- The Gorgeous Way To Gray [Prevention]
- What NOT To Do When Those First Gray Hairs Pop Up [Huffington Post]
- The Gray Hair Bible [Oprah]
- How to Love Your Gray Hair [Ladies Home Journal]
- How To Go Gray Naturally [Huffington Post]
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I have regularly dyed my grays since I was 24ish and I blame it mostly on genetics but I am sure there is stress involved. I am at about 25% gray and I go every 5 weeks. My mom has gray, her mom had gray and they all always dyed it. They have always said they do not have the type of gray that is pretty gray. My brother has a little bit and my younger sister is around the age I started dying and has like one gray so I guess I got the brunt of those genes.
I will probably play around with getting it colored gray when I am older. Or maybe it will be so white I can just Kelly Osbourne it if that is still a thing and the courts allow purple hair. For now, I love playing around with different colors, ombre, etc. and my stylist loves that I let him do whatever for the most part. It is by far my biggest beauty splurge but ever since I accidentally gave myself hot roots about 10 years ago, I leave it to the professionals. If I am trying to budget, He does my roots and I leave the salon like that (I know but …) and wash it out myself after 30 minutes. Then every other time I get it cut and styled. It is an Aveda salon, I used all Aveda products and I air dry so my hair is actually pretty healthy. If I didn’t change the color I do not think people would know I dye it.
This is an important issue, Kat! Thank’s for bringing it up. While this ISSUE is NOT yet applicable to me at age 33, but I FULLY intend to color my hair once I start to get gray. My Grandma Leyeh color’s her hair, and so does Grandma Trudy, and both of them have been doeing it for maybe 50 year’s! YAY!
My mom say’s I need to keep my youth, and if that mean’s going to the hair dresser every 2 week’s to keep me looking YOUNG, then that is what I will do. Dad say’s that in my case, look’s are everything and that if I am not at my best, I will NOT be abel to continue to win my cases in the court. FOOEY, b/c I also have a brain that DAD does NOT consider important, but that is also why Dad monitor’s my FITBIT use b/c he does NOT my tuchus to get to big. He also say’s my BLOND hair is what drives so many men to fall all over me, includeing the manageing partner and the judge, and Frank, and other’s, tho Noah is NOT biteing, yet.
So to the rest of the HIVE, do what you have to do to keep the men at bay, giving you whatever edge you can. If that mean’s color for your hair, go for it! YAY!!!!
Sorry I should add that I am 32 now at 25% gray, and single.
I’m giving you a virtual “there, there” pat on the shoulder a la Big Bang Theory.
For my two cents I saw one grey hair in the top of my head a couple of months ago and silently freaked out. NOW I get why women are so concerned about greys (I’m 24). I haven’t seen mine since and I hope it stays that way.
BUT for middle aged to older women, I think a full head of silver looks great! To me that’s the height of class. I hope to give off that same aura when I’m 55+.
I stopped coloring my hair about 4 years ago and started noticing grays about 2-3 years ago. There aren’t a ton but the ones I have are shock white. I think I’ll just embrace it when I eventually go all gray. I don’t plan on coloring my hair until after my wedding next summer, but I’ve been toying with the idea of going red so I might just go for it then.
The texture of my grays is different than the rest of my hair too. There aren’t enough yet to really impact what I do but I occasionally find one standing straight up so I pluck it. I’m interested to see the other responses since I’m just starting down this road.
My skunk stripe (think: Stacy London) will be dyed until I’m at least 40.
I’m blonde, and so far my scattered grays blend fairly well. I hate the texture of my hair when it’s been colored do I’d like to hold off as long as I can. But I’m also not going to go visibly gray in my early 30s when I’m still single and looking, so if they start making more of a splash I will def color.
ETA: the grays are coarse and curly, so they stick out from my straight hair too.
My gray is growing in fast in 5 stripes around my hairline. Right above the ears, at the temples and then one at my widows peak. It feels really intense to me at 35. I’m sure it could be cool later on in a decade or so. So far I took the cheaper approach, and dyed it at home with John Frieda foam. The result is that the texture of my hair completely changed. It’s coarse and difficult to brush through. The worst is that the color only hides the grays for only a week and a half or so. It’s so discouraging. I guess I will go the professional route if someone finds it actually covers the grays for at least 6 weeks.
I had great luck with professional color – it faded a tiny bit, but that just looked like random lighter brown hairs. The only reason I had to get it re-colored was new growth.
I am 35-40% gray which is a process which started in earnest and was very noticeable by age 35. I get it dyed professionally every 6-7 weeks…probably should really be more like every 6 weeks at most. It’s expensive, but I am just not ready to go noticeably gray in public yet. I do have dreams of just going shock gray/white at age 50, but we’ll see.
Most of the senior women at my company have partially or completely gray hair and many of them also do not wear make-up. Guess what? It doesn’t impact how much respect they earn with the quality of their work and their personalities.
I think it’s kind of ridiculous to even have this discussion. Some women will have gray hair, some women will dye it, and it really doesn’t matter – if you work somewhere where it does, I feel bad for you.
First, breathe. Second, unless I missed something, you’re the first to mention anything related to careers.
ALL of the senior women at my company are coloring their hair, except for one manager who’s quite a bit younger than the rest of them. I don’t think that their success is because of their hair dye, but there’s always a tendency to ascribe causation wherever correlation is seen.
(And just in case this is in question: I don’t think there’s anything professional or unprofessional about gray hair — I think it’s totally a matter of personal choice. In my situation I have noticed that my gray hair tends to be a different consistency than the rest of my hair, which sometimes requires extra attention to smoothing so I don’t get a frizzy, frazzled look — the halo of gray! — but maybe that’s me.)
I have dark brown hair and until recently have been pulling off my gray hairs as highlights. I am in my mid-30s and a lawyer, and I think I will just let myself go gray. My thought is that I generally appear younger than I am, so the gray may help project a more “mature” image. (That’s my justification at least…I really just don’t want the hassle and expense of frequent dye jobs!)
My fiance is also 12 years older, which for some reason makes me feel even more comfortable with going gray. It’s just not something I mind.
I sometimes wonder if my clients would treat me differently if I let the gray go. I have a baby face and I often get comments about “how long have I been doing this?”, etc. I don’t think it would affect how I am treated at the firm though.
I have often thought grey hair would help me as well – I’m 42 and a double doctorate but have zero gravitas. Unfortunately, I’m the only one of my family that did NOT go grey early :( I think grey hair looks so strong and stylish.
I don’t color my greys. I saw my first when I was 16, and they started coming in earnest in my early 30’s. I’m 44 and probably 20% grey now. I have straight dark hair in an angled bob, and my greys are very shiny silver, so I love the contrast. They do tend to kink more than my dark hair, so I use different products now to add weight and smooth them, but honestly, I can just smooth my hands over my dry hair and de-kink them most of the time.
My grandmother had salt and pepper hair where the grey came in big streaks. I was hoping for that – love the drama – but mine is more scattered around my crown. Oh well, still love it (but I’d love the streaks more!)
I love the sparkly silver hairs in contrast to dark hair! I would play with my ex-boyfriend’s salt and pepper hair just to see it sparkle. My hair is dark blonde and drab in comparison.
I began dyeing my hair when I was in high school and just never stopped – so yes, I dye, but not because of the grey. I have let the grey grow out almost enough where I could cut the ends and be all grey and then for whatever reason I dye it again – maybe once a year. I just dyed it last month though and this is the first time I’ve regretted it. I thin I am now more accustomed to the grey than the other….I am leaning towards never dyeing it again . It’s just hair – I have fun with it. :)
I started going blonder to hide the gray. I’m 38 and just have scattered gray, but definitely enough to be noticeable against my dark brown natural hair color. Blond highlights every 7-8 weeks really help mask it. I learned that trick from my mother who went fully gray much earlier than me. Unfortunately, gray hair doesn’t hold dark color as well, so she would go from having dark, almost black hair one week to orange-tinted hair a few weeks later. There would be maybe a few weeks where the dyed hair looked like her natural color. So I plan to continue the blond plan as long as it looks good. And then, I have no idea what I will do!
long time lurker
This is pretty much what I do. If I get behind with my highlights, I have a few noticeable streaks around my hairline/top of my head. Have to blow dry a bit more there because they are wiry.
This is my plan!
That’s what I did. Had light brown hair that got brown-er as I aged. After 40 when I had some gray hairs, I colored it (highlights and overall lighter look) because I know I have a tendency to skip beauty maintenance and because I think gray doesn’t look as noticeable against blonde as it does against brown. I’m 45 now and am pretty regular with the hair care — I look plenty old with my wrinkles; I don’t need the gray hair too!
Yup, highlights! At 46, I have no idea how much grey I have. But it seems to be more obvious each time I go in for my quarterly blonde highlights.
Funny thing is, as a prof I might garner more respect if I’d let it go all grey, since profs are assumed to be old white guys with grey hair. But I’m not fond of my natural mousy brown/ dishwater blonde color. So, highlights.
I’m probably at about 10% gray (mine are stark white) at age 33 and have jet black hair so it’s very obvious. I was highlighting so the caramel highlights blended in with the white hairs. However, with a full-time job and single mom juggling two kids, I don’t really have a lot of time to go to the salon…I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do this fall with my hair.
I got two grey/white streaks during high school. I’m in my mid-30s now and they haven’t really grown. Once is a definite solid streak, the other is a little sparser and looks like a highlight. I used to dye my hair (not necessarily to cover the grey but because I liked different colors) but stopped several years ago. Growing out the grey was a pain, but now that it’s the full length of my hair, I really like it. I might change my mind if I get more, though.
RD- I’d love to hear more about this! I am in the process now. I am probably 30-40% gray, with pretty dark base color hair. I put a few lighter highlights in to break up the stark grow-out process, but it’s so challenging! I am not concerned about what it will look like when it is finally grows out, but I am concerned about having a huge gray circle at the top of my head with darn hair underneath as it grows (a friend calls it my impending gray yamaka – I respect that this is not a pc joke). Did you chop your hair short during the grow out?
Thanks! I am so eager to hear about your experience!
I don’t really have a “you SHOULD” do this kind of feeling one way or the other about gray hair. I don’t think it matters, as long as you look polished. I think it’s easier to look polished when you color your hair frequently just because you’re automatically going to the salon frequently, but I certainly don’t think coloring is necessary. I do think obvious roots are so much worse than gray hair. Either keep it up, or give it up, and there is nothing wrong with giving it up. I have an aunt with stark white hair and it is stunning.
That said, I haven’t decided what I’m going to do when the time comes for me. I’m 30, and only have a few random gray hairs, which I just leave alone. I will likely be way too cheap and lazy to keep up coloring my hair frequently, so I’ll probably go grey.
Something I did read somewhere that was an “aha” moment is that if you choose to go gray naturally, you may need to reevaluate what colors of makeup and clothing look good on you, as colors you have been able to wear with dark hair may wash you out as your hair lightens.
I was all the way gray by age 40. I don’t have the interest/time/money to color it — I have things I’d rather do with my time and money, and as someone who can only barely manage to blow dry my hair, at home color would be a disaster for me! I had always thought I would color it if I were in the job market again, but about two years ago changed jobs and forgot that I’d planned to color it in that eventuality — I don’t feel like it made a difference in my job search or the position I got. I have a young-looking face with very few lines, so it’s clear (I think) that I’m prematurely gray.
I am vigilant about regular haircuts and getting my brows waxed, so my hair color looks deliberate, not that I can’t stay on top of my grooming. I alternate between a Pantene blue shampoo/conditioner (to keep it shiny–order from Amazon) and Paul Mitchell smoothing shampoo/conditioner. I used the Aveda Blue Malva for awhile but I thought it smelled like cough syrup.
I think my gray makes me distinctive and is much better than the ashy blonde I see on a lot of older women. As a bonus: People remember me. I rarely have to re-introduce myself to people. And I get lots of compliments; sometimes people even say they are jealous of my hair.
I don’t fool myself that this is the choice that is right for anyone else or that anyone is actually jealous of my hair, but it works for me.
I’m 37 and over 60% gray. I stopped coloring my hair brown about 4 months ago and cut it into a pixie. I was needing to touch up roots after 3 weeks, and I decided I had better things to do with my time and money. I like it and think it looks good, and I get a lot of compliments from friends and strangers alike. I also get some back handed compliments and out right rude comments about it. Overall, I am happy I did it because I am exercising my right to be me and not the image I think others expect.
So Gray, I’m with you! I am 35 and almost 100% gray. I dyed it for a long time until my husband convinced me to try growing it out. The transition was difficult while I tried not to look like a skunk, but now it’s done and I love it. Most people think I’ve colored it this way because I thankfully have a young-looking face, so that helps. I just finished law school (second career) and have had no problems at work or with networking, so if anyone is judging me I haven’t noticed. I am glad I didn’t wait until I was an “appropriate age” to go gray.
I started going grey at 21 (my mom swears it was due to the stress of the military) and I am 32 now. I get it dyed professionally every 7 weeks or so. At 6 it looks fine, at 6.5 I look in the mirror and wonder what happened. I am probably about 25% grey at this point. I am single, and 32, and I think that impacts my decision on this. I think it would make dating more difficult, but honestly it would probably fix the “are you an intern” issues I have at work.
My mom went grey really beautifully. People would stop her on the street to ask her how she got her hair to do that. It looked like gorgeous delicate highlights on her.
My hair seems to be starting to do that too, with the added bonus of a Bonnie Raitt type streak on one side. My haircutting person grabbed hold of the streak one time and told me “You are NEVER EVER allowed to color this!!” Okay! I hear and obey!
Still, every once in a while I get self-conscious about it and think about coloring. So far, the verdict remains: meh. It’s my hair, it grows out of my head this way, so fine.
Oh yeah, I am still only maybe 10% grey. Ask again in another ten years.
Oh, and I should say that I dye my own. And cut my own. Have only been to a salon maybe 4 or 5 times since high school (I’m 47) :)
I am 39 and about 30% grey. I love my curly salt and pepper hair. I generally look about 10 years younger than I am, and the grey hair adds some intrigue. While I certainly don’t mind the grey hair on my head, I have to say that the, um, carpet is being to match the drapes. I find that a lot more upsetting.
The matching is probably what will bug me.
Otherwise: 43 and maybe 3% gray. Very shiny brown hair, so the white looks like more shine or a diffuse Stacy London streak. I get periodic keratin on the crown to prevent frizz (texture is Golda-Meier sometimes and fuzzes more in the constant humidy).
I am in charge of stuff at work and I think that the gray is an asset. Could my skin stop breaking out now?
Oh nooo acne at 43?! I’d die. I got frustrated with mine at 23. I do most of the steps in this link and have been blemish free for a year! :D
+1, when does the skin stop breaking out?? New rule: you shouldn’t have to deal with acne at the same time as wrinkles and grey hair.
Ugh isn’t that the worst? I’m dealing with sparse grey hairs, fine lines around my eyes, and a sudden tremendous breakout that I never had to deal with before–like, life is hard enough why do my looks have to betray me too?!
If anyone is interested I do a weekly series where I review skin care products that combat both young/old skin problems. I call it “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” because apparently that’s why my skin is like. I don’t get any products for free (I wish!) so it’s just my own opinions on stuff to try. Perhaps it may be helpful to some.
I am 55 and professionally dye every 5-6 weeks. I went natural till my son, born when I turned 40, started kindergarten and the other parents thought I was his grandmother due to my all grey hair. I’ll stop when he graduates from high school. Sheer vanity on my part.
My mom, who was completely white/grey at 42 when she had my little sister, also started coloring her hair when strangers stopped to admire her “granddaughter”. My oldest sister, who had kids in her 20s, would be asked if she was dropping out of high school when she was pregnant. Sigh. I’ve learned to just say nice things about the nice baby and not make assumptions about relationships, something not everyone seems to understand.
At 50, I feel like the gray ages me so I spend the money and the time to get salon color every 6 weeks. The texture of the gray is radically different from the limp, fine hair I’ve always had, so for me it’s fun to have the coarser hair. I don’t have to wash it every morning and it still looks good.
S in Chicago
I’m 40 and supernaturally blonde. I have no idea how much of my hair is gray, and I plan to keep it that way.
36 with naturally dark fine hair. I get blond highlights mostly to give my hair some volume, although it has the added bonus of covering the few gray strands that are there. I’ll be interested in seeing how the gray comes in. The ones I have seem to be silvery and normal textured.
Ahh gray hair. I’m 30 and do dye my hair (although I do it myself with semi-professional dye). I’m only about 15% gray, but unfortunately it’s all around my face and I have dark brown hair that makes it stand out. And of course it’s a different texture so I get gray frizzy pieces standing out from my skull (or as my fiance calls it, my devil horns).
The texture change is the worst. I wouldn’t mind my random gray/silver hairs. My boyfriend actually sort of likes them, so I am working on not hating the color myself. If they would just curl like the rest of the hair, I could deal. But noooo, they have to be difficult and weirdly frizzy.
A few white hairs started coming in a few years ago, and now (38.5) I have several around my hairline.
The thing is, I have a lot of curly hair and unless I suddenly wake up totally white, I’m not going to bother with upkeep. The curls will hide most of it until I get to at least 25% white.
Ugh! I started finding grey hairs at 19 (!) and was coloring by 24.
I just turned 50, and I have to have a color touch up every four weeks now.
I wish I could just let it go, but it’s coming in patchy and it’s not a pretty grey anyway.
Watching my mother (72) transition from coloring to grey was eye-opening and little frightening.
I have dark brown hair and 1-2% wiry gray hairs. While few in number, they stick out like a sore thumb. Instead of jumping into hair color, I have opted for deep conditioning treatments every twelve weeks. Supplemented with a color depositing “shampoo,” (it is really more of a color glaze) I have been able to conceal and blend for now.
I’m not sure if I will dye my hair or go completely gray, but I will continue the conditioning treatments. It helps the gray hairs act like normal hair and has cut down on my styling time tremendously. As a $30 add on to my hair cuts, it is far less than color treatments.
I’m 35 and I’ve been dying my hair since I was 30. I have grays right in front so it’s pretty noticeable (at least to me!). I have jet black hair and do it myself at home, once every 4 weeks. I use Naturtint from Whole Foods. I only dye the front part of my hair (I know I have grays in the back but I don’t care about them. It’s the front that bothers me).
I’m 43 and have been going gray since I was 23ish. Colored hair consistently from 24 yrs old, first for fun, and then for coverage. By the time I turned 40, I had to color every 6 weeks and, even then, there was noticable gray growth. I did heavy blond high-lighting to hide the gray and tone down the medium burnette I had colored myself into. After about a year of highlighting, I said scr*w it and now am mostly silvery gray. I love it and it’s gorgeous, but my stylist repeatedly tells me that had the gray not been so silvery, she’d still be coloring my hair. LOL.
I used to find a few very occasional scattered white hairs, but this past year (starting age 27) I’ve been finding a lot more, especially in specific spots (behind my ears and now starting at the nape of my neck).
True confession: I kind of hate them a lot because I see them as an external manifestation of how totally horrible and stressful this year has been (due to family illness), and because I see them as a sign of aging but me not being where I want to be in terms of TTC.
If I try not to see them in that way and just look at them objectively, I don’t really care. I may start highlighting if they grow in a lot more and it’s noticeable to people without looking closely. Noticing mine has made me pay attention to other people’s white hairs, but I don’t get any negative impression of other people based on whether they colour their hair or not.
I found my first gray at about 24 in the midst of a stressful job. I promptly yanked it out and was horrified. Now, at 32, I’ve been through hellish stressful stuff – and I’m starting to see more show up. I’ve decided instead of hating them because they came from the extreme stress I’ve been under, I look at them as badges of honor. I *earned* those grays by surviving life for the past three years.
My hair is a light brown, and has a lot of color in it, so the grays are hard to spot. I don’t know if I’ll have the confidence to keep them when they grow more numerous, but for now, I’m claiming them.
Thanks for that perspective. I hope one day I see them as survival badges :)
I use lab certified pure henna from mehandi at home. The wait time is long but I feel better knowing I’m not putting chemicals on my head every 5-6 weeks.
54 and having issues with hair dye, but I’m 90% white (not gray). Now I am unhappily getting my hair colored professionally every four to five weeks, but by week three things are bad…I have long hair which I wear in a bun so the whole effect is Norman Bates’ mother. DD and DH are begging me to go gray as “it would look so cool” but I just don’t know…it’s a very personal thing in my opinion.
The worst thing I ever did to my hair was to cover my grey. :-( I my grey hair was beautiful. I had my first grey hair at 19. I (foolishly) put color in it at 55 (others said I would look younger). Now at 60 my hair was damaged and not as long. Thank God for my Locks. They keep me looking graceful.
32 and moving toward 10% gray. I just chopped my hair into a pixie so that I could get rid of all the old highlights and henna. I like the “sparklies” and I do feel like I’ve earned them.
I met someone once who was late 30s, with a full head of gray hair. The color was awesome, especially with her dark brows. The problem, though, was the cut: it was 20 years too old for her, and so she looked much older. Isn’t it possible to have a fun haircut with gray hair???
Hi, I’m 42, dark brown hair. I color every few weeks around my temples and the top of my forward with Clairol root touch-up. It’s a hassle, but I count it as part of looking “put together.”
I started going grey at 19, and by my early 20s what looked from a distance to be pretty blonde streaks were really white streaks. When I turned 25 I finally started dying my hair, and I have been very happy with the results. My second time using the same dye, my hair color came out much darker, and now I intentionally dye it dark because it better suits my pale skin and personality.
I had a kid when I was young, and so most of my son’s peers’ parents are 5-15 years older than me. If I didn’t have such oily, youthful skin, I’d let my hair go so that I would look older and fit in better there and at work. Unfortunately grey hair and oily skin don’t pair well on me. If my face ever stops looking so young, I’ll drop the dye.
“There” being situations where I’m around his peers’ parents – school activities, etc.
I’m a 39 yr old med/dark brunette. I have 10-15% gray. I color it every 6-8 weeks. Blonde doesn’t work for me, so when it starts showing, it’s obvious–it’s all around my face. Also, my natural color is getting ashier all the time, so coloring it isn’t just to hide the gray but for it to have a good tone overall. I’ll color mine until it’s mostly gray. My hair is thick and they grays seem to have good texture, so I think it will look good.
I don’t give a damn about the politics of grey hair vs. dying– nor do I regard the latter as evidence of vanity. As a legal recruiter, I regard grey hair like I regard visible tattoos– a luxury that few of us have the market position to afford. If you are a multimillionaire in a secure marriage, knock yourself out waving the grey hair around. Grey hair means less color by your face. Less color by your face means you look more tired. Tired is often equated with old. Work-related age discrimination is rampant. Part of a strategy to combat it is to present as being energetic. Dyed hair, in short helps most candidates as part of that winning strategy.
Colored my hair for over 20 years… totally rocking the gray… silver, platinum, salt and pepper… Whatever you want to call it… I’m loving being dye free!!!