Silver Hair Transition Stories / February 4, 2020

Joni’s Grey Hair Transition is A Must-See!

Inside: All about Joni’s grey hair transition. You can find her on Instagram: @jd904!

Hi!  My name is Joni, and I live in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.  I will be 52 years old in November.  I colored my hair for nearly 25 years.

** 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.**

My Grey Hair Back Story

I was probably around 17 years old when I came across my first grey hair.  It didn’t surprise me.  My mother started going grey at an early age, too.

When I’d find a grey hair here and there, I’d simply pluck them out.  By the time I reached my late 20s-early 30s, though, the greys really started to come in. 

That’s when I began using box dye to color my hair myself.  I did that for a few years. 

When my greys started coming in like crazy, I decided to go to a salon and let a professional handle it. I wanted to keep my lovely, rich brown color. 

image of woman dyed brown hair
Joni with dyed hair

For a few years, the salon could achieve that.

But as more and more greys came in, it was difficult to get the color just right.  The greys were resistant to the dye, so the salon would keep the dye on for a long time. 

That ended up bothering my scalp – making it so itchy and sore.

Once I reached my early 40s, I could tell that I was probably all grey underneath that dye.  Two weeks after having been to salon, there would be the telltale signs of a white stripe along my part. 

I never wanted my greys to show so I’d use root spray or a powdered root cover-up.  When that didn’t do the trick, I’d buy a box of root touch-up dye at the drugstore to cover it up. I’d probably use that dye once a week for the next three or four weeks until I went in for a salon color. 

I got my hair colored every eight to ten weeks at the salon.  I didn’t want to go in any sooner than that because 1) I couldn’t stand the whole process and how much time it took and 2) it hurt my scalp.

Around age 46, I was so weary of coloring my hair.  I started to really question what I was doing. 

QUESTIONING MY DECISION TO DYE

I wondered, as someone who would eat very healthy, exercise, and go the more natural route for things, why I continued to put this terrible dye on my head.

I began to research women embracing their greys. I created a board on Pinterest and pinned pictures of beautiful silver-haired ladies I liked.

In my research, I came across the blog “How Bourgeois,” and I read all of Lauren’s posts on going grey. I watched many YouTube videos of women documenting their transition to grey.  Deb Arndt and Monique Parent were the two women I watched the most. 

Then I read the book “Going Grey:  How to Embrace Your Authentic Self with Grace and Style” by Ann Kreamer.  I loved it, and I was ready to embrace my greys.

MY FAMILY WASN’T ON BOARD WITH MY GRAY HAIR TRANSITION AT FIRST

I asked my daughters and husband what they thought of me not coloring my hair anymore, and they were not on board with it.  My girls said they didn’t want me to look like a grandmother. 

My husband really loved my (dyed) brown hair.  So, I gave up on that idea begrudgingly. 

But a few years later when I was 50, I’d had enough of the whole coloring routine.  It was just too much.  I was so tired of the upkeep and using harsh chemicals on my head that made my scalp hurt. 

image of woman with 8 weeks gray roots
Joni at 8 weeks dye-free

Mostly, I wanted to be a good example to my young daughters and show them that grey hair is nothing to be ashamed of or hide.  I was ready to buck the societal norms and embrace my natural color. 

I let my family know what I had decided to do and this time they were so understanding and completely on board.

image of jonis gray hair at 20 weeks
Joni at 20 weeks

WHY GO GREY COLD TURKEY?

I didn’t want to do any sort of grey blending or bleaching to hide the demarcation line because I wanted no part in putting any more harsh chemicals on my head. 

So, going cold turkey in growing out my greys was the best way for me.  I wasn’t willing to cut my hair short to speed up the transition either; I was in it for the long, awkward haul.

GREY HAIR SUPPORT AND COMMUNITY

I was happy to see so many women posting selfies of their grey hair transition on Instagram.  

This seemed like a great way to make me accountable and stick to the long process, so I jumped in and started posting my own transition pictures and joining in on the conversations within the silver hair community.

image of gray hair selfie

It helped me so much to go through my transition with hundreds of other women around the world doing the very same thing.  The support and camaraderie was amazing.  I couldn’t have done it without them.

I also had lots of support from my family and friends.  Not one person ever made a negative comment about my decision to go grey.  That made it so much easier. 

image of jonis gray hair at 12 months
Joni at 12 months

The biggest obstacle was my mindset.  So much of this transition process is based in the ego and fear, at least for me. 

I was so concerned about how I’d look and what others would think.  I got over that fear because as time went on and my beautiful silvers grew in, I became more confident and comfortable with myself. 

Also, I learned that nobody really cares what you’re doing with your hair.  It was so freeing!

I began my transition on March 25, 2018 and finished on October 10, 2019 – 18.5 months from start to finish.

image of jonis gray hair

Joni – Fully Transitioned at 18 1/2 Months!
image of happy woman gray hair
Yay!

My Favorite Products for Grey Hair

I’m a minimalist when it comes to products for my hair.  I use shampoo and conditioner by Acure.

For styling, I use Universal Styling Crème by Aveda

And if I think my hair has a little frizz going on, I’ll use the tiniest bit of coconut oil and run that through my hair.

How my Makeup and Clothing Choices Have Changed

My make-up has stayed the same, although, I might be going with a little more vibrant lip color these days. 

As far as clothing goes, I feel that darker colors look best with my silver hair.  I’ve always worn a lot of black and navy, but now I’m starting to add in some red, fuchsia, and greens.

Final Thoughts on Going Grey

Ditching the dye and growing out your greys is about so much more than just your hair. 

  • It’s about things like shifting your perspective about aging and cultural norms.
  • It’s about gaining confidence and self-acceptance. 
  • It’s about finding your authenticity and being comfortable with yourself. 

And because this whole process can be very trying, it demands loads of patience, love, and most of all grace.

image of jonis grey hair statement

Related Posts:

Eva’s Fabulous Gray Hair Transition Story

Jen’s Silver Hair Transition Story

Judith’s Transition Into a Gray-Haired Model


Michele’s Transition to Lovely Silver-White Hair

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 shop on Amazon for all your gray hair needs: 
Katie Goes Platinum Storefront

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33 Comments

  1. Laura

    I am almost 67 years old. I have been wanting to go grey for several years. NO ONE wants me to do it. I am very youthful and my family and friends, even my hairdresser, think this would age me. Also my 86 year old mother still colors her hair a medium brown. I hate it on her but she’s very vain. I do not want to be that person. Conceding to everyone else’s wishes, two years ago, I went from dark brown (my natural color I had been dying for 20 years) to medium brown with highlights. I loved it at first. Now I am so tired of having to be at the salon for two hours with chemicals on my head every five weeks, plus the exhorbitant expense. I know that I am totally grey. How? My hair grows fast and within two weeks of having it done, I am having to use some sort of filler to cover the grey. My hesitancy to do so is I have an olive complexion and my grey is not pretty or attractive. So I would still have to put color on my grey. Seems like a futile process to me. I applaud you for taking this huge step.

    26 . Mar . 2020 Reply
  2. Stevie

    Joni, you look beautiful. I have tried several times to go grey; my daughters hate it and do not want me too, and they also tell me it makes me look older. I am 68 years young and Thinking about trying it again. The other issue I have about the grey is my skin tone it is of an olive tone.

    Stevie

    18 . Mar . 2020 Reply
  3. Mary

    Yes Joni, you do look great! I am 70 and last year I started my transition in September. I have embraced the freeing of not having to dye my hair. I made a mistake and let my hair stylist daughter do a T-highlight to just cut the box around my dyed hair. She took some of my silver salt
    and pepper area and bleached out the dark and made it look a beige color. Never again. I refuse to cut my hair and will continue to let the gray grow out.

    18 . Mar . 2020 Reply
  4. Elle

    You look great Joni. I started my transition earlier this month when I turned 54. I keep telling myself I’m going to look great. I have long hair and I really don’t want to cut it, I know I’ll have to be very patient. I have to attend my stepson’s wedding this summer, any suggestion on styling while in transition, I’ll be four months in. Elle

    16 . Mar . 2020 Reply
  5. Deann Lundin

    I am about mid of your prosess. You look beautiful. Thanks for giving me the courage to keep going. My hair style is just like yours. You don’t know what your did. Thanks 😘

    12 . Mar . 2020 Reply
  6. Kathy Wheeler

    Hi Joni. Your story is inspiring and your hair is gorgeous. I am 12 months in and struggling every day, mostly mentally as you mentioned. The one thing I hate is the coarse/frizziness I’m getting with the transition. Would love to know if you experienced this and what can help Thanks for sharing your story. I might just make it.

    09 . Mar . 2020 Reply
  7. Mary

    I I hope my hair is is half as nice as yours.yours is so thick. Getting some flack from my friends but I am 7 months in now.

    20 . Feb . 2020 Reply
  8. Lynn

    You’re beautiful to start with and that certainly helps. Letting your hair go to its natural gray color enhanced your natural beauty and is even more becoming.
    You’ve given me the boost of bravery I needed to make the decision to stop coloring my hair. Just saying it is very liberating!
    Thank you for sharing your journey to becoming the best and real you.

    Lynn

    05 . Feb . 2020 Reply
  9. Julie Wissmueller

    You are beautiful! I am ready to stop coloring my grey hair. After seeing your transformation I feel better about my decision. Thank You!

    15 . Jan . 2020 Reply
  10. Cid

    Love your hair and it is very becoming on you! I stopped dying my hair five years ago. It’s still salt and pepper with the back being dark. It may never be a beautiful grey like yours, but I’ve learned to be happy with the color I have.

    30 . Dec . 2019 Reply
  11. Kimberly

    I started my journey when I turned 50 in August 2019. I also asked my husband and children and everyone to my surprise was on board. I work as an administrator for an elementary school (with mostly women) so the responses have been more positive then negative. The students in the school have also asked about my hair color. I am just 6 months in and some days are better then others but reading others comments is very helpful! Thanks for your postings.

    29 . Dec . 2019 Reply
  12. Jyoti aggarwal

    Hi.i am fifty plus n yes dying hair every 2-3 weeks is really tirinf n stressful.i admire women like you who have been bold in their decision to go grey n beautiful.i am beginning to think of going grey too n need lot of support from family n friends..you look beautiful in your grey look😊

    14 . Dec . 2019 Reply
  13. Wm.

    Joni, you are absolutely beautiful. Your hair is an example of how gorgeous it makes you.
    Wm

    08 . Dec . 2019 Reply
  14. Jill Nichols

    I just completed the same and love it. It really is feeling of freeing. I can’t explain it, it’s just, like, one less thing to think about.

    20 . Nov . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      That’s so awesome, Jill! Congratulations on getting through your journey to grey! I know what you mean. It’s so freeing to be done with the dye.

      21 . Nov . 2019 Reply
  15. Jen

    Wow, your transition is wonderful. I started in October, my husband wasn’t sure about this change either but now is loving it.

    20 . Nov . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      Thank you, Jen! It makes things a lot easier when you have support from family and friends. Good luck on your journey to grey!

      21 . Nov . 2019 Reply
  16. Susan

    I am 8 weeks in the process. At 50 years old I was overwhelmed that every 3 weeks I would be dying my hair. I am so thankful that so many people are doing this. It is so incredibly freeing to be done with coloring my hair. Some members want me to get spend the money to get highlights and make the transition easier, but I am not going to to it. My husband and kids are super supportive. I am done with anything other than trims now and then. It feels so GOOD!!!

    20 . Nov . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      Yes! It is SO freeing! So glad your kids and husband are very supportive. Good luck on growing out your greys! It’s quite an experience.

      21 . Nov . 2019 Reply
  17. Abigail

    You look Amazing 👍🏽 I’m hoping my transition isn’t so hard.

    20 . Nov . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      Thank you so much, Abigail! I wouldn’t say that going grey is hard necessarily. It mostly tests your patience. Do you have short or long hair?

      21 . Nov . 2019 Reply
  18. Jenn

    Wow…you look amazing with your Grey hair. Good for you to have soo much patience. Im at the beginning of my journey now to transition to whatever colour is under the blond.🙄🤔… it’s an emotional desicion…..😌

    19 . Nov . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      Thank you, Jenn! I didn’t know I had that kind of patience. I was certainly surprised. More than anything, I was very determined/stubborn to see this through. And you’re right. It’s definitely an emotional decision.

      21 . Nov . 2019 Reply
  19. Eileen

    Wow! Your hair is beautiful! I’ve been seriously thinking about ditching the dye as I’m at the point of needing to go every four weeks. So tired of paying to put chemicals on my head! Since I am over 60 now why not? I too will keep my long hair. My husband is not on board so it will be a bit more challenging, but I’m optimistic that once he sees and gets an idea, he will appreciate my new look.

    03 . Nov . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      Thank you so much, Eileen! It is such freedom to have gone grey. Have you showed your husband pictures of silver haired women? He will be pleasantly surprised at how beautiful they all are.

      21 . Nov . 2019 Reply
  20. Bubbie

    Brava! I’m 2 months into going grey, I too am tired of the dyeing process and harsh chemicals. I hope my hair looks as great as yours does when all is said and done.

    26 . Oct . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      Thank you! Good luck on your transition to grey. I’m sure your hair is going to look fantastic!

      21 . Nov . 2019 Reply
  21. Ada

    Me encanta!!! Soy una silver mas!!!

    20 . Oct . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      Muchas gracias, Ada!

      21 . Oct . 2019 Reply
  22. Bonnie

    You look absolutely awesome with gray hair!

    19 . Oct . 2019 Reply
    • Joni

      Thank you so much, Bonnie!

      21 . Oct . 2019 Reply
  23. April Widdis

    Love !! I too Started mine Apr 2018 and finished Oct 10 2019,

    14 . Oct . 2019 Reply
    • Katie

      Wonderful, April!

      19 . Oct . 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.