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Michele’s Beautiful Journey to Gray

Inside: Michele, 58, is one of my favorite Instagram silver sisters. Her transition is so lovely and it’s been inspiring to watch her go through the ups and downs of the gray hair journey. You can follow her on Instagram: @polished_grey.

Finding my first grey hair was not a pleasant experience. 

I was 11 years old and as my stepmother pulled it out, she also voiced a few unkind comments. It left me feeling horrible inside. 

As the years went by, my greys multiplied at an alarming rate.

I’ve never had a good relationship with my hair…it was wavy, curly, frizzy and out of control. To have grey hair on top of all my other perceived hair flaws left me feeling somewhat panicked. 

So at the age of 19, I began coloring my hair. It was a long, miserable 38 years.

Michele with her dark and wavy dyed brown hair

At the age of 48, I started to experience some serious health problems. In doing research for some healthy alternatives to conventional medicines, I came across an article on hair dye. 

Michele spent years dyeing her hair to cover her natural grays

I became quite concerned that the toxic chemicals in hair dye were having an adverse effect on my health. 

It took me a few more years to convince myself to stop dyeing, even knowing the risks. This makes me cringe now.

Michele spent about 38 years dyeing her hair dark before she embraced her natural gray

But, you see, I knew I would stand out as looking different and I dislike calling attention to myself. 

I had to convince myself I wouldn’t be alone and started scouring the internet for photos, videos, blog, and vlogs of women with grey hair. 

There were hundreds of them, all ages, all races, all beautiful. I fell in love with the color grey! 

I loved all the variations in color and the unique patterns of growth each person had. The women were radiant with their a hue of grey made just for them!

This was perfection in my eyes. 

I wanted to know what was under my dark dyed hair. I now knew I could do this and I wouldn’t be alone. 

But the grow-out process was quite daunting for me in the beginning. Because of my very obvious demarcation line, I did not feel truly comfortable until I hit the 9-month mark. 

The start of Michele's gray hair transition, with light gray roots

I got some disparaging remarks that I let get to me because I’m too sensitive. I received a ton of unsolicited advice. 

I cut my hair on bad days, later regretting my decision. It’s been an eye-opening experience…but, hair grows and the comments became kinder and complimentary. 

I was transitioning inside too, practicing self-love and care, making this journey so much more than just about my hair.

A huge contributing factor in the joy and success of my transition to natural grey hair has been the support I received from my husband, my children and the silver sisters on Instagram

I know that without them I may have caved in the early days of my journey. 

They openly share their tricks of the trade, so to speak.  I get ideas for new hairstyles and inspiration to try new makeup colors. 

I’ve experienced some new firsts for me, such as trying red lipstick and wearing the color yellow.

I’ve received tips for products to keep my greys free of the yellow tones that may come from heat, product buildup or pollution. 

** 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.**

Michele's fantastic gray hair had dark dyed ends as it grew out

My favorite shampoos at the moment are milk_shake Silver Shine Light Shampoo and Klorane’s Anti-Yellowing Shampoo with Centaury

Michele's gray hair transition was transformative for her health and self confidence

The women (and gentlemen) of Instagram are champions when it comes to offering encouragement and support. 

They are a fierce group of wildly authentic and courageous people, unabashed by the beauty ideals of the world.

And they are changing the standards of beauty one by one grey hair at a time.

Michele is rocking an all natural gray bob haircut

Related Posts:

Joni’s Gorgeous Transition to Long Gray Hair

Eva’s Stunning White Hair Transition


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39 Comments

  1. Hi all you brave ladies. I am a young 72 and my natural colour was mousy, urgh! yeah! So for years I coloured it auburn, but the sun would bleach the colour out, so I started to colour it lighter and lighter, method in my madness, I reckoned the grey wouldn’t show quite as quickly. 🤔😁 I always colour at home and it’s been damaging my hair, drying it out, especially the ends, so I’ve decided, ‘no more colouring’ I’ve also been encouraged by a friend going from very dark brown to white, I didn’t see her for a while due to lockdown, but she said she looked like a badger 😹 when I did see her, WOW! she looked amazing, she’s gone completely white, just a few bits of colour left in the ends, it’s fabulous. Let’s go for it, yay! 🙋

  2. I just turned 50 last week and have medium length dark brown hair – tired of coloring, especially when it only lasts about a week before I get the silver halo. My stylist suggested lighting the color she uses on my root touchups continuously so the gray looks more like highlights, but it looks red and brassy. She’s used an ash toner on my hair and now the ends look a very unnatural color. So frustrating, but I don’t know where to turn next.

    1. Hi, Jen: When you have dark brunette hair, I personally feel that the best ways to gray are NOT with salon methods as those tend to damage darker hair or turn it strange colors. Personally, I prefer cold turkey but if you don’t want to just grow out your gray hair over time, you should look into the dye strip method. It is a game changer for us dark brunettes.

  3. After nearly eight months of growing out my box dyed hair, a new hairdresser I recently used for a trim suggested a colour correction then a toner to help me through this growing out stage…I don’t know much about this and if it’s just another damaging process?

    1. I would tread cautiously. If you have light blonde or very light brown hair, it could work out fine. But a number of women with dark dyed hair have told me that they’ve had damage from some of these salon processes. if you have time, post your question on Silver Revolution on Facebook and you’ll see that there are a number of dark brunettes who regret that they did this. Just wanted to let you know!

  4. I am 66 but a very young 66 I have always had very dark hair almost black. I decided during the pandemic not to color it. I have been googled this topic for months now, because I look at myself and I look so old it is depressing. I don’t want to dye it, but it’s hard to pass a mirror even with make-up on and not want to cry. My hair is long and I look like a witch. I don’t want to cut it . I have almost 3 months of gray growth. I have two boxes of hair dye in my vanity. My daughter keeps saying now is the best time to do this your not going anywhere and you can always dye it back. I am so close to coloring it, please encourage me not to do this. I hope It will eventually look good.

    1. At 56, I made the decision to grown mine out too! Your daughter is right – now IS the time!

    2. Be strong and don’t give in. I made the decision to stop colouring my hair recently too after a lot of thought. I’m 65 and my natural colour was dark brown, almost black. I decided to have my long straggly hair (due to lockdown) cut into an inverted bob and it’s the best decision I’ve made – it’s given me so much confidence. I can’t wait to see my new fully natural colour with my lovely new hairstyle. Go for it with confidence and don’t let anyone tell you you’re making a mistake because you are not. Keep strong 💯👩🏻‍🦳

    3. Don’t Die it Nina,I will be 64 in March same story literally. My daughter don’t do it Mom your so close. But I Look old , but my friends say I look Beautiful go figure. Like your daughter says this is the time to do it. Hang in there Gorgeous. Laurie🌈🥂🥰

    4. Hold on and get a great short & stylish hair cut when out of lockdown ..
      I’m in same boat as you and at 65 I had decided to go grey before March and the pandemic..
      this is the best time to give it a real go .. It’s really that at our age we can’t be grey with long hair !

  5. I’ve been coloring my naturally curly dark hair since I was 25. I’ll be 63 in September. I have no idea what my grey hair will look like, but have decided to let it grow out. Scary process. Think I may eventually get some highlights to make it less noticeable. My hair is dark brown now.

  6. So happy that I stumbled onto this site. I don’t even know how long I may have had totally white hair because I have colored it for so many years. Couldn’t get to a store for hair color during the pandemic so I used one box and colored what I could. Finally the beginning of June I got into a salon, had my hair cut short (yay) and realized how beautiful the white was … and it was mostly white in back with 1.5″ roots on top/sides. Should take much longer and I will have all white. My daughter is so encouraging – sons are surprised but supportive. At last, a healthy scalp and the benefit is beautiful hair.

  7. Mary ( so_grayfull ) says:

    Im so used to seeing Michelle with her silver hair, I had forgotten how she looked when she first started her transition.

  8. Your hair is beautiful ! I’m 15 weeks in and love my silvery sparkly bangs. I thought I would wait to retire but I see the three months off from school as a gift and I’m not wasting it!

  9. Amy Morris says:

    All these transition stories are so inspiring! I’m 60 and with Covid I felt like I already had 1”-what’s another 10?! I have curly hair and hopefully that will help. I was able to have some highlights down to reduce the line and requested minimal lightening where the roots were. Hopefully I just stick with occasional highlights to reduce my anxiety over roots!
    Many thanks for your story.

  10. So helpfully to see and read all comments here. I’m 62 and 10 months into the natural hair color stage. As an ex hairdresser this was very difficult for me at the beginning. I can assure those looking for healthier, beautiful hair, this journey is so worth It!!

  11. Diane Suevo says:

    Just turned 65 and I have always colored my hair in some way. I want to go natural, but I am scared to death. My family goes stark white. I think I am completely white. I do roots every 10 days. I wear highlights, so it always works. Do I cut off my hair and start that way? I cannot just let the roots grow out. This is my anxiety. Not sure how to make it happen, but I want to do it! I am super proud of all the beautiful women that made the change.

    1. Diane, make sure read through the entire blog as there are numerous tips here to help you if you don’t want to grow your roots out. You have a ton of options! Go to the salon for a salon transition, cut your hair very short (then it would only take 2-3 months to grow out), or even wear wigs to cover the growout. I’m also going to be doing a YouTube video next weekend about a new method that could work for you.Best of luck to you! And PS White hair is beautiful!

    2. Hey Diane my name is Darcy. I was having the same issue as you with having anxiety about the best way to grow out my grey hair. I was back and forth. On April 20,2020 I shaved my hair off with a razor and a number 3 guard. I was scared at first because I had never done anything like that before but it’s somehow empowering. It was totally worth it for me to shave my hair.Shampoo that’s it and wait for it to grown. I hope this helps you.

  12. Judy Nachtigal says:

    I started my transition a few months before I turned 70! Two years later, it is a beautiful, shiny silver/white. I don’t think I ever really had shiny hair. It took about 15 months for my chin-length layered bob to completely grow out. Seriously…every time I went shopping or out anywhere (before covid) I would get complements on my hair. Who knew I’d have my prettiest, healthiest (adult) hair at this age? I had my hair colored every three weeks for many years. Why didn’t I transition sooner? I think mostly because years ago, no one did. I’m so glad it is so much more accepted and even popular now. Younger women are often the ones who complement my hair. I love it, and love NOT having it dyed.

  13. This has inspired me to embrace my hair! I’m white and trying to grow out but have felt very subconscious. My hair is long and I don’t want to cut it short. I’m just gonna keep transitioning and carry it with confidence! I’m 53. Been dying my hair for 30 years. Enough!

  14. I’m 45 and tired of coloring my hair. I have 25% gray and I feel as if now is a good time to transition to salt & pepper hair. Everyone is saying my too young for this and it will age me. Is 45 too young to go gray?

    1. No age is too young to go gray – gray is just a color. The sooner we can stop associating it with age, the better. I went gray at 50 and wish I’d done it sooner. You can always give it a try, and if you hate it, go back to coloring – there’s no judgment. But it’s a legitimate option to go gray at any age. Check out Silver Revolution on Facebook if you need support!

    2. I’m turning 48 next month and now 14 weeks with no dye. I had received the same feedback but now that I’ve started and committed to it I’m excited to see what it brings wishing I would’ve had the confidence to do it earlier. Honestly I’m feeling very empowered with my decision to go grey… natural, confident, & healthy. If YOU feel you’re ready then go for it:)

    3. I just turned 45 in May 2020 and decided to stop coloring. I would be all grey if I stopped coloring in my 20s. I always thought it would make me look old…realizing that’s BS and I determine my youthfulness in many ways not just my hair. Plus, I grew up with a mom who’s always colored her hair …the imagine thing started to bother me. Time to break free!

  15. Vickie Bulkowski says:

    I’m inspired and going to do it. Done coloring even though I love the color. Turning 60 this year and I’ve wanted to do this for years. I’d also like to shave my head and have it be over with but for today, this decision to stop coloring, is enough.

    1. Jane mann says:

      Vickie, I also turn 60 this year and due to COVID 19 I have not been to the hairdressers since February and my grey is beginning to show so I feel now is the time to do it. I have quite long hair and like you I have talked about shaving it all off, wish I was braver, my girls would kill me I think I’m going to have to go shorter also my died hair is quite dark. Can’t wait to see the results and not have to visit the hairdressers and spend a small fortune every six weeks !! Beautiful photos

    2. Patty Baker says:

      I am so with you Vickie….I too have thought just shave it off and start anew 😉 But then I step away from the mirror, and doing too much too soon. Stop coloring is my decision for now….I am done with the countless hours I have spent “gettin my roots done” Can’t get the time back, but CAN make the adjustment Now. I am encouraged and excited…Hopefully this feeling will carry me through the hat wearing, spooky months. LOL

  16. OK. You’ve sold me on “going gray”. I have the time & patience. Jenny @ the Aveda Zen Salon in Ft Myers will be there for me. Excellent stylist & have a mean pair of scissors. Seeing these beautiful woman do this has made me more confident. Thanks for sharing…👣😎🌴

  17. This week I told my hairdresser not to make up my color for me to pickup (during Covid) for this coming Saturday. I actually told him I decided to go natural after 50 years of covering up my grey hair. At 18 my struggle with ‘covering’ the grey started and has continued until this week. At 68 I teach students with special needs and thought I would wait until I ‘retired’ until I went grey. However, at this point I do not expect to retire anytime soon. So here I go…

  18. My transformation begins today April 19, 2020., after coloring my hair for many many years, specially after I ended my chemo treatment in 2007 .
    I have researching many sites looking for some people with specific ethnics features since I have some Asian / Latin mix so I was not sure how I would like with grey hair.
    After reading and seen many lovely ladies results, I made the final decision.
    Most important; my husband of 38 years said” You always look beautiful to me ” so I am going for it!

    1. Viju Naidu says:

      I like the beautiful write ups of all beautiful ladies,I want to stop dyeing my hair and want to have the natural feel but my concern is I have a wheatish complexion and my hair has become very thin I am 66 please suggest how do I gracefully grey my hair.Thanks

  19. Looking for inspiration on letting my hair grow out natural.

  20. Jacqueline Lee says:

    I am 64 and my last hair color was December 5, 2019. I decided it was time. I had been coloring my hair regularly for about 8-10 years. Freedom. Glad we can share this journey.

  21. I am 74 and I finally decided to let my grey hair grow out. Like most of you I am tired of coloring and damaging my hair. I colored my hair for the last time in December of 2019. It is a nice shade of silvery grey. I feel liberated. I wish that I could speed up the process. I realize that the end will justify the waiting. Thank you for the inspiration.

  22. Sally gauthier says:

    Beautiful face and hair to match! Really looks good👍

  23. Wow! What a beautiful transformation, fingers crossed my natural color looks close to as nice !

  24. Indu Sharma says:

    You are an inspiration to me…..I’m 61 years young and 3 months in my greyhood………🥰

    1. I love these stories and watching the transformations! They are what keep me on track. I’m a little over one year in and SO happy about the decision.

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