Silver Hair Transition Stories / March 11, 2019

How Andrea Transformed Herself into a Self-Confident Silver Sister

Andrea is 50 and lives in Maryland. She worked in health care for 17 years, then went back to school and became a Middle/High School History Teacher. She is also an avid photographer.  You can follow her on Instagram at @Andreahdg or Flickr 

** Please Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  I only link to products that I personally like or that have been recommended to me by my silver sisters.  You can see my full policy here.**

I was around 18 or 19 when I noticed my first gray hair and quickly yanked it out.

I started dyeing it not long after the birth of my first daughter, when I was about 25 years old. For a few years it was fun; I’d get beachy highlights in the late spring and summer and then I’d get burgundy or plum highlights for the fall and winter.

With the birth of my second daughter, life got busy and I began to use box dye instead of going to the hairdresser.

Life was crazy for a while with two little ones, and then I began to notice that the hair around my face would turn pink or even purple, so I’d have to go to my stylist to ‘fix’ it.

By my late 30’s, I was having to get it dyed every 3-4 weeks and for the last two weeks of that, I’d use a brown mascara hair wand to cover the white hair that framed my face.  

If I did use a box dye for a month or two, it would need to be fixed by a professional. Apparently my hair had streaks of white that took more time to color than the rest of my head.  

It was no longer any fun.

During this time I also got divorced and really started looking at what made me happy.  Going to the hairdresser (which had at one point been fun) was not something that “brought me Joy”.  

I started fantasizing about not dyeing my hair.   

So, I consulted my dear hairdresser about going gray, and she said that it tends to wash women out and many feel like it ages them.  I got highlights that month, but kept obsessing about it. Finally, the next month, while talking to my boyfriend of two years, he asked why I did it when I really dreaded it each month.

In trying to explain, I realized that my ‘reasons’ for doing it, were not my own, but societal ones.    

My boyfriend said that I was beautiful no matter what color my hair was but that he thought it would be stunning with my olive skin. And I decided right then… no more dye.

As many of us do, I became obsessed with the notion of gray hair.

In 2013/14 there were fewer options available than there are today.  I read Anne Kreamer’s Authentic Self, and began reading Lauren Stein’s blog How Bourgeois.

I realized that I needed to be behind this 100%.  I posted about it on Facebook and told everyone I knew.

When I saw strangers staring at my grow-out, I exclaimed “Isn’t it wonderful? I’m growing out the ugly dye and I’m so excited to see the white grow in.  I LOVE it!”

I realized that there were some women with gorgeous gray hair that I’d never noticed in the past and I went out of my way to compliment their hair and talk to them about mine.

When I was done dyeing it, I was DONE.  

So that made my only options cutting it or just growing it out. Having had short hair in the past, I decided to just grow it out.

I was so enthusiastic and open about it, that I actually received no negative comments in the 22 months it took me to grow it out.

My last dye was July 2014 and by late winter 2016 (Jan/Feb) I’d gotten the last bit of dye cut out while maintaining my length.

For me, this transition was MUCH more then ‘growing out my hair dye’.  For me, this was a chance to be reflective and think about instant gratification, what made me happy, and what frustrated me.

I started looking at natural ways to take care of my hair.  I started cowashing my hair (washing with conditioner) and reading the labels of everything I put on my hair.  

This morphed into reading the labels on EVERYTHING.  

I started eating a paleo diet and started exercising.  I lost about 80 pounds in the 22 months of growing out my hair dye.

My hair, which used to be frizzy and wavy, actually became curlier!


I now use Deva products  to keep my curly hair moisturized and healthy. These are the ones I use:

No Poo Decadence (wash):

One Condition Decadence (conditioner):

Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam:

DevaCurl Light Defining Styling Hair Gel :

Sometimes, I use Wavemaker:

And other times, I use Arc Angel Gel:

I have some white streaks of hair and the purple conditioners that I used at first were really drying and they made my hair more of a dark gray.  

I now use QuickSilverHair Clay once a month to keep my white streaks white.

I also stopped wearing browns which wash me out, but found that I loved wearing bold colors and even gray and white.

My advice to those that are doing this is to just embrace whichever way you choose to do this.  

Do plenty of research of all ways and consider that some of the things that we tell ourselves are self-fulfilling.  

If we say “I’m not patient enough to grow it out” then we won’t be.

If we say “It won’t look good on me,” then others around you will sense our hesitation and worry and will tell you what you want to hear or worse, will insult you, so that you decide to cover up the gray again.  

Remember your body hears what your brain says and thinks.  

So think positive thoughts, tell yourself only positive things and banish all your worries.  And be the best YOU, you can be.

Journal, be introspective and reflective and learn about how strong and determined you can be.

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!

I created a free PDF that will help you learn to take better selfies. You can download it if you sign up for my weekly newsletter.

Click here to get it!

image of ebook

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8 Comments

  1. Andrea Sweinhart

    Can you post a great way to determine the colors to wear after going gray (of course for different skin and eye tones) I’ve yet to see one that was helpful. Thank you!

    13 . Jul . 2019 Reply
  2. Sony

    You have Just convenience
    Me to keep going with my transition into silver hair job well done to you regards Sonja

    17 . Apr . 2019 Reply
  3. Michele

    How Beautiful You Are!!! Love your transition and your message. When I first started my journey and feeling less secure with the blazing white streak, my feedback from others was not favorable. Now that I’m comfortable and truly loving my silvers, the response from people is complimentary… your words are so true! We must be positive, it makes the whole process so much more enjoyable.

    04 . Feb . 2019 Reply
  4. Jonie

    Beautiful story and transformation and story Andrea!! xo

    01 . Feb . 2019 Reply
  5. JoAnna

    Thank you for sharing your story…beautiful transition and so inspiring!!!

    01 . Feb . 2019 Reply
  6. Gini

    Your blog has helped me. I’ve been gray for a few years but wanted the white whiter. I’m going to try some of the products you mentioned. I may even try growing my hair longer. I’ve had it short for a long time. Since I’ve lost 51 lbs. it might not be too bad. Here’s hoping.

    01 . Feb . 2019 Reply
  7. Walt

    I watched Andrea during her hair transition. Such a remarkable change to a strong, confident, fun woman! She has boundless energy and enthusiasm. And really looks great, even at 5 am. That’s when she is out in Havre de Grace photographing the sunrise down by the lighthouse.

    01 . Feb . 2019 Reply

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Katie

Katie is the founder of Katie Goes Platinum. After constantly dyeing her hair for over 25 years, in 2018 Katie decided to stop the madness and embrace the gray. Since then, she’s been sharing her favorite gray hair tips, resources, and stories to empower women to feel beautiful during and after their transition to gray hair.