27 Apr 2020

The “At-Home” Diaries: Wearing The Gray

The "At-Home' Diaries: Wearing The Gray on vickiarcher.com

Have you succumbed?
To the natural? The silver? The gray? It is one big hair dare.

And right about now I think many women are facing this dilemma. Will I? Won’t I? The debate is rigorous; some of us adore gray hair, find it not only attractive but also liberating. Others detest it with such passion and feel it is ageing beyond belief. I agree to disagree. It wasn’t altogether an easy transition for me, easier than it is for women with very dark hair, but challenging enough.

I started the process around four years ago and not because I wanted to be silver but because the colouring was becoming increasingly difficult. Blonde was my comfort zone – for many a decade – and highlights were an easy fix and camouflaged the wayward grays for many years. It changed. The gray hairs became increasingly difficult to cover and the colour rather than being a pretty blonde was turning brassy and orange. Taking the permanent tint route plus highlights would have meant more time in the hairdresser and as my hair is super fast to grow, it would have been far too frequent. My last attempt at highlights was not pretty so I decided to give my hair a break before it did, literally. That was my intention, a break. Take a month or two, see how it looked and let it go.

I waited a month and then another and then another. The greys were coming in spasmodically and the nasty “golden” ends clipped off regularly. The hair didn’t look too bad as it has always been a melange of fair colours. As my hair grew I stayed firm and left it; cutting it more and more often. There was a moment around 4 months into the process when I decided to see it through.

That was extremely tough.

The gray journey is one fraught with emotion. I don’t believe it is easy because turning silver is about so much more than hair. There are days when it is confronting, upsetting and impossible; there are others when allowing gray into life is the best feeling in the world. I never gave in but I wanted to, many times. So, so badly. Self-confidence can become very fragile when our appearance changes and hair colour is no different. It’s only been in the last year where I have fully accepted where I am at with it. And now, it’s ok and I’m ok.

If you are transitioning from blonde or brunette to grey in normal times I would have suggested taking the time. It’s easier to stop tinting, retain the highlights and go fairer over time with gray as an ultimate goal. Regular haircuts and accessories – like headbands – really help. If it’s longer, tying it back or wearing it up was how I spent much of my time. Right now, unless you are an excellent at-home hairdresser, all that is unavailable. I am not sure about do-it-yourself hair dye; if you are in the anti-gray camp I can only say be brave and good luck.

Gray hair doesn’t have to cramp your style or mean we dress in a dowdy manner; my love of fashion has never changed. I dress with a new eye for the colours that work with my hair and embrace those I haven’t been able to enjoy in the past. Every decade brings changes to how we see ourselves and changing hair colour is simply another one.

One way to maintain the momentum and persist with this colour change is to follow other like-minded women who have made the break. Cindy, Beth and Sandra are gorgeous women who wear silver with great style. We all wear it in our own way and that is what is so fabulous about this freedom; it’s ours and we own it. We are lucky we have made the switch so management of our gray is less difficult in these times of isolation but we all still agree, we have to look after it. Nothing comes easy, Right? 

The "At-Home' Diaries: Wearing The Gray on vickiarcher.com

How to look after the gray?

No regular haircuts – silently screaming – understanding there are greater worries right now.

No professional blow dry – help, my true can’t-live without – ok I can and I am. How much longer ;)

BUT and it’s a big one for now. There are products to manage and care for our hair and especially if you are growing in the gray.

I wash once or twice a week with a good shampoo, use a conditioning oil and mask once a month for an at-home treatment, dry shampoo for volume in-between and a fine hair spray to hold down any fly away hairs after blow-drying. I don’t use silver shampoo very often, as it tends to be too purple for my gray; if your gray is on the beige-ier side, it is brilliant. Add in one paddle brush, a strong round brush in a couple of sizes and on my wish list, the Dyson hairdryer to dry it into shape.

I join Cindy who writes Rough Luxe Lifetyle, Sandra at Apart From My Art and Beth with Style At A Certain Age in this conversation today and I can’t wait to read what they have to say.

We all have a penchant for silver. xv


Wearing The Gray

leonor greyl shampooing au miel ||  leonor greyl huile ||  masque fleurs de jasmin ||  oribe gold spray  ||  dyson hairdryer  ||  aveda paddle

this feature contains affiliate links

VA In Your Inbox

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com

In This Post:




Good morning Vicki! It’s so interesting; during this lock down and working from home, there is one thing that is always on my mind as I work during the week and take regular breaks to do some vigorous dancing, clean the house on the weekend and look out the window wondering when the weather will change so I can start gardening:


When I get up to go the bathroom, I look at my hair. In the morning, I look to see how much its grown. When I shower and dry my hair outside in the gentle breeze, I could swear it’s looking longer every time.

Our hair is that constant fashion statement that we can’t put away in a wardrobe or in a drawer! I’ve learned so much about myself and how I relate to my hair during this “pause.” I am hoping that when we are able, to go and get that much needed trim that I’m sure will give my hair the bounce it once had, even after my last trim in November!

I’m loving the grays that are coming in and though choices are limited, I did noticed on a Zoom call I had the other day that putting on my gold hoops and red lips made all the difference.


They always make the difference, Anita :) Okay… going in to apply lipstick and add earrings… Thank you!


I am considering growing in my grey Vicki BUT it will be very hard as my hair is colored (and cut) every 5 weeks to a fairly deep reddish brunette shade. . . . . . which in all honesty I do love! I now have about an inch of grey however it’s not too bad because I’m no longer blowing my hair out into my ‘signature’ straight chin length bob with bangs!!!! Yep, am just letting it dry naturally with a little scrunching – think ‘beachy waves’ – and now find I have wavy hair which I like. My hair is falling out less – had my thyroid removed three years ago which has caused some hair loss – now seems in much better condition without heat and straightening. My bangs are now off to the side and blending in with the length and I like the change so will definitely not be tempted to cut them – and I’ve had bangs my entire life!
So, I’m not 100% sure I can go silver – it will be a long process and may involve some very short styles to get there – but I’ll give it my best shot!
I enjoyed ‘visiting’ your ladies – all, like you, so elegant in their silver tresses.
Stay well, be safe.
Mary –


Mary… your hair sounds very pretty.
I can only say, yes… it’s a hard transition but persevere. You will be so pleased in the long run. You are doing all the right things to get there and if your hair is falling out less that is a wonderful result.
Every time you feel tempted to go back… look at all the fabulous images of silver-haired women ( I have plenty here) … it kept me going :)
Well done! Don’t give up…


First of all, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your journey. your hair is absolutely gorgeous. I was very anxious to read your product recommendations. I have a feeling our hair is similar in texture. I am certainly going to try the Leonor Greyl product line. I have never had good luck with the dry shampoos but I know so many swear by them. I knew it would be fun to hear everyone’s recommendations. FYI love that Aveda paddle brush!


Cindy, I love Leonor Greyl.. I use many of their shampoos and treatments and have done for nearly 20 years. They really give control and volume… two things I like even though my hair is thick and inclined to the wavy/fizz.
I use the dry shampoo sparingly… but it does add volume and give an extra day or two if you need between shampoos…
It was fun to write together xx


wow, your hair makes me envious. And the hairslide is so beautiful to the grey.
My hair get worse and worse during the last weeks. I urgently need colour and cut.


in contrast to yours which is like a curtain mine would be a pigtail…..grrrr


I like what you said about going grey is so much MORE about other things too!
Well, I have started and I like what I have so far but have noticed I have NO MORE BODY!Any suggestions for me?Looks like your hair is still THICK with TONS of BODY!
I have ordered a MESSY BUN to see what I can do with THAT!
Time is zipping by……….XX


Hello Elizabeth,
Beware of conditioner and use sparingly, and especially avoid the roots of the hair. Use a very light shampoo.. many really weigh the hair down. Sometimes I use baby shampoo to really clarify and clean the hair… that is great to restore volume. And lastly, dry upwards and away from the scalp with your blow dry… See how you go…. velcro rollers on top can add to volume also…


Hi Vickie,
Your post when you originally began the journey to grey inspired me and I’ve been wanting to give it a go. This forced confinement would have been the perfect opportunity as I didn’t want to transition my long dark tresses while still working and meeting customers. Alas, I caved when I felt it necessary to support my hair dresser and buy an at home kit that would provide her with some income. My husband is actually all for it which is important as I want to always be beautiful at least in his eyes. My daughters-in-law, however, plead for me not to, saying it will age me dramatically. As for myself, (I’m 56) like many women I occasionally pine for my youth yet want to step boldly and attractively into my mature self. Thanks for sharing your perspective. It’s comforting to know others have that same battle in their head.


It’s each to his own and when you are ready, you will know… it’snot your time yet :)

Sandra Sallin - Apart From My Art

I’m going to start with the first vision of your blog.What great graphics. Love those blocks of hair shots!! I’m thrilled to be in this group with you and the other grey ladies. What fun. I’ve wanted to try those Leonor Grey products and now you’ve given me the push. Your hair texture is divine. Mine is like a cotton candy. Not good at all. It needs to be told whose boss. Love your creative sense of style and taste. You’re a delight.


Vicki just finding your blog through Cindy. Your hair and style is gorgeous. Love all the tips and advice here about doing this. I find it interesting each woman’s color is unique to them. Your hair makes me want to try it someday as it’s so stylish and chic. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. Kim


Welcome, Kim… and thank you for joining…
You will know when the time is right :)


So happy you’re here with Cindy and Sandy. I love them both so much. Grey hair looks great on other women, but I see my grandmother looking back at me in the mirror… especially this week as my roots are growing out. I’m tempted to mix a paste of dirt and water and spread mud on my roots! xoxox, Brenda


While I am not quite ready to pull the trigger on the grey thing, I have realized after 20+ years of every 4 weeks of cutting and professional coloring my hair, it is not at all the priority it once was when I was working. I think my hair will probably be more white than a blend of lovely grey colors. I have colored my roots a lighter color and the grey now looks like highlights and I am really liking it. I added up the amount of money I have spent on the professional stuff in the last 20 years and it is really outrageous. I figure that when I do decide to go completely grey I will start with a respite of about 6-8 weeks without any coloring – starting in the fall of the year – good cuts every few weeks throughout the winter months when I am not out and about as. much. I will invest in more head bands and wraps, and a few nice winter hats – hopefully, by April or May it will be pretty close – my hair is thick and healthy and grows quickly – probably a short bob at that time. We got a laugh the other day – my daughter suggested buying a wig – lots of good ones out there – and wear it until the transition is complete!


She’s a smart girl :)
Your plan sounds ideal, Lyn… and it’s great timing. I don not dare add up what I have spent on my hair… that would be far too much to deal with ;)


Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital