Silver Hair Transition Stories / May 20, 2019

Judith Davis: How Her Stunning Silver Hair Led to an Exciting New Career

Welcome to my Silver Hair Transition Stories series!

If you are new to this series: Silver Hair Transition Stories are my interviews with fellow silver sisters (aka Women with Naturally Gray Hair) about their gray hair transition.

If you are as obsessed with gray hair as I am, you can find all of my interviews on the
Silver Hair Transition Stories page.

I was super-excited when the beautiful model Judith Davis agreed to share her gray hair transition story with me!

Her silver hair is so stunning, and the fact that it led her down a new career path at age 57 puts the icing on the cake!

Check out Judith’s story below:

image of woman with long silver hair
©Kara Kochalko Photography

Hi, my name is Judith Davis. I am 62 years old and live in Massachusetts. I am married and have two daughters and a grandson. We have a small farm with horses, cats, and a dog.

For many years I worked for an auction and appraisal company until my husband, who is a gifted artist, and I decided to open our own gallery selling 19th & 20th Century paintings. You can find me on Instagram at @judithdavisofficial.

JUDITH’S GRAY HAIR JOURNEY

My hair was always dark brown:

image of young woman with dark brown hair
Judith at age 21

My first silver strands started in my early thirties so I tried all types of coverage such as reverse frosting, highlights, etc. and finally ended up going to a one-process dark brown color.

** 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 colored or highlighted for 25 years!!

Every three weeks I would go to the salon and waste valuable time and money coloring my hair. My hair was becoming so damaged and color resistant. It was a MESS!

Luckily, I saw some pictures of beautiful women with gray hair like Susan Hersh and Cindy Joseph.

I talked to my daughters, husband, and stylist, Sue, about letting my hair go natural. They were all very supportive. My friends thought I was crazy!!

Sue did some research and we finally decided on lightening to a lighter brown and adding bleached highlights. I also had her chop off some of my hair.

There was not much information at that time about going gray until I found Diana Lewis Jewell’s book and website Going Gray, Looking Great! Finding other like-minded silver sisters helped. I was ready to start the journey.

(I also just recently read “Going Gray: How to Embrace Your Authentic Self with Grace and Style” by Anne Kreamer which is a great book).

My transition to silver hair officially started on February 10, 2011.

I would have started earlier, but my oldest daughter was getting married in September 2010 so I decided to wait until after the wedding.

image of woman with dyed brown hair
Judith with Dyed Brown Hair, September 2010

In May we added lowlights to blend in the gray skunk stripe and cut off more hair for my niece’s wedding.

Most of my friends told me they would never stop coloring their hair. They would say I was brave.

I didn’t want to go out of the house, but in September 2011, I had to get a new passport!! I still have that passport picture with my hair half brown and half gray.

Recently while going through customs the agent kept looking at my passport, then at me, at the passport again, and finally said “Much Better!” I could have hugged him.

Another month passed and I just wanted to cut my hair short so we added shorter layers in the back but kept some of the length in front. People didn’t say much except they liked the cut.

I felt like I had a shining beacon on the top of my head.

The months passed and more chopping off of the old color but I was finally getting a few compliments! I wanted to hug everyone who said they liked it.

In August I found out I was going to be a grandmother!!! My grandson was born in April 2012 and you can see how short my hair was but the old brown was gone.

woman with gray hair holding grandchild
Judith with her new grandson – April 2012

All of a sudden I was getting all kinds of compliments from men, women and younger people. Many people I knew didn’t even recognize me.

It was kind of fun to say “Hi” and see the expressions on their faces while they tried to figure out who I was.

I was so happy with my decision and absolutely loved my silver hair!! I decided to let it grow.

The biggest change in my life occurred in December 2013 while at a Christmas party. A friend came up to me and told me she knew a photographer who was looking for silver-haired ladies for the shoot he was doing.

She asked to take a picture with her iPhone and replied within 10 minutes. He answered that he was interested.

Andreas Kuehn and his wife Stacey got me started on this crazy ride. I had never modeled in my entire life and it wasn’t even on my bucket list! Here I was at 57 being asked to model. YIKES!!!!

My very first shoot was January 2014 with many more to follow for Getty Images. Talk about doing something that scares you!!

image of woman with lovely silver curls
© Andreas Kuehn Photography for Getty Images | Used with Permission
image of woman with lovely silver hair curls
© Andreas Kuehn Photography for Getty Images | Used with Permission

Lucky for me they made it all so relaxing and fun. I signed with Maggie, Inc. in Boston in May of 2015 and have been modeling ever since. (Special shout-out to Casey, who hired a 57-year-old woman with silver hair to be a model!!!)

WHAT CHANGED ONCE YOU WENT SILVER?

I was never one to wear tons of makeup and luckily for me the makeup artists on set were so helpful with advice, but still, I only wear makeup for shoots or special occasions.

image of beautiful woman with long gray hair
© Andreas Kuehn Photography for Getty Images | Used with Permission

I was always a Fall/Winter girl before. The clothes I wear are still the same style, but I have added colors like blues and jewels tones which I never wore before. Even shades of mauve and pink which I would not have ever considered!

image of beautiful woman with stunning silver hair
© Sadie Dayton Photography | Used with Permission

JUDITH’S GRAY HAIR CARE RECOMMENDATIONS

My hair is fine and dry. I do have a naturally curly wave, especially in the summer when it is humid.  I don’t wash it every day.

I live in the Northeast USA where temps can change from 60 to 20 degrees in a day! I also live near the water so when it’s hazy, hot, and humid I definitely get frizzy hair!

image of woman with stunning silver hair
© Kara Kochalko Photography

In the summer I usually don’t blow dry my hair but in the winter I have to.

I am currently using a Chi Pro low EMF hair dryer and a curling iron for special occasions only.

You will find me wearing a hat if I’m in the sun, and I don’t get my hair wet in chlorinated water if possible.

image of judith's stunning gray hair
© Andreas Kuehn Photography for Getty Images | Used with Permission

As for products I use R & Co Sunset Blvd Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner.

Once a month, I use Shimmer Lights Blonde & Silver Shampoo and Conditioner. Word of caution: don’t leave it in too long or you will have purple hair!

image of anti-yellowing products

My hair is thick but fine with a natural wave so I use Paul Mitchell fast drying sculpting spray or Paul Mitchell extra body sculpting foam.

Usually, I don’t use any other products on my hair but if going out to a special occasion will use Living Proof Prime Style Extender.

image of woman with stunning silver hair
© Andreas Kuehn Photography for Getty Images | Used with Permission

I have been so fortunate to work with the most talented professionals. It really is a team effort when it comes to getting the right shot…. from the photographer to the HMUA, stylists, assistants, set builders, digital editors, graphic designers, etc.

It’s been great working with these young people who are so dedicated to their craft, passionate about their product, and willing to put in so much hard work to make the project come to fruition.

This whole journey has made me more confident, stronger and more understanding of different points of view. You can still learn new things at 62!!

image of beautiful woman stunning silver long hair
© Andreas Kuehn Photography for Getty Images | Used with Permission

To those of you who are thinking about going gray my suggestion would be…. DO IT!

There is so much more information out now on transitioning….Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Be yourself.

Just because your hair is silver, purple, pink or blue you are a unique individual. You are special!

Be humble and kind, and supportive to each other.

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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5 Comments

  1. Ree Schwartz

    Great story! You are brave and ended up with beautiful hair
    I decided not to go through the transition and opted for a buzz cut! I just turned 72 and so sick of coloring my hair. I’ve done a buzz cut about 10 years ago for childhood cancer. Wish then I never started coloring again.
    Very freeing, just hoping my hair comes in as pretty as yours as I just did the buzz.

    10 . May . 2019 Reply
  2. Cindylou

    Awesome story! Your beautiful and I’ve your silver hair🥰 I’m transitioning now at 57, have been told color looks nice. I also went shorter, I can’t wait until the whole hair is silver. God bless Katie

    09 . May . 2019 Reply
  3. Susan

    Wow! Great story and such gorgeous silver hair! Very inspiring! Thanks Katie!

    09 . May . 2019 Reply
    • Katie

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!

      09 . May . 2019 Reply
  4. Amand

    Love this story and the message. Beautiful.

    09 . May . 2019 Reply

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