Author Topic: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey  (Read 4318 times)

englishteacheralex

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There was a thread a few years back about growing out grey hair, but I figured it was long enough ago that I'd start a new thread with my experience in hopes of helping out others who might be thinking about transitioning to their natural hair color.

My Hair History
I've had gray hair since my mid-twenties. My natural color is light brown/dishwater blond with some natural auburn, and when I was young I used to dye it blond or red for fun every few months. I'd use box dye or have it done professionally, whichever I had the money for. The dye became an addiction in my early thirties when I realized it was covering a fairly substantial amount of grey.

I got sucked into the dye addiction that so many women are familiar with. For over five years I did cheap box dye on my roots. I used the cheapest dye, usually on sale, so it wasn't a huge expense, but it took time and also left my scalp horribly itchy for many days after each treatment. And I had to dye every other month, and hated the roots about three weeks after each treatment. I started to be conscious of the fact that I was spending a lot of time and energy on hating my appearance. It didn't seem healthy but I wasn't sure how to stop.

During the pandemic I kept putting off touching up my roots, until finally the roots started to be long enough that I could tell what my grey pattern was. I was intrigued. There was a big, thick chunk of gray at my left temple, and then strands scattered throughout. I decided to just let it go and see what happened. I haven't dyed my hair since February 2020, and it took about 1.5 years to fully transition to grey.

Mindset Shift to Grey

There are a ton of resources online for women who want to do this. I joined two Facebook groups for women transitioning to grey. There are techniques and strategies for helping with the awkward transition, but I didn't do any of them. Never bothered with any dye techniques like highlights or lowlights or stripping the ends of the artificial color. I just let my hair grow, suffered through about seven months of awkward roots, and then started cutting the artificially colored ends shorter so that the grey was proportionately longer than the color. I wore hats a lot, to be honest.

I am very lucky to work in a field that is not known for age-ism. As a classroom teacher, I didn't have to worry about anybody making a fuss about my temporarily slightly odd appearance. Most of my colleagues, including the principal, have roots at various stages, because we don't make enough money for a rigorous salon schedule!

As far as my feelings about my appearance go--this has been a mental training exercise. I look my age. I have made peace with that. The voices on the other side communicate that gray hair=letting yourself go, being less attractive, aging out of being attractive, etc. There's a lot of negativity surrounding this. I'll be honest: of course it's fun to be young, have vibrant hair, and feel "hot". I don't look 25 anymore and I never will again. Grey hair communicates age, and age is regarded as negative. I'm not going to pretend that all of that isn't true.

But it doesn't make me feel bad about myself or unattractive that my grey hair communicates that I'm not 25. I spend $100 on a great haircut three times per year, and I have a few "holy grail" hair products that are very expensive and that I think work really, really well to keep my hair looking its best. I spend about 30 minutes twice per week giving myself a nice blowout and flat iron so my grey bob looks sleek and put-together. Yep, it's gray, but I think it looks nice!

And I'm just not willing to spend the time and energy required to go back to getting rid of the grey. The grey may be less attractive, but it's a hell of a lot less of a PITA. I maxed out on my capacity to spend energy on covering the grey. The cost/benefit isn't there for me. I have absolutely no judgment for people who make a different choice. Beauty standards in our culture are insane, and not everyone is in a position to disregard those standards.

But solidarity to anybody who is thinking about going grey. It's doable and very worthwhile.
 


Metalcat

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I started going grey at 13, but it never bothered me.

I like to colour my hair because I like to change it up, but I also keep it only a few inches long, at most, and periodically shave my head if I want a fresh start, so it's easy for me to transition between coloured and grey and back again.

I used to have super long, waist length hair though, so I totally get how important hair can feel, and how particular one can get about it. But having super short hair now has totally changed my relationship with it and with changing it.

Cranky

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20 years ago I got highlights twice/year, and was fairly blonde-ish. Once I started greying, I switched to lowlights and the grey blended in a lot better.

During the pandemic I just stopped messing with the whole thing and I donít think anyone has even noticed. LOL

geekette

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I'd salon dyed my hair since my 20's, since I disliked my natural color and really liked auburn.  About 6 months before turning 60, I just switched to semi permanent color to hide the line as it grew out.  Once all the permanent grew out, I quit coloring at all.  Good thing, because my 60th birthday was just as the pandemic started.  I didn't have nearly as much grey as I thought I did, so it worked out just fine and hey, my natural color isn't as bad as I remembered oh those many years ago. 


JupiterGreen

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Thank you for starting this thread. I am just going to put this out there: I spend over $200 a month on my hair (sometimes more) it's embarrassing. In almost all other respects I don't feel the need to conform to beauty conventions. Here are my questions for the people who have stopped dying:

1. Have you experienced professional discrimination since going grey? How have you dealt with this? This is by far my biggest concern.
2. Did you cut your hair first? Anyone transition longer hair?
3. Is there anything in between going completely grey and dying? I have to get my roots done every three weeks, but I usually stretch it to every four weeks.
4. Has anyone dyed their whole head grey first? How did that go?
5. Does grey looks like garbage for anyone else's skin tone? How to deal with that?
6. What do you like about being grey? 

Daisy

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I am embracing my gray. I have never dyed my hair.

It helps that I have a lot of allergies. This was confirmed when I was at my hairdressers in a small room at the back of her house and someone was dyeing their hair. The smell was atrocious! I was waiting for someone, but decided to leave because I couldn't take the smell. I ended up with poofy and red eyes that night. It went away after 24 hours, so I know it was the dye. I definitely don't want to go through that every time I would dye  my hair.

I naturally have light brown hair with blond highlights, so the highlights are now a litte more gray than blond. Apparently this "hair color" is popular now and people are dyeing their hair this way so I do get asked around what kind of dye I use to get my hair color. My answer is "none!".

Metalcat

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Thank you for starting this thread. I am just going to put this out there: I spend over $200 a month on my hair (sometimes more) it's embarrassing. In almost all other respects I don't feel the need to conform to beauty conventions. Here are my questions for the people who have stopped dying:

1. Have you experienced professional discrimination since going grey? How have you dealt with this? This is by far my biggest concern.
It's not an issue in my profession, so I can't comment, but I also look really, really young, so I get age discrimination the other way.
2. Did you cut your hair first? Anyone transition longer hair?
I keep my hair very short, but I have grown out virgin long hair a few times to transition colours and it's a slog
3. Is there anything in between going completely grey and dying? I have to get my roots done every three weeks, but I usually stretch it to every four weeks.
Low lights/highlights some balayage kind of blending, no harsh dye line. Basically any experienced colourist knows how to transition people to different colours this way.
4. Has anyone dyed their whole head grey first? How did that go?
This would have to be done with the same lowlight/highlight technique I already mentioned because grey isn't a haircolour, it's absence of hair pigment, so dyed grey hair won't look at all like natural grey hair, but they could be blended though highlights/lowlights to help with the transition
5. Does grey looks like garbage for anyone else's skin tone? How to deal with that?
Grey hair is the absence of pigments so grey hair doesn't reflect light, this is why it is so unflattering on a lot of skin tones. It's also why a lot of older ladies do rinses, so that the hair shaft will reflect some light.
6. What do you like about being grey?
I don't particularly like anything about being grey. My hair esthetic is very 90s, I like one colour. I don't like highlights/lowlights, and much prefer single tone hair. I have extremely fair skin, so a single bold colour looks best on me. The only thing I like about my virgin hair is that there's no roots to deal with and I have a blank slate to change it to whatever colour I want.

I prefer my grey hair to my old light auburn/brown colour. At least if I'm going to have multi-tone hair, the silver streaks around my temples look kind of cool. I like that the greys blend my roots better when I go blonde.

I DESPISE how grey roots look with red hair, so I don't do red anymore, which sucks because it's one of my best colours, but the clash is just awful.

So now I mostly just alternate between blonde and virgin/grey. Blonde damages my hair too much, so I bleach the fuck out of until it literally stays melting off, then chop all of my hair off, let it grow out virgin/grey for awhile, and then start bleaching it again.

And so on and so forth.

FTR, the virgin/grey looks great on me because my hair is so short. It's only when my hair is around my face that the lack of light reflection drains the colour from my face. If I were to grow my hair out long again (not gonna happen), and I wanted to keep it virgin long term (also not gonna happen), I would use rinses to get some light reflection and depth and not have the light sucked out of my face by the hollow hair.


mspym

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Thank you for starting this thread. I am just going to put this out there: I spend over $200 a month on my hair (sometimes more) it's embarrassing. In almost all other respects I don't feel the need to conform to beauty conventions. Here are my questions for the people who have stopped dying:

1. Have you experienced professional discrimination since going grey? How have you dealt with this? This is by far my biggest concern.
2. Did you cut your hair first? Anyone transition longer hair?
3. Is there anything in between going completely grey and dying? I have to get my roots done every three weeks, but I usually stretch it to every four weeks.
4. Has anyone dyed their whole head grey first? How did that go?
5. Does grey looks like garbage for anyone else's skin tone? How to deal with that?
6. What do you like about being grey? 
1 - No, actually a bit of an advantage in project management because you look more  and less likely to suffer someone's nonsense
2 - I stopped dying my hair while I only had a few greys. I dyed my hair from 15-~35 then stopped because I shifted countries and the new sunlight brought out some really nice colour in my natural hair. Probably because I stopped at that stage, there was never a hard transition. Most of the grey blended in with my natural colour and it's not super distinctive although I am now getting the change in texture from super straight to a bit wiggly, which I am finding weird.
3 & 4 - N/a
5 - grey is not my best colour but I combat that by wearing tops that are in my colours which bounce some more flattering light up to my face.
6 - it's just one less piece of maintenance work out of my life. I also don't like what it does to your hair long-term and it's also not great for colour technicians, who face increased cancer risk. 

cannotWAIT

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I have been delighted with the way my hair is graying. Have you ever seen a sable merle dog? It's like an auburn that just kind of shimmers. That's exactly what has happened to my dark brown hair--the brown got a little lighter at the same time that a shimmery silver started weaving through. Now it's all different shades of brown and silver, and some parts are more like a streak of pure silver. It's not what I was expecting because my mom went a standard salt and pepper. I get way more compliments on it now than I ever did when it was just brown. So, no, I'm really happy with the way it looks and don't plan to dye it. But also, I live in a part of the country where it's somewhat unusual for women to color their hair or wear much makeup, so I don't feel any pressure at all to pretend my hair is still dark. That's a lot more common on the East coast, I think.

Fresh Bread

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4. Has anyone dyed their whole head grey first? How did that go?

My neighbour always was a brunette and then suddenly one day went blond. Then a few weeks or months later she had her blond hair dyed grey, and I realised she was doing a transition. Looks really good with her slightly olive skin.

My own mousey brown hair only has a few greys. I get highlights every so often so they kind of blend in at the front. It may be more obvious at the back when I have my hair up because the natural hair underneath is quite dark, but I can't see it so don't really care!

Dicey

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2023, 06:06:15 AM »
PTF. Thanks for starting this new thread, eta!

LaineyAZ

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2023, 07:57:06 AM »
I think it makes a difference on what your natural gray hair looks like:  mine is more of a metallic dull gray, not the shiny silvery gray that some are blessed with.

So for that reason I'm still doing a box color to keep my short hair a light brown color.  It also works better with my fair skin.  Cost is about $8-$9 every 8 weeks and takes about 30 minutes for the whole process so it's fairly simple.  And I do agree there's still discrimination in the professional and dating spheres for gray-haired people, especially females.

But with all that I'm thinking of ditching it all at my next milestone birthday.  We'll see...

Metalcat

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2023, 08:21:09 AM »
I think it makes a difference on what your natural gray hair looks like:  mine is more of a metallic dull gray, not the shiny silvery gray that some are blessed with.

So for that reason I'm still doing a box color to keep my short hair a light brown color.  It also works better with my fair skin.  Cost is about $8-$9 every 8 weeks and takes about 30 minutes for the whole process so it's fairly simple.  And I do agree there's still discrimination in the professional and dating spheres for gray-haired people, especially females.

But with all that I'm thinking of ditching it all at my next milestone birthday.  We'll see...

I'm so grey now that any Browns/reds make the grey roots stand out so much more. Up to a certain point roots looked okay, but then when I was over 50% grey, dye started making the contrast kind of extreme.

If I do blonde, the grey just blends in with the blonde. I had blonde tips from a dye job that's been growing out since last year, and just yesterday I was complimented by a hairstylist on how amazingly well my highlights are blended.

I laughed and was like "n'ah buddy, that's a suicide blonde dye job that's been neglected."

Should have seen the look on his face, lol!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2023, 08:28:32 AM by Metalcat »

Metalcat

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2023, 08:54:14 AM »
^^^yeah I have the 2 "Bride of Frankenstein" white temple strips in my natural light blonde hair and it just blends in. Especially if my hair isn't up or in a pony tail. So I think if someone with dark hair wants to transition to gray without it being too noticeable then probably going progressively lighter first will help.  Here's a bad photo of my hair in a double loop pony tail (it's waist length) and you can definitely see the 2 stripes but really not noticeable.

Yeah. For people with darker hair, highlights is really the best way to transition. Especially highlights that follow the natural pattern of the greyer areas, like temple stripes, but people with a lot of grey usually need low lights as well.

It's effective, but crazy expensive to transition long hair from a harsh dye line to a natural looking transition.

This is my hair right now, it's so much easier to blend with short hair.

Cranky

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2023, 10:42:55 AM »
I was in education, so grey hair was a plus, if anything. Beyond that, I just donít care. I think about needing a haircut for weeks before I finally get one. LOL

Metalcat

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2023, 03:56:54 PM »
^^^yeah I have the 2 "Bride of Frankenstein" white temple strips in my natural light blonde hair and it just blends in. Especially if my hair isn't up or in a pony tail. So I think if someone with dark hair wants to transition to gray without it being too noticeable then probably going progressively lighter first will help.  Here's a bad photo of my hair in a double loop pony tail (it's waist length) and you can definitely see the 2 stripes but really not noticeable.

Yeah. For people with darker hair, highlights is really the best way to transition. Especially highlights that follow the natural pattern of the greyer areas, like temple stripes, but people with a lot of grey usually need low lights as well.

It's effective, but crazy expensive to transition long hair from a harsh dye line to a natural looking transition.

This is my hair right now, it's so much easier to blend with short hair.
Cute! I know it might be hard for many women (me lol) to shave their heads and start fresh but it could be liberating. I've had fairly short hair before and it drove me nuts as was too much work and there wasn't much I could do with it (no bun, braid, pony tail, etc options) but with super short hair I image it would be a breeze with just an occasional cut. I cut my hair and donate it but otherwise it just grows and I brush it occasionally. The new white hair is kind of fun though and, outside of having had a younger BF for the last few years who didn't care, hasn't impacted me personally. Plus my last dog had the same color - blonde with white streaks - and she looked fabulous!!

Yeah, I shaved it because I had always wanted to try shaving my head, and it looks so good on me that I don't mind doing it whenever I feel like changing up my hair instead of fighting with a transition.

I've had hairstylists tell me my whole life that I should shave my head, so during the pandemic I did it. I have a face that just looks better the less hair I have. Long hair is super aging on me, shaved looks best, but I don't like to keep it shaved, it's not really my style, so the next best thing is having just under and inch of platinum blonde hair.

It's about 4 inches right now, which is the longest I've had it in years.

Hilariously, DH and I have literally the same haircut at the moment, just styled differently with different hair texture. But if we style it the same way, it's basically the same.

His looks like this, and mine is very similar, but without the stripe and I wear it parted and flat, like in my photo, but I could style it up like that with some product. Lol

https://www.google.com/search?q=mens+edgy+undercut&oq=mens+edgy+&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0i512l13.2515j0j7&client=ms-android-uscellular-us-revc&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=3Av1_BQ0osWeBM&lnspr=W10=

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2023, 02:41:48 PM »
I grew watching the women I knew dye their hair, and I knew I didn't want to do it.  The chemicals, the time, and the expense never appealed to me.

Now, in my 50s, I look around and wonder who the older people who dye their hair to cover grey think they are fooling?  We get wrinkles, and then our faces start sagging, and short of expensive fillers and face lifts, our faces show our age even if we cover the grey.  I don't even have much grey -- my hair has some silver strands that are hard for anyone to see except me -- nor do I have many wrinkles, but my face declares my age by the pull of gravity.  I've noticed the same with my husband, who has mostly grey and silver hair -- our mouths appear turned down at rest, and our jowls sag.  I see my 70+ year old stepmother with her blonde hair, and it seems out of place with her face.  Indeed, my MIL (who is nearly 80) looks younger with her undyed hair now than she did a decade ago when she covered the grey, probably because the mix of grey, white, and silver is more complementary to her skin tone (since even our skin sallows as it thins and the layer of fat below it is more visible).

JupiterGreen

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2023, 07:30:38 PM »
I really appreciate all these posts and pictures. I might try the highlight lowlight strategy. Or just forgo my appointments for a couple of months to see what I have because I don't even know how much of my hair is grey. I can't shave my head because I don't have the face for it, wish I did, but alas. I can cut it real short though and I may just do that.

Hadilly

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2023, 11:23:33 PM »
Ooh, good topic!

I got grey hair early and had a Susan Sontag streak in my 20s. Decided it was too aging at a time when I was actively dating, so dyed it dark brown.

In my early 40s I had had enough. I would have 4-5 days when it looked good, before a halo of white started emerging around my face.

I went to a very good hair salon and had as much color lifted as possible, and then blonde and ash streaks put in. Got a magnificent short hair cut. Repeated the process.

My hair is now pure white around my face. I use a purple shampoo once a week and have a water filter on the shower. I LOVE my hair. Seeing the roots grow out was pure torture.

I have shifted money over to hair cuts and skin care (retina a, Botox, sunscreen). I also update my clothes to current silhouettes (ie wide leg jeans).

My hair looks dramatic, counter cultural, and a bit transgressive for where I live.

My clothing colors definitely altered a bit with my hair color change. I have always been a true winter,  cool colors all the way. I now find that pastels look amazing, white grey and navy as well. I find black too harsh in general on me now.

If you are still dying your hair, especially at home, I would take a critical look at how the dye is deposited on your hair.  One of my best friends does it, and her hair is blotchy. I cant figure out how to tell her.

I am self employed so no impact on my job.

Edited to add that I do dye my eyebrows for facial definition. I also wear tortoiseshell glasses too.

Metalcat

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2023, 07:08:24 AM »
Ooh, good topic!

I got grey hair early and had a Susan Sontag streak in my 20s. Decided it was too aging at a time when I was actively dating, so dyed it dark brown.

In my early 40s I had had enough. I would have 4-5 days when it looked good, before a halo of white started emerging around my face.

I went to a very good hair salon and had as much color lifted as possible, and then blonde and ash streaks put in. Got a magnificent short hair cut. Repeated the process.

My hair is now pure white around my face. I use a purple shampoo once a week and have a water filter on the shower. I LOVE my hair. Seeing the roots grow out was pure torture.

I have shifted money over to hair cuts and skin care (retina a, Botox, sunscreen). I also update my clothes to current silhouettes (ie wide leg jeans).

My hair looks dramatic, counter cultural, and a bit transgressive for where I live.

My clothing colors definitely altered a bit with my hair color change. I have always been a true winter,  cool colors all the way. I now find that pastels look amazing, white grey and navy as well. I find black too harsh in general on me now.

If you are still dying your hair, especially at home, I would take a critical look at how the dye is deposited on your hair.  One of my best friends does it, and her hair is blotchy. I cant figure out how to tell her.

I am self employed so no impact on my job.

Edited to add that I do dye my eyebrows for facial definition. I also wear tortoiseshell glasses too.

Yes! Drug store box dye doesn't cover grey in the same way as naturally pigmented hair, the hair chemistry is different, which leads to splotchy results in a lot of people once they're near or over 50% grey, which is most evident from the back. I haven't checked in years, but drugstore dye used to even have a warning on it about not being recommended for over 50% grey, of course that was in the small print while the "COVERS GREY!!" was large marketing copy on the front.

If people do home dye grey hair, they have to bump it up to a 30 developer, but this will cause much more damage and gives more unpredictable results because it lifts more colour in the first place before depositing, which often means more fading and can cause "hot" orange roots.

This is why I did henna for red. Henna covers everything because it coats the hair, it doesn't go inside the hair like dye. If I box-dyed my hair red, it would be a splotchy mess. It might look good for a few days, but just 1-3 washes would leave it looking just godawful.

Re: eyebrows, I don't dye mine, but I do pencil them in and they make a HUGE difference because my tails are super sparse, so I look like a doberman. It's unreal the difference when I pencil them, my entire face changes.

I looked into microblading, but it takes me literally a few seconds to do them myself, and I too get a bit of forehead Botox twice a year, which changes how I pencil them slightly. Plus I don't want to go through the pain, expense, weird fading, and having to trust someone else to do it how I like it.

Metalcat

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2023, 07:27:48 AM »
I really appreciate all these posts and pictures. I might try the highlight lowlight strategy. Or just forgo my appointments for a couple of months to see what I have because I don't even know how much of my hair is grey. I can't shave my head because I don't have the face for it, wish I did, but alas. I can cut it real short though and I may just do that.

Cutting it really short will make the entire process much, much easier and cheaper.

If I wanted long grey hair, I would much rather grow out a sort cut than grow out grey roots any day.

That said, I've done that process many times, I know the awkward grow out stages and how to manage them. I could see if someone had long hair and it was part of their identity, cutting it short AND dealing with going grey AND dealing with the awkward grow-out process could be too much.

I would recommend the big chop mostly if the person is considering keeping their hair shorter.

I had quite long hair when I shaved my head to get rid of the henna, and I had fully intended to grow it back out again because I had literally *just* grown it out from a previous short cut years before and was in the mood for long hair.

But then when I shaved it all off and grew out an ultra short Pixie, it was so much more flattering on my now older face that I knew I wanted to keep it short.

That's why so many older women have short hair, on a lot of face shapes, long hair just doesn't isn't flattering. It looks amazing on some aging face shapes, my step mom has a super round face and long, beautiful shiny black and silver hair, it's very flattering and in her words, she would look like a pug if she got a Pixie cut. I have a thin face and dull grey hair, so long natural hair does nothing for me.

DH found this too. During lockdown he grew out his stunning thick, curly hair into this just gorgeous dark blonde Lion's mane. It was glorious, but made him look so much older. He chopped it all off for his 50th birthday and it took a decade off his appearance.

So the decision to go short comes down to whether or not going short would make you feel good.

I've seen a lot of people have total meltdowns after a big chop and just as many feel liberated and wonder why they didn't do it years earlier.

StarBright

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2023, 07:42:26 AM »
@JupiterGreen I transitioned long hair several years ago.

Low lights/highlight combo and top knots got me through the ugliest part of it.

Once it had grown out long enough I ditched the whole head's worth of high/low lights and I just added grey highlights around my face to brighten it. It wasn't quite balayage because my hair is too fine for it, but I made sure they didn't do it near my part either, so that I didn't get awkward grow out.

I had posted a pic in the old thread, but I still had it saved to my computer! So here is a pic of the grey highlights around my face.

FWIW, I'm 40 and in tech and yes I have noticed a change in how people treat me. I'm treated more like a mom and sexually harassed less.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2023, 08:29:54 AM by StarBright »

JupiterGreen

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2023, 07:45:13 AM »
Thank you @StarBright wow all of you have very lovely and healthy hair

@Hadilly you are my spirit animal, thank you for posting this. What does the purple shampoo do exactly?

@Metalcat I am, unfortunately, one of those people who look good with it long. I have sharp features (boney) and a little length softens them, but I think I could go shorter, just not too short. My hair is probably my best feature, it is distinctive and always commented upon when I where it loose, this is making the process that much more difficult. Am I vain? Maybe a little lol.

Metalcat

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2023, 08:20:56 AM »
Thank you @StarBright wow all of you have very lovely and healthy hair

@Hadilly you are my spirit animal, thank you for posting this. What does the purple shampoo do exactly?

@Metalcat I am, unfortunately, one of those people who look good with it long. I have sharp features (boney) and a little length softens them, but I think I could go shorter, just not too short. My hair is probably my best feature, it is distinctive and always commented upon when I where it loose, this is making the process that much more difficult. Am I vain? Maybe a little lol.

Nothing wrong with a reasonable amount of vanity. Who wouldn't choose a more flattering hairstyle over an unflattering one?

The key to healthy vanity is trying to work with what you have as much as possible and resisting the urge to fight with nature too much.

For example, I mentioned I got Botox twice a year. I have super overactive frown muscles that will etch a big dent in my face if I don't calm them down. I feel pretty good about preventing that, but I don't bother trying to fight other normal aging expression wrinkles like crows feet, etc.

I don't generally try to fight aging, but I also don't mind stepping in and preventing the development of deep frown lines that make me look perpetually pissed off when I'm generally a perpetually really happy person. It makes me feel more myself, so I'm cool with it.

I also use a SYLA mask at night, and sleep on a pillow that doesn't squish my face to prevent pillow creases in my forehead/cheeks/mouth, and I wear a cleavage pillow to prevent chest wrinkles from side sleeping.

Vanity? Absolutely, but these are simple, cheap, easy things to do that work with nature, not against it, to prevent skin from unnecessarily creasing during sleep.

I consider this kind of anti-aging intervention to be like posture exercises. I don't have to hunch over as I age, and I don't have to crease my skin while I sleep.

Anthony Hopkins is a really great example of pillow wrinkles, one side of his face has deep, long, diagonal grooves from his hairline down to around his mouth. Nothing wrong with having them, I just don't mind altering a bit about my sleep posture in order to not have them.

https://www.google.com/search?q=pillow+wrinkles&client=ms-android-uscellular-us-revc&prmd=isvn&sxsrf=APwXEdezaMh8c8UgwmZQK1YM5dNo-N97Lg:1681221939683&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjxj4Pk_6H-AhVrjIkEHSCCD0cQ_AUoAXoECAkQAQ&biw=412&bih=1068&dpr=1.75#imgrc=65zXax3erESMbM&imgdii=hK3kLpe_JlrQZM&lnspr=W10=

Point being, vanity isn't a problem. Excessive, self destructive vanity driven by a lack of self worth is a problem. But healthy vanity is basically just self care. It's feeling good in your own skin.

That's why embracing grey can be so empowering for women. If you can find a way to feel beautiful by not fighting grey, then that can help with having a much healthier relationship with aging.

I will always focus on what's most flattering, but I really try to be cool with aging, because fighting it is a losing battle. Instead I just try to figure out what looks best at whatever age.

I've recently moved away from black eyeliner because I find it's looking harsh. I've started using electric blue, which has been fun. I ditched foundation and concealer years ago, and avoid any kind of powders like eyeshadow and blush.

Quitting alcohol was also probably the best beauty move I've ever made. And I have no shame in saying that my vanity is a HUGE motivator to never drink again. Lol. Actually, early retirement was the best one. My job made me look like shit no matter what I did.

Vanity can be a wonderful motivator for self care if harnessed that way. Because we will always look our best at any age if we are at our healthiest and happiest.

Hadilly

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2023, 09:25:22 AM »
@JupiterGreen, Iím so flattered.

The purple shampoo counteracts brassiness that can come from chlorine, minerals, etc in tap water. I use one by Ulta once a week or so.

@spartana, nice picture.

@Metalcat, eyebrows. I forgot to mention that I started using Revitabrow with a great deal of scepticism. It has totally restored my eyebrow tails. That said, it did nothing for a friend of mine, so I would buy somewhere you could return if you decide to try. Refectocil eyebrow tint works very well for me in darkening them a bit and hiding the greys.

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2023, 11:29:54 AM »
@JupiterGreen, Iím so flattered.

The purple shampoo counteracts brassiness that can come from chlorine, minerals, etc in tap water. I use one by Ulta once a week or so.

@spartana, nice picture.

@Metalcat, eyebrows. I forgot to mention that I started using Revitabrow with a great deal of scepticism. It has totally restored my eyebrow tails. That said, it did nothing for a friend of mine, so I would buy somewhere you could return if you decide to try. Refectocil eyebrow tint works very well for me in darkening them a bit and hiding the greys.

I'll look into it, but I'm a little antsy about unregulated active ingredients in the beauty industry.

Also, it takes me a matter of seconds daily and costs about $20/yr to pencil in my brows, and I get compliments on them literally all the time because I'm so practiced at it that my arch is perfection ;)

Most people can't even tell I pencil them. People are always shocked when they first see me without makeup and get to see the Doberman brows, and how radically different my whole face looks.

jinga nation

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2023, 06:33:52 AM »
in my mid-40s, have 10% gray/grey. (is that a for the Americans and e for the English? :-p )
I'm not going to dye. it looks artificial, compared to the wrinkles and whatever else on my naturally-aged face.
my mum used to dye, looked weird. then weirder as the dye aged off and reddish hues seen.
an ex-coworker used to dye in his 30s, it didn't look right. it was super black. sometimes i thought he had a toupee.
a high school friend did the same, but it looked right for the age.
my friends, some older, are embracing the distinguished gray look. partially due to the hassle of not being satisfied with professional jobs or DIY, partially the hair thinning and other hair/scalp issues.
wife and kids have asked me not to dye; told them this frugal guy won't dye even if someone else pays. natural look is the way. one less thing to worry about.

okits

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I spend about 30 minutes twice per week giving myself a nice blowout and flat iron so my grey bob looks sleek and put-together.

Thanks for reviving this topic, @englishteacheralex , and mentioning this care step!  I was thinking I would need to do something like this, too, so it's nice to read someone else is.  My white hairs are becoming more prominent and they are very wavy compared to my non-white hair.  I rely on the weight of my hair to hold it down and keep it neat but of course it's thinning and unpigmented hair texture is different.  Straightening it all is what I'll end up doing when I feel it starts to look untidy.

itsallgood

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I can't take people seriously who claim to be frugal or whole food plant based (WFPB), vegan or whatever and continue to dye their hair.

Metalcat

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I can't take people seriously who claim to be frugal or whole food plant based (WFPB), vegan or whatever and continue to dye their hair.

Random...

I mean, colouring my hair costs me about $10-15 every few months, and I don't eat meat because I don't want to, so I'm a little confused about that point too??

parkerk

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I can't take people seriously who claim to be frugal or whole food plant based (WFPB), vegan or whatever and continue to dye their hair.

Random...

I mean, colouring my hair costs me about $10-15 every few months, and I don't eat meat because I don't want to, so I'm a little confused about that point too??

1. Create username that can be read at least one way as being generally open to and accepting of a wide range of things.

2. Resurrect a two-month-old thread with random unprompted judgment of a fairly inconsequential personal choice.

3. Profit?

Missy B

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I went fully grey during covid. I had been using box dye to do a partial color - more like thick highlights, and decided that the time was right to just stop.
I never had a raccoon stripe since I didn`t do  full color, and wasn`t yet grey enough for it to really stand out.
I didn`t cut my hair (covid :) ) but keep it short anyway. It's always looked better on me than long, especially now.
No professional discrimination that I`m aware of. I'm self employed, so. Someone volunteered their seat on the bus to me last month though.
I`ve noticed my skin has changed since I`m older - I can wear some colors that wouldn`t work before, and some don`t look as good now. I think the lighter color/silver works with my skin tone. It has a kind of shimmery highlight effect. How grey I look really depends on the lighting, flourescents bring it out the most.

If I had kept coloring, I would have gone to a light brown instead of the dark reddish brown I was using. Using solid black or really dark brown is most aging and obvious as a color job and usually doesn't go with older skin.

lifeandlimb

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I only have a handful of grey hairs at this point, but they've all been much more shimmery and silvery than I expected. I'm letting them grow out naturally. I've always been a little lazy as far as vanity goes, so I've stuck to my original plan of just leaving them be until I change my mind. I'm self-employed in a creative field, so thankfully very few rules. However, even in more conservative careers, men who go grey gain an air of respect, so why shouldn't women hope for the same...eventually?

My hair is naturally jet black and straight (cumbersome to dye, I've been told). Aside from one-time highlights, I've never dyed. It took a while, but over time I grew to appreciate how dark my hair is. Right now I kind of like how severe the contrast is between black and silver.

The only difference I've noticed is that the silver hairs are wavier than the others. Sometimes they stick out at an odd angle, but even this gives me a fond, demented affection for them (you do your thing, rebel hairs!). I do moisturize more with conditioner now to tame them and keep them as sleek as possible.

If they eventually look yellow, I would consider purple shampoo to maintain a cool color tone, but that doesn't seem to be an issue right now.
...I do wish it was less of a taboo overall for women to wear their hair naturally grey. I think it can look nice on a lot of people. Showing physical signs of aging isn't necessarily a bad thing.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2023, 10:26:44 AM by lifeandlimb »

Cassie

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I have been dying my hair for 30 years. My friend does it now and it looks better than when the hairdresser did it. I get frequent compliments. I have considered stopping but some of my friends that did definitely look older.

CupcakeGuru

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I am firmly in the camp of going grey. I work in a very male dominated industry in a professional office setting (at least it was pre covid). All the senior people were men and I was usually the only woman in the room.

I started going grey in my very early twenties and started full head dye soon after. I would have the grey halo around my face after only 2-3 weeks between dye jobs and did many root touch ups. I also have wavy/curly hair and when I was younger I was told that it looked unprofessional so I also flatironed my hair daily. I probably spent about 45 minutes a day "doing" my hair.

One day, about 6 years ago, it was raining and i got soaked the morning after I dyed. My hair was a disaster. Splotchy, frizzy. I looked like a dyed rat. One guy at work berated me for looking so unprofessional about my hair. That day, I stopped dying and flat ironing my hair.

I did not do any special transition, just let it turn grey. It took about 15 months to go completely grey and wavy. Funny thing happened at work. Other people stopped dying their hair too. The freedom of not worrying about my hair increased my confidence 10 fold. Random women come up to me in elevators, the store, etc and ask me about how hard it was to go grey. I tell them to go for it!

To address the professional aspect and age discrimination, I just got a new job in my 50's with a significant raise in pay. Is there age discrimination, absolutely. But it totally worked out for me.


« Last Edit: June 29, 2023, 04:21:12 AM by CupcakeGuru »

lifeandlimb

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@CupcakeGuru your hair looks very healthy!

Cassie

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I actually was supposed to get my hair colored a few weeks ago and didnít. I was a redhead so my hair is white instead of gray. But it appears that it will be a mixture and more of the white is in the front. Plus my roots look dull which is my natural color. I will see how it looks as it grows out.

ca-rn

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Early 50's, thick dark brown/black hair with more white hair everyday, concentrated at the temples and the rest generally scattered all around. 

I keep hair length between chin/shoulder length mostly because I'm lazy- this length is easy to wash/dry quickly and can grow out a bit w/o looking unkempt.  I used to have long hair but got headaches and just got tired of how long it took to wash/air dry.  I would prefer to have shorter hair but it requires more maintenance - product and frequent cutting to keep it looking neat. 

I usually keep it covered anyways, wearing a hat/sunglasses whenever I go outside and wash hair once per week with rye flour/baking soda, rinse with vinegar.  My hair dresser says my hair is healthy.

Where I work, most of the women color their hair and wear makeup no matter their age.

Mentally, I'm ok with going gray/white but its still a shock whenever I actually look closely at my hair in the mirror.  Same with my face!  I wear moisturizer and sunscreen but older skin is no joke- pigment changes/age spots...

LaineyAZ

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...

Mentally, I'm ok with going gray/white but its still a shock whenever I actually look closely at my hair in the mirror.  Same with my face!  I wear moisturizer and sunscreen but older skin is no joke- pigment changes/age spots...

Agree about the skin - I think dry rough skin and blotchy age spots can "age" someone even more than gray hair.  In my 60s I've had several microdermabrasions and other dermatological care and it's made a big difference. 

Metalcat

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...

Mentally, I'm ok with going gray/white but its still a shock whenever I actually look closely at my hair in the mirror.  Same with my face!  I wear moisturizer and sunscreen but older skin is no joke- pigment changes/age spots...

Agree about the skin - I think dry rough skin and blotchy age spots can "age" someone even more than gray hair.  In my 60s I've had several microdermabrasions and other dermatological care and it's made a big difference.

Yeah, skin is a big deal. I was a non-sporty, indoor artsy goth kid, so my face never got any sun, and if it did, I protected my precious paleness with 60 SPF every hour.

Who knew that my weird art kid teen vanity would pay off so well??  I'm quite gratefully to the little painfully vain weirdo I used to be, lol.

LaineyAZ

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Yep, maybe we need a separate skin care thread! 

I'm reminded of a woman in my exercise class, pre-Covid.  I didn't know her, we didn't even chat with each other, but I was fascinated by her skin.  She was a senior like the rest of us in the class but had absolutely blemish-free skin - no age spots, no scars, no freckles, no keratoses, no heavy wrinkles, no cherry angiomas, no visible varicose veins - basically the unmarked skin of a baby. 
I don't know if she stayed indoors her entire life or had great genetics or had a dermatologist on call, but between her skin and her slim figure she easily looked in her 40s/early 50s vs. the 60+ she likely was. 

lifeandlimb

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@LaineyAZ from what Iíve noticed, genes seem to play the greatest role, but sun and toxin exposure (stress, alcohol, etc.) are definitely close behind.

Metalcat

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@LaineyAZ from what Iíve noticed, genes seem to play the greatest role, but sun and toxin exposure (stress, alcohol, etc.) are definitely close behind.

Quitting alcohol and coffee for me was massive. I was just accepting that I was in my late 30s and my skin just was just aging, but nope, as soon as I quit alcohol, it was like years fell off my face. I know that doesn't happen to everyone, but my skin is very dry in general, so the drying affect of alcohol and coffee was brutal for me.

That said, I'm also very proactive about my skin. I get a bit of botox between my eyebrows because I'm an epic frowner otherwise, and I don't get two frown lines like most people, I get 5. I use a silk pillowcase and change it very second day, I use a pillow that promotes either sleeping on my back, or doesn't squish my face when I sleep on my side, I wear a silk forehead mask to prevent diagonal pillow wrinkles, I also wear a satin cleavage pillow to prevent chest wrinkles.

It was actually my botox doc who recommended all of this stuff. He doesn't sell it, he just pointed out that the only wrinkles I had aside from my frown lines were sleep/pillow lines and that botox is useless for those. I've been using them since and they're great.

I just spent a week at my other house without all of my special anti-sleep-wrinkle gear and I couldn't believe the difference. I woke up every morning with a harsh diagonal line across my forehead, diagonal lines under my eye, and down the middle of my chest. Obviously the went away, but it was clear that they would etch themselves in over time if I stopped using my little sleep things.

An ounce of prevention as they say.

It's funny though, I am always spotting pillow lines on actors now and chuckling trying to picture how they sleep. Anthony Hopkins is one of the more extreme examples, one side of his face is much more wrinkled than the other and his vertical pillow line coming down through his eyebrow looks almost like a scar. He must sleep on the left side, with his face smooshed into the pillow, without moving every single night to get that.

https://www.aspiremd.ca/the-envy-pillow

(^not the pillow I use, btw)


Cassie

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Alcohol definitely doesnít do skin any favors. I was a non drinker most of my life but the 15 years I indulged my skin was getting red and blotchy. It looks so much better now. I have never completely given up coffee but did reduce to 2 cups a day 20 years ago so canít speak to that effect on my skin. So far I havenít been tempted to color my hair since I am interested in how it will look. Plus at almost 70 it really doesnít matter anymore. I still do some consulting but not a negative in my field.

Just Joe

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2023, 01:20:06 PM »
My hair started going gray in my 30s. Didn't worry about it too much. I would like it to quit balding but alas a family trait. Oh well.

DW's father went gray in his 20s. Not sure DW will ever go completely gray - somehow. A few hairs here and there. Whatever happens - we agree. ;)

Cassie

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Re: Ditch the Dye: Mental and Practical Strategies for Embracing Your Grey
« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2023, 09:52:13 AM »
Just Joe, my youngest son started to turn white at 18. By the time he was 25 his head was completely white which was a bummer. We are a family of redheads so luckily we all turn white instead of gray.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!