When you announce you are no longer coloring your hair to hide your gray, one gets a variety of responses. Let me tell you, deciding to go gray in your 40’s (or sooner!) definitely goes against the grain. It’s okay, add it to the list 😉
Mostly, the response has been favorable, at least to my face! But what I have heard most often is “that’s nice, but I could NEVER do that.” Some people also said “don’t do it!”
I didn’t listen and I did it anyway.
Not too long ago my mom decided to stop coloring her hair. Her hair is a nicely silvery color. My grandmother on my dad’s side always had a nice silvery head of hair. I figured the chances were that I would like the color of my gray as well. I certainly do! If I didn’t though, I could always color again.
Why Go Gray
What I have learned is that women go gray for a variety of reasons. Some have reactions to the hair dye chemicals, some are tired of the chemicals, some want to save money. For me I was just tired of being a slave to the hair dye every 3-4 weeks. I would usually get a salon cut and color every 8-10 weeks and then in between do my roots one or two times.
I know some people look forward to salon visits but I didn’t. It felt like a big time waste to me. It was hard to find a good time to go and I could always think of about 10 other things I would rather being doing. For me it boiled down to time, but the cost savings has been a nice bonus!
How to Go Gray
There are different ways to go gray and everyone seems to go about it a little bit differently. Some women choose to just stop coloring cold turkey and let the grays grow in and leave their hair long. Others attempt to get color stripped out or put blond highlights in. The color stripping can produce a variety of results, some end up with damaged hair and others love the result. Still others have blond highlights put in to lessen the difference. I chose to go cold turkey. Yes, I lived with the “skunk line” for several months. The beginning seems to be most awkward because it looks like you are just letting yourself go or being lazy about coloring your roots.
Over a period of a few months I gradually cut my hair shorter. I ended up regretting going from my December ’16 length to my January ’17 length. If I had to do it all again, I would have continued to let my roots grow until I could do just one big chop to completely get the color off. In January and February I was pretty frustrated with my hair, just ask my sister as she received the brunt of my whiny texts!
I wasn’t just frustrated with my two tone hair, but I was frustrated with the short length. I was so happy to finally get all the color all cut off, even if my hair is super short. Now I can just concentrate on growing it out instead of wondering what its going to look like and when I will finally be finished.
I will say that this was harder than I thought it would be. In the grand scheme of things, hair color is not “hard”, I realize it sounds shallow and I know people have much more difficult obstacles to face but, hey looking at your hair that you aren’t crazy about day in and day out gets tiresome. It’s definitely worth it though and I’m so glad that I took the plunge.
A huge source of encouragement to me was the Facebook group GGG Going Gray Guide. The women are super supportive and have lots of tips and tricks. Plus, women are always sharing pictures of their gorgeous locks and it’s very inspiring. Living in Florida I see plenty of women with silver hair, but still not many younger women.
Growing Hair Tricks
Here are some of the (crazy!) things I’m doing to help encourage my hair to grow 🙂 (affiliate links)
Collagen – I put this in my coffee each morning. Doesn’t change the taste of anything.
Bone Broth – I’m just starting with this but as soon as I see “helps promote hair growth” I’m sold!
Vitamins – I have tried a couple of different varieties, this is the one I’m currently using
Purple Shampoo – I was mostly using this as I was waiting for my colored ends to get cut off. The shampoo helped to tone down the brassiness just a bit. Also, purple shampoo can help prevent the yellowing that some people experience when their hair is salt than pepper.
Castor Oil – Some people swear by this for hair growth. I’m not sure, but it’s inexpensive and it makes my hair soft. I just use it on my scalp in the morning before I wash my hair.
Scalp Massager – This wins the award for the weirdest thing I have used! But my kids have gotten a big kick out of it and it actually does feel great.