19 Nov 2013

Going… Going… Gone… Grey

Paris - Vicki Archer

She caught my attention.

 

I watched her walking around the Place des Vosges in Paris, with her son. I couldn’t help but notice her… to me, she was striking… It was her hair.

On first glance, I thought she was making a statement… dipping the ends to highlight the grey… a clever way to tackle the problem… a reverse Daphne Guinness look. Brave but with a stroke of drama… Acceptance with style… Going grey with flair and passion… Meeting the dilemma midway.

 

Not so, this woman was natural all the way… she had stopped colouring and had the good fortune to have a wonderfully thick and beautiful head of hair.

I stopped her to say how much I liked her hair… that is why I know her ‘story’ and that the hairstyle was all her own.

She was flattered by my compliment, surprised a little… strangers don’t often get up close and personal so quickly… but I admired her ‘look’ and wanted her to know. Compliments are important… even to strangers.

Her reason for going grey was not at all complicated… nothing more than a time management issue… she was a busy professional, always on the road and maintaining her dark hair took up too much of her time.

 

I asked myself why it is so easy to be enamoured with someone else’s choice yet so difficult to follow suit.

This woman was elegant, of that age… gorgeous, intelligent and sexy… yet, she had grey hair and lots of it. So often we shun the ‘greys’ and classify those who wear their hair au naturel as dowdy, frumpy and middle aged… This woman was living proof that grey does not equal granny.

What she did have was confidence… For her, going grey did not mean an outmoded hair cut and the end of a fashionable life… a life where she dressed to suit her age not herself. She wore her hair how she had always worn it… long, in layers and framing her face… she hadn’t changed, only the colour of her hair.

 

Going grey… or letting nature become the boss… is not for everyone…. I can see that.

Many of us draw strength and comfort from the familiar… and that so often means keeping our hair exactly the same way as it has always been… Some of us hide behind our hair, use it as a security blanket… we let it define us and in doing so find change all too confronting.

Some just don’t like grey hair… It’s that simple… not personally and not on others…  they will never wear it and they will never accept it as anything less than ageing.

I agree to disagree.

 

I will be bold and admit that I like grey hair…. I am a convert… or on my way to being one… but… there are ways and then there are ways to go grey…

Going grey must be done with commitment and confidence. Full-stop. If you aren’t ready to embrace a whole new look, then don’t.

Going grey should probably be tackled in stages… “letting it all grow out” is never going to feel or look good. It may take longer to arrive at the destination, but a few highlights along the way will make the journey that much more comfortable.

Going grey means groomed hair…  well cut and in healthy condition… ‘bad hair’ days still exist and the hairdresser must be on speed dial… the blow dryer on standby.

Going grey does not only mean a certain freedom but also that style should not be forgotten in the overhaul… Letting go does not necessarily mean ‘letting go’… In some ways how we dress and interpret our ‘look’ is even more important… Grey hair can be less forgiving… and with the wrong fashion choices, there is no doubt it can be ageing.

Grey is another hair ‘colour’ like any hair colour… and when we change tack, so must our wardrobes. Black, grey, navy, red, white and cream will become the new best friends… yellow, brown and caramel… relegated to old acquaintances…

 

It is a brave choice…

Going, going… gone… Grey… Will you? Are you?

Tell me…. or ask and show me if you aren’t sure.

You know, the more we chat, the easier it all is… xv

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com

In This Post: , ,

FEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATUREDFEATURED

172 Comments

Catherine

A full head of thick, gray hair looks great.
A dozen gray hairs looks less great.
The transition period is awkward.

Reply
Carolyn

Those of you who have only those few dozen gray hairs just don’t get it. My skin was still stained dark from the previous dye job when it was time to do it all again. And to the person whose conversation doesn’t get far with her hairdresser, I say the hairdresser doesn’t make money coloring your gray hair. My hairdresser would just say, oh, you don’t want to do that; your hair will not be silver, it will just be gray. Well, he couldn’t have been more wrong. And, just yesterday, a young woman stopped me to say, I love your hair! Don’t get me wrong, I really miss my dark hair — but I wouldn’t go back there.

Reply
anita

Being born a brunette with pale skin and blue eyes, I then became a blonde of various shades. Noticing a few, then many, silver hairs peeping through. I did the highlights, as Vicki suggests. The transition was easy. For the past several years I am a natural silver. I left my hair long, layered and shiny. In fact it caught the light as never before. I had compliments on my hair from strangers, as the lady in the post above. I too, never changed my style – but kept my look to suit myself – not falling into a granny trap. Unfortunately, due to illness, I lost much of my hair. It has now grown back. The same colour, but not the same texture or quality. I am keeping it silver, but it does not look as good. With patience, I am hoping it returns to its former glory!

Reply
Deborah McKenzie

I have aways admired beautiful grey hair on someone at any age. Yes confidence helps but so does the texture of the hair, the shade of grey and the pattern of emergence. The woman you have phographed has a striking mane.
I have tried discussed grey color with my hairdresser. That conversation did not go far. She does not have the love of grey that I have.

Reply
Vicki

It does seem to be a subject that divides people… you either like it or not… which to me, makes it all the more interesting to discuss… :)

Reply
Sarah Rideout

If I had that thick glorious hair I would go transition to gray but alas its off to the colorist every 4 weeks for me, great shot and great post.

Reply
Anita Rivera

I love your writing.

Oh Vicki, you have an eye for detail and true beauty. If I may say so, OUR love for antiques or rather, vintage, natural, uncomplicated yet chic tells all. I am 55, I have a thick head of black hair with some grays at the side, and I’m letting my hair grow out for the first time in many years. I plan to do as this woman has done, to wear it down, put it up à la Hepburn once in a while (with diamond studs in my ears, bien sûr) and just let it be. Why? I have to be myself. Gray is not only fabulous as a velvet couch, a worn but stunning piece of furniture or as the color of the interior of a beautiful room, but as the crowning color of a woman who has lived long enough to know she gets better with time.

Thank you for always showing us the bright side of all shades of gray! Have a splendid day, Anita

Reply
anita

Anita R. I too, really love your analogy. I do know that using highlights in the interim period to grow into silver will make it easier. It worked for me. (see above). I must admit, rather than saying grey, which reminds me of some gloomy days in London or Paris, I prefer to call it silver or white or platinum…so much prettier, and not dull at all. I know you will feel glamorous and your intention to wear it proudly (with your diamond studs, bien sur) will only set of the silver beauty of your hair.

Reply
Sonnie

I have just finished a year in transition to a silvery white short bob from a longish dark brown (many years of coloring) hairstyle. It was not easy, but definitely worth it. I am a very slim 62 year old, and I’ve updated my wardrobe as well. As my daughter-in-law says, I’ve reinvented myself! I get many compliments, especially from younger women, and this is encouraging. I will now let my hair grow and see if I can pull that off. If not, back to the short sassy look! This has been liberating and invigorating for me. I highly recommend it.

Reply
Roxane

Her hair is quite stylish and luxurious! I have a few friends that have taken the leap and let nature have her way. They are very chic with short beautiful grey hair. I’m not ready and neither is my stylist or my 3 daughters….they keep saying I’m too young. When will I be old enough, lol? After reading this I looked in the mirror to peek at the roots to get an idea of the grey that is waiting to grow…it might not be bad, but it might not be good and it is a hard decision to make. Always having been a brunette, the color change would be dramatic. I might not have such a hard time deciding if my hair was lighter. It used to be 6 weeks between coloring/cutting appointments, then 5, now down to 4. I’m going to need a room at the salon pretty soon :D What’s your decision? We’d be interested to know!

Reply
Vicki

Im going there… and have been for a few years… I have never covered the greys entirely… never tinted… Now I am natural with a few fair highlights through the top… and the rest… about 70%.. of my own hair is grey… It is a freedom because I have the highlights done only every three months… :)

Reply
Pamela

This sounds like a great solution Vicki!
Still don’t look forward to full grey though. Have never coloured mine (it’s very thick) but have always planned when enough grey crept in to get it done, though the hairdresser says I shouldn’t. Highlights sound like the answer.
As a child it was white blonde and then turned strawberry blonde with very blonde streaks through top layers (natural from sun). As I’ve got older it’s darkened but there are still blonde streaks so the few silver/white streaks to date blend with them. Everyone thinks my hair is coloured and that I just won’t admit it.
My skin’s fair with some freckles – I’ve always felt grey hair doesn’t look so good with this skin type (people with natural tans or lovely peaches and cream skin can look beautiful though). So, was worried. Now you’ve given such a good solution. Can delay the full grey for a while yet. So far mother nature has been kind and the grey is barely visible.
Had no idea people who coloured their hair had to spend so much time in maintenance. Can’t see my self at the hairdresser every three weeks. Once every three months is do-able. Best wishes, Pamela

Reply
Rita

I don’t wear foundation of any sort, just mascara, lipstick and a blush. My skin is naturally freckled, and I just have a really hard time envisioning grey hair with my skin – all I can imagine is a mousy white & brown mixture. My mother had beautiful salt & pepper hair, but her features were more strikingly Italian. I have a bit more of my dad’s Irish coloring…

Reply
Amanda Kinney

My business partner Karen has beautiful long grey hair that she usually keeps in a neat bun, and another associate has a white, short bob that I’ve always admired. I love grey, but I must admit that turning 40 this summer and finding the first few silver strands was a little scarey. Thanks for the post and for making it a little less scarey. Have a great day!

Reply
Annette

My hair is salt and pepper with the odd streak of more grey. My hair was always a dark brown with natural auburn highlights, has a fine texture and is usually cut into a bob. I’ve found the grey hair is more coarse/wiry and doesn’t sit like a nice sleek bob should. The grey really doesn’t do much for my complexion, possibly because of the salt and pepper effect and I feel it really ages me, more than I’m currently comfortable with (I’m 48).
I’ve been colouring my hair for the last 4 years and during that time I’ve had to remove all red from the colour and have also gone 2 shades lighter. I think I’m due for yet another lighter shade again. I guess if I keep going like that it will eventually be so light the grey will emerge victorious :)

Reply
Vicki

It sounds as if the grey is fighting back!! My father used to say to me that he could not believe how I could torture my hair and still have any left! Fortunately I inherited his thick mane… :)

Reply
RTG

Grey all the way for me. I’m 54 and would never dye my hair. It’s pretty hard to keep your hair healthy if you’re constantly putting chemicals in it. I live in Paris and see lots of women with grey hair and they all look pretty fab!

Reply
Vicki

I agree… Is aw so many women with beautiful grey hair in Paris… it was what inspired me to write this…

Reply
anita

One thing I notice from many comments is that hairdressers seem to dissuade clients from growing into silver (grey). Luckily, in both London and Paris, I never found a hairdresser who did this. In fact, in Paris when I once asked for golden highlights on my already silver hair (trying to be blonde again) the hairdresser told me not to do it for fear of turning brassy. I had the same response from the Vidal Sassoon salon in London. Could it be that the salons who will not accept silver hair are in the U.S. ? Are we more accepting of grey in Europe?

Reply
Vicki Dreste

Your post is so timely for me. I have been trying to decide if I want to stop coloring my hair and let the grey show and flow. My hair is a light color, the transition could happen naturally. My main motivation for going grey is I no longer want to use the harsh chemicals. I am eat fresh, organic foods and it seems counter intuitive to continue coloring my hair. So now it seems I’ve committed to grey.

Reply
Vicki

I am sure you will be pleased once you start…and see the results… Keep us posted Vicki… on how you enjoy the process…

Reply
Victoria

If you can pull it off then I say go for it!!! I’m 45 and so far, only have a few grey’s which I’m able to pluck out. I do hope that as I go more grey, I’m able to get away with it though…I think it can look so classy with the right hairstyle. Men have been sporting grey hair forever so why not us women too!

Reply
Sally

I have let my hair go completely natural. I have the good fortune to have long , thick, glossy hair and I get compliments all the time with people stopping me in the street! I use a shampoo sometimes at the end of summer to take out the yellow after days at the beach. It comes in an aluminum bottle, cant think of the name of it. Anyway it takes the yellow out so it is a beautiful pewter taupe.

Reply
Vicki

The yellow is a problem… especially after the summer! Your hair sounds beautiful Sally…

Reply
Pat Hoar

I would be white….and when my hair is too light I look completely washed out – so any advice on how to do it without looking too awful for a huge amount of time???? I love you site Pat

ps I am now fairly mid brown….

Reply
Vicki

Your make up might have to change… perhaps a different blush and a stronger lip shade…
There is no way of avoiding a difficult changeover but adding a few highlights as the colour grows out helps…and also maybe a new style… so that your hair is full of purpose… not just left to grow out… :)

Reply
Melissa Hebbard

Please Pat, revel in wearing jewel colours and having a makeup class at your favourite beauty company booth in your local department store. They will steer you in the right cosmetic direction. Try wearing any of the purples, pinks, emerald green, any of the blues,red, white, silver and greys will all look stunning on a white haired woman, and I promise you, you wont look washed out.

Reply
Liz

I’ve been going grey since my 20’s (I’m now 46) and I plan to transition in the coming year. Deborah is right, confidence helps, but hair texture, shade of grey and the pattern is so very important. I have very kinky curly hair, the style and conditioning are also very important. Curly hair has a different texture and is very dry by nature, too much product can dull the shine and not enough moisture is a problem too.

I’ve done a test run on a signature style, and think a bob at chin level will be elegant with my features and face shape. I’ve planned the makeup look and started editing my collection. Due to grey it will need to be warmer so my skin tone isn’t flat or washed out (I’m extremely fair with very dark hair). So a POP of color, Ellis Faas Red 101 for my signature lipstick, will be quite elegant.

Reply
Goldie

I did it too! And my grown daughters love it! They keep telling me not to go back, sometimes I have my doubts but you are absolutely right about changing the colors of my wardrobe. What once looked good with my Jennifer Anniston colored hair is just not right anymore. I have so many pics on pinterest on my “happy hair” page. And I don’t think we have to go short like our grandmothers. As long as it is healthy with a great cut.

Reply
Vicki

I am actually starting to think that longer hair works better as we get older… it does for me…

Reply
Lisa

…I just cut from mid length bob to short short, and I feel so good. For me, the longer hair was frumpy- flat top, dry and wiry no matter what …but who knows what the future will hold! It seems that, as our faces change with age (my very round face became a long oval), different styles may freshen up our look and our outlook. I am 54.

I just love your blog! Thank you.

Reply
Katherine

I’m in the early part of the transition…7 weeks since the last color… the skunk stripe stage. I’m 57 and after 29 years of coloring my hair an auburn with highlights I have had enough. Luckily, my hair grows a bit faster than most people’s but with shoulder length hair I am seriously contemplating a well-cut bob to get some inches of the now fading color off.a pixie would make it all go faster but then there’d be SO much change at once. Luckily, I have silver but the jury’s still out on whether it will be okay with my fair complexion mais on verra. I think cut, make-up, and wardrobe are key to making it work, as you’ve pointed out. Your photo shows how well it can work. Support from those who matter helps a lot. My husband is happy, and my 31 year old son said, “Mom, you’ll rock the gray!” Friends have not been universally supportive, but I think they’re just afraid. Isn’t it a shame that our western culture makes this a pretty difficult decision for many women?

Reply
Vicki

Good on you Katherine… it will look fab… just keep on… and the stripe is tough… but tying it back or maybe a fine headband would help? It can look quite good scraped back in a ponytail as it grows out…

Reply
Cynthia Olson

I think if I was going to go gray… I would probably add gray highlights to the skunk stripe to make it blend in. I think it would make it a lot easier to grow out and not so noticeable. When my sister was 67 she had beautiful gray hair in fact I thought she had colored it blonde.

Reply
Katherine

Yes, I agree, I’ve been trying that. Unfortunately I don’t have the thick head of hair on your gorgeous model, so it looks a little less great but I do plan to persist. Thanks for the kind encouragement. Gray hair can be chic, alluring, and beautiful. It’s a joy to be going “natural”!

Reply
Lynne

I made the transition from colored brown hair to grey two years ago. I thought about it for years. My previous stylist always tried to talk me out of it. Finally as luck would have it I met a new stylist, young, blonde and beautiful, who told me that she had transitioned her mother’s hair to grey for her so she knew exactly where I was coming from! She added silver highlights over a period of about six months. In less than a year I was at 50% grey framing my face. As it turned out I have received many positive comments. I am happy I did it but should I ever change my mind I can always go back to coloring it.

Reply
Vicki

That is exactly how I made the decision… I went into a hairdressing salon in London, one that I had never been too and booked an appointment with a young woman… I asked her honestly what she thought… and she encouraged me to get the silver look happening… She introduced me to the colourist who helped me transition (I had many more highlights before)… and now I still go to him… Every time I think I should change my hair or add more colour… he won’t! Soon I will leave it all silver and just add a few darker ones for drama…

Reply
Rhonda

My grey hairs started appearing when I was in college, much to my chagrin! Over the years, I developed some nice highlights that my hairdresser wouldn’t touch. When my third child was two, I became uncomfortable with the grey, worrying that I might be mistaken for his grandmother! My hairdresser also told me one day that it was time. So I took the plunge, and here it is almost 20 years later, with two additional children. All the parents at school are at least 10-15 years younger than me, so that’s one reason I keep the colored hair. And, after taking occasional surveys at the hairdresser’s shop, I’m always told to keep my hair colored. I think I have as much grey as the lady in your picture, and my hair is long like hers, so the task of growing it out is daunting. I’m a young 57, but starting to get a few wrinkles and wonder how long I can pull this dark hair off! Thanks for the encouraging food for thought!

Reply
Vicki

It is the transition that is the killer… but I think well groomed, long grey hair is a stunning look… maybe you will take the plunge one day… but only when you are ready… :)

Reply
Cat

I have been going naturally gray for a few years now and LOVE it. At first, I hated it and tried to color my hair but found my grays were just as stubborn as I was. I decided then to simply own it and move on. The grays do not make me old but add highlight to my personality. ;)

The picture says it all and your words of encouragement, whether one decides to go gray or not, inspiring. I will definitely be linking/sharing this post with others.

Thank you!
x Cat

Reply
Judy

In my twenties I started to go grey so started the coloring as well. At 62 I said enough of this and with encouragement from my husband and close friends I stopped coloring. With the help of my hairdresser a few lowlights and a short good cut I eased into the process, but really there is no easy way just jump in and do it. Now fully grey I couldn’t be happier!!!!! It is such a free feeling. Freedom from the drudgery of the hairdresser every 3 weeks, freeing up extra cash. I am blessed with thick hair and good silvery grey color. Now I get stopped on the street in stores and restaurants for compliments. It has been one of the best “fashion” decisions I have made….very fun!!! Go for it girls….Judy

Reply
Bonnie

Sadly after years of highlighting my hair various shades of blonde, I have NO idea what my real colour is. I do see bits of wiry grey here and there, and I admit I’m pulling those nasty things out. Unfortunately those wiry bits are sprouting in other parts as well. One of these days, I’ll face the truth and accept my grey locks begrudgingly. I guess I don’t have the confidence to pull off the look… yet.

Reply
Erica

I cut mine short to grow it oout and have it longer now. My best friend suggested I do it and I’ve never looked back. Mine is not as grey as the gorgeous lady in your shot but hopefully will get there eventually!

Reply
Ivy Lane

I have been struggling with this very decision to just go grey.. I am not quite 50 and spend way too much time and money on color and highlights… Now that I see this wonderful, encouraging post and all the comments and testimonials.. I just may be able to embrace going grey with ease!

Happy Monday~

Ivy

Reply
Vicki

Try it Ivy… you can change it back… always… As one who has had every colour of hair under the sun… pretty much anyway… I know that it’s all doable… :)

Reply
nicole

if mine would grow out like the ladies, Id be all for it, but mine is in chunks ala vampira, and it tends to look like a wig!

Reply
Gigi Thibodeau

I love her hair, too, Vicki. I’ve been coloring and/or highlighting my hair since long before I started getting greys, so it was never about covering anything as much as it was about playing with colors and styles in my twenties and early thirties. When I started getting my first few grey hairs in my late thirties, I barely noticed them because I hadn’t really seen my actual color in so many years! Now, in my mid forties, I do notice the greys coming in much more, and I have to go to the salon more often, but for now, I’ll keep coloring. I have very fair skin and very naturally dark eyebrows, and I’m just not ready for grey. While some women can rock that look, on me I think it would look dowdy. I do get more highlights than I used to simply because they blend better with the grey roots and give me an extra week or two before I have to visit my hairdresser. It’s definitely a balancing act! My mum didn’t begin to grey until her sixties, and her white/silvery hair is very pretty.

Reply
Vicki

I do like grey hair and dark eyebrows Gigi… in fact I colour my eyebrows but am relaxed about my hair… go figure…
I think the lighter you go will make it easier for you to have the greys and if you do want to change your hair later… then you are half way there… That’s my logic in any case… I am adding lighter highlights and hoping that my hair hurries up and goes completely grey!

Reply
anita

I accept my silver hair, but hate grey eyebrows and colour mine too Vicki, as you do….yeah, go figure. It is all so individual and interesting, it has had me making three comments on the subject!

Reply
Lavon Coleman

I wish I could be so brave as to go “All Gray”. It would, in fact, be liberating!!!

Reply
Heather in Arles

Think that you might have struck a nerve or a strong point, Vicki? ;)

I loved reading these responses and frankly that woman is just plain fabulous.

As a natural redhead, I know that my options are pretty limited, especially with my particular shade. I have already been told that there is “no way” that I would be able to replicate it and I believe that I am cool with that. So far, I have white hair coming in not grey and it blends well with the rest. We’ll see how it goes. I have in my head that I want to go back to a more Ann Demeulemeester/Yamamoto style as I get older (you know that I still wear my combat boots) and all of that black will look just fine with a white topper, non?

Bisous!

Reply
Vicki

Perfecto…
There is no reason why we all can’t rock grey hair if we want… and I stress the, if we want part… I saw more beautiful women in Paris with grey hair than ever before… and actually to my eyes they looked way cooler than a lot of the younger women… Maybe I am biased… ;)

Reply
Heather in Arles

Maybe a tiny bit? ;)

I actually find a lot of the younger women to be trying too hard–something that I NEVER would have thought to have said about a Frenchwoman of any age!

Reply
Jennifer McKeown

I am 38 years old and very grey. The only problem is, is that I am always dying my hair. My husband keeps telling me to ” just let it go” and I was never sure. After reading this post I wonder if I can start to get ready. I look younger than my age ( people always seem to think I am late 20’s/early 30’s) and my kids are 11 and 9. I am at the hairdressers every 5 weeks and could really go sooner. I need to build my confidence. My mom has gorgeous grey hair and as long as I know that mine will turn out the same, then “YES” I think I might!! It will be hard with dark brown hair to have the growing out stage. I like the idea of highlights. Next apt, I will talk with my hairdresser!!
Thanks for the thoughts!1 Great post!!

Reply
Vicki

Discuss it with the hairdresser…and I am sure you will find an approach that will gradually let you change over… I think it could look very cool as you look so young… :)

Reply
Natasha

Visit the Silver Sisters Cafe where you will see young and old alike embracing their grey.

Reply
Tina

Hi have thick curly long hair and have been naturally blonde all my life, now 50 with a lot of grey, I just have a few highlights to soften it…..but I am told I have a lovely natural colour.
I think that maybe I will have to go all grey in a couple of years as I have so much of it but as you say you need the confidence to make the change…..the lady you met has beautiful hair to start with and this is what makes it glorious !!

Reply
Vicki

She was gorgeous but it was her hair that was striking… and yes confidence is all things when it comes to our appearance… :)

Reply
Veronica

When I turned 60 I cut all the dyed hair off to a short bob and celebrated my birthday by declaring” No more color on my head, but lots more color in my life”. It’s worked out well!
BTW, personally I never wear cream, it makes silver hair look drab….but white looks fabulous!

Reply
jan

It’s time to be brave. My colourist fought me to the death on a change from dark brown which had gone blacker as the colour was absorbed every three+ weeks. Not only was the colouring ruining my hair, the harsh black line after the ‘tint’ was not pretty and the ‘black helmet’ didn’t suit my skin colour. Of course the colourist lost the valuable 3 weekly income but I gained my freedom! I approached the transition by putting a gorgeous black velvet hairband close to the re-growth – and as the months passed the hairband moved back with the regrowth. And then it was time to have it cut and shaped. Yes it took 2 months but what a liberation! I would never go back to the dying process. So I say take your hair into your own hands and ‘go for it’! There is nothing so ghastly as a face with the wrong colour hair. Grey is natural

Reply
Vicki

I think the headband is definitely the way to help the re-growth… it can’t take all the pain and suffering way.. but it does help!

Reply
Lynn

Completely agree that colorists are not the most helpful about clients wanting to stop hair dyeing. The texture of mine has changed to be silky soft after years of frizzes and dryness form hair dye.

Reply
Amanda

I see quite a few Parisian women with wonderful grey hair – there is less investment in ‘fashion’ and more investment in self care and finding your own style…older women in Paris (and Europe) are frequently stunning, sensual, individual and sexy!

Reply
Beth

My vote is for natural. I decided about ten years ago that I had neither time, $$$$ nor personal inclination to keep fighting the color fight. That’s when I learned that redheads don’t usually get grey hair. They turn blonde, then white. To my surprise, the time-darkened strawberry blonde hair I had been fighting with highlights, low lights and base color began to turn into a very pale silvery blonde. I had to go through a Cruella DeVille stage where my hair was two colors, but now, at 64, it’s all one color, longer than shoulder length and I don’t have to do anything but wash, dry and wear, or use a few hot rollers if I want to spend the time.

Reply
Merryn

Great, thought-provoking post Vicki. As someone who has been colouring her hair for twenty plus years, always thinking that the colour helped stave off the aging process, I am inspired by many of the thoughts here. Maybe it’s time to take a fresh and brave approach and allow the grey (or white as I fear!) to make an appearance. My thoughts are whirling!!

Reply
Scribbler

My hair has been totally natural for over a year now. I have colored my hair in one form or fashion since I was 18, every color there is. Three tries it took before I bit the bullet. I even ordered a couple of wigs and hairpieces. My last color was white blonde, and I decided that it made me look like I had white hair which I knew was not the case because I could see dark roots. As it grew out, even with only the tips still silvery white, I started getting compliments like you wouldn’t believe! Now that it has been process-free for a year, it is so healthy and shiny. And best of all, it has thickened up and it isa bit curly again. That frees me from a blow dryer, because I mostly use a styling product on it that encourages the curl and thickness.

My hesitation was fueled by the fact that my husband is a lot younger than I, but he loves my hair.

One other bit of advice — red lipstick is my new best friend!

Reply
Vicki

Red lipstick is the best accessory with grey/fair hair… Actually red lipstick is the best accessory of all!

Reply
simone

Great post Vicki!

Firstly, the woman in the image has THE most gorgeous hair, wow! I seem to have acquired many grey hairs this last year….I blame the onset of my daughter’s teenage years ;) Seriously, I am so not ready to embrace the greys yet, it’s colouring every 4 weeks for me. My mother developed a grey/white streak at quite a young age & now has soft grey hair. A friend just decided this month to stop colouring her hair and embrace the grey, she has well cut short hair and I think will carry it off beautifully.
Longer grey hair has to be really well cut & conditioned, I so agree with you.

Loved reading all the responses, lots of wisdom here :) Xx

Reply
Vicki

Thanks Simone… :)
I just don’t think I could sit in the hairdressers for so long so often… that’s my problem… I get too antsy…Once every three months is enough for me… !!

Reply
La Contessa

How fun!I decided to go grey about a year ago now!I wanted to see what I had earned.I never wanted to dye my hair my hairdresser took that step and I said ,”sure.”I did notice a change in body and texture to my hair, perhaps it was age too but one day thought to myself ENOUGH!To the horror of my hairdresser I stopped the coloring…………I got the biggest compliment the last time I went in for a cut!She said, to me I am copying you!At first I did not get it………she looked at me and said,”I’m sorry I gave you so much grief about your grey hair I too am letting mine grow out!I had not noticed as it was HALLOWEEN here in the States and she had a pink wig on!Cant wait to see her and compare our grey hair.I have always thought grey hair was stunning on women!This woman you snapped a pic of is STUNNING!

Reply
Penelope

Vicki, love this conversation! As for me, hair has always been a priority! Most of my life, it’s been to my collar bone or a bit above. There is something about security and our hair!!! However, I am giving much thought to going all natural! Genetics seem to play should a role in how we gray. One of my friends is adorable with a salt and pepper pixie cut! When we care about fitness and nutrition, I think next we begin to shed the idea that coloring ones hair makes one more attractive. Actually it may be just the opposite. She for sure has beautiful hair!

Reply
Gina Diamond

Oh what a wonderful post. I have been coloring my hair since I was 26. I am now 51 and still fighting gray. It would be so liberating to go gray. I just can’t seem to picture myself with gray hair. Oh, how I would love to do this…I have my hair colored every three weeks and lately I think I could go every two weeks. Crazy right? I am blessed with thick, long hair and even though I color it so often, it is very healthy. You have certainly given me something to think about. Love the woman’s hair in the photo you posted.

Reply
Vicki

It’s a brave move…
As you have to go so often to the hairdressers… perhaps that will be the nudge you need… :)
I guess it’s true what everyone says… the hairdressers must love us all going grey!

Reply
Dianna

Vicki,
wow, I had this conversation just yesterday with my husband. He does not understand why I continue to color my long dark hair. I have colored my hair for a lot of years now. I look at some women who have gone natural and think they look beautiful. What’s holding me back is vanity…no guarantee that I will look good.
And my hair is a big part of how I look.
How do I get pass that? I think that when it’s time I will. But until then its every 4 weeks of the chore of coloring my hair.

Reply
lisa thomson

You’ve shown a gorgeous example of grey, Vicki. I think if your hair is fabulous (I’m sure yours is), like this woman’s then go for it!! For me though, I’m not grey yet just a mousey brown. I need a little boost of highlights for body and to counteract the oils. I only highlight 2x per year so it’s low maintenance. I tried going natural and not only was it dull it was too limp…still I love grey on some women! Great post.

Reply
Vicki C

I went to grey last year. I stopped colouring for about 3 months, then bleached the coloured hair myself! It came out looking good, luckily, as I knew I was taking a risk. Now my hair is white, a little darker at the back. I get some yellow during summer especially, and I use a toner every few months as well as purple shampoo to disguise it. I get lots of compliments on my hair and my daughter asked me why I spent so many years covering it up when it was such a nice colour naturally.

Reply
Melissa Lee

I let my once natural red hair go “platinum” as did my mother and grandmother before me. It is so easy now and people just see it as light blonde…I don’t care. I love the color, I don’t have to do ANYTHING to it! You can take a look on my FB page, Melissa Lee and see pictures of me through the process. I feel content and life is so much easier….my 50’s are the best time of my life…no question!

Reply
caroline

Her hair is thick, healthy and fabulous! Mine is healthy yet curly, loves to frizz and takes an artist to do a good blow wave!! Somehow I think that makes the transition a little more difficult … I will ponder…for a few more years!

Reply
Dzintra

Hi Vicki!

What a fabulous post! I did it too…at my hairdresser’s suggestion (21 years old)….she loved white hair…I said I’m grey…she said no you are white! Oh!!! 5 months later and wow…I then had a shorter cut and haven’t looked back. Although now I do have purple and chocolate highlights put in every season and people think I have gone blonde!

I had a little chuckle ad I too have stopped strangers to compliment them!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Reply
Maureen

A while back Domininque Browning wrote an article for the NY Times about women “of a certain age” letting their hair go grey AND keeping it long. It garnered over 1200 comments. And your blog is now almost at 100 comments. This is an interesting topic. The more we talk, the more the decision is made easier.
Thanks for posting!

Reply
Catherine

Started getting grey in highschool and at 30 had totally gone from brunette to grey. BUT i did highlight it during the transition, going lighter and lighter until i could just stop coloring and no one even noticed. Have just in the last year have gone very short. I have to go frequently for shape ups. I thought the longer grey weighed me down. I feel liberated!

Reply
Kate

I have been thinking about letting my dark hair go grey for a while now. I have let about 1/2 an inch grow out grey just to see what it would look like. It’s a little scary to take the plunge totally! Today, I was thinking I’m not quite ready yet and need to make an appt. with my hairdresser. Thanks to your post, I think I’ll keep growing it out for a little while longer to see how I feel.

Reply
Suzy

A stunning photo of the sort of grey hair we dream of when we decide to join the Gracefully Grey Brigade. At 53, I have endured the in between stage of going grey over a 2 year period. My not so willing hairdresser, started by dyeing my previously dark mousy blonde (highlighted) to a blue black, with silver white foils as that was what was closest to my natural salt and pepperish roots. Her hesitant stance changed dramatically when she saw how fabulous it could look. Over a period of time, I grew out completely grey, with her help and stopped colouring at all. Sadly, with naturally curly hair and a busy lifestyle, I found I did often just look ‘old’. I decided that without a daily wrestle with the GHD, or a thrice weekly blow dry and straighten with the hairdresser, it was never going to look chic, and went back to blonde. You’ve now inspired me to try again. Between a well managed growing out period and a Keratin straightening treatment, my hair could look just as fabulous as this womans (well…it is my best feature..*wink*). Thanks for this post Vicki. Very timely indeed.

Reply
Lorrie

I’m thinking more and more about going natural. I’ve coloured my hair for about 10 years and it’s very dark naturally. Lately, I’ve been feeling it’s too dark and that I need to lighten it. Perhaps highlights and just biting the bullet and letting it grow out is the way to go. I’ve loved reading all the comments about the women who have endured the in-between stages – I know I won’t be alone.

Reply
Melissa Hebbard

What a stunning head of hair that woman has, and I love the ombre effect it gives, though I am sure I would have cut off the black long before!
I started going grey at about 20. As I wanted to perm my hair, I decided it would ruin my hair with 2 chemical processes, so I never took to dyeing it. When I stopped perming my hair 15 years ago, I was a lovely silver. As I still have a young looking face, the grey is just seen as a colour. I LOVE it, it shines so beautifully in the sun, and with a Celtic complexion it suits the lovely bright colours that I love to wear. Women often stop me to comment on how much they love my ‘colour’.

I persuaded my mother to go grey only a few years ago, aged 70, and she looks much more stunning totally white, than the drab brownishy colour she used to wear. I did have to throw out her horrible olive and brown and peach wardrobe and get her into fuchsia, purple, sapphire and emerald and now she looks vibrant, much younger and healthier. She loves it too and wished she did it years earlier.

Reply
Carol S.

My hair is naturally a chestnut brown. I had my first grey hair at 15 and later developed a streak that many thought was frosted. My mother convinced me to color my hair and we did it at home and the color became too dark. After a bout with pneumonia, I felt faded and drab so I went to a salon with “okay” results. Salon experiences have never been happy for me but I made do and found a place that was fine for a while. I do like a golden, caramel shade now. Somehow, I was guided away from my regular 4-week schedule and started spacing it out more. This was because I came to the realization (Divine Providence) that my stylist was actually ruining my hair. Hair salons are not happy places for me. I have been growing my hair out for over a year and I have not cut it either. I am going green and organic with food, household cleaners, etc. and feel that this is part of the process. My hair is sort of half and half at the moment and it is not my ideal but, I want to get my hair back to optimal health after the damage done by stylists to me over the years. And, it is damage–and hair loss. I never like the torture and heat of the”blow dry” as they do it in salons. I am also being very careful of the ingredients in hair products which also contribute to hair problems. I am being very basic and using shampoo and conditioner from 100% Pure and the Honest Company. It feels good and my hair’s health is improving. However, I do not like the color as it is now. It is not me at all. I feel it looks faded out to nothing. I am not giving up on my golden dream–just not sure how to achieve what I want or what is right for me in a safe and natural way. I have gone natural/organic with my entire beauty regime–including fragrance–because we are in a chemical soup. This eliminates so many prestigious brands but, I have found better and I feel better. I believe strongly in the path I have taken but, the hair color is a big issue. I am taking it one step at a time. Writing this comment was one big step. Thank you, Vicki, for starting the discussion.

Reply
Vicki

It sounds as if you are well on your way to finding exactly the hair that you want Carol… it does take time to change and to see results, but it will be really worth it when you look back … with a beautiful head of natural hair… :)

Reply
Deborah McKenzie

Wow what a very hot topic this is! I would like to hear about any special products, styling tips or color considerations to have in my arsenal when the big decision comes. I currently color every 3 months with a semi permanent medium brown to add some richness and cover a few grey hairs. I have fairly long hair and my grey is sparse but the grey is very silver, which does not take to color for long. Oh I think often of becoming all silver but I want it all or nothing! I would be happy with a Cruella de Ville if that was possible. What to do……

Reply
Vintage Finds

My mother had always had a dark black blue hair that I admired (light coloured myself) and she had kept up for as long as I remembered. She made the decision to go au naturelle – which everyone said was ‘giving in to the greys’ – hardly!! With everyone’s comments constantly it really was taking a hard line and hardly giving in!!

Looking back, her skin looks softer and more rosy, than in photographs of 5 years ago when she was still doing the black and lustrious. Now that we are used to her new look, the old pics look ‘severe’ again her skin and her look now makes her actually look younger for her age – who would have thought?!

After this experience, I always admire a woman who ‘wears grey well’ as it to get there she has taken a road less trodden, and has the stamina to arrive at the destination!!

Jen xx

Reply
Vicki

There is the proof… As I said in the post… grey does not have to be ageing and can indeed look very fabulous and modern… :)

Reply
Teresa

I’m newly gray or, I should say, steel, pewter, silver and white – I love it.

I had dyed for years and one day I realized that the color of middle age wasn’t gray, it was that reddish tint. Middle aged women all seemed to be reddish blond, reddish brown or goth black hair.

I quit dying and after nine months, I cut it short. It’s shoulder length now and I couldn’t be happier.

Reply
Ann

I agree that the woman in the photo has beautiful hair and her carriage suggests confidence and joi de vivre. But I must point out that classifying “those who wear their hair au naturel as dowdy, frumpy and middle aged… This woman was living proof that grey does not equal granny,” is quell passe. I am a granny with grey hair and I am far from dowdy and middle aged. Grannys rock, bebe, join the 21st.

Reply
Avril Hilton

Great topic, my hair is very fine not beautifully thick as your lady, but decided to let it go grey after all the years of colouring, I’m 65, I have no regrets, my hair looks thicker and in much better condition, I make sure I get it cut into a short smart bob every six weeks. Best thing I’ve done!

Reply
karen in va

Excellent post, Vicki … For many reasons, I’m still coloring … and am happy …

I do it myself, it’s easy … if anybody is leaving their hairdresser “with a stain” they should be looking for someone who knows what they are doing, or do it themselves.

I never say never, and I love to see it on stylish women … my hair is fine, so not possible to wear in a stylish longer style, and I wish I could wear a headband or a ponytail, but they look silly on my odd shaped skull ..

I do so admire the look though .. I never say never though but it will be a very long time

My best friend has thick full strawberry hair and keeps the grey coming in .. it looks great on her.

Again, an excellent and thoughtful post.

Karen in VA

Reply
Denise

I took the plunge a couple of years ago, and am so glad that I did. It took a while to work out the change in clothes colours, and I definitely like me more in summer than winter, when I’m pale and wan.
I live in Melbourne, but last year had my hair cut in Paris, whilst on holiday. The stylist gave me a great stylish cut, and I felt that part of the reason was that it was so good, was that he probably had more experience in creatively cutting grey-haired 60 year old ladies who still want a flattering cut, rather than just ‘short back and sides’!. I’d love to know if anyone has found a Pinterest site with elegant, mature women with natural hair colouring ?

Reply
Jana

I’ll never go grey. Not confident enough to go without makeup, either! My hair is thinning and salt & pepper.

Yes, the upkeep with the roots is irriating and many of my friends finally do go grey. Some are lucky to have fabulous grey hair….better than the mixed blonde and grey they used to have.

Years ago, no French woman would be grey or wear glasses. Times change. My 85 year old French mother-in-law still dyes her hair DARK brown!

Reply
Jana

Forgot to mention, my REAL hair was originally very dark, and since it’s gone salt and pepper, I have experimented with different colors, from dark to blonde. Now medium brown seems the best – never fit the blonde personna properly!

Reply
Jeanne

I keep asking myself what I am waiting for….next summer is my time to change and I am holding to my decision. All of my brothers and sisters have white hair. It is in our family genes to just skip the grey and go white:-) Every year I simlify something in my life and that will be next years resolution. Wonderful post Vicki

Reply
Vicki

I like that idea to simplify something each year… I am going to think about doing that…

Reply
Esther-D. Abd

This type of issue with such reviews are unanimous Help them to make decisions transferring them more intimate circles . Thanks Vicki .

I disagree slightly about the relationship it binomial gray hair & hair abundant as something really beautiful. In my opinion both things together are directly related to the edad . Exceptions for the woman more than 50 years the amount of te Nuestro hair considerably reduced and more or less gray , perhaps by sea to this one with plenty of head I like the gray too .

Am I in it group the woman who dares to take it step yet . My natural color are black and shoulders on them , now he color it dark brown . No repeat the conversation with my barber because identical fue a la ya otras of expuestas , ground that he was able to cut a little , ahora mi hair is between her chin and shoulders them .
If before the end after him enough gray hair ( white rule him about it black ) and with poco volume , but still need to be safe , I tkink that the transition are more abrupt than for them to brown them blond .

Saludos !
Esther – D . Abad
( translation by Google )

Reply
BoxwoodTerrace

I love the look of very dark hair (and olive complexion to go with it) that turns silvery and would do it in a minute if possible. However, I have thick blonde hair and fair skin. Gray hair makes me looked washed out and tired. I have my hair highlighted every 3-4 months and enjoy the process because the results look so good (my colorist is incredibly skilled).

Deborah

Reply
Karena

Dear Vicki, I have considered going gray (silver would be better!) so many times! I see beautiful women who have and look even more stunning.

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

Reply
sandy mccune

My hair started going grey at 37. My paternal grandmother had white hair at 20.Older men would come up and say they loved my hair because it reminded them of their mother. Now at 75, I have white hair. It is not as full as in my youth but I still get comments.All of my friends my age color theirs. Some are well done and some are blatant.My husband loves my hair and after all isn’t that all that matters?

Reply
Lavender Dreams

Finding your site and reading this post is perfect timing! I colored my hair for the last time about 6 months ago. If you look on my blog, the full length photo of me at the park last Sunday is on the left sidebar. I live most of the year in sunny Florida and the sun bleaches my blond hair out even with color on it, so I decided to see how it would look with NO color. I’m surprised at how dark it is in the back but so far….so good. I am getting my hair trimmed tomorrow and I think that will be the ‘end’ of the color on the ‘ends’. I’m trying my very best to not give in to coloring it again. If you write me back, I’ll tell you my age! heehee! Thanks!

Reply
Catina

I am 49 and I started having grey hairs @ 5 years ago. My hairdresser said to never go grey as it would age me. I attempted to go grey about 2 years ago. I had about 1 inch grey and had it colored. Last April I went to a new hairdresser. She was young and beautiful and her assistant the same. I commented that obviously I needed to schedule a color appt. because the grey was coming through. The young assistant was the first to suggest letting it go grey, my hairdresser agreed. They both said they thought it would be a beautiful silver. I decided I would try again if these young girls thought it was a good idea. My daughter was 16 at the time and she said I should let it go grey. My husband said to do it if I was ready. My 3 three sons said I would look like an old lady. In May I had it all cut as short as possible as I had about 1 1/2 inches grey. she gave me a sassy short cut and I have never looked back. I have very curly hair and am fair complected with freckles and blue eyes. My daughter, God bless her was constant wave of support,telling me it looked good and to keep going!!! Without her I might have not done it. I am very happy with it now. It is about chin length and I intend to let it grow some more. It is very freeing and I get many comments (good) on it now. I would not change it at all. Good luck to all the ladies out there. It feels good to not look like everyone else and look like yourself,like God intended!!!!!I use DevaCurl products if anyone knows of other good products please advise.

Reply
Frédérique

Oh, I would go grey if I could count on such a bright grey! Did you say the woman’s hair used to be dark? That opens up some perspective. I always thought only fair hair could turn into such a light and bright grey. The way dark hair turns grey can be so dull and gloomy… Highlighting the grey sounds like a good option, but can you do it a bit less often than regular colouring, or is it just as much maintenance work?

Reply
Vicki

Her hair was originally dark as you can see from the underneath section… Highlighting the grey is much less maintenance… as the regrowth is much less obvious and the greys blend in… but the grey is not covered like it is with tinting… so the overall impression is a mix of colours…

Reply
Desiree

I found my first grey hair at age 17. Today I am 38yrs old with a full thick head of long hair. For the past 6 months I have been growing out the dyed hair. There have been painful moments no doubt about it! And at first I was even putting in streaks on the crown to help it not look so much like a skunk stripe. But now, I’m loving it! I can hardly wait till it has fully grown out. I’m still a long way away from being “finished” but I feel good about it. I wish there was a way to post a pic for you. So why did I do it? Even after all my friends and all the hairdressers in the salon all said I was too young and it wouldn’t look right (I was 37 at the time)…I was simply so sick and tired of the very time consuming dye job every 5 weeks I didn’t want it anymore. Going grey is the most liberating thing I have ever done! It feels wonderful!

Reply
Desiree

I didn’t think that would get “published”….sorry everyone. Was just excited to share a photo of my “growing out”

Reply
The Enchanted home

I can see why she caught your attention, her hair is beautiful and even from the back..she looks very chic and pulled together. My mom went all gray and looks fabulous…I think many women can carry it off and look really striking.

Reply
Elizabeth

A beautiful head of fair to be sure. What a wonderful discussion, sadly I still subject myself to highlights. Although I have been going grey since I was 28. I think that it is as you say, whatever make YOU feel good. Thank you for a wonderful discussion.

Reply
Kit Golson

Bravo for this lady… her hair is fabulous and she no doubt has a very confident attitude towards life! My own hair is fair, so it goes to silver naturally as time goes by… my mom’s hair is all bright silvery and silky so I hope I end up with hair like hers..

great post!

bisous, Kit

Reply
P3

My hair at my temples started going gray in my 50’s. I was really tired of coloring it to hide it. Talking to my hairdresser, we decided to add more gray color to the top of my head to balance it out. 5 foils is all it takes, but I am still coloring it, just in reverse. Lol. But, I love it. The gray color balanced out my skin tone and my green eyes pop now instead of looking muddy. There are clothing colors that I look drab in (ivory) so I am fazing them out. I have to be careful that any white I buy has no tint of yellow in it. I am happy with this change.

Reply
jane

Hello, I have never written on a blog before but this story I want to tell. I started turning grey at 19. Colored my hair for 10 years. My husband and I talked and I decided to go natural. coloring for the next 40 years seemed like alot. I was in my 50’s and we were on vacation. We walked by a store and I saw a beautiful bracelet. We went in the store my husband went to the counter to buy it. Of course he looks young and no grey hair. I walked over to the other side of the store. The woman behind the counter said to him, this is so nice of you is that your mother? I felt so bad, to think he was walking around with someone who looked liked his mother I started coloring my hair again. I wish more women were confident enough to be natural, society would gradually accept it.

Reply
Juanita in OH

Hi Vicki; I found this a most consuming post! It is funny how you can feel so alone when you are doing something out of the ordinary. I started to gray when I was twenty-one. About twenty years ago I decided I didn’t want to color my gray any longer…I felt like I was trying to hide something. My hair stylist was my greatest cheerleader. At one point it was about half way out and a photo was taken of me, I laughed so hard because I looked like a skunk!
I am African-American and I tried to stop relaxing my hair also because the color was truly beautiful…that was not a good experience. Relaxers turn my hair yellow, now we follow a relaxer with pure lemon juice left on about 15-20 minutes, it works pretty well. I wear a medium bob and just decided I want to let it grow some more. My hair is fast growing and extremely thick. I LOVE your photo of the lady in this article. TFS this wonderful story.

Reply
jlonit

It only looks good on women with thick lustrous hair – especially when it gets towards that white-grey colour. I have awful thin straggly hair so will never be able to go grey. Also, having olive skin is helpful. I like early grey haired people but have firm criteria about it.

Some men look fantastic with grey hair, for example George Clooney. Again, the key is having good thick hair and olive skin.

Reply
Katherine

I have to politely disagree. For anyone who’s interested, go to the site Silver Sisters Cafe. Many incredible women who have chosen to go “natural” , of all skin colors, look absolutely beautiful in their own natural silver/gray. It is a fallacy to say that only one type of skin and hair can look good this way!

Reply
Brittney S. Holland

I have a shock of grey that started when I was just 21. I used to cover it, though it never held color well. Finally, I’m 44 and I’ve decided to embrace it. I LOVE my grey, and I even have low lights strategically placed to emphasize my grey shock.

Reply
Suzy

It’s interesting how much discussion this topic generates, isn’t it? I commented earlier, but wanted to add this. My previous flirtation with being grey and trying to be proud of it, led me to a few conclusions. These were true for me, and perhaps not for everyone, but may be helpful nonetheless for anyone contemplating the Grey and Gorgeous look. Firstly, your hair needs to be immaculately kept and in tip top condition, so a good cut, long or short, and maintenance with a good silver toner type shampoo, conditioner and glossy mousse, is imperative. The rest of your grooming must be first class, always, to avoid simply looking like you can’t be bothered dyeing your hair. Good skin, well kept nails and hands, and lots of dewy moisturiser are a must. A trim figure helps for exactly the same reason. The last thing you want, is to just look like you’re neglecting yourself. And finally, as I think you mentioned Vicki, change your wardrobe to accommodate your new Silvery look. I’m no expert, but having made all of these mistakes in my previous excursion to the Grey Brigade, I thought they were worthy of mention. I’ve taken the first step yesterday, showing my hairdresser your pic, and persuading her to blend my now more Silvery greys, with Ash Blonde foils. I’ll now work on growing my one length shoulder brushing bob, into a long layered mane, saving the Ombre look (should it still be chic at that point!) for further down the track. Again, thankyou Vicki. Your post could not have been better timed for me…x

Reply
Karen

I ‘went’ gray in 2008 (nearly 6 years ago). I had finally just had enough dying and coloring my hair. I was tired of living with a color on my head that wasn’t mine. I have never regretted it a minute. Going through the transition period was the hardest. Near the end of my journey I found this website, Going Gray, Looking Great and immediate signed up! Finally, a group of women who knew what I was going through and offered friendship, advice, and hope! I’ve met with many in the group that live in my area numerous times. There is a page on Facebook for the group called Going Gray, Looking Great. I had many doubters along the way, but ever since my transition was complete I’ve received nothing but compliments about my white/gray/charcoal locks. I NEVER received a compliment about my colored hair. And yes, my hair still has many colors it in, it is not pure white. Oddly enough, I look forward to that day! Never thought I would say that in my youth!!! (I’m 61)

Reply
Lynda Dunham-Watkins

Have worn my hair really short for much of my life…lots of gray…let it grow out to all gray which actually was a startling silver/white which I liked at first but seemed increasingly harsh. Back to color and highlights….maybe later. Was so easy to keep though………

Reply
Elizabeth Thomas

I am actually letting my hair go grey myself. Currently I am letting a 2″ swath in the front to completely grey. A skunk streak you may say. The rest I am coloring dark and bit by bit I am letting some come in. I will be thrilled when the whole thing is grey! I’m tired of the expense and pretense. Truthfully I think it will be liberating in many ways!

Reply
Allegra

Hi Vicki, the biggest thing I have to say (which I know from personal experience) is that there is NO NEED to go thru the skunk stripe phase. Highlights rock!!! As soon as I got mine the transition was so easy, and I don’t touch the highlights up that often either. One problem is turning yellow from flat irons/curling irons and I need to be better about using a protectant for that. I think that as a society we need to embrace the process of growing old. In so many ways it is such a gift!!! And I love that the pressure I felt to look young, sexy and great all the time is finally gone (I’ll be 60 next month). People respond to me when I look great and pulled together. My 50’s were a positive stage for me–I learned self acceptance.

Reply
Lynn

The colorists that I went to every three to four weeks do not acknowledge me anymore when I go to have my hair cut, so they see dollars slipping away if women take the plunge and go grey. I love spending less money and time at the hairdresser’s salon, and have noticed more looks since I went grey. The only thing I don’t like are the long grey hairs that show up more on the shoulders of my dark sweaters.

Reply
Magali40

I’m 43, french, working woman, 3 children and I’m proud of my grey hair. If you stay elegant, the color grey is a must.
Sometimes little children believe that I’m the grandmother of my little boy. I don’t mind, I understand why.
Other times, old beautiful men, who think I’m older than my age but find me attractive ( of course I’m 43 and they’re more than 60 ), try to flirt with me. It may be funny.

Reply
Jennifer

I have been on the fence with this decision for years. And in the process, slowly going silver. I was a natural pale blonde and at 57 the silver is blending nicely and just looks blonder. With baby fine limp hair, I decided last month, I would be happier with the volume if I colored my hair…but my hairdresser refused!! So I bought a box of color that’s been sitting on my counter for 3 weeks. I’m afraid to use it. Still don’t know what I’ll do. Great post and your comments section is the best too!! xoxoJennifer

Reply
Vicki

Can I be presumptuous and say… Don’t… Find some good volume making products… Curl your hair a little to get some body… or at the least a few highlights… but not an all over colour… And if you are really, really tempted… change your cut for a week and see if that makes you feel better…
Sorry… you did ask… :) :)

Reply
Tina Miranda

I’m 4 months into letting my dark thick hair grow out without putting in any high or low lights, i think it’s going to look very much like the picture in your artical. I had it cut yesterday for the first time by a new hairdresser, she was only about 30 years old. I felt a little odd walking in to her shop with my pictures in hand that i had printed off of pinterest of long silver haired women with lots of layers. I showed her the pictures and started explaining what i was doing and why i can’t cut it short! In my mind i felt a need to convince her that what i was doing was right, not so, she was in total agreement with me, told me how amazing my silver hair is and how she loves seeing women choosing to go natural and how her mother had just started to let her’s grow out. I so thankful for that young hairdresser, i walked out of there with lots of soft long layers and the confidence to keep growing it out for a couple more months until i see her again !

Reply
Laura F.

I am 53 and love your article and the comments! Here’s my problem: my hair used to be very thick, but it is thinning out at the sides a bit. I was born with black hair (I am olive-skinned). I got my first white hairs when I was 15 and have been dying it since I was 18. My hair never came in silver. It came in patches of cotton white. It was never on the road to salt and pepper. It was never grey either, just white, like a piece of paper. I would love to stop. But here is the issue -my hair is VERY curly (I had a white-girl-fro in the 70s!). I have kept it shorter the last 15 years or so (chin to above shoulder), but I don’t like it short. I too have observed women my age with beautiful grey hair but EVERY SINGLE ONE HAD STRAIGHT-WAVY HAIR. I have seen not ONE woman going around with long, white curly hair. I am growing my hair out, I prefer to be able to pull it up when I want to. So what to do? I dye it myself at home, but I am willing to go back to a salon with concrete directions on how to transition. I will NEVER straighten it (noxious chemicals notwithstanding, it wouldn’t do anything for me to straighten it). I am open to any and all suggestions, ladies, so feel free to chime in! Bottom line: What is the best way to transition to and then present long, white, curly hair? Should I expect to have to dye it to a silver grey? And how to hide the thinning at the sides? (I use Rogaine, but the black hair dye goes a long way to masking the balding spots). Thank you!

Reply
Laura F.

Follow up question: would it be crazy to consider (once my hair is natural color) to add the occasional dip or streak of, say purple? (The punk rocker in me still lives within!).

Reply
Laura F.

Follow up comment (sorry!): Despite the curse of premature white hair, I am blessed with a youthful face – no real wrinkles, soft skin, unblemished. To date no one thinks I’m over 50, everyone believes I’m about 40. I was well trained by the women in my family to not disabuse anyone of such beliefs ;-P ….just thought that would help anyone with helpful thoughts….

Reply
Maria

No way! I will go grey. My mother at 90 still colors her hair. I do color my hair by myself. I get a lot of compliments on the color shade. Is not that difficult to keep looking young.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Hands Free
Close