Anyone Giving Up Coloring to Go Gray?

amck2September 22, 2008

Today is "root day" for me. Midway between my scheduled monthly hair appointments the gray hair in my part and temples begin to sprout and I take a couple hours to color them.

I'm just maintaining my natural hair color at this point. I was doing highlights for several years, but as the ratio of graying hair grew the double-processing began to weaken and dry my hair. So now I have an all-over color that leans to the lightest strands of my natural med. brown hair.

Every time I see Jamie Lee Curtis I am tempted to cut my hair and just let it go natural, but I'm afraid it would age me tremendously. I don't have JLC's height or bone structure. My size, facial features, current hairstyle, are much like Sally Field's. I'm afraid if I go gray I'll look like when she played the mother in Forrest Gump...

DH & I are in our early 50's. He has that Richard Gere salt & pepper hair that, I think, makes him look distinguished and even more handsome.

Would love to hear from anyone who is thinking of, or who has taken the plunge....

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Wow, this is really ironic - I just decided to check this forum for posts on "going gray" and this is the first one! Yes, I am letting mine grown out after DECADES of coloring. I really want to know what it looks like under all the layers of red. It's grown about an inch or so and I'm seeing some nice silver streaks and strands mixed with my natural brown. The only thing is, I like to keep my hair shoulder length and not sure what to do while it is growing out. Cutting it off is not an option and I don't want to process it again. The color I had been using was a "semi-permanent" but, it doesn't exactly wash out, especially at the bottom.

At any rate, I think silver hair rocks! My hubby and I are also in our 50's and his is very salt-and-pepper, especially around the temples!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 3:20PM
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Not a chance! I have a sprinkling of gray and I'm going down swinging a box of Lady Clairol! So far. I'll keep you posted if I change my mind.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 6:06PM
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gypsyrose-My hair is near shoulder length, too. Especially during the summer I like it just long enough to pull back off my neck and face. My lifestyle tends more to the active/outside these days now that our kids are grown and gone. Being able to pull it back for my morning walks makes me feel more presentable if I end up running into someone. I would miss having that option.

But I would have to cut my hair short to grow out the gray. I simply couldn't live with the gray line of demarcation creeping down the side of my head month by month. Then I would have to go through those awkward stages of growing it out again. So I think if I go short, it'll end up short for good.

barnmom- LOL! I hear you, but I'm curious how long you've been coloring. It's been 6 years now for me, and it's just starting to get old....

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 8:15PM
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I think it's been about 6 years for the over all color. I didn't start dying to hide gray, I didn't have any. I have done highlights off and on for many years. But one day my hairdresser convinced me I should go dark brunette from my natural medium brown. So I said okay. Next we did auburn for a while. Vivid auburn. I got tired of that and went back to brunette. By this point I had a few grays and my hair color really is brunette except for the grays. So I keep it that way.

When it gets old, I'll stop. It's not that big a deal for me to color my own hair. It's not that long and it's fine and sort of thin. The dye actually gives it a body boost.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 12:38AM
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I just can't bear to cut my hair short - I have done that a couple times in my life and HATED it - it didn't look bad, I just didn't feel like myself. Also, it is much easier for me to have longer hair that I can put up in a bun or back in a braid.

I am considering putting in some "streaks" (professionally done) while I grow it out, and that would be the last time I process it. Still kind of chicken, though!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:55AM
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I wouldn't want to cut my hair really short either. I think using the highlighting to ease the look of out growth is a good idea. That's what I'd do. Make sure the stylist doesn't do big chunky highlights. Those were the rage a while ago, weren't they? Are they still?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 10:57AM
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I'm really tired of coloring my hair. It's too expensive and inconvenient. I have NO idea what my hair looks like underneath. Grey I know, but I'm afraid the back, near the neck, is still brown, and that would not be a good look.

When I stop working, I'll stop coloring.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 6:13PM
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Well, I am going to a colorist tomorrow for a consultation. I'll see what she recommends.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 5:02PM
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barnmom, I agree about the body boost that coloring gives my hair, I love that.

I know a few people that have gone totally grey and stopped coloring, they love the convenience but honestly, they look older, which they don't seem to mind. I personally do mind. I can't do anything about my body shape changing as I age, I try my best to exercize and eat well, but there seems to be a natural thickening in the midriff that I can't control; I can still do something about my hair though, lol......

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 7:09AM
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I'm 52, single, and still making the occasional attempt to date. Ugh. Not much, though. What began a few years ago as a hopeful experience has become a source of dread and dismay.

Young is in, looking like their mom is not. Most men my age think they still look 30. ;)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 9:11AM
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Well, not everyone with gray hair looks older, it really is individual. I love the way mine is looking growing in, it has a beautiful silver shine and I wear my hair long. I think long, shiny silver hair is beautiful and not aging if one takes care of themselves. If you have dull gray hair, or a muddy type color, then I agree that it may be best to color it to get more body and shine.

Anyway, I am getting some highlights next week, can't wait!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 10:12AM
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I agree, some folks look fabulous with their natural silver hair. I had a shirttail relative (passed away a few years back) who was white by the time she was in her early thirties. She had gorgeous skin and always sported a bit of tan from wintering in Maui. She looked great. Not everyone is so lucky!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 10:50AM
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I colored my hair to cover gray for twenty years. At that point, my roots were so white that I as coloring every three weeks.

I decided blonde would be easier, so I was blonde for four years. Over a year ago, I decided to go gray. I used a silver temporary rinse on the blonde hair while the roots grew out, so I didn't look like I had two toned hair.

My natural hair is a pretty silver color, which I actually love! Who knew?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 2:36PM
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A pretty silver color is a godsend; I guess one doesn't know until one grows it out.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 7:08AM
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I stopped coloring my hair when I turned 50, and at that point I decided to remove all color at once and dye it platinum blond. As it grew out, it turned out that platinum blond was very close to my natural color, and so by age 52 I stopped coloring it at all. My hair is not silver because it was only auburn at its natural darkest, but it has always been many colors. It is now very close to the color that it was when I was five. I used to dye it medium ash brown in my 30s and 40s.

I once saw a woman on the bus in San Francisco who obviously had natural salt & pepper hair (and I mean stark black and white), but she had put a henna rinse on it that only colored the white hairs, and the result looked like fox fur. I was very jealous of that hair color, and I once dyed leopard spots in my hair in the early 1980s. That was shortly after having had a mohawk, which did not really work for me.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:57PM
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I'm 65 and just starting to get grey, around the temples and all. I used to dye my hair in my 20's and 30's, it's
naturally a honey color blond, I wanted to try different colors. Finally I quit dying it back in the 80's. I think I
will probably dye it again when there's more grey but I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 6:28PM
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My friend just went gray and although I am three years older than her a new friend could not believe that I was older than her. I had been considering going gray but I am already freaked out about all the other changes in my appearance so I don't think I can abide it. Plus the recent comment about my dear friend and I do believe gray hair does age one. I am not sure I want to be one of the sea of gray heads I see when there is an older audience in view. On the other hand, I am so weary of going to the salon, spending the money and putting up with the constant revolving door of hair dressers. Though I am a blond, it is hard to keep blond hair exactly the right shade. RIght now after being convinced to run the color through instead of just touching up the roots it looks green, dry and dull. I am sick of worrying about it and am now actually considering just letting it go. I saw a picture of me recently and I look like an onion, my hair is light, my skin is light and I have blue gray eyes so I would be even more colorless with white hair. My hair looks to be white at the roots with no color at all. It probably still has color in the back and underneath which used to be a darker blond naturally but was always sun bleached. I miss my natural hair color so much. I always got compliments on how pretty it was, it was sort of my personal good point as far as my appearance goes, but have not heard that compliment in years and years. Getting old is a series of getting used to losing things that made you ~well you. My hair is long so I would have to hide for a couple of years until it grew out as long. I'm also not up for going way short. Sheesh, being a woman is such a PITA!!! and expensive, too. To your question about going gray, I think about it more and more as it just gets to the point where you wonder will I have to do this for the next 30 years of my life? The thought of chasing down a good colorist through all those years is a bit daunting...we live in a transient city, no Steel Magnolia type hair salon here.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 12:05AM
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Gypsyrose ... are you still out there? wondering what your colorist had to say at your consultation. I've always wondered if you could put grey highlights in and just kinda let the gray take over.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 4:51PM
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As a Master Colorist/Stylist/Salon Owner, you can all try to guess what I have to say about this.
But you'd be wrong. Since you're not my clients and I won't lose money by saying so, there are lots of options out there. Depending on your coloring, lifestyle, age, etc...
I wish people would post pictures of themselves so I could give personalized advice!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:43PM
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I started graying in my 20's. I gave up coloring in my 30's it was so drying and damaging and I was getting a silver ring of grow out around my face in less than two weeks.

I did have to cut it short to grow it out gracefully but now wear it longer. I have people stop me on the street to compliment me on my hair color often.

Here is a pic from my 30th reunion

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 7:34PM
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you women need to try color oops.
it will remove years of hair coloring.
I've seen very dramatic before and afters- it really works, have used it myself. I don't use lifting color so my hair is returned to its natural color. If you used lifting color it will remove all artificial color but you will be left with whatever color your hair turns after bleaching, sometimes orange. But if you have been using deposit only color, like a semi permanent, you will get your natural color back, without having to cut it off.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 1:06PM
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