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Going Gray: It’s Not Simple for Everywoman

Happy Weekend ladies! It’s finally raining here and not a moment too soon. California is parched so we need it but my hair doesn’t. I met girlfriends for lunch and a little shopping this week and per usual, the rain made my baby fine hair go flat…but worse than usual. Thin, fine hair is seldom improved by rain. Come to think of it, curly hair isn’t either. Today I’m sharing what’s happening on top of my head, not because it’s earthshaking but because I’m probably not alone.

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I liked how I was dressed but I wasn’t happy with what happened to my hair. I’d stopped high and low lighting my blonde hair several months ago to see what Mother Nature was giving me. I assumed that at my age, my hair would grow in a pretty silver like my Mum’s. It’s not coming in quite as expected and I have less silver than I wanted.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life going gray haired

I’m satisfied with the color so far, but not the texture. I hadn’t considered that when I stopped coloring my hair it would lose body and my hair would go flat. Couple that with a blunter haircut last time and my hair feels frumpy.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled life wearing Lisa Bayne design

Images of stunning gray and silver hair fills the internet which look beautiful and powerful to me. Everyone goes gray or silver eventually, but I seem to be a late bloomer. Don’t get me wrong, my hair is fine, but I know it can look better.

I chatted these options over with my girlfriends:

  • Go back to hi and low lighting for the body and brightness it provides.
  • Leave it alone and be unhappy…not my style.
  • Bleach it out white to look like I have silver hair and get the added body from the bleach.

Those options were all quickly nixed so I called my stylist and she squeezed me in between clients to add more layers for what she calls “a sassier cut”.

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I’ll see how this works but the verdict isn’t in. I want to go silver but if it’s at the expense of me feeling good about my appearance, I won’t stick with it.

Did you go gray easily or are you avoiding it like the plague?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

 

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176 Comments

  1. Going grey shifts a lot. My make up colors changed slightly, I did get a sassy do and continue to keep a sassy do. My clothing colors changed as wel, some just weren’t working anymore, especially for me browns and olives.

  2. How weird? I have been following your thin hair challenges since I am having serious thinning as well (similar issues & started using Minoxidil). I made decision a couple of weeks ago to go with gray since I am hoping for healthier hair. I ordered a beautiful gray wig to wear during the transition as I know I could not deal with growing out stage. Now I M worried about my hair texture after reading your post. Keep us informed on your journey!

    1. It will feel finer without the color Katherine but you can always wear a topper to add volume. I hope the minoxidil helps you!! From what I understand, thinning hair has to do with the follicles, so keeping them stimulated makes the biggest difference. Brush your hair gently and massage your scalp! I think it helps too.

  3. My hair is nearly all grey now especially at the front. The back refuses to go grey and is much darker so I have foil highlighs every 4 months to even things up. I find that layers definitely add bounce.

  4. Been battling fine, straight hair my entire life. I now have a chin-length bob – layers tend to be hard to manage for me and always make my hair go flatter. I do highlight as I have grey but not enough to grow it out. I condition first and then shampoo in the shower; now using Viviscal brand which seems to help. I use a dab of Living Proof mousse before blow drying and a few spritzers of Kerastase volumizer while styling. Finish with a strong hold hair spray. It’s a lot of product I suppose but gives me the result I want!

    1. I use a ton of product on my hair too. I have to or it looks like a skull cap! My stylist gives me light layers which allowed lift, but I use dry shampoo at the roots to do it.

  5. By the way, though I think blues suit you, I think you absolutely shine in bright pink. I’d not have thought that such a strong color would be so flattering on very fair coloring.

  6. This is funny timing, because I was thinking of complimenting you yesterday on your hair, thinking it looked very becoming and not in the least dumpy. I like it behind your ears. I never got around to posting, however.

    1. Thanks Renee. I think women are always harder on themselves. Naturally, I don’t share the yucky pictures, unless I’m in the dressing room:) I’ve always liked my hair behind my ears which is why I like wearing it up

    1. Thanks Pam. This is by Sarah Cavender. She’s an artist in the US. It’s made of fine metal. I’ve had it for many years but she’s still designing. Her pieces are quite unique and very lightweight. You can google her plus Artful Home carries many of her pieces.

  7. I also have very fine, dry hair and it’s not thick, so I have sought ways to provide it with long lasting body since I was a teenager. My solution has been a gentle permanent for body about every 4-5 months. I don’t wash it every day, so on the days I do wash I blow dry and straighten my hair, using a straightener sparingly to avoid too much heat on my delicate hair. I then sleep on a satin pillowcase to preserve the hairstyle and to minimize stress on my hair. I have medium brown hair which is turning grey. I use one of those deep purple shampoos about every other wash to keep the grey from looking brassy and I actually get a lot of compliments on my hair! It helps that grey hair is kind of “in” right now, even with young women. From time to time I have tried going without the permanent in my hair, but it’s total flatness drives me crazy. And they have such gentle perms now, that I am able, with regular trims and careful conditioning and avoidance of daily shampoos, to keep my hair healthy. Oh, and like another hair sister mentioned (????) I also have a few hairpieces (a bun and a ponytail– I actually googled “brown hair turning grey” and found hairpieces that match my hair exactly!!!) that help me on that last day or so before the next wash. My goodness! All this maintenance! Still, I do love getting older and am grateful for all the good things about this time of life!

    1. Some great tips in here Audrey! I used to have body waves many years ago but never thought to blow it straight! Genious. I need some hairpieces to try too!

  8. I also have fine, thin hair, but am still coloring as it is brunette. However, I have to tell you, after 58 years, I have finally discovered the holy grail of styling for fine hair. Velcro rollers. May require a dressing routine change, but totally worth it. Applying volumizing gel to roots, and dry your hair using a round styling brush. Use a little hairspray for each strand, and Put largest Velcro rollers you can fit at the crown and smaller ones underneath. Then do your makeup. Etc. take those rollers out and style as usual. Lots of body that has lasted me all day. Give it a go!

  9. My mother is 93 years old and had brown hair when she was younger. She has never seemed to go grey – her hair has just kind of faded. I feel that the fading thing is common among women with lighter color hair. I am 58 with fine but thick ash blonde , my hairdresser says I have no grey yet so I am still hi-and lo-lighting and texturizing for the body also.im hoping for beautiful grey hair too!

    1. First, lucky you having your Mom! Your hair sounds like you could keep that look for a very long time. I will give this a bit more time before I decide what to do about the color.

  10. A couple friends have let their hair go gray and look great. When I asked my hairdresser what we could do, she commented, not yet…you have a young looking face. My mother’s hair was dark and had the most beautiful salt and pepper hair.

    1. I love the look of salt and pepper hair. It’s such an individual decision. We need to consider style, texture and skin tune as well as what we want to look like.

  11. I wear my (naturally) very dark brown hair almost to my shoulders. The dark brown color my hairdresser used to cover my grey started to look harsh, so she began to lighten it slightly, to a more brown/auburn. While I liked this look, it was hard on my hair, especially the ends that were older and had been colored more often. So I decided I either had to go to a short haircut or stop coloring my hair. I choose the latter.

    For a few months my hairdresser did uneven low lights so that I wouldn’t have the tell tale zebra stripe at my hairline.. And then I just let nature take its course. It took about two years, but I am now still kind of dark brown, but with more and more silver throughout. I thought is would dull my complexion, but I find it’s just a softer look on me.

    I’m really glad I went grey as my hair is much healthier and I like the more natural look. But I know it’s not for everyone. My sister-in-law went silver grey in her fifties. Her hair is beautiful, but in her case, it really made her look much older.

    1. It is such a personal decision. I agree that softening our hair color is important with our complexions as we age. If women keep it too dark it can have the reverse effect and make them look older!! Yours sounds very pretty.

  12. I too, have baby fine hair, but at this point it still pretty thick. My hair is dark brown and I was highlighting mine for the last few years to cover the few grays there. I like the look of my dark hair with a few strands of gray, but do miss the body that highlighting gave it. At 59 a few gray hairs are expected. Time will tell if I let it stay natural or do some to give it a bit more body. Let us know what you do.

    1. Baby fine Hair has always been my biggest challenge, because it’s thin. Add thinning hair to that and I’m in need of all the help I can get!! I will certainly share what I do Elaine.

  13. I have thick, curly hair which I fought my entire life until recently. However, I am probably 80% which has definitely changed the texture of my hair making it difficult to manage. I do color and highlight which helps with the texture — and I prefer the color as opposed to the mousy grey with my complexion. It seems the longer my hair is, the easier to control so I’ve been wearing it longer for the past year.

  14. I had really dark brown hair which started to lose pigment quite early. I straightened, coloured and highlighted for many years. After I retired, I started to grow my grey. It took about a year of blond highlights as I left the root area. My grown out hair finally got a shorter cut and I was pleased with the result. I do think that my grey hair proclaims me a “senior” though. My hair is much healthier now without chemical or heat treatments. Good luck whatever you choose to do!

    1. Going from dark brown to gray is a big adjustment. It changes the color that are flattering to wear and takes some adjusting. It sounds like your shorter cut was a big part of the solution. Lucky you having wave or curl.

      1. I went from dark brown to gray. Looking back at pictures i see the dyed dark hair was harsh, unlike when i was younger. As for clothing color choices, all the colors that looked good on me before still do and I’ve been able to Add colors that i could never wear before (orange, chartreuse, yellow & coral). I have fine hair too and use rogaine because i lost so much hair after i went through menopause. I wear my hair short because when it’s longer the weight makes it fall out.

      2. Overly dark hair can look harsh as we age so I know what you mean. I am a Rogaine user and thankful it works for me too Kim. Thanks for sharing

    2. I highlighted my hair from my twenties until about 10 years ago. At that time I noticed that my super fine hair was getting thinner than it once was and decided to stop using any chemicals on it. No perms and no highlights. I missed the perms more than the highlights since nature was really taking care of that.LOL. I used a curling iron to give my hair some lift and then found that the curling iron was damaging my hair, so it had to go. But flat hair was not going to work for me. About a year ago I spent a lot of time on Youtube looking at different haircuts and styles and found a stylist in Dallas that was using a lot of layers and texturizing with thinning shears. She used a Product with “glue” in the name. I showed the video to my hair stylist and she thought it would be perfect for me. My hair is very short and has lots of different lengths . I wash it, put a blow drying gel in it, blow it dry on on cool ( takes only a few minutes with my fine, thin hair) while I tousle it with my fingers. Then I put the Regis Hair Glue in it and again tousle it with my fingers. I spray it with Spray Wax instead of hairspray and I’m off for the day. This sixty-five year old might be called “crazy”, but not “frumpy.” I love my hair and get many compliments on it. I still think it is getting thinner, but my hair stylist says it isn’t . Oh, I love my grey hair,too. I think most people need a softer color as they age. But, if going grey is not for you, then color it. Put some pink or burgundy streaks in it. Do what you want. At this age, why worry about what others think? Do what makes you happy.

      1. Your ‘do sounds fabulous!!! I agree, we need to wear what makes us happy, on our body and with our hair. If it’s fun, all the better. That Regis glue sounds fascinating Phyllis!

  15. No gray for me! I need color to keep body and gray is not a good color for me. I don’t wear gray on my body, why would I want it on my head?

  16. I can’t imagine not coloring my hair on a regular basis. I have curly, frizzy hair so keratin treatments make it easier to style. When the weather interferes I wear a hat! I keep my hair long enough to pull back in a ponytail when all else fails (Florida). I don’t think I will go grey any time soon.

    1. Exactly what kind of keratin treatment do you do? I tried one a few years ago but it really only lasted about 5-6 weeks, and cost a small fortune! I too have frizzy hair: fine in the winter here in NC but we just got back from Florida and it was a mess! I garden every day here in summer and oh my I look a total mess. Would love to know what you have done!

  17. Hmm. Not seeing the frumpiness you were feeling. I think your hair looks soft and modern. Probably a better cut would make you feel better and I would advise that rather that blasting your fine hair with dye. I’m sensing you’ll look fab with the silver.

    I don’t think it’s easy for any woman to go gray in our Western society. Every head is different and unique. There is no textbook process. There I stopped dyeing my hair two years ago. I thought it would turn gray over night but I’m still mostly salt and pepper, with more pepper than salt! I haven’t noticed any change in texture, but my hair is quite different than yours – tightly curly and coily.

    1. Thank you Dina. The photos aren’t showing this color quite as mousey as it is in person. I agree, the cut was bad, which she spruced up a bit yesterday. Going gray is a hot topic in our society with many seeing dying it, as a moral weakness.

  18. I went natural about 7 years ago. Fortunately, it was a very easy transition even though I was a dark brunette. I had silver streaks on the sides only as my hair grew out, but the harsh monotone was gone. My hair is much, much lighter now, mostly all silver at the top, with dark in back still. I think you will enjoy the time and money saved, and knowing you are not putting so many chemicals on your body. Try a gloss treatment for plumping up the hair and nice shine. Cedarwood essential oil also gives a great shine! I think your hair looks great, and that you will find you are happy with it once your transition is complete.

  19. I also have fine hair that is thinning and went grey about 5 years ago. After experimenting with hairdressers, I’ve found one that loves to cut with a razor, and that seems to help. My hair is similar to yours but not as long and with a few more layers. I’ve found if the bangs start farther back on top of the head, they don’t seem so thin. I love my color now and do use a blue rinse shampoo once a month. You should see what hat hair and static electricity does to a hairdo here in the Northeast. I love not having to get my hair colored anymore! Age 68.

    1. Lucky you Kathy! I know what you mean about bangs. I tried to keep mine thinner when my hair was falling out because I needed the coverage on the side of my head. Hat’s are your friend in the cold weather but I remember the destruction they leave:)

  20. Hi Jennifer. I’m an ash blond/brown naturally with a little bit of gray but I’m avoiding the gray! I understand your issues completely and continue to have my hair colored a light golden blond/brown. Matches what’s left of my eyebrows! I used to get hi/lowlights but suddenly became allergic to the bleach so it’s just an overall color for me. I can’t survive without color; my hair needs the body it adds. You may like the layers, they significantly help my fine hair. Hair products are also essential. I don’t do the helmet look but soft hair spray helps immensely! Keep experimenting, you’ll find your perfect ‘do !

    1. Your comments about eyebrows made me laugh. Back in the day I could have really rocked the uni-brow, but now they are thin and they a graying much faster than my hair!

    2. I try to avoid the helmet look but need my hairspray:) I’m not sure what color my eyebrows are but they sure have a lot of white hairs that stick out like cat whiskers.

  21. I am so over going to the salon for highlights and lowlights. But the gray I see coming in is mixed in with mousy brown and my hairdresser of almost 30 years says I wouldn’t like it. My mom had beautiful salt & pepper hair that went completely white. If I knew mine would look like hers, I’d do it in a minute

    1. Unfortunately, we need to grow some out to see how it will look! My stylist warned me it would go flat but I thought it wouldn’t bother me! Ha! It is.

  22. When I started going gray, it wasn’t and still isn’t even, so I started wearing it very short. It’s only about an inch and a half on top and my hairdresser uses clippers with a short guard around my ears and back. Its fine and straight, but ‘glue’ gives it texture and definition for the layers on top. Always get compliments about my hair. Allows for great earrings!!

  23. I’m avoiding gray as long as possible because it would surely wash me out! Lighter blonde that’s redone at just the roots every 7-10 days has worked so far!

  24. I have fine hair too. Twenty years ago it was thick and no grey, now I am totally grey. But, I am lucky that my daughter is a hairstylist and she keeps it colored and cut for me every 4-6 weeks.

  25. I just turned 71….by the way, 70’s are the new 50’s……..my hair is all natural…..I get compliments all the time….I call it platinum!! You do not look frumpy…….grasp this aging thing…..be bold ……we have earned the right to say & do what ever we want & sit back & enjoy the look on everyone’s face!!

  26. I think it is easier to go grey when you have fair hair as the contrast isn’t so stark, as is the case with your hair. I have dark brown hair and get it cut and coloured every 7 weeks. I think grey hair is extremely ageing and whilst there is nothing wrong with getting old, I think grey hair can look stringy and dirty (Even if it isn’t). If you think your hair looks better with streaks and colour – go for it. Your clothes, makeup and accessories always look so smart, so why wouldn’t you want your hair to look its best, even if it meant colouring it?

    1. I’m on the same page as you Susie! I want it to look my best and if I find the natural color isn’t, I’ll go back to coloring. I don’t see it as a moral weekness to color my hair. Some do.

      1. I agree that lighter coloured hair is an easier to transition to grey. I have always had rich dark brown hair and it’s hard for me to imagine what grey would look like on me! I don’t have a lot of grey yet so if I don’t colour it looks dull. I will eventually let that happen but not sure when. My 90 year old MIL just told me she decided to stop colouring her hair!! Don’t think I’ll wait that long. ????

  27. I am so with you regarding the fine, limp hair. We spend 6 weeks in Florida over the winter and the humidity makes my hair flat. My solution? A small hairpiece. I have let my hair grow just long enough to pull up into a ponytail. I then wrap this hairpiece around the ponytail, pin it in and viola! instant messy bun….which looks cute and stylish. Once I return home from winter break, I’m going to get a cute, sassy cut. Until then – hair piece it is.

      1. Mine is just a rubber band with hair attached to it. So, I simply “tie” it around my small little ponytail. If I’m doing lots of moving, I’ll use two bobby pins to keep it in place, but it stays pretty well on it’s own. That humidity/rain is a killer. I bought it online and the website sent me hair color samples to look at before I ordered. I think getting just the right hair color is key to it not looking fake.

      2. Yes. Google Paula Young. They will send hair color swatches to you before you pick the hairpiece and that was really helpful for me.

    1. Jennifer..your new , more layered hair style is adorable!! Keep up the high and low lights as long as you can!!! It’s a much younger look for our age … high lights give you more body!!! You have years and years left to go grey!!!

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