Tuesday, November 22, 2016

state of grey(ce) - three years on with grey hair

Well hello there. It's been a while.

Although I sort of abandoned writing about my transition to grey hair a while back (even though it was the inspiration to start the blog in the first place) it's still pretty apparent to me that a LOT of you find your way here seeking some kind of information on that very topic. Perhaps you're contemplating the transition yourself? Perhaps you're part way through your transition and are wondering if you've got the patience (or the guts) to take it all the way? Or maybe you're long over the transition, and still have the occasional urge to return to the dark (or blonde, or red, or even shocking blue) side? :)

My original transition
Well, I'm here as yet another voice (from the increasingly vocal) grey-haired community to give you my two cents about how it's gone for me so far. That being said, I've always maintained that going natural is a highly personal choice - I don't think for a moment that what I say will influence you one way or another - I'm strictly here to ramble on about my own thoughts on the subject and leave it to you take from it what you will.

I've been pretty much 95% happy with the choice I made to go grey. I like the way I look and am very comfortable living with it.  I still receive compliments on a regular basis from friends and strangers alike regarding my hair colour (outside validation, while NOT necessary, is of course always lovely and appreciated).

A shot from this past summer

The other 5% of the time? Well, I'm sure there are those that still look at me and think, "she'd look SO much better/younger if she dyed her hair" - and while that's their prerogative, of course  I have days where I wonder if others see me as the proverbial old hag who's just let herself go - or even worse - maybe they don't see me at all. Maybe I've become part of the "invisible generation" - those women that figuratively cease to exist to society once they've reached that "certain" age where they're no longer seen as sexually attractive/viable. This can even hit home to me when I'll be talking to a female friend or colleague (usually younger than me) who lament that they're way past getting their grey touched up, and they just feel so "horrible and ugly"...as if they're not standing talking to someone with a full head of silver grey hair!

I try not to take it personally when that happens. I mean, I've been there.  I remember those days. Those times when that telltale stripe that shouted to the world - "I'm an imposter!"  "I'm not really as young as you might think!" or "I can't afford to go to the hairdresser right now!"...you name it, either way it all ties into to self esteem, self-respect, self-image. I totally get it.

I've had daydreams where I show up to my office on a Monday morning and surprise my co-workers with a newly-coloured head of blonde hair (or maybe a lovely auburn?) - but then I think of the time and effort it would take to re-transition if I didn't like it - or the time and money it would take to maintain it - and I'd also immediately feel as if I'd let myself down, or cheated myself somehow. That's when it's reaffirmed for me that I DID do this for all the right reasons - and that I have zero interest in getting back on the hair colour merry-go-round.

But again - going grey is a very personal choice.  If I hadn't been ready to do it, I wouldn't have, and that's that. So, I believe if you're going to do it, you've got to WANT to do it, to invest the time, and see it through.  No matter how many times I've encouraged others to give it a shot (when they complain about dying their hair), I'm usually met with, "Oh, but my grey isn't as nice as your grey" - or "I just don't have the courage" - there's really nothing I can do to convince them they should give it a try.

HOWEVER -  if you are ready to give it a go?  In case you haven't noticed, grey/silver is a much-coveted fashion statement these days - so if ever there was a time to go for it, the time is now.  (I must admit, I feel a small amount of smug pleasure when I see a 20-something rocking a head of obviously dyed silver hair, and know that mine is the real thing). :) It's also a great time to have some fun with your new look - there are SO many fashionable women who are making splashes on Instagram and other social media platforms displaying a playful confidence in themselves:

Shauna from Chic Over 50 - Totally my style!!

LOVE this look / t-shirt!
The Accidental Icon
Confidence.  That's a word you'll hear a lot throughout a transition - that, and Courage, as in, "I don't have the courage/confidence to pull that off!"  or "That must have taken a lot of courage!" Wellllll...yes, I suppose in some small way it did - but what of it?  Again, the times they are a changin' - barriers are being broken down in SO many areas that were once taboo to even speak of - mental health issues, gender equality to name but a few....so I'd say having grey hair is waaaaaaay down there on the list of things that takes courage - I mean, after all, we're not fighting a disease, or jumping out of an airplane here people - it's only hair!  

(Sorry.  Maybe that last bit did sound a bit preachy). :) 

Anyway...if you ARE curious about what your natural hair is doing under years of hair dye, and contemplating a move to the silver side, and you're really ready to do it - I say go for it!  The worst that can happen is you'll just dye it back.  To me, what it comes down to is this:  You only have yourself to answer to - and whether you choose ravishing red,  jet black, bombshell blonde, rainbow mermaid or platinum silver- listen to your inner voice, and do what feels right for YOU.  You can't lose. :)


  1. I think your hair is GORGEOUS! Going natural brightened your face and your smile.😀

  2. This is so amazing blog. Thanks for sharing the blog
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