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My 11 Month Cold Turkey Gray Hair Transition Progress Report

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What is it like to go 11 months without dyeing your hair, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

It is freaking FANTASTIC!

Talk about freedom! It feels like a weight has come off of my shoulders. I feel light as a feather. A peacock feather, not a pigeon feather. (What can I say? I’m fancy!)

Why does ditching the dye make me feel so free?

The pressure to color my hair, to hide my age and to fit in with my peers is GONE. I used to feel so awkward if my roots were showing. Now, I proudly display my 6″ of gray roots and feel great about it.

I have more TIME. No more wasting 2-3 hours on a Saturday morning in a salon, away from my family and friends.

I have more MONEY. OK, I actually don’t have more money, since I’ve been frittering it away on lipstick and new clothing in gray-friendly colors… But if I stopped buying those things, I would!

It is FUN! Do you know how fun it is to look into the mirror and see shiny silver hair?

It’s like being in one of those comic books where someone gets hit with a bolt of lightning and suddenly has superpowers. But instead of getting superpowers, I got silver hair. Yay!

I posted my current gray hair routine, for those of you who are curious. It hasn’t changed much over the past 11 months, as I’m pretty happy with it.

There’s just one thing bugging me right now…

Which might be a surprise to you, since I’ve been consistently positive since I started this journey. I haven’t looked back once and I have NO regrets.

So let me be clear that what I’m going to complain about is simply a minor annoyance.

It’s the orange tones in my brassy brunette dyed hair.

I’m fine with my brassy blorange hair most of the time. It hasn’t bothered me at all until recently.

But let’s face it, the more the brunette dye fades, the oranger it gets.

Is oranger a word? OK, let’s just say my resemblance to an orange is growing greater by the day.

Will I cut my brassy brown ends off?

I’ve been resisting cutting my hair (except for the occasional trim), for reasons you can find out about in this post.

I like the length and I don’t want to end the transition yet. I like the reverse ombre, otherwise known as om-gray.

But I just found out that Aveda Salons are gray-friendly, so I booked an appointment and will get a trim in two weeks. I might have her cut some layers in to remove some of the orange!

I have nothing against gray blending or highlights/lowlights. I’ve seen some posts where women who go that route feel worried that they are somehow cheating.

Gals, you have to go gray in whatever way works best for you!

Since I’ve decided to go gray cold turkey, I’ve had to deal with the growout by trying different products to combat the orange, brassy tones.

Unfortunately, blue shampoo doesn’t seem to help as much now that my hair has gotten oranger over time.

So, I decided to try yet another product to reduce the brassiness. Watch below to see what happened!

I had better luck with Overtone Daily Conditioner in Extreme Silver – a friend gave me a sample, and it temporarily helped with the orange brassy tones:

Using a daily conditioner has helped correct my brassy brown ends while I transition to full gray

I might experiment some more, or I might just leave it alone. I love the silver coming in, and the oranges tones don’t drive me COMPLETELY crazy. We’ll see…

If you want to see my transitioning-to-gray hair in action, here is a short video:

Crazy Gray Eyebrows

I’m getting more gray hairs in my eyebrows; are you? They’re not the same texture as the gray hairs on my head, which are smooth.

These gray hairs are coarse, wiry and have completely changed the shape of my eyebrows.

Have you ever seen a Mad Scientist? If not, just stop by my house and I’ll greet you at the door and then you can say you’ve seen one!

I was hoping to do a video about how to fix this problem, but I don’t have enough manual dexterity to talk AND fix my eyebrows at the same time, so let me just tell you what I’m doing to combat the crazy eyebrows:

I bought this eyebrow kit – it includes a brow brush and special curved scissors. It’s easy to use.

If you need tips on how to use it, Canela’s video has great tips. Start at 1:45 to learn how to properly trim your eyebrows using the brush and scissors.

She also recommends this eyebrow razor:

These eyebrow razors have been a godsend in helping to keep my eyebrows maintained

Did you know that eyebrow razors were a thing? I had no idea!

I might buy one, although I am still trying to recover from the summer of 1981 when I thought it was a good idea to shave my eyebrows instead of plucking them.

I don’t have a photo (thank goodness) but let me tell you, it was not a good look.

The silver hair in my eyebrows is making them a little lighter than I would like, so I use Benefit Gimme Brow to tint them a little. Some people prefer brow powder, but the Gimme Brow is easy to use (like mascara) and works pretty well!

Even when my eyebrows become completely silver, I will most likely continue to keep them darker, how about you?

OK, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope these updates are helpful to you. Let me know in the comments!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our Silver Revolution!  And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Pinterest Feed for more gray hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!

Check out my Amazon Shop for all your gray hair needs!

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Celebrating One Year of Ditching the Dye!

My 10 Month Gray Hair Transition Progress Report

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My 8 Month Gray Hair Transition Report

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  1. Colleen DeGregorio says:

    Hello Katie,

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I am currently growing my hair out. Last time I had colored it was January. Hoping to have the patience to stick it out. I have wanted to do this for quite a while. I am just tired of coloring and seeing my gray roots a week later. Going to be off of work May and June so this is helping with my decision to do it. Hopefully by August it will look like I am growing my gray out and not just taking care of my hair. Staying home because of the social distancing has made it easier to grow it out since not going out much.

  2. Angela Hagood says:

    Katie I admire you! I’m not that brave. (and my hair is cut in a pixie style, not a length that requires one year of growing out.) When my gray shows, it isn’t that gorgeous steel gray color. It looks a yellow/gray color. ? I read your post about using blue shampoo and I think I’ll try that. Your transition is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us that long for that gray mane or have aged into it naturally but refuse to hand over the hair dye cold turkey.

  3. Hi Katie! I stopped coloring my hair in late March – my friends and family keep saying “as long as there is color in a bottle I’m coloring”. I think that’s great..for them!! It’s nice to see that I have found ladies who actually feel the opposite!

  4. Hi! I’m glad to have found your blog through Pinterest! I’m 41 yrs old and my gray hairs are coming in strong around my forehead in my brownish-black hair! I’ve never been into dye and am very low maintenance when it comes to beauty products. My question is will my hair eventually have the ombre-type line or is that just because you used to dye your hair? Or, will it just depend how fast/slow the grays come in? I’m usually happy to unite with the women of the world who go gray naturally (ha!), but I do get afraid at times! Thank you for your help!! 🙂

    1. Hi, Sara: I don’t think you’ll have that ombre-type line, since you never dyed. You have it made! 🙂 It should blend in very nicely. You might be surprised how much you like your gray hair – I almost crash my car because I’m admiring my hair in the mirror all the time now! Good luck!

  5. I think you should pull your hair back (like in one of your photos above ) and you won’t even notice the brassiness. I am so glad I found your blog.I went full on gray as soon as I retired and I love it, but I have a pixie haircut.

    1. You’re right, Gigi 🙂 – I have been pulling it up a little more often lately, for that exact reason! I’m so glad you are having a great time with your gray!

  6. Great info Katie

    My eyebrows are getting crazy too. Like I got an electric shock and it only affects the grey ones. So bizarre!!! Not sure I’d go near my brows with a razor…knowing me, I’d slip and then a trip to the tattoo artist would become necessary

    1. Hi, Michele – you and me both, LOL. I’d probably end up looking like one of those 1920s dames with shaved eyebrows (penciled in). Yikes!

  7. Hi Katie,
    Thanks for being such a great inspiration. Did you use the purple shampoo? Does it really help with the orange color? Is it harsh on the hair, like bleaching?
    Love you silvers.

    1. Hi, Mona – Purple shampoo is for blondes and blue shampoo is for brunettes (this post explains all about it), so I used blue shampoo. It can be a little harsh (definitely nowhere near as harsh as bleaching), so I always deep condition afterward. I have found that it doesn’t work as well for me now that my hair is getting SO orange! Still trying to find a solution. Thanks for the compliment 🙂

  8. This is so helpful! I’m six months into growing out my natural colour (dirty blonde with grey) after pale blonde highlights for years. They brassiness of the dyed hair is driving me crazy! I look forward to following your progress.

    1. Thanks! I’m so glad it’s helpful for you! Remember, blonde brassiness is better served with purple instead of blue shampoos, etc., as purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel. I’m going to be an article about blonde soon. (Not being blonde, I’m having to dig a little harder for my information, LOL).

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