A woman who started going grey when she was just nine years old has revealed how she found the courage to ditch the hair dye and embrace her silver locks – noting that her boyfriend has been left ‘in awe’ by her natural tresses.
Zoë Miolla, 25, from Connecticut, says she was 10 per cent grey by the time she was 12 – admitting that her changing hair left her struggling with severe insecurities, particularly after she was bullied by other children who branded her a ‘grandma’.
The senior designer used box dye to color her hair for the next six years with the help of her mom, April, 51 – but finally decided to ditch the dye at age 18 after she started art college.
By the age of 21, her grey hair had grown out to shoulder length so she could cut off her remaining dark hair below – leaving her tresses entirely silver.
A woman whose hair started turning grey when she was just nine years old has revealed how she learned to embrace her natural silver locks after years of dying them
Zoë Miolla, now 25, from Connecticut, would use black box dye every four to six weeks in an effort to conceal her greys after facing cruel torment from school bullies
The college graduate says that she noticed her first silver hair when she was nine – and by the time she turned 12, 10 per cent of her locks had turned silver
Zoë, seen as a child, says her father was stunned when he spotted her first grey hair – but noted that early grey runs in the family
Despite years of insecurities, Zoë says she now loves her ‘unique’ look and jokes with boyfriend, Matt Griffin, 32, they are ‘fire and ice’ as he has ‘fiery red’ hair.
Zoë said: ‘I couldn’t be prouder of my hair now. I didn’t always embrace it and feel confident about it. Now it’s my defining trait, I love it.
‘People always think it is fake and dyed. I always say back: “Do you really think I get my roots done that much?”‘
Zoë’s dad, Ralph Miolla, 52, first spotted a grey hair when she was nine.
‘I remember the moment like the back of my hand,’ she recalled. ‘My dad found a grey hair and was freaking out. He said, “What the hell is happening?”‘
Zoë grew up surrounded by ‘beautiful grey hair’, revealing that her dad found his first grey hair at age 12, while her grandmother, Annie Hogan, now 72, discovered hers at just 14 years old.
‘My father always reminded me how beautiful our grey hair is,’ she said. ‘He found his first grey at 12 and was mostly grey in his early 20s. I always thought they had the healthiest, most beautiful hair.
‘Grey hair was something I was proud to have from an early age.’
The senior designer used box dye to color her hair for the next six years with the help of her mom, April, 51 – but finally decided to ditch the dye at age 18 after she started art college
By the age of 21, her grey hair had grown out to shoulder length so she could cut off her remaining dark hair below – leaving her tresses entirely silver
She now relishes her natural grey hair – having spent years hiding it thanks to cruel taunts she faced from bullies in middle school
‘It was a big insecurity of mine in middle school,’ she shared. ‘When I was younger I just wanted to blend in… I had people call me grandma’
But in her teens Zoë struggled with comments about her greying hair – and it was then that she began trying to conceal it from those around her.
‘It was a big insecurity of mine in middle school,’ she shared. ‘When I was younger I just wanted to blend in. The grey was concentrated at the top of my crown and I had people call me a grandma.
‘Or they’d ask me, “What is going on there?” ‘It was pretty unique at the time, I wasn’t like everybody else.
‘I was a little pimply big girl and adding in the grey… it wasn’t the cutest look.’
Zoë decided to dye her hair and would re-dye it every six weeks with the help of her mom, April, a creative director.
But when she turned 18 and prepared to head off to college in Florida, she decided to embrace her natural locks ‘out of curiosity’.
Zoë – who attended the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota – said: ‘I was at art school so every hair color was embraced.
‘I was 50 per cent grey by the time I was in college. After six months my bangs were all grey. I rocked a bowl cut of grey for a bit. I also dyed the roots fun colors.
‘By 21 it grew out to shoulder length so I could chop it all. I wasn’t super used to a full grey head of hair [so] it was a shock.’
Zoë says she is now 90 per cent grey and is fully embracing her new look – while learning to deal with the reactions of people left confused by her natural color.
Zoë met her partner Matt at a Halloween party and says he thought her hair wasn’t real at first
But now, Zoë says that Matt ‘loves my grey hair and applauds my confidence. He appreciates someone who stands out’
Zoë (seen left with her mom and right with her dad) grew up surrounded by ‘beautiful grey hair’, revealing that her dad found his first grey hair at age 12, while her grandmother, Annie Hogan, now 72, discovered hers at just 14 years old
‘People are not used to a young person with so much grey,’ she explained. ‘A few of my friends now have a few grey hairs but because of me they are not afraid.’
Zoë met her partner Matt at a Halloween party and says he thought her hair color wasn’t real at first.
‘Part of him just thought it was like that for the party,’ she said. ‘He definitely noticed it that’s for sure. He loves my grey hair and applauds my confidence. He appreciates someone who stands out.’
Zoë now considers her hair her best feature and make sure to keep it healthy – using a hair cream, frizz treatment and oil.
‘I don’t wash my hair more than once a week,’ she revealed. ‘I’m cautious of heat I’m putting on it and I don’t skimp on products.
‘It’s my best feature so I’m going to make sure it’s looking in tip top shape.’
Zoë hopes sharing her journey to love her grey hair inspires others to embrace their natural hair and looks.
‘It doesn’t go with every outfit but I love it,’ she said. ‘I hope to show the world that you can embrace natural beauty. Grey hair is not a scary thing. Grey hair shows wisdom.’