the decision to go gray

“to gray or not to gray, that is the question?”  since some of you are considering the leap to ‘go gray’ especially during hair in the time of corona i thought we’d take a deeper look into all things gray. hair that is.  today we’re talking the decision to go gray

my gray sisters

it’s been quite some time since i’ve had the privilege to partner with a few of my favorite bloggers. today, there are four of us who will share their tips and tricks on going gray, staying gray, and why we love our silver locks. meet the crew:

the adorable Cindy Hattersley who pens Cindy Hattersley Design

the effervescent Sandra Sallin who writes Apart from my Art 

and Vicki Archer the powerhouse behind the blog Vicki Archer

so how did i transition to gray hair?

well, i had a long time to get used to my gray hair. my first strand was discovered at the ripe old age of 17. if you read my About page, you noticed a few gray strands in that painting age 32. through the years i more or less revealed rather than concealed the gray with highlights. then about ten or eleven years ago, my Minneapolis stylist suggested i let it my hair go ‘au naturel.’  at the time we were adding lowlights and highlights that mimicked my natural color. so we just went cold turkey and never added another ‘light’ again. and I’ve never looked back.

timeless classics

 

summer outfit

it’s funny, but no one even realized i stopped highlighting my hair. it was that easy for me as i hadn’t colored my hair and didn’t have gray roots to contend with. but i have to admit i love the fact i don’t have to make an appointment to sit in the chair for an hour or two every eight to ten weeks while they meticulously foiled my hair. coloring your hair in any way, shape, or form is time-consuming to say the least and you have to stay on top of it. what a pain in the patoot! although, i was more than willing to endure it. let’s face it, we all want to stay on top of our game when it comes to hair, skin, nails, or clothes. but i can’t tell you how thrilled i am to eliminate that one appointment from my schedule.  if you’re interested here’s a YouTube video about ‘all things gray.’ but i’m also sharing a few tips on ‘how to go grey.’

how to transition from dyed to grey hair

since i don’t have a dramatic ‘going gray’ story to share i gathered a few tips and tricks from stylists as to how to transition from colored hair to gray. these steps won’t guarantee an overnight transformation, but it will help with your decision with going gray or not (it’s not for everybody) and what it entails. 

  • discuss your options with your hairstylist. this is a big decision and having the input of professionals is an important first step.
  • grow your roots an inch or two then opt for a pixie cut to remove the dye from your hair.
  • not ready for a drastic change? try a color correction then add highlights for a ‘salt and pepper’ look. this will take continual upkeep as it can take six months to a year to go from color to gray.
  • have long hair? keep your hair in a ponytail or bun and use a color stick on your roots.
  • adding highlights? they can tend to turn brassy so ask your stylist/colorist if a toner will help keep the brass at bay.
  • a purple shampoo used twice a week will keep your silver locks in tip-top condition.

hair products 

timeless classics

daily hair care products: Kerastase shampooKerastase conditioner 

daily styling products:  Kerastase Blow-Dry Smoothing Primer, Anti-Frizz Smoothing Spray

weekly conditioner: Kerastase Genesis Strengthening Mask or Kerastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Mask

twice a week i use a purple shampoo as it protects against yellow brassy hair; Kerastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo or Pantene Silver Expressions

and twice a week i use Kerastase Blond Absolu Strengthening Conditioner that restores and adds hydration.

combating the effects of aging hair

yes, our hair like our skin is aging with us. first and foremost healthy hair starts with a healthy diet. lot’s of lean protein is important, avoiding too much fat, eating the right carbs, and drinking lots of water is key.

  • get a regular trim every six to eight weeks to keep your hair healthy and growing.
  • washing your hair removes natural oils so skip a few days. since i workout regularly i alternate using shampoo plus conditioner with days i use conditioner only.
  • wet hair is fragile. instead of wrapping your hair in a towel after your shower just blot with a towel.
  • chemical treatments like bleaching, straightening, and dying cause the hair to become stiff and dry, causing it to break. make certain to use the best products for color-treated hair.
  • add a water filter to your shower head

last but not least, a terrific haircut is important whether you color your hair or not.  if you decide to embrace your silver locks make darn certain you have an up-to-date ‘do.’  right?! oh how i miss my stylist. your hair color doesn’t add years to your face but an out of date hair cut does. easier said than done these days.

short hair is more versatile than you think. here’s a video where i styled my pixie two ways. these days i’m transitioning to a longer length. stay tuned to a post and video where i’ll share how to grow out your pixie. my hair still has a few inches to go so stay tuned.

Halsbrook Black and White

 

add a pop of color

it’s important to remember that a vibrant shade of lipstick will perk up your face. especially when we embrace our silver locks. it can be reds, pinks, corals, whatever suits your fancy. but add a gorgeous lip color as it will dramatically change your look. 

Tom Ford Cherry Lush

Nars Bad Reputation

Mac Red

Dior Miss

signature

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36 Comments

  1. Cindy L wrote:

    I love this post! I’ve been thinking about going gray, and I’ve admired your hair for a long time. I love both the color of your hair as well as the various short styles you’ve worn. I have friends who’ve grown out their colored hair, too, and I think they look truly fabulous. My problem? I’m a redhead with warm skin tones and freckles, and my (tinted) auburn hair is always my trademark. It’s admittedly a lot of work to maintain. I hate to give that up, and I’m not sure how gray hair would work for me. But I’m truly tempted. As always, thank you for the inspiration.

    Posted 4.27.20
  2. Hello Beth,

    Loved reading your take on the gray journey… Much the same as you, I have never looked back 🙂

    I will be trying your recommendations .. as for silver shampoo… I’ll try yours.. it’s never been very successful for me.. end up looking too violet, despite how I rinse or the quantity I wash my hair with…

    A great read and fun partnering today, xv

    Posted 4.27.20
  3. Pat wrote:

    You are beautiful in that pink/rose colored dress with your silver hair

    Posted 4.27.20
    • Sharon Neely wrote:

      Love the hot pink top or maybe that’s a dress! Details please 💓

      Posted 4.27.20
  4. Nelda Pattillo wrote:

    I have been on my ‘going white’ journey since November! I had hip surgery and just decided that the time was right. I also have short hair that has been colored, highlights, lowlights, everythimg!!
    I am so happy with the process. My hair is a beautiful white with some natural color remaining! Wish I had done this year’s ago!!😇

    Posted 4.27.20
  5. Julie Mycock wrote:

    Hi Beth, I’ve mentioned a few times in my comments to you that you were my inspiration to go ahead with going au naturale. I’d thought about it doing it but never plucked up the courage. It’s been three years now and I don’t regret one minute of it. I also had a variation of the short hair do you had at the time and still do. Obviously all us ladies out there aren’t able to get to our hairdressers, but I do know one thing, even though I can’t get it cut at the moment my hair is much healthier and stronger than when I used to have highlights, so now as it’s growing it’s in better condition. So thank you Beth. For all those ladies that are unsure about going au naturale I promise you, you won’t like me regret.

    Posted 4.27.20
  6. Peg Weir wrote:

    Good morning Beth,
    I transitioned to grey in the same way as you and your stylist did. Very easy and I have no regrets.
    Have a great day,
    Peg

    Posted 4.27.20
  7. Brenda wrote:

    Your hair is beautiful!

    Posted 4.27.20
  8. Joanna wrote:

    Loved your video. I’ve saved it. I used to wear my hair in a pixie but let it grow out to a short bob, feeling it was a better Length for my age. But, a pixie has been calling me! I’ll be showing this to my stylist.

    Posted 4.27.20
    • Eva Popovich wrote:

      I decided to “go gray” about 8 years ago. My brown hair just didn’t seem to want to go with me for a few years, and I even gave up and went back a time or two and colored it, but for the past few years I have held out. My hair still has a lot of brown in it, which I kind of feel is not a “good gray,” but I started asking my hair stylist to put in a few highlights, and then a few months later, a few more (possibly not the same color,” and now my gray-ish hair is healthy, shiny, and full of highlights and occasionally lowlights, and I really like it that way!
      Thanks for today’s post. We all need ideas and help!

      Posted 4.27.20
  9. Absolutely love the new look – pompadour off your face! At 72 my hair’s still a mousy colour with no gray so I’ll never have your glorious colour but highlights brighten it up.

    Posted 4.27.20
  10. Gray wrote:

    Great Post Beth, and what good timing! I have mostly white hair on top and my original dark brown on my neck. I am still getting blonde highlights every 5-6 weeks, so that it reads blonde. I will soon change that to platinum and then stop altogether. Love the blog.

    Posted 4.27.20
  11. JANICE COLEMAN wrote:

    I started going gray in my late 20’s. I started coloring my hair blonde and then I went red. About three years ago, I noticed that my hair color was fading out within two weeks. That made my decision to go all gray easy. My stylist told me it would take some time. Not one to wait around, I bought Prell shampoo. I had heard it would strip color. Within 6 weeks most of the red was gone. My stylist nearly died, but I told her I used it as a child and didn’t hurt my hair. So, within three months all the red was gone. I still had some brunette in the back, my natural color, but that didn’t bother me. I love my gray hair. I wish I had done it sooner.

    Posted 4.27.20
  12. Lindsey A wrote:

    At 41, I have a few greys coming in, and I’m ready and excited for it! I think grey/white/silver hair looks so good. We have an extended family friend who I think is in her early 60’s. She used to dye her hair brown (her original colour), but embraced her grey. I only see her once a year so it was a huge surprise but she looks incredible and was a huge inspiration for me. There have been people who suggested she might have had a face lift at the same time because she looks about 10 years younger. I’m not sure if that is true or not (none of my business!) but I can see it either way because the lighter colour did take years off her. She always looked great but now even better. The grey makes her look less heavy (in an anchored sense, not a weight sense of the word), more vibrant. I’m hoping to look as good as she does with grey hair!

    Posted 4.27.20
  13. SO, YOU AND SANDRA use the BLONDE ITEM AND MENTION A GOOD BRIGHT LIPSTICK!Do you know why they call it BLONDE if its for GREY HAIR?
    SO MANY PRODUCTS I NEED TO DISCOVER……..HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL.

    Posted 4.27.20
  14. Anne wrote:

    I must say congratulations to you all, fantastic info on going grey is perfect for me.
    I’m embracing it at the moment and waiting for Covid to finish .

    Posted 4.27.20
  15. Thanna wrote:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m one of those doing the “quarantine grow out”. I haven’t seen my natural hair color is 25 years! In the last few months my hair has become resistant to dye so I’m touching up my part biweekly and yet have sections underneath that are always grey. I’ve been debating the short cut to reduce the length of the transition vs keeping some length so I can pull my hair back. Tough decision!

    Posted 4.27.20
  16. MaryLynne wrote:

    Hi Beth,
    I think longer gray hair will become fashionable as a result of the pandemic. My hair was naturally very dark think Elizabeth Taylor. I developed a white streak in my forties. I used “LovingCare” to cover the gray in the rest of my hair but it wouldn’t stay on the streak so didn’t color that When I retired from teaching i decided I could start looking like the grandmother that I was My hair is naturally curly and was still darker than I thought it was so it really didn’t show roots Now I have salt and pepper hair with white around my face. I get many compliments on my hair and have inspired others to go gray also. My theory is that if you have dark hair you should go gray because lighter brown just doesn’t look right. If you are blond or light brown you will probably look younger remaining a blond. Your hair looks great Beth. I’m trying to get mine to fall across my brow like yours does to cover a scar from a fall

    Posted 4.27.20
  17. Chris Illius wrote:

    I can’t thank you enough for your posts and their content. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – you are a classy lady. You are so kind, selfless, caring and so gracious! In times like this, for some of us, we are so bogged down with life and transitions and jobs – even though we are blessed in many ways. But pressure builds and we just want to sit and cry for no apparent reason.

    Beth, I look forward to your blog everyday, just to be able to see, read and hear the tranquility that your blog gives me! I know your life has been trying over the last year, but you never showed it in your blog or pictures. Thank you for being a pillar and being able to take me to another place even it it’s for a few minutes. (maybe a lot of others too) . You are so down to earth! Thank you for your strength and courage! It picks me up and dusts me off . You are an inspiration to many of us! Lots of love from northeast Ohio.

    Posted 4.27.20
  18. Ginny wrote:

    What a great blog today Beth! I’ve sure been giving this whole process a lot of thought lately. I have longer hair and have been just doing the root touch ups. You look amazing and so many of my friends do also. Once again, this is kind of a confidence issue for me. Hats off to all the ladies who are making this transition and maybe someday I will join your club!
    Stay well, be kind and always grateful.

    Posted 4.27.20
  19. I’m so delighted we could do these posts together. I don’t know if you know this but when you first started bogging, I asked Elizabeth, The Vintage Contessa to find our what you used on your hair, who was your hair dresser, where you lived. Everything! I loved your look then and love it now. It’s been a long time and we’ve both gone through a lot. But we’re still standing. Even with a new knee. So it’s been a pleasure dear Beth. I certainly will be trying some of your products. Thanks Beth.

    Posted 4.27.20
  20. Angela wrote:

    I’ve been in the process since November. It’s almost there. I have to say that I was surprised how relieved I was one day when the wind was kicking up. It was the first time in 15 years I wasn’t worried that my roots might be showing! It was so liberating!!! Go Gray!

    Posted 4.27.20
  21. kim wrote:

    Beth just finding you through Cindy. Love your look and what a good post with two many cool tips. I love your videos also. You make grey seem very chic. So great you all did this. Looking forward to more of your posts. Kim

    Posted 4.27.20
  22. MaryLynne wrote:

    In my forties and fifties I dyed my dark hair leaving the streak because it wouldn’t hold the dye. After I retired at 60 I let it grow out because the dark looked harsh and a lighter shade didn’t look right. The growing out wasn’t noticeable because it was more salt and pepper than I thought it would be and I let it go curly instead of blowing it smooth The white around my face is a good contrast and I get a lot of compliments on my hair. I think longer gray hair will be fashionable because of the quarentine. Yours looks great!!

    Posted 4.27.20
  23. Vicki wrote:

    Can you speak to eyebrows for gray hair? That seems to big my biggest challenge. I’m loving my natural gray hair but my eyebrows have lightened so much and seem to be getting sparser. What can I do? Color? Products you recommend? Tutorial? I’m depending on you! 😉

    Posted 4.27.20
  24. Eve wrote:

    I was shocked when I let my hair turn gray. It is a beautiful silver. I’m very happy and like you I keep it short. I don’t use the purple shampoo but I don’t swim in pools with chlorine because I live on the Coast. I’ve changed the colors I wear too. I wear more pure or clear colors instead of the darker tones. Light navy instead of navy or pinks instead of reds. Coral, turquoise and periwinkle also look good now. Older does have a silver lining, : )

    Posted 4.27.20
  25. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    At 65, my gray hair is still coming in as pretty dark with more of a faded, dingy gray–if I thought I’d go white, I’d embrace it, but it’s just not time yet! But I love gray hair when it’s silvery! You all look great.

    Posted 4.27.20
  26. Sylvia Espinoza wrote:

    Lovely Style Sisters commenting on this blog today! The Going Gray trend is indeed liberating for ladies of all ages. Have commented before that a great haircut makes the journey enjoyable. For those unable to use the shampoo you recommended, mine is Jhirmack, sold at Wal-Mart for right at $5.00. No brassiness! Sadly, their conditioner doesn’t work for me. Presently using Aussie Miracle Curls Leave-In Detangling Milk. My hair responds favorably…and I’m not young, just feel young 🙂 Hope this helps. Again, thank you, Beth!~

    Posted 4.27.20
  27. Lyn wrote:

    I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger on the grey thing – however, I just realized that having my hair professionally cut and colored every 4 weeks like clockwork, in fact scheduling my appointments in advance for as much as 6 months at a time, for over 20 years is now not the priority it used to be. I actually did the math – it’s a small fortune! Trying to get my stylist to lighten my hair a few shades has been frustrating for a lot of reasons, and I don’t want to go the highlighting route and the maintenance it requires. I colored my roots myself 2 weeks ago, with my husband’s help, and I’m not totally disgusted with the outcome. It’s lighter, with the grey now looking like highlights. I have stocked up on color and when this virus thing lets up and my salon opens I will be changing my appointments to just cuts every 6 weeks. I actually feel liberated! I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now, and I view this isolation period a good time to evaluate a lot of things.

    Posted 4.28.20
  28. Judi wrote:

    These series of posts have been great. Here in Australia our hair salons are still able to operate and I took the opportunity to have my hair styled and coloured yesterday. I have been thinking about going grey but are not quite there yet. I watched your styling video and you have encouraged me to go a little shorter next time. Great content enjoyed this topic very much.

    Posted 4.28.20
  29. Pamela Chokan wrote:

    Cancer diagnosis and chemo in 2019 toke care of the hair situation. Luckily in January 2020 I am in remission but the hair coming in is so grey/white. And curly. But it may change as chemo effects wear off. I had never thought of not coloring but now I am getting used to the grey.

    Posted 4.29.20
  30. Kare wrote:

    Beth, I watched the video on styling your pixie, you should definitely wear your hair styled back, t looks so much better makes you look younger and it’s so sexy looking just FYI.

    Posted 4.29.20
    • lot’s of opinions about my hair. i love it this way too, but time for a change. my hair isn’t where it needs to be yet but already getting so many compliments. short or long I’m thrilled to have a healthy head of hair.

      Posted 4.29.20
  31. Mary wrote:

    Thanks for the tips. I stopped the highlights about 2 years ago. My hair is blonde + grey. Subtle. No one knows I stopped the coloring but me.

    Posted 5.2.20
  32. Sue wrote:

    Last autumn my husband began six months of chemotherapy for cancer. I knew we would be avoiding going out during the cold and flu season to keep him healthy in order to keep on schedule for his treatments. I decided to stop coloring my hair at that time and take advantage of the time away. I told my hairdresser and she did some major highlights to hide the line of demarcation. Now the stay at home guidelines have given me even more time to let my hair grow out. It has been a revelation! I had no idea what my true hair color was. Right now it’s white, brown and charcoal gray.

    Posted 5.6.20
  33. Susan Sebok wrote:

    Such a timely post! Had my last coloring in February. By the next appointment we were sheltering in place and I chose to cancel my next appt. I had considered allowing my naturally red but now colored hair go grayish white, but hesitated because my stylist said it would make me look older and the transition would make me crazy. She was right then, but this crazy time now was just right to make a change for me. I talked my husband into cutting my hair in early April and he did a great job of taking the dyed red color off and leaving me with ultra-short red and white hair. But no one was going to see me for several weeks. I likened myself to the much-loved Velveteen Rabbit. Now, as it grows out, I look forward to getting the red completely away and wear my hair really short! A new freedom!

    Posted 5.6.20

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