Author Topic: how to go grey gracefully  (Read 9393 times)

bluebelle

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how to go grey gracefully
« on: January 29, 2018, 02:32:05 PM »
I wish I'd never started colouring my hair, but I did, so now I'm trying to figure out how to go grey gracefully.

Backstory - my mother says she saw my first grey hair when I was 3.  By the time I was 20, I was using henna to colour it, I had just enough grey, that the henna gave my auburn hair beautiful highlights.  But by the time I was 25 there was enough grey that it was starting to look a little like Ronald McDonald....so started the semi then permament hair colouring.....I let it grow out once when I was in my early thirties and folks thought I was mid-fifties, apparently people just see the hair colour, not the face....anyway, fast forward 20 years, I'm mid-fifties and the top of my head is pretty much snow white.  I'm still colouring, but I have fast growing hair so the skunk streak shows up around the 3 week mark and is really bad at 4 weeks.   I'm over colouring my hair.  Hubby thinks I should wait until I retire (2 years), of course my hair stylist thinks I should keep colouring.....

I'm interested in knowing how women have stopped colouring their hair.  I see three options
1) stop full colouring, add in coloured streaks and gradually add fewer and fewer streaks until it's grown out grey/white
2) let it grow out and wear hats for 2 years
3) let it grow out and cut it really short (not really interested in really short hair)

SunshineAZ

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 03:01:53 PM »
Personally I would go with #1 and go with a lighter color to reduce the contrast.  My SIL has this problem, she has gorgeous thick curly long hair, but she keeps coloring it a dark brown, but I think it grows really fast, so it seems like every time I see her she has the "skunk stripe", which drives me bonkers!  At least if she went with a lighter color it would not be so noticeable. 

Ironically, I have the opposite problem.  In my family, going white seems to be every other generation.  My great grandmother had the most gorgeous snow white hair, but my grandmother didn't have a single gray hair when she passed in her mid-60s.  My mother started going gray in her 20s, and here I am early 50s with almost no gray hair.  I am a darkish blonde who has been lightening up my hair a few shades for years and waiting for some white to come in so I can stop.  LOL  (Note that I don't know how white my mom's hair really is because she is a hairdresser and keeps it red, but the last time I noticed she had roots it was over 50% white and that was a long time ago.)

Catbert

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 03:05:50 PM »
My hair was originally very dark down.  I started coloring in my mid-30s and continued until I retired in my mid-50s.  Last color job was two weeks before my retirement party.  I'll admit growing it out wasn't pretty.  My hair is short and it still took 6 months to be mostly grown out. 

If I were you I'd try #1.  What color do you color your hair now?  At some point you'll want to cut it shorter just to get rid of a few inches of fading dyed color.  But if your chosen style is  a bob or other all one length style you don't go with a short-short cut that's going to give you layers that you'll have to grow out.

ketchup

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 03:09:52 PM »
One of the higher ups at my company very abruptly went 100% gray a few years back (late 50s).  I assume she'd been coloring for a long time.  My assumption was that she just dyed the whole thing her "real" gray at once and let it go from there.  Maybe I'm just a naive dude in his 20s and there was more to it than that. 

I think it looked good.

simonsez

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 03:20:00 PM »
Balding naive male here - this may be a stupid question but couldn't you just dye it gray?  It is probably obvious (and not a big deal) to your friends, co-workers, and family members that notice these things that your current hair color is salon-assisted.  If I had hair and I was graying but wanted to get rid of the unnatural color, I'd dye it one last time in a natural color so I wouldn't worry about the slow creep of gray taking forever to get rid of much different colored hair.  If you are worried what people think, you could just say the truth - that you wanted something more similar to your natural hair color and you're tired of dying it! 

I think your answer should be whichever option gives you the most confidence during the transition.  Be as comfortable as you can with whatever you choose.

FWIW: I think full heads of gray/silver/white hair on women are rare these days and I always dig it when they rock modern styles confidently with their natural hair.  Good luck with the transition!

pachnik

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 03:23:57 PM »
I think my situation was similar to yours. 

I coloured my naturally dark brown hair once it started going grey.  About 2 years ago, I got fed up - especially since the skunk line would show up like yours after 3 weeks.   Got to be a pain in the ass + expensive.  My hairdresser at the time didn't have any good ideas about how to deal with this so I went to another place for a consultation.

The new place had a couple of ideas and I went with doing low lights to blend in the new grey growth.  I stuck with the low lights for about a year and now just have my own colour.  I am much happier and don't care if anyone thinks I am older than I am. 

Good luck with it!  There are solutions other than wearing a hat for two years (unless you really like hats!).


pachnik

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 03:26:05 PM »
Balding naive male here - this may be a stupid question but couldn't you just dye it gray?  It is probably obvious (and not a big deal) to your friends, co-workers, and family members that notice these things that your current hair color is salon-assisted.  If I had hair and I was graying but wanted to get rid of the unnatural color, I'd dye it one last time in a natural color so I wouldn't worry about the slow creep of gray taking forever to get rid of much different colored hair.  If you are worried what people think, you could just say the truth - that you wanted something more similar to your natural hair color and you're tired of dying it! 

I am not a hairdresser but it was explained to me that if I wanted to go this route, they'd have to bleach my hair to get rid of the dark pigment in the old dye.  This would really trash your hair. 

Khaetra

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 03:43:25 PM »
I just quit coloring a couple years ago and now have a natural mix of blond and gray.  It's very freeing!

bluebelle

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 04:02:08 PM »
Personally I would go with #1 and go with a lighter color to reduce the contrast.  My SIL has this problem, she has gorgeous thick curly long hair, but she keeps coloring it a dark brown, but I think it grows really fast, so it seems like every time I see her she has the "skunk stripe", which drives me bonkers!  At least if she went with a lighter color it would not be so noticeable. 

Ironically, I have the opposite problem.  In my family, going white seems to be every other generation.  My great grandmother had the most gorgeous snow white hair, but my grandmother didn't have a single gray hair when she passed in her mid-60s.  My mother started going gray in her 20s, and here I am early 50s with almost no gray hair.  I am a darkish blonde who has been lightening up my hair a few shades for years and waiting for some white to come in so I can stop.  LOL  (Note that I don't know how white my mom's hair really is because she is a hairdresser and keeps it red, but the last time I noticed she had roots it was over 50% white and that was a long time ago.)
You're in AZ, so I know you're not my SIL....but that's me, thick, curly hair, albeit aburn, not dark brown....It's coloured close to what I think my natural colour was (it's been so long............).

I think I'll discuss option one with the hair dresser next time....I'm assuming highlights/lowlights will be more expensive in the short term than a full colour, but I think it's the only way I'm going to get there....and DH is wrong - I think I'd be more confident with no 'roots' showing and be snow white, than knowing the roots are starting to show at the 2 week mark and stretching it out to 6 weeks with the female version of a comb over (I have no part per se, so some days I think I'm faking it, but a 5'3", I know most folks can see the top of my head)

ohsnap

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2018, 04:18:57 PM »
How about option 4)Have you thought about using a demi-permanent hair color while you let the gray grow out?  You can buy it at beauty supply places such as Sally, and it's much cheaper than purchasing individual boxes at the drug store.  It fades gradually so you just redo it as often as you need.  I've found for covering gray...it doesn't last very long... :(  But it's a relatively easy and inexpensive way to cover the gray as it grows out, and it doesn't bleach or damage your hair like permanent color can. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 04:23:06 PM »
I did this after I quit working. I still dye it occasionally but with semipermanent dyes only (mostly blue and purple).

Step one was to get my hair lightened and then dyed gray professionally. As it grew out, the gray/silver came in, but over the course of about 6 months, the dyed part faded into a blondish color. I would tone it and then have it trimmed up as necessary. 3 years now, completely dye free other than very occasionally the stuff that washes out after 6 washes - and I have about 3-4 inches left at the bottom of the bleached/lifted hair that isn't obvious - it ended up looking like an ombre effect everyone was paying big bucks to get.

So my first suggestion would be to get your hairdresser to do a very light at the roots to dark ombre, then just let it grow out. It is still in somewhat, and if it bothers you a bit growing out, then get some of the semi-permanent color rinses and see how that takes on the new growth.

There are semi-permanent dyes/rinses available at any beauty supply store that you can use at home just like a shampoo (no peroxides or ammonias) that will not damage your hair and could provide a transition. Fanci Full Temporary Hair Color comes to mind, but any of the lighter ash/blond tones may work. They wash out after 6 or so washes so it's not as abrupt a change and if you keep using them, it may allow your hair to grow out and get trimmed up over time until it's at a length you find acceptable and can stop coloring it completely.

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Daisy

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 04:43:20 PM »
I have wondered about this. I've never colored my hair and wonder what I would do if I tried it once and then just let some gray come out if I didn't like it.

I'd like to say I've never colored my hair because I am gracefully accepting the aging process, but rather it's because I've had so many allergies to many things that I've been deathly afraid of it.

I go to a salon that uses an organic type of dye which is not supposed to be as bad for you, but I still can't bring myself to try it out. So in the meantime I am in my late 40s and I've never dyed my hair. I have a naturally light brown hair color and I've always had naturally blonde highlights. It seems like instead of blonde highlights these days I have a little bit of gray interspersed throughout. Some people notice it and say it actually looks good. I don't know if they're just being polite.

Oh well time keeps going on and I still haven't dyed my hair so I may be one of those women sporting gray hair proudly in a few years. I do love to see women embracing their gray and having stylish haircuts and being in great shape and looking good.

MayDay

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2018, 05:42:15 PM »
I would go d a really funky salon and do something wild- put in blue stripes or turn your roots purple,or bleach the top but leave the underneath dark.

It looks bad as is after that first 2 weeks, I promise. It is always super obvious when people are doing full dye jobs. Worst case scenario if you go both,you can pass it off as a fun experiment rather than just another old person with a bad dye job.

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Laura33

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2018, 08:21:42 PM »
How about option 4)Have you thought about using a demi-permanent hair color while you let the gray grow out?  You can buy it at beauty supply places such as Sally, and it's much cheaper than purchasing individual boxes at the drug store.  It fades gradually so you just redo it as often as you need.  I've found for covering gray...it doesn't last very long... :(  But it's a relatively easy and inexpensive way to cover the gray as it grows out, and it doesn't bleach or damage your hair like permanent color can.

This is what I was going to say.  I have dark hair that started going grey in college.  I have never done ďrealĒ hair dye, but at around 45 I started using the semi-permanent stuff every few months, and I leave a few noticeable grey steaks out (so Iím not dark brown one month, grey the next - thereís always noticeable grey streaks, and the background coloring just varies a bit).  And the nice thing is that it just slowly fades over several weeks.  And then over time I am leaving more streaks out, so each time I do it there is a little more grey.  I feel like this allows me to sort of slowly go grey, but on my own terms, and in a way that makes me feel attractive.

Or do what my granny did and just dye it silver and call it good!
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driftwood

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2018, 06:09:34 AM »
I can't add to the process of how to make the transition, but I wanted to say I'm really happy to see you embracing your natural hair color. 

I can't even fathom how people go through life constantly trying to cover up natural physical features. 
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Mr. Green

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2018, 06:13:28 AM »
My grandma dyed her hair for years because of early graying until she finally decided to stop. When they took all the color out of her hair it was totally white. She couldn't believe it but the great thing was that it looked nice. I never saw her any way but with white hair as this happened before I was born. The white might be a shock but I think most people like the way white looks over gray due to the consistency of color.
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freya

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2018, 06:52:31 AM »
I wish I were courageous enough to go natural.  My natural color is very dark brown, but I've now gone almost all gray, not the white but the ugly steel wool variety, and have been coloring for many years.  I don't think I'd like the gray look, but it would be so wonderful to free myself from being a slave to color - especially because commercial dyes burn my scalp and destroy my hair.

I decided to switch to a non-permanent dye (henna + indigo), so that I could maintain the color while waiting for the permanently dyed hair to grow out.  Then I can try out the gray at a time of my choosing, e.g. while on vacation - since you can strip henna from hair pretty easily.

Also a tip for the dreaded skunk stripe:  Buy a root touch-up powder.  It's cheap, takes a minute to put it on, there's no mess, and it stays on until you shampoo.  This will let you delay hair coloring sessions as long as you like, until the semi-perm dyes start to wear off.   Just be sure to wash it out before coloring your hair, as it will block dyes.



Sun Hat

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2018, 07:04:10 AM »
Balding naive male here - this may be a stupid question but couldn't you just dye it gray?

I am not a hairdresser but it was explained to me that if I wanted to go this route, they'd have to bleach my hair to get rid of the dark pigment in the old dye.  This would really trash your hair.

My sister went this route last summer. She had dark brown hair that had gone 80% white and she was tired of having to dye her roots every 3 weeks. The process to bleach it was one day at the salon to remove 90% of the colour, leaving it a brassy blond (not a great shade); three week rest for her hair; then another bleaching, leaving it white blond and very dry; another three week rest; finally, dyed grey. It was a long process, but it looks amazing now, and she doesn't have to recolour it ever. The old growth that had to be bleached is indeed pretty dry, but she uses a leave-in moisturizer to smooth it.

I stopped dying after an unfortunate haircut left me with a pixie (I have curly hair and the hairdresser accidentally gave me a mullet when trying to do face-framing layers, then started to cry when he realized what he had done). Growing the grey out was the silver lining to a bad situation. Now that it's grown out to a cut that suits me better, I'm delighted by the look, since my hair hasn't looked this healthy in 20 years.

Whichever route you take (cut or bleach) I really recommend embracing your grey, since the new un-dyed growth will be healthy and shiny. Since you don't like short hair for yourself, I'd suggest braving the bleach with a good hairdresser - but only when you don't have any major life events planned for a couple of months, since you'll have a blond phase.
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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2018, 07:05:53 AM »
I'm mid 30s w very dark brown straight hair and lots of white wiry white hairs. I had given up dyeing but it looked terrible (the white hairs will curl and break at about 2" and stick straight up at times), so I just recently did copper highlights. It's going to cost a lot to maintain, but I can;t do the head of all dark because the even the harshest dye falls out of the white hairs. So now my hair is lighter in general and I figure it's just going to be the cost til I'm in my late 40s or whatever and can go full on white. My only fear is that the white hairs won't ever grow and i'll be stuck w short hair. I've seen some younger (under 60) ladies with Snow White hair and it's lovely. I just can't stand the contrast between the almost black and the white.
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chaskavitch

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2018, 07:55:54 AM »
PTF for knowledge.

I just started seeing white hairs along my part in the last few month.  I'm sort of a dark blonde color with some natural highlights, so they're not really noticeable to anyone but me yet.  I'm still freaking out a little.  I've never dyed my hair, and I don't want to start now. DH claims he will like my hair even if it goes grey completely, but I'm not sure I believe him. 

bluebelle

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2018, 08:32:47 AM »
I'm mid 30s w very dark brown straight hair and lots of white wiry white hairs. I had given up dyeing but it looked terrible (the white hairs will curl and break at about 2" and stick straight up at times), so I just recently did copper highlights. It's going to cost a lot to maintain, but I can;t do the head of all dark because the even the harshest dye falls out of the white hairs. So now my hair is lighter in general and I figure it's just going to be the cost til I'm in my late 40s or whatever and can go full on white. My only fear is that the white hairs won't ever grow and i'll be stuck w short hair. I've seen some younger (under 60) ladies with Snow White hair and it's lovely. I just can't stand the contrast between the almost black and the white.

I had forgotten that the mid thirties grey hair was of a different texture, corser and not quite as curly.....I don't remember when I stopped noticing that....probably about the time the ratio of white to colour tipped over to being more white than colour.  It gets better....white hair now is soft and curly (underneath the colour)

TheWifeHalf

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2018, 10:06:12 PM »
I stopped coloring, had it cut to 1" on my whole head (got rid of almost all of the color), then let it grow! My hair does grow an inch a month though.

rosarugosa

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2018, 07:32:10 AM »
Interesting thread.  I thought I would stop coloring it once I retired, but now I still don't feel like I'm ready.  My MIL just decided to go with her natural gray and she is 85!
I recently saw a woman in a restaurant with beautiful thick wavy silver hair and I loved the look.  She had a youthful face and I would guess her to have been in her 40s/50s. 

ZiziPB

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2018, 09:38:44 AM »
I stopped coloring about 8 years ago and absolutely love it.  I get so many compliments on my hair!  I had long hair when I made the decision to stop coloring but was ready to cut it anyway as short hair is my default.  At first I had it cut chin length but over the next few months I went shorter (not necessarily because of the transition but because I just felt like it).  I've had it short since then although I have grown it to chin length again recently.  My hair is probably about 70% gray with a nice mix of silver, white, gray and my natural brown. 

Anyway, I would caution anyone who is planning to use semi-permanent dye to help with the transition.  That stuff does fade a bit but it does NOT wash out completely.  So if you use it, you're likely to have lots of brassiness and not much of your natural color.  Not recommended.



Rosy

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2018, 01:52:49 PM »
Gracefully? - few people are lucky enough to have the right shade of blonde so when they go white it is more of a natural looking process.

I was looking forward to finally stop torturing my hair and go white. In my family, we all go really silver white, just like we started out with white blond hair that later turned dark.
Dying it grey seemed like such a waste of money and in the end, my hair was an interesting blend, you couldn't tell whether it was intentional or not.

I had mine cut really short to help with the transition. I admit though, the first time I did it, I went back to having it dyed, I guess I wasn't ready for the change. Now, I'm really happy with it.
Like zizi said, I actually get compliments on it, everyone seems to like it. I have slightly wavy hair now - no idea how that happened.

Laura33

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2018, 06:20:11 AM »
Anyway, I would caution anyone who is planning to use semi-permanent dye to help with the transition.  That stuff does fade a bit but it does NOT wash out completely.  So if you use it, you're likely to have lots of brassiness and not much of your natural color.  Not recommended.

I guess this can vary, then, because Iíve been using the semi-permanent (as close as possible to my natural color) for years, and I have never gotten brassiness.  I do agree that it doesnít all disappear within the alleged ďsemiĒ period, but my experience is that it does fade over time and definitely looks more natural.  Plus itís low maintenance, which is a huge plus for me :-) ó if I get lazy and wait weeks or even months, itís not very obvious.
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rubybeth

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2018, 06:46:46 AM »
The new place had a couple of ideas and I went with doing low lights to blend in the new grey growth.  I stuck with the low lights for about a year and now just have my own colour.  I am much happier and don't care if anyone thinks I am older than I am. 

Good luck with it!  There are solutions other than wearing a hat for two years (unless you really like hats!).

My mom went through this and also got lowlights on dark brown hair that was going silver. It looked SO DAMN GOOD! People legitimately could not figure out why she looked so good--a couple people asked if she'd had plastic surgery on her face, that's how good she looked. She had it done once professionally, then another time maybe 6-12 months later at a beauty school, and then let it go completely. She's now about 95% silver and looks great. She says she always wanted platinum hair and now she has it. :D
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ZiziPB

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2018, 01:02:03 PM »
bluebelle, just wanted to post this link for you - an example of a fairly young blogger transitioning to gray: http://www.carmellarayone.com/blog/2018/1/17/going-gray-or-shall-we-say-silver-white

And this is a blogger I've been following for a while who is currently going through the transition to gray - she is very honest about the process and her feelings: https://fulllifereflections.com/2016/11/18/gray-hair-transition-seven-months/
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 02:03:18 PM by ZiziPB »



Daisy

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2018, 05:24:51 PM »
bluebelle, just wanted to post this link for you - an example of a fairly young blogger transitioning to gray: http://www.carmellarayone.com/blog/2018/1/17/going-gray-or-shall-we-say-silver-white

And this is a blogger I've been following for a while who is currently going through the transition to gray - she is very honest about the process and her feelings: https://fulllifereflections.com/2016/11/18/gray-hair-transition-seven-months/

Those are great links. I am now spending a lot of time going down this gray hair rabbit hole.

freya

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2018, 08:20:36 PM »
Anyway, I would caution anyone who is planning to use semi-permanent dye to help with the transition.  That stuff does fade a bit but it does NOT wash out completely.  So if you use it, you're likely to have lots of brassiness and not much of your natural color.  Not recommended.

I guess this can vary, then, because Iíve been using the semi-permanent (as close as possible to my natural color) for years, and I have never gotten brassiness.  I do agree that it doesnít all disappear within the alleged ďsemiĒ period, but my experience is that it does fade over time and definitely looks more natural.  Plus itís low maintenance, which is a huge plus for me :-) ó if I get lazy and wait weeks or even months, itís not very obvious.

The henna & indigo combo that I'm using can be stripped out at will (involves soaking your hair in mineral oil) and doesn't create brassy tones.  It took a few tries before I got it to dye gray hairs brown rather than day-glo orange, though.

I can't wait for the permanently dyed hair to grow out.  These descriptions of gorgeous silver-haired manes are making me wonder what my own would look like au natural.  It's going to be a few years at least though.

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2018, 08:44:14 PM »
bluebelle, just wanted to post this link for you - an example of a fairly young blogger transitioning to gray: http://www.carmellarayone.com/blog/2018/1/17/going-gray-or-shall-we-say-silver-white

And this is a blogger I've been following for a while who is currently going through the transition to gray - she is very honest about the process and her feelings: https://fulllifereflections.com/2016/11/18/gray-hair-transition-seven-months/

Those are great links. I am now spending a lot of time going down this gray hair rabbit hole.

haha me too!
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Rural

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2018, 08:21:57 AM »
I've not posted here yet because I never colored to cover grey (I did do some fun colors in grad school before I had any grey). But, speaking of fun colors, I've found that as I've passed 50% grey, I can do the temporary colors I could never have done without permanent damage to my dark hair, so I had a purple highlight underneath (that showed only when I chose to tuck my hair behind my ear) for a few weeks. I'm working up the nerve to try all-over pink. :)


Oh, I didn't change anything about clothing colors as I went grey in my 30s and 40s. I haven't worn makeup since high school unless I'm giving a speech to a big enough audience I want my features visible from a distance, so once or twice a year, max.

Trifele

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2018, 10:50:11 AM »
Another vote for the semi-permanent dye route.  I went au naturale over a period of a couple years in my mid 40s by using semi-permanent dye for a while.  It was pretty painless and I am so glad I went gray.  It is so freeing to not have to think about that shit anymore.  Strangely, I now get compliments on my hair, which I never did before when I colored. 

Helvegen

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2018, 11:38:41 AM »
I occasionally think of letting it go gray, but i have very dark eyebrows and i am thinking these would look terrible in contrast to eavh other. I am in my late 30s, with no sign of my eyebrows catching up to my 100% gray hair anytime soon. I have never seen a single gray hair on my body yet that wasn't on my scalp.

pachnik

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2018, 11:43:57 AM »
I occasionally think of letting it go gray, but i have very dark eyebrows and i am thinking these would look terrible in contrast to eavh other. I am in my late 30s, with no sign of my eyebrows catching up to my 100% gray hair anytime soon. I have never seen a single gray hair on my body yet that wasn't on my scalp.

I also have very dark eyebrows.  Either black or very dark brown and my bangs are now grey-silver and I think it looks okay.  Could be worth trying?  I stopped colouring my hair two years ago.  I wear it in a bob style and the bangs are silvery and the back part is still fairly dark brown.  If I thought it looked weird, I would just start colouring again.


StarBright

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2018, 11:59:40 AM »
I did this after I quit working. I still dye it occasionally but with semipermanent dyes only (mostly blue and purple).

Step one was to get my hair lightened and then dyed gray professionally. As it grew out, the gray/silver came in, but over the course of about 6 months, the dyed part faded into a blondish color. I would tone it and then have it trimmed up as necessary. 3 years now, completely dye free other than very occasionally the stuff that washes out after 6 washes - and I have about 3-4 inches left at the bottom of the bleached/lifted hair that isn't obvious - it ended up looking like an ombre effect everyone was paying big bucks to get.

So my first suggestion would be to get your hairdresser to do a very light at the roots to dark ombre, then just let it grow out. It is still in somewhat, and if it bothers you a bit growing out, then get some of the semi-permanent color rinses and see how that takes on the new growth.

There are semi-permanent dyes/rinses available at any beauty supply store that you can use at home just like a shampoo (no peroxides or ammonias) that will not damage your hair and could provide a transition. Fanci Full Temporary Hair Color comes to mind, but any of the lighter ash/blond tones may work. They wash out after 6 or so washes so it's not as abrupt a change and if you keep using them, it may allow your hair to grow out and get trimmed up over time until it's at a length you find acceptable and can stop coloring it completely.

I'm seconding this. As a thirty something who is 40% gray and grew it out over the last couple of years my hairdresser wouldn't take me all the way fake gray - she said it was too damaging.

She did lighten the dyed hair so it didn't look so bottle brown and then did super ashy/almost gray balayage highlights to blend out the dye line. It let me grow it out without that stark line on my head.

I do agree that silver hair on a youngish person totally throws people off. When I was still coloring my hair, people assumed I was several years younger than my actual age (People usually thought I was an intern at work instead of a manager) and I have a fairly youngish face. A few weeks ago someone told me I was "so brave to go gray in my 40s" and I was internally cringing because I realized how aging the gray hair really is! But it is pretty and so healthy now and my husband actually really likes it so there you go!

Off the Wheel

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2018, 01:14:16 PM »
I'm still at the stage where the greys are sporadic, but I recently decided to stop dying it as well. In part because of the cost, in part because of the environmental/health concerns, and in part because I realized I haven't actually known what my natural hair colour is since I started dying it with Sun-In at 12. That's messed up.

So posting for inspiration and insight from those who've got before. I will say that I HATE those little bristly short hairs at the top (I'm 33, so maybe the texture of the greys will change over time?) but am leaning into the overall natural vibe with a focus on mermaid hair. Meaning long and with texture.

Off the Wheel

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2018, 01:15:12 PM »
Though this year I've also discovered a white eyebrow hair and a white eyelash and WTF is that about.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 01:17:02 PM by Off the Wheel »

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2018, 07:30:34 PM »
I've been thinking about OP's conundrum the last few days and one, possible solution came to mind. A friend six months ago had a section of her hair burned. She shaved her head and wore a wig for six months until her hair grey back to a level she was comfortable with.

Perhaps shaving you head and wearing a wig isn't a solution. Thought I should share on the off chance it is.

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2018, 08:51:26 PM »
I got my hair cut the other day and brought up the gray hair issue with my hair stylist again. She knows about my allergies, so she doesn't push coloring. I told her about these two ingredients that are in most shampoos and conditioners and lotions that I am allergic to. She said regular hair dyes definitely have these ingredients as preservatives. She wasn't sure if the "less toxic" ones she uses contains these ingredients and was going to look into it. She runs an organic salon and tries to use less toxic products.

So I may not even have a choice in this matter. It may be gray for me regardless of my vanity, so I should just accept this.

I once used a cream that had these two ingredients and I was getting vertigo for a year without realizing it was from the cream. I found out I was allergic to these ingredients during a dermatological patch test to figure out my skin issues.

FireHiker

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2018, 03:49:13 PM »
I was going to link to Carmella Rayone's blog and saw someone beat me to it. :) I love her blog! If I was trying to grow out dyed hair I would probably take the same approach she did.

And thanks everyone for reaffirming my decision to not ever cover my grey. Everyone I know who decides to grow it out has the worst time with the transition and says they wish they'd never started. The lazy and cheap part of me is just not willing to go there. I'm starting to go a little grey now at 39, and I'm emphatic that I won't ever color it. Everyone keeps telling me I'll change my mind but I'm pretty damn stubborn once I make a decision. I am the only woman in my entire office without dyed hair; I can count 14 female co-workers off the top of my head and they all color their grey.

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2018, 04:22:42 PM »
I've colored my hair since my 20's because I hate my natural color (mousy brown).  It's straight and fine, but dyed to a reddish brown, it looks good.  It's been almost the same color for over 30 years, it's shiny and healthy, and I get compliments on it.

About a year ago I thought I'd see about transitioning to gray, and had it lightened.  Hated it.  H-A-T-E-D.  Lightening it made it feel like straw, and I looked washed out.  I'll never do that again. I'll have to go cold turkey.  Some day.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2018, 05:14:21 AM »
My mother has salt-and-pepper hair that she has never done anything to, and people walk up to her and compliment her on it, even when she has just gotten out of bed to walk the dog.

So, maybe what your hair does by itself will be great!

Iím not terribly excited a about the white hairs near my temples that Iím getting at 28, but as a man I donít have to deal with a whole universe of appearance bullshit that women experience.

Trifele

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2018, 09:16:53 AM »
Just had to share this story.  Got my hair cut yesterday, and the stylist was oohing and aahing over my gray. (Salt and pepper with solid white streaks). He said this particular look is really hot right now among young people, who are paying top dollar for it (?!)   I have seen twenty somethings with all-gray died hair, but apparently now the fashion is to make the gray look 'natural'.   Made me smile.

Daisy

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2018, 10:41:50 AM »
Just had to share this story.  Got my hair cut yesterday, and the stylist was oohing and aahing over my gray. (Salt and pepper with solid white streaks). He said this particular look is really hot right now among young people, who are paying top dollar for it (?!)   I have seen twenty somethings with all-gray died hair, but apparently now the fashion is to make the gray look 'natural'.   Made me smile.

Great story!

I always knew I was trendy.

Dicey

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2018, 11:16:56 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread. It's timely indeed for me.

The summer I was twelve, I grew six inches. I also developed a tiny patch of gray hair. I figured I was done for as far as going gray was concerned, but it didn't really progress. In my forties, I grew my hair out twice for Locks of Love because I wanted to do it before I was too gray and it's mustachian as hell.

For whatever reason, the gray did not progress until recently (I'm staring down 60). My hair is very dark brown. Lately, I notice I'm often the only one in the room who isn't gray/doesn't color her hair. (My community's demographics skew very high, lol.) However, the inevitable is finally happening and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I'd like to figure out a plan that is low-hassle and doesn't cost a fortune, so I think I'll just follow along, if I may.

BTW, what are lowlights?
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Catbert

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2018, 11:52:26 AM »
Low lights are the opposite of highlights.  Rather than adding a lighter color to hair in "streaks" you add a darker color to light hair.  Useful if, for example, you're trying to grow out bleached blond hair to your natural brown.

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2018, 03:44:42 PM »
A few years ago, ~age 40 and living in Beijing, I stopped using permanent color for the first time in 20 years. I'd always dyed it darker than its natural generic brown. I still miss the more dramatic look of darker colors, but was concerned about effects of pollution on my hair and skin. I had ~5% grey and liked it.

For about a year I used semi-permanent color on my (just below shoulder-length) hair, then phased that out. Now I use Aveda's Black Malva conditioner once or twice a week as a mask. It cools down the orangey tints that can come up in my natural color, and leaves a very discreet blueish tint on my grey which lets it shimmer but remain unobtrusive. I love it!

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2018, 04:53:22 PM »
How about option 4)Have you thought about using a demi-permanent hair color while you let the gray grow out?  You can buy it at beauty supply places such as Sally, and it's much cheaper than purchasing individual boxes at the drug store.  It fades gradually so you just redo it as often as you need.  I've found for covering gray...it doesn't last very long... :(  But it's a relatively easy and inexpensive way to cover the gray as it grows out, and it doesn't bleach or damage your hair like permanent color can.

This is what I was going to say.  I have dark hair that started going grey in college.  I have never done ďrealĒ hair dye, but at around 45 I started using the semi-permanent stuff every few months, and I leave a few noticeable grey steaks out (so Iím not dark brown one month, grey the next - thereís always noticeable grey streaks, and the background coloring just varies a bit).  And the nice thing is that it just slowly fades over several weeks.  And then over time I am leaving more streaks out, so each time I do it there is a little more grey.  I feel like this allows me to sort of slowly go grey, but on my own terms, and in a way that makes me feel attractive.

Or do what my granny did and just dye it silver and call it good!

This is basically what I did, combined with maintaining a short haircut. I had the grays for about 3 years but then started feeling like my face was aging enough that the gray really aged me on top of it. Interestingly, I had a lot of people ask me if my gray was natural or if I had it done professionally, lol.

I started getting demiglaze put on my hair at the salon. It's $25 every time I go and it fades over the weeks so there's no stark skunk stripe. If I decide to let the grays come back, I'll have the stylist lighten and cool the demi glaze until my hair transitions close to my natural color, at which point I can stop dying altogether.

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Re: how to go grey gracefully
« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2018, 04:56:21 PM »
No hair, don't care!