Growing out my gray hair - une femme d'un certain âge

So this is happening: my gray hair transition begins

Growing out my gray hair, about 8 weeks in....

Yep. I’m growing out my gray hair!

necklace | sweater

My hair color history

I first started coloring my hair in my 20’s, long before I had any grays. My natural color (a dark blonde I’ve often described as “wet cardboard box”) seemed drab to me and I wanted to liven things up. A good friend of mine was a hair stylist/colorist, and was very excited to dial the color up to a “new copper penny” red. (I don’t have any photos from this era…we didn’t have cameras and didn’t tend to document our lives the way we do today.)

The red suited me, I think. Lots of family on my mom’s side are redheads, and I did have some reddish tones in my natural color. When I moved to Los Angeles in my mid-30’s, I started doing the color myself with boxes purchased from grocery store shelves. I found that semi-permanent color was least damaging to my hair, and for a few years was happy with a softer red.

Still, I had a few oops experiences in my DIY years. 😱 One was a color marked “medium chestnut” on the box that went almost black on me! And then wouldn’t wash out, even long after the 30-day color life-expectancy. At that point, I decided it was time to go back to the salon.

I bounced around salons until I met my current colorist (and friend) Brian around 2006. He managed to correct my color back to a lighter, brighter red. For the next few years, I kept the red going. Then around 2013, I went blonde and never looked back.

Getting to the tipping point

For the last few years, I’ve been gray-curious. I didn’t want to go back to just a faded version of my natural color. So my stipulation was “when there’s more gray/white/silver than cardboard,” I’d go for it.

Several weeks ago, noticed that my roots growing in were…bright. As in, a lot of silver. I still have some darker bits mixed with the silver along the top of the crown and in the back. But the rest is gray enough for me to take the plunge and try growing it out.

Growing out gray hair: be prepared that the color may not be evenly gray.

I have to admit, I really like what I’m seeing so far. I stopped adding base color about 8 weeks ago. Four weeks ago I had Brian add a few more highlights in the already colored section to help it blend a little better. But I’ll probably still have a pretty apparent line of demarcation. At some point I may try to add some more silvery highlights and ashy lowlights to the colored part. Maybe I’ll cut it short in a few months. We’ll see.

If you’re on Instagram…

Susan (unefemme.net) and Jennifer (awellstyledlife.com) are both growing out gray hair. are

I’ll be going LIVE today with Jennifer of A Well Styled Life, who is also growing out her gray hair, and has a few months jump on me. 😆 We’ll be kicking it off at 10am PT / 1pm PT.

Update: for those who weren’t able to join, you can watch the whole thing here:

Products

I don’t use a lot of products on my hair, and at this point am not planning to add anything new. I’ve been using Pureology Hydrate Shampoo & Conditioner for some years. I’ll probably keep using this for a while, as it’s gentle on the colored portion of my hair. And the shampoo is purple-tinged, so it shouldn’t add any brassiness to the gray hair. 🤞

I’m open to suggestions for what to use once I’ve finished growing out the gray.

The only downside is that hair color adds some body and texture to my fine, straight hair. I’ll probably continue to use the Oribé Dry Texturizing Spray when I want a little volume and lift.

I’m still taking the Nutrafol Women’s Balance supplements and do think they help.

Kosas brow products in Gray. Brow Pop pencil,

A few months ago, some of you were asking about brow products for gray hair. I’ve been keeping an eye out, and finally came across some that are clean and cruelty-free. Both Kosas Brow Pop pencil and Air Brow tinted gel are available in a gray shade.

Have you grown out your gray hair, or are you thinking about it? Please share any tips, products, or processes that worked for you.

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for unefemme.net. See my complete disclosure policy here.

115 Comments

  1. Adele
    January 25, 2022 / 2:56 am

    how exciting! I think it will look fabulous, and the journey itself can be fun, especially if your stylist is on board. the Redken Graydient line of shampoo and conditioner are great for gray hair, and doesn’t deposit that purplish tinge, but does make my silver gray hair skew cool (which is perfect for me) My eyebrows are still quite dark. I like to keep them bold and find that a gray pencil is perfect, so thank you for the recommendation. My daughter, who also started going gray very young, has gorgeous salt and pepper hair and swears by Oribe moisturizing cream, which I am tempted to try despite the $$$ price tag.

  2. Penny
    January 25, 2022 / 4:14 am

    Susan, I am 54. In 2012 I read the book “Going Gray: How to Embrace Your Authentic Self with Grace and Style” by Anne Kreamer. I got off the coloring treadmill and I’ve never looked back. It did involve parting ways with my stylist at that time, but that has been a blessing. My current stylist is more talented, affirming, and attentive to my needs. In my going gray process, I approached a woman from my yoga class who is older than me but had beautifully embraced her gray. She was a great cheerleader, encourager and confidence boost for me during my process. Cheers to you!

  3. Tina O.
    January 25, 2022 / 4:14 am

    I’ve had several friends let their hair go to its natural color. They both look fabulous and embraced their maturing process. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’ve been blessed with hair color in my family as a redhead/strawberry blond/honey blond. I’m in my 50s and never colored my hair. I have many strands of white giving me a more blond look. We’ll see what happens. Many young women are coloring their hair silver/gray so I think this is exciting. I also used Pureology Color Protecting Shampoo (hot pink bottle) for almost 15 years! Can’t wait to see more!

  4. January 25, 2022 / 4:15 am

    I quit coloring my hair in December of 2019 and I’m thrilled with the final results. My hair was very dark, almost black, and I was not looking forward to the demarcation line while growing it out, but thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, not very many people saw me during the “ugly” months. It took about a year for it to grow out completely, and it’s at least half silver. I love it, and the freedom of not having to color my hair. (I still need to update my profile picture on my blog and social media, though.)

    If you’re like one of my friends, you’ll wind up looking like a platinum blonde! I’m looking forward to seeing how your hair transitions.

  5. Kathie
    January 25, 2022 / 4:20 am

    How exciting! Your natural color looks fabulous. I decided to grow out my natural color last year. When the salons were closed my husband commented that my natural color was a gorgeous silver and begged me to grow it out. I met my stylist colorist in a parking lot in daylight. She looked at it and concurred. I get compliments on it all the time now. Every time she cuts my hair she affirms that I look younger with my silvery white hair. Congrats on your decision.

  6. Sam
    January 25, 2022 / 4:22 am

    Very cool! Can you please offer tips to those of us who are deep brunettes [colouring at a salon] but interested in making this transition to grey as well? The process for us seems harder than those who are blondes. Many thanks!

    • Terri
      January 25, 2022 / 6:01 am

      I started coloring my very dark hair at 16 when I began going gray–keeping it all dark until January of 2020 (more than 40 years!). Then I went from dark brown/black to platinum blonde in six months. I didn’t grow out the gray or cut my hair. I worked with a good colorist who lightened my hair every 3-4 weeks until it was equal to my natural color (I was all white). I’m on video calls all day, so it wasn’t comfortable seeing myself on screen on day with visible growth. Now that I’ve done it, I’m so happy with it! I should have done it years ago. (By the way, I tried doing this about 5 years ago–but that was before Olaplex. Olaplex has changed the hair lightening game. My hair was soft and manageable during the entire process.

  7. Marilyn
    January 25, 2022 / 4:29 am

    I love it – you have encouraged me to continue my process too. I see more and more dropping the color and think it is so great. Yours will be very pretty. Interesting that I read French woman for the most part do not color their hair – they have a way of accepting the aging process better than American woman – I like their attitudes!!

    • Deb in Texas
      January 25, 2022 / 6:59 am

      I’ve been reading your blog since you were a redhead and wore all black! Your style has evolved in a beautiful fashion.
      I grew my auburn hair out at least a decade ago. It was a PITA! I felt like a bag lady for about 18 month. I kept my hair shoulder length and wore headbands and hair ties to camouflage the demarcation line, but it still looked bad for a while. I love it now, it’s almost trouble free. I occasionally a purple shampoo and more conditioner than when I colored. My grey is dry. Good luck,I think you will look fabulous!

  8. Rebecca
    January 25, 2022 / 4:31 am

    This is very exciting! I did this last year. I am so happy with my naturally gray hair and am never going back to coloring again. I am fortunate that my hair grows very fast, so I did not have a long transition. My hair was dark auburn and I was having to go to the salon every 3-4 weeks for root touch-ups. I am so glad all of that is over! Enjoy the process.

  9. Teresa
    January 25, 2022 / 4:35 am

    It’s such an exciting and empowering journey! I stopped coloring in 2015 and have very fine hair as well and am still trying to figure that out. I have a stylist that’s great and she suggested shuttle layers which has helped. I’ve gone a bit longer and loving it for now. Can’t wait to watch as you transition! Enjoy the ride!

  10. Eve
    January 25, 2022 / 4:44 am

    I couldn’t believe how pretty the silver color coming in was when I grew mine out. You are going to live your silver hair. I do find I wear bolder color because it just shows off my hair. I like it better than my original hair color. It’s like having hazel eyes that looks good with warm or cool pallets.

  11. January 25, 2022 / 4:46 am

    I think I have a color similar to yours. I was a towhead when younger then turned to dishwater blonde as I got older. I too colored it for years. I just got tired of coloring it a couple of years ago and decided to let it grow out Best decision ever. I haven’t noticed much difference in the texture. My hair is fine and straight, and it has remained the same. I found that I still need to use shampoo and conditioner with extra body. Even though I haven’t noticed any brassiness, I do use a purple shampoo about every two weeks. Good luck with the grow out. I’m glad to hear your stylist is on board and helping with the transition, that should make it go a bit easier.

  12. Ruth
    January 25, 2022 / 4:48 am

    No thank you! It automatically makes one look 10 years older (unless one has model perfect features)! Good luck,though!

    • susie
      January 25, 2022 / 5:42 am

      I beg to differ! Now that I am in my “natural” state and taking good care of my skin, etc. Ive never looked better. Artificial color always looks artificial. The natural color is so shiny and really looks great with my coloring! If you can have your hair its natural color, then all the playing can be done with your color palette in clothing, lipstick, etc. I have a friend in her mid 70’s still clinging to her dark brown hair. It really accentuates every line on her face!!

    • Linda
      January 25, 2022 / 6:37 am

      What utter nonsense! Often coloring will age you more than your own, naturally grey or silver color. I was sick of having a root touch up every 3 weeks and gifted myself going grey when I turned 65. I am 70 and definitely do not look 80!!! Often coloring will enhance your lines and wrinkles, but you do you and stop judging those of us who refer to age gracefully.

    • Laura
      January 25, 2022 / 6:55 am

      10 years older than what? Your age is your age.

      • Kate
        January 25, 2022 / 1:49 pm

        I think she meant 10 years older than her current age. Or anyone’s current age, for that matter.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 25, 2022 / 7:15 am

      Hi Ruth, perhaps, but I no longer care about looking younger (or older, for that matter). I just want to look like my best, vibrant self. The decision to color hair (or make other cosmetic changes) is an intensely personal one, and up to each person to do what feels best for them.

      • Joan
        January 25, 2022 / 9:01 am

        Intensely personal and I hope women here will be kind to everyone and all opinions. Everyone is on their own journey and timeline.

        It is wonderful to have a way to share information and ideas but the judgey / preachy thing with two opposing camps is the exact thing that is wrong with this country now.

        • Mary Alice
          January 25, 2022 / 9:13 am

          Thanks for that, Joan. Everybody should do what makes them feel fabulous, whether it’s going gray or continuing to color. I like the way I look with blonde hair, which I have had all my life, but if gray makes you happy and feel confident, then that’s what’s right for you.

        • Brenda
          January 25, 2022 / 10:01 am

          Thanks, Joan, well-said! As I tell my friends, hair colour is not a “feminist’ issue – colour or don’t – totally up to you. And we could spend some time pondering why men who are silver are “silver foxes” while women are just thought of as “old”. New year, new thinking.

      • Maggie Vita
        March 19, 2022 / 9:12 pm

        Absollutely! YOU need to look YOUR best so that you feel YOUR best. Not how others think you should look. Haircolor can make such a significant change in the way we look and I love gray and silver hair with the right clothing and makeup colors. I’m 64 and I don’t care about looking younger, I just want to look the best that I can. I am in Paris right now and I’m seeing so may stylish silver-haired women. They look amazing and gray or silver hair catches my eye. Go for it, Susan. I’ll be following your journey with great interest.

    • MP
      January 25, 2022 / 7:55 am

      Do you really believe that? I stopped coloring when Covid hit and never looked back. My hair is a ashy blonde so it takes a while to notice all the grey. I love it. I don’t miss the $$ or the chemicals. I never thought color made me look younger.

  13. Anne
    January 25, 2022 / 4:51 am

    Congratulations! The freedom of letting your natural gray hair come in will be well worth it. My natural hair color was a very dark brown/almost black which started going gray in my 20’s. Needless to say, I began coloring my hair in my late 20’s and continued until almost 60 years old! It got to the point where I was needing to color my hair every 3 weeks, and then after a tragic, sudden loss of an extended family member, when I was concerned about how to get my hair colored before the funeral, I said this is enough! So my journey began. My method was to grow out about an inch of gray, using root touch up sprays to cover. At that point I decided to have my stylist cut my hair into a short pixie, essentially leaving mostly the gray that was growing in. I just couldn’t wrap my head around having to grow out the gray with such an obvious demarkation line because of my dark hair. I have never looked back, and in fact continue to keep my hair short! In addition, I get more compliments on my hair now than I ever had before in my life. I’m a firm believer that everyone should tackle this challenge in whatever manner works best for them, and also to not be hard on oneself if they decide to throw in the towel for a bit. I will add that I absolutely love the products by Innersense Organic Beauty. The products are really wonderful and keep my hair soft and shiny. I find that I do not need to add any special type of shampoo etc. to enhance the gray. I wish you all the best on this exciting chapter in your life Susan!

  14. Melissa
    January 25, 2022 / 4:57 am

    I love it! And like Jennifer, I think the gray is going to look fabulous! So many women have opted to go with their natural hair color during the pandemic and I am enjoying it. So many beautiful women.

  15. Ellen
    January 25, 2022 / 4:58 am

    Although I played with color when I was in my twenties, I never tried to color my gray hair, so it happened naturally over several years. As happened with my father, the gray appeared in streaks which looked somewhat purposeful; had it been all over salt and pepper, I might have had streaks added just to add a little drama. I was surprised, at the time, how controversial it turned out to be, with total strangers feeling the urge to discuss it with me, both pro and con…but mostly expressing admiration for my “bravery” (I was in my 50″s when this happened).

    I have been fully silver for about 15 years now, and I have always been happy with the color. I wear it short in a style that I have only recently learned is being alled at “Mixtie”: pixie in the front, longer hair at the hairline in the back: pixie+mullet: I seem to be ahead of the curve for once! Because I am very prone to eczema and shampoo is the biggest provocateur, I wash my hair with olive oil soap, and use a Bumble and Bumble conditioner for fine hair. I air dry my hair, mussing it up as it dries, and use a small dab of paste to add some volume on top. I have used the olive oil soap (kiss My Face) for three years now with good success. I live in a city with naturally soft water; my hairdresser tells me that most brassiness is caused by hard water; I have never needed a blue shampoo. My eyebrows are a salt and pepper mix of dark brown and silver (the silver rendering them invisible). I use a “blonde” colored pencil: the dark brown that was once my hair color seems very harsh now.

  16. Catherine W.
    January 25, 2022 / 5:12 am

    Congratulations! I am excited for you! I transitioned about 6 years ago. It was an amazing experience – more about evolving and changing ideas about myself and what it means to become an older/mature woman. I believe we need more woman, like yourself, who are facing this very real part of being human: aging. I think most woman are afraid of their aging selves because we live in an “Anti-aging” culture. I will often get a compliment on my hair that is followed with “…but I could never do it”. Thank you for bravely exploring what it might mean for you to “go gray”. I hope you find it as transformational as I did!

  17. Maria
    January 25, 2022 / 5:18 am

    Welcome to the revolution of ditching the hair colour. The decision was made for me when I developed a reaction to hair colour and am I ever glad. I love me natural silver. Not having to schedule root touch ups. My hair is healthier and it saves a ton of money.

  18. Elizabeth Ferry
    January 25, 2022 / 5:19 am

    My hair has been gray for 10+ years and I’m complemented often. My dad went gray in his 30s and my mom colored hers nearly to the end of her life. I did it on a whim after going very short and have never looked back. We once had our luggage lost in Rome and at a pharmacy to replace our toiletries the clerk recommended Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde/ Silver shampoo and conditioner. Cheaper in Europe but well worth it here. No purple tinge and it isn’t one of those where you need to change brands after a while.

  19. Carol
    January 25, 2022 / 5:27 am

    Having not seen my natural hair color since my late 20s (I started seeing grey early – it’s a family trend), when the pandemic started and salons were out I was kind of excited to see if I had my mother’s and grandfather’s gorgeous mane of silver. Alas, it was not to be, what came in was a truly icky salt-and-pepper. When we moved last year, it took me a little while to line up a hairdresser, and nope, still icky salt-and-pepper. My husband, who adores me and thinks I’m beautiful no matter what (yes, I am lucky) sat across from me at a restaurant and as I looked down at the menu, said “Carol, what is going on with your hair?” That’s when I knew I definitely wouldn’t be going grey for a while!

    • Jane
      January 25, 2022 / 5:51 am

      I had the same experience! I let my roots go for about 8 months during COVID and my hair color became dirty brown with a silver haze. Went back to my stylist for my medium brown/red hair which I wear past my shoulders. I know the coloring will come to an end, but not yet. My natural color will take me back to a cool tone instead of a warm tone which I prefer on me. Best to all.

  20. Charlene
    January 25, 2022 / 5:37 am

    I grew out my gray two years ago. My hair looks so much more natural and healthy. I love it. One thing that surprised me is that certain colors of clothing look terrible on me now. I had to stop wearing gray tops. They just wash me out now. I was able to add more red clothing into my wardrobe, which was not a color I wore much before. It’s been a fun journey.

  21. arlene
    January 25, 2022 / 5:42 am

    I love it pulled back like that! And I have used this section to suggest you make the jump to natural color. Natural is how I think of my hair, other people say silver or gray but I have every tone of hair in my natural locks. One of your posts from your color season professional suggested you never go “gray”/natural. Will this affect your season of color? I have read where some professionals say hair color has no bearing on color season.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 25, 2022 / 5:45 am

      Hi Arlene, thanks! It should not affect my seasonal palette, which is based on skin tone rather than hair color. It’s possible though, that some of my “best” colors within my Spring palette may shift. We’ll see!

  22. Cher
    January 25, 2022 / 5:45 am

    Looks like you have a white silver coming in which is good! Just be ready to maybe have your warm colors that you wear and make-up needing some alterations. When I learned color matching we were taught that even tho the hair color may change the skin tone doesn’t. That said my strawberry blond friend went gray and everything looked different. Even her gold jewelry no longer worked. It will be a ride for sure! Buckle up and have fun with it!

  23. chris
    January 25, 2022 / 5:50 am

    I’m 58 with and have been fully grey for a couple of years now. It took me two full years to grow out as I wear it long and most of that time I wore it pulled back to minimize “demarcation.” I was born with light/medium brown hair and after coloring it medium brown (the silver roots came in waaay to hot) and then blonde (didn’t suit me at all) for years…I grew it out. I LOVE my grey hair (and I’ve never particularly liked my hair, even when I was younger) and feel the most beautiful (and myself) that I have ever felt. My 22 year old daughter told me that I’m DE-aging. While some people claim that going grey is “aging”…it doesn’t have to be. I think it CAN be aging(FYI but so can coloring your hair!) but with a few things it works in your favor: keep a stylish cut or style that suits your face, put a bit of effort into styling your hair (if needed given the cut), wear a touch of makeup to brighten your face and make sure your eyebrows are shaped and filled in, put a bit of effort into your clothing/outfits. this doesn’t mean spend hours getting ready every day – it just takes a TINY bit of care and time which can mean 5 min on face and 10 min on hair. A few notes on brows, which become ever more important with grey hair: the brow growth serums really work if you use them daily and give them about 6-8 weeks to see a difference (just go to sephora or nordstrom and ask for one…all the mainstream brands work), get your brows professionally shaped and fill them in. I actually get them henna-ed at a brow salon (they can adjust the shade and tone) and then fill them in with pencil. I found a great and cheap pencil on amazon: Etude House drawing eye brow in the shade #2 grey-brown is neither too cool nor too warm and is only $6! Also, I can tell by your roots that your grey will look stunning! And bonus, with your short hair it will be fully grown in super fast.

  24. January 25, 2022 / 5:52 am

    I don’t think that I have had any colour on my hair for about 3 years. I started going grey about 10 years ago mostly at the front. For ages I used to have peroxide highlights at the side and the back so that there was not too much of a contrast between the front and back of my hair. The more grey my hair became the fewer highlights I needed until I had an appointment last December which I cancelled because I don’t think I need them anymore. I love my grey hair and get lots of compliments. I think that nature has a plan as your skin colour fades so does your hair. I think that if you keep trying to recreate the hair colour you had when you were younger the contrast can be too great and can in my opinion be ageing.

  25. Teresa
    January 25, 2022 / 6:01 am

    I’m curious to see how it goes for you and Jennifer. Haven’t had the courage to go grey yet. One thing that worries me is: will you still be able to wear clothes in those gorgeous colours you’ve been using lately? Personally I’d hate to have to throw out all my carefully chosen clothes to suit a new palette!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 25, 2022 / 6:03 am

      Hi Teresa, my palette was determined based on skin color rather than hair, so no, I won’t have to change it! 😉

  26. Cynthia B
    January 25, 2022 / 6:13 am

    Viva pro-aging! I had died my hair so many different colors I actually didn’t remember what the original color was. Had to look at old pics to discover it was a sort of brassy brown. When I went au natural in 2015, I got a pleasant surprise….the dark hair in the back was much darker than it was in youth. So the overall effect of bright silver in front and dark in back is really nice! Favorite shampoo that I can’t recommend highly enough is Prose. It’s customized to your hair and the water in your area. It’s AMAZING! Online only I believe

  27. Christine
    January 25, 2022 / 6:15 am

    Congratulations! You will love being the natural you. I know I do. I stopped coloring my hair in 2006 when my father was extremely ill. All the time I wasn’t at work was spent caring for him. I no longer had the time for lengthy salon visits. Once it was all grown out, I realized how much better I looked with my natural color. My hair finally matched my skin tone, eyebrows and lashes again. Now, women my age are always commenting on my color and how great it looks. IMHO everyone’s natural color looks great on them. You just need the courage to try it.

    Yes, my limp fine hair misses the boost coloring gave it. Oh well. That is a price I am willing to pay.

  28. Carillon Orban
    January 25, 2022 / 6:21 am

    The pandemic was the impetus for me to stop coloring. When I finally was able to go back to my stylist, she helped me with cut and blending the color. Now, it is silver in front, but still has a lot of dark in the back. Now, I’m looking forward to it being all silver. My 100 year old aunt said “Saves you a lot of money, doesn’t it?) Yes, it does!

  29. J
    January 25, 2022 / 6:30 am

    Welcome to the club! Did that several years ago. I embrace my long gray hair. People of all ages, even teenagers stop me and compliment my hair. I did a pixie cut and never looked back. I use a paraben, sodium laurel sulfate free, and purple shampoo and conditioner once a week to keep the brassiness away. I found that certain wardrobe colors really set off the hair color. Best of luck with your growing out. Looks good from the picture and can’t wait to follow your posts and pictures to see your progress.

  30. Susan
    January 25, 2022 / 6:39 am

    You are going to look amazing with gray hair and your skin tone.

  31. NancyMK
    January 25, 2022 / 6:40 am

    So interesting! I had red hair which I realize was beautiful but not want. When white came in it read as blonde, fine with me. My great layered cut had to grow out in the past 2 years. Quite surprised that exuberant curls are now soft waves At 78 nothing will make me look young but good skin and above all posture are attainable. Although a spring/autumn I now look very good in black, go figure. As the red left I was more often taken to be French when in Paris, delightful.

  32. Dorene
    January 25, 2022 / 6:50 am

    It is a process. My hair was very dark, colored it for years. Regardless of what product I used, color was irritating my scalp.
    My HD suggested I go white (which is my color) not grey as my white hair was so healthy. HD suggested I lighten my hair but in the end….let my white roots grow and then had my hair cut very short on sides and back. I now am white with a couple of dark brown streaks which works with my coloring. Am amazed at the number of compliments I receive.
    Have never regretted the decision to go white.

  33. Laura
    January 25, 2022 / 6:53 am

    My last color was March 2, 2020. Then everything shut down, and working in health care, I just didn’t have the energy to think about coloring my own hair. My hair was dyed a pretty dark brown, with highlights, so I just let it grow. Pulled it back into a pony tail and wore wide headbands to cover up the regrowth. In August of 2020 I was finally able to go see my very supportive hairdresser and she cut it into a pixie. Now I’m trying to grow it long again (which is almost harder than letting the color go) and loving the gray/silver color. You will find a way to get to where you want to be, enjoy the process.

  34. Linda L
    January 25, 2022 / 6:53 am

    I also thought coloring gave my hair body, too, but I’m here to tell you this is a myth! Three years ago my hairdresser suggested I let my gray grow in or and I told her I was afraid I would just have limp, lifeless hair. At 70 my hair is shoulder length, totally gray with thickness I never had in my 50’s & 60’s. Like everything else, hormones and genetics play a big part. My grandmother was a good gray and tinted hers with blue, purple or pink coloring; my mother was a wishy washy brown who lived to be 94 and never stopped coloring her hair. I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised but it does take some patience!

  35. Barbara Daley
    January 25, 2022 / 6:53 am

    I stopped coloring my hair in my 40’s. ( started turning gray in my 30’s) I was tired of the time and money spent coloring my hair. For me it was just bite the bullet and get through the transition. Keeping my hair pretty short helped but at one point I did have a few different colors in my hair. It was totally worth it. Just an addendum: one of the doctors I worked with said “ gray hair is God’s frosting”. That helped. I think you’ll love it. And Jennifer looks wonderful. I love her hair

  36. Claire
    January 25, 2022 / 7:04 am

    Well done, Susan. I am sure that you will look fantastic! As to the person who said that gray hair automatically ages a person 10 years, I would argue that no one is fooled by dye-jobs. A 50 or 60 year old woman who dyes her hair just looks like a 50 or 60 year-old woman who dyes her hair. If that is your choice – go for it – but no one is fooled into thinking that a person doing this is actually younger than she is, or that the color is natural. In many cases, it can actually make a person look older. There is such power in acknowledging your authentic self and not being brow-beaten by a youth-centered culture into thinking that we have to look perennially young. It is a journey, but a worthwhile one. You are such a beautiful woman because of your attitude and outlook. Having gray hair will not diminish this.

    • Sonja
      January 25, 2022 / 8:15 am

      Well said Claire!! I’m in my mid 60s and at my husband’s urging I went grey at the start of the pandemic. I had shoulder length chestnut colored hair and it has taken me two years to transition to my natural color. I continued to see my colorist during this time but he changed from permanent color to a Demi permanent color, altered the formula as time went on and added highlights/lowlights as needed. I was quite surprised at how easy it was and wish I had done it sooner! The biggest challenge was wrapping my head around it when I looked in the mirror and saw a different me. I have had to add more color to both my makeup and clothes though but have had fun experimenting with this new me. As an added bonus my friends all say I actually look younger! I like to think I look authentic

  37. Sally
    January 25, 2022 / 7:13 am

    Hi Susan: congratulations! The story of your ‘paper bag brown’ hair going to red and then blonde, mimics my hair journey. I had to give up dying my hair because it finally turned silver and wouldn’t hold the dye anymore. This is a family trait as I’ve described to you in your FB posting. I use purology shampoo and conditioner also. I also use Oribe curly line (but my hair is thick, coarse and wavy). I also use Kevin Murphy blonde angel wash and conditioner about once a week to keep the silver from going yellow. Annie will tell you that your hair color won’t change your clothing palette so no need to worry there. I was trying to use black, white, gray and navy to offset my silver hair and that palette drained the life out of my face! Your ‘salt and pepper’ hair looks really good! Oh, also, I keep my brows ‘blonde’ with a brow gel–more like a taupe, rather than gray. See what Brian thinks. My stylist thought blonde/taupe. Bobbi Brown offered navy eyeliner instead of black, which I thought was cool but now I use a combination of two Nars eyeliner and eyeshadow sticks which have been discontinued. If I were to describe them I might call them pewter or a sort of dirty greenish gray. I’m an autumn so it looks ok. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I run out of the Nars–I’ll have to ask Brian!

  38. CD
    January 25, 2022 / 7:19 am

    I also used the pandemic lockdown in 2020 to stop coloring my naturally dark brown hair and let the gray come in. I had been experiencing a lot of hair loss and sensitive scalp after coloring, all of which stopped once the dye jobs stopped. My hair felt and looked so much better. It was a mix of silver and dark, which my husband loved and so, surprisingly, did I. My longtime stylist kept suggesting low-lights to help with the transition, but recently while on a trip to another city, I went to a recommended salon to get an inch of the still-colored ends trimmed. The young woman looked at my long-ish hair and told me bluntly to chop off all of the scraggly, brassy, dry part and “embrace your gray.” She was right. She gave me a shoulder-length blunt cut and it looks and feels so much better. Going gray is a personal decision, of course, but using good products and getting a skilled cut can really make a big difference in how your hair looks and how you feel about yourself.

  39. Cinzia
    January 25, 2022 / 7:30 am

    I used the COVID period to grow out my hair. My coloring story was similar to yours; I had “augmented” the dull blonde coloring since my 20’s and although I was never a red head I embraced the warm reddish tones in my hair. But lately I have gotten tired of the coloring process — I plan to retire in a couple of years and want to be free to travel for long periods without hassle, as well as it just being one more thing in my daily life that I don’t need to do. My stylist always loved my color and begged me not to do it, but since I was going nowhere and seeing no one (other than DS occasionally) I took the plunge — and to my surprise I LOVE it.

    Now I am about an inch away from fully growing out my barely shoulder length hair. The texture didn’t really change and the colors range from white to soft gray to some darker gray strands. Truthfully even my stylist admits it looks as good or even better!

  40. Monique
    January 25, 2022 / 7:48 am

    Good for you Susan. I stopped coloring my hair after 40 years when the pandemic hit. My husband thought the white, silver, gray looked good and really encouraged me to grow it out. It was an easier process due to being locked down and also wearing a mask…who cares? Lol. My words of encouragement are stay with it. There will be times when you may say, ugh. This is taking forever, this doesn’t look great, what am I thinking….but hold strong and you’ll get there. I’m glad to read that your colors were done to your skin, not hair. My skin tone is similar to yours and I find I’m gravitating to colors like yours. Not all can afford Red Leopard color analysis so I’d appreciate it if you would incorporate some tips for color in your posts. Looking forward to your live IG today.

  41. Linda
    January 25, 2022 / 7:48 am

    Hello Susan, I had been coloring my hair from my 20’s and on too. Then I developed an allergy to ppd, the main ingredient in permanent color. It’s been 10 years now since I stopped coloring my hair and I love it. It looks good with my summer season wardrobe. I use a purple shampoo every two weeks and leave on for 5 minutes and then deep condition. I recently saw a grey hair product by Wella that’s a salon treatment and toner for grey hair. Unfortunately, it’s not available in the U.S. I’m hoping to find a salon in Europe this summer when I travel and try it. One thing you can do is have your hair dresser put a clear treatment on your hair, it adds that thickening effect that you get from color. Good luck on your journey, I can’t wait to see the results.

  42. Barb
    January 25, 2022 / 7:50 am

    I was born with dark brunette hair (and a “winter”) and started coloring to cover my premature grays in my 30s. I last had my hair colored in early March 2020 before the salons closed. I always knew I would stop coloring at some point but probably wouldn’t have done it in 2020 if the pandemic hadn’t intervened! I’ve almost always worn short hair, so when I finally had my hair cut at the end of May 2020, my stylist cut it a little shorter than usual. My hair was almost entirely grown out by mid-August for my son’s wedding! My dark, dyed hair definitely got brassy, but since I really wasn’t going anywhere that summer except the golf course (where I wore a hat), I just went with it until it was all cut off. My hair is mostly white with some darker gray/black in the back. I try to maintain a modern haircut, and I love the look. No more coloring every 3.5 weeks! Enjoy the process and consider a temporary shorter hair style. You’ll be gray before you know it!

  43. Sue
    January 25, 2022 / 7:51 am

    I will be very interested in your journey growing out the gray. My hair is fine, and straight and I have colored it dark blonde for years. My gray is 95% and mostly top and sides. My original hair was medium golden brown as an adult, but golden blonde until I was about 14. I started getting gray at 21 and started coloring in my 30’s.
    I have brown/hazel eyes and yellow undertones in my skin. I am not sure my white hair will be that complimentary with my skin tone. I noticed that most people with gray need to use more makeup do to the washed out look. I am not sure I want to be doing that. I find the blue eyed , pink tone gals pull the gray/ white off really well.

    I do like the body I get from coloring . Maybe the answer is highlights for body . My hair is flat on top no matter what product I use for styling, so frustrating. I wear my hair in a chin length bob, with slight layering for body.

  44. Tracy
    January 25, 2022 / 7:53 am

    I’m excited to see this new transformation! I think you’ll look fabulous.

    I’m 54 and have never colored my hair. I’m a redhead, and while my color has lost the vibrancy I had in my youth, I’ve always loved the color of my natural hair. There is a lot of silver streaking into it now, and I’m okay with that. I didn’t know about purple shampoo until I read the comments here. Interesting! I’ll have to remember that when my silver takes over the red.

  45. SusanR
    January 25, 2022 / 7:53 am

    I’m so scared to go natural! I have medium brown hair, originally a bery cool brown, which always looks daker. I’ve been coloring for 40 years. Now the hair is in rough dry shape and my latest DIY coloring made it way too red. Sigh. An appointment with my hairdresser is in order bit I don’t lnow what to tell her. Ideas?

  46. Leslie K
    January 25, 2022 / 7:53 am

    Congratulations! I think you’ll look great. I stopped coloring my hair at the start of the pandemic and am so glad I did. I was surprised at how empowered I felt. My hair had gotten to the point that it only looked good for the first week after coloring before it turned brassy and appeared obviously colored. That, I think, is what ages women. My hair is healthier and more shiny than ever and it’s so much fun to wear red lipstick. Still, I do think I need to change my makeup as my eyes appear more washed out. I’ve been experimenting with new brow pencil and do like the Kosas you recommended. I also think a good cut is even more important when you’re gray or silver.

  47. Lee
    January 25, 2022 / 7:56 am

    You certainly hit the jackpot with this topic. I started using semi-permanent dyes at 19 and let the front of my hair, which turned white in my 40s, stay white while the rest was auburn. I tried periodically to let more gray show but the gray was terrible. Then lo and behold, as I approached 80, my hair was a beautiful white. And curly as it was when I was 11. And I probably look better than ever before. There are not many novel self-decorating options open as one ages but I have been having a fantastic time playing with clothes shades and longer hair (compared to the very short hair of 40-79). This has given me a whole new area of experimenting and fun.

  48. Karen B
    January 25, 2022 / 8:08 am

    I let mine start to grow out and then had my stylist match it last March right before I retired. I honestly was never able to get used to it even though it made life easier. About a month ago I had the stylist put my light brown color back. I guess I just am not ready.

  49. maria
    January 25, 2022 / 8:12 am

    Benefit does a brow pencil in grey and I’ve also found some of the NYX pencils in darker brownish tones work. They are lovely and much cheaper than Benefit but both are excellent.

  50. Penelope
    January 25, 2022 / 8:12 am

    My husband suggested I go natural about ten years ago when I was in my mid 60’s. The liberation from the hours and expenses at the salon is wonderful. I love my color, wear it longish, and get many compliments on it. I did brighten my makeup a bit. I think I do look older but also somehow more striking. Works for me and my husband loves it. AlthoughI have never suggested anyone else do it, some of my friends got defensive with me about continuing their coloring. Fine, you do you.

  51. Risa Wolfson
    January 25, 2022 / 8:12 am

    Embrace the silver!!!!!! Good for you! It took me about two years to grow my hair out and to free myself from coloring my hair! It was very emotional. The reaction from people was very insightful about how they feel about aging. I couldn’t believe how opinionated family and friends were about my hair color! I have to admit that the experience was very freeing on a certain level. I now feel like “myself” and very authentic. I am interested to find out what hair care products you recommend.

  52. Alexis
    January 25, 2022 / 8:20 am

    I think that you will look great with grey hair. IMHO, I really don’t think that grey hair makes anyone look older – I think it’s the whole package of self care and attitude!
    My hair is dark brown, and I’ve had grey showing up for many years. There were times that I let the grey show, and other times when I used color.
    The one thing that I did start doing is having keratin treatments. Since my hair is very thick and a bit unruly, this has made a world of difference in managing my hair!

  53. Leanne Gillespie
    January 25, 2022 / 8:35 am

    Stopping hair coloring is like getting out of prison. No more appointments or grabbing a box of color at the drugstore in between.
    All that $$$ you save can go toward fun new things!
    Best thing I’ve ever done.
    Of course you won’t recognize who’s looking back at you in the mirror….. embracing the change is what works

  54. Anne
    January 25, 2022 / 8:52 am

    I started growing my silver out about two years ago. Best thing I’ve ever done, and I wish I’d been ready to take the plunge sooner. I had black fine curly hair, and now I have a heard of gorgeous wild salt and pepper curls. You really can’t tell what it’s going to look like until you get there. My hair is thicker, curlier, and healthier than it’s been in years. I look at older pictures of myself, and the fake color looks so harsh. This is so liberating, and I wish you all the best on your journey. I follow Katie Goes Platinum https://katiegoesplatinum.com/ – she’s wonderful and inspiring. Go for it!

  55. Cameron
    January 25, 2022 / 8:54 am

    Congratulations on your decision. I think it will be easier for you because you already have a lighter color of hair. I was 45 when I stopped coloring it. The musician Pink had dyed her hair silvery white, and that gave me some inspiration. I did not want to go through the process of growing my hair out. I had brown hair; so I didn’t color it for two months, then I cut it very short and had it bleached out. It took me a few days to get used to it, and I’ve never looked back. I’ve had many more positive comments on my hair since I stopped coloring it, and it’s nice to not have to bother going in every four weeks.

  56. Marti Welch
    January 25, 2022 / 9:15 am

    Congrats! You will love it and never look back. My hair has never been healthier. I use New Wash which is a wash and conditioner in one. The company is a clean company and I love their products. I use hair balm ( very small amount) for my frizz. With this product the more you wash your hair the better it gets. Anyway good luck. I also want to say I have enjoyed watching you blossom with your new wardrobe and colors……

  57. RoseAG
    January 25, 2022 / 9:19 am

    Good Luck!
    I think it’s easier for those with lighter and/or shorter hair to go natural. Less contrast to look at.
    I’m happy with my natural hair. It’s nice to be able to style it without concern for whether roots are showing.
    I also think it looks better with my natural skin tone.
    A person growing out dyed hair is a boom for a hairstylst — there isn’t anything like a fresh cut to help make the you in the mirror look a little sharper during the grow-out.
    A word of caution — I think it does change which colors look good on you, and if you don’t end up thinking you need a new pair of specs after it’s all over you’ll be the exception.
    So be prepared.

  58. MJ
    January 25, 2022 / 9:25 am

    I started growing out my gray back in 2015, and I love it! The most painful part for me was the stage you’re in right now. After that, my very talented stylist put blond highlights into the brown part of my hair just a couple of times over the course of a year to help visually soften the contrast between the two sections. The whole process was much easier than I had expected.
    Also, as someone whose coloring is similar to yours, I was concerned about whether my white hair would be flattering. Of course, your skin color does not change, so you will still be a spring, but you may end up tweaking your makeup a little to go with the new hair color. Plus, I do still get highlights a couple of times a year to brighten up the color around my face. I learned during Covid that it wasn’t essential to have highlights, but it’s nice to do. Congratulations on taking the first step. Hope you love it as much as I do.

  59. Janet
    January 25, 2022 / 9:32 am

    I started graying noticeably in my late 20’s. My natural hair color was always described as dishwater blonde or mousy, so it was never an asset and I colored various shades of ash blonde, light auburn and light brown for many years. In my late 50s, I had constant scalp irritation as I developed an allergy to every hair dye my very knowledgable colorist suggested.
    When I went gray, I was surprised at the reaction from my friends, family and coworkers. My mother hated having a gray haired daughter. My friends joked that people would think I was their mother. My coworkers said that gray hair made me look unprofessional and less competent. It was actually my son who pointed out that gray hair on male executives makes them look more experienced and capable and that is just sexist and wrong. That made me mad. Especially when I discovered that as a gray haired woman, I got less attention from salespeople and restaurant employees. It felt like I became invisible. In my 50s I was suddenly being offered senior discounts. People thought I was a 70 year old woman who had smooth unwrinkled skin. I believe that this was because so many women colored their hair until they were in poor physical health at end of life, so that our society associates gray hair in women with being over the hill. Not so with men. Complete double standard.
    But I decided that I would buck the trend. To grow it out, I just cut it very short. It was a spiky silver at the roots with dyed blond tips, so kinda punk! Then I went for for an angled silver bob. I change up my hairdo every now and then, but I keep it edgy, and made sure my clothes never skewed dowdy. My hair started out platinum. I was pleasantly surprised when teen and 20 year old women started stopping me in the street to ask what brand of hair color I used to get my cool platinum gray color and told me I was lucky when I said it was natural!
    My silver hair reflects light on my skin and makes me look healthier and vibrant. I’ll never dye it again. And since Covid, more women are coming to love their natural gray. It is freeing to be my best true self!

  60. Jane B.
    January 25, 2022 / 9:44 am

    I’m in the minority because I will happily color my hair if I start seeing too much gray. At 63 I’m not ready to go gray, and with my skin tone and eye color I think gray would wash me out. Enjoy going gray to all those who choose to, and to those who continue to color I support that decision. Some say going gray is being your ‘authentic self’, but I believe doing what makes you feel good is truly being your authentic self.

  61. Barbara
    January 25, 2022 / 9:48 am

    Looking forward to seeing how your glasses work with the new hair color.

  62. Kathleen McDermott
    January 25, 2022 / 10:21 am

    Whatever makes one happy! I’m 68 and love my soft, cool, brown hair (Summer palette). Wear a short feathered bob. Haven’t worked in 20 years, so have plenty of free time. My salon, small and cozy, is 10 minutes from home and I enjoy going there every 4 weeks for color and cut. I happily sit and relax, leafing through magazines. Cost not an issue – will soon move to color every 3 weeks as more silver is coming in. Unless I get incarcerated at a woman’s prison without a prison salon, I’ll be doing this till the cows come home!

  63. Lisa H
    January 25, 2022 / 10:28 am

    I had dark brown hair, and started going grey in my 20’s. I spent a lot of time, and money at the hair salon in my 30’s. When I turned 40, I chose to grow out my natural color. It took time, and a lot of hand holding from my hairdresser. She did some highlights and lowlights, and did fabulous cuts. As someone with shorter hair, I was at the salon every five weeks. I took time and effort with every detail of grooming and clothing choices. In that way, what I was doing looked quite intentional. I found that some light, stretchy fabric headbands were fun accessories. This is a brand I still wear often. https://www.violetloveheadbands.com/signature-prints
    When it was grown out, I was strikingly salt and pepper, darker in the back. People stopped me on the street, and at my job….a public desk at the library. I started carrying my hairdresser’s business card. People actually asked how I did that silvery-fine highlighting!
    Now at 60, it is still salt and pepper, I still have a fabulous haircut, I too use Pureology, because it still works best for my hair. I’d say that as I have more greys, my texture has changed. For me, for the better. The strands seem thicker.
    At my age, and at this time, it is far more common to see women with grey/white/silver hair. Great for all of us to make the choices that make us feel good about our looks, our age, our time, and our money!

  64. Becky
    January 25, 2022 / 10:29 am

    Looks lovely so far, looking forward to seeing more!

    I’d been coloring my hair blonde for more than 30 years, because I hated my natural mousey, ashy brown color. I went grey by accident in 2020 because I didn’t realize how much grey there was — I thought the color was doing a great job of hanging on! Then one day I saw my reflection while out and about and realized, oh my, it’s ALL GREY lololol. I love the grey so much more than the original mousey ash brown. I have reactions to most shampoos, including the purple shampoo I tried last year, and fortunately my new color looks great without any help.

    I do have to be careful that my grey eyebrows don’t wash me out, and I did do a color consultation last summer to help me know how to dress with all the new grey.

  65. Anon
    January 25, 2022 / 10:30 am

    We have a national network newscaster who went grey during the pandemic, from dark brown hair to shiny silver. She looks great. You can do this.

    • Patricia
      January 25, 2022 / 8:09 pm

      If you mean Lisa LaFlamme on CTV, I totally agree – she looks wonderful!

  66. Patrish
    January 25, 2022 / 10:35 am

    It’s a trip, not a destination. Words of wisdom, or, been there, done that.

    You don’t need a hairdresser to ‘help’ you go grey/white. Your hair will do that on it’s own.
    However you DO need a hairdresser who knows how to cut grey/white hair. You need an expert style
    maker. Find a photo of someone with hair like yours who has gone grey and show it to your
    hairdresser. Keep your style simple and chic.

    Skin color changes as we age. In most cases the skin gets lighter. You may have to tweak the
    colors you love to wear. Depending on what ‘shade’ of white/grey hair you end up with….I have a beautiful friend
    who has white hair ‘on the blond side’ who can still wear camel colors. The same yellowy browns I could wear
    when I was blond, do not work with my white white hair; I look washed out.

    Makeup also needs adjusting along the way. There are many shades of white, many shades of grey. There is no set formula, you
    just have to keep experimenting.

    Everything is a constant tweak while you are growing it out ….. embrace it all and have a fun trip. You will never regret going ‘natural’.

  67. Nancy Karpen
    January 25, 2022 / 10:57 am

    Good luck. I grew my hair out almost 12 years ago. My hair was so white it just didn’t hold the color. I had had enough and I have never regretted it. I am pure white, no gray at all but I love how women are embracing their gray, not matter what color it is.

  68. Angela
    January 25, 2022 / 11:43 am

    The overwhelming number of comments demonstrate just what a positive decision you have made and may I also say “welcome to the best years club”. My decision was a squeak before the pandemic hit, good timing or what! Over the last 2 years my confidence in my clothing colour choices have grown and more wardrobe purges ensued together with my lipsticks and blushes. Luckily I have always been drawn to brighter colours and find that the brighter blues, greens and reds suit me best. Enjoy your journey and keep looking forward.

  69. Ruth
    January 25, 2022 / 11:47 am

    Welcome to the Silver Sisterhood Susan! Such a great topic and nice to see so many of us embracing our natural colour. I too used the pandemic to transition to white but also told myself that when I turned 70 I would take the plunge and see what was under the brunette dye. Both my mother and grandma had gorgeous white hair so was a bit disappointed that I still had quite a bit of dark hair in the back but now that I’m used to it I really like it! It didn’t take very long as I keep it in a pixie. I have found that jewel tones are my friend and always get compliments when I wear them. I think this is a journey that sometimes carries a lot of emotional response and we each have to do what works for us but as many of your commentators have stated once you do it you will probably love it!

  70. Ainsivalavie
    January 25, 2022 / 11:51 am

    Stopped colouring my hair November 2020 ( two step, roots + hi lights + cut = 420.00! Every 8-10 weeks…) I had significant gray around my temples but very little around the top… Yup I am the lucky one with the bride of Frankenstein grow out!! ugh I hated it but knew that this was going to be a process. I found a hairstylist on YouTube Julie the Hairapist.. She suggests baby lites done with direct dye which washes out gradually. My hairstylist ( a man with beautiful silver hair!!) was TOTALLY against it…but my hair so my rules! His colourist completely understood where I was coming from but suggest peroxiding the hi lites and toning them a platinum to blend with my own gray. It was a great call! The sides have fully grown out, the top will need a couple hi lites to look more ‘intentional’ because the rest of my hair is naturally brunette and only 30% gray if that. That’s my genetics…I’m 66.
    I bring the hi lights up because a lot of gray geurillas on social media are dead set against going gray any way but au naturel. Don’t listen to them nothing wrong with giving nature an assist if it helps you smile when you look in the mirror.
    Advice: don’t cut your hair too short unless you really, really want to do something funky. Regardless, long or short get a good cut! Right now with our stylists on semi lockdown my hair is pulled back and giving serious bag lady vibes…..
    Don’t trust the woman who states gray hair is ‘care free’ her broom is probably double parked. Gray hair upkeep can be just as time and $ consuming as dyed hair.
    Olaplex is the secret to frizz free, healthy gray hair. Transitioning hair is so fragile it breaks easily and even the straightest hair will turn into fuzz. If you use just one item from the line try the mask.
    Everybody keeps saying you can’t wear black or gold jewelry, have long hair etc etc. this is hogwash. I look better then ever in black, once high contrast always high contrast. I wear my gold and silver jewelry but nothing ditzy or girly. Keep it contemporary. My hair is now shoulder length with long layers though I have grown out my bangs but might rethink having them cut in again. Shorter hair is always a mistake for ME but applaud others that rock it.
    I accentuate my eyes more then before. They are aquamarine blue which sounds pretty but light eyes fade into the face without that dark frame of hair. No black liner! My eyebrows are still very dark so I use a slightly lighter pencil. With gray hair make up can go sideways fast there is a fine line between enough and Cruella DeVille…also I have dark frames for my glasses..again keep those au courant whatever colour frames you choose.

    I don’t get the comments about ‘my husband likes/doesn’t like my gray hair’. It’s.not.his.hair. My husband went completely white at thirty nine! Hmm coincided with fatherhood? I was never on his case to dye it. He’s supportive of my gray journey though that might be due to having been referred to as MY FATHER at his mom’s funeral or various times as our sons grandfather. Hahaha We are only nine months apart in age;)

    Congratulations Susan, you will have days of frustration for sure but enjoy the journey it is worth it!!

  71. E Deere
    January 25, 2022 / 11:58 am

    Susan, This is exciting and obviously strikes a chord with so many of us.
    My hair is naturally very dark brown. I tried to use a hair dye as close as possible to that dark color, because a lighter brown was never flattering.
    I got a short cut when I started growing out my hair (in August) and it’s about 80% grown out now. For other brunettes, I found that a couple of hats made all the difference when the demarcation line was awkward. On Zoom I would just use a gel and blow dry it away from my face so that mostly grey showed.
    I am using a brow color by Kosas called Air Brow in Grey. I find it to be easy to apply and natural looking.
    I splurged and bought Oribe’s shampoo, conditioner, and treatment mask for silver/grey hair. I use the shampoo and conditioner every third or fourth wash, and use the regular drugstore products I’ve always used in between. I haven’t used the mask yet because I have not needed it. For some reason my hair is a lot less frizzy since I stopped coloring it.
    It’s such a relief to be done with coloring, I feel more like me.
    But just to confirm, we should all have whatever color hair we want. You do you!

  72. Lynda Kern
    January 25, 2022 / 12:23 pm

    Congratulations and thanks for your honesty and bravery! I stopped coloring my hair several years ago and occasionally have my stylist do highlights and a glaze which gives so much body to my fine, thinning hair. I still looks for products that give body and volume but am so happy that I no longer use color. 74 years old and don’t look my age. Be patient and you will be happy when the process is complete. Love your posts!!

  73. Rebecca Ford
    January 25, 2022 / 1:04 pm

    I discovered my gray hair the hard way –
    or maybe it was the easy way? I shaved my head when I started treatment for breast cancer – when it grew back it was a really pretty white in front and salt and pepper in the back. I’ve been fine ever since – and I get loads of compliments on my hair. I surely don’t miss that stinging, stinky hair coloring!

  74. Holly
    January 25, 2022 / 1:29 pm

    I started going gray in my late 20’s — I colored it for several years until I developed a very serious allergy to hair color (my entire fact blew up to the point my eyes were slits). Needless to say, I had to stop coloring my hair and went fully gray sometime in my late 40’s. Oh the questions and comments I have received (some positive, some puzzled “why would you NOT color your hair?). In any case, I had no choice in the matter and mostly made my peace with it. Check out Jack Martin on Instagram if you want to see some beautiful gray hair!

    • Holly
      January 25, 2022 / 3:34 pm

      My entire FACE blew up!

  75. Donna
    January 25, 2022 / 2:19 pm

    Obviously from the number of responses, there is ALOT of interest in this topic! I took advantage of the “work from home” impact of COVID-19 to grow out my hair and shift to my natural “color.” I couldn’t be happier! My original hair color was similar to yours…dark blond. Over the years, I had experimented with reddish colors, but had settled on an over reddish brown with blond highlights. I grew my hair out for a couple of months, , using powder and spray on color to disguise my roots.

    Once I decided to go natural, my stylist put in heavy blond highlights. Once that was done, I never experienced the demarcation issue. My results are a wonderful silver color framing my face, with a combination of dark blond/silver in the back of my head. I feel my hair now looks healthier (and prettier) than it has for quite a few years. Kudos to you for taking this step…hope you love your results! I do use a purple shampoo from Redken every 3rd or 4th washing to offset brassiness, and use a leave in conditioner each time I shampoo. I shampoo my hair every 3 to 4 days and love the results!

  76. January 25, 2022 / 2:23 pm

    Loved the discussion today with you and Jennifer. I was interested in your theory about where you might have gotten your silvery white hair. I think my situation is similar to yours — my mother had almost no gray at all when she passed at 76 and her mother’s hair had very little gray at 92.. At 78 I am, in the words of my stylist, sparkly white. The only woman in my family with white hair was my paternal grandmother, who was white almost as long as I can remember. My dad had gray hair, too. It would be interesting to know if there is a pattern here that applies to many women. I had colored my hair to blonde since my early 20s. When I decided to go “au naturel,” my stylist bleached all the color from my hair (which was quite dark) and then added a lighter blonde toner with silvery highlights. It only required minimal touch ups as my natural color grew out, and really very few people even knew I was doing it. Since going “sparkly white,” I’ve had women say, “I want your hair!” Never heard that one before! I do note that I’m wearing more gray in my wardrobe and have eschewed yellow, which I loved because it matched my hair. I have a bright-gold silk shantung jacket I bought in Bangkok 25 years ago that I love dearly, but I’m not sure I’ll ever feel comfortable in it. But then, I’ve not had a need to wear it since I went silver. Thank you, Covid. Again — loved the exchange today. I’ll be following your transition with great interest.

  77. Mudra
    January 25, 2022 / 2:43 pm

    I also have wet cardboard colored hair. And it is baby fine/corn silk hair texture. I will enjoy watching your progress. I don’t have enough grey yet, just some on one temple, mostly. Thanks for report this!

  78. Deb in Georgia
    January 25, 2022 / 3:14 pm

    So many wonderful comments/experiences. I learn so much from all you ladies. Three years ago, I lost all my hair from chemo. My colored brown hair grew back completely gray with slight waves. It was too shocking so I colored it again. Last summer, I decided I was done with coloring. My hair is fine, straight now and coming in gray and mousy brown (go figure). I use the purple shampoo once a week-I guess it helps. Susan, I’m anxious to see your grow-in. You will look terrific! Thanks to all for the great tips.

  79. Ann
    January 25, 2022 / 3:16 pm

    Congratulations Susan. I was about 60 when I grew out my hair. Almost 68 now. Love it and I think I look and feel better than when I was still coloring my hair. My hair was short and my hairdresser cut it shorter to grow out the color. I have a lot of hair and it is straight with some body and a slight wave. I tried to grow it longer during 2020 and it is much finer than it was when I colored it. Too much trouble longer so it is short again. It’s all in our attitude, right?

  80. Ana
    January 25, 2022 / 4:39 pm

    I’m sure it will be lovely on you. I stopped coloring my hair in my late 50’ and never looked back going to be 65 soon. My hair is straight as a stick and I have to use a little bit of gel on my crown just to manage the frizz. I don’t wash it everyday because it looks better unwashed which is kind of gross but it works.

  81. Wren
    January 25, 2022 / 4:51 pm

    Wren

    • Wren
      January 26, 2022 / 7:38 am

      (I wrote a response from my iPad at an airport using LTE but it got lost in the Ethernet, apparently)

  82. Carla
    January 25, 2022 / 6:18 pm

    It looks like your natural colour is going to be beautiful! I was a redhead until my mid 50’s. As more and more whites appeared, I became a strawberry blonde. My current (natural) colour is similar to your hair (coloured) and I’ve found inspiration from your colourful wardrobe choices since your Red Lion experience. Do you think your wardrobe palette will change when the transformation is complete? Do you think you will revisit the Red Lion folks?

  83. Sue Rees
    January 26, 2022 / 1:30 am

    Go for it Sue! I stopped having my hair tinted a blonde similar to your colour back in the first lockdown, almost two years ago. I loved the white hair that I saw growing in and it gave me an incentive to continue. My tinted ends looked too warm in colour against the new white hair. I used various purple shampoos and glosses to tone down the blonde, but they changed the colour of the white hair too which I didn’t want. My hairdresser suggested that I put the purple products just on the blonde ends and not on the white. This is difficult to do with shampoo. But I found a product which worked for me. Josh Wood icy blonde gloss is a purple conditioner which I would comb onto the blonde ends only and leave for 20 minutes before washing my hair. This made the blonde a cool colour which looked much better against my white hair. Nearly two years later, I am now enjoying my white hair in a bob. Good luck with your transition.

  84. Margaret
    January 26, 2022 / 5:22 am

    I grew my gray out early pandemic (I have a pixie) so I cut all remaining color off at the end of the summer. I was a warm blonde as a child and hair darkened as I became an adult. I colored it to a golden brown. I lived with the gray for 6 months and loved not having to color every six weeks. I ended up going back to color because my gray just drained any color from my face. It was silvery around the front and top and salt and pepper in the back. It was a shock to see my natural color was so dark brunette. I did have to change the colors I wore (clothes, jewelry, makeup). Maybe I’m not far enough along in my gray journey (58) but it just seemed like it washed me out and I needed more contrast between hair and skin color. So I would love to skip the color but it made me feel so drab.

  85. Lee Rosenthall
    January 26, 2022 / 9:38 am

    Wow, QUITE the response you’ve received!

    After debating it for a few years (and being persuaded against it by my hairdresser), I decided to go for it when the pandemic cut off access to regular salon visits. I was turning 60 anyway, so it made sense to me that “now” was as good a time as any. I wear my once naturally chestnut brown hair long and have been coloring it for about 20 years, so it’s been a long process, but once I hit about six months, I felt a lot of relief and have really embraced going “Grombré.” It helps that the artificial hair color was pretty close to my natural hair color, but it’s gotten pretty brassy over time. I’ve been experimenting with Keracolor Clenditioner in a few colors (still not sure if I’m a Deep Autumn or a Deep Winter, but I know I’m DEEP, so it’s been fun to play around with). I also use Joan Rivers Great Hair Day to experiment with different ways to add some depth back to my root area when it feels too sparse or bright in either Brunette or Salt & Pepper. All the “kids” are sporting dyed grey or blonde hair with dark roots, so I figured why not try it? I feel like it helps to visually connect with the darker hair that remains below the gray. All in all, it’s been a grand experiment, finding out what was really “under there” after all these years (be prepared to be surprised – I would’ve guessed I was a LOT further along in turning white than I was), and the money I’ve saved on monthly root touch-ups is now available for experimenting a bit with my wardrobe.

    I look forward to going on this journey with both you and Jennifer. The wonderful thing is it’s not permanent. You can always color it again if you don’t like it. I’m considering lowlights in the future. For now, I’m just enjoying the transition. Cheers!

  86. January 26, 2022 / 9:41 am

    I hated when the gray would come in when my hair was auburn. I too had dishwasher blonde hair which I “enhanced” for years and one day said, “Hey, whenever I do a show with an auburn wig, I feel more like myself than anything else,” and went auburn for 20 years. Then right before COVID, I wore a purple wig to an event and went, “Wow, this makes my eyes pop,” and during COVID, I decided to dye my hair purple and teal, which are my brand colors. And I feel like me now.

    But what is weird is that when the gray comes in, I’M OKAY WITH IT. It looks like a variegation, like “I meant that,” and that’s pretty much my motto for everything I do anyway. I asked my hairdresser to give me a shot of silver among the color and she did but it was more subtle than I wanted.

    The way I feel about it is that if I decide to go gray, I’m just going to color it gray and then let it grow out. Rip off the bandaid.

    But not yet.

  87. Lynne
    January 26, 2022 / 9:46 am

    Susan,
    Great step! I transitioned from a light blond to silver over the course of a couple of years. When I finally retired, I highlighted less and less with the help of my amazing stylist. I am so happy to have my beautiful shinny silver hair. I am still in process of working on colors for the little makeup and have recently tried more vibrant colors of lipstick. I still find that a cool palette in clothing works, but with a little tweaking.
    Enjoy the journey! I look forward to seeing the results.

  88. January 26, 2022 / 10:05 am

    I applaud you. I haven’t got the courage to do this (yet?). Mind you, my mum kept colouring her hair until Covid hit and she was 92. So, I might be the same. I am very curious (like you) to see how it develops with you. With my longer hair, it would be a longer period of time to outgrow it. And short hair definitely doesn’t suit me.
    Greetje

  89. January 26, 2022 / 2:51 pm

    Hi, Susan!

    I blog all about gray hair over at KatieGoesPlatinum.com and I noticed a lot of traffic coming from your site today so I thought I should pop over here and see what was going on! One of my favorite readers, Anne, tagged me in a comment (thanks, Anne!)

    I just read your article and wanted to tell you congratulations on making this decision and I hope you have a really fun and rewarding transition to silver hair!

    I dyed my hair for 25+ years and it started out as just a fun thing to do and then became a mind-numbing, expensive CHORE. At 50, I decided I’d had enough and ditched the dye cold turkey. It took me a while as I didn’t want to cut my hair too short (I cut it into a graduated bob, but wanted it to be shoulder length. Took about 2 1/2 years and I loved every minute of it)!

    Gray hair is fun and beautiful and I’m so glad to see more women taking the leap away from dye. If you ever want to chat about it, please reach out to me – it would be fun! And if you have questions about products or anything, check out my blog for suggestions. I have a group on Facebook, too. Nice to “meet” you!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 27, 2022 / 7:28 am

      Hi Katie, thanks and welcome! I’ll definitely be checking out your blog for tips as my silver grow-out progresses.

  90. Susie Dale
    January 27, 2022 / 3:31 pm

    I have the reverse situation from yours, Susan. I’m 61 and since age 30 or my natural very blonde hair has gone to dark blonde. I’ve been highlighting it for the last 30 years, because it made me feel “more like myself”. I don’t have any gray hair and I worry that if I grow it out, my now darker hair will actually look harsh and aging. Ha! What a situation! My great grandmother died at age 99 with no gray hair and my dad at 89 with none.

  91. Kathy
    January 28, 2022 / 4:56 pm

    What made me opt to let my hair go natural was seeing gorgeous women with silver and white hair. I began to wonder what mine would look like. Since I had been pale blond so long, people didn’t really notice the transition. I have been blessed with genetics toward very few wrinkles, so the contrast hasn’t been that noticeable. And to be honest, I was getting tired of over 90+ minutes going through color stripping, then toner. Now it is 30 minutes at the salon….and some people come into the salon and say they want my hair color.At first it seemed my hair lacked the volume, but that only lasted about 2 months. It is back to thick again. I wash it twice a week with the Redkin purple shampoo. My hair is pixie short and I use a texture product with lots of shine. I keep my brows dark and use a bright red lipstick.

  92. Jenny
    January 28, 2022 / 6:23 pm

    I love your style, but for sometime I have wanted to see you with gray hair, in a super short pixie haircut with tons of product, making it almost messy punk like, with the brightest red lipstick you can find! Have fun with it!

  93. Blyma Wolpin
    January 30, 2022 / 9:05 pm

    Mazel Tov! It already look good – you have such great natural color. I grew mine out since the pandemic began. Last summer I did a major undercut, which I adored, then let it grow for many months. Cut it to a bob a few months ago and it just grew and grew – so about three weeks ago I had eight inches cut off, including the last of the color, and – I love it! I haven’t had such short hair in many years, and it turns out that what felt awfully greige, is really more silver on top and darker in the back. My hair is the healthiest its been in years. I was going for Emma Thompson in Late Night, but because I don’t have her height or bones I ended up looking more ‘ kind of really old looking androgynous teenager’, but – still love it. Note: you might find that your colors actually do change: that is, of course your skin won’t change, but the way certain colors look definitely will. I had beautiful caramel colored dyed hair, and I’m a Spring – yet some things that used to look fabulous on my no longer do, because of my hair color. Still figuring it out. The biggest part is the journey. There are numerous FB pages of women supporting each other: I followed one for a while called Your Grey Journey – incredibly supportive community of women. Enjoy the process, I look forward to watching it.

  94. Rita
    February 1, 2022 / 9:31 am

    Bit late to the party, but just wanted to say that like many here, I took the plunge during pandemic 2020. I had always dreaded the moment when I gave up the dye. But oh my goodness ,how I wish I had done it sooner. The only thing I am getting wrong now is my eyebrows! They have always been naturally black but for many months I kept plucking out the grey hairs, at least when I can see them.
    The problem is, I don’t always get the aim quite right, consequently when I look back in the mirror I find I have a bald patch where the eyebrow should be
    Just to say thank you Susan,I am now connected back to Karen’s website and laughing at her funny videos but learning some useful things. I hope one day to join the program as well!

  95. Teri
    February 15, 2022 / 5:23 pm

    I went gray, and then I saw pictures of myself at my daughter’s wedding shower and I knew I didn’t want to be gray for her wedding. I know we have to adjust our makeup and other things when we go gray–perhaps I hadn’t done that and that’s why I looked dull in those shower pictures. I went back to my medium dark ash blonde color with ash blonde highlights for the wedding, and I was happy with the wedding pictures.

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