Taking the Leap – Going Gray

I’m taking the plunge, I’m embracing my age and letting my hair go gray – creatively, that is. I’m often shocked when I encounter someone I haven’t seen in awhile, and during that time they’ve gone totally gray. So I decided mine will be more gradual and intentional.

Some of my friends have done it, others have opted to stay on the color train. Many just let the gray naturally grow out, others have gone blond first so the process is less noticeable.  All of my life I wanted to be tall and blond, but being barely 5 foot tall and brunette, that was not going to happen. Truthfully, I’ve never looked good with light hair, even when I would add more highlights, I thought it aged me.

Another factor, my mother had gorgeous gray hair. I never knew her with dark hair because she was totally gray by the time she was in her late thirties. She was often mistaken for my dad’s mother instead of his wife, much to my grandmother’s delight and my mom’s chagrin. So with this in the back of my mind, I swore to color my own hair until I so old that it was obvious that I was dying it. But what was that age – 60 was way too young… 65, no…maybe 70? So I kept limping along with my colored and highlighted hair.

My last day of teaching 2012
Louise Penny book signing 2014.

Then I started noticing women about my age with gorgeous gray or white hair, and wistfully thought how freeing it would be to eventually not have to make the 5 week trek the to salon to get my hair colored. I began a search on Pinterest – you can see my board here – then I finally broached the subject with my hairdresser.  I showed her some of my pins and after another agonizing year, we came up with a plan. As I’ve said, it’s going to be creative.

We’re starting small and going slow. The photo above was taken in January of this year. As you can see, I have a lot of dark here.

She left a majority dark, but began to weave more blond highlights into my hair, especially in the front and the crown that always gets that skunk streak just before my appointment.

Here’s the next phase. We are allowing those lighter highlights to grow out, and they are being replaced with my natural colored hair. I liked the blond and red that happened here.

This was taken last week. Not as much blond, more gray.

My idea is to leave some dark ‘lowlights’ mixed with my natural gray, so that it looks intentional. As I said, I’m ready to  embrace my gray hair, but not entirely. It will be an gradual and intentional process.

Stay tuned.



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6 thoughts on “Taking the Leap – Going Gray

  1. I actually LOVE the new look! It suits you really well 🙂 I am still coloring at age 56, and because I get the random grays that spring out wildly, I’ll probably try to do the highlighting “thing” for a number of years yet. Once it gets to be a huge pain and expensive, then I’ll give it up, too. I love your new look!

  2. This is a huge subject! I tried gradually going gray i.e. putting in fewer highlights etc. at age 50! I went to the same colorist for many many years who really knew me. Well, let’s just say it didn’t work. No indeed. Awful. So we went back to single process and high and low lights. And now, many years later and a new city with new colorist, I am still doing the same thing. But I color my own hair in between my 3 month appointment at salon. Works beautifully. I can’t possibly go 5 weeks. Wow, good for you. 3 is tops for me. No, I doubt (never say never, right?) that I will ever go gray. But it’s a very personal issue, for sure and yes, I am a bit envious of you who can do it!!

    • Well Libby, I’m not sure that I’m doing the right thing. We’ll see. So far I’ve been getting positive comments on it, and I want to keep some dark lowlights so that it looks intentional. I’ve been going to the same hairdresser for over 20 years, and her rates are very reasonable, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go so often. I might decide to go back, who knows – it’s a journey for sure.