's an amazing colour. What colour is it? I'm like, it's natural. And so yeah, I used to get that a lot, because I was supposed in my late 40s with grey, and it's always grown consistently grey now. So, people didn't quite work out whether it was natural or whether it was like a box colour. So, I used to get that a lot.

Helen: Okay. The other thing that I wanted to ask you about is, looking after yourself generally and fitness. I think you're quite keen on fitness. So, do you want to chat about that a little bit?

Rebecca: Yeah, I am a bit of a gin, a gin, gym. I don't like gin, gym bunny. I did what possibly quite a few people did over lockdown. The first summer of lockdown, the weather was amazing where we are, so we spent a lot of time in the garden drinking, which when you do that consistently and don't really do much else, by the end of lockdown, you realize that none of your clothes fit you anymore.

And at the same time, I was starting the whole menopausal, whatever it is perimenopausal journey. So, my metabolism would slow down to nothing. And so, by the end of lockdown, I'd put on a good sort of two and a half stone. And my husband put on a few pounds as well.

So, I think it was a couple of years ago. What are we now? Like 20, well, maybe at the end of 2021, I decided to go back training again. I always used to do a lot of running, but in actual fact, running for a 50-year-old woman doesn't really do anything with weight loss because cardio is kind of not worth it, that much at my age now. 

I went and I got a personal trainer and I started strength training. So, like obviously heavier weights, deadlifts, dumbbells, but yeah, strength with bits of cardio in between, but focus on strength training, because strength training for ladies our age is amazing for bone density. It builds muscle. And obviously muscles boost your metabolism. 

So, for the last sort of two years, I have been consistently, I go to the gym probably about four or five times a week. And my body shape has changed dramatically. It's amazing. I always tell people, if you go into this ,and fitness and diet and exercise, it's a journey.

You can't ever have a destination in place because it's a journey. You know, you can't get to that point and think, okay, I'll go back to how I was. It doesn't work like that. You're at it now for eating healthily. Maybe a little bit of fasting, but strength training for me is the thing that's like the key.

And it's really, really good for ladies our age. It's good for lots and lots of different reasons. I don't think it's a big thing, but again, if you look on Instagram, there's more ladies in their fifties doing strength training and being proud. So, I actually think the confidence thing with me now is probably a combination of like the grey hair and having a, strong body and stuff like that.

So yeah.

Helen: Oh, interesting. So, I've always run and I've done yoga for a long time, but I've just started in the last month doing some strength training because my upper body strength is just feeble, utterly feeble.

Rebecca: Yeah.

Helen: Whereas my legs are really strong from running since my teens, so forever really. But it is interesting.

I think a lot more people are kind of getting into it and not, not to bulk up, but just for health for the next 20 years, rather than.

Rebecca: Exactly, And it is, you know, people say, and I say as well, like I'm doing this now so I can get off the sofa at 80. But for me, the fitness now is probably like a lifestyle.

And I'm really proud of what I've achieved. I can do two pull ups now, which I'm really proud of. But you know, it takes time. You can't go into it thinking, oh, well, I'm going to see results in two weeks. It takes time for the muscles to start building up again.

And, actually to start working. But it's worth it.

Helen: Ah, because I'm laughing. So, I'm currently on a 30-day trial at the gym that I'm at, and you can do as many classes as you want. And I'm like, no, I'm going to do two a week because if I stick with it, that's what I'll do. 

Rebecca: Yeah.

Helen: But there's all these people who are doing every single day and then they're like, I'm so stiff.

It's like, well, why would you do that? That's just not gonna be what you do consistently going forward. So, I don't understand why you would do that for the trial.

Rebecca: When we started the journey, we were having two PTs a week with my, PT Slav who just like literally is amazing. But then we joined a gym. I train with my husband. I'm really lucky. So, we've got my little training buddy.

Then we started going to the gym a little bit more often. And we probably go about four or five times a week, so one day we'll be a cardio day. So, I will still do cardio, but the other days will be strength, and one day might be arms, one day might be legs, one day might be core.

I still have a PT session every week with Slav. I'm not gonna let that go. And, training currently to do a triathlon

Helen: Okay.

Rebecca: In May. So, I'm also doing a lot of spin at the moment as well, and outdoor swimming. So, [00:15:00] yeah, I'm a bit of a fitness freak, I would say.

Helen: So, have you done a triathlon before?

Rebecca: Many years ago. I’ve always run, so I’ve run since I was about 30. I’m not fast and I’m not you know, naturally gifted in running, but I've always done it. And I did a triathlon probably about, 10 years ago. But yeah, I've decided to do one in May this year, it's called The Rock Wales.

Helen: Good luck

Rebecca: So, it's, yeah. Well, I'm doing it for charity football for my local dogs, charity Boise's Bridge, so I'm getting people to sponsor me to, for the dogs. 

Helen: Oh, see, I will never do a triathlon because I just hate swimming, for me is the lowest form of exercise. I'll do it if I'm too injured to do anything else, but not otherwise.

Rebecca: So, I, I like swimming for pleasure. And I love swimming in the sea on holiday. And I love like snorkelling and messing about on the sea. But to be told you’ve got to swim, it’s hard, if know what I mean. And also, in England at the moment, the weather temperature is not good. And the water temperature at the moment is about nine degrees. So even though I have a really great thermal wetsuit, it's still really cold. So, I'm having to do like outdoor swimming.

Helen: You’re not selling it to me.

Rebecca: it's freezing. Yeah.

Helen: Okay, we're kind of coming to the end of our chat. So, I wanted to ask you one more thing, which was, if someone came to you and said, I'm thinking about growing my hair out, what would you say?

Rebecca: I don’t know, I mean it’s such a personal decision, isn’t it? And I think it’s down to people’s own confidence. I mean, I would probably tell them to go for it because I’ve never looked back. And it’s been the best thing ever. But for me, it wasn't a complicated decision.

I didn't think about it for a really long period of time. I just got fed up of dyeing my hair and thought, okay, there's a bit of a trend. I'm just going to go for it. I think I would say if you're gonna just grow it out then you're just gonna have to be patient and you will have to go through a period of time where you will get really cross and annoyed, and then it will be okay.

Or just do what I did eventually after my journey through lightning, my hair is just to get a really cute pixie cut and start again.

Helen: Yeah, I think you have to decide kind of how short you're prepared to go.

Rebecca: Yeah. Yeah. I think I, because all through my life I've had different hairstyles. Actually, going short wasn't really a worry for me. I kind of liked it short, but then I started growing it again. 

Helen: Ah, see mine never went shorter than a jaw length bob with a few layers in it. Cause I, in my early twenties, I had some very short asymmetric hairstyles that were trendy at the time, which I'll not be repeating, but we live and learn.

Rebecca: yeah, but I think patience, I think if you're going to go, down the journey kind of pick your route whether you're just gonna try and go lighter and go grey, because that's can be frustrating, because my hair was so dark, or whether you're just gonna have a haircut and grow it out grey, or whether you're just gonna let it go and then you know you've got about probably what I don't know four five six months of pain as you grow it and have your hair cut at the same time.

Helen: I think mine was a lot longer than that.

Rebecca: yeah

Helen: Mine was probably about 18 months before I had it chopped to the jaw length bob. And I had the stripe in the meantime. And a lot of time with my hair in a ponytail. 

Rebecca: or a hairband. I've just discovered hairbands that are the same shape as sunglasses.

Helen: Okay.

Rebecca: When my hair's down properly, I like having my sunglasses up to keep my hair back. I discovered yesterday, a hairband that's like square, like straight across the top. So, you can put it on and it's like sunglasses, hairband, a genius.

But, obviously, they're not in grey yet, they're in brown or black or blonde. That's the only thing that's annoying. It's hard to find grey hair accessories, like grey pins and stuff like that, or grey hair bands, 

Helen: Or ponytail bands, but I like brightly coloured ones anyway, so,

Rebecca: Yes, I don't know why, yeah, blue normally.

Helen: Cool. Well, it's been lovely chatting with you and I wish you a lovely weekend.

Rebecca: Thank you very much, yes,

Helen: Thank you.

Rebecca: Have a great weekend too.

Helen: Bye.

Rebecca: Bye.

Helen: Thanks so much for joining me for this week's show. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. I'll be back again next week, but in the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram at happier.grey. Have a great week.