Zoe Miolla was self-conscious about her unique hair colour and wanted to “blend in” after being called a “grandma” and teased about it, but now she loves her grey hair.
A woman who started getting grey hair when she was nine has finally come to terms with it. Zoe Miolla, who is 25 years old, says that she had 10% grey hairs when she was 12. After being teased and called a “grandma” because of her unusual hair colour, she wanted to “blend in.”
The senior designer’s mom, April, helped her box-dye her hair for the next six years, but she stopped when she was 18 and started art school. By the time she was 21, her grey hair was shoulder-length, so she could cut off the rest of her dark hair and be all grey.
Now, she “Matt Griffin, 32, her boyfriend, jokes that they are “fire and ice” because he has “fiery red” hair and she has a “unique” look.
Zoe, from the US state of Connecticut, said: “I’m so happy with how my hair looks now. I didn’t always embrace it and feel confident about it. Now it’s my defining trait. I love it now. People always think it is fake and dyed. I always say back – ‘Do you really think I get my roots done that much?”
Zoe’s dad, Ralph Miolla, is 52 years old. When she was nine, he saw her first grey hair.
She said: “I remember the moment like the back of my hand. My dad found a grey hair and was freaking out. He said ‘What the hell is happening?'”
Zoe grew up surrounded by people with “beautiful grey hair.” Her business owner dad, Ralph, got his first grey hair at age 12, and her 72-year-old grandmother, Annie Hogan, got hers at age 14.
She said: “My father, Ralph Miolla, always reminded me how beautiful our grey hair is. 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.”
But when Zoe was in her teens, people were mean to her because her hair was getting grey.
She said: “It was a big insecurity of mine in middle school. When I was younger I just wanted to blend in. The grey was concentrated at the top of my crown. 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.”
Zoe decided to dye her hair, and her creative director mom, April, helped her do it every six weeks.
But when she went to Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, “out of curiosity,” she decided to let her hair grow out.
Zoë said: “I was at art school so every hair colour was embraced. I was 50% 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 colours.
“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. It was still a shock.”
Zoe says that she is now 90% grey and is happy with the way she looks.
She said: “People are not used to a young person with so much grey.
“A few of my friends now have a few grey hairs but because of me they are not afraid.”
Zoe met her boyfriend Matt at a Halloween party. He thought at first that her hair colour wasn’t real.
She said: “Part of him just thought it was like that for the party.
“He definitely noticed it that’s for sure. We bonded over our unique natural hair colours.
“He loves my grey hair and applauds my confidence. He appreciates someone who stands out.”
Zoe now thinks that her hair is her best feature, and she takes care of it by using a hair cream, a frizz treatment, and oil.