Thursday, January 08, 2015

Growing Out Your Gray Hair: You WILL Feel NORMAL Again One Day! Have Hope! \(^-^)/

Oh you guys. My silver sisters, it's the middle of winter and I just looked outside at the white snowy ground and have been transported back in time to January of 2012. I was smack-dab in the middle of my journey, growing out my salt and pepper hair and feeling so so low. I was trying my best to be positive and upbeat. To have hope and to stay strong! But, as most of us know, it's easier said than done when half your head is one color and the other half is...........well, almost color-LESS......?



I didn't feel like "Me" and every time that I looked in the mirror or saw my reflection in a glass storefront, I'd get a shock of gray surprise, like: "whooooo is that???" "Aren't I a brunette?" I'd say to myself?

I really struggled with how I looked. Every well-meaning, but often unhelpful comment, every side-ways glance at the grocery store or every stare on the street, they all reminded me over and over of how much I wanted to flee from this "journey."  It reminded me of how uncomfortable that I felt in my own skin. A place that I never felt particularly confident in anyhow, but now, it was even harder.

Growing your gray hair out can make for difficult times. It is a roller coaster of emotions.

But..... I put on a brave face. And even, sometimes a smile. And I reminded myself of the WHY I was doing this. For me, it was firstly because my allergic reactions to hair dye were getting worse and worse. Secondly it was because as I learned about living a more natural lifestyle, the more I wanted to keep away from extra chemicals that were not necessary to put on my head. I wanted to not have to worry about my roots showing every three weeks, not have to bother with the mess of hair dye, the time it took, or the cost.


So with a brave face and and my list of "whys" always tucked into my pocket, I went forward. One month at a time, one week at a time, one day at a time. And soon, it got a liiiiiiittle easier. Each small victory was celebrated:

1.) I no longer had a "skunk strip," it was more like a block of gray color.

2.) My pixie cut grew out, and my hair was long enough to pull back in small clips.

3.) My hair grew to shoulder length. At least the cut was feeling more like me.

4.) It was long enough to cut some of the old color off, but I still had length left over.

Yet through the small victories, there was always always a group of questions looming in my head: 

"WILL I EVER FEEL JUST NORMAL AGAIN!?" 

"WILL I EVER FEEL LIKE THE OLD ME AGAIN!?" 

"WILL I EVER BE ABLE TO LEAVE MY HOUSE AGAIN AND NOBODY STARES OR GLANCES OR COMMENTS!?"

 "WHEN WILL LIFE JUST GET BACK TO NORMAL!?"

A person can start to feel pretty sad when they can't see an end point and when they don't know if they'll ever feel like their old selves again......

But I am here to tell you Silver Sisters that THERE IS HOPE! That you WILL feel like yourself again! That you WILL one day leave your house and nobody will stare. That the comments will slow down or even stop! That one day, you will wake up, take a shower, get dressed and go about your day without even giving the color of your gray hair a second thought! \(^-^)/

Yep! It's ok guys. You CAN go from hiding away and fear to smiling and feeling normal again. And besides, in the meantime, you can just buy cute winter hats like THIS ONE that I found ! ;)


The point is, things get better. I promise you. It gets easier. What I think happens, is in addition to your hair growing and transitioning to a more even color, people around you, your family, friends, co-workers, they all become more accustomed to your new look. I've equated it to getting new glasses. You know how it takes a while for you or others to get used to how they look in new frames? The same goes for gray hair! If you give yourself and those around you time to get used to your silver locks, MOST of the time, things work out. The comments slow down or stop, and even YOUR own internal comments of doubt peter out too!

I wasn't going for beautiful or "cool" or perfection with growing out my gray hair. I was just aiming for healthier and NORMAL. I'm happy with normal. I'm satisfied with normal.

This is me this morning on a normal day. No time for curling my hair or doing anything special. I'm a Mom of an elementary school aged child, a puppy and two cats. I wake up at 6:00am. Everyone is out of the house by 8:00am. Nothing big about this morning. I got ready, I went on errands. The day progressed. And you know what? I'm A 37 YEAR OLD WOMAN WITH A FULL HEAD OF GRAY HAIR and nobody said anything! I didn't even catch any looks! I didn't even THINK about my hair!  \(^-^)/
So you see...... one day, everything will just be NORMAL again! I promise ya!

(Goin' about my day, not thinking about mah hairs until I took this picture for this post....)

So friends, if you're going through your hair transition. If you're like me in the winter of 2012 and feeling low and lonely or sad, please know that I for one believe that you can do it! And even more so, I know that one day soon.....soon....soon....SOON......YOU will also feel like your old self again.  You'll learn to like this 2.0 version of your hair, it'll all be ok. HAVE HOPE MY FRIENDS! IT'S ALL GOING TO BE JUST FINE! :)

Love you lots and lots! I'm sending you cheer and wishes for feeling like your good old self again soon!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo,
Lauren 

40 comments :

kenna823 said...

I love your silver posts! They make me happy!

Donna said...

Thanks for another great post Lauren!! You are always so inspiring!! I just can't wait until my "arctic blonde" hair is all grown out! I'm taking and blogging monthly selfies to track my progress and keep myself motivated! Thanks for the continued inspiration!!

Our Adventures As A Family of 4.... said...

I am almost a year away from having permanent hair color on my head. I did opt for the blonde highlights but my stylist put them just on the end where there was darker color. Some people do not agree with this but for me at over 50, it has worked out great. I am just now seeing some grey in back and a LOT of white in the front. The blonde is just on the ends now and hopefully by this year I will be all grey and white in front. I have had people ask my why I did it, even an older woman said, "but you are so young to do this." The last time I went in she said, "you inspired me to do it. Your hair is so pretty." So you never know. I love it. My aunt and uncle (in their 90's) told me they loved it. My aunt said, "don't ever change it, it looks so pretty." In my early 50's I feel pretty. Who knew? LOL. I say to anyone doing it, keep going. It is worth it in the end. Thanks for posting and encouraging Lauren. Your hair is beautiful! Hugs, Molly

Kristina Shull said...

You are so inspiring to someone just starting this journey!

Lauren said...

Hi Donna!!!

Oh you are very welcome, but thank YOU for being here and for reading and sharing!!! :)

I can't wait for you to be done too. I think you will love your new silver. It's fantastic!
That's great about the selfies and the blogging. If you want to share your blog address, you are very welcome too. Thanks again Donna!!!
xoxoxoxo

Lauren said...

Oh Molly, your story is so WONDERFUL. Oh my gosh, I just got chills reading about the older woman wondering why you would do this and then you being her inspiration. Wow, I love that! Thank you so so much for sharing with us. <3

I know, some people don't agree. Some think we should stop coloring, some think we shouldn't stop, some think highlights are good, some bad......

I feel like the most important and great thing we can do is be true to ourselves and do what works for us. We're all different and that's so great! :)

Thank you again Molly. Your comment was very moving and so encouraging. See ya around the internet my friend! :)
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Lauren said...

Oh Kristina, I am so so SOOOOO happy to hear that. I'm glad that the blog can be here for you and help a little, and I'm so glad that you're here and reading along! So thank you! \(^-^)/

Many great things come from growing your gray hair. Hang in there, I hope you find those good things just like I did! :)
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Our Adventures As A Family of 4.... said...

PS. I should say that my hair is gray in the back (how do you know how to spell it, is it gray or grey??) lots of white in the front and crown is grey/white. When I get it cut I will change my pic. My pic in my profile is from last summer. Still had a ways to go. I just couldn't take the grey/brown stage, so this is what worked for me. I have been on the sites for women going gray and they are really against doing what I did, highlights wise. But.......that being said, I had so much white/gray already it really has been a short journey to the white/gray and the blonde is almost gone. I conditioned it well and it is coming in nicely. I can't say I regret going white/gray at all. I really love it. I think once you do it and your hair grows out you won't regret it either. Hang in there ladies. Your hair is going to be so pretty and YOU are going to feel really good about it AND pretty.

Janet said...

Hi Lauren, your hair looks just gorgeous! And I love, love, love your purple top, pink beanie & the floral wallpaper in the background of your pics! I'm still enjoying growing out my natural colour - can't wait until it's a bit longer!

Sandy said...

You look beautiful. Hooray for gray. I found when I let mine go gray and made it that point that I felt somewhat liberated. I love my gray hair.

Carolyn said...

Lauren, thanks for the reminder! I haven't dyed in a year, and it seems that my hair is growing so slowly! I've never looked back, this is a commitment to myself and my stylist is on board and enthusiastic, thank goodness! At the same time, as my hair has gone gray, it's become corkscrew curly, so I'm embracing that as well. My stylist laughed at me at my last cut when I told her how disappointed I am that my hair is not as gray as I'd hoped it would be! Maybe with more time! I also wanted to thank you for mentioning the Starfish Leggings...I recently changed a medication and lost 30 pounds. I'd never been able to wear boots (my legs were always too heavy!), but now I can. Never could wear leggings either, but since I now can, I remembered your post and ordered them in black and gray. Love them! They're so comfy! They also made me feel so good because I had to order extra smalls! So, thanks for that
too!

Lauren said...

\(^-^)/ Molly, thank you sooooooo so much for sharing your "gray" or "grey" story with us! (I think different countries use different spellings, but here, you can use ANY spelling! Ha!) :)

Your hair sounds really beautiful and you have mastered the art of a graceful grow-out, so thank you for sharing with us!!! \(^-^)/

xoxoxoxo

Lauren said...

Kristina,

Oh thank you, thank you, thank you. (>'-')> That is so sweet. I am sending you a hug and LOTS of cheer as you embark on this new journey. I hope and think that you will find it as rewarding as I did! :)

Hang in there, wonderful things to come!!!
xoxoxoxo,
Lauren :)

Lauren said...

Hi Janet!!! THANKS!!!!

I just LOVE color. Isn't it fun!? :)
I can't get enough color in my life.

Sending you lots of colorful cheer and wishes for quick growing hair. \(^-^)/
xoxoxoxo,
Lauren

Lauren said...

Sandy, you said it! It's LIBERATING!!! WOO HOO!!! I could not agree more! \('-')/

Thanks for leaving your encouraging comment. Hooray for gray! :)

xoxoxoxoxo,
Lauren

Lauren said...

Hi Carolyn, what an amazingly wonderful comment on so many levels! \('-')/

I'm very happy for you. Thank you for sharing!!!!

Wow, you have a new color, AND a new texture of hair. That is amazing. Plus, you have a new size and new leggings! It's a whole new YOU! :)

What an adventure. It's wonderful. Glad you like the leggings too. I'm wearing mine now! Aren't they super comfy!?

Thank you again Carolyn.

xoxoxox,
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Lauren
I commented on one of your posts several months back about not coloring my hair anymore. I am almost 38 and 4 months into the process...wooohooo!! I've had two moments of weakness where I made a hair appointment but then ended up canceling them remembering why I decided to begin this journey.

My hair growth seems to have picked up the pace a bit. There in the beginning it was like watching a pot of water boil. I decided to not look at my hair every hour or so to see if it had grown more seems to have help LOL!

Your posts help give me motivation to stay on this path!!

Thank you
Lisa S

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren! I am so happy to have come across your blog and have been inspired to move forward with going grey. I too am a premature grey gal. (started mid 30s) and just started to highlight my hair to cover the greys last year! But with the time and expense attached to maintaining that I started to think about stopping. I havent dyed my hair for about 4 months now and have been recently debating if I should recolor. Then I discovered your journey while researching natural dyes, as I want to get away from the harsh chemicals. I have a new baby & young child & am like "I'm too young to be grey", but alas nature has bestowed the greys on me already. THANK YOU for posting because you have sure motivated me! I have been trying to grow out my hair, bc I always said I wanted long hair when I went grey, just didnt expect it so soon! I look forward to rocking my new look. By the way, you look gorgeous!lol

Lauren said...

\(^-^)/ Hi there my new friend who has gray hair in her mid-30's! Thanks for writing and telling me your story and for all of the nice things you said! :)

I know, your 30's just feel TOO YOUNG for grays, right!? I feel the same way. Did your gray begin to come in more quickly after your had your babies? It's funny, but I began to gray more rapidly after Noah was born.

I think you are going to LOVE the freedom that comes from not having to dye your hair to keep up with the roots, but also, I hope you love your new look too! I really wish I would have grown my hair out sooner. It all worked out totally fine. :)

If you have any questions or need support, I'm here! :) How Bourgeois is on Facebook too, where people sometimes chat.

So much luck to you. You'll do great and thank you again for your kind words!

xoxoxoxoxo,
Lauren :)

Ashlie McDonald said...

You amaze me my friend and you are GORGEOUS. Thanks for being YOU!!!

Jennifer McKeown said...

I found your blog at the right time!! I was having such horrible allergic reactions to the dye I had to stop.. it has been over a year now and he and grey is in full force!! I am 39 and truthfully struggle sometimes still with it.. I read your blog for encouragement, I get it every time. Thanks for being there when I need you!!!

Lauren said...

\(^-^)/ Oh Ashlie my Silver Sister. I love you so much! Thank you for always being my cheerleader! \(^-^)/
I happen to think that you and your gray hair RULE!
And your haircuts...they're always the best. :)

xoxoxoxoxoxox,
Lauren

Lauren said...

Hi Jennifer!!! I'm so glad that you're here! WELCOME!

Thank you so much for reading the blog and for your nice words. I'm really really glad that some of the posts could help! It sounds like we had similar experiences with the allergic reactions. :(
Weren't they the WORST? The scary thing is, I was told that the reactions tend to get worse over time, so it's good that we stopped coloring!

I know that the gray can be a struggle, especially at such a young age. Once in a while I have a day where I miss my brown hair. The good things is though, as time goes on, it gets MUCH easier and the gray starts to feel much much more "normal " and like "regular you!" So hang in there.

I'm glad you're here Jennifer. Thanks for writing! :)
xoxoxoxo,
Lauren

Alison said...

So pleased to see your blog. When I was 43 my hair was highlighted to death cut in a bob. I had known for years that I inherited my dad's mallen streak and it made me smile. Having much deal deliberating about dying my hair for years to come I decided to embrace my streaks and had my hair cut off into a pixie cut. Am now approaching my 50th birthday and I have long layered hair with white/grey at the front and brown at the back (though mingled).I love my hair, I did feel a little self conscious at first esp as I have a little boy and I feared someone saying something to him, my husband tells me it is lovely and he says he would tell me if it wasn't! I am proud that I am breaking the rules and not colouring it, my hair is in the best condition ever.... So pleased that I was brave enough!!

Lauren said...

Hi Alison!!!

Oh your hair just sounds lovely! I'm so glad that you are enjoying your new look! :)
How brave you are, and also I'm sure, an inspiration to women around you!

Thank you for reading and for your nice words about the blog and for sharing your story too. I'm so glad that you're here!

xoxoxoxo,
Lauren

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making this journey possible for so many of us by sharing your own experience, and by encouraging us to persevere and not give up in the silver journey.

I am almost one year my pixie cut, still waiting for my hair to be long enough to pull back in a ponytail.

I don't mind the gray so much, but the short hair was a trial for me. Going to try your idea of using lots of little clips to get it off my face!!

-beth

Lauren said...

Hi Beth!!! \('-')/ Your comment was so beautiful, THANK you. That was touching. Sharing this journey with others was easy. I need to be thanking all of YOU guys for your support and the kind words everyone has had. There's definitely a community of "silver sisters" out there and I could have never succeeded alone. :)

A big congrats on being a year past your pixie! Thats a wonderful, a huge accomplishment! I'm very excited for you and hope you have fun with the clips. :)
That was always one of my favorite parts, playing around with my ever-changing hair style/length and the new color. You can totally change a look with a few fun barrettes! :)

Thank you again for your comment. It was really sweet. I'm so glad that you're here!
xoxoxoxoxox,
Lauren

Anne Enriquez-Terrazas said...

Hi Lauren! I have been on a mission to read as much of your blog as possible over the last 6 months or so. I started my grey journey in April. I was tired of dying my hair and I had just had a hard pregnancy which led to me having my son at 30 weeks. When I started to think about going to the salon to touch up my hair, I thought that I would much rather spend that time going to the NICU. That was sort of my excuse that I used, then it went to him coming out and not having any time to go the the salon. Within the last 3 months or so I have started to be a little more vocal about not dying my hair ever again. I don't think I have ever had such a hard time with that decision than anything else. I think its socially more acceptable to be thick at the waist than to let your grey grow out. I get crap from every where except my husband. He's been my defender and back bone through this transition. I get crap from my mom, but the silver lining of moving from Texas to Colorado is that I don't have to hear about it from her until she comes to visit. I get the not so subtle jabs from my in laws since we see them more often. Ugh. Now that my skunk line is blended more to my hair, it looks like growing it out is more on purpose than just me not having time to dye it. Little by little I have come to like it and I look forward to when its all complete and I can love it. Looking here at your pictures makes me happy. I feel like I am not alone in this. Thank you. I am 32 and I remember finding my first grey/white hair in my naturally brunette head my freshman year in High School. Since then I've been in a race to hide all of the grey and the last 3 or so years, I haven't been able to keep up. I appreciate what I've been able to see and read. Thanks again! :) -Anne

Lauren said...

Dear Anne,

What a beautiful, touching comment! Thank you so so much for writing me. You sound like an incredibly strong "silver sister" and I'm very inspired by your strength! It can't be easy to let your gray show, especially when you're getting not-so-supportive comments from your Mom and in-laws. It's hard enough to be in your 30's and showing the WORLD your gray hair! I'm THRILLED though, that you have a supportive husband. That is huge, and fabulous and wonderful and all one needs! I'm also glad that your baby boy came home from the NICU. That experience alone must be enough to turn a person gray. I do hope that everyone is super happy and healthy now.

Oh! Wait, one more "happy!" I am sooooo happy that you made it past the "skink stripe" phase and onto the "blending in more, I'm doing this intentionally phase." I totally remember that being the point when it just starts to get easier inch bu inch. Super excited for you, it only gets better!!!

So go you! Well done Anne. So nice top meet you and thank you for reading along and popping in to share your story.

Sending you a big hug from Michigan!
xoxo,
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Lauren, thank you so incredibly much for your wonderful blog! I'm just getting started on growing out my greys, and I've been obsessively re-reading your blog posts to psych myself up. I love all your tips and your positive attitude! Your enthusiasm is infectious! Thank you!
Leanne

Lauren said...

Oh Leanne, you are so so sweet! Thank you! I'm happy that you're here. Know that you're not alone, ok! :)
We're all in this together and I know that you can do it! Not only that, but I think you'll like your new hair too.

Thank you for your comment. That just made my day. I'll be thinking of you Leanne and sending "hurry up and grow quickly hair" thoughts your way! \(^-^)/
xo,
Lauren

Ali said...

thanks for those words of inspiration

Lauren said...

Awww Ali, you are so welcome. I have to thank readers like you too. You guys got me through my transition and kept me strong! :) So thanks! \(^-^)/ xoxoxoxo

Bobbi Brown said...

I just stumbled onto your page and it was definantly what I needed. I am 35 and growing out the dye. I have about 3 inches of grey that will cover about 80% of my head. While I am confident in my decision, for the first time I didn't recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror. Thank you so much for the encouragement to patiently wait to feel like myself again. You look gorgeous!

Claire Davis said...

So happy I found your page!! I absolutely adore your silver, it's just beautiful! as with most of the other commentors, I have been growing out my grey/silver for the past few months and just got a close pixie cut last week so I don't have to deal with the 4 colours that my hair had been reduced to, now it's a mix of my natural dark brown, silver and just a small amount of the dyed dark brown. I'm 32 and found my first silver hair at around the age of 17/18, however as I was a dye addict, it didn't really bother me and I've been a mix of dark brown/pink/blue/red...you name it over the years. My lovely boyfriend is very supportive and calls me 'the silver fox', and its partially because of him I have finally found the confidence to be natural and stop hiding behind the hair dye, despite being told by more than one person that I'm 'too young to go grey', as if that statement ever stopped a hair from changing colour! I look forward to the day I'm fully silver and will try my best to love my salt and pepper look in the meantime.

Thank you again for your fab post, it's great to know there's so many amazing gorgeous ladies that are coming to terms with their beautiful silver locks, we can all be a part of the silver fox club - you may have guessed, I much prefer the term 'silver' to grey...silver shines and radiates, bring it on :)

ps - has anyone ever heard a man say to another man, you're too young for that bald spot? just a thought...

Rachel Lilly said...

Hi there, I am wanting to grow out my henna hair and was wondering what you would recommend to cover the roots up in the mean time. I had a look at Color WOW root cover up and they have it in red. Do you think this would blend with an orangey henna hair? Thanks heaps, love your page! Rachel

Lauren said...

Hi Rachel, thanks so much for your question! In 100% honesty, I haven't looked into cover up products in about four years. I grew my hair out quite a while ago, and it seems like to me, in that time, a lot more and BETTER products have come out! I would recommend that you ask at your local beauty supply store. They were always so helpful. I used "Tween Time" by Roux. It was a wax like crayon to cover up my roots but I did have some trouble with it. It looks like the more mascara like cover-ups are nice. As for red and henna, I wish so much that I could help. Maybe WOW would be great though!!! Thanks for stopping by!
xoxoxo,
Lauren

Rachel Lilly said...

Thanks so much for getting back to me Lauren! I will look into some products :) I think i'm just worried because I'm starting a new job and am wanting to grow out my roots at the same time - I guess I am worried that my boss won't be happy! Thanks again, Rachel

Yarnhog said...

I came across your blog a couple years ago, when I first started considering growing out the grey. And then about a year ago, when I cut my long, multi-colored hair into a pixie and thought about it again. And finally today, when I've made the decision to go for it. It's hard. I never thought I was vain, but being a redhead has always been such a big part of my identity. When I started going grey in my early 30s, I didn't think about it until people started commenting. And then I got sort of freaked out. Not because I was getting old, but because if I wasn't a redhead anymore, I wasn't ME. So I've colored for ten years, and I'm sick of it. And I don't care anymore what anyone says, even my 76 year old mom, who wears red wigs since she lost her hair to alopecia 20 years ago (poor thing). No one wants me to grow it out. I don't care. But I still want to cry when I think about how hard it's going to be. So I'll be back again and again to reread your posts and look at your amazing "after" pictures (you are so beautiful!) for inspiration. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

To help grow out my gray, I always kept it in a ponytail. took over a year, but glad I did , I use a shampoo called: Iridium, my stylist sources it out of Mexico, it's great makes you gray hair shine, if
you come across somewhere you can buy it.