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. πŸ’–

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! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
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! πŸ˜ƒ

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! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜…πŸ˜‚


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Anonymous said...

Lauren, you are inspiring. I am growing my grey hair out. It is almost black in contrast to the mostly white/silver growing in. The skunk stripe is gaining strength. I'm adding my two cents here. My struggle has been lack of support. I am only 41, but started grey-ing at 18. The majority of my friends and family think I am far "too young" to go grey. I am tired of dyeing it every TWO weeks. I buy crappy, box color because I can't afford the "good stuff" and I certainly can't afford to have it professionally done that often. Very, very few people have been supportive of my decision. They say it will age me "ten years". I'm not sure if I even care. I want to be "natural". I want to stop dyeing. I want to embrace my reality. Even my kids are feeling unsure about it. My husband is one of the handful of people that is supporting my choice. He loves me no matter what. But, I can't help but have second thoughts due to the endless negative comments I receive. I think it's their own securities being projected onto me. Anyway... I guess I am writing for some further encouragement and support. I think you look incredible! And you are certainly an inspiration! Thank you!

Donna said...

I think you're my "Grey Goddess Inspiration"!

Lauren said...

Dear Anonymous with the FABULOUS sounding black and silver hair!

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I think YOU HIT IT ON THE HEAD.....yes! Those negative comments that you've been getting from some family and friends, that's all about THEIR insecurities. People mean well, they want to help you look your best, but the thing with gray hair is, is that it's just hard to picture that "end product!" Nobody can foresee how you'll look once your silvers grow in. I had no idea myself, I just had to hold my nose and jump in! :)

Today, some of my nay-sayers are my BIGGEST fans of the gray. Isn't that funny? I bet the same will happen for you! And, by the way, with a supportive husband like you have, that makes such a positive difference. You take that support and run with it! You can do this!

Two big-picture things to remember:
#1.) After you grow out your gray, if you don't like it, no big deal! You can ALWAYS go back to hair dye. There is no harm in just trying the gray. Really!

#2) I have to remind myself of this one often, but it's just hair. It's just hair! There is so much more in life that weigh more heavily in the grand scheme of things, than our hair color. Even if you had a hair color that you liked, but not everyone else did, that's ok! What matters is that you're a nice, good person....which I can tell you are!!! :)

Please hang in there and follow your heart. All this great hair stuff isn't easy, but after a while, it gets much much easier. Even fun!!!
Thinking of you! Thanks for writing!!!
Lauren :)

Lauren said...

Dear Donna,

THANK YOU!!! What a high honor!!! I am so grateful! :)


Lauren :)

Unknown said...

Hi Lauren! I really loved this! Actually, I am a cancer survivor and my hair has since grown out and is to my shoulder blades now-with slight layers and a little bit of bangs- anyway-Ive been coloring my hair for a while-it has a reddish tint to it - my natural color is showing big time on top with a lot of gray- I am ready to go gray....but ftruggle with the reddish tint in the longer parts of my hair- the graying process would be easier for me if the red was OUTTA here! My natural color is dark brown-no red at all and looks right with the gray.....I want a haircut but want the longest I can have- Im struggling with what to do to make this graying easier....I think it is making me feel old that I am giving in to the gray...and I don't want that! I just wanna be natural whatever it is! Thanks for your blog- it's very helpful......wish me luck with this! :) Debbie

Ali said...

I am sticking with it! And, yes... There are FAR more important things to concern ourselves with. And it IS just hair. Your outlook is contagious, fun and motivating! I appreciate you. I am not the most patient person... So, the waiting is difficult. I am very anxious to see if my grey/silver hair does, in fact, age me ten years. But, hoping I will love it! It will be such a change... Essentially from black to white! Ahhhhh! I can only pray that it turns out beautiful. My dream is long, silver hair! I have cut my hair super short SO many times and now want to grow it long. I figured this would be the best time to let the grey grow as well. Thanks, Lauren!

Ali (Previously Anonymous)

Angelica said...

Thank you so much for your blog! You are gorgeous and your hair looks great on you!

My first gray hair came in around my early 20's. I didn't pay much attention to it then because I was coloring my hair a beautiful, vibrant red. I've been coloring it red ever since then and I loved my red hair. My natual hair is growing out more of a brown, not sure if it is ashy or just dark brown yet.

At 39, I decided that it was too much trouble to continue to color my hair every 2.5 weeks. I decided to be who God created me to be. I really didn't know who that was under all that red dye but I was willing to see for the first time since my 20's who that was.

My gray hairs are mostly at the crown of my head; all around my face. I don't have many anywhere else. They are scattered elsewhere. I'm not only dealing with growing out my gray but also seeing the original hair color that God gave me naturally. Let's just say that, so far, my natural haircolor is not as vibrant as my choice of red hair. I am only 6 months into growing out my grays.

My hair is now a bit long and I love long hair. Let's now add in my age and the fact that my hair is starting to feel a bit less weighty. It used to feel like a horse tail but not so much anymore.

My son pointed out that I'm starting to look old. I love how honest kids are. He saw pictures of me with my red hair and asked me why I don't go back to looking like that. I've been able to keep walking forward in my journey of letting my gray hair grow out but have felt a bit alone in that walk...until your blog.

I want to thank you for that. I've been through so many changes that it's all a bit much to take, to be honest. The differences in the hair, the getting older and hitting 40, plus I lost a ton of weight due to stress [I know that sounds like a good thing but you can be too thin and I'm getting there].

I have been doing very well in appreciating the woman God made me. It's just hitting those road humps where I have difficulty expressing these things to women who just aren't at the point of accepting themselves yet. They do not understand and just look at me with their beautiful doe eyes in wonder as to why I would choose to do such a thing.

I guess I just needed the right audience. Thanks for being an inspiration to me. I don't think I was really ever going to give up just because people don't understand my decision to show my grays because I'm not that type of person. What this did, was give me an appropriate outlet to express something I just haven't given a voice. And your courage gave me the peace about mine.

On a positive note, my grays are more on the silver side so I'm happy about that.
Thank you!

Lauren said...

Dear Debbie!

My heart is smiling for you right now. You are a survivor! You are strong! You can do ANYTHING! :)
Thank you for writing and telling me a bit about yourself. I so believe that this whole gray hair stuff will be easy as cake for you.

So you have silver and you have your natural brown, and then you have some reddish brown on the ends. I'm with you on wanting as much of the ends off, but while still keeping as much length as possible. I get that! Here's what I suggest. First, have fun and look around online and in magazines for cute haircuts that you really love. Haircuts that really sing to you! Cut them out, print them out, then go to your salon. Being very up front and specific about what you want in a hair style is just fine. Let your stylist know your plan of growing your gray out. If he or she is not supportive, it's time to find a more positive professional. I bet you'll get encouragement though. Make a game plan for how you're going to grow that gray out. Stylists can be HUGE help!

Honestly, for me, just getting a hair cut and jumping in worked well. It was hard, but no fuss and seemed to go by quickly. Some people highlight and lowlight as their gray grows in. That's great! does draw out the process for a while, and you're still using the chemical dye. Sometimes a straight forward route is just that, straight forward and to the point!

In the end, if you stick with it, being "natural" feels so nice. I love not worrying about messy hair dye anymore, or henna, or concerning myself with my roots. It's fun to be a unique you! :)

So, that's the haircut scoop. If you have any other questions, please let me know!
Remember, this is all temporary. One day you'll have a beautiful head of silvers and the whole growing out time will be a thing of the past.

Thank you again for your kind words and touching comment! Go Debbie!!!! :)

Lauren said...

Hiya Ali!!!!

YES! Oh I'm so excited for you, and glad that you're sticking with it! All you can do is try it out. You can always go back.

I think you'll look amazing! You know, I used to have dark hair like you, and all I can say is that going from dark brown hair to gray, it kind of brightened up my face, brought more light in. It's less harsh and that's a great thing! I don't think it has to age you ten years. It doesn't on everyone!

So yeah, you hang in there, ok! Oh! Btw... you mentioned growing out your hair long. This is the longest my hair has been in a long long time, and it's all because my hair is finally healthy enough to grow to this length without total frizz! It's been FANTASTIC! You can do this too. It's so much fun.

Thinking of you Ali and cheering you on friend!!!
Lauren :)

Lauren said...

Dear Angelica,

The beautiful, heartfelt comment that you took the time to write and send, it had me feeling speechless. I was speechless because I was struck by your pure strength and grace, and awed by your determination. Rare is it to meet a new friend who is able to push through the questioning of their new gray hair, let alone to push through other hurdles like you have. Angelica, I have NO DOUBT that you will be successful and fine and just gorgeous! I think that, that beautiful inside of yours is also shining right through to the outside! You sounds as strong and vibrant as your red hair from before, just this time around, your silvers will twinkle and shine in their place! I'll be thinking of you lots and hoping that things get easier and family and friends more gentle. (Kids are great with their honesty. I have to agree. Perhaps like my son, once he sees how neat gray can look, he'll be one of your biggest supporters.) :) I'm sending so much love and cheer to you from Michigan. Remember that rocky patches always pass and that when we follow our hearts and hold true to our dreams, good thing will come!
Sending you a hug and THANK YOU for your kind words!

Lauren said...

Dear Angelica,

The beautiful, heartfelt comment that you took the time to write and send, it had me feeling speechless. I was speechless because I was struck by your pure strength and grace, and awed by your determination. Rare is it to meet a new friend who is able to push through the questioning of their new gray hair, let alone to push through other hurdles like you have. Angelica, I have NO DOUBT that you will be successful and fine and just gorgeous! I think that, that beautiful inside of yours is also shining right through to the outside! You sounds as strong and vibrant as your red hair from before, just this time around, your silvers will twinkle and shine in their place! I'll be thinking of you lots and hoping that things get easier and family and friends more gentle. (Kids are great with their honesty. I have to agree. Perhaps like my son, once he sees how neat gray can look, he'll be one of your biggest supporters.) :) I'm sending so much love and cheer to you from Michigan. Remember that rocky patches always pass and that when we follow our hearts and hold true to our dreams, good thing will come!
Sending you a hug and THANK YOU for your kind words!

Anonymous said...

I loved your post and have to say it is one of the best and only I have found for us youngsters going gray fabulously! Thank you for all of your tips!

I am 32 and have been going gray since I was in my late teens. I can blame this almost entirely on my father who was completely silver by the time he was 25. My sisters have both been fighting, and losing, the same battle of the grey as well. After years of covering my roots every 2-3 weeks because my hair grows insanely fast, I am so happy to be in the process of growing out my grey. I had been considering doing it for quite awhile just because of the sheer effort it takes to keep up with the roots, but I needed a little extra push to take the final step. That push came in the form of a rare type of nerve damage called Complex Regional Pain System (CRPS) that, among many other symptoms, affected my hands and made it incredibly painful to keep up with my roots at home. CRPS is rated as THE most painful condition know to science. It was actually my boyfriend who suggested that I stop coloring my roots. He thought that I would look just as sexy, if not more with the grey showing.

So here I am, about 2 months in and I am kind of loving it. My grays are coming in super thick around my temples and the entire crown of my face, and then the rest blends in with the multitude of natural "highlights" i have going on in my hair...It's actually looking great. The real test is seeing my mom, the biggest critic in everything I do! My boyfriend loves it though and so do I, so that is what is most important! I am also excited about the idea of no longer putting all those chemicals in my hair. With all of my medical issues, I am trying my hardest to keep any extraneous chemicals out of my body.

Thank you for you for your inspiration! Silver Sisters all the way!


Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and can't thank you enough! I recently started growing out my grey and was seriously considering dying it today… then I found How Bourgeois and it was just the motivation I needed to keep going. Thanks for rocking the natural gig! xo Natasha

Stephen said...

Thank you, Lauren, for the honest and upbeat post! This may surprise you, but you can inspire guys, too! Although many from past generations have said that a touch of gray looks "distinguished" on a man, I know many who are plucking grays, especially when we start young.

Being sensitive to many chemicals, and not wanting to pluck myself bald, I was looking into maybe using coffee on my hair.

After reading your story, I've reconsidered. I'm just going to keep my hair groomed and healthy, and accept my grays. My grandpa did it, starting at 18, so I can, too, starting at 20.

I also figure, if we are ever going to accept aging as beautiful again in our culture, the silver sisters will need some brotherly support. You look amazing, by the way, as do your blog commenters!

- Stephen

Lauren said...

Hi Courtney!

Thank you so much for sharing your story. How strong you are! First, living with CRPS , and then being brave enough to grow out your grays! You are a true inspiration to us all Courtney. <3 <3 <3

From the way that you described your hair, it sounds beautiful!!! I'm so glad that it is going ok. I know it can be rough, but the fact that you have a supportive boyfriend, that makes such a difference! I hope that you love your hair more and more as it grows in. I bet you will!

I hope too, that your Mom likes it. My Mother is my toughest critic as well. At first, she was unsure of the gray, but once it all grew in, now she is my biggest FAN! :) I bet your Mom will feel the same.

So nice to meet you Courtney. You hang in there with your hair and I hope you feel well. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Take care!!

Lauren said...

Stephen!!!! Hi!!!!

Oh what a sweet, thoughtful comment. Thank you so much! :)
I am thrilled that you wrote. You might be my first male commenter. Hooray! And, you have wonderful timing, because in fact, my friend Paul had just asked me about a post for men! He has some gray hair on his head, but also in his beard, and he was wondering about that.

I'm so sorry about your concerns over your gray. I can understand how you must be feeling. Plucking though, ouch! Glad you didn't undertake that! I think that gray hair on men looks FABULOUS. I really do. Many women feel it actually makes men look even more handsome. I agree! :)

I tried coffee on my hair like you mentioned! It didn't seem to "stick" very well, but I used to mix it in with henna to make it a bit more brown instead of red, and that helped.

I have to say though, there is nothing like the freedom of not having to dye or henna my hair at all anymore. And just like you, with a chemical sensitivity....I feel so so so much better not using them.

Thank you again Stephen. It's so nice to meet you. :) I wish you lots and lots and lots of luck! If you have any questions, I'm here to help! If I hear of any male-gray-hair specific tips, I promise to blog them!

You take car and have a GREAT week!
Lauren :)

meg said...

Hi Lauren!

i'm really glad to have found your post. I'm 29, turning 30 in about a month and have decided to let the silver happen. and I've decided to call it silver and not graaaaaayyy.

by the way- my mom is upset about the whole thing. she and my sister, both of whom are gray but dye every 6 weeks) said it was going to look terrible and i was going to look old when i told them about it- which is ridiculous and sad because i actually come from a huge, open family of oversharers and supporters of everything and'd think that going silver was like telling them that i was going to get a face tattoo. actually if i did get a face tattoo- it probably wouldn't faze them as much -which is insane because EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS GREY HAIR! Literally, everyone- it's the genes- mom, two sisters, brother--all of us since we were in our late teens/early 20s.

anyway- my husband is totally supportive of it (we got married in july), and I even cut my hair short to jumpstart the process (i've cut it pixie short before and it looks super cute if i say so myself). i just really appreciate that there are younger ladies out there that have gone/are going through the same process as me. whenever i do google pretty ladies with gray hair- most of them are 50+ and yes, while they're gorgeous...I have a hard time finding gals that look like me and are close to my age.

so..just thank you! any other tips are most helpful! how do you maintain the shimmer?


Lauren said...

Hey Natasha!!!

I hope I didn't miss your comment earlier this week. Thank you for writing. I'm so glad that we're all here to motivate each other!

Lauren :)

Lauren said...

Hi Meg!!!!

Oh, what a nice comment. I'm so excited for you. It is incredibly nice not to have to worry about die every month.

I'm really sorry about your Mom and your sisters. You had me laughing when I read that EVERYONE else in your family was gray and about equating the reaction to a face tattoo. Ha!

My Mom was quite skeptical when I started too. She was worried that it would age me too, but you know what , she ended up loving my "slivers" more than anybody! Once it was grown out, she completely changed her tune. Maybe your Mom and sisters will eventually follow in your foot steps!

Btw- I love that you are using "silver" instead of gray. Yes! :)

To keep the shimmer I go and get a clear glaze at the salon every 3-4 months. I wrote all about it a few weeks ago. Have you seen the tab at the top of my blog that says: "Going Gray? HOORAY!"? If you click there, I list all of my gray hair related posts. They'll have lots of info. Also, right now I am loving Shikai's Platnium shampoo. It's all natural and helps cut down any brassy tones. I link to it in a couple of posts. Here it is!

Thanks again for your nice comment Meg. I'm cheering you on! It is nice to know that we're nit the only ones with gray hair earlier in life.

Have a great day!!!
Lauren :)

egadgoshalmighty said... fair!! You're so pretty, and you don't have wrinkles around your eyes don't ~look~ old. I'm gonna put on +10years when I stop coloring. :(

Lauren said...

Dear Egadgoshalmighty!

First, what a GREAT name! I love it!!!! :)
Also, ok, I DO have some wrinkles, they're just not super visible on camera yet. I promise though, they're starting!!!

I guess that's the ONLY positive that I can think of, of going gray early in your 20's and 30's, the gray is there, but not so much the wrinkles. It's a trade-off!

Here's my two-cents about gray hair and it "aging" one's look.... Yes, there is a very good chance it will, but you never know until you try. I posted a picture recently (You can find it in one of my posts if you click on the tab at the top of this page titled: "Going Gray? HOORAY!) Anyway, in the "before" picture of me, from about 5 years ago, with very over-dyed hair, I actually think that I look OLDER than now, with gray hair! Something about the light, bright, white that really opens up a person's face! So, that's my though, you have to try to know what the end-look will be.

Thanks for the comment egadgishalmighty!!!
xoxoxoxo, :)

Anonymous said...

LOVE your blog.... You are beautiful inside out! Your Silver hair is awesome... you look so young and fresh:)
I want to go silver toooooooo, I'm 38 and have been getting white hair since I was 13! I'm exhausted of doing my roots every three weeks! My color last barely 1 week and then roots start showing up!!! Not sure I have your courage to do it naturally and slowly!! I want it silver pretty much yesterday:)

I have three options for my pretty long hair...
1. Cut my hair short (very drastic)
2. Bleach my hair and tone it silver (that would probably ruin my hair... watched some YouTube videos on how to do that)
3. Doing extensive repetitive hair line highlights professionally at a salon for a period of six months (This would cost a fortune)!!

I'm lost But I want to do it so bad! Now as I think more of it... I'm tending to go with the second option! and if it doesn't come out well... I'll just cut it off!!!

I think I know what I'm doing this weekend! :)

Thank you Lolo, You just made everything clear in my head!

Future silver Lady

Lauren said...

Dear Ghina, the future silver lady!!!! :)

Thank you so so much for your kind words and for taking the time to leave a nice comment. I'm thinking of you and sending you lots of luck!

Oh Ghina, it IS very very hard to grow out your gray hair, BUT..... I understand your feeling about having to dye your roots every few weeks. That is a pain! When you have gray hair, the freedom from worry about roots is WONDERFUL!!! :)
And, it's nice to say "bye!" to the hair dye chemicals.

You have three, very creative options! You need to choose the best way for YOU. Everybody is different, and each person has a good way. Like you said, I must agree, to strip your hair of it's color, (Option #2) that will probably ruin your hair. :( One GREAT thing about growing your gray hair, is then your hair will be SO HEALTHY! I tend to feel like then, using hair dye or highlights to help the "grow out", kind of beats the purpose a little bit. I like your short hair cut idea. I was just commenting earlier today to somebody about it. I say that if a person is brave enough to grow their gray AND have a short cut at the same time...BRAVO!

Here is my opinion, but you have to follow your heart! I feel like, showing the world your growing gray roots is SOOOOOOO hard. :( But, in my experience, just jumping right in and being your most brave = the best, quickest experience. I feel like even though it was terrible with my gray roots, it was only terrible for just a bit, and soon.....I had new, healthy hair! I used many fun tricks like root touch-up stick and pretty headbands and hats to make it easier. Before I knew it, I was getting used to the gray, and soon I was all done! It is scary, but I think Ghina, you might be stronger than you know! :)

If you go for it and cut your hair or lighten it, let us know how it goes! I'd love to hear about your experience and to learn more!

Please know that I am sending you so much cheer and a hug! (>'-')> You can do this Ghina! It's going to look great no matter how you do it!

Thanks again and nice to meet you!

Anonymous said...

I'm 48 and have been dying regularly since my early 30s. My hair is super curly and shoulder length. I have tried to go gray a couple times, but have not been able to commit. I lasted 8 weeks in my latest attempt. I really thought I was going to make it. Even got my stylist on board. She recommended I let the gray come in everywhere but the skunk stripe. She'd help with low lights, etc. She also recommended Style Edit (, a concentrated spray that covers really well. Four days ago I looked in the bathroom mirror at work and couldn't take it. The harsh fluorescent lights are murder! I came home and dyed my stripe. I'm disappointed that I gave up. I know I can get back on the horse, but the transition period is hell. All the comments here are inspiring. Hopefully I'll find the willpower to recommit.

Lauren said...

Dear Anonymous who keeps trying....

First, here is a hug: (>'-')>
I know. I completely know how hard it is to stick with things. In fact, I too had to try to "grow out" my gray hair more than once! It's ok, it really is. I think you're in good company with that experience.

Here's what I've found to be true, unless you have a very important, personally meaningful reason to go gray, then it's going to be harder to stick with things. I know this sounds a little negative, but if you know why you are doing this, then keeping the very important WHY in your mind helps! For me, I did not want to put the chemicals in hair dye on my head, into my body every 3-4 weeks. Kind of like keeping you eye on the prize! :)

Also, I love love the creativity of that hair stylists offer with highlights and lowlights. But, from what I have seen, they're a temporary band-aid that prologs the grow out process and puts more color on your hair. Like keeping your goal in mind, just holding your breath and jumping in and growing out your gray, it's completely a mind-set! Not an easy mind-set, but one that leads to so many great things at the end!

I don't know how else to describe it, but maybe I'll write a's about getting to that point of little resistance and acceptance that you might look a little silly for a bit with the "skunk stripe", but that it's only hair, and in the end, you will shine!!! :) :) :)

Thank you for your thoughtful comment and the link! That's great, I love sharing. I'll be thinking of you. Remember to go easy on yourself and be kind to yourself. Even if you attempt 100 times, that ok. When you are ready, it'll work!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Unknown said...

hi my name is SandraI have decided to go gray.I've been dying my hair since the age of 20 and now 43.I'm just tired of dying my hair ,you have inspired me with your blog to go completely gray.Plus you look beautiful with your gray hair ,thank you so much

Lauren said...

Hi Sandra!

Thank you for reading and for leaving such a nice comment. I'm so excited for you! Deciding to grow out your hair is not an easy decision. There are so many good things that come from it though. I wish you lots of lucky and hope you you love the "new you" in the end! I think you will! :)

Colleen said...

Hi Lauren! Pinterest led me here, :)
I am 59, been coloring for 17. I am also living with stage 4 breast cancer, diagnosed 2/2012. I said no to chemo, I wanted quality not torture. Since then I have thought about letting the gray take over. I am tired of the cost and 'faking' a look I don't need. Silly that should be easy in comparison, right? Thanks for putting so much info out here :)

Lauren said...

Dear Colleen,

Thank you so much for your comment. I'm very sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but you sound like an incredibly strong woman, who is choosing to live life on her own terms! A big "Bravo!" on your decision to stop with the hair dye. I think you have great reasons! It's just a "hair color", right!?
I know though, even if it's only a color, it can be hard.
I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers Colleen. Know that I'm right here cheering you on in this "hair journey." Much love to you! xoxoxoxo, Lauren

Anonymous said...

This is such an inspiration. I'm not growing out grey hair, but I am growing out black dye (naturally dark blonde) and it's a huge struggle. I'm 9 months in and always feel like my hair looks awful. Stories like this keep me going. Thanks for sharing :) I'm sure I'll be re-reading this many times over the next year.

Unknown said...

Hi Lauren!

So, I'm almost solid silver, and I've been debating this transition for quite some time. I've been hesitant to start the process, not knowing what to expect or how to deal with the awkward stages. This blog is easily the most helpful thing I've found in the interweb, and has completely inspited me. It's totally on.

I seriously appreciate you're shared experience, and thanks to you, there'll be one more silver head walkin' the streets in like a year and a half (or whatever).

Thanks again,

Lauren said...


Yes! High-Five girl!!!!

I'm so happy that you've found your way here, and that the blog could help. When your hair is solid gray, or very gray like mine is, sometimes just chasing after the roots all the time, it can be so exhausting. I hope you find the freedom from hair dye to be as rewarding as it has been for me. It's soooooo nice not to have to worry about it anymore.

If you want it, you can do it Abby! There are more gray hair post under the tab at the top of the blog that says: "Going Gray? Hooray!" I hope the posts can help.

Thanks very much for your comment. It made my day!

Lauren :)

L said...

YYYEEEEAAAHHHHHH ! IM NOT ALONE !!! I am only 31 !!!! Crazy busy SAHM of 4 & I simply dont want to flush anymore money down the toilet on hair ! Id like to HAVE hair when I'm 80 , soooooo I'm diving in ! Thank you sooooo much for your boldness & step by step info ! I simply adore you ! God bless you !

Lauren said...

Dear L.,

YEAH!!!!! HOORAY!!!! I'm so so happy to meet you and glad that you've stumbled upon How Bourgeois.

I LOVE your enthusiasm, it's so fantastic! I think you'll do just great. :)
I only have one child, let alone four, and the time and money that I saved was huge, once I stopped using hair dye. It all really does add up. The best part though, is I used to spend so much time and worry when I would start to see my roots growing in again. I'd always feel pressure to find time to touch up my hair. Now, it's just freedom!!! It's really great.

Ok, you hang in there, and if you have any questions, I'm always here!

Lots of luck and a hug to you! (>^-^)>

Unknown said...

Hi Lauren,

I'm usually too shy to post comments on the internet, but I am really moved by your site. I found you by googling ways to make short hair more feminine. I buzz-cut my hair three months ago, in my journey to finally let my hair go gray, instead of growing out the skunk stripe. It's been traumatic. I look really masculine, my confidence, sense of sexuality, and self-esteem have plummeted. I get called "sir" nearly everyday at work. I work in a garden center and have to wear jeans and am not able to wear girly clothes to work. If I had to do it again, I would have grown out the gray and left the length. Your story helped me this morning to remember to try not to take it so hard, that in a year or so, it will all be worth it. I'll finally just be myself, have longer salt and pepper gray hair, really white around the front, and not dye and fuss anymore. I'm 43 and have been white in front forever, so dying every two weeks to cover the roots was crazy maintenance, and I wanted to be and feel more authentic. I am still in the really hard stage of this journey. Thanks for writing about what a genuinely big deal decision this is for women. I needed the oomph to not get blue about it today. Your hair is gorgeous btw! :)

Lauren said...

Dear CJ,

I just read your through your comment word for word out loud. (Don't worry, I'm home alone!) Your words were so touching and nearly brought me to tears. I can remember this early time and the feelings that come with it, so very well. :(

First, please accept my hug to you! (>'-')>>>>>>
And know, that I really really promise you, that like you time, everything will be right back to normal. IN FACT, not only will you have long, sparkling silver hair, but if I had to guess, your also have amazingly shiny, healthy hair too! I can not even express to you, what ditching the dye did for the health and texture of my constantly colored hair.

I hope you don't mind, but I clicked on your little picture icon in the comments, to see if you also had a blog. I think you are just BEAUTIFUL!!! When I had a very short hair cut in the beginning, I too felt down because suddenly, I wasn't girly! I have to say though, you are so pretty, that you could pull off any style, short or long!

Does the garden center where you work, (neat job!) allow you to accessories as you'd like? Or, do they have a strict dress code? If they are more relaxed, perhaps you'd enjoy a feminine sun hat like the one I purchased a couple of years ago. Mine is lilac, but I see they have other soft colors:

Also, maybe they wouldn't mind soft, feminine headbands or scarves?

I know this time is challenging, but it goes by in a blink when you look back. I know this sounds so ridiculous, but it's like childbirth! I kind of forgot some of the struggles, once it was over. One day, my gray hair was just "me" again. Just normal! :)

Know that I'm thinking of you very much and sending love and encouragement your way. I think you are incredibly brave! Not juts to leave a comment and share your story, but to also to jump in and embrace your gray! So BRAVO to you CJ! :)

If you need anything or have questions, I'm always here.
With much love and cheer!

Stephanie M said...

Just wanted to let you know that I think you look adorable with your grey hair! It really suits you and I don't think you should ever dye it again, even if you weren't allergic to chemicals! Women who have complexions that look good with blonde hair look great once their hair turns grey...
It was also great for me to find your blog because, as you might guess, I am another one of those young grey heads! I started getting greys in my 20s but am now turning seriously white, similar to you. I'm not sure it looks as good on me, I have a hispanic skin tone, but am trying to stay zen and see whether it will look as beautiful as you and Sarah Harris over the next few months as I finish growing it out (almost there...) Anyway thanks for sharing your brave adventures (yes, going grey means being brave!). Seems like there are so few of us young 30 something silvers. Keep inspiring people to be confident!
Stephanie M.

Lauren said...

Dear Stephanie M.

*tear* .... that was such a beautiful comment! Thank you so much for writing with your compliments and words of encouragement . That means the world to me, because we really just have each other in all of this. When I began writing about my gray hair, I barely knew anyone my age going through the same thing. It was lonely, but now I'm amazed to find how just not alone we all are! :)

Stephanie, you rock! You're the BRAVE one too! The fact alone that you are almost through growing out your hair makes you brave . But then, you're not sure if you even like it with your coloring, but you're STILL seeing it out makes you even more brave!

I love your attitude about just going with it, seeing what the end product looks like, and then deciding. Good for you. That's the great thing about gray, you can always go back to dye or henna if you don't like it.

I hope you like it though!!! Nothing is nicer than not having to worry about roots showing, or dying one's hair every 3-4 weeks. :)

Thank you so much again for all of your kindness and for coming by. I appreciate it greatly. I hope you have a fantastic week!!!

Julie in SA said...

I last visited here in late April when I had caved on my commitment to go grey. Your encouraging response to my comments has stuck with me to this day -- about 10 weeks later -- and I'm happy to report that I'm successfully denying the dye. Thank you for providing those kind words and the virtual hug. They were exactly what I needed.

I am tired of pretending to be someone I'm not. I am 48 and have two grown sons. Why am I trying to look like I am in my 30s?

My stylist continues to be supportive. She was impressed with my progress and complimented me on the silver streaks hiding under bottle medium brown. She even gave me a free haircut on my last visit (I think to encourage me to stick with the plan -- she knows I'm cheap!)

The real test will be when I visit my family next month. I'm sure at least one of my sisters will try to talk me out of the decision. I plan to keep your encouraging words close at hand.

Thanks again for what you're doing.

Lauren said...

Dear Julie,

Fantastic! I'm so so happy to hear that the "virtual hug" helped. :)
Here's another on! (>^-^)>

It sounds like you are doing great! Being ten weeks in is a HUGE accomplishment! This mean that you've been living with your newly gray hair and becoming more accustomed to it for nearly three months. That's big! Also, I love so much that you have a supportive stylist. Honestly, that is one of the best things you can do to ensure success. If it wasn't for my hair stylist being supportive and encouraging... I couldn't have done it!

When you go home to see your family, if you have any nay-sayers, remember to tell them that the way you look now is very very different than the way you will look when your hair is all grown out. I always say this because it;s true, but it can be really difficult to picture the beautiful "finished product." It's hard to imagine what a person will look like in the end with their new gray hair.
Once my had was grown out, some of my most vocal opponents became my biggest fans! So hang in there!

I hope you enjoy the outcome of this journey. I love that you are seeking authenticity. It truly is freedom, I have found that. There is nothing nicer than not having to dye your hair each month. Let your true YOU, shine through! So many rewards.

You hang in there Julie! Thank you very much for the update. I loved hearing! Please let me know how you are doing again. :)
With Lots of Love,

Leslie said...


I started going gray at around 16 and have been hiding and dyeing my grays ever since. I always told myself that I would not let my grays grow out until I'm 35 (I don't know why I chose that random number!).

I'm 30, soon to be 31 and have thought about letting my hair grow out now. I haven't dyed it in probably over 2 months so it's really starting to show and people are starting to notice. I keep wondering if I'm going to 'chicken out' and cave before I go on my Europe trip in a month but I'm trying not to.

I get a mixed bag of feelings from people I know. I usually just come out and say it if I'm meeting a friend that I'm growing my grays out so people won't feel awkward about asking me about it. I had put my hair up in a pony tail the other day and was looking at the gray streaks and I think I kind of like it. It's not fully gray, kind of looks like highlights but also looks different and unique.

I have a friend who has a condition known as alopecia where her hair started falling out and she is now completely bald at 26. I figure if she can stay strong about her condition, I can stay strong about mine. I'm hoping to stick with it! Thanks for your blog and inspiration!

Lauren said...

Hi Leslie!

Thank you! I'm glad that this post could help. Thank you for your comment, I can relate to what you are saying!!!

So, the first thing I should tell you, is that two months in is a BIG start! I couldn't go six weeks at first without worrying and then re-dying my hair. That was the second thing that I wanted to mention to you.... it took me two tried to finally grow out my gray. So, go easy on yourself, it happens when we're really ready. All of this said, hearing that you are already two months in, PLUS, the fact that you kind of liked your silvers when you pulled your hair up into a ponytail, I think you can totally do this! You sound strong and positive!
Go you!

I too, would just come right out and tell my friends that I was "growing out my gray" once it started getting obvious. That's fine. Anything you can do to soften this process is great. I had mixed opinions from family and friends as I grew my hair out, and now..... they're all bug fans! I really mean that. I was shocked! That's the things with gray, often times you don't know how ok it can look until the grow out is all said and done. So, hang in there Leslie!

So much luck to you. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment! :)

Julie in SA said...

Three months in and today my hair felt like a cross between Wendy from Peter Pan and Cruella Deville. But believe it not, I'm not hating it. Had 2 people come up to me -- unsolicited -- in the last 2 weeks and tell me they loved my hair. Next test is the visit next week with my family who has never seen my grey. I have my ideal-state photos of grey curly girls on my desktop as a reminder of where I'm headed. Hanging in there!

Lauren said...

Hi Julie! FANTASTIC!!!
Hanging in there is the best thing that we can do, but it sounds like you're doing great! I'm so happy to hear that you like your current incarnation of the gray look. That says so much about your readiness for this and your positivity! I have no doubt that when all of the grow-out is said and done, you'll be just beautiful! I know you'll enjoy your new look very much. Thank you for stoping by and sharing with us! Hope you're having a nice weekend.
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

I am 58. I started dying my hair about 15-20 years ago at the urging of my daughter. I said to her and to myself that once I start it will be hard to stop. I had a gray “blob” on the side of my head that really annoyed me. A few years ago my hairdresser guess I was at least 60% gray. Now, I am ready to go gray even after attending my 40th class reunion that was held last month. I would guess that 90% or more of my female classmates dye their hair and 90% or more of my male classmates do NOT dye their hair. That just doesn’t seem right! Anyway, after reading many of the comments on this blog I think I will use Tween Time on my roots as they grow out for as long as I can. It has been 1 month since I last dyed my hair so I have a long ways to go. My hair now is about 2 inches below my ears. I am going to get it cut in a shorter style in a few weeks then go on a 2 week trip to Alaska! When I get back, I will begin the tough phase of growing it out, just in time for the holidays. I will need support, I am sure. Thanks for this blog. It is great.

Lauren said...

Hi there new anonymous friend!

Welcome! Thanks for leaving your comment and for sharing your story. I think you're going to do GREAT! And, if you ever need support or cheer, I'm here. :)

I know! WHY is there such a double standard between men and woman and the expectation to cover their gray hair? I agree, I barely know any men who color their gray hair, but almost all of my women friends do. Hmmmmm. Sheesh.

I'm wishing you lots of luck on your upcoming gray hair adventure. And speaking of adventure, how cool is it that you're going to Alaska!!!
When you get back, down the road if the Tween Time cover-up stick stops being an option (once you have many inches of growth), I also found Bumble and Bumble's powdered hair spray to be helpful.

Thank you again for sharing and for your nice words about the blog. Take good care and hang in there! It's so nice to not have to worry about hair dye anymore. I think you're going to love it!

Cheri - The Manic Organic said...

Hey! I just found your blog. I'm 37 and started my gray pride journey about a year and a half ago.

My hair had wispy gray's here and there until my son was born severely premature and 205 days in the NICU accelerated the graying process significantly!

My gray frames my face and when I pull it back I get cool "wisdom stripes" :)

Some days, every now and then, I get a little down on myself and start feeling "old" bust most of the time it's been the most liberating and freeing gift I could have given myself!

So glad to read the stories of others! yay gray!

Oh and I'm getting married next month so I had an extra long engagement (14 months) so I could grow my gray out all the way for my wedding photos

Lauren said...

Dear Cheri,

Wow, what a story! Thank you so so much for sharing such a personal bit of your life. I absolutely LOVED sayings: "Gray Pride" and "Wisdom Stripes!" I just love it.

I do hope your son is healthy and thriving now. I can only imagine how stressful that had been and what that did to accelerate your graying. It sounds though, that you've embraced your "YOU!" That's so great that you've waited until your grays have grown out for your wedding pictures. You will look GORGEOUS! So many congrats on your up coming wedding! :)

I agree with you Cheri, such a gift and a lot of freedom. Thank you again for sharing your story. This is how we all grow!

Lots of love to you,
Lauren <3

Romana Brohi said...

Hi Lauren !
I am fifty and and my hair went salt and pepper from raven black whe I was in my thirties. Never bothered to color my hair as my inspiration are silver breasted chimpanzees. They are respected and are the leaders of their pack. I could not agree more with your experiences of being noticed and complimented on salt and pepper hair and of putting a bit of extra effort on your overall appearance. Colours that you wear also need to be selected a bit more carefully. On my journey, I also met people who recommended that I should color my hair as that would make me look younger. But my question always remained the same; why would I want to deceive anyone about my age? Lol.
Love your blogg and plan to follow it from now on.

Lauren said...

Dear Romana,

I absolutely LOVE your comment! Thank you so so much for sharing. I also love chimpanzees, and agree that their silver is great!
Also, you are right, why would you want to deceive anybody of your true age? Let's be proud! :)

Thank you for the positivity and cheer and welcome!

Anonymous said...

Hello Lauren,
Thank you so much for your inspiring blog. Your grey hair looks wonderful - very pretty indeed. I've scanned through all your extremely useful tips and will come back to them as my grey hair grows through even more.
Like some of the other posters I noticed my first grey hairs in my early teens and was using a colour wash by my late teens, semi-permanent dye in my early twenties and a permanent dye in my late twenties.
I have now reached the grand old age of 43 and have become allergic to permanent dye. Having had two fairly horrible reactions I have decided that I have to bite the bullet and go grey. I wear my hair fairly long and it was originally dark brown. Now I would say that I am about 70 to 80% grey although like many people I am whiter in some places than others - I am completely white/silver over both ears.
I work from home most of the time but have to go lecturing occasionally. I think that scarves/headwraps might be a good idea for such occasions!
Anyway thanks again for taking the time to share your advice. It is much appreciated!
Best wishes, Katharine

Lauren said...

Dear Katharine,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with such a nice comment. I apologize for how long it has taken me to reply. My heart goes out to you, it's not a fun thing to have allergic reactions to hair dye, and to be faced with little choice than to grow out your gray hair....whether you want to or not! :(
I found myself in a similar predicament. And, it sounds as though we have similar hair as well! I'm also white with dark brown, about 70-80% gray.

Katharine, know that after all of the challenges of the grow-out are over, things feel more normal once again soon. The freedom from hair dye is wonderful and I'm sure you will receive many compliments on the new you! In the meantime, I love what you said about hair scarves and the like. Do whatever is right for you, to help you feel confident and good.
I'l be thinking of you! Thank you again and welcome!!!
Lauren <3

Unknown said...

Hello Lauren! Fantastic blog!

I also started going heavily gray in my teens, had these wonderful silver strips above both ears in which I was given many nicknames for (Elvira, Storm, Rogue, Silver Fox) Anyway, I turned 30 this year and had the spur of the moment 'I want to dye my gray hair dark brown to match the rest of my hair!' moment. I went through with it and I regret it so much. Years of grow out down the drain.
My question for you is, have you heard any success stories about stripping your hair? I am curious if I could strip the dark dye out of my gray hair?

Thank you for this blog! You are such an inspiration to all of these lovely gray haired folks. It's wonderful to know we aren't alone. :)

Unknown said...

Hello Lauren! Fantastic blog!

I also started going heavily gray in my teens, had these wonderful silver strips above both ears in which I was given many nicknames for (Elvira, Storm, Rogue, Silver Fox) Anyway, I turned 30 this year and had the spur of the moment 'I want to dye my gray hair dark brown to match the rest of my hair!' moment. I went through with it and I regret it so much. Years of grow out down the drain.
My question for you is, have you heard any success stories about stripping your hair? I am curious if I could strip the dark dye out of my gray hair?

Thank you for this blog! You are such an inspiration to all of these lovely gray haired folks. It's wonderful to know we aren't alone. :)

Lauren said...

Hi Destiny!!!!

It's so nice to meet you! :)

Thank you for your comment and your question and your kind words too! You have a good question. I'm so sorry about the dye regret. I can understand, but know that you are TOTALLY not alone in doing that. I dyed over my grays too. It sounds like your strips of gray were awesome, and I know they were all grown out. I'm sorry. I hope soon you're back to your old look. You will be!

As far as stripping your dark hair dye. In my own, personal experience, I have to shout "caution! caution!" Once, many years ago, I had to have dark hair dye stripped from my hair and it ruined my hair. Turned it to straw. :( Stripping is so harsh, and then they would have to re-tone the gray bits with gray dye.

All of this said, I have read online about different ways to take out some hair dye or overly dyed hair. It seems like though, that works better with semi-permanent color. I'm sorry that I don't know the methods, but it just took a super quick google! i feel like one was baking soda.......

I'm sorry again destiny. I know this can be hard. I hope things go really well for you and that your hair grows quickly! I wish i could be more helpful, maybe if you call a local salon? Keep us posted if you find something that works well!

Thanks again and sending you cheer!

Stephanie Schoel said...

Hi Lauren, I love you and your blog. You are amazing, thank you for sharing your magnificent self with the world <3 I decided a few months ago to stop coloring my hair. I only have about 2% gray right now so the growing out part is easy but the coming to terms with the fact that I wont be coloring my hair as I gray has been a totally different thing to get my head wrapped around. My hubby is on board and fully supportive. Last night I was reading your blog and showed him your picture and said "this is what you're in for, are you still ok with it"?. He thinks you are beautiful and loves your gray hair. He's now actually excited for me to have au natural hair! Just wanted you to know that we both think you are beautiful and inspiring!

Lauren said...

Dear Stephanie,

OOOOOOOhhhh YOU ARE SO SWEET!!!! \(^-^)/
Awwww, thank you for your wonderful, super kind comment. I am so glad that you're here and I'm happy that this blog could help a little! I'm sending you a hg, because I know.... I know what a BIG decision it is to go gray. One that's full of emotions! (>'-')>>>>
I also had a difficult time wrapping my mind around going hair dye free. Maybe you've had the same experience, but I dyed my hair for years and years, and to suddenly stop, it felt foreign for a while.
The great thing though, the freedom from hair dye in the end, IT IS SO GREAT!!! :)
I think you'll love it. No time spent dying your hair, extra money, not stinky smell or harsh chemicals, and super health hair. It'll be great!

I'm happy that your husband is on board and supportive. That can make all of the difference in the word. You can do this!

Thank you again for your kind words Stephanie. I'm really glad that we all have each other to go through this together! <3

julie said...

Wish I'd read this 2 years agi when I stopped dying my hair at 33! Can empathise fully with every stage and am now at 75 % silver mid length hair with another 12 months til its back to my normal length. So nany comments initially, but none now. Well done. Wish I could share my pictures with you! X

julie said...

Also my husband is my inspiration. His whole family are silver. He's been as long as I've known him. Not as bad as me, but I dyed mine black! He looks great and wears it well. And he has supported me all the way! X

Unknown said...

Rebecca - the skunk stripe phase and was going to throw in the towel then I stumbled upon your blog. Doing the highlight route for now and a shorter cut. Appreciate you!

Lauren said...

Hi Kris!!!

Oh the "skunk stripe" phase is surely the hardest, but you hang in there! Honestly, it's difficult but also the shortest phase I think. It sounds like you have a great plan in place with your highlights and your new shorter cut. That's fantastic, I'm glad you're trying new things. Have fun where you can!
So much luck to you. You can do this! Keep your eye on the prize, a fabulously silver look soon! \(^-^)/

Anonymous said...

Great blog! I come from a family of premie's, my 2nd cousin being completely silver at 16. I guess I should feel lucky that I only started in my mid thirties.

I have a question: Did you ever think of going to a salon for some gray highlights and lowlights to ease the time investment (but clearly not the financial one!)? I know you were invested in cutting out the chemicals - but maybe just once?

Thanks for this support!

Lauren said...

Hiya Sarah!!! :)

Thank you so much for you nice comment!
Ahhhhh, to be young and gray..... It's so complex, isn't it!?

You have a great question Sarah! I'm a firm believer that there is no right way for a woman (or man) to grow out their gray hair. There are so many different ways you can go about this, and we need to do what works best for us! The goal is to grow out our hair. It's not easy, so doing what you have to do to cope with the color as you go is ok!

Well, I have heard many many women mention that they had highlights and lowlights woven into their hair to ease that transition line from new gray growth to their old hair color. I have not heard of gray highlights and lowlights yet, but the thought is very interesting! I've also heard of women having their "base" color lightened a lot, and then they have the high and lowlights put in.

Let's I have heard of a few women having their whole head "dyed" gray. Here's just my personal two-cents on that: I worry that dying your hair gray will ruin a person's hair. This is because, from what I understand, first your hair must be stripped of it's color. This is a VERY harsh process that can turn your hair brittle and incredibly dry. Then a toner or color is added in, which again, can damage your hair. I would guess if you had a shorter cut, then it wouldn't be so bad.

Oh! And you asked if I ever considered highlight or lowlights just once as I transitioned? Another great question! :)

Honestly, I could have gotten them just one more time, and lived with just one more time of headaches and puffy eyes, but I know my allergic reactions could get worse with each use. It can be quite dangerous. Also though and this was just my experience, my gray coming in was super obvious because I was at least 70% gray and I had dark "dyed" hair. So, I felt like, even if I went the lowlight/highlight route, it would still be totally obvious with my roots being a nearly solid line of gray. Also though, I just wanted to get on with it, and I really really wanted to end up with un-touched, super healthy hair.

I have to say, as hard as it was to just jump in, oh my gosh, I could not have imagined how much softer my new hair growth would be. It has not been this soft and healthy in decades. So, I think it was worth it. :)

Again though, we're all different with different hair, different situations, different worries. No matter how we grow our hair out, it's ok!

Sorry for the ramble Sarah. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and the great questions. I hope my answer helps. Know how wonderful it is once the grow-out is all said and done. It really is great in the end! Hang in there. (>'-')>

Unknown said...

Please forgive me if this has already been talked about. I didn't see it, but there are a lot of comments.

I was wondering if anyone has tried just dying their hair gray and letting it grow out that way?

Darlene Dacuk said...

I love your posts.. I am 3 months into my white growth. I am going to the hairdresser to tone down the reds/blondes, but Im wearing up, down, back, whatever way.. Im ready to embrace my snow white! I will have to play with some new coloring for makeup and clothes because Im bland, but I'm a work in progress.. I hope I can wear my white as beautifully as you.

Lauren said...

Awww, hiya Darlene!

That's so nice. Thank you!
Oooooh, I'm so excited for you. You sound READY! And you know what? Experimenting and playing around with new make-up and clothing colors, that's part of the FUN!!! \(^-^)/
Have a great time and really live it up. I think your new "snow white" will be FABULOUS!!!

Lots of cheer and "bravos!" to you Darlene!!! :)

Julie in SA said...

I'm baaaack, and I'm 8 months into my journey of going grey. I have no desire to turn back and am having a ball wearing jewel-tone colors that contrast with the white stripes in my hair. My hairdresser thinks I'm just one (maybe 2) haircuts away from completely grown out. I've kept my hair shoulder length for the whole process. Recently at work I blogged about being authentic and posted a pic of my growing grey strands. The pic garnered all the comments on my blog. Too funny. The photo was an afterthought but it struck a chord. Thanks again for the inspiration. I love being my authentic self.

She Moves Mountains said...

Your post has completely inspired me to grow my silver out. I am 38 and have struggled with my silver since I was 16. I would color and 2 weeks later I could see prominent roots. I decided to grow out my silver after having my hairstylist color my hair closest to my roots and I have been loving the grow out process since. It looks 100% better than I thought it would. It looks amazing!! Thanks for the inspiration !!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren, I found your story very inspiring! I have black hair and have been dying my hair to hide my roots since I was 20/21. Now I'm 30 and have to dye my hair every 2 weeks. The last 4 months have been the most tragic and depressing time I have ever experienced (personal reasons, not because of my hair!) And I have developed the "fuck it" attitude, which includes not dying my hair. I have a terrible "skunk" right now, and while most of the time I really don't care, I'm worried that soon I might. I truly do want to go natural, but I am single, 40lbs overweight and looking for a job. I am worried that if I go gray, no guy will ever find me attractive. All of my friends and family are getting married and having kids....and I'm just going gray. :(

Lauren said...

My dear anonymous friend who just left a comment on Jan. 21st. - My heart is going out to you. I am so incredibly sorry about the past four months. :(
You mentioned how tragic and depressing they've been and that just sounds terrible. :(

Know that I'm sending you a BIG hug right now.
(>'-')> HUGS to you!

Here's my thought on what you were saying.....unless you have a reason for going gray that is personally important.....then don't do it! Keep coloring for now. You mentioned that the past four months have given you a kind of "F* it" attitude. I can totally understand. And then you mentioned that you worried looking older and that you would like to meet someone and have children one day and you worry that the gray would hinder that. I can totally understand that too! (Once I wrote a post about this. Many people were angry at me for saying that being young with gray *might* narrow the pond down a bit. I think many many guys love the gray, but I PERSONALLY think it might scare away some. Maybe. I could be wrong!)

The point is, if you are only trying out the gray because you are in a funk after the past several months, if there is no other strong reason, then maybe perhaps coloring your hair would be a little pick-me-up!

I know this must sound crazy coming from a gray-haired girl, but I really feel strongly that we're all different and that choosing to go gray or to color our hair is a very personal decision. I support everyone no matter what!

I hope this helps. Please know that things get better. They do. Be super easy on yourself right now and give yourself all of the care that you deserve. Really.

Please let me know if you ever have any questions. Thank you so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

So happy I found you and your page started going grey at 15, I have been dying my hair ever since I'm so tired of it turning 34 next week and I'm going to stop dying my hair black!

Lauren said...

\(^-^)/ Hi new friend! Happy early 34th birthday! Coloring since you're 15 is a long time. I think you are going to LOVE the new found freedom from having to worry about your roots each month. I sure did and you will probably too! :)

It's not always the easiest of journeys, but it can be SUPER rewarding so hang in there!
Sending luck and cheer and happy birthday wishes!
Lauren :)

Unknown said...

what about pulling all the color out and dying your hair gray?? I am not sure I am as brave as you and I am scared to death of the grow out. You are an inspiration! Thank you!!

Lauren said...

Hi Taylor!!!! \('-')/ Thank you for your nice words and for leaving a comment. That is a great question and one that I had wondered myself before growing out my hair too! I'll tell you what I know, or what I've seen, but you can always ask a hairstylist more.

Here's it in a nutshell: You CAN strip your hair color and attempt to color it gray to match your natural hair growth. The thing is, if you have salt and pepper hair for example, that would be difficult to match the same color/look/pattern. Also, I think that it can be hit or miss with stripping hair and dying gray. That the gray color sometimes fades a lot and exposed the bleached hair underneath. More so, (and I'm sorry, I don't mean this comment to be a downer) stripping your hair of its color is one of the most damaging things you can do to your hair. Hopefully you have light hair already, because that can make it easier! I am allergic to hair dye, so I quickly realized that I couldn't even consider bleaching + gray dye, but, also, I hate those harsh chemicals and my hair was already super dry. As hard as it was to face the world with my gray hair as it grew in, the healthy, shiny head of hair in the end was sooooooo worth it! :)

We should all take this journey in our own way though, so if you're curious, go to your salon and talk with them! Maybe they can help with color or highlights to blend or a special hair cut! Anything helps!

Sending you lots of cheer from Michigan!!!

alicia said...

Hi, love your blog!!! I've been growing out my gray for about 3 months and thought I'd share a product with you that has helped me. I use Ion demi permanent hair color from Sally Beauty Supply to blend the grays with my colored hair. You mix with 10 volume developer at 1:1 ratio. It does completely wash out after about 25-30 washings so it won't stain the grays coming in! I plan to just keep coloring my roots as needed. I work in an office so I felt I needed to camouflage my grow in period! Lol. I can send pics if needed! Thanks so much for your amazing and inspiring blog! :) :)

Lauren said...

Hi Alicia!!!! \(^-^)/

I'm so sorry it's take me this long to get back to you. Thank you for your comment, that is AMAZING!!! So the demi-permanent washes out in 25-30 washes and leaves no staining or "dulling" of the white? That is incredible!!! :)

I apologize to sound rude, but I just wanted to ask you, have you personally been through a round yet? Like with the 25-30 washes and known for sure nothing was left? I'm so sorry, I just have to double-check that it's ok, otherwise, if some of my readers tried it and they had staining, they'd be SO mad at me! :(

I'm really glad that you wrote and shared with us. I have always wondered about semi-permanents and washouts, and so have countless other readers! One things that I've feared, and maybe you know some about this.... if you have very dry hair or very damaged hair, can your hair possibly "suck up" any dye, permanent or semi-permanent more than healthy hair? Therefore, perhaps not having a dark color eventually wash out? I'm just wondering because once I dyed my hair dark brown. I had already been dying it for a long time and at that stage, it was super porous and brittle. My hair held onto the color and it was really dark. My stylist said it was because my hair was dry. Don't know if this was accurate or not, but this has been on my mind.

Anyway, sorry for the long, rambling reply. I loved your comment. Thank you so much again for sharing. This could be a game changer! :)
Oh and SURE! You are very welcome to share pictures if you'd like. Do you know our Facebook page?

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THAAAAAAANK YOU. Two months in and I almost threw in the towel and then I see your lovely face and read your inspiring and helpful words and now, as Sponge Bob Square Pant would say..."I'M READY! I'm Ready!!!" I want to look like you!!! I too have brown turned red undertones and a two inch skunk. Really awful. But the brown in the skunk isn't reddish and I keep thinking of all the swimming I'll be able to do this summer. You ROCK.

Lauren said...

To my dear, new friend who quotes SPONGEBOB. :)

YOU ROCK TOO!!! Ha! \(^-^)/ Anyone who quotes Spongebob is awesome in my book!

Thank you so so much for your sweet comment. I am thrilled that the blog could help you when you felt like throwing the towel in. My heart is going out to you because I know just how difficult that initial period can be with the "skunk stripe", but I PROMISE you, with each little inch, it gets easier and easier! And then one day you're done and LOVING the freedom of being dye-free! There are so many great things to come. :)

Thank you again, You hang in there ok! You can do it!!!! Happy swimming this summer...WOO HOO!

Alouema said...

Ok so I could read thru every comment lol, or I could ask. Do we have tips for us ladies with annoying strands? I'm dark haired with (most annoyingly) not enough grey strands to look nice, but too many not to notice. I've really thick hair, aged 30 been dying it for 17yr!!! It's far too much hassle now.
I'm considering lightening it over summer, lemon juice maybe.

Lauren said...

\(^-^)/ Hi Giant Yorkie Pud! That's a great question! What to do when you just have a few strands of gray. Hmmm....I wish I could be of more help, but because I always colored my hair and did not stop until I was about 70% gray, I don't have much experience with this one. Maybe my readers do! One summer I lightened my dark brown hair with lemon juice and it went orange! I think it's an interesting idea, but I thought I'd just share my experience with you. Beyond that, perhaps a henna would turn your silvers dark red! That might be gorgeous! I used henna for two years. It was great!

Unknown said...

Wow, your photo of your shortest badger stripe and the red henna IS MY HEAD TRO A T! I have just been wondering whether to grow out my grey or to carry on henna'ing which is messy, tedious and still leaves my roots looking a little blonder than the rest of my dark hair. I'm 38 and I don't want to age prematurely so your blog has been such an encouragement. You look beautiful grey and still so young. If I keep a nice cut and keep my hair longish I am sure that I can pull it off. Thanks for the help!

Lauren said...

Hi Rachael!!!!! \(^-^)/

Oh wow, you sound exactly like me!!!!! :)
I had the SAME feelings about henna. It could be such a mess and my roots were a different color too! (Don't get me wrong, a neat alternative to hair dye, but nobody really wants to henna every month for years I'd think. Well, maybe some).

Thank you so much for your nice words, I'm really glad that you're here.
Yep, truthfully, it's totally do-able, and I agree with you, if you keep some length, I don't think it will be aging. I think it would look beautiful! I feel like one good thing about being able to gray at a young age is that it gives you time to get others used to it and it just becomes your normal color. You'll have a youthful look because of your young age and it'll just be your "look" vs. a statement on your age. Does that makes sense?

At any rate, young gray is OK! \(^-^)/
Thanks for stopping by. I know you can do it!

IBikeNYC said...

I keep getting closer and closer to doing this, and I keep stumbling upon stuff like your wonderful advice and encouragement!

You are so gorgeous!

Those contrasting layers (long gone by now, I suppose) are / were stunning.

Thanks for all this great information.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren!!
I started my voyage to silver locks back in March (2015). 4 months later, I am at a hateful stage where the skunk stripe is glaring at everyone. My natural color is dark brown so I had done some blonde highlights to make the white roots blend a bit more. At first, it was a wonderful trick... I did two highlight sessions. One in month 2 and one in month 3.5. At first it works great. Light blonde highlights blended with my roots beautifully. Bue each time, my blonde highlights would turn brassy and yellow a few days later. So now I have dark brown hair, with yellow/orange highlights and white thick roots. Not a pretty sight! Plus the highlighting has made my hair dryer and frizzy.... Considering using a semi-permanent dye (light ash blonde), to make my yellow/orange highlights less yellow and more ash, and to make my white roots ash blonde so that they blend with my highlights. Anyone has tried this? Thought semi-permanent would be the more natural route (rather than demi-permanent or permanent). Any feedback appreciated :)

Lauren said...

\('-')/ Hi Maddy!!!!! Congrats on your new "adventure!" Lol. Ok, I know it's not such a fun adventure DURING, but definitely great things in the end. :)

Ack! The dreaded "skunk stripe", I remember those days so well! I also struggled with the stripe and the contrast between white and dark brown hair. Because I stopped all hair dye when I decided to go gray, I might not be a big help with your question, but perhaps other How Bourgeois readers will be!!!! If you haven't seen our Facebook page yet, you might want to check it out. Posting to the page is great for starting a hair discussion with other readers. :)

What I would suggest is may be a "purple" shampoo and conditioner. They take out the brassy, yellow tones from both white and blonde hair!!! Some of the most popular ones are Shimmer Lights by Clairol and Jhirmack makes one. Aveda and Shiikai make moe natural versions too. There are lots on Amazon to choose from! Oh, some have said they love Joico's purple shampoo too.

The super annoying and sad truth, is that MOST of the women who have written to me and told me that they lightened or highlighted their hair in hopes of making the transition easier....they loved it and it worked for a while, but there are sometimes issues, like hair dying out or colors fading or changing. It's not easy. It's just a bunch of trial and error, but you'll get through it! :)

Oh! The semi-permanent is a GREAT question, one I've chatted about before! So, the only semi-permanent fear for me is that it will not completely wash-out from the white hair. It's supposed to, yes, for sure, but I am not 100% convinced that it wouldn't leave a normally brilliant and shiny white hair with a darkening, brown residue. Maybe just my fear, but I do feel like some stain slightly. You can decide for yourself, it might work for you!

There's my two-cents. Silver Sisters, anyone else!? :)

Thanks Maddy, welcome to HB and sooooo much luck and cheer to you!!!! \('-')/ xoxoxox

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lauren!! I actually went to my hairdresser today and she said that if I used semi-permanent light ash blonde, it might make my highlights more ashy but that it would do almost nothing to my grey/white roots. So in the end, I would still have color differences. She ended up doing a grey ashy glaze all over my hair. Helped with calming down my frizziness and make my hair softer, and did tone down the yellow/brassy color of my highlights. Also bought some headbands. This way my transition line is hidden by the headband. Somehow it helps a little. Maybe I should have timed my travels so that the most difficult months would be during winter where I could wear tons of hats like you did. For the summer, I can resort to baseball caps, in casual situations.
In any case, I am not giving up. Seeing the pics of your beautiful hair last night helped me stick to my guns. I can't wait to be a silver sister :)
Have a wonderful evening,

Anonymous said...

Quick question Lauren. I saw that early in your voyage, you cut your hair real short. But now you are back to long hair. How long did it take for you grow back your hair to shoulder length? Did not see any dates in your album of pics. Thanks!

Lauren said...

Hi Maddy!!!

That's a good question! Yeah, sorry, that would be nice if the pictures had dates! Well, I feel like it took just about one year to go from no hair color, to a pixie cut to my hair being shoulder length again. I'd say that the pixie cut to shoulder length took nine months. Everyone's hair grows at different rates though. I'd say that my hair grows on the slow end, so maybe it will be faster for you!!! Wishing you a speedy journey and thanks for your question. Please ask anything anytime!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lauren!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lauren,
You are wonderful and a true inspiration for all women! I wrote you back on October 28, 2013 while conquering the 1/2" skunk stripe. I stuck with it and today my hair is absolutely beautiful! I am almost 57 and my hair is shoulder-length full of natural, blondish and grayish looking strands. They all mix together. It almost looks like I highlight my hair and yet I don't. Very pretty and love that I never dye my hair! My husband and kids love it too.
I just had to touch base with you to give you the positive news. Thank you for your wisdom, truthfulness and your time. You are amazing!
Nicole <3

Anonymous said...

I'm late in finding this, but thought I'd share my own method... My hair is naturally brown but I was sick of permanent coloring, so I bought John Frieda Beautiful Brunette Color Glaze and a box of cheap plastic gloves. Once a week, in the shower, I held the bottle with my right hand and used the glove covered left to massage it in... wait and rinse. In between I got pretty good at parting my hair all over in front of the mirror, while still wet and using the bottle to place a line of brown stain into the parted area... all over... and brushed it in. I also used a q-tip to blend it at the part and around my face and just left it in - didn't rinse. I kept my hair shoulder length for three years and three months ago I completely stopped using this product. It is slowly washing out. I am silver on top and down the sides it has a brown tint, but between the dye fading and a summer in the sun, it is not as radical as a stripe. I recently went to a family event and my niece commented that it looked really cool - brown with silvery highlights. I think this would also be applicable for blonds or red heads by using the other two colors offered by John Freida. Best of luck to all. Bridgette

Unknown said...

Hi Lauren!

What a fantastic post! I just stumbled upon it and was happily surprised. I, too, am in transition to natural locks. I'm in the beginning phase; my hair is on the long side; natural color is brown but my greys are more silvery so I'm so excited to see what I will look like when they all grow in!

Like you, I use Roux Tween Time touch up stick. That product is my fave and I've tried A LOT. It truly is a great concealer and the best out there, in my opinion. But everyone is different in what works for them! :)

One of my "tricks" is pulling my hair up in a high pony tail. You can still see the grey but it is MUCH less stark and glaring in your face lol. No skunk line doing that. Just a thought for others out there. ;)

Not sure if this can be done at this site but I think it would be a fantastic idea for us all to share our transformation via photos here in your blog. I am SO curious to see what others results are!

Well, thanks again for the awesome post. I'm a follower for sure!

Maria AKA Ree ;)

Unknown said...

Thanks for this...just saw it through pinterest. I had chemo last year, was bald and then have been regrowing it since chemo ended last August. I have chemo curl, which is weird because I have had straight hair for 50 years..all my life. So that is hard..the ends are kind of frizzy. But I use product and it is growing, just very slowly.And I am white on my temples only,salt and pepper on top, and a lot of black hair in the back and much less grey. Here is a pic. I just hate being is not in my nature!!! LOL.

Unknown said...

I can't tell you how happy I was to find your site! I spent hours on the Internet tonight Googling about growing out gray hair, and everything was all about getting pixie cuts or spending a fortune at the salon. I have hair past my shoulders, which I intend to keep, and even if I wanted to spend the money on a colorist, I wouldn't trust any where I live (Mexico--whooooole other approach to hair color). There's been a box of brown hair color sitting on my bathroom vanity for over a week, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to use it. Then on Pinterest last night, I saw a bunch of photos of great long gray dos, and I thought, "Hmmm... maybe that's why I've been procrastinating."

I've had this image of Glenn Close in "Le Divorce" in mind for years now: As an expatriate and a writer myself, it seemed only fitting I should adopt her character as my style icon for the big grow out. I'm also freckly, and I think about the same age as she is in the photo. I think my hair would look a lot like that, but there will be an icky transition period, as my auburn-y dyed color grows out.

That's where all your strategies will come in so handy! It was so nice to find advice I could actually use. I had read on a British site about using colored mousse, but many of your other tricks were new to me.

One thing I'll add to the discussion is my discovery that homemade dry shampoo can also help make that line of demarcation look a little less obvious. Normally the little bit of white powdery residue is an undesirable effect, but I am finding it helps sort of lighten my hair overall and make the gray roots less striking. I used about 90% cornstarch, 10% baking soda, and a few drops of real rose oil. It smells divine, and makes my fine hair look a little thicker too.

I will have to page through all your many comments here to see what other suggestions the ladies have.

Thanks for your detailed post and for keeping up the commentary section for so long after its publication!

Your sister in silver,

Connie said...

Having visited this page for the first time, I have to say, despite enjoying all of the helpful tips, there is one small point I feel I should mention. Sorry to sound critical as I do believe all the information given out in here comes from a good place and is well informed. However, whilst I realise that hair colour is a personal choice, I feel that it is best suited to those with a cool undertone to their skin. As someone with a warm yellow undertone to their skin and hair(warm autumn if we're using the seasonal analysis system), I have very fair skin, hazel eyes and mousy/golden brown hair. Going grey is probably the worst option for us warm undertone bunch as it drains all of the natural colouring from our skin. So if you do lean towards the warm tones I'd say some some of soft colour is best. I've also been a henna addict for many years and I do agree that it's not the most flattering colour option as the greys start to come in. Now that's out of the way I would like to say thank you for the many great tips on temporary hair colouring as they have helped to remind me of what options are out there whilst growing in enough virgin hair to colour.

Lauren said...

Hi Connie!!! \(^-^)/ Thank you so very much for you comment and for taking the time to stop by and write. <3
Your information is very helpful, and I have been interested lately in learning more about color analysis. (I know little about it)!
I have to agree with you that gray just seems to look more harmonious on some than others. I had readers write me before asking for example, if one eye color blends better with gray hair than the other. The only thing unfortunately is, whether you're a warmer tone or a color tone, some of us are allergic to hair dye or need to stay away from the chemicals, so there's little choice. That's what happened to me. Although! I do notice every year that there are more and more AMAZING, natural hair colors coming out! I think we have a lot of options these days! :) I just have so much white hair that when I went for a consultation at a salon for a natural and PPD-free dye, they said that I had too much white to guarantee coverage.

Anyway, thank you so much! I appreciate your advice and thank you again for the nice comment. xoxoxo

Lauren said...

Newbie to this blog and I have another question. My dark brown hair is 90% white and I am contemplating going grey. If I dyed it grey would it eliminate the long transition? Are there pros and cons to this?

Lauren said...

Hi Newbie Lauren!!!

Thanks so much for your question! I've been asked this several times, especially now that there is a new trend out there of having gray hair! Lots of women are now having their hair color taken out and then dyed or toned gray. It is possible to dye your hair gray, but my personal opinion is that it isn't a great idea. One thing is that more often than not, it will leave your hair very dry and damaged. Stripping your hair of color is one of the most harsh things you can do. Also, you will still have a line of demarcation when your natural color begins to grown in. Your dyed color will not match your natural color. It'll be closer, but there will still be a noticeable line. Also, I have read time and time again that gray hair color dye will fade, so there is up keep involved.
I'm sorry, I hate to sound negative about this. After dying my hair for years, I can't tell you how nice it was to have happy, soft hair for the first time in a decade after not coloring. It's not easy to transition, but it comes with lots of nice benefits once you get through it! So much luck to you Lauren!!!

P.S. I liked this article on dying your hair gray if you would like to know more. Maybe it will be right for you! It's just good to know what it entails.

Anonymous said...

So, how do I look.? I have been growing out my dyed dark brown to silver white since March. Not a pretty thing to do. I cut it short and still had a bit of dye on the ends, last week I cut the rest so ALL the dye is gone. About a month ago I came to Florida where I saw friends who didn't recognize me and very very few women have gray hair. I'm in my 60's so are my friends. Never in my life have so many people, men and women tell me I am gorgeous, beautiful, stunning, followed by hugs. So if you are wondering how you will look, your hair will look stunning. If you have a few pounds to lose or need new make up and clothes, do it and you will look amazing. They won't take their eyes off you.

Growing your hair out is not pretty but the "makes you look old" you will hear at the salon just isn't true, don't believe and hang in there.

rarchul said...

All I can say is thank you. While all my friends are fighting to keep the "young" look I can finally feel comfortable being me.

Anonymous said...

I have had gray since 18... Colored it for MANY years and finally decided about 3 months ago to just let it go. I have even tried to "dye" it the glorious gray color just to get there faster, but no luck. My aunt has BEAUTIFUL silvery, gray hair that I sure hope I am blessed with. My husband has been telling me for years to just embrace it and I haven't been able to come to full terms with it until recently. I CAN'T WAIT for it to be done. I am not giving in! Just wish my hair grew quicker ;-) Thanks for the post! Very helpful and BEAUTIFUL!!

Jennifer Davey said...

I am about to take the steps to make my Silver shine! wooot
I may start with gray highlights to ease the transitional grow out line. Bring on the Sparkle! 40 years young and full of shine.

trade80silks said...

Thank you so much for this

ben-ce said...

thanks for your sharing, it will be very helpfull to me, want to go grey , I'M 54 years old :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren - is this the ad you were talking about?

Trying to screw up the courage to do gray!

Lauren said...

Dear Trying to Screw up the Courage to go gray,

Yes! Thank you!!! I am having troubling viewing the like but it might it!

Thanks for taking the time to write and YOU CAN DO IT!!!! :)


jessica said...

Just wanted to share the option I just took...a slow transition, that looks complete. With the help of the same stylist who colored my hair with a single tint of semipermanent dye, we did high and low lights and then did a pewter toner on the bleached front (the highlights) which had an inch of gray and the rest the grown out color. I instantly got a grown out look with no line. It should last 2-3 months, at which point we will decide how much assistance mother nature needs for the next 3 months. But no grow out line, and silver 'highlights' are now framing my face.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much! I have been playing with the idea of going gray. I can't stand the thought of dying my hair one more time. I have an appointment to get a Pixie cut and I am not looking back! I appreciate your products to use while the gray grows in. I, also, use henna. You can't bleach that out.

Unknown said...

Well you helped inspire me to take the plunge. Sometimes I really want to go buy that box of dye, I'm a year and a month into my gray hair journey, and I honestly wish I had more gray hair. I know that notion is strange-but I feel like I'm all white in the front, and all black in the back. As much as I miss the uniformity of having one color, I'm still hanging in-though the texture is becoming better and better. It looks like I have a silver headband in the front, and the rest is my hair. I can't wait until the process is over. Tell me it gets better. I was hoping my hair would look more like "Elsa" and less like "Ursula"-the sea witch. More like a white haired angel-and in reality, it's more "Cruella de Ville" I am envious of your beautiful uniform color. Maybe when my hair finally is the length I like, I will be used to the streaks-I must say-it is very different from the all dark brown hair I was used to. But, for health reasons, and because the texture will be so much healthier-Cruella is still sticking it out. Black straw, or silver stripes? I guess I'll have to live with being a zebra for another decade or so. I posted at the beginning of my journey-and I'm still hanging in! -Felicea (Wenatchee, WA)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I started going gray at 25. I'll be 39 in a couple of days. I've been growing my gray for 10 months and for some reason the first few months were the easiest. Now that a lot more has grown out it is getting harder and I have been really tempted to color my hair. The stares and remarks are really getting to me. Anyway, it's refreshing and inspiring to hear your story. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren. Your hair is gorgeous.

So glad I tracked down your blog again. Some years ago I left a comment on one of your older posts when I took the plunge and stopped colouring and needed some encouragement. Don't remember what name I used so I'll never find it now.

It's so funny, it felt SOOO hard to do at the time, but in retrospect I wish I'd done it sooner. I got through the transition period with one of those crayon-type things to disguise the skunk stripe. Then when the grown-out part was long enough that I thought I could live with it, I just cut it short and felt finally free! Colouring was such a hassle... so messy, so hard on my hair, too much stress doing the upkeep.

My hair is overall dark brown with sprinkles of white, but my crowning glory is a magnificent thick pure white streak right in the front. For some reason there's a patch there that is all white. I can comb it all to one side or divide it to both sides... either way, I get compliments on my hair all the time. That wasn't really a thing when I was colouring it.

Anyway thanks for your blog and all the support you give to people contemplating making this change! Take care.

TDL said...

One of my biggest mistakes ... as I recently grew out my natural greying hair - was keeping a non-supportive hair stylist. She reminded me on more than one occasion that I was prematurely aging myself - and her words stuck with me - and I began to meditate on her view, rather than celebrate my new found freedom from hair dye. So, I took her advice and got low lights ... two times now - and I'm sooooo sorry the last two years of awkward growing out phase went to waste - I should have realized that there will always be critics. I am trying to build up my courage to go back to natural again - but now I have a wedding in the future (1/5 years from now) to stand up in with girls that are about 15 years younger than me :( (There I go again - compare, compare, compare) I need to up my self-esteem and just get growing again :-) !!

Bella's Mama said...

I'm 53 and have been tossing around the idea of "Letting it Go" for a few years now. My family and friends have been holding me back. I had enough of it and decided that it's time to do me! No more dyes! Grey is sexy and you're only as old as you feel. look beautiful! You're hair resembles mine so much that it is exciting me all the more to going grey naturally. I am so happy to have found this blog! Thank you for sharing your experience with us! Such great ideas. Thank goodness I crochet. LOL My husband is for it makes my decision that much easier for me. Wish me luck!

Lauren said...

Sending you lots of luck Bella's Mama!!!! From one crocheting silver sister to another. :)

Anonymous said...

I have browsed through your site MANY times always feeling encouraged about the looming silver that wants to take over. I'm 40 and have had grey hairs since my late teens. I have about 4" grown out and I'm kinda wavering at the moment. It also doesn't help that Im getting married in September and trying to decide if I should start over afterwards or just work what I have. My fiancΓ© loves me as I am, silver and all. I want to look my best for my wedding, but I also don't want to start over again - its been emotional.

Your site and followers gives me encouragement about accepting myself as I am with my silver tresses (which are quite lovely at my temples).


Unknown said...

Hi Lauren,
im just starting my journey, im five weeks in, just cancelled my colourist and im so excited, even though i have my daughters wedding in one year.......
Sick of the colouring, the itcy scalp, the cost etc etc etc, your my inspiration, you look amazing.
kindest regards Karen x

Unknown said...

Oh I feel like I have been given such a boost!! I have been growing my dye out for 4 months, I almost gave up twice, but I want so much to stop dyeing my hair and let it be itself!! You have encouraged me so very much! Thank you!! I just ordered the shampoo and conditioner you recommended, I'm so anxious to try it. You have made my day, week and month!!!

Ruth said...

Thanks for all your cheerleading and advice. I am 9 months in and when I have wobbly days I stop by here and feel better. ❤️

Anonymous said...

I am finally going to try this. I started going gray at 18, and now that I am 43, it is exhausting to color my hair about every 4 weeks. My pre-gray original hair color was such a dark brown that my gray stripe is extremely obvious. I have already cut my hair short, and am planning a trip to the salon to ask for super light highlights to help camouflage the white skunk stripe. Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

Great info. Thanks for sharing, I'm ready! You are beautiful. I think you look like Vivien Leigh!

Tamotv said...

Could you post an updated photo? Would love to see you now! I'm trying to get up the courage to grow out my below shoulder-length gray hair. I'm 59, and I am an actress who plays roles 15 years younger than I am, so agents and friends have discouraged me from going gray until "later". But I'm SICK of coloring it and, frankly, I kind of like the pattern the gray takes when my roots starts growing out. I've got a big "swath" from my side part to the opposite side with gray at both temples and still lots of dark brown in between. In back and underneath, I'm still pretty dark but here's my issue: One of my very best friends is my hair stylist and she is VEHEMENTLY opposed to my growing it out! I really don't think it's because she'd lose a customer (I mean she'd still cut my hair), but she genuinely thinks it would make me look "old". But I'd like to go to a different stylist who's in favor of it to help me as I proceed with the transition. Help me figure out how best to discuss this with my hairdresser friend and get her onboard! I think I'd book a LOT more work as an actress because it would launch me into a new demographic: "young, hip Grandma" or "aging-gracefully baby-boomer"! Great blog - thank you!!

Bikeit said...

Thanks for posting! Love it!

Unknown said...

Well it's almost the end of 2017 and I've stumbled across your blog as I am 4 weeks past my last dye and debating whether to dye again or let the Grey find its way through the henna on the lower2/3rds and semi permanently Garnier colored roots.....I just don't want to feel old....or look crazy....but all of these comments have inspired me and my husband said " rock it!" So I'm going for it! Thanks so much everyone for sharing your experiences....though this weekend I might be headed to the wig store...just in case... but it would be a total shame to cover up all these beautiful natural curls because of vanity... headbands however are completely okay I think ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren,

Thank you so much for this blog - I was toying with the idea of "going silver" and then your brave and wonderful blog helped put me over the top! A question for you, too - my stylist insists that getting highlights while growing out the gray will help blend and "lighten me up" since I have very dark hair still along with the gray. I'm not so sure, and wanted your advice: part of the reason I'm embracing my natural hair color is due to reasons of self-acceptance, but also to get away from crazy upkeep (like that of my permanent hair coloring days). What are your thoughts? Still early in the journey. :)


Lauren said...

\(^-^)/ Hi Gretchen!!!!

It's very nice to meet you. Thanks for the sweet comment and GREAT question. It really is a question that so many of us think about. First though, congrats on your new "adventure!!!" :)

So, here is my two-cents on the "to highlight or not to highlight" question that is such an important topic.

First and foremost, I think women need to do what is personally best for them! If that means highlights and low lights or even never growing out their gray, I think that is awesome and ok, and what we need to do! No judgement from me, we all have different paths.

So, if the highlights make you feel better and more secure, go for it!

For me though, as a woman who also started out with a mix of gray and dark brown hair and somebody who wanted to leave the time/money and effort of regular hair color upkeep behind, I just went for it! I didn't use any high or low lights because I wanted to get away from the chemicals in the dye, and I wanted the freedom from having to always touch up roots.

It wasn't the easiest root, but it wasn't so horrible either. Once I was past a few inches of growth, I was able to pull my hair back and felt less self-conscious. I also wore lots of fun headbands and hats. In the end, I loved my hair! It was the most soft it has ever been and I felt free!

Follow your heart on this one Gretchen. You could always try it without highlights, and then if it is just too much for you, you could go for the highlights! :)
Remember, even through the trying parts, there's lots of good to come when it's all said and done!

Thanks again and nice to meet you!

Unknown said...

Well im nearly done, only 11months of growing the colour out and the grey in, im about 1.5 inches of colour left, my hair appointment for a trim is 28th of december, so if its not out by then, it will be for my daughters wedding in april.
Had lots of nice comments of the white flicky bits over my
All i can say is keep going ladies, i did, i did no chalks, highlights or any root touch up, i just went for it, and yes if i can, you can.

Unknown said...

Hi Lauren.
I just found your page. I'm just starting to attempt to grow out grey from my dark brown hair. Have had greys since I was 16, am 37 (almost 38) now. Wish me luck!

MomWifeDaughterSister said...

You have a new fan in me! I'm Stacey, almost 48, and currently my hair is about 2 in down past my bra strap. I've always worn my hair a copper red color, but this past year I had two unexpected surgeries that laid me up forever and obviously my roots grew out, all nice and dark brown and silver. It's got quite a head start, I haven't done anything to my hair since last June or July, 2017. But I was so confused how one goes grey! I'm too scared up copc it all off, but I did save the picture of the cute little pixie cut that you ended up getting. But honestly, I don't think I want to go short right now.
I'm going to talk to my stylist as you suggested and see what we can do to expedite the bottom half of my hair matching the top half.

Lauren said...

Wishing you so so so much luck to you Aileen, on this exciting adventure!!! \(^-^)/


Lauren said...

Hiya MomWifeDaughterSister!

I hope you're feeling all better now. That jump start on your new color is great because getting started is half the battle! When I read your comment, I was saying to myself, definitely don't go short if you're not feeling like it. When I cut mine, my heart just wasn't in it and honestly, the short length bothered me more than the gray growing in.

The grow out phase isn't the easiest thing, but it also doesn't last forever and the rewards are so worth it!

I hope you and your stylist come up with a good plan that works well for you. Congrats on your new journey!!!

Devorah said...

You are the best!!!! What a Goddess of empowerment!!! Thank you. I am so inspired. I am a 65 year old woman who has been struggling to stop dying and just let my grays live! Your tips plus your humor are invaluable. Bring on the skunk! Blessings, Devorah

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