Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Hair Isn't Long and Gray Anymore! The Magical Power of Facing Your Fears. Plus, A Hair Product, Nail Polish and Lipstick Review!

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I've gone and done it! Yes I have! I absolutely can not believe it but I finally went and had my first real haircut since this whole gray hair adventure began back in AUGUST OF 2011. I've had tiny trims along the way, and then a normal sized trim last year, but never a true haircut.

(This is the longest my hair has been since I stopped coloring. This picture was taken in March of 2014. I stopped dying my hair in June of 2011, so it took just over three years to go from gray roots to a pixie cut in August 2011 to this length. )

I'm still a little shocked that I let go of my attachment to the (self-imposed) thought that I personally HAD to have LONG gray hair to look and feel pretty and to not age myself even more. But when I truly think about it, taking the leap to cut my hair and to not "hide" behind the false security of long hair equalling youthfulness, it's the same thing as when I said: "Oh forget it!" and stopped coloring my hair!

Ok, so going gray is probably a little more scary to most than cutting one's hair, but still, I was able to push past one of my limiting beliefs last week when I once again realized that IT'S ONLY HAIR AND IT'S OK! 

Would I rather have long, luxurious flowing locks? SURE! Absolutely. I know though, that my hair only looked like the picture above one time, and that was for the twenty minutes after I had left the salon and gotten home to take a photo. Then the curls slowly fell out and through the day my hair began to puff up and frizz. 

Soon my old ends were yellowing and no amount of purple shampoo or clarifying shampoo could get the brassiness out and that's not even thinking about the split ends. Nothing short of a trim could truly remedy things.

Even with trims, as soon as March would creep in with rain, I'd be putting my unruly hair back in a ponytail as ten drops of water would make it go PUFF! And then as the temperatures (and humidity) would rise, I'd find myself with little options but the ponytail, straight through to August and even September. 

I love styling my hair. I love curlers and rollers and hair products and braids and barrettes, but this alone was not enough to make my long, prone to frizz and BADLY overdue for a cut hair worth the battle.

And so, it popped into my head last month that maybe....just maybe.... I should have my hair cut into a bob for the summer. Something to get the old, old, yellowed and split ends off. Something that would be cooler in the summer heat, something that took less time to coax into a "look." A cut that was polished, something that I've almost never had and kind of wanted!

I found a haircut on the internet, a picture of Christina Hendricks from Mad Men in a long, tousled bob and I thought: "Wow! She makes that length look fun and interesting." I know I'd never look like Christina or Christina's hair for that matter, (I AM practical sometimes) but it gave me some haircut courage.

For the next week, I went back and forth, back and forth, trying to decide if I should cut my hair or not. I just couldn't make up my mind. One day I'd think I'm going to do this! And then the next day, I'd be completely resolved to keep my hair! 

That was until...and I'm sort of embarrassed to admit this, I saw a video on Buzzfeed. It was called "Powerful Hair Makeovers That Transform People's Lives." You can watch it below. It wasn't so much that I saw one of these makeovers and was inspired to copy their look, it's that I was reminded that we as human beings find comfort and safety in what we know. You're not going to know at the beginning that you with gray hair will be TOTALLY fine in the end. And I didn't realize at first that it didn't matter if I cut my hair shorter, that I'd look FINE and if I didn't like it, it would grow back. What I failed to remember is that sometimes jumping out of our box and into the new unknown can be so incredibly rewarding! So I watched the video and then went to have my hair cut the next day.

The reason that I haven't posted photos yet, is because I'm still learning how to make this haircut look good and the look changes everyday depending on how I blow-dry and style it. I've been waiting until I've got things just right, but now I've come to think that this is a learning process and there's no use hiding away until I find my look.

So here it is, my new haircut. :)

I like it. I miss my long hair, but I truly like it. What I love the most is that I challenged my belief that I wouldn't be pretty or feminine without long hair, just like I challenged my belief that I wouldn't be ok without dying my grays. 
Remember this my newbie Silver Sisters, and I'll keep reminding myself too. 

And see, it does look different everyday. This was straight from the salon. Playing with my new haircut is fun! (I have not tried the 'Christina' look yet, but will soon)!

So when all has been said and done, I can say that I was super scared, but I've been left with softer, more manageable, less yellow-y-ended hair. It's soooo much nicer in the heat and I feel a bit more grown up, a little more polished. I'm so glad that I took the leap. \(^-^)/ 

And that my friends is the hair scoop!

I have three new hair and beauty products to tell you about. None of these products are sponsored, I just came across them since last blogging and SWOON!!!!

The first one is Paul Mitchell Super Clean Flexible Style Finishing Spray . I learned about this hair spray/ finishing spray from my hair stylist Lydia. I asked her to recommend a product that I could use to give my hair volume and hold and that would deal with flyways. She said that her favorite hands-down was this Paul Mitchell spray because it never builds up. You can use it days in a row and your hair never gets hard or sticky. This is REALLY GOOD for us white-hair gals because it seems like that might mean there is less product to turn yellow.

So far I've used it everyday. I live how this finishing spray holds down most of my sticky-uppy hairs and it helps to keep my hair curled and styled in the "shape"that I want it to be in. I've never ever been one to use hair spray regularly and I still am tiny bit wary because it's not "natural", but I have to say, even if I only use it on special days, this finishing spray has been a game changer for me!

The nest two items that I want to tell you about were inspired by my on-going fondness for the Mad Men series and the mini-shopping spree for them was probably spurred by my sorrow over the show ending this week. (Hold on, I need to go sob).

This is the truth, honestly, other than maybe The Curse of Oak Island on the History Channel, there have been about zero television programs that I have followed and watched regularly in about a decade. I like watching shows here and there on Netflix and Hulu, but I'm not a big television person except for Mad Men. There would be seasons when the adulterous antics of Don Draper or the cold cruelty of Betty would just make me angry, but I kept coming back, time and time again on Sunday nights, to see the sets and the costumes and to imagine that I knew more of a time back then. 1960 -1970. Which, I've never lived in, so I know only what I do through books and movies and Nick at Night reruns. 

I liked Betty's nails and her lipstick colors. They remind me of colors that I imagine my Grandmother or  Jon's Bubby wore in the 50's. Coral colored nails, THAT'S what I want!

My Grandma gives me her old copies of  Good House Keeping Magazine after she reads them. (Isn't that cute)? Just the other day I received one, and  Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish was written up in it as one of 2015's best, new beauty products. They said it was similar to a gel manicure, minus the UV light. You're left with a longer lasting, chip-resistant manicure.

Recently I've gotten into painting my nails for some reason. So when I saw this, I was intrigued and thought it was worth a shot. I chose Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Malibu Peach because I thought it looked closest to that coral color I wanted to find! 

Now, just ignore my totally poor manicure skills. The cuticles, the unevenness.... the color is the point to pay attention to. So, two coats went on and it's pretty opaque, but not 100% and I didn't quite get that, but I still really liked the quirky color, but NOW I GET IT.......

DOH! No WONDER the display said TWO STEP and showed a picture of a nail polish bottle AND a black bottle....... You need to also purchase the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat !!! I guess I totally missed step #2 in a two-part process!!! While I did use my own top coat, now I'm seeing online that the special gel top coat must make the color look shiny like a gel manicure. So, I'm going to have to try that soon, now don't I? Lol. I feel silly, but at least I'm rocking fairly opaque peach nails. Ha!

And finally, I know.... I know I am obsessed with these Burt's Bees Lip Crayon's. I have four now, but they are the BEST natural, drugstore bought lipsticks that I have found, and in fact, eco or not, department store or drugstore, they're some of my favorite lipsticks that I own! So, in the past I've talked about these lip crayons in the perfectly pink nude, "Sedona Sands" , the pale, icy pink, "Carolina Coast" and the bright, rosy color "Hawaiian Smolder." Now I have a Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Niagara Overlook, probably my most favorite color of all!!!! \(^-^)/ Here is how I would describe looks a little less pink than these pictures that I see here. (Sorry, I tried). Niagara Overlook is closest to my Hawaiian Smolder, but less pinky, more red. It's not completely opaque, but also not sheer. Niagara Overlook is soft, not over-powering. Think of a rose lipstick with a hint of red and a bit of shine. I love it!!! :)

Oh my gosh, Phew! And that's that! Now I have to run, it's time for bed and my fingers have been pecking away at this keyboard all night! :)

Until next time, know that I believe in your so much, and that gray hair or new haircut or anything else for that matter, whatever you set your mind to, YOU CAN TRULY DO IT!


Karen said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new cut!! It's what I'd love for my hair to do, but I have the opposite attachment to my pixie! I keep trying to talk myself into the commitment to grow it out. Looks so fabulous on you! (I didn't now that about the SH gel polish, either. Hee hee!)

Karen said...

I meant to also say you may like Jamberry nail lacquer. I bought some recently and was impressed with how well it applied and lasted and it's got a lot fewer chemicals than some other types I have tried.

Karon said...

I LOVE your haircut!!! Mine is a similar style but a little shorter, so I am totally inspired by you! I have a gray hair inspiration page on Pinterest, and your new picture is totally going on there! :) Yay!

Anonymous said...

I started on the journey to let my hair go gray but there is an important family even coming up so...the torturous three weeks ended with a color. My hubby colors mine but it grows ridiculously fast so I'm about done with all this coloring business! I also love that you try new products! At 55 I tend to think it's a done deal but I've grabbed some new things (including a little beaded headband..go me!) to try. Love your new cut! Love this blog!

Unknown said...

I love your haircut!!!!! it is beautiful!!!I am, for the second time in my life, letting my gray grow out. I colored it again a year ago and regretted it. yours is lovely!!

Anonymous said...

Your hair looks gorgeous! You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your journey and all of your great tips.

Julie B said...

I love it! I want to tell you how much you have inspired me to enjoy my graying process. Seriously! I had been coloring for years and finally, at 50, I have decided NO MORE! You and your beautiful silvers helped me to decide it was the right thing to do! I'm only 14 weeks from my last color but I am actually enjoying the process.

karelia Garcia said...

Your blog is really wonderful. The way you write is natural like your personality. You give us confidence. I love your blog. Natural and beautiful is your way; the changes you've done with your hair cut make your face and hair beautiful than ever.

Lisa said...

That is so incredibly cute! I, too, am an early grey-er (since my late 20's but nearly full head since children came along). I'm 40 and trying to get the courage to grow it out and not listen to the nay-sayers (keep coloring it every 4 weeks! you don't want to look old! - and yes, i don't want to look older than my younger husband!) I'll keep following you, and let you know when i take the leap! :)

Lauren said...

\(^-^)/ You guys are the BEST!!!! <3

THANK YOU!!!! Thank you so much for all of these supportive comments. WOW! :)
I'm smiling hugely!!!!
It's making me nuts that I don't have much time to day to be on the computer and reply to each and every one of you. Please know just how much I appreciate your comments and that I read and think about ALL of them.

Love you guys tons! Now off to a bit more cleaning (my mother and father-in-law are coming tomorrow) and then a 2:00 meeting! See you soon and again THANK YOU from my heart!!! \(^-^)/ xoxoxoxo!!!!!

The Color Wheel Gallery said...

Its beautiful! Timeless classic:)

Brianne said...

Really cute haircut! If you love hairspray that doesn't feel icky, try Innersense's hairspray, I create Finish. As a matter of fact, I love the entire line and it's all organic, cruelty-free, and the company is just really awesome. To prevent yellow ends, blow drying with cool to moderately warm heat and no heat implements, most of the time that is what discolors the gray. Rollers are probably a safer bet. ;) Or you can try Curlformers- I think you'd like them because it is heatless altogether.

Unknown said...

Love your new look! Thanks for being such a great inspiration! 8 months into my transition now. Taking it one day at a time.

Janet said...

I love your cute haircut! Really versatile too, you can style it in a retro style, or still put it in a ponytail on casual days. And I'm just loving your posts on beauty products! I've recently gotten back into wearing makeup regularly - (in recent years I'd only wear very little on work days - mascara, concealer, blush, tinted lip balm - and no makeup on days off). But it is fun to play with & try new things, and my skin hasn't been great lately so I'm giving it a bit of extra help! Your sweet girly style really inspires me :D

the opposite of left said...

so, i just wanna say that back in november, I saw your picture on pinterest.{wowzers} and then clicked your link for your blog…now, here I am 5 1/2 months in transition..Pepe le peu skunk stripe has dissipated and ,now, Im getting compliments on a head of hair that makes me look like a calico cat! ha!.so, just to say that you were/are my inspiration…LOVE your cut..{upon reading this blog, I was a little afraid that you'd colored your hair lol} but no! gorgeous hair-do and now I know to buy the burts bee that I have looked at and passed by..thanks!!

Georgina said...

New do looks fabulous! x

Michelle Spencer said...

I must tell you that you inspired me to begin my journey to natural gray hair. I started graying at 16 and have been dyeing it black ever since. Let's just say, I'm in my late 40s, so I've been coloring my hair a L-O-N-G time!
I absolutely adore your new cut. I hope you won't mind if I show your photograph to my hairdresser. 😉 Thank you!

Carly A. said...

Thank you for the continued inspiration!
Your new cut is super cute!

Friese Family said...

Thank you for this post....I was hoping you were still grey and loving it, I turned 40 in December and I am SO sick of coloring my hair and mostly grey on top I have been agonizing over going grey for a while but I think I am ready to put the color away FOREVER and just be my natural grey self - hopefully I can look as amazing as you once it's all grown out! I have 6 kids from 19 to 1, I don't want to be mistaken for their grandma, ha!

PBnJ said...

LOVE THE CUT! It is super-cute! I've only just found your blog today (thanks, Pinterest).Thanks for going public with the premature grey and the transition.

Anyway, hi, I'm Pam, 42 and awesome. I've been going grey for a while now, prolly since I turned 30. My friends call the white streaks in my bangs my "racing stripes." Okay, they used to, since I've been coloring my hair regularly and religiously for the last 5 years. I even have a pink stripe underneath, which I love. So I've been thinking about going grey, just to make a change. My hair is long and thick and dark brown, so a color change is less traumatic than a length/style change. I'm not sure just how slow the transformation will be, but I think I'm ready for something. I'm dreading the change, both as an acknowledgement of the aging process (I don' wanna!) and what the hubby will say. My mother is a beautiful snow white (with a teal stripe, for fun), so at least I have that to look forward to. Thanks for listening. It helps to know that I'm not the only one who's young and going grey.

Lauren said...

(>'-')> My heart is FILLED with Joy! Thank you everyone. I have read all of your comments word-for-word. Know how much I want to reply to each of you. I've just have an influx of beautiful comments here and on other posts and on the Facebook page and even though I want to personally reply to each comment, sometimes I just miss the mark. Know how deeply I appreciate your words and how each of you is on my mind and in my heart, sending "Go you!" thoughts!

For those of you just starting this journey and those of you in the middle of things, think about how FABULOUS and PROUD you'll feel at the end of this. I look at myself now and think of how much I dreaded the end of hair color and the "skunk stripe" and then marvel at how quickly everything was done and that I never have to worry about things like root touch-up again! :)

There is a pot of gold at the end of this tunnel girls! (Well, maybe silver) but you know what I mean. ;)
Follow your heart and do what's right for you and it will be great!!!

Love all of you, more soon!

stephanie bean said...

your cut is SUPER-CUTE!! :D love your blog!

Lauren said...

Hi Stephanie! \(^-^)/
Awww. Thank you so much!!!!


Valerie said...

Hi Lauren, I, too, like most of your readers have been inspired by you! I am 39 years old and took the plunge! I have been coloring my hair since high school to cover the silvers ! Last Thanksgiving (2014) I colored my hair for the last time! What's so amazing to me is how excited I am each day I wake up and see more and more silver! I love how streaky it is coming in! Your new haircut looks so Betty-esque from Mad Men (tear :( all done now) and the nails and makeup really seal the deal! Of course you are all over my pinterest page for inspiration! Thank you for al you do, and all the people you inspire! Take Care, and can't wait until your next post!

Lauren said...

\(^-^)/ Hiiiiiiiiiiiii Valerie!!! I LOVED your comment! :)
Your enthusiasm and positivity are just fantastic! I love it. A BIG HUGE "congrats" on taking the plunge! And also, no color since last Thanksgiving is a big deal! That is an accomplishment that one can be proud of. :)
So happy that you're enjoying the way that your silvers are growing in. I know that feeling of being excited to see how your new look slowly develops. I think you're going to love the end product!

Thank you for the nice words on my hair and nails and make-up. I'm still crying over Mad Men ending! :( I'll miss it.

I can't wait to find a bit of time to post more soon. I appreciate your encouragement so much!

Dette said...

Your hair looks fabulous and I think even better than long.Thanks for the inspiration on your blog,I am just beginning the long journey from dyed to grey and I hope mine will look even a quarter as good as your beautiful locks in the finish. Dette

Lauren said...

Hi Dette!!!! <3

Awww, thanks. :-)
I bet your hair will look FABULOUS!!!! Then it'll be ME hoping that my hair looks even a quarter as good as yours! :)
Thank you for the compliment on my shorter cut. I think you're right, it's better!
Lots and lots and lots of cheer to you as you head out on this journey. Dette, it's so great in the end, it really is. I hope you love it too. Thanks for stopping by and WELCOME, I'm glad that you're here!!!!

EverythingX said...

Your cut is beautiful--I actually like the way you styled it more than from the salon! Gorgeous, sexy, feminine, and with a 'nod to mod'--very MadMen. Gorgeous!

I just started my hair journey... April 14th was my last dye and I have probably about 1.5 inches or so of growth. Eek! Do you have any photos of your pixie by any chance?

Lauren said...

Hi! Hi EverythingX!

Thank you SO much! I try new ways to style it everyday and each week I feel like I'm getting the hang of it a bit more. Now that Mad Men is over, I've started watching again from the beginning. I just LOVE the hairstyles on there! :)

Congrats on your new journey, that's awesome!!!! \(^-^)/ It sounds like your hair grows quickly which is fab!
Ok, one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't take pictures of y pixie. WHY!? I have no idea. I think I was just feeling camera shy at that time, but I can tell you that I really had a fun time with that cut. It took a while to get used to and I feel more comfortable with longer hair than that (on me) but it was a fun experience. I have one picture and it's not great, but you can find it in this post:

I hope this helps. Lots of luck to you. This is really an amazing journey. It changes me in so many ways and taught me a lot. Thanks for writing!!!!
Lauren :)

Unknown said...

Wow! Your hair looks amazing, Lauren! Long hair looks great on you, but that shorter do with that stunning color is just gorgeous. Grey hair has been slowly becoming the trend these days, and if yours is natural, then the better, right? Hahaha! In any way, thanks for sharing that! All the best to you!

Sadie Montgomery @ Hoshall's Folsom

EverythingX said...

I went and checked out that picture--it's adorable! You're lucky to have some natural curl. I think I might go this week for a pixie cut. I don't have enough growth to remove ALL of the coloured hair, but I'm sure it'll make the transition much easier.

The last time I had it coloured, in April, my stylist tried to take me from dark brown to dark blonde in order to create less contrast between my roots and dyed hair, since it was bugging me so much that I had to do it ever 3-4 weeks. But she ended up absolutely frying my hair, so I'm looking forward to chopping off all the hay-like texture. And like you, I have three colours right now--dark blonde, a 2" strip of light brown, and then silver. So I'd like to at least get rid of the blonde. I've emailed her some photos already--Ginnifer Goodwin and Anne Hathaway's pixies.

My eventual goal is long, thick silver hair (like yours, mine is darker in the back still) with a straight across bang! I have years to go, but it's exciting to have a plan!

EverythingX said...

Here is my progress shot so far. Taken July 3rd, last dye April 14th. I never realized I had a big brown streak in the front!

Lauren said...

Hi! Hi! Oh you are BEAUTIFUL!!! I think your coloring with your gray is just gorgeous. It's stunning with your eye color!
I'm so sorry about your hair being damaged when going lighter. You are definitely not the only one who this has happened too. Soon though, probably sooner than you realize, all your gray will be grown out. :)
I'm like you, darker in the back, but it eventually kind of evens out.

Yay for the pixie! It was so much fun. Lots of ways to style and I think you'll love getting the old color off. I remember that felt great. It took me a bit to get used to seeing myself in short harm but I eventually learned to feel more confident with the new cut.

So much luck to you!!! Thank you for the update and thank you for inspiring other young grays! :)

Unknown said...

Hi! Thank you for sharing your story. Most of my girl friends think i'm crazy for wanting to grow my hair out. Nice to know other women in this age group do not want to color their hair anymore too. I am in process of growing out my hair. I have been using demi glazes. I have about 5 inches of gray.I have found a supportive stylist and she has been so helpful. Your hair looks beautiful. I am excited to see what mine will look like.
Thank you for the inspiration!!!

Anonymous said...

Love your new cut! Thank You for the inspiration! Going to cut mine this way, too! : )

Tina M. said...


I love your blog!! I think you actually look younger and more relaxed with your natural hair. Your eye color just pops!

I'm 45 and I've been growing my hair out since the last time I colored it in June. I've got about 2 1/2 inches of roots now and I am actually not as gray as I thought I was! I've just been coloring my hair for so long that I forgot what color it really was. It's kind of a soft light brown with silver strands and I actually think it's going to look really cool. I'm anxious for the fake looking faded reddish-brown to be gone, but there really isn't all that much of a difference in the brown colors so the stripe hasn't been too horrible.

It's helps so much to have a supportive husband, who even though he is 10 years younger than me, is totally on board with this and not at all afraid of being married to an old lady. His words were, "What's wrong with being natural? You earned those grays!"

Besides, it's getting exhausting explaining to people that no, I am really not 30 years old, and yes, I really am a new grandma.

Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story and I find your positivity really refreshing.

Oh, and there is NO WAY you are going to look like hell at 45 or any other age!


Daniel L.Phillips said...

I love it! Wow! Twenty times prettier.. Daniel

Daniel L.Phillips said...

I would of loved to have my wife look like you for my birthday or something special to me out of the blue. What a wonderful surprise to have her greet me looking as nice as you do. Pretty please keep getting beautiful.. Daniel