Monday, January 09, 2017

Seven Best Tips & Tricks for Successfully Growing Your Gray Hair Out!

Hi Silver Sisters, it's Lauren from September 2018!  I have the most amazing update for you - my husband Jon and I have launched our very own hair care line!  I have learned so much on my gray journey, and our new products incorporate all of my "tips and tricks" for making silver hair look terrific.  I am leaving all prior recommendations in place because I hope that they will continue to be helpful to people, and I will continue to use and enjoy many of the products that I have written about in the past. My opinions still stand on them. 

I hope that you will take a look at our new line By The Way, Your Hair Looks Fabulous!™  - it is a complete line of hair-care and styling products made especially for Silver Sisters AND for anyone who wants their hair care to be more natural and more affordable! 


***(UPDATE! Hello all of my beautiful, wonderful silver sisters! If you've found your way to How Bourgeois from this particular post - first a very warm WELCOME!!!  I want you to know that we're all on this rollercoaster of a gray haired journey together! It's been four years since I wrote this Tips & Tricks post, so once you're done reading, if you would like see more silvery hair encouragement, support and updates on all sorts of gray-hair topics, please visit my "Gray Hair Posts" tab at the top of the page for much much more. Also, if you enjoy what you've read, please consider following  How Bourgeois, here or on my How Bourgeois Facebook Page where we share and discuss and cheer each other on. That would make me sooooo HAPPY! :)
I also have a Favorite Products page where I list and update all of my favorite products gray hair related products that I've tried out and truly loved. Let me take some of the guess work out of it for you.  Thank you everyone, I wouldn't be who I am without all of YOU! xoxoxoxooxo, Lauren ) *****

This is my hair recently. It has grown a bit longer and a bit more gray since I first wrote this post. I've learned so much on this five-and-a-half year adventure of growing out my gray and I'm so excited to share what has helped me along the way!      


**  Hi friends. I just wanted to let you know that this post contains some Amazon affiliate links. That just means that some of these products are linked to Amazon. If you find a product that you like and decide to purchase it through my link, I receive a small percentage of Amazon's profit. I promise you that I always give my open and honest opinion, and only recommend products that I believe in. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE!Thank you very much! **

Hiya  my silver sisters! ARE.YOU.READY!?..... ready to become a Gray Goddess!?

Do you want to be known as a silver Fox!?

  Or maybe even..... you want to be like me:  The Gray Goose! HONK!
(Wait, do geese quack?)

Are you tired of having to dye or henna your grays every few weeks? Do you have an allergic reaction each time that you color your hair? Perhaps you'd like to avoid the not-so-great chemicals in most of the dyes out there. (The wonderful natural hair coloring systems are not always strong enough to cover the hair of those of us who are mostly gray.) 
Has coloring you hair been expensive, messy and time consuming? Or, are you just simply curious to see what you'd look like in your "authentic" color!?

WHATEVER your reasons may be, deciding to go gray is a BIG decision, and an EMOTIONAL one at that!  Choosing to show the world your gray grow can be scary, frustrating and honestly, a bit of a downer at times.
BUT......I can PROMISE you, in the end, it will be 
SO worth it !!!!!!

Going gray is certainly not the right choice for everyone, and that's ok! 

If you do decide that it is something that makes sense for you, I'll be 
 here to help and support you, each step of the way!

(See. That's supportive gray hair love, shooting out of my head and into you!)

I've met THOUSANDS of the most lovely, wonderful, encouraging Silver Sisters over the years, and if there is one thing I know, it's that we're here for each other! Through all of the emotional struggles and the triumphant celebrations. So if it's something that you're ready to do, PLEASE JOIN US! 

Hooray! Hooray! Can you imagine not having to worry about whether your roots are showing? Or taking all of that time and money that you usually put into coloring, and using it on something new and truly enjoyable? If you take small, easy steps to care for and condition your hair, you just might find it to be even SOFTER and much HEALTHIER than before you stopped coloring! Really!

As difficult it is to face the world (and our society) with your gray, it can be rewarding in so many different ways too. Believe me, not only will you learn how to redefine your self-image, authenticity and what constitutes beauty, but you'll also learn about being comfortable in your own skin!
Who knows, you might even help pave the way for others. It's hard enough in our culture right now, for women to "make the grade" in the looks department. Even one person wearing showing their grays, helps to start a discussion towards the acceptance of all different ways to look and be in this world.

Are you ready? Let's go! Here are my SEVEN BEST TIPS AND TRICKS to help you make growing out your gray as easy as possible!

1.) Think About It This Way Instead - What if the gray was your best feature!?

There was a vintage advertisement floating around Pinterest last week, and I am so angry that I didn't stop to pin and save it. I believe it was from Miss Clairol. The ad showed a beautiful young woman, with perfectly coiffed gray hair! Oddly, back then, Clairol sold colorant that actually helped to highlight your gray. The slogan across the photos was something to the effect" "What If The Gray Was Your Best Feature"?

(Three cheers to several of my readers who have sent me this advertisement!)

Guess what? It just might be!
Really, no offense at all to your lovely smile or your beautiful eyes. It's just that, you might be as shocked as I was to find, that your silver hair grabs a lot of (positive) attention!  In fact, if your experience is anything like mine, you will fine yourself receiving infinitely more kind compliments and questions on your hair color than you ever have before. Of course, some of the attention can be good and some uncomfortable, (like stares) but the point is, re-think the negative connotation to gray. It can actually be one of the most interesting and pretty points about you!

While certainly not everyone finds gray hair on women to be a positive or particularly attractive, I will be open with you and say that I never received compliments on my hair before growing out the gray. Now, nearly a day does not a day goes by without a random person stopping to say: "I like your hair." Your new color can be your new, most individual and interesting exterior part of you!

It can be fun too. You get to play around with new colors of clothing, make-up and accessories to wear. Your white can be a conversation starter, or something that says: "I'm an individual!"  It's really all about what angle you look at it with. So, re-think the way you think about gray, and you've won half the battle!

2.) Find Your Gray Goddess Inspiration!

This is an old, old still from a film of my Grandma Esther. Isn't she glamorous in her white gloves? Grandma Esther is my Gray Goddess inspiration, and you should have one too.
We all need role models, teachers and mentors to learn on and look up to from time to time. People who have been there, done that, lived through the hard parts. People who inspire us!
Here's why- they give us the motivation to keep going and remind us that growing out our gray is possible.

I wish that my Grandma Esther was still here. I'd ask her questions about her own gray hair, and why she chose not to dye it. I'm curious! The story is that my Grandmother, like me, started going gray at a young age, and that she was "salt and pepper" as I am, for as long as my father can remember. In fact, when I was recently watching old 8mm home movies that my Grandpa Harry took in the early sixties, I could see that I even have a similar white-ish streak in the front just like my Grandma!

Once you choose your inspiration, remember to think about them often, especially in the long days, mid-grow out. Just remember, if they can do it, so can you!

To find some inspiration, I recommend Googling "Pretty gray hair on women" or phrases similar to that. There are thousands of pictures at your fingertips. Also, for my readers on Pinterest, that is my personal favorite place to find visual inspiration for gray hair everything!

Who will be you gray goddess?

3.) Pick The Right Timing  for YOU!

I want you to have the best chance of success, and so should you. That's why, doing a little bit of pre-planning will REALLY pay-off in the end. First you need to ask yourself : "Are there any SUPER important events coming up this year, that I need to look my best for?" You must be honest, but also reasonable with yourself.  For example, I was asked to chair a very large, formal fundraising auction the year that I had started growing out my gray hair . I knew that I would be up on a stage in front of 350+ people, and because I was also aware that I might have my photo taken for some newspapers or local magazines, I knew for me, this was a deal- breaker. I had to wait until after the auction was over to grow out my hair, so re-colored and decided to wait.

NOW............ there was another time, before even the notion of chairing an auction was on my plate, that I began growing out my gray.  I knew that my brother-in-law was getting married in New York several months ahead. OF COURSE I wanted to look my best, especially in the family photographs that will last forever.....BUT.....I needed to ask myself, was this REALLY an event that warranted pushing my growing out back another six months? The honest answer was "No, not really", and I'll tell you why.  It wasn't my wedding, I wasn't going to be, nor should I be the center of anyone's attention. It wasn't MY day to look my absolute 110% greatest ever. If I had to get creative with camouflaging the gray, I was willing to give it my very best shot. You really need to weigh things out when finding the best timing to jump in. Try to hold back on the worrying, and only delay the growing out process if it's something where you'll truly be in the spotlight.  Besides, if I did end up with terrible, terrible hair right before the wedding, I knew I could always re-henna or re-dye and start again after. There are so many things that can stop us from taking the leap. Sometimes holding our nose and hopping in is the best thing to do. 

By the way - here's my wedding hair. I think it worked out fine enough, don't you!? Also, at some point after this photo was taken, I went into the lady's room for an instant root touch up, and so can you!

NOW I'LL TEACH YOU YOU HOW............. :)

4.) Getting Started - Hiding the dreaded "skunk stripe!"

I'm going to be honest with you. One of the hardest things, maybe the ONLY difficult thing for some people about growing out their gray hair is the dreaded "skunk stripe." The line of demarcation, that ever-widening stripe of white that begins at your roots, and cascades ever so sloooooowly down as the months go by.  Here is an example:

Behold, the completely embarrassing "skunk stripe", back when my hair was extra-strange red from years of henna. Do you know how many times this photo has been taken from my site and used in anti-gray hair color ads??? :(

Ok, so there's two ways to look at the skunk stripe, one positive way, one negative. I suggest the positive.  

On the one hand, negatively, the skunk strip is glaring and a force to be reckoned with. It's MUCH more obvious than for the people who's gray grows in strand by random strand. In this sense, skunk stripes are seriously the worst.

On a positive note, although the skunk stripe is a little "In-Your-Face," you'll be over and done with growing your hair out to more consistent color,  faster than your friends who only have strands slowly coming in. 

Strands or a skunk stripe, both have their pros and cons, and both have a bunch of great ways to ease the transition for you as they grow! If you can have fun and learn some neat ways to lessen the contrasting gray's impact, why not! You'll be much happier and more likely to stick with it while growing out your grays!

Skunky Tip #1. - For a while, it's all about HIDE, HIDE, HIDE!

(This goes for you too to some degree my stand sisters.) I can't even begin to tell you how many great products there are out there to help you in your early months of transitioning to gray. While your silvery roots are still just a few inches long, you'll have LOTS of options!

Let's start with the root touch-up group. Root touch-up products come in a several forms: Liquid with a mascara like wand, a solid stick or "crayon," and even powder!

I suggest going online and reading reviews, or visiting your local beauty supply store to ask which brands people have been most happy with. There really are so so many different formulas and styles  to choose from!

One popular choice is the root cover-up stick. I preferred the stick because I was able to wet it and "paint" on light layers of color over my roots, just like using water colors! You had a bit more control over how much coverage you would get, verses using a liquid form which was often very opaque.  While I didn't care too much for the strong perfume smell of the stick, my favorite was the 
Roux Tween Time Hair Crayon.

I liked this touch-up stick because it was larger in diameter than most of the others out there and comes in quite a few colors. You could cover more roots in less time due to it's size, and because you wet the stick, that allowed me to be more precise with how much color went onto my hair. It can leave the top of your head feeling a bit waxy though, so if it does, sometimes combing through gently with a fine toothed comb will help to make the texture more natural. Have fun, just experiment, and try not to take any of this crazy stuff we do too seriously! :)

The next form of root touch-up that I want to discuss is the powder form. Something that I had not known about at the time, and WISHED that I had tried! Many of us use make up for our faces - it comes in powdered form. So why not then, use powder make-up for your hair!? I found this nice, little kit - COLOR WOW'S Root Cover Up  and I think it looks great! I have not tried it before, but it seems to be a crowd favorite and I think I would have loved it too. Read the reviews and watch their demonstration video and see for yourself. I love that powder cover-up isn't drippy or waxy like some of the sticks and liquid cover-ups. 

5.) Mid-way through. The skunk stripe gets fatter. Time for More Advanced undercover!

Just imagine it guys- you'll feel SO happy when you're all done with the grow-out process. One day soon, that skunk stripe will be more than a stripe, it'll look like a white yarmulke! And as potentially unappealing as that sounds to wear on your head for a good few months,  it's still a great thing, because that means you're getting closer to the finish line!

Enter advanced cover-up. When the root touch up wands and sticks are not enough, when the line of gray is getting too wide to paint on with color each day, consider these more powerful tools that I personally used and loved:

Ya ready for something kind of silly? Believe me, with the following, you'll be like....."WHAT am I doing?" These two techniques can work though, and  if going au natural with your grow out is just not for you, than it's worth giving the following powder and foam a try!

Ok, here you go - Bumble & Bumble Brownish Hair Powder  . This stuff is pretty darn cool and comes in several colors.  Many people use this product to help style slightly oily or un-washed hair., and to add texture and volume. Buuuuuut....because it comes in several colors, it's also super useful for covering your grays! I sometimes used this spray on powder when I wanted to look a bit more pulled together. Once in a while it would rub off on my clothing, so be careful. After reading the Bumble and Bumble's website, I can see that perhaps part of my problem was using it on clean, non-sticky hair. The powder was not always adhering as much as it could. Bottom-line though, neat stuff. This powder was a life-saver and really helps you in camouflaging your silvers!

Next up, foams (and rinses too)........

I am not a little old lady. I am not a little old lady. Just keep telling yourself that. No offense to little old women at all, AT ALL, it's just that, when  you're 35, you are not quite read to skip through mid-life to elderly just yet. And the word "RINSE" it just invokes images of...well, cartoon little old women from yesteryear with purple hair!  

There is a reason that women have been using rinses, and their cousin "coloring foams" for a long time though, and I think taking a cue from your wise grandmothers and great-grandmothers is a good idea.

Here are two examples,Roux Fanci-Full Rinse and Roux Fanci-Full Mousse . Both products work by being applied to the hair, letting dry, and wearing the color until the next wash. I have personally only used the mousse before. It actually worked quite well, but honestly, I hate putting more chemicals than I have to into my hair, so any day that I could go without a head-full of mousse, I would.  Everyone is different though, and using what you need to get through growing out of your grays is important! So do what works for you the best and feel good!

* VERY IMPORTANT EDIT! - It has been brought to my attention by a wonderful reader, that people have been having problems with the Fanci-full Color Styling Mousse staining their gray hair! YIKES! Please please be very carful, that would be such a set back in the growing out process. I was one of the lucky ones, I did use Fanci-full's dark brown mousse and for whatever reason, it did not leave any staining that I noticed. I only used it a handful of times though. Also, some of us have more porous or more dry hair than others. My hair did not soak up the mousse color. Please be very careful, be aware, and make the decision that is right for you! Thank you readers, you are amazing, THE BEST! :)

6.) Now What?  Half a Head of Gray. Let's Distract and cover!

Ok, I'm going to tell you a great secret about growing out your hair and leaving the dyes, rinses, foams , powders and sticks behind..... THERE ARE FEW THINGS AS LIBERATING AS NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT YOUR HAIR COLOR ANYMORE!

I really really mean this. Once your hair starts to grow out far enough, and using the cover tools is not so much an option, here are a few tactics that helped me with my transition. It was so nice to stop with the chemicals, the perfumed products, the whole mess and hassle.

I'll started with the oddest thing that I did. I guess it does include a tiny bit of root touch-up stick, but not much more. I FULLY ADMIT THE FOLLOWING MIGHT SEEM  CRAZY. 

There comes a time in every prematurely gray girl's life, when she just wants to look young again. When she feels discouraged, like her hair will never be one color. So, she goes out and buys a........FALL.  Yes, a fall, as in, a mini-wig! I'm embarrassed to say this because it seems so extreme, and some people have medical necessities and must wear wigs. I feel badly about that. They're not comfortable. Most people don't choose to wear wigs. I was feeling desperate, I didn't know how to hide my half-a-head of white hair anymore. The stares were getting to me. So, I went to our local beauty supply store, and came across these headbands with synthetic or human hair attached to them. They looked so long and pretty and youthful, and the shop owner took pity on my strange, half white, half dark brown locks, by readily offering up a discount. I came home that day with long, brown hair.....that wasn't mine! 

I know this photos doesn't really show much, but I'm wearing the fall here. I tied one of my scarves around the headband part to cover more of my gray hair in the front. Then, using a touch-up stick, I colored any remaining hair brown. A perfect solution? No. Helpful on the hard days? Yes. I know I must have looked odd, especially to those who knew me, but out in public, at least it was a way to avoid some of the surprised stares. 

A favorite tactic of mine, that I've used for a long time, is the "half-up" hair do. If you are like me, or like many women, every single hair on your head is probably not going gray at once. This is a good thing, because it helps you look a bit "softer". As the gray roots widen and grow though, it can look a bit harsh at the line of demarcation. One way to visually soften, is by pulling your hair back, off of your face. Play around with your parts, try to figure out where your white is growing in, and how it looks best around your face. I've found that half-up hairdos and hair pulled up to one side, are nice ways to change things around.

Here is a self-admittedly, completely weird picture of myself. I have NO IDEA why I wasn't smiling, but I vaguely recall that I was just taking this photo to remind me of how I did my hair/accessory combo for the future and never intended it as a blog post. Here I used pulling my hair back, PLUS a scarf, to soften and distract. 

It's clearly evident that you can't fool people at some point, you have to accept that people will readily know and see that you're growing out your white hair. These tools just that extra ounce of security and confidence. And also, it's fun to play with hairstylist and accessories!

Another thing that you can do is learn to crochet or knit! Then, go crazy and crochet (like me), or knit, a million headbands and hats!

Guys, NEVER under-estimate the power of a hat. If you need to wear a hat for a year, so be it! If that is what it takes to get you through this process, GO YOU!
As I've learned to crochet over the past year, I've made many a wonky-looking hat, but that's part of the fun.  This is what this is all about! It's about YOU becoming comfortable with being UNIQUE YOU! You always have the option of going back to being your old self, the more "blend in with the crowd" self. That's fine! But how nice to carry in your bag of experiences and self-beliefs, that you also like theauthentic YOU too.

6.) The Big Commitment Option

I used to read the Going Gray, Looking Great website all of the time. It was SUCH a wonderful, helpful site for inspiration and information while making my transition to gray.  The Going Gray website still has TONS of information and also their book:  The Going Gray, Looking Great! Stop by, you will really feel empowered! Also, be sure to check out the G.G.L.G Facebook page HERE .  And, ontop of all that, a MUST is the G.G.L.G. chat room  -The Silver Sisters Cafe Gray . So much support all around us!  How fantastic is that!? 

One thing that I came across time and time again, was that women who were growing out their gray hair were often getting short haircuts! The idea was, if you cropped your hair, there would be less contrast of colors between your dyed color and your new color.

The thought of gray AND short hair, really scared me personally. I liked having longer hair, I worried that wearing a short cut would look bad on me, and make me feel too masculine. So, first I decided to have only my fried ends trimmed off, which ended up giving me an above-the -shoulder bob. It was ok, but still, as the white stripe grew, and the summer sun turned my previously henna coated hair more and more red, I finally gave in. I wanted as much of the contrasting red  hair color gone. I went back to the salon for a shorter cut. I couldn't believe it. 

I suggest that you arm yourself with lots of pictures of short cuts that you like. Hair styles that you can live with. One of my favorites, that I felt would also work well with my hair's texture was Audrey Tautou's pixie cut.

And while of course I could never come out looking like beautiful Audrey, I have to say it was half-ok. Actually, I surprised myself by LOVING having short hair for a while! It was so easy in the morning, the first time in my life that I have ever been able to wash-and-go. It was also fun and different and individual. I wish that I had taken more pictures of myself with short hair, but alas, I didn't. 

I will say though, sometimes when I am tired of all the blow-drying and curling and straightening and fussing with my long hair, I go back and pine for those fun, short-hair days! So if you do decide to cut your hair, enjoy it while it lasts and  and even if it's not your favorite, you can count it as an experiment you've tried. 

7.) Go With It....

I'm 18 months into my personal adventure of growing out my hair . 18 months since I had my hair cropped into a a pixie, at least as short as Audrey's above. This is the state of affairs now:

I look a little crazed, don't I!? This is me on four days of little sleep and a 5:30am wake-up. Jon had been out of town on a business trip, and I never sleep well when he travels. This morning, he had rolled in on a red-eye flight. I wanted to snap a hair update shot for the blog though.

This is my hair quickly dried straight. I didn't take much time to shape and de-frizz. Making it straight-ish gives you a better idea of where things are. You can see that the white part is quite disconnected from the dark brown. In reality, the contrast is a bit less, but in this photo it's pretty glaring. I could simply chop off my dark ends and be done with it, but I haven't because I really wanted some length after having short hair for such a long time. My gray extends into the dark brown (but it's difficult to see here), and when I pull my hair half-back, it actually looks fairly uniform. Phew!

I'm not a fan of these harsh layers, but they are remnants of the pixie cut. Something else to grow out....  
Maybe I'll have another cut soon, maybe I won't. The point of #7. is that sometimes you just have to go with it.   I know that this is one area of my life that I don't have much control over.  I know that peripherally I can try to make things go my way. For the most part though, this is a mini-practice in going with the flow, something that many of us can always work at. Take this whole thing as a learning experience, an adventure. I know that I am. 💖

Ok my silver sisters! Now it's YOUR turn to go at it! If this is something that you REALLY want, if you feel READY and that it's RIGHT for you.......then by all means, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm here to back you all the way, and to cheer you on! \(^-^)/

Thank you for taking the time to read these little tips. I hope that some of them can help to make a difference for you as you go along. One of our BIGGEST and BEST tools for success, in anything that we do, is the connection that we have with each other.  So always remember that, you're not alone in this journey!

With Lots of Love,

Silver Sisters, this is Lauren from the future! 😂😂😂
I'm just popping in quickly to share with you, FIVE and a half YEARS in, what my absolute favorite gray hair product has been. This one is a game-changer and it's something that you might want to start using as soon as you have a few inches of new growth in. I'm talking about the

Joico Color Endure Violet- Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner DUO 33.8 Oz.


I have tried countless brands of "purple" shampoos and conditioners over the years, in an attempt to make my gray hair look bright, not yellowed or dull. Joico's Color Endure has worked the best for my hair by far, and, as a huge bonus, their products are SULFATE-FREE and PARABEN-FREE! I love it! The bottles are a gigantic 33.8 ounces each. It takes me about three months to work my way through them, so I'm not always having to re-buy. My hair has just really benefited from using Joico, they're my fave, and I'm only sharing because I truly believe in the good that these products can do! 😃

I know the following pictures are A BIT ODD, but they're from the past six months of using Joico Color Endure. You can see how light and bright my hair is. It really made a difference, even from the beginning. Fun stuff! 😃😅😂


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Anonymous said...

I love, love, love this! Thank you!!!

I did post the a link to this on the Going Gray Looking Great boards, so I hope other people come in check out your excellent advice.

The best article on this topic I've read yet!


Lauren said...

Hi Rebecca!!!!

Thank you so much! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the post. I hope it was a little helpful. Growing out the gray can feel so serious at times, so I think a bit of fun and silly is good to throw in there too. :)

Thank you very very much for sharing! I want to gain more readership, so that was perfect!

Thanks for reading. If you ever have any questions, please send them my way! I'll post more on going gray as I have the info. Next up will probably be a glaze, for lighter, shinier grays.

Take care!!!!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this Lauren ! Great inspiration. I am 9 months into transition & finding it pretty tough.

Lauren said...

You can do it! You can do it! :)

Thank you, I'm happy to help!
You know what? That 6 month, to maybe 1 year transitional "middle zone" was definitely the most difficult. I PROMISE you though, once your gray gets to a length that you actually like....then you're done! I can't tell you what a nice feeling it is to kind of like your hair again. You'll feel proud of yourself, and, it's interesting finding a new type of you! I guess what I am trying to say is that it IS so hard, but the rewards are huge. You'll feel free and great! Good luck. Thank you very much for the comment!

Loulou said...

You look gorgeous. And you're hilarious! Say hello to your newest follower.

I am actually looking forward to my grey days, as my fingers are crossed that I will be blessed with my father's hair. He and my aunt (his sister) have the loveliest silver white locks, that I hope to have inherited.

I'm currently thinking of going platinum for a few years while the transition takes place, but I'm not sure yet, because I've finally gotten long hair for the first time in my life.

But enough about me ... You are an inspiration!

Lauren said...

Hi LouLou! Hi LouLou!!!!!!!

GUESS WHAT? ....I am a.......LOULOU too!!!!!! How awesome is that!? My nickname has been "Lolo" my whole life, but many also call me "Loulou".
We were meant to meet! :)

Thank you so so much for your beautiful comment. Now I'm YOUR newest follower. I can't wait to read more and learn more about fabulous YOU!

I hope that your hair grows in as silvery and gorgeous as your father's and your aunt's hair. That would be fantastic. I hope to try soon, a rise by Roux called "White Minx", that I have heard that it turns some grays silvery! I promise to report back.

It's funny that you mentioned the whole "pre-dying" your hair platinum thing. I just received a comment about that on the Going Gray, Looking Great Facebook page. Here is my two cents on that.... AWESOME! Go ahead and try it if it works for you. is the other part, it looks like you are dark-haired like I am . The only thing is, to lift your current hair color, and then to add gray, there is a high-potential for a lot of drying damage. My hair is FINALLY healthy again after years of dying, and I worry about getting silvery highlights (as I was contemplating at one point.) Of course, I am far from an expert. There might be new, more gentle ways to go platinum out there! I guess it's totally worth a look.

Thank you so much again LouLou. I'm really glad to meet you. Hey, also, do you know what one of my very favorite cities in the world is? One that I enjoy visiting as much as I can....? Yep, you guess it! Lucky you!
Lauren :)

Sarah Litty said...

I love your post! Thank you so much for this today. Just what i needed. I am 39 and 7 months into my grow out phase. I chopped to just below the chin and I think I have about 6 more months until it is fully transitioned. I also started having bad reactions to the dye, which prompted me to stop. I had been dying since about age 21 (I am a preemie too) every 4 weeks. It was just too much.

I am loving it so far as well and it just makes me feel more authentic and real, even though it is at an awkward phase at the moment. One secret I can share is that I got eyelash extensions back in September as an attempt at a "pick me up". They have been something to obsess over when I look in the mirror instead of my gray roots/skunk stripe. I also have really amped up my skincare routine, gone for a facial - trying out some new skin care products as I want my face to look fresh and to keep as much of a youthful look as I can on that front. They do require some maintenance, but they cost less than the monthly dye appointments and I LOVE how they helped my eyes look brighter.

I also got asked if I qualify for the senior discount (you have to be 60 - I was 38) at the grocery store which as is an amusing highlight of my journey so far.

But I love your posts about your gray journey...looking forward to following your blog.


Lauren said...

Hi Sarah!!!!

Oh I can't tell you how happy your post made me feel. I'm SO glad that I'm not the only 30-something going through all of this. I'd LOVE to see a picture of your hair sometime. I bet it looks great! I completely connected with what you said about feeling more "authentic". That's nice, isn't it? It's also nice to not have to dye your hair every month!

Your lash extensions.....oh my gosh, that's fabulous! What a GREAT idea, such a treat while growing out the grays. I have to look into it! If you find any beauty products that you love, please let me know! I also want to stay as young looking as I can!!!

I'm so so sorry about the "senior discount" comment. Ugh! People can be so rude and insensitive. I'm sorry. At some point, if they have not already, the compliments will far out-weigh the rude remarks.

Hang in there Sarah. You're an inspiration to ME!
Nice to meet you!!!
Lauren :)

Jane said...

This is so creative, inspirational, packed full of great information and you look so beautiful. Super job with this site. I love it.

Lauren said...

Hi Jane! Thank you so so soooooo much! :)
Thanks for coming by!

Sarah Litty said...

My "gray goddess" is Sarah Harris from Vogue UK too! :-)

Gina said...

I love, love, love that you are sharing your story! When I started to grow mine I felt like I was the only young gray person in the whole, entire world. Your hair is beautiful.

I've got lots of salt and pepper and I've got a ways to go before it's all grown out, but your story inspires me. And reminds me that a little trim will do me good :)

Thank you for sharing!

Gina said...

I love, love, love that you are sharing your story! When I started to grow mine I felt like I was the only young gray person in the whole, entire world. Your hair is beautiful.

I've got lots of salt and pepper and I've got a ways to go before it's all grown out, but your story inspires me. And reminds me that a little trim will do me good :)

Thank you for sharing!

Lauren said...

Hi Gina!!!

Thank you for your sweet comment. It's so nice to meet you! Ah, so you're an early gray too...? It's not the easiest thing, is it? I'm so glad that I was able to help, even in a small way.

You reminded me that I should trim my hair soon too! These ends, not so great right now. :)

Thank you for your comment. I really do appreciate it!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Love your hair love your site, thank you!!!

I'm an early silver bird too (33) with young kids and right at the start of growing out my grey and was in real need of finding some young grey inspiration. I seem to be spending too much time at the moment either infront of the mirror obsessing about my growing badger stripe (I'm in England, no skunks here) or recalling in horror as the full extent of my grey-ness takes hold. But as you show, 18 months really isn't that long a time and I'm actually quite excited to see the 'real' me!

LIke you my Granny (a very beautiful lady who modelled in the 30s) ROCKED her silver hair and a beloved Uncle who went white very early are my inspirations - and in some way it makes me feel part of special group of people. I hope to be able to carry it off as well as they did.

Bring on the mighty whites!


alix mosley said...

Thank you so so much! I am 43 I have been going grey since my early twenties but only started dyeing it in my late thirties when I was way to grey for my age! I have long hair past my shoulders and dark brown which is my Natural colour but dyed to hide the grey. But no more!!

Being increasingly worried by the link with cancer and the fact that it is such a hassel to keep dying I am going grey! I know I shall have the dreader badger stripe to contend with... but I am so inspired by this you look absoloutley stunning! You are now my inspiration, if I end up looking half as good as you I will be well impressed!

I am not sure I can cope with going short just yet as I have been growing my hair for years to get it this long! but then I never thought I would be brave enough to go grey!

I know I am in for a long journey and some REALLY bad hair days but the end result will keep me going - bring out the silver fox!


Poupette said...

Hi Lauren!

For of all, I have to tell you: you look amazing!

Second: thank you thank you thank you for this wonderful post! I'm 33, and very recently decided to go gray after 17 years of dying my hair.

I've been feeling pretty good about it for the past month (i'm ten weeks since my last coloring), but the past two days, I've been very VERY close to giving up... I started a blog three weeks ago to help me motivate myself, and it's helped a lot. But reading your post today has really put me back on track!

The emotional roller coaster that is going gray... I'd have never thought it would affect me so much. I'm so scared to looking older than I really am... A month ago, I bought a night face cream: the lady would not believe I was over 30. Yesterday, I went back to purchase a day moisturizer, and she went straight to mature skins. I was so depressed! And the stares... the stares! I can't stand them.

Thanks to you, I think I'll use the cover-up mascara thingy. It might help with the awkward growth phase (I'm a dark brunette, with mid-back hair I have no intention -as of now- to cut, so I'm in for a long time...)

Keep up the great work with your blog! I'm subscribing!


Lauren said...

Oh Steph, my heart is going out to you right now. I so so so wish I could help more, and really let you know that is DOES, 100% get easier. Know that I'm sending you a big hug!!!!

Thank you for your kind comment, and for sharing your story. (I can't wait to read along with your growing out journey!) I just read the beginning of your blog, and oh my gosh! I just LOVE how you announced to family and friends online that you were going to grow out your gray. That was fantastic! I'm very glad that you received support from people. I think you must be MUCH stronger than you know. You can do this! :)

I'm open on the whole: "Should I let my gray go or not?" I really think this is a very personal decision and that one choice is not better than the other. IF your really really want to grow your gray though, know that it is completely possible, and that beyond the months of ups and downs, and those is REALLY a fantastic journey!

I know this sounds silly, but going gray has been more than just a change of color for me. In a way, it has taught me to be a bit more comfortable in my own skin, and to accept myself for who I am . Beyond that, my hair has never been healthier, I'm saving money, and no more yucky chemicals and messy henna! All things things will probably happen for you too.

I'm so sorry about the stares. I feel for you. I remember and know how hard those are. As your hair grows out, I promise you, you will get less stares. I think the gray is surprising, but I think the contrasting stripe is what most often catches attention. I have never had random attention and compliments paid to my hair, ever! Now though, every week, women and even some men, say: "Oh, I like your hair!" So, the stares go away a bit, and are often replaced by nice comments.

Please hang in there Steph. If I can ever be of help, please let me know. How Bourgeois is on Facebook too, if that is easier for you to stay in touch if you would like.

Thinking of you along your adventure. Stay strong! Be proud of YOU! :)
You will look just as gorgeous with the gray, just a new version of gorgeous!!!

Anonymous said...

You look beautiful! Silver is definitely your color as it is mine.

I have never felt more pretty au naturale. I was blessed with the Silver stripe right in front(think Stacy London) that I unfortunately covered in dark chocolate hair dye for years. One day I said enough.It's been almost a year of growth.

I have never been one for the salon so only go about 3 times a year. Last visit was a month ago (after moving back home 3 yrs later) and the girls were stunned at the transformation of how much my hair has changed. The other customers raved about my stripe and some said they wished they were brave enough to try it. I told them go for it. It's only hair.

Looking forward to your transformation as well. We silver sisters gotta stick together.

Lauren said...

Hi! Thank you of the comment. I love Stacy London's stripe, yours must look great too!
I'm glad that your had such a good reception for your gray, that's fantastic.
Thank you for the support, we DO have to stick together. :)

tracie c. said...

such a great post!!!! i was a late 20 something gray silver stripe girl.
i am so mad at myself now that i started coloring to hide my silvers. my natural hair color was dark brown and i had 2 silver stripes... picture hair in high pony.. someone told me i looked like the bride of frankenstein. it devastated me! so young so fragile trying to be authentic and all. i guess it wasn't my time.

20 yrs later at 47 still coloring and have been HATING the whole coloring gig for mannnnny years for all the reason you wrote about.

i have a plan of action now. my hair for the last year has been a beautiful but very deep auburn. love the color but hate the skunk stripe at 3 weeks.
i starting talking about going natural this last winter, husband wasn't having it! had no idea he would have felt so passionate about my hair color! who knew!
so after a 'heated' discussion about this. he admitted he was worried i would look like an 'old lady'. well that was honest. plan of action...
i will start transitioning into much lighter overall color and highlight for the next year and see where i am (how he feels about this)after all being attractive to my husband is very important.
i have to start somewhere in my mind although still will be coloring i am thinking about it as a transitioning a bit more subtlety.
following your blog now! keep up the great work!
sorry this was so long!

The Gumboot Greener said...

You look so beautiful. Your silver hair is amazing and suits you so much. I have only just started growing mine out and I don't have as much grey as you. When I see your hair I wish I did!
Your blue eyes are striking with the silver. I wish I could see a pic of your pixie cut. I think I am going to cut mine short.
Thank you for your inspiring post.
Bless you xx

Anonymous said...

You are so young and your hair is a beautiful color! At 65 mine is still coming in one hair at a time. I'll be ninety before I look as great as you -- and then I'll be too old to look as great as you do. Oh dear.

Lauren said...

Hi Tracie!!!!

Thank you so much for your comment. I'm sorry that it has taken a while to reply, I've been out of town.
Oh I am so so sorry about the "Bride of Frankenstein" comment. That was just horrible! :( I can imagine how much that would hurt, and I can only bet that to another person, your silver stripes must have been fantastic and creative and unique!

I know...people make comments. It's really hard, but know for every not-so-great comment you'll get, I'm sure you will receive some great ones too!

I saw your blog, it's great! You live in Finland!!!! How FABULOUS!!!!!! :) I have heard that Europe has some much more advanced and natural hair dyes. I love your plan of a lighter color and highlights and just feeling things out. It really is such a personal decision, and you have to feel ready to transition to gray, and that it is the right choice for you!

I have to ask though, pardon how forward this is....but on your blog, is the man with the bit of GRAY hair your husband!? ;) I'm only asking because you mentioned your heated discussion about going gray. I COMPLETELY understand that feeling, wanting to look attractive to your husband. Of course! I hope if you do decide to go gray, he finds it interesting and not so old lady-ish. (I like his honesty. It's important!) Having your "other half" as your support team in growing the gray out can be HUGE, and the biggest asset.

Thanks again Tracie. I can't wait to hear more on your hair adventure, and life in Finland. TOO COOL!!!!
Take Good Care!!!

Lauren said...

Hellooooooo there Gumboot Greener!!!!!

Thank you very very much for coming by and for your lovely comments!

Oh my, your plants and flowers and garden are GORGEOUS!!!! You have quite a green thumb, how wonderful! :)

In Michigan, we are just about to start entering into spring, (although it is still quite cold!) and I have started dreaming up our garden for this year. Unfortunately, I am such a beginner, and do not have talent in the garden at all! I have armed myself with many gardening books from the library this year, so I plan to study up!

Oh, you are so kind with your comments on my hair. Thank you from my heart. You know what? Short hair was such a fun time! I really had a ball with it. I was able to wash and go, but even more so, you can make a bunch of playful styles. It was lots of fun!

I'm sorry that you wish you were graying faster. (Ha! That is funny when you think about it). :)
I can understand what you are saying, but how about this.....have you ever put a non-permanent , organic wash on your hair? I can only imagine that the silvery strands you do have, they must look like beautiful highlights! I think natural silver strands are gorgeous, or alternatively, I know somebody who puts on temporary washes and her grays turn a brilliant , warm auburn. There is so much you can do for fun!

Please keep me posted if you cut your hair or find a fun way to wear your gray. I'd love to hear!

So nice to meet you!!!
Take Care!!!

FlynnFamily said...

THANK YOU! This is so awesome! I am 49 and decided (after 10 years of dyeing) that I just wanted to be who I was created to be. It has been much harder than I thought - as the reactions of some family has been quite negative. My older sister of 12 years (who dyes her hair regularly) has bought me hair dye twice! Women at work can't believe I am doing this.....unfortunately I moved from the north to the south and it surely seems like gray hair is few and far between down here. But I am determined.....hate the whole growing out process though - wish it would just change overnight! :)

elpha said...

I am maybe 4 or 5 months into transition and just so much love the hair colour and condition that is coming through as opposed to the dyed stuff on its way out.
THANK YOU for an inspirational but down to earth blog. I was searching for a bit of moral support as I see no one around me under about 80 with natural hair.

Lauren said...

Hi FlynFamily and Elpha!

Thank you so so much for stopping by, and for your comments!

FF- I really feel for you, because having a supportive group of family and friends makes such a difference. But, as you know all too well, we can't please them all! When your grays are grown out, and you look gorgeous and confident, they'll realize that they were all wrong! :)
I had a similar reaction from a few, and I can not even believe it, now they actually LIKE my hair.
Please please hang in there. Keep being YOU and true to yourself. You'll come out stronger for it, and your health, gorgeously gray hair will be great!!!! :)

Elpha- Hi Elpha! four or five months already!? WAY TO GO! You will soon be out of the most difficult part! I'd be happy to be your cheerleader! You can do it!
I know there are not many out there, to look to with grays, but now we have each other! So you just hang in there too.

Thank you to both of you, I can't tell you how much YOUR comments inspire ME!


Steph said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I, too am a premature grey and just grew it out. I cut my hair pixie so it was done in a flash (8 months). I'm still gettin used to it. Check out my story....

Lauren said...

Hi Steph!

Nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping by!
I'm excited to follow along with your story. I can't wait to read the next chapter. I bet your hair looks great!

Lauren :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for your artistic view and solutions to going gray! I think I found the vintage ad you were looking for:

Lauren said...

Hi Lauren!!!!

Oh my gosh, thank you SO much for finding the ad that I was talking about. I haven't been able to find it again, and I was so bummed! Thanks bunches.

Thank you for the nice comment. It's nice to meet you!

Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

OK, here's what else I'd like to see: Something on how to go just partially gray. A little bit "salt and pepper," while keeping the rest of the hair colored for a while ... if that's possible. I've got long dark hair which I've colored for at least a decade, and no, at 52 (and not being Diane Keaton), I will not look like those 30-somethings in pictures if I cut it. I'd just look like (a) an old gym teacher and (b) not myself, so it's a no-go anyway, even if somebody said "that would be great." Seems like something partial for a while would help while getting used to it: white/grey highlights? Something like that? Any tips? I don't want to be the old woman with the unnatural dark hair, but isn't there some in-between?

Lauren said...

Hi recent Anonymous poster. Ha! I loved your comment, you made me laugh. :)

Ok! GREAT questions about ways to go "a little gray" while you get used to the growing out process. Please, anybody else chime in, because I'm not an expect in this area.

First of all though, I'm with YOU! DON'T cut your long, dark hair! I'm saying this because sometimes, our instincts just speak volumes, and it sounds like you are very sure that a short cut would not be your best option. You have to follow your heart and what your brain is telling ya!

Ok, you didn't most or all of your new hair growth gray, or do you have the smaller "highlights" of gray? I'm guessing you are more all gray, otherwise, you might already have the highlights. could go to your hairstylist and ask for he or she to put in some low-lights and highlights into your hair. This covers some of the gray, and then helps to blend the rest. You could ask them to keep some of your natural gray showing. I have a friend who kept her white streak near the front of her face and it's GORGEOUS! It lets the world see she has gray, but it's just a bit. Someday when she grows everything out, it won't be such a shock. This might be a fun possibility.

The only other thing I can think of is those highlighting caps where you just pull some strands through. Perhaps your hairstylist could clue you in on that one.

I do hope this helps a little please keep us posted on how things are going. Thank you so much for your comment. I am going to do another hair post soon!


Unknown said...

I was beginning to rethink the who going gray thing as I am at the wide white skunk look LOL before I started though I had cut my hair short but not to short and then purchased a wig that was cut in the same style. Once the grey became to obvious I began wearing the wig and everyone just thought I had gotten another cut and changed the color slightly but after two months getting tired of the wig even though it is nice to get up and throw it on in the morning. Thanks for the re-motivation!

Alix said...

Your hair looks awesome, first of all!

Second, thanks so much for posting this! I saw my first grays in high school and have really noticed them coming in in the past couple years (I'm 31). I think I'm ready to take the plunge and start growing it out, much as I'm dreading the long awkward stage. I've been dying my hair for over half my life, which is crazy when I really think about it.

I found a cool article on Refinery 29 about a woman who had her colorist extend her grey roots into highlights to make the transition less awkward. It looks gorgeous on her, but I'm not really looking for more maintenance, you know?

I've also found a ton of pictures of gorgeous gray ladies on Pinterest, so I'm trying to visualize Kristen McMenamy's silver mane in my future. Looking forward to anything else you have to say on the topic, and will check out the rest of your blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm 32 and one month in to my growing out phase. I have been dying for 13 years. I can't wait to see my real hair and stop worrying about the color, price, damage. I'm excited for the end result and really hope that excitement helps get me through the tough grow out times.

Anonymous said...

OMG! You are BEAUTIFUL! I am 50. And have been sick of color since age 35. I told my hair dresser this week, NO MORE. She wants to blonde streak me to transition better, but after reading this I am thinking skunk and a wig for hard days and 'events'. As for my inspiration picture? I think it is you with your longer hair in silver fox color. I am so doing this! Thanks for the inspiration. BTW, when I told friends I was going gray they all said ME TOO ME TOO! They want to stop the color wheel! I will send them to your site.
Thank you for documenting your journey.

Unknown said...

I have to say I am very impressed with the way you efficiently blog and your posts. Thank you for talking about every one of these wonderful Posts.I love them and looking out forward for your new posts.
gray hair

Lauren said...

Hi Lynda! Hi Dina!

Oh wow. You both made my WEEKEND with your encouraging, sweet and kind comments. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I feel very honored that you've join me in all of this gray stuff! Welcome, welcome! :)

I have to tell you that there is something so wonderful and liberating about giving up the hair dye. I used it for years! Now I don't have to worry every three weeks, if my white is starting to show through. Then I would trudge into the bathroom and color my hair and frown and just feel so frustrated. (And I'd make a mess and get a headache!)

You will both do beautifully. I know it! It will be such a fun adventure to see what your natural color looks like. Lynda, the blog highlights work nicely for many people, and I thought about highlights and lowlights, but decided to just "get the grow out over with". It wasn't easy, but I'm really glad that I did it. It wasn't SO bad. You can do it too if you want! :)

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for letting your friends know. I will continue to post updates.

I hope you had a lovely weekend too!

Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

This post has been very encouraging! I love your wit, candor & fun tone.
I'm only a few months in, but I'd been using temp dyes for about the past 2 yrs (except for one time that I misread the label, oops) and was feeling ready to quit it. I'm not confident enough to bare my skunky growth just yet, so I've been only dyeing about 2" on either side of my part (leaving my white temples) until the growth is significant enough to cut. Then I plan to flip my part to the other side. I may decide to add some bold purple streaks, just for kicks; I'd like to get back to just having fun with my hair, instead of feeling that it "needs" to be dyed!
Thank you so much for all the tips & product suggestions! You're an inspiration!!
Steph :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog post, Lauren. Thank you for sharing your journey.

I am 38 and have been toying with letting my hair grow in naturally for a couple of years but have not gone through with it yet.

Each time I go to have it colored I dread the itchiness and the expense.

I am motivated to make this happen sooner than later. The stylist is trying to talk me into highlights and lowlights but I think I would just rather go the "skunk band" route and with your suggestions, it might not be that bad.

Thanks again, very helpful!

Anonymous said...

As someone who, at 56, just finished her transition (10 months and 6 days!), I congratulate you on writing an interesting, informative, and spirited blogpost on your process! Way to go!

I love the brown tips. Consider loving them back - you'll never see them again. I'm all about enjoying the process.

However, one caveat: Roux Mousse STAINS GREY HAIR. Roux Rinse does not. I encourage you to edit your post to that effect - you can ask Diana Jewell about that, she'll back me up.

Anyway, you look awesome, your blog is awesome, and this post is awesomeness!

CurlyJulia, aka CJ on Cafe Grey

Lauren said...

Hi CurlyJulia!!!!!!!!

I just LOVED your comment! Thank you so much for such wise words and upbeat encouragement. You are SO right, it's about enjoying the processes, and you've inspired me to love those dark ends back! Your words are amazing. Thank you for the vote of confidence!

Ok, I will edit my post about the Roux mousse staining. I used one of their dark brown mousses on my grays, and did not have a problem...BUT....I rarely used them, certainly not daily, which I could imagine them staining at that point. And also, I might have just lucked out and did not have very porous hair. THANK YOU for the warning.

It's so nice to meet you CurlyJulia! I hope you have a lovely week!
Lauren :)

T.A.G. said...

Great tips! The best I've read so far, I really enjoyed your candor and humor. I recently turned 50 and have been considering the "go gray" for awhile. I've always looked younger than my age and have feared going gray my "youth" would be compromised. I so admire and envy beautiful gray hair you'd think the decision would be a no brainer. After reading your blog, the comments, I'm going for it! Thank you!

Lauren said...

Hi T.A.G. !!!!

It's so nice to meet you. What a great comment, thank you! CONGRATULATIONS on your decision to go for it! I'm glad that I could be helpful. I'm sure you will look gorgeous! :)

You mentioned that you have always had a youthful face, so that's fantastic. I was JUST saying yesterday, that I had to keep my face looking young, to balance out the gray.

I can't tell you how liberating it is to grow out my hair, it's SO MUCH EASIER now! Yeah! I hope you find this too, and really enjoy your new hair color to come. Please keep in touch. Thank you again !!!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I was a year in, then did the unthinkable - I backed out. Now I have the skunk stripe again and am ready to be free. THANKS for the encouragement!

Chez said...

YAY! You look amazeballs! I decided a few weeks ago to grow my gray out and found your site while searching for tips. I can't wait to see what mine looks like!

Lauren said...

Dear Chez,

YAY!!! WOO HOO!!! "Amazeballs" is by FAR the most awesome hair compliment I have EVER gotten. Thanks!
I'm excited for you and can't wait to see what your hair looks like too! Keep us posted! Thanks so much for reading, and for your comment. I will post more soon!
Lauren :)

Erin said...

I used to dye my hair all sorts of colors in high school, but have worn my natural brown hair for about a decade now. At 33, I am starting to notice a good amount of grays coming in and I've been tweezing the top few layers, keeping them buried below (for something to show-off when I'm around friends only). I have very thick, long, beautiful hair with lots of body and I am wondering if it's possible to just bypass coloring altogether and let it grow out as it happens naturally.

When asking friends, co-workers and even family members their thoughts on this topic, I get an astounding number in favor of coloring. I thought our society would be more forgiving of someone allowing such a natural life expression... I must have grown up on another planet. I'm very glad I found your blog before giving up this fight.

Unanswered questions:

1. It seems almost everyone agrees that you should not go gray before having children. I am just now at a point in my life where it makes sense to do so with my career and relationship. Should I put it off going gray a few years until my big life events have passed? Does coloring become addictive?

2. I seem most concerned about keeping my top layer of hair brown. Does it make sense to lowlight/highlight only the top few layers of hair and let the grays grown in naturally from underneath, creating an easy in and out of coloring?

3. On the flip side, is it better to color the underside only and allow the gray to grow in naturally on top creating contrast? Something that says "I'm just going for it!".

I have always been comfortable with the idea of myself growing gray. I must admit it is happening a bit sooner than I expected, which is concerning, but I am generally still ok with it. The overwhelming response from others, on the other hand, is what keeps me doubting my opinion on this. What if I'm wrong and they're right. What if I will just look washed out?

I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Thank you.

Lauren said...

Hi Erin!!!!

Thank you so much for such a great comment. It really got me thinking. I love it!
I'll do my very best to answer each of your questions, please let me know if I didn't cover them enough.

First though, the very first thing that strikes me about your comment are the lines where you say :
"I have always been comfortable with the idea of myself growing gray. I must admit it is happening a bit sooner than I expected, which is concerning, but I am generally still ok with it."

Erin, that's HUGE, because this is EXACTLY the essence of what deciding to go gray, especially at a young age, is all about! It's about a personal decision, for whatever the reason you choose, that is often met with resistance. It's about you feeling confident in your own skin, knowing that you just have to do what's right for YOU!

I commend your bravery.
It sounds like you already have some good confidence going on, that you're ok with your natural self, which is AWESOME!!!

I know first-hand, the experience of asking other, if I should grow out my grays or not. Friends, family, co-workers, even strangers will give you their advice (often against graying), just because they care or want to be helpful . The problem is, is that in general, our society is afraid of signs of aging. Most people can't imagine gray looking nice. So, they default to saying: "No, don't do it!". You're not getting balanced answers, but even more so, this really needs to be a decision that comes from you.

(On a side note, I saw a picture of myself from several years ago. In the photo, I had very dark, over-heanna'd hair. I can not believe how much more I like my gray hair on me. Before starting my grow-out process, I don't think anyone that I asked, myself included, could have imagined that things would turn out so well. You just never know until you try!)

So, you really have to do this for you. :)
I know you mentioned growing your hair out after you have children. I've actually never come across this advice. In fact, when I was pregnant, I was told NOT to dye my hair, so technically, it might be better to start before you have children.
I truly truly feel, as long as you feel good and that it is the right decision for you, that growing out your gray is just fine to start at any point, children or not!

Oh, and is coloring addictive? Honestly, I wouldn't say it's addictive, but once you begin coloring, for the most part, you need to continue, or you'll have strands that are half white/half brown. It's kind of like being in a maintenance loop. You are in a GREAT spot right now, because you haven't colored in so long!

Lauren said...

You mentioned that you are plucking your grays on top. This leads me to believe that you don't have a ton growing in at once, for example, in contrast to the "skunk stripe". If this is the case, you have some great options! If this is not the case, ouch!!!! ;)

So, I have heard a lot of great comments about having low-lights and highlight done to blend in your grays. This might be a nice option! You just have to be committed to the up-keep, but it sounds less intense then full-head dying. Your stylist will know more about whether you should do a full head of highlights or only the top layer. I'm not sure exactly how that works!

Every single person has a different "pattern" of graying. Some like me, had a whole bunch at once, others have strands. I think the best thing to do is figure out what's your pattern, how you think it will look growing in, and then consult a professional who might have good suggestions.

One caveat - most of the time, if you do go to a stylist, they ARE going to recommend some form of coloring. It's just their profession! I was very very lucky to find a hairstylist that was SUPER supportive about my grays. She offered high and low lights to blend, but also the alternative to just let it grow out and then celebrate the color! :)

That's what I did. I just went for it! This is my ultimate suggestion, for those who feel they can deal with it. The straight forward grow out is not always easy, but it's the quickest and least complicated.

So, that's my two-cents Erin! I hope this helps. Thank you again for your comment. Please, please follow your heart on this one. Just do what feels right for you! Keep us posted, I'd love to hear how you're doing.
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you again for this post. I keep coming back to it (along with your others on the topic) again and again to help me persevere.

I also chose Emmy Lou Harris as my inspiration. She is gorgeous with her gray - I don't believe she ever colored - and she has dogs, which you might not like, since you are a cat person, but I think it's sweet.

In any case, the reason I am writing is b/c after reading your post I decided to try Roux's "Tween Time" to help minimize the skunk stripe. I found it most similar to shoe polish (!) and found it hard to apply evenly. But I think I found a helpful trick - applying it with a toothbrush. I wet the toothbrush, rubbed it on the "tween time" stick and then applied it to my roots where needed. It went on very easily and not too thick and I could control the coverage a lot better. Also could get close to the hairline where needed. So, I wanted to pass that on in case it is helpful to anyone.


Lauren said...

Hi Beth!!!

Thank you, your comment was so thoughtful! :)

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your tip about using a toothbrush with your Tween Time. Wow, that sounds perfect! I wish I had known about this when I was using my Tween Time. Thank you so so much for sharing. <3
I know, it IS difficult to use, so thick! I used to wet my stick, but still it wasn't easy. I'm really glad you're in your groove!

Yay! Emmy Lou! What a fantastic person to have as inspiration. That's great. Oh, and I love dogs too! I grew up with dogs and love them. Somehow we ended up with cats, but I'd also love to have a dog someday also.

Thank you for reading. I find so much help and support through my readers, so I owe a lot to you!
I'm lacteally almost done with another post on gray hair, so I'll be back soon!

Thanks again,
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

I loved this post! I went gray last autumn, I used to dye my hair jet black but it was a nightmare at the end, every few weeks I had to go to the hairdresser for the roots. Time consuming and expensive. So I let my hair grow for a couple of months and then I cut it 1.2 cm long! The hairdresser actually used the machine she uses to shave men's heads. I immediately loved it, and all my friends and colleagues thought that I dyed them like this on purpose and kept telling me how beautiful it is and how great I look. I wish I did this long before (I'm 43), I literally felt liberated from the slavery of dyeing! It's still quite short now but I'm ready to finally make it grow (also because last winter with the hair so short I was cold all the time). Thanks for sharing this :-)
P.s. sorry for my English, I'm Italian and can't write very well.

Lauren said...

Hi Monica!!!!

WOW!!! What a great story! Thank you so much for sharing. You are an inspiration! :)
It must have taken bravery to finally stop dying your gray hair, and to cut your hair short.
I also remember so well, that liberating feeling when I did it too. It was a fantastic feeling! I also feel like the sense of satisfaction continues, as I'm so glad to not be coloring my hair every few weeks.
I can imagine that you look beautiful Monica! Thank you again for sharing your story. Oh, and your english is PERFECT! Better than mine! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren,
beautiful name, my daughter is a Lauren. love your hair and I am in 2 months of free dye zone and have a 2inch skunk stripe. feeling good about it so onward I go ... have to keep spirits high, so want to do this.

Anonymous said...

I am 63 & have been dyeing my hair since my early 40s even though I had previously vowed that I would NEVER dye it. Back then, though, I felt that I had  choice because the gray hair that was coming in was coarse, dull, & unmanageable. My hairdresser used Goldwell, a great color product that made my hair a soft, shiny, & beautifully natural brown again, so I have been happy with it for all these years. Now I am seriously feeling like I need to stop because when I look in the mirror, it seems to me that my hair & my face no longer "match." Plus, I hate the expense & the constant worry about gray roots. I am afraid that if I let the color grow out, 1) I will look even older than 63; 2) I will have a mousy mix of gray & dingy brown instead of a pretty gray; & 3) the gray hair will be that coarse type that it was years ago. I just found this blog when I saw Jill Dougherty on CNN today, thought she looked GREAT with gray hair, & looked her up online. Now I am getting inspired, but my fears are still very strong. I am not as concerned about the growing out process since my hair grows fast. Any advice?

Anonymous said... happy to have found your site. I have been contemplating going natural, which for me is all grey, for about a year now but have not been able to get up the nerve to do it. I have been coloring since my early 20's and I am now 52 but a young 52 and am afraid the grey would make me look old. I would love to be liberated but maybe I am too vain to go through the process. Don't know. My Mom was and is my inspiration. She had beautiful grey hair and I can only hope to be as lucky. I will continue to follow yours, and other sites and hopefully get there someday but for now I will hide in the (grey) shadows. Jayne

Sandy said...

I love your hair! I understand how hard it was to get where you are. I too am one of those premature grays. I covered for too many years until I day I was just tired of the mess, time, and the fact that even when I colored it, it didn't look like my real color. I was so sick of the trouble and then it would be red about a week after going through all of that. Not to mention expensive.
It is too bad what society does to us. Just think if all the premature grays would just quit.
I got over it a long time ago, but it wasn't easy. I would look longingly at others.
I have finally embraced it and wouldn't go back. My hair is healthier and you learn to choose colors to show it off. Spend that money on clothes and jewelry and walk with confidence.

melanie said...

I have a feeling this post is going to come in very handy. I'm getting to the point where I'm really tired of colouring my hair too and dealing with the should-I-or-shouldn't-I dilemma of when to colour it again. Right now my hair is quite long but I'm pretty sure half of it has fallen out since I had my last baby 6 months ago and so I'm going to need to get a lot of it chopped off anyway (the post-baby grow back is a bitch) so I'm thinking now is the time to take the big step. Thanks for all the inspiration.

Kathi D. said...

What are your feelings about going gray via "frosting" to be able to deal with it a little better?

Kathi D. 53 yrs old and sick and tired of dying!

Kathi D. said...

What are your feelings about going gray via "frosting" to be able to deal with it a little better?

Kathi D. 53 yrs old and sick and tired of dying!

Cathy said...

I've given up base color but am doing highlights to blend the white that I have in the front. Last week, I had all my old color cut off! So now I'm blonde, white, and my natural mousy brown. I get highlights every 8 weeks instead of the base color every 3 weeks!

Cure For Baldness said...

Very useful tips here. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I am about 1/3 of the way gray at 38 - salt and pepper. I am starting to get discouraged, but this helped a lot!

Lauren said...

Hi everybody!

Thanks you so so much for your thoughtful comments. I apologize for getting behind on my replies! I appreciate each and everyone of your notes, and I'm delighted to meet all of you!

Know that while the growing out process can be very hard, it is so worth it in the end!!! My main message is: "HANG IN THERE!!!"

I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is to not have to dye my hair anymore, and how healthy it feels. Also, the gray is kind of my special "look". It's fun to be yourself!

So, stay strong everybody. One day, the growing pains of growing out your gray will be a thing of the past! :)

To answer the question about frosting.... ok, this is just my two-cents. I am in NO WAY and expert. I think that if frosting can help get you to where you want to be with your gray, then do it! You have to do what works for you! That's the very most important thing. On the other hand though, eventually, if you want to stop dying, you will have to stop frosting. I feel like personally, it is better to not prolong the grow out with frosting because you add time, money and complication. I say, jump in head first, get through the transition and celebrate your gray!

I hope this helps. Thanks so much again everybody!!!!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Hello :)
I'm 30 and I've been coloring my hair since I was 12. I guess you could also call me a bit of a preemie. ;) Anyway, I just wanted to say that I truly appreciate this post and I will be following your tips as I'm finally ready (for the 3rd or 4th time) to stop coloring my hair every 6 weeks! I've never been able to stick it out and hopefully with your advice and tips I will be able to hang in there this time. Thank you so much!!

Lauren said...

Hi there!

I'm so so glad that you found this little post to be helpful. You definitely are a preemie! I have a feeling that once you are able to stop dying, and not have to worry about it anymore, you'll be so happy!
I hope that we can all support each other. Going gray can be so hard. Hang in there and let us know how you are doing!
Lauren :)

Unknown said...

I'm so happy I came across this blog. I just started letting my grey come in and I'm so happy with my decision. I got a short cut last week and I'm currently letting my skunk stripe shine. My plan is to get it trimmed every week until all of my white shines. I'm so happy with this decision, I feel free and beautiful and true to myself. I can't wait for the total transformation.

Vatina said...

I love you. I'm scared, but I love you.

Vatina said...

I love you. I'm scared and sad about my long hair, but I love you. Thank you!!

Lauren said...

Vatina, I love you TOO!!!!!!!!

Wait, why are you sad and scared about your long hair? You can have long, gray hair! I do! I ended up cutting mine, which was fun for a while, but I always knew that one day, it would be long again. I'm going to keep growing it too.

You'll be GORGEOUS girl! Let me know how it's going!!!


Lauren said...

Vatina, I love you TOO!!!!!!!!

Wait, why are you sad and scared about your long hair? You can have long, gray hair! I do! I ended up cutting mine, which was fun for a while, but I always knew that one day, it would be long again. I'm going to keep growing it too.

You'll be GORGEOUS girl! Let me know how it's going!!!


Poupette said...


don't be scared! I also love my long hair, and I just refuse to cut them, so I'm growing the grays out and although it does look a bit awkward right now, it won't forever! :D

Just hang on, and you'll be glad at the end!

Lauren said...

Such wise words from Poupette! And, you're an expert with beautiful, long hair!

I was sad to cut my hair. :(
I had dark brown natural hair, plus the white, AND a ton of bright RED from the henna. I looked really strange. I never wanted to cut my hair, but finally, three separate random people asked why my hair was so many colors in one week, so I just decided to cut and start-over.

I know though, I can't imagine cutting my hair again.
Thanks Poupette! You are so great!!! :)

Tracey Hagwood said...

Lauren, you are beautifu! Love the grey and would love the freedom of it, it's the journey that has me concerned enough to keep coloring my dark brown hair. So very nice to find a group who have gone through this process. I'm 57 and have been OVER dying my hair for at least 10 years but haven't figured out a way to do it gracefully. I am pretty much an introvert who doesn't enjoy the limelight or attention so the thought of growing my grey out naturally in full view of everyone I know seems impossible for me, applause for all you brave ones. I think I would almost rather have all my dye stripped at once and just get it over with. I think that's possible, anyone know? Or go platinum like one of the other commenters thought about. I have been using Revlon Colorsilk permanent color for over 20 yrs. but recently it has begun to make my head itch really bad, so I stopped using that and have switched to Clariol Natural Instincts, supposedly nonpermanent color that will wash out over time. My thought was if I used this dye for a year or so and then just stopped using it, it would wash out gradually and look more natural than the "skunk line" as you call it. I'm wondering if this product would stain my hair like some of the other options? If so, this would defeat my purpose in a slow gradual process. I guess I'm just thinking out loud, wishing I had never started coloring my hair, and of course if I had known then what I know now I wouldn't have.
When I ask my friend and stylist how long she was going to color her hair, she said "Oh, honey, I'm going to be red until I'm dead!" We both laughed but this seems to be the mindset society puts on us, to look young, you can't be grey, but I disagree, I don't want to be my age and older dying my hair and people wondering if I realize I'm not fooling anyone trying to look younger than I am. I see alot of people who just didn't know when to quit and had some horrendous color dyes, at some point hair just doesn't color well.
I see so many beautiful grey haired ladies! My Mom had beautiful white hair and I think mine is the same. It's so much harder if your hair is dark than blonde. Decisions, decisions! Any advice for me?

Lauren said...

Oh Tracey, I just LOVE your comment. Thank you soooooooooooooo much for your story and for "thinking out loud"!I love your style. I think out loud too, it's a great way to get the thoughts out in front of you!

My heart goes out to you because I truly understand where you are. I was dying my hair for many years, and I too had dark hair and the white. It's really hard with that contrast! I also did NOT want to call attention to myself, especially the white "skunk stripe"! Oh! And hair dye began to hurt my scalp too. My just burned, and then I would get a headache. :(

If you really want my two-cents, here is my best advice (beyond the growing-out tips in this blog post), I feel that it is much easier to just go for it and grow your white out, than to fiddle for years with highlights and lowlights. (Oh, and I think you can strip your hair all at once, and become blond or platinum, but I have heard over and over that it is incredibly damaging to your hair.)

here's the thing, yes, it is embarrassing for a few months, to have that "stripe", BUT it does not last long, AND there are MANY things you can do to soften the look: hair color crayons, pull your hair back, color mouse, hair pieces, cute scarves and hats!

In the end, you will have a beautiful head of hair years sooner! And, most of all, your hair will be soft and shiny. It IS such freedom!!! Oh gosh, and like you said, I would bet anything that you have GORGEOUS white hair like your Mother. :)

Tracey, before, I would never ever get comments on my hair. Now, barely a day goes by that somebody does not stop me to say that they like my hair. Really!

Part of this difficult journey is coming to the point where you can say to yourself, and to the world: "Hey guys! This is ME! I like ME! I'm letting myself shine"! :)

I know it's so so hard, but I say, jump in!!!!
I hope this helps. I'll try to do another hair post soon. Thank you bunches Tracey. Please stop by again and let us know how you are doing!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Love this. You look FABULOUS. I'm about 3 inches into growing out, and you've inspired me to keep it going and keep it real with style! Thanks so much!

Poupette said...

Hi everyone on this post (again),

This is a comment for Tracey a couple of comments up.

I completely understand what you are going through. I stopped dying my hair about 10 months ago now (was a dark brunette), and I refuse to cut my long hair. I guess my advice (if you don't want to cut, and are dreading a really harsh skunk stripe) would be to transition to semi-permanent dyes for a year or two.
If you dare it, perhaps even go a little lighter, still staying in the brunette range. This is what I did: I was a 500 (darkest brown) for the longest time. When I decided that eventually I was going to go gray (be it in a month, a year, or 5), I planned ahead and went from permanent dye to semi-permanent.
I also switched to a 400 color range (which really did not change a whole lot to be honest). What it did however, is that the roots and oxydation of a semi-permanent 400 color were a lot softer.

There is no denying that the demarcation between my new virgin grays and still naturally pigmented hairs and the old oxidized tips is obvious, but like Lauren was saying, there are ways to camouflage. I find what works best for me is to tie my hair in a pony tail or in a bun. It is much less noticeable than when the hair is parted, and you can see the stripe full on. Does that make sense?

Hope this advice will help you in your transition!

Best of luck to all the ladies (and perhaps a few gents?) transitioning into gray hairdom :)


Anonymous said...

I come back to this post again and again whenever I am discouraged and want to give up with the whole "going gray" thing. It is always so good to hear your encouragement, Lauren, and to remember the goal of freedom from hair dye - forever!!

Lauren said...

Hi "Anonymous" with 3" of growth!!!
Thank you for your comment. Ok, you're in the thick of it! You just hang in there. Honestly, very soon you'll have more and more styling option to break up that like of gray. White hair looks so soft and lovely, especially when you you do fun things with it like styling. A big congrats! Keep up the good work!!!!

Lauren :)

Lauren said...

Hi Poupette!!!!

Thank you for your thoughtful and full of info. comment for Tracey!!! Your ideas are very clever and make a lot of sense! It's so nice to have options in this whole growing the gary out process. :)

I just have to say that while I think your idea of semi-permanent dye for a year or two, or lightening your hair color up first are GREAT ideas, my personal suggestion is to just go for it and stop the dye.

Many women are allergic to dye, and like myself, really had to stop cold-turkey after a reaction. Also, I hate the chemicals. So, I'm a big fan of just jumping in and getting the transition over with, instead of dragging things out longer. You're going to have to let the grays shine through sometime, why not speed it up and ditch the harsh chemicals.
It really wasn't as bad as I feared, and in less than a year's time, I was left with a new hair color that was soft and healthy. :)

Just my two cents. Thank you so much again for your thoughtful comments!!!

Lauren said...

Hi Anonymous who wrote this:
"I come back to this post again and again whenever I am discouraged and want to give up with the whole "going gray" thing. It is always so good to hear your encouragement, Lauren, and to remember the goal of freedom from hair dye - forever!!"

I'm sooooooo so glad that this post can be of inspiration. We're all in this together! :)
It's difficult to change, and change so publicly, but I'll tell you, IT IS SO WORTH IT IN THE END!!!!!

No more trips to the salon for touch-ups! No more stinky chemicals or drips of brown dye on my bathroom floor. No more money spent. Now I can spend it on wonderful moisturizing hair products. I get to pamper myself! Gone are the days of overly dark, overly dyed hair. Now the white makes me feel lighter and brighter!

You'll have this too. I promise you!
Come back soon. I'm glad you're here.
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren,
Love your blog. I think it wasn't until I read your comments and tips back in August that I finally got the courage to quit dyeing my hair. It's sooooo hard some days. I look in the mirror and want to cry. I keep reading what everyone is going thru and try to be brave. I feel good some days and then some days I want to run to the store and get a box of dye!! what a roller coster. Lucky for me, my wonderful husband is totally behind me. In fact for years he has been telling me "just go gray, be yourself!"

Anonymous said...

Lauren, thanks for so many good tips in one place.

I am early in the process, and the Roux Tween Time stick has saved me from relapse more than once. Gives 'hitting the bottle' a whole new meaning.

I've been colouring medium brown since my early 20s ... back then I had a raggedy patch near the front that was about 30% grey and being young, at the time I just couldn't stand it. And I liked the lighter reddish colour.

It's interesting to get the first good look at your real hair when you haven't seen it for 30 years. I've discovered I'm now about 20% grey all over (with dark brown hair), except for the egg-sized patch near the front which is now snow white.

I'm pretty sure I'll love the cool white streak in the darker hair... when I get there. At the moment it looks more like a big bald spot on a tortoiseshell mess. I'm not a short hair person so I'll just wait it out.

Takes so loooooooooong.

You are stunning and your hair is gorgeous. It looks great on you. Thanks again for the excellent post; the camaraderie and comments from others cheered me up immensely.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren,
I have enjoyed your informative blog which I found "after" deciding to go grey.I am 55 and have highlighted my hair 3 times a year for about 10 years otherwise I am very natural women. Recently I had a short haircut and the new stylist "colored" all of my hair with a low lights and then a few blond highlights. It was after that visit that I decided no more. I honestly had no idea that she was coloring my whole head. It has been 5 weeks and I have about 1/2" of the skunk look. I am just wondering how do I know if I am going to be gray everywhere? I have no clue. Do I just wait and see? My next question is about shampooing. I read all this negative stuff about course, frizzy gray hair. Do I eventually buy one of those purple shampoos or do I just wait it out? Will I need to condition more? Any tpe will help.
I appreciate you sooo much!! You have no idea how you have helped many many women. You are absolutely stunning with your gray hair. I wish I could get my daughters to stop messing with all the hair coloring. Your blog is the best! Thank you.

Lauren said...

Hi there Rickie!!!!

Oh gosh, isn't so cool to finally see your real color come through? It's like a whole new version of you! :)
Your snow white spot in the front sounds gorgeous! You know, I say this a lot, the nice thing is, you can always try out the gray look, but you can always go back. Although, almost everybody I know who has gone gray, never dyes again. I promise, its so worth it in the end! Oh, and also, I know it takes a long time to get to the point where everything is grown out, but in retrospect, it'll fly by. Thank you for your kind comment Rickie. It's so very nice to meet you. Welcome!!!! :)

Lauren said...

Hi Nicole!

So nice to meet you. Thanks for coming by!!! :)
So you're five weeks in. That's great! Hang in there. This is probably the most difficult time in the growing out process, but once you get a bit of length, it will be much easier.
You asked how would one know if they would be great everywhere on their head. Well, the best thing you can do is just watch your hair as it grows in. You can use a mirror to check the back or the bottom layers of your hair. Any new growth that you have now, will show the amount of whites that you will have. Over the years, you might slowly get more, but for the most part, what ya' see is what ya' get! I hope you like it!
Also, great question about gray hair and dryness/frizz! There IS a lot out there about gray hair and texture. My experience is, is that now that I've stopped using hair dye, my hair is actually SOFTER and healthier! Some people have frizzy grays and some not so much. You kind of have to just wait and see. In the meantime, I posted about gray hair and texture and some good, moisturizing products here:

One last thing.... the stronger blue/purple shampoos like Shimmer Lights are great at getting some of the yellow cast out of hair from product build up, etc. It doesn't tend to be the most moisturizing though. I only use it once a month or so. Stick with moisture rich and as natural as possible products (See link), and then use blue shampoo when needed.

I hope this helps Nicole. So very nice to meet you. Thank you for writing! Let us know how you are doing and your hair grows in!!!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren,
Me again. Thank you for your response. I appreciate all that you have to say. (: I am so confused with my hair on what to do. Since I cut it short 5 weeks ago and she colored it should I keep cutting it short to make the transition quicker or can I grow it out a bit and it will transition the same way? I looked underneath as you said and I don't see hardly any gray so does this mean I will only have the skunk look growing on the crown of my head. This may look bad. I am blond and have the low/high lites now but if I look at my scalp it is way darker with the white coming in. Thank you for the product ideas. Should I go ahead and start using them even though I only have a 1/2" of gray growth? I think I may be getting the yellowing look too from the color. I read it could be from the sun. I walk a lot. PS My daughter is getting married in April so I am hoping my hair will look ok by then. You are my inspiration. (: Confused Nicole

Lauren said...

Hi again Nicole!
Oh my gosh, it IS confusing, to me too! So much new to learn and do. I get it! :)
Let's see, well, for starters, its never too early to use the most moisturizing and gentle shampoos and conditioners. As for the "blueing" products, that is up to you. If you look at the white hair that you do have, and the whites look dull or yellowish, then you might benefit from a blue rinse or shampoo. For myself, the yellowing seem to be most apparent on the ends of my white hair, when the brown hair was already grown out and cut off. The clear "glaze" that I spoke about getting at the salon can really help with both the yellowing and any frizz. I would say a glaze might be wonderful before your daughter's wedding, just for fun. (Congrats by the way!) :)

As far as growing out goes, cutting your hair won't make it go any faster per say. It will speed up the process of taking away the old, blond color, but your new hair will come in at the same rate. All of this said, if you want to look nice for your daughter's wedding in April, I'm guessing that would mean as much uniform hair color as possible. Picturing what you described, I think you should have your blond hair trimmed as you go along towards April. That way, hopefully by April you will be a natural mix of white and blond! If you would like longer hair, that would work too, but you might have a wide "stripe" of white hair with a length of your old, highlighted blond. It might be a big contrast between the two.
Just see how it goes. My fingers are crossed for ya! I think you'll do great! :)

I hope this helps Nicole. You inspire me too! Hang in there. It'll get much easier and more intuitive soon. It's just a learning process. I'm still learning myself.
So happy to meet you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren,
Thanks for making confused Nicole understand a bit more. (: I thought the yellowing you were talking about was on the colored hair not the gray hair. I don't see any yellowing on my gray. So I am still not sure what product to use? My hair is very dry.
I agree with you about trimming the color out as my hair grows. The girl only used a razor on my short haircut and I think my hair looks frayed and damaged in some areas. The good news is that my hair grows fast...and I have a lot of it. Next cut will be scissors only and hopefully someone that can do a nice job.
Thank you for all of your great advice about the glossing etc... You are the best for taking the time in helping us all out. I will continue to learn from you and your blog. Have a nice night! Nicole

Lauren said...

Hi NON-confused Nicole! ;)
I'm so glad that I can help out. It sounds like you're well on your way!!!!! If you have any more questions come up, please don't hesitate to ask. I feel so incredibly lucky to have you and this new bunch of silver sisters of mine too! Have fun and let us know how you're doing!!!
Lauren :)

Marie said...

The week I turned 49, I finally made the decision to start my transition. It's one of the hardest things I've done, since society puts far too much emphasis on looks. I'm about 8 1/2 mos into the transition and it gets easier and easier. I've found the most supportive friends I've encountered have been men! It's such a confidence booster to hear men compliment the decision I've made and to tell me how great I look.

During this transition I have learned so much about myself and about other people. It's been a challenge, but a great learning process. I can't wait until I'm done, but I have to say, it's much less painful than I thought it would be. The truth of the matter is, 18 months to 3 years is really a small blip on the timeline of life and with a good attitude, it feels even smaller!

PS: I used FanciFul liquid when my skunk stripe was about 3-4 inches wide (my daughter was graduating from college) and it was a life saver. I rarely used it, but it was nice to have on those days when I was felt I looked icky... it's nice to have "just in case."

Lauren said...

Hi Marie!

Oh gosh, I just love your comment so so much. Thank you for your thoughtful words. I could not have put it better! I agree completely with you, that the whole grow-out was easier than I expected it to be, and now in retrospect, my year of growing my hair was nothing in the grand scheme. It's actually now just a memory. I wish I would have done it sooner!
Thank you so much again. Your words made me smile and feel inspired!
So nice to meet you. :)

Anna said...

Thank you so much. I died my hair purple about a year ago when I felt like my hair was too grey to be my preschoolers mum. But it felt fake. I wanted to wear my grey with pride and maybe encourage others to do the same. So Ive let it grow. But now my sister is getting married in about a month and Ive been wavering. Your post has strengthened my resolve, thank you. I actually think your last photo embraces the ombre look, it suits you and looks quite funky. I have tried to leave my grey up top with the purple (now strangely faded to a natural looking red next and have bleached the ends. I have also have several positive comments and no one mentions the grey. You are fab and beautiful keep it up.

Lauren said...

Hi Anna!!!!

So nice to meet you! I know, I know what you are saying about feeling like too young of a mother to have grays! You know what though, there is something SO nice about just letting yourself be YOU! I have to say though, the purple, and now red hair sounds AWESOME. :)
My brother-in-law was getting married a few months into my transition to gray. All I did was just really plan ahead. At that point, I had maybe a two or three inch strip of gray growing. Maybe more. I was sure to bring lots of root cover-up stick and the Bumble & Bumble spray on brunette powder, and a ton of hair pins! I experimented a head of time with a new 1/2-up hair style that kind of blended the grays in. It took some effort, but I was surprised with how well it hid the gray!
On the flip-side, if you want to show the world your white hair, I COMPLETELY say: "Go for it!!!"
Keep us posted Anna. Thank you for taking the time to say "Hello". Hang in there!!! This is so worth it in the end.
Lauren :)

Jackie said...

Dear Lauren, Thank you so much for your pictures, your advice, and your delightful sense of humor! I've been thinking of letting my gray grow in for the past few weeks, and you have convinced me - I'm going for it! And you are beautiful - you're my gray goddess inspiration. Thank you tons!

Lauren said...

Hi Jackie!!!!!

Awww, thank you so much. I'm glad that I can help to inspire, if even in a small way. I couldn't feel confident and brave showing the world my own gray without all of YOU!!! So thanks to you too!
Good luck with your grow out, I really think you're going to LOVE your new hair!
Thanks for stopping by!
Lauren :)

Deborah said...

I'm 40 and have decided to grow out my grays. I long to be my authentic self. Thanks for your blog about your journey. I started a my own little blog a couple of weeks ago. I titled it "Come walk with me" because I fully believe life only makes sense when we journey together. You mentioned this in your blog and I immediately felt the connection. I hadn't decided to go gray when I started my blog. I hadn't even really thought seriously about it. I think the universe was speaking to me, helping me find the right path. Thanks for sharing your journey. I am eagerly anticipating my own. Peace!

Lauren said...

Hi Deborah!!! Oooooh, what a beautiful, beautiful comment. Thank you for taking the time to write. The premise of "Come walk with Me" sounds" so special and TRUE! That togetherness and connection is the joy of life. I can't wait to read along!

Hooray for our authentic self! I can't tell you how freeing it feels to embrace that. I have a feeling that you'll love your grays once they are here. I'm so glad that we've connected.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm sorry I don't have time to read all the comments to see what has already been shared, but here's my tip: I'm 58 and pretty gray; I've had my hair colored only 3 times, each time for one of my children's weddings. But I didn't have it completely colored. The stylist found my original color and did "lowlights" throughout my gray to add more of my own color back in. But since there was still a lot of gray mixed in, when it grows out it is not obvious that I'm going back to gray. I love this option for special occasions, and I love not having to keep it up afterwards.

Lauren said...

Hi Anonymous! Thank you for your comment, it is so helpful! Blending low-lights with your natural color sounds like a wonderful way to gentle grow in the gray. Thank you for sharing, it's so nice that we can all help each other. Nice to meet you!!!

Lauren :)

Lisa said...

I am 52 and have been coloring my hair for 25 years. I was a natural dark brunette, kept going lighter and lighter as I have been getting older. I am 4 months into going grey. Peoples reaction can be very negative and surely can make you doubt yourself. My hair is very white with a few stands of black. I think it will be a really nice color when it is done. I found a spray to cover the roots called "sytle edit"; it covers the best of all the stick/mascara type of coverups and it does not feel strange or does not stain your hair. I bought the product from my stylist. You need to spray it quickly about 4-5 inches from your head to get the most blended results.

I recently stopped using it and got a very stylish pixie with long layers on top. I have a wide white strip but the short hair around the nap of my neck is white and so is the hair around my ears. My friends and coworkers say that it looks funky and purposeful. Although I don't plan on keeping my hair short, it easy and cute for now. I also can't wait for it to be done.

Your blog is really great because my husband thinks that I am obsessed with this and I really am for now. My sister in law just showed me some color swatches from that directs you on the colors and makeup that you should be wearing with your haircolor. I ordered some of her products, kind of fun figuring what to wear to keep your coloring looking coordinated and fresh.

Lauren said...

Hi Lisa!!!

What a great comment. I learned so much from you! Thank you very much for telling us about the root spray called "Style Edit". From the way you described it, it sound phenomenal! Wow, I wish I had that around when I was growing out my gray. Also, I just looked up It's so GREAT! Wow, her makeup looks very nice, the colors are beautiful!

I hope the rest of your grow out goes well. Your pixie cut must be adorable. You're in the midst of the hardest part, but honestly, once you get a bit more growth, when you're able to with pin back or style your gray areas , kind of soften that gray/brunette line, it gets much easier. You have in there, for every "nay-sayer comments you might receive now, you will get ten wonderful comments soon!
Oh, and it's good to be obsessed with the whole growing your gray thing. Meeting others who knew what I was going through helped so much!
Thanks again Lisa. Nice to meet you!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren-I am in the "now-obsessed" mode with growing out my silver, and your site is one of my favorites. Your gray looks great, especially since you are pretty and younger. I often read negative comments about going gray that cite how it looks good on the younger or models but that most people don't fit that mode. I've looked at loads of before-and-after pics posted by non-young and not technically "pretty" women, though, and 98% or more look good and usually much better with their natural gray (even the salt and pepper that has no "exciting" pattern or silver-white drama). I have a fat white/silver stripe at one temple (and another developing) and more gray than I realized that's mixing in my brown. If I wear a pony and my stripe shows, my eyes and face looks so much better and vibrant. I'm sure many will instant-categorize me "of a certain age" once all the gray is in, but I'd rather that than have them assume, due to my color, that I'm younger but then start taking in tiny lines and whatever droopage on my face and think: "Oh, wow. Ok. She's older. Must color her hair." I had a 20-something hit on me at the gas station a few months ago and told him I'm flattered, but I'm 48 and have a steady boyfriend. That kind of thing makes me feel older and icky. The only ones age-fooled by hair color are strangers who are walking or driving by, no matter how good your dye or highlight job is or how well you are aging for your age. And I'm so tired of even mildly damaged hair! Last April was my last coloring with semi-permanent (which still changes your hair permanently and for me, takes my cool-tone brown to a slight reddish, no matter what). I also discovered that all the weeding and yard work this summer turned my precious virgin hair reddish! I now use products that verify having uv protection in them and will wear hats when can next summer. Thank you for your inspiration. I think dyed hair looks fine on others, even when you know it isn't natural--but I'm just not liking the look and feel on me anymore and know I'll be in the minority--so it's great to have good role models like you.

Lauren said...

Hi anonymous commenter with the AWESOME sounding silver streak at your temple! SO COOL! Thank you, your comment was very insightful, I enjoyed reading it. You're right, not a lot of pro-gray opinions out there huh? I think that everybody is different, so look great, some might prefer their hair when dyed. I think though, that silver can often times really lighten up a face! I know mine has! :)
Thanks for your kind words, and thanks for mentioning UV protection, gray or not, I could use some for my hair too!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

it's nice to see that you can look good with grey hair (you look so pretty ^^). I find this post encouraging, there is always a battle in my head about dye my hair or let it natural and the truth is that i only consider dyeing it because people can be harsh about grey hair. I started getting grey hair at 16 :/ i only dyed it like 5 times in my whole life because my scalp start itching and my hair start to fall if i do it, so i let my few grey hairs alone, but, people always made comments like
-you should dye it -omg you look like an old lady! -you should pluck them
or they just stare at them, and i know i'm not old, i'm 24, but those comments can really affect your self esteem.
I don't have too much grey hair yet but they are spreading fast.
but really this post helped me by giving me a little bit of strenght to ignore what people say :)

Lauren said...

Awww, thanks so much Anonymous. I'm so glad that I could be of help!
It's not always easy when people give you their opinion. You hang in there and just be YOU !!! :)

Becky said...

Thank you for sharing your insights in growing out the grey! I started going grey at 14 and only colored my hair a few times in high school. I'm now 36 and nearly all white headed! It is absolutely my signature, and you are right, I get compliments ALL the time. I am always encouraging ladies to "embrace their grey" - it's so much easier and cheaper! FYI, my hubby totally loves it. In fact, he would be bummed if I colored it!

Unknown said...

I have also taken the "plunge" into growing out my gray. I had long hair and have recently had it cut into the short pixie. I LOVE IT! I never received the compliments that I am getting now. Complete strangers (mostly men) say that they find it very attractive! I was putting it off for quite some time now. I thought gray hair equals old woman. NOT TRUE !

Lauren said...

Hi Becky and Donna!!!

So nice to meet you both! WOW! We've all had similar experiences....finding out after going gray, how much we actually loved it, and others as well! Isn't it nice to hear positive feedback on the gray? I was so worried that people wouldn't like it. Hooray for gray!
Thank you for sharing, it's really wonderful. :)
Lauren :)

Unknown said...

Such a great seven point journey. I'm at 11 weeks. I wear my hair above shoulder, layered and curly. I do straighten the bangs, I've always equated straight bangs with glamour for some darn reason. I have dyed my hair, well, since 19. I wasn't gray, I just liked experimenting, and then mostly highlighted my brown hair. I started seeing gray sometime around 43-45 years old, so I starting dyeing and adding lights. What a job, what a pain, what a parade of results and damage. But I have a youthful face and I thought this was the way to staying young. I'm now 54. I still have a youthful face, but I'm 54. I have a young friend who is nine years younger and she has been my inspiration. She is a deep brunette who started graying early and she dyed her hair for maybe two minutes in the scheme of things. Then she just went with it. So now, with trepidation, excitement, daily terror and a bit of delight thrown in, I'm doing it too. But boy, this better grow out QUICK! Thanks for the blog. You rock!

Amy said...

I have probably read over your blog 5+ times and get off thinking, "I AM IN!" and then 2 weeks later find myself sitting with color on my hair just like I do EVERY MONTH! God graced me with my first "noticed" strand at age 18 and they have multiplied exponentially in the past 22 years. I turned 40 almost a year ago and since then have grown out a front streak where it naturally parts. I get tons of compliments and "looks" but don't let the snide ones get me down. I have a few questions for you that really have nothing to do with the going gray process but how to dealt with other aspects of "working what God gave you". My husband is 4 years younger than I am and we have 2 children (10 and 7), do you or did you ever have an issue feeling sexy, attractive to your husband? I realize this insecurity comes from what society has fed my head but I just need to know. I am also in the "beauty industry" and wonder how my transition would be viewed. I think people would love it, it's just a big step. Thanks for sharing from your heart!

Lauren said...

Hi Meg!!! Thank you so much for your comment and for taking the time to write! It sound like you rock too! :)
Ok, you mentioned a bit of trepidation and terror about this new journey, BUT I also heard you say "excitement" and "delight" and THAT is why I know you'll be TOTALLY successful in this growing out the gray thing if you want it! Oh Meg, it is so scary to see the gray come in, but it's all in the way you look at it, and it can also be amusing! I think you know that, it sounds like you're off to a good start! :)
I hope your hair grows quickly too. I can barely remember my growing out phase. I promise, once it's said and done, you'll feel like it was just a small "blip" in the grand scheme of things. Hang in there, it ends up being SO nice when you don't have to worry about root touch-up and hair dyes anymore.
Congratulations Meg! Thanks again!!!
Lauren :)

Lauren said...

Hi Amy!!!! It's so nice to meet you!!! Thank you for leaving a thoughtful comment, and for sharing your story. I know hoe difficult it is to start the growing out process, and even more difficult to stick with it! I COMPLETELY get where you are coming from. When you're truly ready for this inside, when this is what you really want, I know you can do it! It definitely takes commitment, but please don't give up. For me, it was almost not an option to continue dying or not, as I'm allergic to hair dye and was having bad reactions. That extra
reason helped me eventually grow out my gray hair. But, I will tell you, it came to a point for me, where my hair was such an unnatural color from years of dying and using henna. I just wanted a fresh start! Even more so, I was concerned about all of the chemicals in the hair dyes. I was just ready to give them up. Think about what your personal motivations are and why they feel important to you, and remind yourself everyday! That can help! :)
Your front streak of great sounds FANTASTIC! The fact that you receive compliments on it REALLY makes me think that someday when you grow out all of your gray, you'll receive even more! It's not easy to look past the stares or the negative comments, but in complete truthfulness, I was shocked that once my hair stated growing in and I got past the "skunk stripe" phase, I rarely heard a negative comment again! Now I never do! You'd be surprised, I think people will really embrace your new look.

Thank you for your questions on feeling attractive after going gray. That is such an important question. Thanks for bringing it up. I'll tell you, there was only one time that I felt truly down-in-the-dumps about the gray and worried that my husband might not find me pretty anymore. It's when I first started growing out my hair and I had a white 1" stripe down my part. He asked me if I was sure that I wanted to do this. I kind of twisted that question in my head, and worried that it meant HE wasn't sure that he wanted a wife with gray hair. You know what though? My husband is my BIGGEST gray hair supporter!!!! :) In the end, it was actually me who had to wrap my head around this new look. If your husband is supportive, that makes all the difference in the world. I hope you have a supportive group of friends and family too! :)
One thing that I suggest, is paying a lot of attention to your other aspects of beauty, just to help you feel your best. I made sure to dress in a way that I felt pretty, I did my make up each day (only do this if it's something you enjoy), I tried new accessories and found colors that looked nice with my new hair color . Just things like that. It can end up being a lot of fun!

In the end it all worked out. I know it will work out for you too Amy! If you are ready and it's the right time, you'll grow out your gray hair. And, if you're not ready yet, that's ok too!

I hope this helps. Thanks again. It's very nice to meet you!!! Good luck Amy!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...


I really enjoyed your blog. I have been growing out my hair for 4 months now. I had to dye my hair every 2 weeks and hated it. I had breast cancer and did not want to have chemicals in my body. Nobody in my family has been supportive but I don't care. I am doing this for me. I was feeling a bit down since my hair looks really bad now. You have a great way of getting your cheerful personality across to me. I am getting a short pixie before Christmas so I am almost there. YOU look beautiful in your pictures. Thanks for the encouragement.

Lauren said...

Hi there Anonymous,

I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles. I hope that you're doing well and feeling healthy as we go into the new year. I know that it's very difficult to be positive about all of this gray hair business, especially when we don't receive that oh so important support from hose around us. I need to tell you something though, following your heart and doing what is right for YOU is such an important thing for your body, mind and soul. I'm with you 110% of getting away from the chemicals that you can. This isn't just a cosmetic choice, you're also taking a stand about what you will and will not put in your body!
Keep doing what you're doing, by finding support and friendship from others going gray around you.
When I first started my gray hair journey, I had some nay sayers , but as your hair grows in and settles into a new look, people came around. Actually, everyone against my grays ended up really liking them! So, please hang in there ok! Know that I'm here cheering you on and sending a hug! (>^-^)>

Unknown said...

Lauren reading this post its as if you have read my mind. I have travelled a bit of the same path and wish I had come across this in February 2013 when I started my journey. Theres lotw to comments that I will make my way through to get more tips. But I will say that like you being 36 I want to still feel youthful and beautiful so your tips and journey is immensely helpful. Esp as I have long curly (also ditched dryers another lesson on its own) hair which I cant give up. ITs been rough going. So I relate to what you sharing esp the part of not wanting to skip mid life from 30 something. Thank thank thank u. Lots of admiration.

Lauren said...

Tasneem, you are absolutely GORGEOUS! Your hair is so so beautiful! It seems like you're well on your way. Thank you for the comment. I know! I wish I would have found you sooner too! Thank you for the support!!!! I find inspiration from you too!

Unknown said...

hi lauren, i'm glad i found your blog.
letting go - and going gray has been on my mind for 4 years since turning 40. i've decided its become an unnecessary waste of hours spend on something unnecessary - coloring my hair? when i have a dozen other more important things to do and to spend my money on. : P
yes, i loved my natural color 20+ years ago when it existed, and all the shades in between from "playing with my hair" aka coloring it. but i'm pretty much over it.
I'm about a month and one inch into the process of growing gray and am excited to be done with the whole coloring procedure. completely liberating, not scheduling a touch up in my bathroom every other week, and teaching my kids how to help me "see" the back of my head.
your photos are cute, and thanks for posting them. now i find it so silly how much attention i've given to hair-color for so long.
i'd like to make the transition to the fab-50s without the bother of touching up what everyone already knows is there : )
i'm thinking of going cold turkey without touching it up, and just letting it be, since i wear it slicked back in a convenient pony (Instant facelift). i might slap on a hat on occasion, but other than that i actually like the look - like tinsel. my kids are mixed about it, but i said it's my wisdom shining through. haha. and hubby hasn't griped because he doesn't have to hear me beatching about roots that didn't take the color. and i like not having the look of a crime scene in my bathtub.
thanks for letting me vent and share, because most of the people that know me and see me now think i'm nuts and that i don't have the guts to do it, because i've tried and caved in before.
that was then, this is now.
i'm pretty sure i'm totally done with color.
i'll keep checking your blog for support just in case : )

Lauren said...

Hi Debbie!!!!

It's so nice to meet you! I loved your comment. It sounds like you're one your way! :) YOu can do it Debbie!!! And it sounds like, of you already have an inch of growth, that your hair grows quickly. That's fantastic!!! And I'm with you, it's wonderfully liberating not to have to make a MESS of the bathroom every month with the hair dye. Oh man, SO nice to get away from that! Here's a tip, finding a support system whether around your or online is so important. We really need to cheer each other on! Hang in there though, you'll laugh, my nay-sayers ended up LOVING the gray once it started to grow out a bit. They'll come around! I think you will look beautiful, and I'm so happy for you.
So keep chugging along, know that you can do this and soon your gorgeous silvers will really shine through, and that your silver sisters are here for you!!!!
So nice to meet you!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lauren for this post I've been dyeing my hair for the past 10+ years and at 35 have decided its time to see what's under that decade of dye! Only two months in so long way to go but enjoying the adventure, so far I've had only neutral or negative feedback from family and friends which is a shame and makes finding your blog all the more important to me! Its good to know I'm not actually mad to be going (well really showing) grey hair in my 30s and to learn from your experience of the process. So thank you for your light-hearted informative take on going grey and I love your hair :) x Cait

Lauren said...

Hi Cait!!!

Thanks so much for your sweet words and for writing. I feel for you because I know that often times, family and friends can just not envision the "end product" when look at a couple of inches of white roots. Please please hang in there! All it takes is a bit of time to turn those negative and neutral responses into positives!
Even some of my very pro-hair dye friends and family started LOVING my grays once they were grown out. It just takes time, but don't let the nay sayers get you down, ok! Like you, I dyed my hair for a decade. I'm so happy to be done with that, and my hair has never been healthier.

We're all in this together. You can do it! :)

RevJan said...

Hi Lauren,
I have decided it's time to shine! I found your blog while surfing for gray hair transformation and makeup stuff.

I have been talking to my hair stylist for months about the possibility of going gray/white/whatever. She is totally against it. I am due for a color next week. I am going to tell her I am going to let my gray out. If she isn't able or willing to support me, I will find someone who can.

I have colored my hair for about 10 years. Never wanted to but people kept telling me I should. I finally gave in. That, however, was the old Jan. The real me is now in control!

I am a 55 year old ordained minister (pastoral intern at my church, too), school teacher, and seminary student. I will have a lot of folks to deal with - church, work, especially my second graders! :) I know I will have resistance from a couple of co-workers who I mentioned the idea to. But that's their problem.

I decided I wanted to go natural because I want to be more congruent and authentic. At 55, I look in the mirror and see wrinkles and older skin. I feel the aches and pains. But my hair says I'm younger. It is somewhat of a mental battle. I need to see and be who I am. I need to come to terms with my age (I'm not dead yet!) and accept that. That doesn't mean I will act old. I also don't think it necessarily means I will look old - just different. I've always looked young for my age, but I am beginning to show signs of age.

My last hair color was on November 7th so I am two months into the process (I usually got my hair colored every 8 weeks). I have about an inch of white/gray/whatever showing. I've been pulling back my hair all week looking at the color (or lack of!) and every time I do I smile at the possibilities. I am planning a whole new way of being! It's time to make myself over so that I don't look or act older than I am. I am overweight and I intend to eat well and exercise and take care of myself so that I will be a nice looking 55 year old (well, 56 year old or however long this takes) with beautiful natural colored hair!

I am actually quite excited - apprehensive about the transition period - but excited and determined!

I'll just tell anyone who asks that I am giving up hair color for Lent . . .


Lauren said...

Oh Rev Jan, WOO HOO!!!!!! It's time for the authentic YOU!!!! I absolutely LOVED your comment. You are so inspiring with your commitment to learning about and accepting the "Real" you with open arms. I just love and respect that so much. Jan, I'm telling you, especially BEFORE you grow out the gray, people will say not-so-supportive things. Even two month in like you are, because they can't picture the end look. By the time my grow-out phase was done, I received nothing but positive input, even from the most staunch anti-gray friends and family in the beginning. I can not express enough, how much I believe if you just hang in there, you'll LOVE the end results. AND, as crazy as this sounds, often times gray hair actually looks softer, less harsh and YOUNGER than over-dyed hair. I'm not saying that your hair looks dark and over dyed, but more often than not, like my dyed hair, it just looked dark and flat after coloring it for a decade. The gray bring a luminous glow to surround your face! It's wonderful.
Love your plan about switching hair stylists if your current says "No!". You just surround yourself with positivity, ok Jan! I'm here for ya too. :)
Thanks so much again for the comment. Welcome!

Unknown said...

Nice post, the lost of Tips for Choosing a New Hairstyle

Anonymous said...

What a creative and inspiring group of women...Rev Jan's comment "time to shine" struck a cord with me for my favorite dance teacher used to say that. She died of cancer many years ago....
I started growing my now mostly grey hair out 11 months ago when I had shingles and did not want to put the hair dye on my open wounds. I got a good start then and said "now is the time to keep going". There were times I considered going back. My daughter sold all my stash of dye on ebay and I wanted to set a good example for her so I am committed.
About half way through I also learned that hair dye is associated with Lymphoma cancer, not just the black color they once suspected so that in it's self should be motivating.
I like the Bardot hair styles that are re-emerging and try to flaunt my six inches of growth instead of hiding it, wearing it proudly.

Lauren said...

Hi Teresa!

Thanks so much for your comment, what a story! I'm so sorry about the way you started the growing out of your grays, but I'm so glad that eleven months down the road, it sounds like everything is good! I've heard that shingles are the worst. :( I'm so sorry.
What an inspiration and role model you are to stick with the gray for your daughter. That's awesome. Yes! I'm with you about the chemicals. I've read some of that as well. I'd rather not use dye month in and month out. Well, you just rock your Bardot hairdo with your silvers and be proud! :)
Thank you again for stopping by!!!!

Anonymous said...

What about the idea of using non-permanent dye for the transition period?


Anonymous said...

What about the idea of using non-permanent dye for the transition period?


Lauren said...

Hi Lisa!

Thank you for your question about non-permanent hair dye. It's a very good question and one that I have asked myself before!

Here's what I know... One thing is that many people, including myself, stop dying our hair because of allergic reactions, and because we don't want to continue putting such major chemicals on our hair. So, if either or both of those reasons are the case, continuing with non-permnent dye is kind of a no go.

For those of us who are not allergic and not wary of the chemicals, you could try to continue with non-permanent dyes, but here are the two problems that I see..... One thing is, is that many truly non-permanent dyes don't end up having great coverage once your hair is quite gray. I'm just throwing a number out there, but if you are 60% or more gray, you might now be getting uneven results. I have tried rise-out color and that just turned my grays a pale brown. It was as obvious or more obvious than before. More so though, I have never trusted the semi-permanents to wash fully out. I used them for years, and also seemed to have a touch of color left over. All hair is differently porous , you just have to be careful.
It would be a bummer to use non-permanents and end up after the transition with a head full of dull, brown-white color, when your true silvers are bright and shiny! :)

I'm a big proponent of the super scary, but quickest and most healthy version of the grow-out process....just jumping in! High light and low lights for example are great! takes much much longer to reach your goal. Also, laying off the dye has done WONDERS for my hair. When everything was said and done, I was left with a head of soft, gray hair!

Also, as everyone learns, deciding to go gray is such a lesson confidence. Having the courage to face the world with your gray growing in, is part of the courage and bravery that it takes to show the world your grays too.

I hope this helps. This is only my opinion, so perhaps some hairstylists have better information for you and additional solutions. Thank you so much again for taking the time to write Lisa! Please let us know if you find out that it can be possible to use non-permanents to ease the transition.
Take care!!!!
Lauren :)

Poupette said...

Hi Lisa!

Lauren makes very good points! As always :) And I do think that if you do have the guts to jump in and embrace both white roots and the subsequent pixie, then you should definitely go for it!! As long as YOU know what you want and you don't care what people will say about it (which you should definitely not care ;) ), you'll do great!

Like you, I was unsure for the longest time, and it took a few years before I was fully ready to go gray :)

Since I have mid-back brunette hair, and no intention of cutting, I was really weary of the said skunk stripe, and I did decide to go with semi-permanent dyes for a couple of years to try and soften the roots when I would eventually stop dying.

I've never regretted doing so! Like Lauren said, the semi-permanent dyes did not offer full coverage on the grays, but pretty much let them shine through a veil of color, which made them look like very natural highlights.

A year after my last color job (15th jan 2013), I'm pretty much 1/3rd into my gray-voyage and am very happy! Yes, I do have awkward cold-silver roots and oxidized coppery tips, but it's my hair, and I love it! (you can see pics on my blog)

Have fun with your journey and keep us posted!!! :)

Lauren said...

Thank you Poupette!
I'm so glad that it worked for you. That's great. Thanks for sharing!

Kristel said...

Hi Lauren. I'm so happy I came across your blod whilst researching ways to go grow. After at least 20 years of dyeing my hair and being sick of the chemicals,the awful brassy blonde colour after a few washes and unhealthy frizzy straw like texture I finally stopped four months ago. Its a tough journey and whilst the silver looks good the yellow blonde looks dreadful. What keeps me going is the hope my gray hair looks healthier and fuller. I have very fine hair and whereas there used to be plenty of it it is now much thinner. I noticed I used to shed like mad 2-3 weeks post colouring and now I only lose a normal amount so I'm hoping the overall thickness improves too.

Anonymous said...

Glad to find your blog post. I was searching the internet for advice and encouragement about letting my white hairs grow in. (I've colored them for years and colored my hair period since I was a teenagers). I was getting discouraged finding every page of advice being for or by people in their 50's.

I feel happy and encouraged just finding this page for people around my own age! Yay!

I am just 5 weeks into the plunge and feeling impatient and wishes the next year to fly by so I can cut my hair into something decent.

Thanks for your post!

Lauren said...

Hi Kristel!!!!

Welcome and congrats on being so far along in your transition to gray! :)
Oh I know! I know exactly what you were talking about with the brassy tones and hair falling out post coloring. That part is the pits.
But good news! Honestly Kristel, I don't know the exact reasoning, but the texture of my hair is sooooooooo much nice AND since I'm not using dye, I'm not shedding! I do feel that as long as it was dye related, your hair will stop shedding and hopefully will get back to it's more thicker self! :) I have also found that now my hair is not so dry, so it's bouncier and looks fuller. YAY!!!
Good luck to you Kristel!!! Don't give up. I promise you'll love your new hair SO much! Nic ego meet you!!!

Lauren said...

Hi PrairieSunflower!!!!!

I'm so glad that you've fun us. :)
You know what? Five weeks is a LONG time to be into the grow out. You'll be done before you know it! These first couple of months or so are the most trying, but once you're through it, you'll be so happy! I'm glad that I could help a little. It really works out in the end. Thanks for stopping by. Let us know how things are going!

Anonymous said...

You are so right when you say peiple can't "see" the end result. My.mother was almost combative when I told her I was going to let the silver shine and my husband said please don't. My very dark brown hair has to be dyed every 3 weeks since my hair grows very fast and I am just sick if it. When I see women my age (48) with obviously died hair (usually much too dark for their older faces) I think gosh I do not want to look that way! I come from the late '80's early 90's gerneration and we all had beautiful super long and super big hair. Everyone thought I had jut the greatest hair. But now it's just a middle aged dye job! ;) So I hope I stick it out. I got a short cut the other day (not pixie) and my hair is mostly white so going rogue will be painful. But as I told my mother and husband and daughter and I need to remind myself, "Just think how great super white hair, green eyes, with red lipstick will look." Dramatic and different. It's time to stop just being one of the crowd. ~ Janet

Lauren said...

Hooray for individuality Janet!!!! Your comment was so inspiring! Thank you for taking the time to write. I'm with you, white hair, green eyes and red lipstick will look gorgeous!!! :)
The end product will be sure to impress. I couldn't even imagine what my gray would look like grown out. I just kept seeing the "skunk stripe". So glad you're hanging in there!
Thank you again Janet!
Lauren :)

Kristel said...

Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement - this means a lot to me as it's not easy to go against convention. I'm interested that you also experienced shedding post colouring. Mine always stopped after a few weeks then start after I'd had another colour. It didn't matter if it was a full colour or highlights. Hairdressers always denied the shedding was caused by the colour but I guess they would as they wanted my money. I think ut probably was an allergic reaction as my scalp always stung after they'd put the colour on. My other question is how did you deal with people's comments about the dreaded skunk stripe. I work and know that colleagues comment about other people's hair so I know I've got that to face.

Lauren said...

Hi Kristel!!!!

Thanks for writing again. Oh, I totally DO think that shedding of hair can happen from hair dye and other things like even blueing shampoo, which I've used. I've noticed that after dying my hair, I would loose more hair while rinsing than usual for sure! I figured that it was the harsh chemicals. You have a VERY good point about it possibly being from an allergy though. Also, if you think about it, we run dye through our hair when it is wet, which I'm sure would lead to some breakage. With shampoo, I tend to be more gentle.

About the skunk stripe comments. :(
This is just one of those times when you just have to do your best to let any comments roll off your back. I looked at it for what it was..... I did have a skunk stripe. I hated it, but I knew that it was only temporary. If people want to be rude and have negative comments, so be it. I think keeping your eye on the prize- a head full of beautiful silvers down the road, and reminding yourself that it's only temporary will really help. :)
This was also an exercise in learning that in such unimportant matters of life, other people's opinions did not matter. They really don't. You need to stand up for you. All things must pass, even the skunk stripe! Just think about the silky soft, gorgeous hair that's yet to come!!! Yay!!!

I wish I had better advice on this, but it will be ok. And most people will not sad rude things to your face. And, if they do, meh! You don't need them anyway! ;)
Hang in there!!!!

Kristel said...

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement-this means a lot to me as it's hard to go against convention. I'm interested that you also experienced shedding post colouring. Mine would always stop after a few weeks and start when I had another colour done. I guess it was an allergic reaction as my scalp always stung when the colour was applied. Hairdressers always denied the shedding was due to the dye but I expect they just wanted my money. My other question is how did you deal with comnents about the dreaded skunk stripe. I work so will have to deal with comments at sone point.

RevJan said...

Hi Kristel,

Per the skunk stripe, I've decided to go on the offense. I went in to work on Monday and told everyone that would listen that I was going to let my natural color grow out. Then I started joking (maybe!) about wearing big bows on the back of my head and knitting lots of hats to wear as my hair grows out! I figure if I talk about it ahead of time, they will be less likely to comment. Also, it will be an adjustment for them, too, so I am trying to make the best of it and be goofy. If I talk about it and keep it light and not so serious, it seems to make them and me feel better about it.

I am only 8 weeks into my growth and it doesn't seem to be showing a lot (about an 1"). I know there are going to be times when I go UGH! but not yet.

Honestly, I am thinking of pulling my hair back and styling it a bit different to help the grey/white show some. Don't know why - I just want people to see it! Sounds weird, doesn't it! Maybe I want people to know that I am serious about this or maybe it feels kind of rebel-like!!

I think I feeling a little melancholy about the color I currently have because it is a nice color. But I LOVE my hair style (bob) and I remind myself that I will still have my nice cut. Also, I like this hair color better since it is getting lighter so that's good considering the fact that it will be a lot lighter by the time I am finished!! :)

I did call my hairstylist and told her that I WAS going to do this to see if she was going to have a problem with it (she has been trying to talk me out of it). Her response? "No problem at all." YAY! She gives the best cuts and I didn't want to lose her!

Anyway, be proactive, joke about it a little, and that might help ward off mean comments. I intend to stay upbeat as much as I can! I'm doing this for ME!

Lauren said...

Rev Jan, You are the best! HA!!!! I love your pro-active skunk stripe comments. Brilliant!!! :)
Also, I am so happy to hear that your stylist was supportive. How fantastic! I'm really happy for you.
Thank you so much for your help and greta suggestions!

Lauren said...


Hi! Wow, what a story! In the past 15-20 years, I've too had my fair share of hair dye experiences and "experiments". I think it must be part of life for some of us! :)
I'm sorry about the green tone. I've run into that with henna before. I'm glad it was fixed for you in the end.

As for adding in gray or silver streaks, I had the SAME question for my hairstylist when I started growing out my hair! She said, and I agree, that while that is possible, it would take so many steps to get me there, and in the process, which includes totally stripping my hair color, I would end up with parched, straw-like hair. Part of this journey with the gray is to HEAL my over-dyed hair, so this was't and option for me.

Just today as a matter of fact, I was doing my hair in the mirror. I was remembering longingly the days when I had brown hair. Then I realized how long my hair had gotten, and how every time I had attempted to grow my hair this long in the past, it was just a frizzy mess of long, very dry hair. Soooo, what I am getting at, is that it dawned on me that while my hair might be gray, it's so much more healthy and shiny and I can finally wear it long. It's kind of like a really awesome consolation prize! :)

Here is my two-cents on the dye thing as a whole, and I really really understand that not everybody shares my view, and that it ok! I think when growing out the gray, if you can, the very best thing to do, and the quickest, is to just jump in and forget the dye.

Here's why I feel that way....for one, dye with all of it's chemicals, is just not that great for us. I feel like, if you're going to stop, you might as we'll stop! Also, if you're going to end up with a head full of gray, you might as well take that route in a way that leaves you with the softest hair possible. Also I guess there really is a social/personal/self-growth component to all of this. I was really worried about what the skunk stripe looked like to the world. It was very difficult for me, but as my hair grew, so did my inner-self. In the end, now I know that it's ok to be myself. We don't have to please everyone else and society all the time.

I think I'm getting too deep an serious on this! The point is, do what works for you, and if a no-dye route happens to work, then you'll end up soon, with some nice, healthy hair! :)

So much luck to you. Hang in there, it gets MUCH easier soon!!!!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

A great blog! Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice. Have personally reached the half way point and wish my mad curly hair could cope with a pixie chop but no can do!!
Agree with so many of the comments the best blog I have found so far! Thanks again!

Lauren said...

Hiya Anonymous!

Thank you for the comment! Congrats on being half way through your grow-out. Mad curly hair can be SO cool! I bet it will look stellar!

Thanks again and nice to meet you!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

You make fantastic points and I think you are right. For about 1 1/2 years now I've given up all my hair products (shampoo, conditioners, etc) from the regular stores and have been buying a brand that is made of natural ingredients (no chemicals)... and the hair dyeing is like a nuclear attack on my hair each month!

So yes, just leaving it and waiting is a bit more relatable to what I am ultimately aiming for... and I certainly don't want to go for straw stripes! HAHA

I like what you said about healing as the hair grows. I shall remind myself of that every time I grow impatient... which is about every time I look in the mirror!

Lauren said...

Awww, hang in there PrairieSunflower. I know, it's a constant battle. You have to do what's right for you. Having been in your shoes though, I can tell you it'll work out in the end!
Sending lots of encouragement and a hug!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...


I started going grey at 15 (!?!?) and have been dying my naturally black hair ever since. I have gone back and forth with letting it grow out many, many times (Emmy Lou has always been my inspiration), and always cave at the one inch mark. I always said that I was going to wait until after I had kids, or wait until after I got married, but I am now about to turn 37, and not sure if my partner of 8 years and I will ever do either of those things! So.... I just realized that I have not dyed my hair for 15 weeks and I am digging it! The skunk stripe doesn't seem to be as noticable this time around.
About 2 years ago, I started going lighter - getting highlights and lowlights, to help mask the grey growth, and then this past summer decided I missed my dark hair, so I covered all the highlights up. But what I think has happened, is that because of the highlights, etc, it has made the growth look more gradual, even though my hair is back to dark. Does that make sense? Regardless, I have less of a skunk stripe and it is more streaky and looks great, especially when it is loosely pulled up.

Most of my friends are supportive - the odd one raises an eyebrow, but they all know how long I have been grey for, so they understand. My partner is supportive, but laughs, because he says - we'll see how far you get this time, before you cave and colour it back up. Ironic, since he is 1.5 yrs younger than me, and is a total salt and pepper silver fox himself!

My biggest concern was always for events while the stripe was obvious, but now that I know about the Roux Rinse, I think I will be making some purchases!

As for inspirations, I now have your picture pinned on my Pintrest board, as I hope my hair comes out just as awesome as yours! It is stunning!!

Lauren said...

Dear Anonymous!!!!!

I. LOVE.YOUR. COMMENT!!!!! :) <3

Thank you so so much for taking the time to write and share your story. I'm glad that you have a silver fox husband, but you sound like a silver fox yourself! !!!! :)
Congrats on being 15 weeks in, that's a lot! It sounds like you've put your fair share of dye time in since 15. I can not tell you how FREEING it is not to have to worry about roots and touch-ups. Hooray for you!!! I'm glad to hear that the "skunk stripe" this time around isn't as bad. Your description makes sense! And, definitely the roux and other "tools" help. Oh! And I am mid-post as a matter of fact, thanking about the half-up hairdo that I think you're talking about. Isn't it helpful? I think so, it helps me soften my look.

Well, it really is nice to meet you. Thank you so much again. Take care and so much luck to you!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...


On the subject of "we'll see how far you get"... when I told the colorist about my intentions and reasons for the extreme hair color change.... she gave me two £5 off my next color coupons. ROFL... Clearly she didn't feel I would be sticking to my plan!


You should make a spin-off fb group for this blog post, I'd join!

Lauren said...

PrairieSunflower - Ha! Did she really? Oh wow.....

GREAT idea about a FB discussion group. I just might start that somehow on the How Bourgeois Facebook page. Thank so much for the nice idea!

Unknown said...

Hot and unique Tips for Choosing a New Hairstyle

Unknown said...

Just when I couldn't take my grow out and was considering buying tint I stumbled on this site a few weeks ago. I'm hanging in there and starting to enjoy it.

Cut my hair shorter but not too short. Wear a head band sometimes.
Wash my a hear a tad more often. Look into the Soft Summer palette for ideas. Starting to go for more blue shades. Love pinks too. Gray/white hair is beautiful!

Lauren said...

Dear Marguerite,

I'm so so happy that you are hanging in there. I COMPLETELY remember that feeling of getting a ways into my transition to gray and then feeling like I just needed to go back to coloring. In fact, I did do that once, but it was mostly because I took on a fundraising position and knew that I was going to need to speak in front of hundreds of people. I worried about my stripe of gray! soon as that project was over, I started again with growing out the gray. I came to a point yet again, where it was incredibly hard to show that stripe of gray everyday. I don't know what kept me from ultimately giving in, but I somehow muddled through and I'm sooooo thankful for that.

Marguerite, you can do this! It sounds like with the headbands and your new shorter haircut, that you're WELL on your way to MASTERING this gray grow-out thing! That's fantastic!

Also, you mentioned one of the many perks of going-gray, a whole new you with a whole never color palette!!! Isn't it kind of fun!? I too love blue, I'm sure you look stunning! Oh and pink....just gorgeous. I'm not sure what your hair color was before, but mine was dark brown. Now with the gray, I am more able to wear some of my softer favorites, like some blue and pink pastels. It's fun, right!?
Thank you for taking the time to read and for you comment. Know that I'm cheering you on from Michigan Marguerite!!!

Unknown said...

Thank goodness there is support out there for us ladies who want to be au naturel. I've been dying my hair for over 30 years and am sick and tired of it. I have shoulder length, coarse, wavy hair with an attitude of its own. I needed someone like you to give me the boost to go gray. I have a 3 inch stripe that my husband abhors. he is so afraid I will look old! he's 60 and I'm 57. I always loved the way Katherine Hepburn wore her hair so proudly! Thank you for your blog! And you look fabulous! Andrea

RevJan said...

Well, I went in for my hair cut on Thursday (that was supposed to be my normal color time). And I found out that . . . I'm pregnant!! No, wait. That can't be right. I'm 55 and post menopausal . . . :D

She said in 9 months my natural (salt and pepper) hair will have grown out! I am so glad it is going to be salt and pepper and not totally white. I'm not ready for white, yet! She also said my current fake color will continue to fade so that will help the grey blend better. It is still pretty noticeable, though.

So, now I have 9 months to get the nursery - uh, I mean - the body in shape and play with make up and clothing colors. Fun!

My stylist still thinks I will back out - she wants to bet - but I won't back out. Whatever it looks like, it will be who I really am. It isn't easy realizing that I am older than I look, yet older doesn't mean old.

I have been looking around for other grey heads. They are hard to find! The few I have seen weren't the best examples because they seem to have left themselves go. Just a reminder to keep up my appearance regardless of my hair color!

I knew letting my grey grow was going to be soul searching and it already is. I am coming to grips with the fact that I am not as young as I look. It's ok, it's just a little grief work going on.

I am actually styling my hair so that the grey I have shows. Might as well jump in with both feet instead of try to hide it. Besides, it's the real me peeking out!

Press on, ladies! We can do this and we will be so proud that we did!

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration! You are gorgeous!! Your silver hair looks absolutely amazing on you! Your eyes look so pretty and bright!

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration! You are gorgeous!! Your silver hair looks absolutely amazing on you! Your eyes look so pretty and bright!

Anonymous said...

I'm playing with going gray but am wondering if there are any tips for those of us dealing with strands and not skunk stripe. My strands concentrate at the tips of a triangle on top of my head...

Katia said...

You Lauren are gorgeous! You look amazing with your beautiful gray hair!
I'm saying bye bye to my henna and hello hello to my gray hair :)
Thank you very much for the inspiration! <3

Annie said...

Hi there,
My name is Annie and I'm so glad I came across your blog. It reminds me of why I stopped colouring my hair at the tuned rage of 30. That was 8 years ago now. There was just too much of it and I'm now about 95% white. Tell you what, I get some amount of stares, compliments and unfortunately, some comments that can be a bit hurtful. You see, I have two young children and despite having a funky short hair cut and not too many wrinkles (ha ha) some people (upon initially meeting me) think I'm my children's gran. it's like taking a bullet, ha ha. I actually love my hair and there is not much I can do about it. I have brief moments when I think, maybe I should dye it again but I've been there and done that too many times between the ages of 15 and 30. My hair was in such bad condition when I stopped. Now, it's bright white. i am concerned with the way that society puts pressure on women to not go grey, That it's the worst thing that could ever happen to us. Its not and despite the odd negative comment, I think it's something that we should embrace if we want to. I meet so many women who get a bit jealous that I have taken the plunge. I guess, since I started going grey at 11, I've had enough time to accept it. It's one of the most liberating things that I have done and blogs like this will help me to keep check of my feelings of certainty? Keep it up gals and go for it if you want to. love love.

Ashley Bagley Nielson said...

you are insanely beautiful and i'm super jealous of your gorgeous gray!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this! I'm 36 and have been struggling with grey hair since my early 20s. I am sitting right now with the skunk stripe (which is magnified even more by my naturally jet black hair), but after reading this I am contemplating canceling my hair color appointment next week. You inspire me!

Anonymous said...

SO torn on this. I'm 59 and have been coloring my hair since I was 30. I know the day is coming soon so I ask myself, 'why not now?' Your blog has made me think I may be able to handle this!! Stay tuned...I'll definitely let you know what I decide!


Ashley E said...

Wow!! I just found this blog and I am totally inspired. I just recently decided to go back to school...well long story short I took 5 classes simultaneously and now I have a lot of gray hair sprouting out and I'm not going to dyt it I found my gray goddess inspiration pic for my hair

Thank you so much for sharing your story truly inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Had my first comment of shock and more shock from someone about my hair recently. It has been 2 months (I think) now. One of the ladies first to know about my change of color to dark asked me if I'd be staying dark now... I said that I wasn't going to be coloring my hair now... she couldn't understand this comment and said "But you'll be coloring the grey right?" LOL The rest of the conversation was quite incomprehensible to her and her portion ended with "but you are so young! you'll look old." I insisted I was sticking to it and her tone of voice, still shocked, gave me the firm impression that she will be an audience waiting for a train wreck. LOL I am now more determined than ever... now I have to show her how brave I am on top of all my other reasons!

And aside.... I am loving the sparkles (white hair) coming in... but.... not so impressed with my old natural hair color... looks so dull in comparison!

Beth said...

Hi Lauren, love your blog! Thanks so much for writing it! I'm 54 and have decided to go gray. But I'm a tiny bit concerned about the possible professional ramifications (I'm an attorney). I know that you're a fan of the all-or-nothing approach, which I also find attractive (faster and easier). But you did mention some possible stop-gap measures in your tips 4 and 5 -- using color in various ways to cover the skunk. Would it be possible for you to explain a little more the details of how this would be done? Thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lauren-

I just wanted to thank you for this blog. I Googled "young gray hair" and came across your picture which led to your site.

You see, I've been graying since I was 14 years old. I, like most teenagers, desperately wanted to fit in, and going gray in high school was my worst nightmare. After crying about it to my mom on several occasions, she allowed me to start dyeing it.

I'm now 26 and have been dye free for over 2 years. I hated the expense and the commitment. I would say I'm 50% white, so a true salt-n-pepper mix. I have experienced much of the same reaction that you have from strangers. I even had one teenage cashier say, "Oh cool! You are like Rogue from X-men!". So there you go, now I'm a superhero :D

Every once in a while I have an ugly day (which I had even when I dyed my hair brown), and I have to search Google for reassurance. Stumbling onto your blog was my reassurance tonight. So I thank you.

Sincerely, Caitlin

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I realize I'm not exactly your target audience, but please just bear with me here for a second..

I am 15 years old, 16 in a couple months, with a 52 year old mother. I think that grey hair is beautiful, and I've seen women rock it and still look graceful and young and feminine. (Your hair is gorgeous!)

My mom has thought about going grey, but I think it would make her feel old. Her self esteem isn't the greatest right now... She's not the tall, slim young woman she used to be, and I think having a teenage daughter reminds her of that. But I don't think that being over 50 means she's not beautiful. My mom puts herself down sometimes and it really makes me feel badly. I wish she could be confident in herself, because she's got a lovely smile and beautiful brown eyes. I think she sometimes limits her style options because she feels old and frumpy. She doesn't like having to dye her hair all the time, and she's never happy with the colour.

I know she's not ready to go grey yet, and I think part of that stems from her seeing her own mom go grey and she's afraid of looking old and afraid of embarrassing me, but maybe if she let her hair grow longer or tried something new it would give her the confidence boost she needs. She could never embarrass me. Both of my parents have aged fairly well. Do you have any ideas on how I could manage to help my mom embrace the way she is and increase her confidence and self-esteem? I just want her to be happy.

Thank you,
~ K

Anonymous said...

I am just shy of 48 and I am sick of the cost and time it takes to color my hair, however I have hair down past the small of my back and really really do not want to cut it. I side braid it alot, will that help during my transition period without doing the cut???

created to design said...

I have stopped dying my hair i have a melan flash and gray streaks....any help or tips for the fact that regrowth is darkish but have a line from years of dying hair the ends to midway are very red brown even thought I have not dyed hair since july last year. Hair does not bleach but feeling desprite to get rid of red.....

The Hair Transplant Surgeon said...

Thanks for sharing the nice information. I liked the post.

denise said...

Lauren, Thank you so much for this blog and the encouragement you give. I have just made the plunge into my own transformation (2 months into it) and I am so excited I cannot wait for the whole picture. I get more excited every day, as I have colored for many many years. I was even scared to tell my hair colorist--so lame. But she was as excited as I was... who knew? I will be following you look great!

Lauren said...

Hiya Denise!!!

Oooooh, I'm SO excited for you! I love your enthusiasm. :)
It IS exciting, watching your new color and look unfold. I remember that! Have so much fun, I bet you just love the end results!
Super happy to hear that you have a supportive stylist. That means everything! It sounds like you are off to an amazing start. Beyond just a start, two months is a long time in. Go you! Keep us posted if you feel like it.
xoxoxoxo, Lauren

Louise1965 said...

Hi Lauren!
Well, in a nutshell, my story sounds a lot like all the other silver sisters....48, 3 teenage boys, and I found my 1st gray hair at 12! Started dying my hair in my 20's for fun, then every month since! Decided enough was enough in November, and now it's early March, and I just chopped a good 6 inches off my hair!!! I may be going shorter too, not sure yet...anyway, I just wanted to thank you for being so honest and encouraging! I truly need all of your inspiration!

Lauren said...

Hey Louise!

It's nice to meet you! Congrats on your new gray journey! Although, if you've been hanging in there since November, that's quite a long time. Good for you! I was just saying this the other day, this early time of the growing out process is not the easiest, but there are SO MANY rewards for sticking with it. I hope you love your new hair as much as we love ours! Almost everybody I've met has said:" I just wish I had grown out my hair sooner!" It really is a nice adventure when all is said and done.

It's very nice to meet you Louise! Thank you for your kind words about the blog. I find encouragement and inspiration from readers like YOU!!! So thank you! :)

Re-Grow Hair said...

A great blog! Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice. Have personally reached the half way point and wish my mad curly hair could cope with a pixie chop but no can do!!

Lauren said...

Hi there!

Congrats on reaching the half-way point. That's a big deal! Ahhhh....I know, curly hair can be tricky. I used to have curly hair, but after having my son, it is more wavy than curry. So, I was able to try the pixie cut. With the curls from before, it would have been much harder. I agree with you. Congrats again, and thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment. Have a lovely day!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

HI All
its so nice to know that I'm not alone. When I told everyone that I was going natural I had a lot of negative comments, my Mother was almost hostile "You'll look like a witch" she said. Strangely all the positive comments I've had have been from men.
I started going grey at 14, my natural colour is light ash brown, so I started highlighting it. I'm now 46 and had forgotten what my natural colour looked like. I've dyed my hair blonde for so long that my hair won't accept colour anymore and it felt like straw.
I'm ten months into going natural. When I started I realised that at the front I'm almost 100% white, but further back my hair is growing in dark and white so it looked really odd with the rest of my hair light blonde-like a double skunk stripe. My solution has been to tint my white hair platinum blonde every couple of months whilst my dark hair grows in (I have really long hair and don't want short hair, so the pixie cut is out for me). So now my hair is graduated from almost white at the roots to light blonde at the tips. Its working really well and after a couple more tints I think I can stop altogether. Most people don't even realise I'm growing my hair out and I get compliments all the time about my hair being such a pretty colour. I just wish I'd done it years ago.


Lauren said...

Hi Denise!

Wow, what a neat way to do your grow out! I love that we can all "customize" the way that we go about it. I bet your color is as beautiful as everyone says!

I'm so sorry that you were met with negative comments in the beginning. (Except for the men!) :)
I hope as your hair grows and grows, that everybody will come around to realize how great it is! It sounds like you're well on your way to that.

Thanks so much for sharing your story. It helps all of us to know that we're not alone!

Have a GREAT week!
Lauren :)

Unknown said...

Lauren - may I say that you are absolutely gorgeous! I love the gray/white with your eye color, just stunning. Im 48 and have been getting gradually more gray every year. My 21 yo daughter is a stylist so she has been doing my color/roots.. . .but Im so tired of it! You are an inspiration to me. .. I just may try to grow it all out. . Im just a little nervous as I am an HR Manager and am worried about looking professional. I'll let you know how it goes! I love all your scarves, headbands and hats. . . you're adorable!

Lauren said...

Hi Lise!!!!

Oh yes, please do keep us posted! :)
It's so nice to meet you. Thank you for you kind words. I'm really glad that I was able to help a bit. I think that gray hair can still look very professional. It just depends on how you style it. I absolutely adore some of these gray hair makeovers. Several of these cuts are beautiful and feel very polished.

Thanks again Lise. You're so sweet. All the headbands and scarves, was so much fun! :)
Take care. So much luck to you. It sounds like you'll do GREAT!!!!

Tamra said...

I am 53 and went natural almost 2 1/2 years ago. I too, get compliments from strangers all the time on my hair and they ask where I have it done! I tell them it's natural and according to my stylist who has people who ask her to make their hair this color, there is no way to color hair gray.
I did not want to cut my hair either for fear of looking like my grandma. My Mom told me the only way to go gray was to cut my hair very short. I refused and kept it long the whole time. For a while, I used the color stick to camo the roots. After four months, I went to my stylist and asked for help. She gave me a few low-lights so my gray looked like high-lights and by the time the low-lights grew out....I was done. With the low-lights everything blended together and I never had to hide my hair. My hair, after a year of growing with only regular trims every six weeks, was almost completely gray and the previous dye was gone. My hair is naturally darker gray underneath in the back so if I pull my hair up it looks a little "different" but I don't care. The ease of not having to dye my hair after having done it monthly for over 20 years, and having to cover it for fear of fading,it is so freeing to let it go. I think one of the most important things to keeping your beautiful grays looking vibrant and young, is a good modern cut and keeping it shiny. I use John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze Clear Shine on my hair twice a week when I wash it, and a spray gloss if needed. Thanks for making gray ok with your blog! I love it!

Lauren said...

Hi Tamra!

Oh wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story and for your information. I just learned a ton! I love how seamless your transition sounds. That's just wonderful. Your stylist sounds very talented. It's nice that you were able to get good results without a hair cut! I will definitely look into John Frieda's Luminous Color Glaze Clear Shine and spray gloss. I agree that glaze can make a huge difference. Thanks again Tamra, so nice to meet you!
Lauren :)

Christa S said...

I am so glad to have found this thread!~ Thanks

Lauren said...

Hi Christa! Welcome! Welcome! :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
4 Life said...

OMG - YOU are GORGEOUS!!!! I just found your website because I was 'Googling' going gray. I'm Texas Playwright Chick over at and I'm doing the A2Z April Blogging Challenge AND, I'm doing a theme about women choosing to embrace their GRAY! LOVE YOUR SITE!!!

Would you be interested in being my 'L' day? You'd just do a brief questionnaire, and could do a guest post too, have some photos up & I also point and link them back to your site! Let me know, thanks so much!!!!

Lauren said...

Hi Cheryl!!!!

Oh my gosh, you are so sweet and so kind, and I absolutely LOVE your A to Z idea. What a wonderful resource to men and women who are going through the process of going gray! I just replied to your email, so hopefully you'll get it soon. Thank you so so much for believing in me and your kind note!
Lauren :)

Jennifer said...

I am 43 and naturally ash blonde; I have 3 boys (3,18,& 22), I have 1 grandson (nb).....I have a "clump" of grey in my bangs that people have teased me about for 3 years now and I don't know if I should dye it or not. I have single strands throughout also.Older friends love it though;being I have a 3yr old son, I'm afraid people will think he is my grandson!! I am at a loss in this decision.....any advice??

Lauren said...

Hi Jennifer!!!

Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your question. Congrats on your new, little grandson. How sweet. :)

So, your "clump" of gray hair in your dye or not to dye is the question! Here is my two cents, but you have to do what feels right for you. This whole going gray thing is essentially about doing what works for yourself and nobody else, because it really is going against a societal norm. As silly as that sounds.

I am assuming because you mentioned that you have other strands of gray in your hair, that you have not dyed your hair before, or at least in a while. If you like or do not mind your clump of gray, then I feel that it would be sad to start dying your hair because other people tease your, or because you have a fear that you'd be perceived as your youngest son's grandmother. (I want you to know that I am not discrediting that fear at all. I know it's very real. Once a small child asked if I was my son's grandmother. It is so so hard. I know...)

But, I personally believe that if YOU are ok with your gray, that the bad chemicals in hair dye, that one much re-apply monthly, the time, mess and money, it's not worth it.

Now, on the other hand, if the clump does bother you, and it bothers you not just because of the jokes, then I think it is ok to make the personal decision to start using hair dye. The only thing to consider is that down the road, should you then decide to discontinue using the dye, you will have to go through a transition period to your natural hair color. It sounds like you are already there!

People can be mean without even meaning to be (joking about our hair), and yes people stare and and mistake us for grandparents, but my mantra since growing my gray out had been.... "so what." This is funny because generally I care A LOT about what others think. A "so what" attitude can be very helpful in this. Also, sometimes when I get stares out in public, like last night when my family and I went to dinner.... I remind myself that they're only staring at my hair, it's just hair. I'm lucky it's ONLY a hair color and not something more serious. Does this make sense?

Anyway, Jennifer, you just follow your heart and do what your inner voice is saying is right for you. You can't go wrong with that!!! So much luck to you, you'll be ok!!! :) xoxoxooxoxo,

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much:) I have not only decided to keep my "clump" but also had my hair cut after 3 years! Locks of Love is getting a nice 'donation'. To all the teasers in many life......:p
Again, thank you for your really opened up my eyes.

Lauren said...

Hi Jennifer!!!!!

Oh my gosh, your comment is the BEST! Hooray, I'm so excited for you!!! It's not easy "embracing" the gray. I commend you, you've done something that many can not come to do.'re donating to Locks of Love. What an awesome person you are! :)
(I loved your tongue sticking out emoticon too.) :)

So bravo! Bravo! Cheers to your strength and uniqueness!

Anonymous said...

Hello Lauren! You look ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL (sorry I had to yell). I stumbled upon your blog just yesterday and could not stop thinking about it since...

I started to have white hair at the early age of 12 (oh yeah). It's a family thing; my mom had salt & pepper hair at a very young age and only started to dye her hair at 28. My dad met my mom before she started to color it and was fascinated by her salt & pepper hair! She looked as sophisticated as you! When I was 18,I was maybe 5 to 10% gray, mainly on top of my head, not so much at the back. I started to highlight my hair at home using drugstore kits and one time, I decided to have my whole head dyed at the salon. Needless to say, I've never stopped dyeing since. I just turned 29 and now I don't know how much white there is on my head, but I'm guessing at least 60%, as my skunk stripe is pure white.

Like you, I hate putting chemicals on my head every 3 weeks and I've recently had some health issues with the birth control pill which contributed to my growing awareness of possible dangers related to the chemical stuff we put on and in our bodies. I'm not allergic to the dye, but I still get the super fun itchy scalp for up to 2 days after coloring, even if I wash it thoroughly with shampoo. I feel like people are more tolerant if someone goes gray and says it's because of allergies, because it's a health issue. But if you're not allergic, people think "why on earth would you stop coloring?"-do you know what I mean?

When I saw your blog, I could relate to you immediately, as you are a very young woman with gray hair- and I mean no insult to mature women, you gals are awesome. I'm thinking about stopping the permanent dyes but I'm really afraid of what people will say at my new job (it's a serious office job, with serious professionals, so maybe it will not be seen favorably :S. I just wish I could disappear for a few months and reappear when everything is done or wear a hat at all times, but it cannot be done). I also know my sister is totally against it and I'm afraid that what she thinks will inevitably happen: I won't be able to pull it off, I'll look older, people will think I'm unkempt and weird or tell me I'm much too young to look so old.

When you were 29, would you have gone gray? If you weren't allergic, would you have done it? I'd really love to know your opinion about this. Your blog is an inspiration and your positive outlook on this subject is so soothing. Thank you so much for sharing all this information on your incredible journey! It's greatly appreciated! I <3 your blog!

-Gabrielle- :)

Lauren said...

HI GABRIELLE!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is in caps because it's me being so excited that you wrote!!!) :)
It's really nice to meet you!

Oh Gabrielle, your story, WOW. Thank you for sharing. I can't get over how early your family grays. Premature gray also runs in my family, but it sounds like you guys take the cake at just 12! I'm so sorry. As neat as a little "silver" can sometimes be, that just can't be easy at 12.

Ok, the first thing that struck me is that I LOVE your positivity! You mentioned that your Mom looked sophisticated with her salt & pepper hair before she began to use dye. So, from the sound of it, you know inside that gray can be good! (Thank you by the way, so much for you sweet, kind words about my hair. Thank you. <3)
Your open-mindedness to all of this is huge. It really sets you up for success if you do decide to stop using hair dye.

The other thing I noticed.....Gabrielle, you might be allergic to hair dye! I would think that the TWO DAYS of itchiness that you are experiencing after the dye....yeah...that is definitely a sensitivity if not an allergy. AND...many hair dye allergies start off with mild reactions and progressively become worse with each usage. I totally get what you are saying about people being more understanding if you have an allergy. I think though, you might!

What resonated with me the most though, was your talk about worrying about the chemicals and not wanting to put that on your body every month. For me, YES, that is so big. I know that I can't worry about everything in life, but when you can cut out some chemicals, it's always helpful to the overall picture. I used natural henna to dye my hair for a while. It's a neat product , but honestly, I was left with super orange hair that wasn't so shiny, a bit dry, and smelled like hay. Lol. Neat, but very messy too.

Ok, so when I was 29...... You know, it's funny because when I was about 29, my friend who is a hairstylist said I was about 60% gray, just like you! I wanted to stop using hair dye because I was worried about the chemicals, but never seriously thought it was an option. I had become so used to dying my hair, it's just "what I did." One day when I was about 31 or 32, I went to the salon to have my hair dyed because I thought maybe a salon with a low ammonia , more natural dye would be better than what I could do at home. After a two-day headache, I swore I would stop dying my hair from then on, and I did! Two years of henna followed, but in retrospect, I wished I had just gone for the gray! My hair is so much healthier and soft now. It's night and day! Also, the freedom to not have to worry about your roots showing, it's FANTASTIC!

So....would I go gray at 29 if I didn't have an allergy? YES. Yes if I had reached a point where I did not want the chemicals anymore or had reactions (like itching!), or if I simply realized that I had the option to choose gray! :)

I'm sorry that you sister is not the most supportive on this, and I'm sorry about the worry that work might look down upon this new change. This is hard! It's difficult thinking about what everybody will say, but the truth is, you're doing this for YOU. For your health and for your needs. If you follow your heart and do what is right for you, more often than not, everybody else will come around. The transition to a head of gray isn't the easiest thing, but it also isn't the hardest. Time goes by, and before you know it, you're left with a beautiful head full of silvers and you learn a ton about your self along the way! Oh, and I would bet that you will receive way more compliments than you would ever imagine! :)

So that's the scoop! Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment Gabriella. I'm really glad that you're here. Thinking of you lots! FOLLOW YOUR HEART!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Lauren for your kind words of wisdom! I'll definitely look into the dye sensitivity which you talked about. I guess I never looked at it this way, because I never had a huge reaction like swelling and rashes. I thought the discomfort was generally felt by everyone who got this stuff on their head. LOL.

I will try to follow my heart, this is really good advice. In the end, I guess it all comes down to this. I also found the Roux 'Tween time touch-up stick at the drugstore and I'll try to give it a go for some time, just to see if I feel comfortable with the process of going gray for now - I have your post to thank for that!

Thank you again for your lovely response, it was more than I could have hoped for! And thank you for being so supportive of your fellow silver sisters! <3 Looking forward to reading more from your blog!

-Gabrielle :)

Lauren said...

Hi Gabrielle!

Oh you are so welcome. Thank You for your readership and having the courage to put your story out there. I'm glad that I could help a bit. Everyone's experience, needs and story is different. All we can do is try to find what's right for us, and then do the best we can! Not matter what path you take, gray hair or not in the end, I'm here for ya! So nice to meet you and thank you again! :)

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