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.
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:
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:
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.
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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.
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!!
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!
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