18 Mar 2019

The Grey Diaries: How To Grow Those Longer Locks

If you want longer Locks, how do you get There?

Growing hair longer, especially when the decision has been made to embrace the silver, is not as simple as it sounds. It is often accompanied by a “growing out” phase of colour and an emotional adjustment towards the grey. However brave and self-confident we are, leaving our hair well alone is not the habit of most females.

I have had curly/wavy hair all my life. Was I ever happy with that? Absolutely not and have tortured my hair straight for decades. Plus there has been colour, every colour and lots of it so staying natural for the last few years has been a total revelation. I miss the chat with the colourist and the 3 hours of non-stop gossip magazine reading but I don’t regret my change of heart. Not anymore. I did feel “on and off” about going grey while it grew out but now I have willingly accepted it.

As well as leaving the silver to do its own thing I have also let my hair grow.

My hair is now longer than I have ever worn it. I can’t say I have found the perfect length; maybe too long or maybe I need another inch. I am still deciding. I felt the contrast and the unexpected nature of colour against a longer length was a strong counterbalance to my expectations of grey. Memories of short and unattractive grey heads made me nervous and less inclined to accept my new shade of living.

With highlights – my favourites were a creamy blonde – I had no trouble wearing it short or mid-length. My haircut of choice was a very sharp bob on or just under the jawline. There were the above shoulder length layers and the just on forays; the fringe was the only chop I left alone.

Once the grey became a way of life the length stayed and stayed. Would a psychologist have a field day with this? Perhaps. There are days when the blow-dry works and the cut is fresh I love it and there are days when the ponytail stays up for too long and I’m doubtful.

Hair for us is a work in progress.

How to grow our longer locks?

Growing our hair longer, whatever the colour, is simply not as easy as “let it go”.

It can look unkempt, messy and if grey is your stage, not the best idea. Keep trimming at least every 6 weeks and apart from keeping the hair looking better, a cut provides moral support when the temptation to give in is strongest.

Length requires regular cutting, good conditioning and patience.

We have to give it up to get the final length we want. Some hairdressers will say let it go and wait, I disagree. Taking a little of the length every month makes the growing period slower but the end result is much better. The hair will be in good condition and fall better.

When in doubt, sleep on it.

I have those days when I want to chop it all off. I am impulsive like that but I have taught myself to wait for 24hours and reassess. Usually, I book in for a trim because that is all I really want.

Tie or pin it up.

When the hair is at the “scrappy” length, tie it back, slick it down or pin it away. When it starts to become annoying is when we give in and cut.

Lose a layer.

Negotiating a layered cut to a longer length means chopping off one layer at a time. don’t let the hairdresser talk the joys of high layers – they only need to grow back. Most layers look best starting around the jawline unless you are fringed and fabulous.

Patience is a virtue.

Growing our hair is a task it does require patience and you have to want it.

Sometimes having longer locks makes no sense to me as most of my life I wear it tied up or in a clip.

For now, it’s working, but I never like to say never. xv

The Grey Diaries: One Of Each Please

vince sleeveless midi  ||  vince long sleeve midi  ||  lafayette 148 cotton shirtdress  ||  lafayette 148 cashmere sweater dress

this feature contains affiliate links


VA In Your Inbox

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com




My knees aren’t great and now my arms are a bit wrinkled. I can not find many tea length dresses with 3/4 sleeves that would suit a young 70 year old. Any ideas?


I will find some for you… stay tuned… it’s not easy, I agree… but it is a great idea for an article… thank you :)


Your long grey hair is fabulous, you look beautiful! I am grey but have a bob as my hair is thinner, I have no regrets being grey.


I love a bob too… and I am sure I will revisit this style when I feel like a change :)


Good morning, Vicki! YOU LOOK AMAZING!!!!!

Wow, you really look fabulous. OK,I’m doing it. I’m finally letting my hair grow long but I’ve had my hair in layers for years and this time, I’m having to exercise great patience to let those layers grow out. I’ve had the length trimmed a few times this winter but it’s those pesky side layers that are hard to work with. I was told a long time ago by a stylist, and see if this rings true for you, but she said that our bangs and the back of our hair grows faster than the sides. I find this in my experience to be true and it’s so annoying! However, I will take your advice and let those sides continue to grow as I manage and maintain the length. Let’s see if one day I can get a good photo of myself to share!

Bhavna Tyagi

You will no longer have to work at getting the curls and waves out!
The weight of longer hair will straighten it out.
One bit of advice though from those Infian ladies with lovely hair, cool it or braid it when it is hot dusty or humid
Your hair will benefit from it!


I really like the way so many French women have “definition” in their grey hair, as opposed to just the flat silver shade. My hairdresser refers to it as “a dash of salt & pepper”. And by the way, your hair looks chic in a pony-tail with a gorgeous barette. I still find more variety with longer locks as opposed to shorter.


I gave up color at 60, vowing never to color again
BUT needed a little oomph. Went to my fabulous hairdstylist and as my head of hair is white,(sunce40) we started putting in streaks of darkergunmetal lowlites. Loving it!


Love this picture of you reading a book on your pretty sofa. Is the book good? And your hair looks gorgeous! I just said to myself this morning that I’m going to let my shorter hair grow an inch for the summer. I like to be able to pull it back.


I have to say that I agree with you that going gray is absolutely liberating and always a work in progress once you get there in terms of how you view the result. I have never, ever regretted going gray but do find the need to re-imagine my cut/style now and again.
I have to say that while a bob is a very good thing for many people, I also see some truly striking and chic very short cuts on women with gray hair. Done the right way, it can be an extremely attractive choice and I think more women should be brave enough to try it. It gets a bad rap!
While I currently have a wavy bob, I frequently go for it and chop it off. Very liberating!


I love a very short cut if the face can handle it… I’ve never been that good with really short hair… so I’m trying the long… next the updo’s will be experimented with.. :)


If it wasn’t for you Vicki I would probably have chopped my long hair off ages ago. Instead, when feeling unsure about how a ‘lady of mature years’ should wear her hair, out come all your posts that I have saved over many years. I love my hair, it is fine but very thick and now strawberry blonde with a few lowlights. Grey does not suit my skin colour nor does the texture of my hair lend itself to grey. The length suits my casual style and I have mastered the ‘messy bun’ and ponytail – all thanks to you. I guess the ultimate compliment is when in Paris, other women compliment my hair. Whatever would we do without our guru of all things fashion, hair and beauty? Thank you Vicki for always re-booting our confidence to wear and be what we want and love!!


Thank you Sue,
I wish I could have stayed a pretty blonde but sadly the greys became difficult to dye and the result was an awful orangey shade.. not pretty. It took some time but I am happy with the grey and amazed at how many people like it… or maybe they don’t… but I’m not swayed too much by other’s opinions.. :) :) We have to do it our own way ..

Charlotte McDonald

Everyone is always kind to women when they decide to let their hair grow grey or white. They compliment the woman to their face but behind their backs say, “she looks 10 years older.” So sorry but longer grey or white hair simply looks “witchy” according to my 10 year old granddaughter . Well colored hair is the most effective way to look younger or fresher.


whoops…did not complete my email above!….continuation.. you are so lucky that your hair suits you up or down! It looks gorgeous in these photos, lucky you!!!! dx

KAAREN Eastwood

Hi Vicki cut my hair really really short and got rid of all the colour . I have been every colour you can think of since I first bleached my hair at 15 Now 67 and am liberated finally and I like it even if no one else does! Love yours too !


Thanks Kaaren… we can’t please all the people all the time .. ha ha… I miss my blonde but it’s a whole new game so I’m happy to play. :)


Your hair looks absolutely gorgeous Vicki. I am going to look back at all of your “grey” posts for inspiration. I am at the inbetween stage – should I colour my long, half natural state brunette/grey hair or cut it off and colour! I am literally driving myself nuts about this.


Why not cut a bit off…leave your hair for a while to consider and then decide. A cut will make you feel fabulous and in the right mindset to decide about your colour :)


Your hair always looks fabulous, Vicki! I’m stuck in the long/short, color/no color dilemma. My hair is naturally dark blonde with added highlights and it was all one-length skimming the tops of my shoulders for many years. My hair is incredibly thick and my face is rather petite so the hair overwhelmed my face. I had it cut short three years ago (Garance’s short cut was my inspo) and still receive compliments on the cut. My problem is that I want to ditch the blonde highlighting and go gray but feel like shortish gray hair will be dowdy on me. The silver is coming in and I’ve stopped highlighting so the color is pretty good. Maybe the problem is really my neck as it is sadly starting to wrinkle although the face is ok. Hair a bit longer (layers?) would at least hide my neck somewhat! Oh well, fun things to think about. At least we have choices! Sorry for the long comment–thanks for the inspiration and letting me voice my thoughts!

Barbie Baker

Hi Vicky. I have decided to go with the long Grey look. Have not grown my hair in forever, having colored it and kept it short for the last 20 years! My hair is thick, the ideal to me is a gorgeous plait over one shoulder! Thank you for the inspiration!!


I love plaits, too.. haven’t figured mine out yet.. but I would love to… :)


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