Going Gray: To Embrace or Not to Embrace?

Marisa
Member

Hey AW fam! I'd love to hear from you—when did you discover your first GREY HAIR, and what did you / didn't you do about it?

 

I was 27 and in a super stressful time...and that's when I noticed my first grey hair. I was in the bathroom mirror brushing my teeth minding my own business and saw a one-inch long coarse grey hair shooting straight up skywards out of my brunette head. Naturally, I grabbed the tweezer and plucked it. I was able to keep up with this one particular hair for a few months, but, as you can imagine, they have since multiplied (I'm 35 now).

 

When the greys got to the point where there were "more than twenty" of them, I turned towards blonde highlights to blend everything together. I noticed my greys were more prominent on the sides when my hair was in a pony tail. Highlighting wasn't a crazy thing for me to do, as I had periodically highlighted my hair in high school and college for fun, whereas over the past 8 years it has felt more like a "necessity" for blending purposes. 

 

I enjoyed this article in Vogue magazine "It Took a Global Pandemic for Me to Finally Embrace Going Gray in My 30s." I'd love to hear what you think!

 

How are you navigating your transition into your grey haired years? I'd love to hear what this journey looks like for you.

20 REPLIES 20

danielle
Community Manager
Community Manager

I'll never forget when my hairdresser went "Danielle, you have grey hairs" at the age of 17. They've been something and going since then, but I'm not sure if I'll ever accept it and just let them go wild and free. 

"wild and free" sure does sound nice Danielle! I'll keep you posted

Margie
Member

thank you for sharing this article! I’m also seeing more women of all ages rocking gray hair and I have to say it looks great but most importantly, whether they intend to or not, they’re inspiring me to celebrate the natural and incredible beauty of women. 

While I don’t have gray hair, I have noticed a shift to more subtle make up (if any) and feeling much more comfortable showing my real face 🙂 

so glad you mention subtle makeup! I like the sound of that. growing up on the East Coast it felt like people wear more makeup there. when I moved to California 9 years ago it seemed to me that people wore less makeup, in my experience

MollJ84
Member

Embrace!!

 

I’m 36 and was a blonde but now a silver 😉 

 

I plucked a lot of the grays out when I first found them in my 20s. But I got tire of plucking and highlighting. And I want my girls to see the real me. I totally understand continuing the color and highlights, but I like my color the way it is 

the "pluck fatigue" is real Molly! thank you for sharing here. hope you're having a good week😊

Casey
Member

I’ve been getting gray hairs for almost ten years now (I’m 37) and I still pull them out or dye them. 

I’m almost ready to embrace, but not there yet. Hate to admit it but it feels like aging I’m not totally ready to face. I do agree it’s beautiful! I’m just still a bit insecure about it 😕

thanks for sharing Casey. wow we are having a similar journey. we are gray hair pluck / dye twins! let's keep each other posted 💜 thanks for sharing here

Pblue9
Member

I'm with you @Casey and I'm in my 60s! I am having trouble coming to terms that I'm not as young (or look as young) as I used to be and if the grays are one thing I can control, I will - and I'm a brunette. I did just see the images of Sarah Jessica Parker embracing her grays though and that was inspiring. 😁 But I am not there yet. I say whatever works for you to make you feel your best.

Marisa
Member

thanks for mentioning "whatever works for you" here💜 while I appreciate the wisdom of the group, ultimately we'll all have to make our own choice when we're ready! thanks again for chiming in! I'll keep everybody posted!

MamaSpector
Member

I got my first gray hair at 16!  I am 44 now, still coloring away.  Every once in a while I attempt to grow it out but I just cant!

 

Marisa
Member

thanks for sharing MamaSpector! keep us posted. every time i think of growing out my hair I change my mind and go back to the highlights

thumbsofsteel
Member

At 50, I looked at my grey and said, "F-it. I will embrace it." I had been talking to my hairdresser about foregoing the grey-cover and embracing the grey.  Finally, I told her I was ready. She did a grey-blend that I LOVED, and went shorter than I usually do. It ended up brightening my face. I was getting looks from dudes in Whole Foods. I actually felt sexier accentuating & embracing my grey reality. I'm still grey-blending to good effect at 52. Heads turn in a good way. I think it's very empowering to naturally accentuate what is going on with us physically, and believe me, men pick up on that confidence and respond to it positively, if you own it. Go Grey!!

@thumbsofsteel I lOVE your approach to the "grey-blend" that's a really creative way to have it both ways—to embrace the gray with a particular style. I can TOTALLY relate to peoples' reactions in Whole Foods as the barometer of public opinion 🤣 how did you know where I shop 😅 thanks so much for joining into the conversation; we're so glad you're here!

w-louque
Member

I got my first grey in my early 20’s but had started dying my hair at age 15. I turned 50 in the fall of 2018. At that time dyed grey hair was coming into style for women in their 20’s and I started seeing more women embrace their grey and post their “grow out” journey on Instagram. 

My decision to grow mine out came after being asked by husband what I had been painting that day. The white streak he saw was just my grey roots that needed covering. I always dyed my hair myself but it was needing touch ups every 7-10 days. And honestly, who has time for that?!!

 

I started in January 2019 and it took about a year of haircuts to get the roots to meet the ends (my hair is shoulder length. By the fall I had a ridiculous line of demarcation with about 2” left of light brown on the ends. My solution was to dye just the tips a dark blue until it grew out totally. I got so many complements on my hair after doing that and I still do it every once in a while (super easy by putting 4-5 ponytails up and leaving color on the tips for no longer than 10min).

 

Here’s some tips....

1. Make a decision a go for it! The first few months are the hardest but hats are your friend!

2. You don’t know what your grey will look like until you grow it all out. I thought I was way whiter!

3. Reduce your cognitive dissonance by following Instagram hashtags #grombre #silverfox #greyhairdontcare #wisdomhighlights 

4. Remember that people you haven’t seen in a while may be shocked when they see you.
5. Posting pictures of yourself (being vulnerable) might just give someone else the courage to embrace their grey, as well. My mom (75) is now in the process of growing hers out and it looks fabulous!

wow @w-louque thank you so much for sharing your story here! I had no idea how to do dye at the tips of the hair; thanks for the cue with the multiple ponytails. very very cool! 👍 thank you for sharing the story of your husband noticing a "painting" streak 🖌 on your hair. My husband has historically made similar observations on other topics that show me that all the effort I'm putting in shouldn't have anything to do with other peoples' perception, and I should check in and see what I really feel like doing. The hashtags are great resources too, as I am a big Insta user! Thanks for joining in the conversation here on AthletaWell and sharing your wisdom! So glad you're here. 🙏

Margeaux_H
Guide
Guide

I am 50 and I still can't embrace my grays.  They are only in the front of my head framing my face like a headband and I just feel like they are the only thing that tells my age.  I think I will come to acceptance of them in a few more years like maybe when I am 60.  until then my colorist and I will maintain on relationship 🙂 

@Margeaux_H that made me chuckle when you said you and your colorist will still maintain a relationship 😁 I know what you mean about the little greys right around the face. that's where I get them too! 🤣 like a headband as you say

Gigi_ATX
Member

Gray I did it! Embraced my grey. I have been toying with the idea for years since coloring my hair is expensive, time consuming, hard to get scheduled blah blah blah. I am not telling you anything new. I have always dirty blonde with highlights. As the grey took over I had to move move into adding low lights to get some depth back that never stayed after a few washes. Then Nov 2019 (age 49) was my last highlight.  In Jan 2020 I tried a professionally applied grey rinse to help the process. It was $$$ and lasted a couple weeks. Then and there I decided no more coloring. Little did I know I would be non social for a year. Needless to say growing out is slow 5+ inches a year but I am now at shoulder length with all over grey with brownish (that hasn’t turned grey) and white highlights. It’s a kick. I even got a compliment yesterday and they lady wanted to know how i had the courage to do it! I spent a lot of time in pony tails but I find when I wash and blow dry, the hair looks better and makes the grow out less visible. Best of luck. Start now so you can you use winter as an excuse to wear hats to keep you head warm. And who doesn’t love a scarf head band or head covering. Best!

@Gigi_ATX thanks for your sharing your going gray story here! I especially appreciate your point about winter is coming! A great time for hats, scarves, wraps 👍 that is so disheartening re: the amount of financial investment AND how short of a time it actually lasts for. Whew! thanks for enriching the conversation; we're so glad you're here in AthletaWell!