16 Nov 2017

50 Shades Of Grey And More

vicki-archer-grey-hair-portrait


50 shades of grey, I have come to terms with you.
It has taken three years and a fair bit of indecision but I’m there.

I don’t think I am colouring in anytime soon.


There will be moments when I feel tempted, it is inevitable and there will be moments when I feel a sense of relief.

I didn’t find the getting there, the going grey difficult from the “hair” point of view; I had been fair for many years and light coloured hair makes the transition so much easier. Lessening the highlights over time was a painless way to go.



I found other aspects of going grey more challenging.


The “good” day versus the “bad” day for a start.

The days I woke up feeling on top of the world, full of energy and joie de vivre, the grey was a statement in positivity and a personal style decision; my 50 shades had nothing to do with getting older.


The days I felt less buoyant, the grey was a temptress and a challenge. The 50 shades and I didn’t like each other and I felt confronted. My changing hair colour meant no escape from the question of ageing and what it entails.  Life and all its reality were staring back at me from the mirror and there was no escape.

Some less than glorious days and the 50 shades felt like self-inflicted torture.


I clung on to the sense of freedom going grey gives and the self-confidence in my decision. I hoped I would come to accept my 50 shades, become friends even. I don’t believe grey hair is any more ageing than other aspects of our appearance. Going grey is not an easy decision for everyone and nor is it something we all agree on; hair and how we wear it is one of the most personal aspects of our style.



So once committed to the grey what about the length?


I sit somewhere in the middle of the two fabulous women featured, Kristen McMenamy and Jamie Lee Curtis.


While I admire the super short styles, they aren’t for me. I have never been a short hair girl and I cannot see it happening anytime soon; it has nothing to do with age.

Nor have I ever had waist length tresses Rapunzel style; it takes a certain kind of beauty and glamour to work that and I am neither tall enough nor brave enough; it is a tough one.


I have decided I like my 50 shades longer with the proviso it is well-cut and well-coiffed. Leaving it strung up and un-groomed and the bad hair demons will come out to play. Longer means more time spent on maintenance.


The days of cutting hair short, as middle age approaches are long gone and many older role models are opting to wear their hair longer. Longer hair provides softness around the face and a buffer for the jawline. The combination of length and the grey is an unexpected one; I like that.


The length and style of hair obviously depend very much on hair type and quality and more importantly personal style; feeling comfortable and self-confident are the most important considerations.



A longer length and 50 shades have become my comfort zone. xv



image kirsten mcmenamy and jamie lee curtis

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77 Comments

Taste of France

Not gray yet, but it has started. I started doing highlights for the first time, to make the lighter hairs look more intentional ;)
However, the texture changes. My hair has always been pin straight, but the grays are a little kinkier.

Reply
Vicki

I can’t get used to the smooth texture of my hair!!
I have dyed it ever since I can remember and it was always kind of frizzy and a bit dry… now it is soft!!
Ha Ha be careful what we wish for.. ;)

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Anita Rivera

My 58th birthday is in one week. My hair is finally showing gray and I love it. NO COLORING for me. The only color I want on me is the color of life, courage, love. These two examples here are TO DIE FOR! Or, NOT to DYE for! teeheheee

Keeping it real with a smile on your face is the best way to work the age, the life well-lived. Happy day dearest Vicki! Anita

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Vicki

Love it Anita.. Not to DYE for… :) :)
It is so liberating and I truly believe grey hairs are the least of our problems when it comes to talk of ageing.. Our confidence, our ability to engage in what is happening around us and the way we present ourselves are far more important in terms of how we appear.
And as you say, a smile is everything… A smile can take off ten years in an instant.. :)

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Mimi Gregor

I color my hair myself (thank goodness, or I’d spend a fortune!) every three weeks, because the sight of grey roots coming in depresses me unutterably. Yes, I am in denial, but I see nothing wrong with that. When I look in the mirror, I see “young-ish” reflected back at me, and I act and dress accordingly. If grey were reflected back, I am afraid that instead of seeing “free and self-confident”, I would just see “old”… and then I would start dressing and acting that way. In my mind, it’s the beginning of a downward spiral. Fortunately, I have a young looking face and frame for my age, so I can get away with my ruse for a while yet….

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Vicki

Fortunately, we each know what we like for ourselves and what works… I think it is the opposite for me.. because I have grey hair now.. or shall I say “silver” ;) I try and dress in a more stylish way.. not as in too young.. but I try and make sure one of my accessories is of the moment… I am in a way more conscious of appearing older than I am because of my hair and I think that has been a good result.. :)

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Vicki

P.S I am all for denial when it works Mimi.. ;)
And don’t think I am not in denial in other areas.. ;) ;)

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Rita

I decided to stay grey after chemo. Bad decision! I thought I looked “nice” until I changed my my and decided to color and highlight. Great decision! Like my mother who was a hairdresser always said: “no woman should ever have grey hair!” I think she was right….

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Linda Boardman Kerr

I am slowly transitioning from ash blond with highlights to grey, and find that the grey/silver areas near my face are flattering. Experimenting with different lip and cheek colors has been interesting. I find that the cooler spectrum looks better. My hair has always been at my shoulders or to mid back, and is curly and thick. Unfortunately, it seems to be growing in more wiry, and I hate that. I use conditioner to shampoo it, and only do so a couple times a week. Anyway, see me on facebook if you are curious.

Reply
Kim

My shoulder-length hair now requires only low-lights. It’s hard to highlight hair that is already light. Keratin treatments are a must for me!

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Catherine

For me, I’ll keep my born black–but these days from a bottle. Gray hair just doesn’t suit my skin tone nor does it suit my coarse, wiry, thinning hair (thank you menopause). Length is a different issue. Since my face is square and since the hair that mother nature took from my head and replaced on my chin, the short, cropped look would have people mistaking me for a man. Longer hair frames my face better AND it looks better when it’s dirty. It’s easy to put in a messy bun when I’m not feeling the good hair day. So yeah. No gray for me, but the longer length is fine.

I’m also a fan of doing whatever rocks your boat–I support any look that any woman wants to rock because we all need to support each other!

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Jane

I agree with you Vicki, the length to wear grey hair at is dependant on a woman’s personal style, comfort zone and condition of hair. Linda Rodin, Yasmina Rossi and Emmy Lou Harris all pull off long locks with such panache but it’s not for me. Your post is timely as I am very seriously considering the transition to grey. And I would be of your mindset as well, keeping my hair just above my shoulders. I think a bit of length softens the face and I love the flexibility it gives me. My hair has natural curl so I can opt for blowing straight or letting go if I’m in humidity. I have a hair appointment on Wednesday and want to discuss lightening and transitioning gradually over the next year. Do you think 51 is too young? Why can’t we age naturally, most men do? I’m thinking my salon budget converts nicely to the travel budget!

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Vicki

I don’t think it is too young, Jane if you keep the rest of your personal style as you would. I started thinking about it in my early 50’s and now I am really happy I took the time to transition through the colour. Not all my friends agree or like my choice but the majority love my hair and I have received more compliments than ever before…

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Melissa

Jane, the younger you are when you are grey, the less the grey looks ‘old’. At 51 you still have a young mostly unlined face and the grey just is another hair colour. In fact I see so many 20s dyeing their hair grey! I have never dyed my hair and was mostly grey by early 40s (I am now 53), and have so many compliments about my hair colour. I love my grey and actually had a nightmare that woke up and it was dark brown (my natural colour)!!! My only caveat is to keep your eyebrows dark, either with dye or pencil as this frames the eyes and stops your features fading away. A lick of a strong fuchsia pink lipstick and you look fresh and fabulous in grey.

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Linda B

I embarked about a year ago on growing out the VERY short style I wore from age 47-57. It felt daring and fresh when I started with it. I had been doing highlights before that to try to maintain the dark blonde of my youth; it wasn’t going grey but my hair had darkened in tone considerably over time. (A few weeks ago I had a visit from my best friend from high school; we hadn’t seen each other in almost 41 years! She teasingly asked me what happened to those long blonde locks I had back then!) When I went really short, there was no point to coloring–I had my hair cut every three weeks to maintain the less than an inch length, so no color would have lasted long enough to be worth it.

A year ago it felt like I needed to change something. Not the few strands of silver in my hair, almost undetectable. But I was so tired of the style. I started growing it out, which meant some less than lovely stages, but now I am really liking it at around chin length. I have my natural wavy/curly hair back! People I have known less than 10 years are so surprised to see that. I love it. I love the literal feeling of movement as I turn my head, or the wind blows. I always liked my wavy hair and now it just feels fresh and young.

I think there is no real right or wrong answer to these questions. We each get to do what makes us feel right–and Vicki, as you noted, some days what we have chosen works for us better than others. It’s about how we are feeling internally.

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Vicki

So true Linda… It’s great to hear your story of going short to long… mostly it’s the other way and women cut their hair for a whole new short look.
And yes.. what is happening inside dictates our appearance in every way..

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Kristina

I also lost my long blonde hair to chemo in 2013 and it came back grey and curly at first. Lots of people seemed to like the very short style and yes it was easy but I’m much happier now that it’s a longer bob w a fringe and I will grow it even longer so that in summer I can put it up. But definitely no more colouring but then I’m told my hair isn’t really grey more blonde/grey whatever that means. I am being offered seats on buses though which was a bit hard to take at first as inside I still feel 35 even though I’m 62??

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Jean

I have dark dyed hair and am tempted to stop coloring and allow the grey to grow out. Any suggestions on how to make the transition gracefully would be appreciated.

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Vicki

Jean it is harder when you have dark hair.
I would start gradually lightening your hair with highlights… perhaps caramel and honey shades mixed into the dark so that the transition is less obvious and you won’t have the growing out line in between tints… Once you get this going you can go lighter and lighter and eventually stop. It takes some time but it is the least painful way to get there… Cold turkey is for the very brave.. :)

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Rebecca Hively

I have never died my hair or even highlighted it. So at 63, it has turned grey in some areas while others are still light brown. Consequently, many think I highlight it. I simply refuse to begin that expensive upkeep and since I need to still perm my fine thin hair, it doesn’t need anymore damage done to it by color.

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Vicki

I cannot believe you have never dyed it Rebecca! What a great achievement… I have tortured my hair beyond belief over the years and I am lucky I even have any!! I didn’t even know what it was like to have naturally shiny hair.. ;) ;)

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Susan Gordon

After the beautiful wedding of my last child to marry three years ago, I stopped dyeing my hair. With the help of my hair stylist, it was not TOO painful to live with that 18 month stage. It is now medium length and salt and pepper color. This is the only time in my life that anyone has complimented my hair. I have had several people remark that they love the look. On the contrary, close friends and family expressed their displeasure that I was no longer dyeing it. As I said to them, the only two opinions that matter to me – my husband and my own. I am happy with the look, and my husband agrees. Like you, Vicki, I take extra care with my clothing choices. Oddly, where I formally was happy to fade into the background, now my attitude has changed and I want to be noticed. I make sure to wear a bright and pretty lipstick. I will be 68 next month.

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Vicki

Bravo Susan… and it would seem the right decision. The lipstick is a must… and I do wear the brights and the stronger lip colours far more now… I like the silver with teh deep reds and even the bright, bright pinks for summer..

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Ellen

My hair is 50 shades of grey, and it is long, though not as long as the lady in the photo. I am 70, but I still have a smooth unlined face — good genes, I guess, because I have never “remodeled” it. I use the best skin care I can afford, stay out of the sun and never sleep in makeup. If I have to be out mid-day, then a hat and sunscreen. I get compliments on my hair all the time, and people are usually shocked if they find out my age. I do wear it up, because it is very wavy but fine and tends to look very flyaway when it is loose. Giving up hair color was a good decision for me because my hair is healthier, shinier, less prone to breakage. I will admit, getting there was difficult.

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Vicki

I imagine wearing my hair up in a do when I am older.. I love hair in a bun or an up style… it can looks so elegant and very chic… For now I am growing mine and leaving it out most of the time…

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Michelle

I haven’t taken the plunge into going grey yet, but I LOVE long hair. My hair is mid back length and I will never, ever go short. I cannot stand fiddling with my hair during the day or having it touching my face. I wear it simply styled and off of my face. I also go to greats lengths to keep my hair shiny and healthy looking. I have noticed that women (and of course, stylists) make much more of a big deal about women needing to cut their hair short after a certain age than men do. Thank goodness this is changng. I absolutely disagree with the assumption that short hair on older women automatically makes them look more attractive, up to date and and youthful. No, No, NO!! Shiny, healthy hair of any color makes older women look more youthful. I’d say go for long, Vicki. Long, healthy grey hair is smashing looking!

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Vicki

I am with you Michelle and unless you have an incredible bone structure very short hair is a tough act to pull off..

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Mary

While I agree with all of the above, I believe there are some other realities in play. I have always been blonde. Now my hair grows in a very dull dark Ash blonde. It looks dull and I feel dull with it. If I were to be in the sun, it would lighten, but I watch my sun exposure. So I freshen it up with highlights.

If I had a rich, pretty grey I probably wouldn’t. But I don’t.

As for the length, I think it is more about style. I know many mature women that look stuck in the 80’s. It’s a good cut that flatters you and your new hair texture. It’s adjusting your makeup to go with your new hair color. And adjusting your clothes so you look current but age appropriate. Not mutton appearing as lamb. Anyone can look fabulous at any age if they just tweak their look. Confidence and a smile top it off.

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Vicki

Absolutely Mary.. :)
I love blonde highlights and kept those working until they started to go yellow over the greys… It was an easy process growing my hair out because while my hair is grey now.. I don’t really look that much different… still fair but on the silver side rather than the golden.. As I mentioned I think it is much easier if we are fair to let the greys in..

And yes! Cut is everything..

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Jay

May I ask what actual cut style is flattering or common for long hair on women of a certain age? I feel like I’m mostly getting a trim off the bottom. Do you finds layers or bangs helpful or flattering or on-trend?

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Jules

Vicky I will be turning 58 this month and I have dyed my hair since I was in my 20s. I have very dark hair and I did not like the gray coming in, it seem like I was touching up my roots every time I turned around. Last April I stopped dying my hair and went with blonde highlights in my hair now it is pretty much blonde. I rather like not having to touch up roots and eventually I will let the gray-silver be my showstopper.
Everyone is different, and should embrace who they are and not what society thinks. It is true that when your hair is lighter you have to change your clothing and makeup so that you do not look old and tired. I feel that gray or silver hair is very sophisticated on women and very chic. This is a long process but I love the new look I am sporting and how confident I feel.
50 shades of grey, bring it on!!

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Vicki

It is a long process and I am now 2 years invested… I also think of all the savings I have made without the visits to the colourist!

i like to think it is a sophisticated look and agree what we wear does change and how we wear it.. but I am invested now and doubt I will return to a big colour.. Perhaps I may have fun one day with a few highlights.. but that will be it.. :)

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adrienne philp

Unfortunately grey hair does not look good on everyone. I would love the ease of grey hair but very light colored hair completely washes me out. So I will continue to color my hair as long as I can.

As far as length, I think what ever you are comfortable with and is flattering to you is okay. For me it is shoulder length with naturally wavy curl.

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Shelley

I am 57 and saw my first grey when I was 24, I had been highlighting on and off before then.
I continued with highlighting for years and then had to start colouring the roots.
I will continue with root touch-ups as I havenèt seen anyone in my
family look good with grey hair. I don’t believe everyone can do it without looking older. I have seen some women that look great with silver grey hair, however, our family the hair isn’t silver it is white. (Not flattering)
As for me, I am very pale and I will keep colouring my roots for awhile. I do the roots myself and people often compliment me on the colour. I believe it is an individual choice, and someday I will take the plunge and no longer colour.

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Jenny

I’m 44 and have decided to embrace my silver hair. There is a grey haired revolution going on & I’m truly inspired. Some days are harder than others. I had been doing low lights to mask the silver, and about 9 months ago I had my hair cut into a lob and discontinued the low lights. I’ve been growing it out longer ever since. I’m looking forward to longer hair. I think a long & healthy silver mane is gorgeous! I use products like Kiel’s Creme with silk groom & coconut oil (among other things) to keep my silvers shiny & healthy looking..also I use a clarifying shampoo once a week. I love your blog Vicki, and your “50 shades of grey” post from a while back was very inspiring to me. I think there is nothing like a woman who owns and knows her own beauty.
I wear more red now, and instead of paying for hair color, I buy shoes!

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Catherine

i am very glad to see someone in my age group. I am going on 45 and have been dying my hair for years. But I am really tiring of the time it takes and the money to cover my greys which are all round my hair line so most times a little depressing. As my hair dresser says I am too young to stop dying. But I feel to stop dying would be to take up the challenge of being my self, being strong and independent.My mother who is 72 has the most gorgeous silvery grey short hair – think Judi Dench and dresses in young styles and bright colours too – she looks great. I believe my hair is more silvery then grey, some days I think you know what I want to be me and let it grow to a point and then I feel like I am not taking fair of myself and go and dye it again to which I feel young and sexy again. I have asked my husband what he things and he said “no don’t go grey ” but I am a bit of a rebel and feel the day is coming near when I will say “that’s it and let go” . I feel this will be a refreshing and rejuvenating moment. … maybe it depends on the culture you live in how quickly you embrace the new look?

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Bobbie H.

I am a Fabulous silver with streaks of darker color underneath! I colored for years and didn’t realize I had such a beautiful natural color underneath. I get compliments all the time. It was a hard decision as I’m a young looking 68 yo. I did it on my 65th birthday and never looked back. Grey/ silver is so in! Wish I could attach a photo!

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Vicki

I looked at your photo Bobbie and you look absolutely gorgeous… I would post it here if I could.. doesn’t allow… but your hair is fantastic.. :)

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Barbara

I was a dark brunette with natural red lights from my mother and her ancestors but, when my hair started going gray. I went with hi-lights. In the last 10 years, I have white blonde hi-lights from my gray hair with a shade or two darker blonde/brown in the rest. We no longer have to add hi-lights but my hair still has natural dark hair mixed in. Every month we color my roots but have added no other color period for about 5 years. I appear to be a dark blonde with whiter hi-lights mixed in. I leave my length at about shoulder length, it’s more flattering on me as I’m thin and 5’8″ tall. I wash it, comb it out and that’s all I do. I never blow it, straighten it, or curl it. It’s very natural with cowlicks causing occasional waves. It’s simple, goes up in a ponytail on our hot humid days in Texas but otherwise hangs as it pleases. I’m happy with it even though it took many years to adjust not being a brunette.

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Judy Bales

What a timely subject, Vicki! My hair has been colored for years – blonde with highlights. My natural color is a drab brown with gray, especially prominent at the temples and hairline above forehead. The roots grow back so quickly after color treatments, and I am tired of dealing with it. My hair is chin length and layered. Not sure if ready to take the plunge to stop coloring, but I’m getting close! Thanks for your honesty and encouragement, as well as for all the ladies who commented on your blog!

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Fran

What a wonderful post, Vicki! I just went cold turkey about two years ago and sure, you get some days like you mentIoned that you look in the mirror and just see “old”- wonder what the heck was I thinking and want to run to the nearest salon. That is usually when I am having a “fat, blech, hate this ageing thing, skin’s not cooperating” kind of day. So, I now know to ignore those negative feelings when they arise as best I can (and acknowledge that ego is doing all the negative talk at that moment) and just keep going because on the flip side there are those days that I look in the mirror and go, ” okay, not too shabby, today and loving the hair!” I have dark brown hair and my hair is actually turning white – not gray. Have loads of whites on my temples and even a couple that look blondish! but I like them. I see them as my own version of light highlights! I know I am strange. Anyway, as for length, a good stylist would be able to recommend the best cut for one’s own face shape and taking into account one’s lifestyle and texture of hair. While some can sport a pixie cut so well, others may not. Over the years I have sported every style imaginable, but have come to realize which one actually works for me. I personally like shoulder length on me with long layers on top, side part and “feathered” layers on sides. You have the luxury to wear it down or pin it up – quite versatile length. I love to see women who are so confident and totally embracing their own ageing process and not covering it up like it is shameful to expose reality. It sets an example for the rest of us and shows us that we do not have to pretend that we don’t have white hair or that we are indeed ageing which is life’s natural process. It would take a lot of pressure off young girls if we showed them that we don’t have to keep polluting our bodies in order to look forever young – that we should learn to accept and love every change that occurs- when it occurs. Women of substance, Rock! Just my 2cents.

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Denice Loritsch

It may be just me, but when a woman with long grey hair is seen from the back and and then turns to reveal very lined facial tone, it seems off-putting. A shorter bob on grey hair does a better job of framing a lined face. I, too, have a lined face and try to wear lipstick and a lined smile as often as I can.

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Mumbai

With grey I think a middle length (bob) is a well choise. Too long looks not
good from a certain age on and too short looks too staid.

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Amy Howell

Hi Vicki,

First let me say that as a self-professed francophile, I adore your blog, and love the changes you have made in recent years. I have your books and admire you aesthetic and style.
For Christmas this past year, a dear darling friend gave me/us a trip to London and Paris! We are leaving New York on May 16th. Honestly Vicki, I thought I would never get there. It’s a dream come true! Since we are in each city for about only 3 to 4 days each, are there things that we absolutely must see and do? I would love your recommendations.
And as far as the grey goes, I think you would be beautiful with either shade. Try the grey and if you don’t love it, you can always go back to blonde. I know that for me, things look great on other people, but don’t always feel authentic for me.
Keep the blog going!!!

Best Regards,

Amy Howell

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Jenny Barton

I started going grey in my late thirties, having been basic British mouse from birth. However, like the last contributor, I started to have blonde highlights, and continued with that look until I was 60, at which point I decided the natural highlights had overtaken the blonde, and stopped. I’ve never regretted it. I had a chin length bob for years and years but have let it grow now until it just brushes my shoulders, short enough to keep in good condition, but long enough to put up if I’m gardening, at a yoga class, or anywhere it gets in the way. I love the way I can light up my face now with vivid lipstick and strong colours I felt didn’t look so good with honey blonde, so empowering after years of a black business suit.

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Vicki

I had that bob too Jenny bit now much prefer a longer length on myself… I think you are right… I wear much more vivid shaded on the lips now… it might have something to do with the grey.. it also might be because a certain age brings a certain confidence… :)

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audrey friedman

Your hair looks fabulous and I do think it is because you were always fair headed. Some shades of grey are not nearly as pretty as yours especially if your hair was very dark brown.
Stay as pretty as you are.
Love…….

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Amanda

Hi Vicki. My hair turned white very quickly in my early forties (I turned 60 last year) and I made the decision then to embrace the grey. I am lucky that it is all over silver/white, as I was always fair. I keep it around jaw length, give or take, as I find it more flattering and like you, I have never been a short hair girl. One of my friends, however, has lovely pepper and salt hair, very thick, and she keeps it short to stunning effect. I think the secret is to go with what suits you and your hair, not to be swayed by what anyone else does or says, and if you feel happiest with coloured hair then go for it and don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise! Having said that, I am frequently asked what hair colour I use! There is no one solution to going grey, but I have never regretted my decision to go silver. It’s part of me now. And my husband loves it!

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Vicki

Always it is best to wear what suits and what feels good… confidence in ourselves makes everything better… :)

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Lesley

I’m growing increasingly concerned about what’s in the dye (and bleach/highlights) and have started using myhairprint, following their instructions for transitioning. It targets the natural pigment that’s missing in the incoming gray hair, to restore the true color. I’ve used it once so far, and while it doesn’t have the same coverage as chemical dye, I plan to continue, to see how my hair takes it over time. Beyond color, I’ve had short Princess Diana style which was great when kids were young, but living in a very humid climate for awhile was torture, so I grew it all out (the bangs!) so I could pull it up and back. I like the movement from longer hair, but not the maintenance so I keep it at shoulder length now and the occasional swipe from the flatiron helps control the volume and style. As my hair color ‘evolves’ and if I decide to stop the color train, I’d show my hairstylist pictures of Diane Keaton, Helen Mirren, and Blythe Danner. They’ve had those styles for years, and they’ve done pretty well!

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Anne

Can I count on you to deal with other hair issues? Like the moustache? My doctor (and then a dermatologist) said that lasering wouldn’t work because the hairs were mostly white and lasers target the pigment in order to work. And that even so, they don’t work for long. The dermatologist suggested tweezing. But as the eyesight goes (it’s hell to get old), that is difficult, too. Don’t want to become a mustachioed old lady. I used to shave my mom (yes, around 85, 90 you get a beard as well, though I’ve noticed it on younger women). Vicki, you have experts to appeal to. I can’t go up to one of these ladies and say, “Hey, you used to have quite a lot of facial hair and now you don’t. Can you tell me what you did?” Please, from the experts, what are the options and how long do they last?
On the other hand, there’s a woman I see from time to time who has a full-out mustache. Poor thing. She doesn’t wear glasses, so I assume she knows. I guess she decided to assume the situation.

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Joni webb

gray hair is so in with the younger set. blonde gray. my daughter tried to get it right and gave up. I love a gorgeous head of gray hair.

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Karena

Vicki I am in the midst of transitioning to silver and I love it! Yes there are “those days!”
It is an empowering feeling for me though and I do applaud any woman who makes the decision!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

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Roe A

I don’t believe this. I am grappling with this again this month, I cannot decide what to do. Thank you so much, reading this has helped. I have always colored it since I was 14. Now, at 63, I am going to cut in a bob, let it grow out and see what happens. Wish me luck!!! If I don’t like it, like someone said above, I can always go and highlight it blonde again…

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LA contessa

I just cut mine!
Everyone seems to like it BUT MY FAMILY!GO FIGURE……..
LOVE JAMIE LEE CURTIS…………..but my fat face cannot go that short…….the other TOO LONG.
YOU are spot on if you are in between!
XX

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Minor

After a goodly number of years using colors to not admit gray hair was on my head– I gave up, along with my hairdresser, refusing to do anymore. She was so right! It is a silver gray; am so pleased with it and have let it grow three inches below my shoulders which allows such a fun variety of hairstyles. ps–I am 81 yrs of age.

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Shaz

I have been “lurking” for a while and decided to “pop on over” and say hi to you. No, at 52, still not ready to go grey yet – I’m dark, and you are right, a bit more tricky to grey grey than if you are blonde going grey. However, I have decided to cut 10cm off, to above my shoulders, grow out my fridge and not straighten my hair anymore. I have a short, messy bob and feel (and I think look) 10 years younger. Why I didn’t do it years ago is beyond me. Your blog is looking fabulous by the way. Nice to finally “catch up” again. x

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jennifer

I was 39 when I read your article about Gray hair and Parisian women. I took the plunge, stopped dying and here I am 41 ( on Friday) and have grey hair. I am lucky ( I am told) that I have the grey that ” everyone wishes for” I have been stopped by strangers , very often I might add, and told how great my hair looks. I have it ” mid length choppy bob” and I love it. I tell everyone who asks how you inspired me. I was tempted throughout the precess of dye, but so glad I stuck to it!!! I get my hair cut every 5-6 weeks, work on maintenance instead of colouring.

thanks so much!! You can do it!!

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Marta

Mdme. Archer, I am turning 40 this year and thankful to God for living this long when so many women don’t reach this age. So, I have embraced my gray but I am more particular with the products I use – recently upgrading to Leonor Greyl to give my tresses some much needed tenderness. Overall, I am thankful for my gray, for good skin (thanks to a million potions and lotions and my mother!) and the joy that comes from my children, family and getting older.

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Rebecca Hively

Never been an issue albeit mine has been naturally turning gray for a number of years now. It has a blend of silver, light dirty dishwater blonde etc. but since I have NEVER colored my hair, everyone seems to think I highlight it! lol

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LA CONTESSA

I canNOT BELIEVE IT has been THREE YEARS…………….
I can recall like YESTERDAY when you started talking about it!
NO, going back for me either………………I actually LOVE the STREAKS it gives me.
XX

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Mimi Gregor

Nup… I haven’t changed my stance. I still think that grey hair makes a person look older than need be. Since there is a way to combat this (by coloring one’s hair), then why not? It needn’t involve a large expenditure of money. I find home coloring perfectly fine, but then, I’m not going blonde. I find that the parts of my hair that are actually white provide highlights, while the parts of my hair that haven’t turned yet provide lowlights. Some might say, why is looking younger necessarily better than looking one’s age. In our society, it just IS. And frankly, when I see grey roots in the mirror, I get horribly depressed until I reach for the bottle (dye bottle or rye bottle — one or the other.) In my mind, age and decrepitude go hand-in-hand, so I will continue to dye until I can no longer deceive myself. Probably even longer than that, actually.

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Adele Miller

Love, love, love my short and funky silvery gray hair! I’ve always had short hair, so the question of length was never a factor for me. Now that I’m 60, though, I’m toying with the idea of adding in some streaks of a bright color (purple, turquoise or fuschia) just to add a little sass and something different for the winter. With short hair and non-permanent color, I figure it’s pretty low risk.

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LindaH

So I have stopped doing the darker base and have let that go grey/white. I still have some blonde left but haven’t colored in 6 months. I want to let it go all grey/white. I do have a gloss put on my hair which helps tame the frizz that grey hair brings and it adds shine. I love it. No one can tell I’m letting my hair go grey as I’ve been blonde all my life. I have cut my hair shorter from just below my shoulders to above my shoulders. About 3″. I like my shorter hair so much better as I can still pull it up or in a pony any time. I also had bangs and have let them grow out too. I loved having the bangs, it was time to change it up. I am very satisfied with my hair length and color. I have had no issues transitioning to grey.

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Cindy

I thought I was putting in a temporary stain a number of years ago only to find out it was regular hair dye and then felt I had to maintain it so that the greys didn’t show. My hair grows quickly so I had a constant grey line on the part, it was the longest year of my life! Since then I have let it go grey naturally and I get so many compliments from people, even people on the street who say they wish they had hair like mine. I tell them they probably already do but they just don’t know it because it is covered up with colour.
I am all for doing whatever it takes to make one feel good and like they are presenting their best selves to the world, but I am far too lazy and I don’t like the thought of all the chemicals being applied to my scalp. Having said that, it is crucial to have a really great cut and to maintain it well, I can go from looking great to looking like a sheepdog overnight if I’m not careful :-(
As for growing old, I think of birthdays as a victory lap where I get to celebrate another year of being happy and healthy and to think back on what I have accomplished in the year. My friends are somewhat bemused when I shout Tah Dah, I’m not dead yet when I blow out my birthday candles. To me, age is a state of mind.

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Sari Hotchkiss

I reached a point where I realized I wasn’t fooling anyone. I have always found it a little odd to see youthful colored hair on someone well past youth. I also realized that if I didn’t go grey, I might miss something wonderful, namely the glittering silver that now streaks through my hair. I get more compliments on my color now than ever. When it goes white, maybe then I will opt for obvious color, say pink ala Zhandra Rhodes. At least that has a certain honesty about it.

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Jenny Barton

My grey hair is somewhere between Jamie Lee Curtis and Judi Dench. I started seeing grey hairs in my thirties and instantly turned my basic British mouse into a honey blonde bob, and stayed that way until my mid-sixties. I chopped it in July 2015, when the Provence heat finally got the better of me, and I’ve never regretted it – I used to scrape it all up into a slide on top of my head, now I look the same but without the hassle. A great cut, a quick blast from the hairdryer, a smear of fixing wax, and I’m set. My grey allows me to wear lipsticks and colours I haven’t used before, so liberating. And I love Marta’s comment about embracing the grey – it may mean the end of youth, but it also means I’ve had the privilege of living long – 69.

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Sophia

I have been thinking about the whole going grey thing for a while now. Early on I decided I wouldn’t dye my hair unless I could maintain it. That means no landing area for an A380 on my head. So far I have managed but its getting harder and harder. So I started seriously thinking about “GOING GREY” . Your article and subsequent responses are swaying me to do so sooner rather than later. No more fighting it. Thank you ladies.

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Ardith

With all respect to Sari and her impression of hair color on older persons, I am not in the least ready to dive headlong into what is likely to be white hair…not silver, not salt and pepper, not some glorious shade in between…just an uninteresting white. That would not suit what I believe to be my personality. Frankly, I am envious of what so many of you here have discovered underneath previous hair coloring. You are all indeed the bold and the beautiful, and you have my admiration.

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Kathleen Howard

Letting my hair go natural is the most freeing experience of my life. I bought into the whole summer blonde experience at 16 and had been dying my hair until about 10 years ago when I finally realized that nature truly has it right! I love my grey hair.

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Fran Liddy

I let my hair go grey in my 40s (now 65) as I found it was too difficult to keep colouring dark hair and I believe a very dark colour is not flattering as you get older. I think it is much easier for blondes to keep their colour without the ‘aged’ look. I did for awhile try reverse streaking but did not like the way the colour went to brown as it faded. So I decided ageing gracefully was the best way forward!!!

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Jay

Food for thought in addition to the many good thoughts here. One of the things that really enhances the grey look is whit(er) teeth… a small but worthwhile investment. Can shave five years off.

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Judy Domingues

I am 71, blond, and very fair skinned. I have done highlights in my hair since I was in college. My mother never colored her hair and she had very ugly gray hair that was not attractive, so needless to say I am still coloring my hair. I am a very suffocated dresser, will never go out of the house without make-up and will keep coloring my hair for life. I see women who have let their hair grow grey who are younger than I am and because of their grey they look older than myself. A few women I know look good with grey hair but most do not. I was at Neiman Marcus buying make-up recently and got a very nice compliment from the girl helping me. She could not believe that I am 71, but she said that I have taken really good care of my skin. I do not go out in the sun very much and I put sunscreen on daily because I live in the south close to Houston. So, I will never join the grey club by choice.

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