Home » Gray Hair Transformations » Silver Hair Inspiration » To Hell with Going Gray Gracefully!

To Hell with Going Gray Gracefully!

Inside: My personal take on why to not worry too much about going gray gracefully.

Since I’m a little (!!) obsessed with the topic of gray hair, I spend a lot of time online looking at pictures of gray hair and reading about gray hair.

And one thing I keep seeing are articles about “How to Go Gray Gracefully.” For some reason, the phrase bugs me. All I can think when I see it is “Screw going gray gracefully!”

There’s nothing wrong with being ladylike or graceful.  I like ladylike behavior. For example, you’ll never meet a bigger fan of Miss Manners than me! And I am a FANATIC for thank you notes.

Would you like to save this article?

Enter your email below & I'll send it straight to your inbox!

I admire graceful women and I think it would be SO freaking neat to be one! Oh, to glide across a room with grace & elegance!

So what bugs me about the phrase?  Is there anything wrong with being graceful? Of course not!

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

But “going gray gracefully” as a concept still irks the crap out of me.  

I’ve been thinking about it all day and I’ve come up with these reasons why I don’t like it:

The Gray Hair Transition Is a Surprisingly Introspective Time

The gray hair transition has brought up a LOT of feelings for me.  It’s a deeply personal experience. So telling me how to do it “gracefully” seems like butting in!

Going gray has made me think about things like my mortality.  

I have a son with some special needs. Who will take care of him when my husband and I are gone?

The gray hair transition has made me think about women, culture, and society.  Why is everyone so invested in controlling women’s behavior?

It also has brought up questions about ageism, biology, and genetics…  I’m not close to my biological paternal relatives (by choice), but it has made me wonder:  Do they look like me? What else about them is similar?

It makes me think about my Dad – he was technically my stepfather, but that’s such an inadequate word for what he was to me: my one and only beloved Daddy.

He had beautiful salt & pepper hair. It was one of his defining features. I had dark hair, so when I was a little kid I positively glowed when people told me that I looked just like him. When I see my gray hair now, it makes me miss him even more.

The gray hair transition also makes you think about identity.  

What does it mean to be a person on this planet?

If I was this person before (young, brunette), who am I becoming? Will she be different than the current me, and the one I was before? If that’s the case, who am I, really?

Going gray gracefully isn't always easy, but showing off your gray hair with fun photos makes the transition fun and easier.

It has got me thinking about my perfectionistic tendencies.  

I used to go NUTS when I saw gray hair poking through. It made me a little OCD to see the white hair coming up in the middle of my expanse of dyed dark hair.  

Now that I’m going gray cold turkey, I’m forced to be kind of Zen and just “let it happen.” This goes against my natural tendenc to control things and that’s a GREAT THING!

Going gray isn't always graceful, sometimes you have half gray hair and half copper red, but you embrace it!
Katie at 10 1/2 Months Dye-Free – staring at my laptop but still feeling Zen!

I’m a fast moving, fast talking person.  Going gray cold turkey is forcing me to do something SLOWLY and to appreciate the process instead of rushing through it.

OK, just a warning: this is where things get a little bit nuts!

It’s making me think about the Moon.*

It’s making me think about butterflies.*

It’s making me think about prioritizing things I love to do instead of just duties and responsibilities.  

It’s making me think about how lucky I am to be alive, on Earth, at this moment, even with all the craziness going on in the world.  

Not everyone is lucky enough to be here, breathing the air, and listening to music, talking to people, petting dogs, and doing all the other mundane things we take for granted.

So, how can one possibly undertake this MAJOR process “gracefully?”

I feel like trying to be graceful about it would undermine the freedom and happiness I’m experiencing during this process!

So, I resolve to go gray MESSILY and JOYFULLY!

Which basically means,  I’m going to go gray in the way that feels right to me: Imperfectly, rebelliously, and without giving a flying fig what anybody else things about it.

I vow to ROCK my gray hair and ROCK the rest of my life!

OK, I was going to stop there – on a high note! – but then I remembered I forgot to explain about the moon and butterflies:

When I see my hair and that of my silver sisters, all I can think about is moonlight. That’s what it looks like, and I prefer the moon to the sun, so it’s perfect!

And butterflies? Well, going gray slowly is like being a caterpillar slowly emerging from its cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. That’s how I’m feeling right now.

How about you?

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!

Related Posts:

How to Make Your Cold Turkey Gray Hair Transition Fun!

What Not To Wear After… Age-Smage!

This is Why You Should Transition to Gray Hair in the New Year

How to Piss Off a Gray-Haired Woman in 5 Seconds Flat

Similar Posts


  1. I finally got tired of dying my hair. Instead of permanent hair color, I began using temporary hair color and kept going lighter/gray and used a product that had a color called storm. My hair was already showing an ombré black and silver gray and tgsrycolor was perfect. Then poof! It was all my natural ombré color.

  2. that great just makes a woman look old! are you kidding me?
    since losing my natural hair color, i have taken to the brights. First i tried Rose gold, then purple, but when i tried blue, i knew i had it right. so youthful and pretty! i get so many complements and pass for years younger than my real age. no bleaching needed, i just use the semi permanent blue and when i look at my silver sisters, i fell sad for them. don’t fall for that graceful gray bs, try something modern and new.

  3. Hi Katie, I’m so with you. My mother had a beautiful head of silver hair. She dyed her hair most of her adult life and it took some convincing to let her go gray in her late seventies. One year for Mother’s Day I took her to the salon and had her hair colored in a light pearl and she had so many compliments, people telling her she looked beautiful so she never went back. When I decided to go gray in my sixties I’d had enough of the struggle and since I had started balageing” my hair in a lighter color I just went for it. Now my hair looks like is balaged” but I have streaks of gray over my dark hair and I get lots of compliments and people saying I wish I had the courage to do it helping my mom go gray made it easy to do my own transition

  4. Hi Katie I’ve been receiving your emails for a few years now. It’s been four years since my extensive breast cancer surgery and chemotherapy and when my hair grew back it was completely light grey! I wasn’t really surprised but it was still a shock to see that and after all I had been through I just couldn’t handle it. It grew back very slowly and I wore a wig for 12 months then started colouring with “natural dye” from the Health food Shop. I can get a good result but it fades quickly and turns brassy which does not suit me and I have to do it every four weeks. Can’t help but wish I had left it but no use dwelling on that now. Can you comment on this type of dye and whether it really is as safe as they claim – I am starting to think about growing it out. Sorry for the long post….

    1. Hi, Glenice: I can understand why you couldn’t handle it after all you’d been through! It must have felt like a shock. I don’t know much about “natural dyes” but I am skeptical of all claims by hair dyes to be safe these days. My friend Joli wrote an excellent article about what different types of hair dyes do to your gray hair – you might find it helpful! Maybe the dye-strip method would be better for you, if the transition seems daunting?

  5. I have been told my whole life that I “overthink” things and going gray is no exception. I appreciate all your thoughts on the subject, it helped give me some clarity on the subject. I have been contemplating letting the gray take over, and seeing all the Pinterest photos and particularly your article make me sure it is what I plan on doing. I love the butterfly and moon analogies. I do very little gracefully, why start now. I can definitely do it messily and with joy. I am only a month in so it will be a long transition but during this covid shelter in place time it feels particularly freeing. I was already feeling impatient for the transition to be completed but now I want to celebrate the transition. If this ends up being the last period of time I have brown in my hair why not treasure and savor the transition like a slow hair adventure. Thanks again for sharing your ruminations. When I have more grown out and we are finally able to go out and get a proper haircut maybe will even post a pic.

    1. Wonderful! I definitely took the slow route to gray, and loved every minute of it. Good luck with your transition! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog.

  6. Lauren Rose says:

    Katie, unfortunately there are some of us (well at this point I’m the only one I know) who’d love to have lots of grey but don’t. I have two small patches of lovely silver, one on each temple. And that’s it. Some would say, ”Just wait a few years, when you’re older you’ll get more”. Well I’m afraid I’m 65 and unless I want to wait til I’m 90 it’s probably not going to happen. Was the same with my mom. So I took matters into my own hands. My daughter’s hands actually. We bleached, toned and silver colored. It isn’t perfect yet but its a work in progress. My husband who’s been supportive all the way agrees that my decision to add some lowlights of darker hair and lighten the silver to more white is great. So next step is with my stylist. My whole point is that those of you who are greying naturally are really more fortunate than you may know so keep that in mind if you get tired or stressed at the wait. It’s not that I don’t love my silver hair; sometimes I just wish I was all natural silver like Nikol Johnson.

  7. I actually like the term ‘going gray gracefully’ I’m 15 months in, and it’s been quite a journey so far. I’m 39, and got my first few silver hairs when I was a teenager. I’ve been covering my hair ever since. There was nothing graceful about that. I am finally accepting my true self. Not just with my hair, but my whole life. I think it does take grace to look in the mirror, and love the silver strands I see.

  8. Love your post. I do not want to cut all my hair off! I have no color for 7 months..lots of different colors, but my Aussie is a black tri and she is gorgeous! I can be a gray tri!

    1. I love it! Why not?! Look at calico cats – they look awesome in their multi-colored coats, and so can we! 🙂

    2. Clairemarie says:

      I love your posts also. But I’m not as brave as everyone who is letting their hair grow out. Or maybe I’m just not a patient soul.
      For Mother’s Day this year I gave myself the freedom from coloring by buzzing all my hair off.
      I know there will be times when growing it back will be frustrating as I’m not a short hair kind of gal so I purchased a wig for such times!

  9. I am loving going grey . Although I never dyed my hair but I was using henna instead which made my hair turn red and was awfully messy and smelly . Many a times my hair dresser tried to convince me to color my hair coz in India it’s still a very new concept of leaving hair uncoloured. My daughter and searches on Pinterest, going through all texts on going grey has made me more confident and happy . Thank you !

    1. You’re welcome, and good luck with your gray transition! I follow a beautiful young woman on Instagram called @sparklingsilvers_at_36. You may want to follow her, as she has some insights on what it is like to transition in India. ?

  10. Thank you for writing this! My problem phrase is – “Gray hair don’t care”. I’m 44 and 6-months into my journey and of course I care! I care tons! Just because I choose not to dye my hair anymore doesn’t mean I don’t care. I’m lovingly caring for my new, awesome salt and pepper hair everyday. That one just drives me nuts! Thanks again for your post, I loved it.

    1. Monica, so glad you loved it! I can see how that phrase would also be irritating. Who would NOT care about getting gray hair? I would think it would always feel like a big surprise!

    2. I thought it was more like gray hair don’t care…what some other people might think! I really like my gray hair and care enough to try to keep it healthy. Several of my friends have started Togo gray but just couldn’t tolerate it. To each his own, I guess, but I personally think we’ll-cared-for gray is prettier than the typical dye job.

  11. Katie, love your journey and your mission. Going “natural” as Emmy said has been an amazing and affirming journey for me. I have only received support and positive comments. But then I only have positive and supportive people in my life. My silver hair has actually encouraged a number of women in my life to join my going natural movement. And I have never ever received so many compliments on my hair as I do now. This journey has been fantastic!

    1. I’m so glad you are having a great time with your journey, JoAnna! Me, too! It’s transformative!

  12. I’ve toyed with going grey for years, and have chickened, out back to coloring each time. I’m turning 60 in June and it’s on my mind again, I’m also sick of hair salons — the sinks are literally a pain in the neck! Time to go long & grey? Hopefully!

    1. Agree with you about hair salons! THose sinks KILL my neck! And I hate the reading selection :-). Going gray is really fun – I recommend it (but no pressure of course!)

  13. Thank you thank you. Finally a kindred spirit. I just turned 50 and decided to go Grey. I’m actually very excited after I read your blog.

    1. Hi, Dee! I’m so glad! Make sure to join Silver Revolution on Facebook if you want to keep the excitement going. It’s a great, supportive group.

  14. Julie Reid says:

    I don’t like words like ‘lady-like’ and ‘gracefully’ because of all the gender stereotyping and policing of femininity that comes with it. I love your reasons why you will not try to include being graceful into the process, but I’d kinda like to be free of that norm forevermore, and only attempt grace if I so choose! By the way, maybe I’m weird but I actually really like the look of the strong contrast between colour and grey – so much so that I’d be tempted to colour just to create that affect again. We’ve been brain-washed into thinking roots must be concealed, but if you look at it without those assumptions, it’s actually a really interesting affect. Thanks for helping to normalise this entirely normal and shameless process.

    1. Hi, Julie:

      You’re welcome! I don’t think you’re weird for liking the contrast between strong color and gray – I like it, too! Sometimes I think I might get the ends of my hair dipped when I’m all gray to recreate it.

  15. Montserrat says:

    I felt like a soulmate

  16. This made me smile. I transitioned with the help of my stylist, adding more highlights to blend the transition line. At 10 months I completely lost patience and asked her to cut off the “old hair”.
    I giggled every time I looked in the mirror. I was shocked how much I looked like my mother. Now that my hair is “real” AKA grey and curly, I find myself smiling at my reflection, more and more.

    1. Smiling at your reflection is ALWAYS a good thing, right? I love it, Susan!

  17. I think you are doing a fabulous job both with the silver ride and your words to express your process. I’m much older than you and decided a long time ago to quit dying and frosting and just enjoy my hair. I have two sisters younger then me both completely silver. Mine has changed a lot in the last year but I’m still more salt and pepper than silver. I’m really enjoying your blog.

    1. Hi, Peggy: I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. Thanks for letting me know!

  18. The phrase “going gray” generally bothers me. At 53 years old I say that I am “going natural”. It’s been almost a year since I last colored my hair. The stylist I had for 20 years was surprisingly not supportive so I went it alone for about 5 months but the brassiness of my colored hair was too much. I found a stylist who has helped control the brassiness with toner, leaving my new growth untouched. It was the right thing for me to do. It is a very personal decision to stop coloring your hair, but I find it empowering and am anxious to see what the final result will be. I have slow growing hair and expect it may be another nine to twelve months before I am totally natural. It will be worth the wait! Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Hi, Emmy! That’s great that you were able to find a supportive stylist! I’m glad you also find this process empowering. I had no idea when I started this how transformative it would be!

  19. I LOVE your analogy of the “butterfly”. That hits the nail on the head! May I share that quote Katie? It’s perfect ?

  20. JoAnna Haughey says:

    You nailed with going gray JOYFULLY…you should make it a hashtag…always enjoy reading your
    JoAnna @Ichoosegray

Leave a Reply

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