Advice on Going Gray; Giving Up Haircolor?

  1. I am 47, almost 48 years old, and although I don't have a body to brag about (anymore...:sad:) I do have a pretty enough face and good skin and most people who learn I have a 20-year old daughter are surprised, so I'm guessing I look like I'm in my early 40's? Mid-40's? When I was younger, I had medium-to-dark brown hair. I first started seeing grays in my mid-to-late 20's and by the time I was 30 years old I was going to the salon for complete gray coverage every few months.

    Fast forward... I am now in the salon every 3-4 WEEKS for root touch-up. My hair is naturally curly -- not kinky curly, but more than a wave. It is a little shorter than shoulder-length and is cut in layers. I had it longer and was flat-ironing it for about 2 years, but I hated all the time it took and eventually it really fried out my hair. So, about 6 months ago I went back to my natural curls, and I feel MUCH better. My hair looks much more natural and much healthier. Now, I'm thinking of going TOTALLY NATURAL and growing in the gray.

    Am I out of my mind? I'm guesstimating that around the hairline I am 80-95% gray, or silver. Towards the back of my head it may be more of a mix, but honestly, I don't know.

    So, should I or shouldn't I? If my hair was straight and sleek, I'd do it in a second. I love that sophisticated silver bob look. But, I have sworn not to go back to the straightening thing.

    I was recently with a group of girlfriends I hadn't seen in several years. A number of them were letting their gray hair grow in naturally and it looked so GOOD on them -- natural, comfortable, chic, UN-FAKE. I have a great stylist and a SUPER colorist, but as soon as the roots start showing (within 14 days, I swear!) I start feeling like my hair looks artificial.

    If I let the gray grow in, will I look like an old lady? What kinds of tips/tricks does anyone have? PLEASE don't tell me I'm the only woman on tpf with this issue!!!
  2. well idk if u should color your hair but please love your curls.I love curls!! just moisturize alot & take hair vitamins and EFA's..nothing is more beautiful than healthy hair no matter what the color.

    i saw a woman the other day with long gorgeous shiny silver hair omg it was stunning she looked about 60 & was so beautiful.

    maybe try going natural and see how u feel.if u feel gorgeous thats all that matters!! if u dont like it dye it! maybe try a blond color so that the grays can blend in when they grown in ...have fun!! thats whats important i had gray hair when i was 11!!
  3. Gah...just got back from getting my greys covered. I am in my 30's and I have been getting highlights which camo's the greys. I am sure I will need to do something else soon.
  4. I'm 44 and have been coloring my hair since I was in my 20s. Now when my roots grow in I notice that I am getting quite gray which doesn't bother me at all. I would love to stop coloring and let the gray take over but have no idea how to do it gracefully.

    I say, go for it. Aging is a natural process and society's obsession with looking young young young just sickens me.
  5. As we get older, skin gets sallow and darker colors cease to look natural. Many people who had dark hair in their youth continue to color their hair that same color as they get older. Even if dark hair was your natural color, on older women it can look very harsh and make you look older still. What you need to do if you continue to color your hair, is lighten the color you go to and generally avoid reds. The only way to know if you would like having your natural silver, is to take the plunge and grow it out. Hair grows on average 1/2 inch per month, so this may take some time, but once you grow out about 3-4 inches, you should be able to cut off the chemically treated hair and see your natural color. You could also seek out a color specialist who can come up with a plan to help you get back to your natural color without a severe line where the color meets the regrowth. They might use a semi or demi-permanent color on your hair that will fade with shampoos- thereby allowing your hair time to grow out, and preventing that harsh line of demarcation.
  6. It might look horrible growing out. The only people I have seen that look great grey are the one that had pixie cuts and then let them grow.
    It sounds like you are more sick of the touchups at the salon. Have you ever thought of using a product like Natural Instincts that will add some color to your hair but you can do at home? But even with gray hair it can be a really funky color and you might have to add some type of rinse to it to make it look great.
    Good luck.
  7. Unless you will look good with gray or white hair, keep coloring it.

    You don't have to go to the salon, go to Sally's and get some Color Gems, it is demi-permanent, no ammonia, but it covers white hair very nicely.

    And once it is all white, unless you have been putting black color on it, you will have the option of choosing from any hair color you want that looks good on you.

    If you are not sure how you would look with white or gray hair, just visit a wig store and try on some white and gray wigs!
  8. I'd suggest you have it colored grey or a shade as close to what you believe your natural color to be. The only time I think grey hair looks terrible is when women have long hair and half of it is grey and the other half is a different color with a ring going around their head. So if you have it colored grey, then there won't be a harsh line when you grow it out and eventually you will have all the colored part trimmed off.
  9. I don't mean to be rude, but going gray will make you look old! And you're way too young to look old!

    Maybe you could have the stylist color it when you go in for trims and have him/her recommend a product to use for root touch ups in between visits?

    Another option is to go ash blonde and have highlights done. That way you won't be constantly covering up roots. Instead, the gray just kind of blends in with the blonde.

  10. No, on some people it looks great! I have a friend who's in a her mid 30s who's almost completely gray. It doesn't detract from her appearance at all!
  11. claireZk, does the blonde really blend well with the gray? I keep thinking that one is GOLD and one is SILVER. Plus, I'm sure there are still some brown-ISH hairs left on my head. Sounds like it would be great IF it worked. And it may help me shift (wardrobe and makeup colors) from dark around my face to lighter. I'm going to call for an appointment with my colorist and discuss ALL of these options! Thanks.

  12. Nope! You're not! I was searching the forum for this exact question and found your thread.

    I'm 46 and started getting gray hair at 17... when I turned 30 I began to color it. I always had jet black silky, thick hair... now it is coarse, dry and I HATE my hair.

    I'm also at the point where the color will just NOT stay in my hair. Plus, I have two areas that won't even accept the color and it looks incredibly stupid -- kind of like I tied part of my hair into a ponytail and dipped it into a lighter color.

    Have been doing it myself for years and then finally started going to a salon. I swear -- I can do it just as well. My hair is cut bluntly just above my shoulders and always seems frizzy and the ends just never look nice unless I use a curling iron on them.


    I've been considering going all gray and then asked my hubby who about freaked out and said NO WAY it would only make me look older...

    So now I'm thinking of going a shade or two lighter the next time I color my hair. I grew up with jet black hair color; I color it with a dark brown color... might go to a medium brown I guess.

    And, like you, my roots start showing in about 14 days! I have to color my hair about every 30 days and for the last 7 days before I color it -- it looks AWFUL.
  13. OP here... just had to update you all. I COULDN'T DO IT! Even after seeing the gorgeous spread in the latest Oprah mag. Totally gorgeous sexy women... all gray! But as my 14yoDD pointed out, they were all over 50. I'll be 48 in another month. Maybe in another two years? I had my color done last Tuesday afternoon. Got rid of the red highlights from summertime (too brassy, too fake-looking) and the mousy gray regrowth at the roots. Now I'm an all-over warm, rich cocoa brown and I look definitely younger and more, well, ALIVE than I did for the past month. Which is a good thing. Thanks to ALL who read and posted!:party:
  14. My neighbor gets cap highlights done in a REALLY ashy light blonde color and her gray just blends right in. Her gray is a yellowy blondish gray though, it's not really silver. On her it blends perfectly.

    My mother has really silver gray and naturally dark hair. She dyes it dark and it makes her look much, much younger IMO. She, too, is sick of dyeing her hair and she's talked about letting it all go gray, but I keep talking her out of it. People think she's 15 years younger than she really is! I think a huge part of that is her shiny, pretty dark hair!

    I'm glad you're happy with your dark hair, too. For what it's worth, I think you made the right choice! ;)
  15. I think that no matter what, grey hair ages a person. If you are okay with that, then going that route is a good solution for you.

    Remember Taylor Hicks from American Idol? He was in his late 20's and had gone grey. He says he's fine with it, in fact, proud of it.

    To each his or her own, but not for me. I work really hard on maintaining my weight, my flexibility, my positive outlook, etc. and grey hair on me would bring me down and overshadow the things I've accomplished. Just my perspective, not in any way a judgement.