Kim’s Beautiful Transition to Gray Hair
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Kim is transitioning to gray hair at age 50. She has a great attitude about her gray hair transition, which is especially inspiring as she is going gray in Los Angeles, one of the most image-conscious (and dare we say ageist?) cities in America!
I’ll never forget it; it was my Freshman year in college and a guy sitting behind me in one of my classes pulled a hair out of my head, showed it to me and said, “Hey! Didja know you had a gray hair?”
SO BEGAN THE BATTLE WITH MY GRAY HAIR
I dyed my hair regularly for the next thirty years.
That meant a seat in a salon every four weeks, and for the last week and a half, I’d have to use hair mascara.
That worked great, except my pillowcases and shirt collars had brown smudges on them and when I’d come in from a run I’d have to mop my hair part to keep the mascara from running down my face. Lovely!
So then it was a visit to the salon every three weeks and when I just got so sick of spending half my Saturdays and basically all my paycheck on my damn hair, I decided to start dyeing at home.
I didn’t trust box dye from the drugstore, so I spent hours on YouTube figuring out how to mix salon quality colors with different levels of developer (apologies to people who actually went to school for this…believe me, I never was great at it!)
I bought expensive color, gloves, bowls, and brushes and just started coloring at home every 2 ½ weeks.
I’d recruit my boyfriend to get the roots at the back of my head where I couldn’t reach.
This was a source of great comedy for the both of us but one day he looked at me and said, “You know, I think you should just go gray. I think it would look really cool!”
I’d like to add here that he’s 16 years younger than me and I’m so grateful for the Millennial open mind about hair color! I said thanks, but there is no way in hell that I’m going gray at 48 and kept dyeing.
But I kept thinking about it.
COULD I TRANSITION TO GRAY HAIR?
I work in a really young industry. I date a younger man. I FEEL young! Would it mean I’d never get hired? Never be loved? What would people think?? I mean, it’s crazy, right?
This is what you do. You’re a woman in Los Angeles, you dye your hair like everyone ELSE in Los Angeles.
I figured I’d go gray about six months before I hit the grave.
So I kept dyeing. And kept on with all the crap that comes with dyeing: the monotone hair, scheduling dyes to coordinate with events and vacations, feeling gross if a little white skunk stripe showed up, spending money on supplies.
You all know the drill. Ugh!
Then a few months after I turned 50, I ran into an acquaintance of mine who was transitioning to gray. She looked amazing.
Her hair color looked great with her complexion, she looked radiant, she looked FREE!
She didn’t look like she ‘let herself go’ or look ‘old’ at all, she just looked wonderful and natural. So that was it. Something deep within me clicked and I knew I was done.
My last color was on Feb 28, 2018. Boyfriend rejoiced that he didn’t have to color my hair anymore!
I talked with my amazing hairstylist who was on board and cool with my decision to start my gray hair transition.
I’d like to add what a bonus this was, having her in my camp. She told me to grow out the roots for a few weeks or so to see what colors we were working with and she’d put in a ton of highlights and a silver toner.
So we did just that.
It took hours and was expensive but I walked out of the salon with most of my old brown out and with some blending that worked a little better.
She just gave me a head FULL of foils (bleached highlights) and she used a ton of Olaplex which prevents damage.
She then used a Kevin Murphy silver toner. I went back to her a few months later for another round of highlights and toner.
The toner seriously lasted about four shampoos, not sure I’d recommend it. I’m at 7 months now and I don’t think I’ll have any more blending.
I kinda love my weird two-toned grombre hair and don’t feel self-conscious about it at all.
Here’s the thing: I *do* feel I look a little older. But I’m ok with it. I *am* older.
I mean, who was I really fooling?
I feel like I’m in a new category: before, I was a tired passing-for-youngish person just barely clinging to it, and now I’m a fresh-looking older person!
It’s like I’m in a new bracket!
Really makes you think how we’ve been fed the line that as women we can’t age. Why can my male peers get older and I can’t?
When you start unraveling the bull we’ve been sold for so long you see how ridiculous it is!
I like that I’m representing change.
My friends and coworkers have been amazingly positive and supportive. Men of all ages really seem to like it!
The only guff I’ve gotten so far is from older women who still dye. And my dad, he hates it!
I’ve seen photos of me where I look pretty washed out, so I still feel I need to tweak makeup and what colors to wear with gray hair, etc.
It’s fun having a new palette to play with!
In general, I’ve been really loving what it’s been doing to how I feel inside- more mature, ready to take on the next phase of my life. And I feel like such a rebel!!
I had started using sulfate-free shampoo for about a year before I transitioned so I feel my hair was a little more healthy and ready to take the bleaching.
I love New Wash– it’s expensive but just makes my hair feel great.
I’ll use Overtone Vibrant Silver but it does make my non-gray hair darker so I think it makes the line of demarcation more visible.
My new gray is definitely coarser and drier so I’ve been using a lot of coconut oil. I like the fractionated because it’s liquid and easier to deal with.
I use purple shampoo/conditioner a few times a month to tone down the yellow and this Pravana Perfect Blonde is great. Sulfate free!
This Kevin Murphy Easy Rider Cream is great and smooths down the gray hairs that stand straight up!
Thanks, Katie, for letting me take up some space on your gray hair blog!
And for anyone thinking about going silver…come on in, the water’s fine!
Katie here: This post was originally published in the summer of 2018. In early January 2019, I checked back with Kim to see how she was doing with her gray hair transition, and she gave me this great update:
Here are my photos from around 11-months dye-free. Almost a year!
I now don’t think about / obsess over my decision to go gray ever waking moment (haha!)
I still feel wonderful about my decision and love the compliments!
I recently went on vacation and then went through the holidays without once worrying about making that salon appointment so I wouldn’t have gray roots for photos – how freeing!
Terry’s Lovely Long Gray Hair
Silver Hair Transition Story: Eva
Amanda’s Super-Fun Gray Hair Transition
Andrea’s Transformation into a Self-Confident Silver Sister
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This story is very similar to mine as far as salon appointments and then doing it myself at home. The hassle and money it’s all to much. My last dye job was in Dec. right before Christmas. I decided that next month, since I’m turning 50 in May and felt that’s when a new chapter of my life starts I was going to be done with hair dye and was going to go all natural. Well here we are just 15 days till my birthday and I’m feeling like my white skunk stripe is going to be what everyone sees in all of my birthday pictures. I’m not giving in though. I may have my stylist tweak my color a bit but I’m determined to stick with it and embrace my age. Or I’ll just wear a hat. That’s fine with me because I know I’ll still look good.
The most embarrassing moment of my life was at the age of 15. Sitting in Junior High and hearing a girl sitting behind me and tapping her friend on the shoulder across from her, telling her friend that I had a grey hair!
I spent the next 40 years covering up my grey hairs!
I am ready to stop trying to cover up the premature (lack of melatonin) what mother nature gave me and am ready to stop coloring
However, I do not have the discipline to sit in the salon chair for 8 hours, stripping dye from my hair and coloring it back to the natural silver color I already have.
Seriously pondering on it since two yrs 😂 now, my lashes n brows are also almost gone grey, so need to plan carefully, I don’t wish to scare ppl… 😂😂
I started a new job December 2018 and saw some beautiful gray hair women. I felt comfort at almost 53 I had done hightlights and then full color. Then whatever I used turned brassy. I have almost black hair. I half sicilian, so there is ethnic traits of africian and asian. I said this is it! I have short hair, took a year and grew it out. Now I wish I had more gray. I don’t have solid streeks. I still use my pureology volume products. I do an olaplex treatment everytime I get a hair cut to soften my hair because gray can be corse and my hair is kinky.
I decided yesterday, I’m letting my gray come through! I’m 62 and have been getting my hair professionally dyed for over 30 years! Once the pandemic hit, I started using Madison Reed to color my hair my self….it’s not any easy thing to do! Yesterday, I just decided, I’m not using the last bottle of dye I have and cancelled my subscription!
So, I’m already at 5 weeks! Now, trying to decide next steps. Thanks for your site cuz I’ll be doing lots of research etc about this process. As of now, I’m excited…hopefully, that excitement won’t fade too quickly!
That’s wonderful, Rhonda! I’m happy for you – I bet you’ll feel great about your decision. What a great way to start off the new year!
All the stories are very inspirational. Unfortunately I have extreme thinning to deal with as well. I wear hair toppers but I’m hoping maybe not dying anymore will improve my thinning as well. If not,
it’s gray hair toppers for me. I’m turning 60 in a couple weeks and planning to finally go from brunette to gray. I haven’t heard anyone trying something like Color Oops dye remover. I’ve used it a couple times in the past when I picked the absolutely wrong box dye color. That’s how I discovered I have white hair under it all! It didn’t seem to damage my hair either. I’m thinking of taking the plunge and trying it again now that I’ve decided to leave the dye off. Has anyone tried this?
Hi, Sherry! What a coincidence as I’ll be doing a YouTube video in the next week to two about toppers. Make sure to check it out on my YouTube channel!
Re: Color Oops, I’ve heard from some people that experienced damage with it, but if your hair withstood it before, maybe it will again? I hope you have great luck with it.
I’ll be sure to check it out. Long, gray helper hair is turning out to be especially hard to find. I can handle going gray but going bald has been a real self esteem blow! Angela’s Silver Linings on You Tube has been very helpful BTW.
I decided to stop coloring my hair when COVID became a problem. I’m fully transitioned and love my hair. It’s darker than I remembered and has white streaks that I really like. Probably look older just because people tend to think gray means old.
From all the pics I’ve been seeing of ladies that have transitioned to no dye, I’m going to guess you DON’T look older at all, and you’re living proof that gray DOES NOT mean Old👵🏼! The fact that you love your hair adds to your beauty 🤗👩🏼🦳
I decided to stop coloring my hair this past April, April 10,2021 and I am so happy. There were several times which I was going to give up and color my hair but, I’m glad now that I didn’t give in. My hair is a darker in the back and lighter in front but I think I will put some silver highlights in soon! So glad I am not a slave to coloring my hair anymore 😊
I’m 48 and finally going for it after trying once or twice but not getting past a month. Haven’t dyed since December 2020. I do get highlights and lowlights to ease the transition. Just can’t dye it every 10 days anymore.
I totally understand!
Fantastic! I am 67 & just decided to do the same thing. My daughter is 48 & has been turning gray since she was a teenager. Unfortunately she received that gene from both sides, her father & mine. We both got tired of coloring each others hair every 3 weeks. Then when COVID hit we had to do our own which made it a lot harder. Our husbands are behind us 100% in going naturally gray. My hair is coming in more white than gray. We are in about 12-13 weeks right now. We are doing this as a team. My daughter’s work friend is doing the same thing.
How fun to go through this with your daughter at the same time! Have a blast!
I decided at 70 no more expensive hairdressers touching up the roots every 3 weeks, it was painful to leave it to every 4 or 5 weeks. So now at 75 I’m so happy and free with White hair and put always some fun pink strands. Everyone comments on how cool it is.
That’s wonderful, Freda!
It ‘s the second time I am trying to go gray hair. The first time, I was between 40 and 45, but I stopped because of people’s comments.
Now I’m 48. I searched models on the web and showed some models to my hairdresser. I asked him gray hair. I obtained a mix of blond, brown and white hair… All I didn’t want anymore.
I made a decision : I’m transitioning to gray hair. My last color was in December. I hope I will be able to disregard remarks.
Hi Katie. I just joined Silver Revolutions. I’m done with dyeing my hair although I love the ash blonde color but I’m tired of the itching the dye does to my scalp! Really bad!
So glad you joined us! You and your hair will feel much healthier really soon! It’s so nice to be done with those type of reactions to dye. I would never have put up with that type of reaction for makeup or other cosmetic items, so I often wonder why it didn’t alarm me more when my scalp itched or burned during dyeing?!
You actually look naturally younger!
I honestly do not think the grey colour makes you look old, the condition of the hair and the style matter much more.
I am just starting my transition and a huge thank you to all those that have shared their stories and given me the strength to go for it.
I have 75% grey/white at the front and 30% at the back. My hair naturally is a very dark brown so to strip the colour and blend is proving difficult!
I agree, the condition and style of your hair will age someone more than the color. Stripping dark hair can result in severe damage – I think the cold turkey or dye strip methods are safest for us dark brunettes (just my opinion – I’ve seen a lot of women end up with damaged hair going from dark brunette to gray via salon methods).
My thoughts exactly! Have been going gray for a little over a year now, and am totally happy! All the best to you!
I’m 55 and embracing the change. Can’t recall if it was Jan/Feb the last colour, so I’m 5/6 months in. I was quite fair naturally (as a child anyway!) and love the bits that are particularly silver coming through, as opposed to grey grey! But I’ve been thinking about it for about 2 years, and always nipping back to the salon – I’ve now decided whatever the colour turns out to be, that’s what it will be! And yes, it’s liberating. Something in me just clicked about 6 weeks ago, and I want to go grey!
Great resources out there. Glad I came across this website and all these stories 🙂
So glad you like the site! Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter for even more gray hair info!
Good luck with your transition to silver hair!
I’m 68..love my gray transitioning…
I’m 34 and have a mass of grey just under my parting. About to start the transition to allow me to stop dying my hair. Its red/copper at the moment. But I am going to be dying it into dark grey with silver/ grey highlights. Hoping as I get more greys this will tone in better as I’m relatively young to be going so grey however my mom has beautiful silver hair so as long as i follow suit I will be on trend away.
I stopped coloring about two years ago, I’m 65. My hair is snow white with some grey in the back. It looks great. I’ve never had so many complements ever! I’ve even had women stop me to take pics of my hair for their hairdressers. My mother, who is 86, has less white/grey than I do. I wish I’d done it sooner. I hated having to get my hair color done every 2 weeks. What a waste of time and money. No more, thanks to Mother Nature. Now I need a nice cut. My hair has gotten too long and wear it mostly in a high ponytail. I want a shoulder length bob. Just waiting for my hairdresser to return to work.
I started my transition to gray on my 62nd birthday- the day we were sent home due to the pandemic! I am so excited to see the transition and this sight helps to remind me why I want to do this! Thank you to all who have shared their experience!
You have a natural glow and the gray clearly works beautifully!
Thanks for your inspiration!
I’m 3 months in and only getting a few lowlights to help with the demarcation line. I’m looking forward to not being a slave to the false colour/appts./costs/chemicals.
Wow, Kim, your hair grows fast! Must grow at least an inch per month. That’s fantastic. Mine grows a half inch per month, if I’m lucky. In this time of Pandemic, when the performances I would normally attend in the summer have all been cancelled, I’ve decided to let my gray/silver grow out. Because those events would require me to remove my hat so as not to obstruct the view of someone seated behind me. My hair is halfway down my back, dyed with henna for a decade and about 6 to 8 inches of chemical color, all dark red, all wrong for my cool undertone. It took 5.5 years to grow this out from a buzz cut. I like it though, because I put it in a low ponytail and have started wearing my hats. I have a large hat collection, and I think I just look better in a hat. My hats will hide this for about 8 months I think, then I will chop off 4 inches. Another year, hack off another four. Then if I can’t stand the line, I’ll get a layered bob like Katie’s and slap a hat on it.
Susan, if you would like your hair to grow faster, try this. Get one of those round styling brushes, with firm bristles, and a vent brush. First, with the ends of your fingers, massage your scalp, by making firm circular movements, involving moving the skin, too. Then, take the vent brush to take out any tangles. Bend over, from the waist, and start using the round styling brush. Brush from the hairline in back and brush all the way to the front. Thoroughly brush your hair until your head tingles! Then stand up, and use the vent brush to get the hair back into place. I started doing this, when I noticed that my hair seemed to be thinning. The very first thing I noticed, was that my hair was growing VERY fast. It is now thicker than it was, albeit not as thick as when I was younger, but thicker. I need a trim every couple of weeks. Good thing I do my own cutting. Try it, you have nothing to lose. Plus, your hair will shine more. Good luck.
Thanks for the tip! Thinning hair is no fun.
I’ve been gray since I was 16. Being 42 now and unable to go to the salon because the pandemic I’m considering going completely gray. Scary for sure.
Same here…started young and had to begin professionally coloring by 27. I’ve let my gray grow out since the stay-at-home orders in LA and it’s the most gray I’ve ever seen myself with! I feel like it’s now or never to give it a try! Scary though…
Same-same! Every 3 weeks stops here✅
Unfortunately I’m not just gray- I’m completely white in the front! At 57, I’m tired of feeling self conscious of my roots. The pandemic helped me! I’m done. But…not sure whether to let it just grow out naturally or have my stylist transition it. Appointment is in 7 days?
Holly, if you let it go all gray, you can play with those cool color sticks, and get a little wild! They wash out, if you don’t like them, and you can have a different look, whenever you like. Just sayin’!
Holly… I, too, have decided to take the leap and transition to gray! I made the decision on March 13th, then changed it June 4th. I’m so sorry I did! I knew immediately, that I’d made the wrong decision to dye it again! So here I am… 4 months since the my last color and I could not be happier! I feel free and have gotten really creative with hairstyles. My hair started from dark brown, so the transition line is quite noticeable. I don’t care! I’m committed to this process and look forward to the day I’m ALL gray! With red lipstick and black cat-eye glasses, I look fabulous!
Pareil pour moi. Le confinement m’a poussée à plonger. J’aimais beaucoup le roux foncé (Irish Setter) de ma coloration, qui répond bien à la couleur de ma peau et je n’ai jamais eu envie de changer. Toute ma garde-robe est conçue en fonction de cette couleur. Mais j’ai maintenant une repousse de 3 mois et s’il y avait une 2e vague à l’automne, les problèmes recommenceraient. Puisque ma vie sociale est maintenant réduite, j’ai décidé de risquer le gris. On verra.
Très bien! Moi aussi je laisse mes cheveux gris ou plutôt blanc pousser.
J’espère que ça ne me vieillira pas de trop!
I’ve decided to embrace the grey. I’m excited to see the results.
I’m 62, and with the shelter in place orders and working full time essential worker, I have decided I’m letting my gray hair grow out. My stylist has been gradually lightening my hair (dark brown) to blond so that the gray won’t be as noticeable as it grows out.
The photographs here look great. I love the natural color. I’m 64 and I use to highlight my drab dishwater blonde/ brownish hair but now that I have varying shades of gray taking over, I’ve been throwing in some lowlights instead and the light gray has become my new highlights. It’s very “freeing” when you can just let it go and don’t feel you have to do something with it. I’ve been throwing in the lowlights maybe once every couple of years just for fun but I’m totally happy to do nothing at all. So yeah, kudos to you and all you lovely ladies out there for taking the plunge to accept the color that God has given you. Your hair will be happier and healthier for it. 🙂
I’m 70 and letting my grey roots grow out. Kinda anxious about going grey but tired of spending the money to keep the brown/highlights.
Anxious but excited to take this journey!
I feel the same, tired of doing the dye job every six weeks. I’m 67 and finally stopped ever since COVID. The blonde has blended in with the gray and I love it, so does my husband. Kept saying I wouldn’t let it go, but finally did it. My daughter doesn’t like it however, my granddaughters do. Main thing is that I do.
Remember ladies—silver is the new sexy!
Have stopped dying for 2 months now! So far I like the gray .even got a gray wig and everyone likes it!
Well done , I went cold turkey 3 years ago I just let it get on with it , no visits to hairdressers no highlights nothing ,my hair is past my shoulders I got some wayward looks but I ignored them .
Keep going on your journey and discover all the beautiful different gray colours that you didn’t know that you had.
Where did you get a gray wig? With the isolation due to corona virus I’m letting my gray hair grow out to see if I can do this. I’m only 56 so it’s scary as I’m afraid it will just age me. I thought about a wig as well but not sure where to purchase.
I’m with you Grace! I’ll be 55 in June and with the lockdown here in the UK, am actually feeling amused at how I might look by letting my “natural highlights” come through after years of colouring it mid brown! I work in entertainment with my sister, who has embraced her grey (from coloured black) at 57, so I feel quite empowered by all the “sisters” around me who are embracing this!
I too am embracing the time given to us by the lockdown and growing my hair out. I am 54 and haven’t coloured it since January, not sure what to think about it yet. Good luck everyone! ?
Thank you for this article. It was like I was reading my own thoughts how you described how you decided to go grey. I am seven months in now. I am 57. I think I am loving it?
Not listening to negativity.
I am transitioning to grey. I no longer want to sit in a salon and have my hair dyed. I am turning 69 tomorrow. I went with the low lights and had my hair cut neck length to speed up the process. My hair has never been healthier. Prior to transitioning my hair was thinning due to processing it is now back to thick healthy hair. I had people comment that I am going to look older. It is what it is. Age is just a number. You are as old as you feel. I have to like my hair and do what is best for me and not run for the bottle due to the fact that someone commented. The low lights blend in the grey and make the transitioning easier. I may or may not stay with the low lights. I also experiment with adding color to my wardrobe and throw in vibrant color jewelry.
Many women who do this and look great also have great eyebrows. If your brows are thinning they may need some tweeking as well. Also, most of these women are relatively young. 50-ish is NOT old.let’s post some 60-70 year olds . After all we probably have been dying the longest.
I have become obsessed with reading all of the inspiring stories of women who are embracing their natural grey. I am just a month in and excited to see how it progresses (and I admit, a bit nervous too)!
Hi, I agree! I will turn 61 in June and have decided to embrace my gray hair. The problem is I think I look old for my age now, I have always been a lover of the sun. I would like to see real women photos before and after, retouching and if they have had any Botox or fillers, that would also be helpful.
Hi, Laura – if you haven’t seen it yet, check out these great examples of before & after gray hair. These are real women, not models, and I think they look fantastic. No idea if they use Botox or fillers, but I think the vast majority don’t.
Do you have stylists you’d recommend to assist with the transition?
Yes, check out my list here:
I’m 67 and almost 3 months in due to the virus. It looks like things won’t be opening in my area until at least June 1st. I’m very light and have been coloring for almost thirty years. I think I am ready to finally let it go. I have a chin length bob which by June will probably be an inch longer. If I do make the leap I will probably shorten the bob a bit once I can get to my hairdresser. I’m encouraged by all of the posts. Wish me luck!
I do wish you luck! Have a wonderful transition – it’s actually a fun time!
I love this story. I went through the exact same thing w/ my hair, however I decided to let mine grow out when I was about 45. It took good 8 -10 months for the transition. I am now 49. I have to tell you, I get compliments on my hair @ least twice a week & it makes me feel so much better about my decision. So don’t give up, join the “Grey movement”.
I am only two months in, I need susssport.
Nivia, for support, you should join Silver Revolution on Facebook – you’ll find lots of advice and support there! It’s great! (I’m an Admin)
How long does it take to grow grey from coloured hair
Hi, it depends on the length of your hair, and just genetics. I went from dark brunette dye to almost fully grown out by 19 months. My hair is a longish bob. Some women cut their hair very short and are done with their transition in 3 or so months. You have to do it whatever works best for you – if you don’t want to go through a long grow out period, and you don’t want to cut your hair short, you might want go consider getting an experienced stylist to chemically transition your hair. It can be damaging, though, so pick someone who knows what they are doing. Good luck!
Nivia! You can do it! Be brave! It is so liberating and I’m so glad I did it!
My hair was dyed blond we lightened it a lot then I started using Keracolor clenditioner silver on my hair. I put it on dry hair and leave it for 30 minutes then rinse. It looks good and makes your hair feel amazing.
Me also, scary I know, just tired of the mess. Best of luck!!!
So glad I found this blog. I am 57 and have been coloring my hair for 30 yeats. I am ready to embrace my natural silver. My last color was March, cant get to salon until June due to COVID19. My hair is thin and naturally curly.
Hi love that you are embracing your gray, I to am going gray I hit 50 and was like how come guys go gray and look distinguished and women feel the need to color! I’m so happy many women are now embracing it! Gray hair women rule!
I am also fed of dying and in the transition to gray.Look awful as i am not used to this new look with all gray in the front temple..bt i have a question that i originally have medium brown hair so white hair look awful.pls give me some tips to carry it better.
I’m a hairdresser of 20 years. Go to salon and get some highlights. Go heavy each time. It will take a while to get blonde from med brown. U will have to do a honey blonde then light blonde. Also ask your stylist to put Olaplex in your bleach. That will keep your hair healthy. Good luck.
This is the most helpful comment to me so far! I want to stop coloring but want the softer easier way if there is one. Thx!
I’ve been coloring my hair for forty years and am so tired of it. It took me a long time to make a change so I started out by coloring my medium brown to a light blonde. I received so many compliments that I decided to let it grow out from there. It’s been five months now and most of it is coming out like salt and pepper. Again compliments. The back near the nap of my neck is still brown and not sure if I should have it cut really short or let it grow out ? What do you recomend SOS ?
Ps. Friends say I look younger yay
Hi, Virginia! Personally, I always find the contrast of colors really beautiful, so I say let your brown hair in the back grow out! But that’s just my opinion :-). Eventually, it will most likely turn white, so why not enjoy the difference now?
The new, real color looks fantastic. It is such a better color with your skin tone.
I was going grey for years, until my mid to late-fifties when I saw a photo of myself and saw that my hair was mostly white (before then it had been a beautiful salt and pepper and with the layered cuts I get, it was great). I freaked and started coloring it, with lowlights. My hair did not hold color well and always looked terrible (I see in retrospect), so about 5 years ago I had my colorist bleach out my hair and that was the last of it. It took a full two years to grow out, since I wear my hair long and layered. My current hairdresser who I started seeing just as the final ends of color were being snipped out said she will never color my hair, even if I beg. While my hair is white, for the most part, I still have enough color underneath that the layering looks really beautiful. I get lots of compliments, even from young people. I am lucky in that my grey is silky, not wired, in texture.
I also finally convinced my older sister to stop dyieng her hair, which was too dark for her 66 year old skin, and her natural color is so much more beautiful than the artificial ones.
It’s so liberating!
Hi, Anne – it IS so liberating! Your hair sounds beautiful and it’s so cool that your sister followed suit!
I must admit right off that I have never colored my hair. My mother always did and at 80 with dark hair she looked pretty funny. Once she stopped it was a beautiful white. At 72 now I have pretty nice, healthy silver hair. Best thing we can do for ourselves at this point is a really good hairstyle and cut. The money I spend every 5 weeks on a good haircut is far less than keeping up the color. Problem lately is my makeup and clothes. I’ve found I need more, brighter colors in my wardrobe and makeup. Good look to you all making a transition
Hi, I have been graying from the age of 15. I been dying my hair from the age of 24. Now I am 58 . I no longer remember my natural color . I just continued to coloring my hair every 2 1/2 weeks . I’m trying to be brave and transition to grey. My problem I’m confused on what hair style should I do.
I finally went all gray and love every minute.not sure what style you went with ,but I keep mine shoulder length.
Hi, Evelyn! You should check out this Pinterest board. There are so many pretty hairstyles here!
this is exactly what i decided after years worrying that going grey meant defeat Bollocks at age 50 i thought Enough im going to own my grey hair My hairdresser showed suggestions which on the transition Gwtting a good haircut and style i now am a free woman who will stand up and just ownit going grey
I could have written this article myself! Right down to the part about my dad being the most outspoken against me going gray. It has been the online community, and stories like yours that gave me the courage to actually make this journey for myself. So many great articles and YouTube videos.
Thank you for sharing your story!
Reading this just proved to me that I made the right choice to stop coloring last year. My hair was a dark almost sable brown with red highlights. I always colored my hair to it’s natural color. My mom use to tell me Marcie don’t dye your hair because people pay good money for your hair color. I never colored it to change the color just to save mine. Now that my grey is really coming in I see what she was talking about. I have 10 months of no dye and I’m loving it.
Love the freedom of no more colouring! It was a year this April for me that I stopped and I did the highlights too to blend – way easier but hard on hair. Thanks for sharing your transition story! I’m not obsessed all the time now about my greys like I first was – add some makeup and coloured clothing and we are vibrant!?♥️
I am 64 years old. I had been coloring my hair since my 30’s. I started going natural in January 2018. It took 9 months to go completely gray. My hairdresser was very supportive. I kept cutting my hair shorter because it was so drastic. I didn’t even use highlights. I finally am fully natural. My hair is longer. My hair feels so soft and healthy. I receive so many compliments. I am embracing my hair and my age. I look at other women with gray hair and it is beautiful!
I transitioned about a year ago I cut my hair pretty short pixie cut and so the transition was pretty quick 6 months. Once it was done I had a tough time and almost went back to color but once my pixie cut grew out I felt alot better now I feel like it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
Thank you Katie, I can relate and thanks for the the tips. I’m almost a year into my silvery greys and loving it.
You’re welcome! So glad you liked it! Congratulations on your upcoming silverversary!
Hi I just wanted to share an amazing shampoo & conditioner that I found while I was transitioning to grey. Fudge Shampoo & conditioner, it totally leaves my hair soft conditioned & takes all the brown orange colors out. I found it on Amazon I love it! Hope you do too! I will use it forever on my grey hair. ?
I started my transition in May of 2018 at age 69 after decades of color, so I’m about 11 months in. My hairstyle is a layered chin length bob, and it is growing in almost completely silver. I have a couple inches yet to go. My hair dresser also gave me heavy highlights to make the transition easier, and thank goodness for Olaplex (which protects from most bleach damage.) I’ve always liked a stylish cut and style, but I get complements on my color now almost every time I go anywhere. I’m a little more conscientious about makeup, especially eye makeup, and clothing colors, but I love this hair color. Just wish I’d done it sooner. I also have experimented with purple shampoos, but many of them can be drying. My favorite product is the Pravana hair mask. It really brightens my white and leaves my hair so conditioned. If you’re on the fence, my best advice is Try it! You’ll never really know what it could look like until you do.
You look amazing! I’m 51, boyfriend is 40 and has encouraged me to let my hair go grey, and I’ve resisted, same reasons as you…m thought it would show my age! But my older sister did it, and she looks great, and like you I’m tired of the time and cost of hair colouring. I take prednisone for Lupus and it makes colouring my hair hard, rejects the dyes! So enough! You’ve inspired me. My hair is naturally curly so it hides a multitude of sins!
I am 18 months into my transition. I decided after our youngest graduated from high school that I would quit coloring. But, I did color a few more times. For our son’s wedding I just used spray on hair color…lol. I had gained a ton of weight after my hysterectomy so I knew long lost relatives would be staring at my fat, not my hair! It has really been easy to grow out my ‘wisdom highlights’. I have a great support group within my own family. I just need to learn to dress in different colors and styles that are age appropriate. I’m 52 now and still just live in capri’s, tshirts and sandals. Trying to get brave enough to chop off my ponytail and get rid of the old color. But, I am not a stylish person and I am more worried about styling short, straight hair than I am about going gray! Any recommendations for websites that offer help with clothing or makeup for gray haired women? Thanks for all of these stories.
Hi, Granny DJ! I will look into this for you. I’m hoping to do more here myself about style/makeup/clothing, but there is not enough time in the day. 🙂 . I’ll look into it and drop you a line. Thanks!
I am 61 – Have been coloring my hair since I was 30. Switched to semi permanent color a few years ago and instantly my hair felt healthier. I made decision to transition 4 mos ago. My hairdresser doesn’t seem totally on board but is supportive. The last 2 appointments we just did a few tiny semi permanent foils to break up the color change in my part. That’s it. I am feeling pretty brave and solid these days and yes I do look at my silvers in the side view mirror when parked. Haha. Work in progress and I’ve got this ladies ! My mom is 95 beautiful and has never colored her hair. She is stunning ! I do not feel I’ve earned my silvers, I believe I am privileged to have them !
that’s a great attitude, Mary Beth!! Love it!
I started going grey when I was 18 . I started to fully dye my dark brown hair in my early 30s . The past 7 years I’ve been looking into transitioning from brown to grey and when I became a nonna in 2017 that was it . I decided that was the last time I would dye my roots that was October 2017 . Now 2 years later ,I have beautiful silver hair . I just turned 60 and never received more compliments in my life . I feel free . so no more anti age . I’m pro age all the way . I am finally embracing me .
That’s wonderful, Toni!
I decided to go grey 2 years ago after colouring for 25yrs. Best decision ever! I started having very thin highlights on my dark brown hair and let the grey grow through while continuing the highlights. I have never had so many compliments and my hair is healthy and shiny.
I started my journey March 2018 and wish I’d done it sooner. I love it and am at the point I don’t care what people think. My hair is healthy and isn’t falling out anymore because I used the box stuff.
I’ve had grey since I was 18yrs, but would color my hair, blue black,red,frosted,bleached,burgandy… finally decided to go natural at 50, my husband is also younger(18yrs) he’s never had a problem with it, and now at 69, I have never been complemented so much about my hair.
I’m 42 and fighting a full head of grey hair – I’m worried it will age me too much … what age is too early to give in to grey hair?
Sarah, have you seen my Before & After post? Some of those women are in their 30s and I don’t think any of the women there look older than their age. Follow the @grombre account on Instagram and you’ll see women of a variety of ages.
I am also 42 and decided about 4 months ago to start embracing truly. It’s just a new stage in life and sometimes when you take that scary first step you begin to experiment and the Caterpillar you found beautiful becomes this extraordinary butterfly you didn’t know was in you.
Hi Everyone!! I’m 44 and have a full head of beautiful silver!! I love it!!! I started graying very early, in my teens. I colored for many years to my natural color and then last year I was done! I decided last year on mother’s day to stop the dye and go natural. I cut all all the dye out with a very short pixie cut. After about two more trims, all the dye was out. ? I’m free and it feels great!!! I’m not letting my silver grow. My hair is now shoulder length and very healthy. It didn’t take long at all. I get many compliments daily everywhere I go from people of all ages and genders. People ask me all the time my age and say that I even look younger. Wow!! I was nervous at first but i’m glad I did it. I know many women are nervous about the pixie cut but really i feel my hair grew back healthier and pretty quickly. Take care everyone!!!
I am 71 and have darkest brown hair. My natural hair color.. but been dying for 35+ years .. I have tried going white for 8 months and really thought it aged me !! I am inspired by what I am reading and really want to try it again … tired of my hair thinning from the process ! Any help is welcomed. Txs
I’m 43. I’m not giving in, I’m liberating myself!
I had a baby step of this when I gave up foundation two years ago. In exchange, I started taking even better care of my skin and look better than I ever did before.
My hope is the same happens with my hair. Focus on taking care of it and keeping it healthy. I can’t help but think it will look even better, regardless of the color.
Hi, I am 67 & I have been thinking of going grey just for the convenience but I think zip will be all white if I do. I know this is going to age me big time, just not sure if that’s to big of an adjustment. I am also overweight soooooo I don’t know. Just thought I would see what anyone thinks.
Cheryl, you should join a gray hair support group and check in with the women there. You will find lots of ladies who were worried about being overweight and going gray, and they look fabulous! I think all of us can look great with gray hair, if we keep up the other things (skincare, good haircuts, fashion). Good luck!
I am struggling with the decision to go grey. I am divorced and looking to date again. Will this deter me from finding a guy?
Hi, Diane: You have got to read the book Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters by Anne Kreamer. She proves that men are not turned off by gray-haired women. In fact, the opposite is true – a lot of men are attracted to the authenticity! A number of us silver sisters are surprised to find that we are getting a lot of male attention since we ditched the dye. Who knew? Anyway, I really recommend the book!
You said a great guy. A great guy doesn’t care what color your hair is!
It was 18 months of 2 toned hair, but I love my new salt and pepper bob. I have some rocking Cruella deVille white streaks as well. I struggled finding hair products that work, however I recently discovered Redken Graydiant shampoo and conditioner. Life changing products. My hair was always thick and course and became more course as it grew out. The Redken products actually change the texture so my hair is really shiny and manageable. Styling is much easier.
I’m several months into the process… went a shade lighter each time till I became blond… just had the first cut without color Jan 7… my hair is a lot shorter so I will just cut off the colored hair every 5 weeks till it’s gone….. looking forward to seeing the color but nervous, not gonna lie! Been coloring my hair since 1983!
Loved all your insights. Like Gloria Steinem said, after fifty is a whole ‘nother country. For me, I can’t believe all the time and money I save!
I’ve not colored my roots for the past two hair appointments and my white/silver is blending well with the blonde I’ve worn for years with no demarcation. Natural hair is dark brown. I’m 58 and want to see what it’ll look like because I see others who’ve let theirs grow out and I love it! I’m just not sure about on me though. Underneath is dark with gray but in front it’s white. I’m nervous yet excited. I can’t believe I’m embracing my age. Guess I’m all grown up now. Lol.
Hi from Australia! I went fully grey and loved it until I was tempted by beautiful red box dye. 3 years later I’m starting the transition again. My recommendation is to cut the lengths to get rid of the colour and speed up the transition. Be honest with yourself in good daylight- what clothing and make up colours make you pop and which don’t?. I couldn’t wear any bronzer or nude brown/beige lipsticks anymore. Look at your eyebrows too. The struggle is real. Look at stylish people on pininterest and YouTube..I am not inherently stylish and found this super helpful. There is a difference between stylish and frumpy grey.
I too started my transition this past summer and went went back and forth about going gray. I started with the stripping of the dark color and transitioned to blonde then to my gray. Right now I am truly living it because I have more gray in the front of my hairline and it blends so naturally with the previously blonde color mixed with my natural brown. Everything you said is exactly what I went and am going through. Best of luck to you and you look great. I just turned 56 and even with the gray hair people think I’m in my early 40’s !
I am so glad I found you! You have really inspired me. I have wanted to go grey (well, for me would be white since I was a redhead), but my hairdresser keeps saying I would be sorry and I’m too young…I haven’t been young for a long time…..I’m 62! Anyhow, I loved reading this and thank you so much for posting it. You look terrific and have given me the courage to do this!
Hi! Thanks for sharing. I’m 56 and going back and fourth with thoughts about going all gray because my other problem is with my gray hair you can see my hair loss more.
I am transitioning to gray. I purchased purador hair thinning shampoo and purador hair loss loss prevention conditioner. Purchase at cvs with the rewards 25 or 40 % coupon. Using 3 months, hair starting to grow, hairdresser said I have baby hair, it is black! My solid white now is salt pepper. Still transitioning to natural hair, purador works and hair feels soft even the gray strands.
I’m transitioning now (3rd try!). I quit last time because of my pink scalp. I then started using a Hairmax red laser light device (41 light one) every other day) in May 2018, and by September 2018 my hair was amazingly thick and I began transitioning again. Hotandflashy Angie from youtube has a coupon as ahe tried it. I think this time I will make it now that at least for the first inch or so my hair is thick. Good luck!
Are you going to cut the old color off? That’s what I’m doing. I trim my hair every 8 weeks to get rid of the dark brown…looking good!
I have transitioned my hair for 2 years. I had the white/grey hair before Kim Kardashian died her hair grey. I have had so many compliments on my hair. Everyone just loves it.
That’s great, Karen! I love grey hair – it’s so unique!
I started last October 2018, I have dark brown hair, colouring my hair it feels healthy for a few weeks then starts to look dull also having to do roots a lot, I went to a salon had highlights put in which are brassy so use toner and purple shampoo. Went back to go a bit lighter. Not overly happy thought they could make it grey overnight if I’m truthful. But I’m fine now. Have a bob which I had cut a bit shorter. Having a good cut and shape can make all the difference. So I’m still going, no turning back. It is freeing once you stop worrying what people think.
I started my transition on September 5th. I know exactly how you feel. As I was reading your story I related to everything. Now I feel FREE, I am at the four month mark and I really need the toner, and one more highlight round. (I’ve had two) I think a third will make my transition perfect. The biggest drawback is my eyebrows are grey and disappearing. I do not have your beautiful brows.
I’m going to do a post on eyebrows soon, so keep an eye on the blog for updates!
Have you tried any of the Benefits products? They sell them at ULTA and Sephora, etc.
Click here to see what they have – if you got to ULTA, they will advise you and help you figure out what you need.
Thank you Kim, this is just what I needed to hear! I’ve been on the fence for a year now. I’m excited about going gray after reading your story! I’m a rebel too!
That’s great, Cynthia!! Good luck to you and have fun!
I stopped dying my hair a few years ago because I was tired of trying to keep up with it. My hair is light anyway any I dyed it an ash blonde so the contrast was not too bad. I get more compliments on my hair now then when I dyed it.
I hear that a lot, Janice – so glad you are getting positive feedback!
I’m 60 yrs old and was recently laid off so I’m going to wait until I have a new job to go gray. I’m afraid age discrimination is still alive.
I’m sorry to hear that, Emily. I hate age discrimination. My husband is going through the same thing. I”ll be thinking of you and wishing the best for you!
I’m 67 & stopped coloring my hair about a year ago. I have really long hair. I love my silvers. I’m not cutting my hair so it is gonna take awhile for it to be completely silver. My husband & daughters hate it. My stylist is supportive. I’m stubborn & tend to dig my heels in so bring on the silvers!
That’s great, EJ! Do what is best for you!
I’m 39, almost completely grey & haven’t dyed my hair in nearly 4 years. My husband has always been completely supportive but my mum & aunt were totally horrified & made loads of comments. They’re resigned to it now but it was tough having to listen to them.
I’m glad your husband has been so supportive – it makes all the difference!
I am 64 years old and had been thinking about going grey for a few years. The constant dyeing was starting to damage my hair. I had always been a brunette. The last time I had color put on my hair was November 2018. I let it grow out naturally and kept getting haircuts about every 6 weeks. I received compliments while letting it grow out. So far I am enjoying the silver hair. Don’t plan to color my hair again. My hair is healthier and I save lots of time and money. I say go for it!
That’s wonderful, Mary!
I’m 61 and it took me 1.5 years to go completely gray with natural dark high lights. I love not having to dye more hair every two weeks. I feel a sense of freedom. I’m still getting used to it though. My husband loves it!
Dianne, it IS such a freeing feeling, right? I’m so glad to have my time back! Glad you have a supportive husband. xoxo
My hair is dark but mostly gray at the roots with s smidgen of pepper. I have been letting just the front grow out for about 3 months to see how I liked it and the color against my skin. I did have it cut shorter my last appointment but tomorrow we plan to highlight. This will be interesting. Nervous.
Good luck! I bet it will be beautiful!
It took a year and a half but I now have silver hair and I love it. I am 67 with 17 grandchildren most of them love it. My 5 children are not lovers. I think they just don’t want to think their mother is getting older. The husband loves it. I will remain grey.
Kathy, I think it’s true that it’s hard for children to accept that their parents are getting older. It’s great that you and your husband love it, and so many of your grandchildren! It helps when you have that support. xoxox
I’m at the end of month 9. It is growing in bright shocking white! Not a hint of gray. Started dying my hair in early 20’s when my jet black hair started to become peppered with lots of white strands. For this transition period, I have purchased a few wigs in different shades of black, brown, and dirty bond. I love them! In fact, even when I am 100% white, I may color coordinate outfits with the wigs. The white hair looks great with cool colors. The white hair is definitely aging – no doubt about it – adds about 10 years. But I love the freedom of not being a slave to the salon.
Sounds gorgeous, Leslie! And the freedom is exhilarating, right?
So excited for you! I’m 43 and I am completely grown out, I love my gray hair. I love being free from the pressure. Also, being free from the “lie” that you look younger when you dye your hair? Do you really? I don’t think so. You look the way you look , you look your age. If you have brown hair or gray hair , your face and your eyes tell all!! The angry bitter woman looks older…. the peaceful self controlled kind woman looks younger. How “old” you look is so much more about the reflection of the inside.
Laurie, I agree with you 100%!
I’m 63 and have been coloring about 30 years. I’ve always been a brunette, so going very blonde to transition was shocking. Early March was my last round of highlights. I have about 2 inches left to grow out. I didn’t do toner at all. It really hasn’t been bad at all.
Sounds like you are almost done, Deb! That’s awesome!
I too am trying to go gray! I am basically using the same technic, heavy highlight to begin and then toners. My problem is the toner only lasts about 2 weeks. I’m trying really hard to suffer through it and only go back for toner about every 5 weeks. I’ve made it further than ever before so fingers crossed I make it this time! You look great being gray!
Good luck with your transition Evelyn!
I too am 7 mo in! At 59 I can’t wait! My daughter is a hairdresser so I got all the foils and silver toner too!
You look amazing!
Thank you, Shannon!