Monday, March 7, 2016

Going Grey. Or Not

I've been thinking a lot lately about going grey. Or not. There are a myriad of articles on the web these days exhorting women to be proud of their grey or white locks. Or "mature hair" as a stylist's assistant once called my soon to be covered up grey. I laughed at that comment. But not out loud. The poor girl looked about twelve, and she was nervously trying to be tactful, trying to set the correct tone for her first day (as she told me) at a very up-market salon here in Ottawa. "How much of your hair is... uh... mature hair?" she asked. "I have absolutely no idea," I responded. "I've been dying it for years." I think I was about forty at the time. 


Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly
Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada.
As a child I had strawberry blonde hair, and later dark blonde with hints of red depending on the light. Then the red faded altogether when I was about twenty, and my hair became quite dark. In my late twenties I started seeing streaks of grey. My hairdresser began to give me blonde highlights around then. That is until one summer we were on vacation, and Hubby snapped a picture of my friend Janet and me. I was tanned, with a red nose from a day at the beach, and platinum blonde hair. "Wha-a-a-t happened to my hair?" I wailed when I saw the picture. I hadn't noticed that the blonde highlights were tucked between an increasing number of grey strands, turning my hair an odd, and very unflattering, shade of grey-ash blonde. Not great with my red-head's complexion and freckles.


my platinum blonde look
Me as a platinum blonde, on vacation in P.E.I. in the  1990's
After that I began to get my hair coloured. Demi-permanent at first, then permanent. I even went full-on red once, finally giving in to the nagging of my hairstylist, David. It was a beautiful colour, with blonde highlights. And which, not to put too fine a point on it, looked like crap on me. Hubby said it looked pink in the bright sunlight. And, as we were in the process of planning a canoe trip, commented that it would come in handy if he ever lost me in the bush. I started shopping for a new hairdresser the next day. 

I've been a dark blonde with highlights, and lately with low-lights as well, for years now. And since 2003, my hair has been in the good hands of my friend Carmen, a veritable hair-magician. She loves to experiment with colour, has never insisted that I should go bright red, and, most importantly, she has always understood that while I'm comfortable being a fifty-something woman... I don't necessarily want hair that says fifty-something. Or at least the stereotypical idea of fifty-something. That's why I left my last before-Carmen hairdresser. He couldn't seem to understand that while I wanted short hair, I didn't want short, boring hair.  

 So, my friends, what has me thinking about changing up a colour which I like, and which I think looks good on me? We-ell. The numbers on the old odometer with be rolling over in a few months... catapulting me into a new decade. So, I'm wondering if my sixtieth birthday might be a good time to reconsider my hair colour. I've also been having some issues with colour resistance, patches of hair that don't take colour very well. And since my hair is really short in the back and on the sides, the roots issue can be a pain. And maybe, maybe I just feel the need for a change. Period. 


fabulous grey pixie cut     fabulous grey pixie cut
                                                        
Apparently grey hair is the newest thing. The latest edgy fashion fad. In my travels around the net for grey-hair inspiration these past few days, I found tons of shots of happy, smiling twenty-somethings with dyed grey hair. I don't mean grey hair that's dyed... I mean hair that's been deliberately dyed grey. There's a difference... big time. No wrinkles, for one thing. But never mind that. The lovely grey locks, above, are created by a colourist, not by mother nature. 

And in my travels around the net, I also found tons of shots of happy, smiling sixty and seventy-something women with grey hair. You know, the women everyone references when they say how great grey hair can look. Helen Mirren, for one, who is 70. Emmylou Harris and Glenn Close, both 68. Judy Dench, 81. And did you know that Meryl Streep, 66, who tossed those grey locks so devastatingly in The Devil Wears Prada... doesn't toss them in real life? Her hair is still blonde. Not that I have a problem with that. It's just that I couldn't find a celebrity near my own age who has let her hair go grey. And I looked. I really did.

Helen Mirren
The queen of the white bob, Helen Mirren looking  fantastic.


Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I see celebrities as role models. I didn't follow Hollywood's lead and opt for Botox, or "fillers" in my forties and fifties. So, why would I be influenced by what celebrities my age do with their hair? I know quite a few bloggers, who are my age, and are grey and fabulous. My brunette sister recently stopped colouring her hair, and has embraced a salt and pepper pixie cut that looks great. It's just that while I was looking for examples of grey hair cuts and colour that I liked, I noticed that there seem to be lots of famous young women, and lots of famous older women... and not so many famous middle-aged women... who have grey hair. Well, except for Jamie Lee Curtis, who is grey and fabulous at 57. Now, what's that all about, do you think?


Jaime Lee Curtis, grey pixie cut.
Jamie Lee Curtis looks fierce in her grey pixie cut
But I'm getting away from my point. Which is how to decide if I want to go grey. Or not. First, I think that my colouring might be a problem. I have a reddish complexion, and freckles, like I mentioned above. Not suited, I think, for grey or silver hair. But how will I know if grey hair looks good or bad on me, if I don't try it? 

So I trawled the internet for hair make-over sites. You know, those websites where you upload a picture of yourself and then try all kinds of different hair-styles. I found a site called The Hair Styler, uploaded this shot of myself from last summer. And then I gave myself a "fake-over." 


Going Grey. Or Not
Freshly cut and coloured last September.
I haven't had so much fun messing around with a website in a long time. First with the mouse, I had to map the shape of my face, using little lines and dots, to block out the background of my original shot. Then I chose hairstyles. I tried to find ones that were somewhat similar to my own. Or which gave me enough hair to see what the colour looked like next to my skin. There were tools to make the bangs longer or shorter, to flip the parting, and to make the cut wider or narrower to match my head. I was more successful with some cuts than with others, as the results laughably show. Some look a tad weird, a bit like I have a mushroom cap on my head. Then I tried several shades of grey with each style for comparison. 

And voila. Twelve different versions of me with varying shades of grey and silver hair. Oops...make that eleven... I just noticed that I repeated one. 

Going Grey. Or Not

Going Grey. Or Not


Some of the colours I quite like on me. Others... not so much. I won't tell you which ones are which. I want to hear what you think. That's why I numbered the shots. 

So, am I any further ahead in making my decision? Not really. Not yet. I'm just getting started. Still doing my research. I found lots of websites that have cuts and colours for grey hair. Including this one: Best Short Hairstyles for Grey Hair. I may go back to The Hair Styler and play around some more. I'll have to consult with Carmen and see what she thinks. I'm not in a hurry. Whatever I do, it won't be to just let my natural colour grow out. I don't want to go all-over grey yet. My hair is very dry, naturally curly, and given to frizz. Going grey would only exacerbate this. I know that when (and if) I do go grey, my hair will still be high maintenance. Mother nature will still be getting lots of help. Healthy, bouncy, shiny, grey hair takes work. Or so I'm told.

I know I said I'm not in a hurry... but... hmmm... as I look at these shots of myself... funny as some of them are... I get an itch to do something dramatic. As Monty Python says... something completely different. And if I hate it. So what? I mean, it's not as if I were still working and would have to face several classes of teenagers aghast at my newly pink, or silver, or pewter hair. Not to mention colleagues, and parents. I'm retired. I can always slink home, endure Hubby's chortles, and simply re-book with Carmen for the next day. 







Okay, friends... so now I want to hear what you have to say. Have you gone grey? Will you go grey? How's that working for you? And how about my experiments with grey. I need feedback. Pick a number, any number. Help me make up my mind if I'm going grey. Or not.





Linking up with "All About You" at Mama and More

86 comments:

  1. Must be something in the air. My 62nd is fast approaching, and I just had this conversation with my hairdresser. It started while trying to get color matched for a new tinted moisturizer, and the very capable beauty tech finally telling me that my hair is just too dark for my eye color and skin tone. So, after much deliberating, I decided to go grey. What I failed to realize is that my hair has hardly any grey in the back, just a bit on top, which is the part I can see. It took some convincing and a lot of contortions involving hand-held mirrors and extra hands holding up my hair in back to get me to acknowledge this. My hair was a golden dirty blond for years, and went much darker after the kids were born. My dear hair magician said Honey, I have been highlighting, not covering up gray, you don't have enough to go grey. She then told me that the beauty guy was right, my skin-tone and eye color would look great with platinum, but my hair won't "pull" those colors when colored, it goes back to the golden hues. So it seems I am stuck here for now. You, however, have found a lot of options , and I like #2, 5 and 7 best, as those lean more towards your natural coloring, I think. It is your hair though, do what makes you feel happy(and make sure to post pictures for us all!)

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    1. My problem if and when I decide to change my colour will probably be similar to yours...some colours my hair just won't take. I'm so undecided right now. It's just that I've opened the door to possibilities... in the past, I've always been adamant that I will NOT go grey. Thanks for your input. I'm going to tabulate the results and see which view readers prefer.

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  2. Sue, Great post. I like the hairstyle in #3 (cropped but not severe) but I think that the color in #2 or #5 would be more flattering to your skin tone. Personally, I have never colored my hair. Now 60, it looks a bit like Jamie Lee Curtis's, though I lack her fine features, alas. I really appreciate it when women acknowledge their age by their hair color but keep it in an updated style. To me it says, one is comfortable with and unashamed about growing older, while at the same time indicating that one is still engaged fully in contemporary life. I strongly feel that women have to lead the way in changing society's perception of older women--certainly men and the hair care industry won't. (Wish that didn't sound so strident.) I don't know about others, but I am finding that my skin tone has noticeably faded, and I think that dyed hair is often dissonant with aging skin. Admittedly, I likely am just rationalizing my own decision, and I know I am not consistent in acting on my principles (I have always worn lipstick and six months ago I bought my first blusher compact since high school!). Love your blog and your style! Dianne

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    1. I agree that hair which is dyed a strong colour sometimes looks out of step with a woman's fading facial colouring. And that can be even more aging than grey. All bets are off for me...I'm up for anything as long as it looks good. If my natural colour of grey does not...well... I can always change it. Well..I mean Carmen can always change it.

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  3. #8, 9, and 12 are my favorites.

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one with this dilemma! I will be 60 next week, and am trying to decide what to do. I also wear my hair short. I was a platinum blonde as a kid, and then when I turned 30, my hair turned a dark, muddy blonde that just looked sad. So I've been getting it colored a reddish tone, which I love. But I'm wondering if I should just let it go gray now. My problem is, I don't think my hair is completely gray yet - it's gray with that icky muddy shade ...

    Can't wait to see what you decide!

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    1. I hear you about he muddy blonde... that's what I was in my thirties before I started highlighting. And like you, I don't think my browney-blonde real hair will mix with grey. That is if there's any of my real colour left. I seriously have no idea. Thanks for the feed-back.

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  4. I like #9 on you, although I'm not good at that kind of choice -- they all blur into confusion quickly for me -- I'd say I like the ones with warmer tones rather than cooler as suiting your complexion better.
    I got my stylist to chop much of my colour off before I faced an 11-week period away from her (my 7-week travels, her vacation) last year, and it was great not having to worry (much) about the roots growing in. Then when I got back in October, we chopped off all the rest, so that the very short (for me, at least) curls I was left with were all my own colour, a good portion of which was grey. We chose to put some highlights in for a bit of warmth and definition (she pulled through a dark and a light caramel). These will be retouched next visit (so three visits in between for trim only -- such a change for someone who was getting colour every 5 or 6 weeks for years -- time and money saved already!). Meanwhile, I'm impatient for a bit more length, more wildness to my curls which I currently find a bit too 50s-permy to accompany my grey. Overall, though, I've approached the whole thing with curiosity and a clear sense of choice which has been hugely liberating, somehow. I don't think I could have done it while still working though. Retirement freed some space for me as did the 7 weeks away.
    And you know, one of my girlfriends came back from an extended period teaching painting in France with her hair seriously cropped and the grey taking over in a gloriously sexy-French-older-woman look. She was complimented everywhere by everyone, but decided six months later to put colour back in for a few more years but keep the hair short. We can do that if we want, as well. Go grey, then go back. Choice -- it's wonderful! Have some fun with it!

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    1. I know! It's wonderful NOT to be facing school and kids and staff (even worse) who will all have opinions about my hair. I feel like kicking up my heels and doing whatever the hell I want. Which is of course what I'm going to do. I must look closely at your pictures for those highlights you mention. That might be an option for me.

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  5. This is fun! I would pick cut 1/3/6 because it looks like it will work with your hair, and take the colour greyer over time...1, 6 and 3 (as they show on my monitor they are getting less gold and more silver).

    I don't remember when I stopping covering grey (I didn't do it for very long) but I am 56 now and probably 2/3 grey with the rest varying shades of reddish blonde. I don't think it looks washed out but I have very fair skin (not your 'high' colouring) and BLONDE eyelashes. My hair is thick and was very coarse and curly. The grey hair is finer (!!!) and just has a slight wave, which was a surprise to me as I was ironing it faithfully until I retired a few months ago. My stylist goes crazy for the natural colour and I have had compliments on it. If you can figure out by some stylist magic the colour and texture of your hair as it is naturally, that might lead you to the best style/colour with the least upkeep.

    Just one more thing to add to this novel...I had a cut something like #7 and my hair fell in my eyes all the time...it drove me crazy...so I am growing a couple of inches in order to tuck it behind my ears as needed. Something else to think about.

    Good luck! It will be fun to see what happens!

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    1. Sound like you are in an enviable position... hair-wise. My colouring will be my biggest issue. Hence all the trials shots. I don't know if grey or silver will suit me or make me look like I'm much older. The cut on #7 was never in the mix. I just wanted to look at a cut that totally covered my own hair to see what the very grey colour looked like next to my face. With some of the cuts on the website, it was hard to cover my own hair in the picture, so I had bits of my long bang sticking out.

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  6. I know what I will have to resist doing all week...playing with that website! I am also trying to decide when I want to make this decision...but it is so personal I do not want to ask what blogland likes. I have had so many comments on my hair and women infer that I am less of a spokesperson for over 50 women if I don't go grey soon!! I like my hair color and it is hard to let it go. Do what you like and what YOU think it best...you have great hair and any of these options should work for you. Now I am going to go play with that site!

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    1. I've been back twice, Pam. Yesterday I played with sliver hair and then used a tool on the website to change up my make-up. Wish it were that easy in real life. Wow...I can't believe people get so zealous about grey or not. You're a super spokesman either way:)

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  7. As I enter the big 5-0 this year .. I think a lot about just going gray. It's quite a lot of cost and maintenance and wouldn't it be nice to be free of all that. Anyway, still thinking about it, but then again .. I'm also thinking about purple highlights ;-)

    I really like #3 because while it's gray, it has a bit of darker shades which adds dimension. The great thing about going gray is that if you're unhappy with the lack of color, you can always go back to whatever shade you desire.

    Monica.

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    1. That's what I think. I can always go back to my current colour or something different. I'm not so much worried about cost and I'd visit the hairdresser every 5-6 weeks anyway because my cut grows out. It's those roots that I hate.

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  8. My vote is for number 3, too: it seems to fit your current hairstyle, and the tone looks right (although this may be the monitor). I agree with materfamilias about retirement giving one both the freedom from daily examination by coworkers and time actually away to let things grow out. I'm 57, still working as an attorney, and I can't imagine deciding to grow out my own gray hair until I retire, which I'm projecting may be another five years. Good luck!

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    1. I hear you. Hair in transition can sometimes look not as professional as we might like. Think of retirement as freedom in more ways that one!

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  9. Hey that website looks like a lot of fun. I'm going to check it out when finished here. I love the color of your hair now - which is not what you're asking for an opinion about....let me stay on point. I like #5. And I adore you for sharing this hair stylist link.

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    1. I've been back twice to the website to mess around. Once to play with the make-up to better go with grey hair. I like my hair colour now too...thanks for saying that. So a change will have to be for the better or I'll go back to what I have now.

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  10. Hi Sue, I like the colour of no. 3, I think it goes nicely with your skin tone as it appears on my monitor. On the silver end I like colour no. 8.

    I have dark blond hair with blond highlights. I would love to have silver or grey hair like Helen Mirren, but so far I only have a sprinkling on top. Like you, I'm not sure if my skin tone can carry full-on grey or silver. I do agree that with grey or silver hair it's important to have a very chic haircut.

    Do you know the blog Highland Fashionista? Kristin is an American living in the north of Scotland. A few years ago she decided to stop colouring her hair and she documented it on her blog, you might find it interesting: http://www.highlandfashionista.com/2012/04/gray-area-agony-and-ecstasy-of-going.html

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    1. Yep. I agree. Grey hair needs a fabulous cut. I follow Kristen's blog. But I didn't when she wrote that post. I'm going to check it out. Thanks Patricia.

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  11. My vote is for #2, #5 or #11. I like how they work with your coloring. I'll be 64 in a couple of weeks and I've been coloring my hair for 15+ years. Thinking about going grey for sometime but have decided to wait until I retire in a year or two. If I were already retired I would do it!

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    1. The retirement thing takes so much anxiety out of the mix. I'm not sure I would want to go to work with "transition hair." And I'm sure any change I make will require a period of transition. Not so long as some, of course. My sister with her pixie cut, grew her colour out in three haircuts.

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  12. I vote for #2 or #5 just enough grey to start with. I am 57 and have very few grey hairs as yet, red hair and freckles toned down to auburn now, all the red heads in my family were very late going grey and luckily I have followed in their path thankfully as I have no idea how I am going to deal with the greys when they arrive! Can't wait for your after pics.when you decide.

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    1. My reddish hair and freckles did not protect me from greying early. Drat. Although my grandmother was like you...red until very late and then the colour just faded to white.

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  13. I'm an auburn, a tiny bit younger (48), also have hair that tends to be frizzy, etc. and I'm already coloring some gray...anyway the white shirt and white background make these choices really hard for me to choose as with our skin tone I don't think white is very flattering. If I were going to go all out gray I'd want more of a shiny silver than yellow so I would pick 4,7 or 12. - Kara

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    1. If I go grey it will have to have something on it. I imagine my grey hair will be coarse, frizzy and flyaway all at the same time. Still if I do that, I'm sure there are taming rinses that I could use. We'll see. Thanks for the feedback, Kara. I'm keeping track of the numbers, in order to do a final tally.

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  14. I stopped dyeing my hair at age 60. It took two full years to grow out the dye because I chose to keep it long. My only regret is not doing it sooner. Do no worry about how it will look with your skin tone. I think you will find that your natural color is always best. Nature has a way of making sure of it. Your photos are wonderful for style ideas but please don't try to pick which shade of gray you like best. The whole idea of going dye-free is accepting and loving your natural color. You will only know that when all the dye is gone. With short hair you will see the results quickly. Then decide if you want to keep it natural or go back to dyeing. It is your choice! Have fun with the journey.
    Be sure and visit Silver Sisters on FB and the Gray Cafe online forum for lots of support..

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    1. Well said, Stella! You covered all the points that I would have made.

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    2. Thanks for that, Stella (and Joyce.) It will be an adventure to see what my colour is under all that dye. And I may love it or rush straight back to Carmen and cover it all up again.

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    3. Stella nails it! Don't replace dye with dye.

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  15. After going grey in my fifties - (it was easy - the result of new growth after chemotherapy) - two things became paramount. The help of a good hairdresser - if the colour says "old", the haircut MUST say modern. And, eyebrow grooming - and eyebrow tinting, becomes very important!

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    1. Eyebrows are really important, aren't they? I started making eyebrow grooming a part of my make-up routine a few years ago when a cosmetician showed me how much better I looked when they could actually be seen. And I agree if hair is grey the cut must be really good...and modern, as you say.

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    2. Oh, yes! Terrific points, Erica P.! (I use a little discreet pencil, but I will tint if they go as grey as my hair.

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  16. I'm sold on #3, with #8 and #9 being runners up. I am 62 and still have my blonde hair high-lighted. Not sure I could ever get used to looking at myself in the mirror if I changed the color.... I would like to have a better cut though, but my hair is so straight and thinned out over the past couple of year that I am not sure it would even cooperate with me other than the way I currently wear it. Guess I'll concentrate on having my eyebrows shaped when it comes to changing any of the hair on my head. LOL

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    1. I think that some women look great with grey hair...some not so much. Like you, I'm not sure which camp I fit into.

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  17. My natural hair colour was very dark brown -- and I started to see the grey hairs when I was 18! Needless to say, it is pretty much all white now (and I really love it). I stopped attempting to keep up with colouring my hair when I was in my mid 40's (and I've just turned 62). I let it go "natural" white, even though it was not all-over white -- the back remained salt and pepper for years, only now being more salt than pepper. But it seems to suit my skin tone and I get nothing but compliments on it from co-workers and even young women. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and see what nature has in store for you! By the way, I like #3 on you! Lyn

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    1. I know... I really need to bite the bullet at some point. Just not sure if I'm ready. Still... I don't want to make a big issue of it... it's just hair after all. Gad....I can't believe I just said that. Me.. the confirmed hair obsessive!

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  18. First let me say I like #4 the best (well and #8 since they look the same)! But I'm excited to start going grey---it's just all part of the process! I was actually thinking of dying my hair more grey so I'd fit in to my blog niche better!
    At least hair coloring and cuts are reversible--that's part of the fun! jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, Jodie. Maybe I'll go for that as well...but can you dye hair grey without bleaching first? I'll have to ask Carmen.

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  19. Hi Sue....I decided to start the process of going natural at 56. When I was 57, my hubby & I were planning a 3 month retirement road trip. I didn't want the hassle of colouring my hair every 3 weeks. The salon dyes made my scalp itch and drugstore colours did not look "natural" on me. ( per my hubby) There was no looking back after my "natural" colour grew in. Now at 61 I have had so many positive comments from strangers on how lovely my hair colour is. Who would of thought!!
    I think you would look fabulous sporting your natural colour! How could you not? Likewise, it's a personal decision for everyone!
    Here's looking to the future...
    Robin

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Robin. I may just have to "bite the bullet" as Lyn suggests.

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  20. #4 Congratulations. I've been grey for ages. I saw a girlfriend with grey hair and it looked so soft on her face that I immediately said I'm doing it. Yes, I look older. But who cares? I love the convenience I love that it looks real and unique. Personally I think your coloring will be beautiful with grey hair. I do wear colors that work with my hair, same with makeup. It's fun! Enjoy the journey if you choose it.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra. Your white hair is fabulous.

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  21. I like what Robin (above) said about looking "...fabulous sporting your natural colour! How could you not?" I also like what Erica Proudfoot (above) said, "...if the colour says "old", the haircut MUST say modern."
    Thus, at 67, I have a short, spikey cut on my thick, salt & pepper, Asian hair. Saves me lots of money and time. And...now that I think about it...gives me some confidence about acknowledging my aging. You are sweet to share such a personal decision.
    Charlene H.

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    1. Thanks Charlene. I may feel more confident just going natural rather than covering roots all the time.

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  22. Sue, I think you are very brave asking for input from your readers. I also am a retired teacher, and at 64 have been wondering about grey hair. If there was a rinse that would immediately remove all of my hair dye color I would be quite excited, as who wants to go through the growing-out process?! My hair grows quickly and I have roots after about 3 weeks. Such freedom there would be in not having to stress over coloring and its cost. I hold out hope that when I do take the plunge, Mother Nature will provide me with the perfect grey to compliment my skin and eye colors. Dreaming? Perhaps, as Erica mentioned, I will be attending to my eyebrows much more regularly! Good luck with your decision making process - I know you will keep us posted!

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    1. I'm curious if mother nature will be kind or not with respect to my natural grey. Somehow I doubt it. I was never happy with my hair until I started doing major intervention. Still...I'll never know if I don't try. I will keep you posted...just not sure if there will be pictures... or not:)

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  23. I think silver grey is you, so Nos. 4, 8, and 12. I have to admit that I'm a little partial to silver grey because I'm going silver grey (and love it). It will be exciting to see what you decide to do. Whatever it is, be happy. #AllAboutYou

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    1. Thanks for the input, Regina. You're lucky to be so fortunate in your colour. I'm thinking that with my original hair being reddish...silver is not what I will get. Ah well...as I said above...I can always colour it again.

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  24. 1,5, 6, 9, my preferences for you.

    I just turned 50, have colored my hair dark since about 40 years old. Terrified to think of stopping or changing to grey.

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    1. Terrified...now there's a good word to describe what I'm feeling.

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  25. I'm 63, my hair color is very similar to yours. I don,t think I,ll ever go grey because It's just not a flattering color. Sunny is much better than grey, on your mood too !
    Edda - Italy

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    1. That's what I've always thought, until my sister went grey and I really like it on her. But she's a natural brunette...and not a redhead. So we'll see.

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  26. I've had grey hairs arriving since I was twenty & have had professional colour for the last twenty years . I use my local village hairdresser , Heather , & she is good . We have lightened slightly over time & I like the body that colour gives me too . We've discussed reverting to grey but my coloring is similar to yours & we don't think grey would flatter me . I see women with fabulous grey hair - glossy & thick but I see many others which are not like that . My mum didn't grey well . Being a local hairdresser it isn't so expensive & I enjoy my afternoon with Heather every 6/7 weeks . I have a kind of messy style which doesn't show the roots quickly . Some women make me feel a little uncomfortable with their ' evangelism ' on the subject - do they not wear makeup either ? I accept my age but look better with my hair colored , we have the choice thank goodness - Yorkshire bluntness Sue :)

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    1. I do not begrudge the time at the hairdressers. Like you I enjoy chatting and having coffee with Carmen, especially now that her salon is in her home. It's the roots issue that I'd like to solve. I may decide to do what you're doing...lighten up to make the roots not so obvious. Love that Yorkshire bluntness, Wendy. I knew it was you when you said that...even before you added your name.

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  27. Sorry , must put my name
    It's Wendy in York

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  28. Hi there, I just discovered your blog! I am a maritimer living in Denmark. Use to fly fish, canoe etc. til I moved here. Now we have a camper trailer and head off with the dog over there and yawn.

    January of 2014 my only New Year's Resolution,as a person of 55 years of age, was to stop cutting and colouring my hair. Push forward to today, March 8, 2016. I have cut my hair once but only to remove the split ends and fatefully coloured it once over 8 months ago. My hair has not been this long since I was 16. I have had shortish efficient hair styles for decades. I am loving being able to toss my hair in a braid for the day. I wont be colouring it again as I never get it done in time so I go months with the dreaded gray strip down my part. I love this freedom. Although for you, I think #6 is lovely. That's just for "numbers" sake. You sound grounded and enjoy a bit of style so I think you can pull of anything with your bright confidence and cheerful presence. Great Blog!

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    1. Long hair can be so easy. Wish it didn't look so terrible on me. I went quite a bit longer in my forties, and when I cut it short again I looked years younger. Just doesn't suit my face.
      I hear Denmark is lovely. That part of the world is on our "to visit" list. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Drop by anytime:)

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  29. I have been trying to go natural for the last 9 months or so. I was shocked at how gray my hair had become while coloring it for so long. The website looks fun, but it may be hard to match a silver or gray. It may take a lot of bleaching to get past golden tones. I have skin coloring similar to yours and have always been told not to let myself go gray, but I was getting tired of coloring it and my husband has been urging me to stop coloring it for years. The jury is still out on whether or not this will be a good look for me. It has been interesting to watch, though. It's funny how similar my gray is to my mom's, even though we have very different hair and skin coloring,

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    1. The website is fun...but has its limits. And having found a colour I like...who knows if it can be reproduced on my hair. That's funny that you say that about your mum. I just assumed my grey would be very different from my mum's. She was a dark brunette with very dark brown eyes. I'm the exact opposite.

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  30. I like 3 & 8 with your coloring... I think it would be really pretty!!

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  31. I agree with Stella A - I'd suggest let your hair be completely natural, before you decide to add more treatments. I've been grey over ten years now, no regrets. You mention your dry hair and having to condition it, but you may be suprised - my hair condition improved remarkably after I stopped the chemical dyes. I've been lucky, my hair has gone pewter with light grey streaks - it's all completely natural, but I have had people ask me who colours my hair!

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    1. Oh...that would be lovely if mine went that way. I may wait until summer and then just go for cuts and some highlights. We are camping and canoeing so much in the summer, I've a hat on most of the time anyway.

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  32. I posted on my own going grey process here (with photos):
    http://passagedesperles.blogspot.ca/2015/01/hair-grey-comes-day.html

    At 13 months into grey I am completely happy, and I •really• was not sure. My crutch was the "Oh I can dye it again", but now, you couldn't pay me. My hair is thicker, and so is my wallet :) Do I look my age? Maybe, but what's wrong with that? And my husband just loves it. I do make sure to wear lipstick ALL the time... see post.

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    1. Saw your latest cut and shade of grey in a FB pic recently, Duchesse, and I just love it! It's got the attitude I'm still waiting for my curls to show.

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    2. Thanks for the input, Duchesse. I will be sure to check that post out. I can't say yet what I will decide to do. But I'll definitely blog about it when I make up my mind. Not sure about pictures though:)

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  33. I love your hair now! But of these options I like nine and then four or eight. And Beth Dj ROCKS her silver hair!

    Now for some real world facts.

    1. If a woman is still needing to compete in the workplace, look for jobs or nab new clients, grey hair is a NO.

    2. If a woman is still needing to compete in the dating marketplace, unless she's 70+, grey hair is a NO.

    Age discrimination in the job market is real. And demographics in the dating world for women 50+ also favor men. Grey hair, generally speaking, says 'older,' and while I love the idea of NOT coloring the grey, for many of us, it's not a viable economic option.

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    1. You make some really valid points, DA. You know, after I wrote this post I remembered a much younger former colleague, with whom I used to angst about hair. She has my colouring, and almost my cut, as well as my obsessiveness about all things hair related. When I saw her last fall after not seeing her for a couple of years, she was totally grey. Partly choice, partly because her hair became quite resistant to dye. It looked wonderful, the cut was edgy, the blend of grey and white really nice. But I did think that it was quite aging. At 40 she might have been taken for a much older woman. I feel sad even saying that. Why should grey make us look older? But many times it does. Beth Dj looks lovely. But then she's a beautiful woman no matter what colour hair she has.

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  34. So many comments here! I am older than most of you and have been coloring my hair since I was 20. The gray came in in my early 40's, which meant all over color in addition to the high and low lights. I will never, ever (I know, don't say never!) stop coloring my hair. Never. I am a true believer. I do whatever I can to make ME feel and look the best, and hair color is one of those things! I would also say that so much of the advertising of gray hair on women doesn't address how their skin looks with it: beware of Photoshopped images of skin/face with the gray hair they are showing.

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    1. I had dinner with several former colleagues tonight. I had all the images of me with grey hair on my i-pad which I passed around. We had quite a discussion about my choices and about all the woman we see in the media who have gorgeous white or grey hair. Not one of us could come up with anyone who had my colouring. They were all cool blondes, like Helen Mirren, or clear skinned brunettes, like Jamie Lee Curtis. I think that will be my next research quest...find one former redhead with freckles who looks good with grey hair.

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  35. At first I was drawn to the warmer grey shades, like in #1. But then I started thinking about all of the women I see who have yellowish grey hair...not a good look. I think I am leaning toward #12. I am 63 and I don't color my hair yet, but I have had highlights from time to time. Your current color looks very natural, I never would have thought it was anything but your very own color.

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    1. My grandmother who was a redhead, when she finally went grey, turned a yellowish grey, then yellowish white. Grammy never cut or styled or coloured her hair, and wore a bun at the nape of her neck all her life. When she was almost eighty she finally went snow white. Maybe I'll just wait until I'm eighty.

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  36. Looks like lots of people are keen to chat about hair styles and going grey Sue! Seems like you had some fun too. I like 1 3 ...and 6 as it appears to be the same as 1. Could be I'm cautious as 1 and 6 seem most like your present style and colour. However I think you'd find the longer fringe styles annoying and because of your warm skin tone I'm unsure about you with grey hair. I'm two years younger than you and I've only really been happy with my hair as I've got older. It's taken me a long time to appreciate it! :) it's thick, curly/wavy and auburn in colour. Before styling products were so sophisticated I found it really hard to manage but with LOccitane shampoo, conditioner and Moroccan Oil it's become much easier. It's probably the longest it's been since my teens ...approx shoulder length. It's kept it's colour really well, although darkened slightly so I'm lucky that I only need to have the area around my temples/hairline coloured. The guy who cuts my hair found a perfect match colour wise.
    I think a lot of the negatives that surround grey hair often relate to how it's styled. Most of the women who suit it tend to have a great cut and a confident air about them.
    Rosie

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    1. Sounds like you won't have to be thinking about hair colour choices for a long while yet, Rosie. Yous sound lovely. I wish I had been able to hang onto my own red for a while longer; it disappeared so long ago. !,#, and 6 are the same cut bit slightly different colours. Hard to tell, actually. 1 has a bit more blonde in it, 3 is a bit almost pinky, and 6 has the most silver. It's kind of like choosing paint colours for walls... as Hubby said when we had our house painted, and I was juggling five or six paint chips..."It's beige, Suz. They're all beige. Pick one"

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  37. Susan, I'm a former strawberry blonde as was my mother. At 60 years old, the front of my hair (around my face) is clear white and the back it more of a blonde with red undertones (I don't color). Since redheads tend to fade to blonde instead of gray, you may really like your natural color. I use, about once a month, an anti yellowing shampoo and am happy with it...I do get complements on my hair. My mother played up the blonde more than I do but it was a flattering color on her, I think she used a blondeing (that's not really a word!) shampoo but no color. Sissy Spacek may have your coloring but I have no idea what her hair looks like now...
    I love your blog and always look forward to your shopping trips...my legs are half as long as yours and twice as thick so I'm just shopping vicariously only with you!

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    1. Thanks Liz. I am keeping my eyes out for former reddish blondes and how they handle grey. I've a hair appointment next week... Carmen and I have a lot to discuss.

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  38. One more person who may have your coloring is Ellen Burstyn. I love how she went gray! Liz (again)

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    1. I will check out pictures of her on the net. Thanks.

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  39. It's interesting what a hot button going gray is. I am skating the line by using low lights with my encroaching silver. If you're able to go totally natural, and have it flatter your skin tone, you're blessed. Many women can't. Watching to see 😉

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    1. Wow... it certainly is. Not sure if shade of grey my hair is will be flattering to me... even if it is what mother nature gave me. Hell... who has to abide by mother nature, anyway?

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  40. I vote for number 5! Not full on grey but a lovely shade none the less. A bit like Jamie Lee Curtis' hair. I am 38 and have many, many white hairs that I am currently trying to camouflage. I am doing that thing you did where my stylist keeps adding more and more blonde highlights to hide the white! We'll see how long I make it until I start completely dying it...

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    1. I resisted full permanent colour for a long time... but then I had to go for it. A good colour person is great... I would never attempt to dye mine at home. I don't like the flat, exact same colour all over. I think it's more aging than grey. #5 did appeal to me too. We'll see...I've an appointment this week with Carmen...and she's booked extra time for our "chat."

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  41. I vote for 8 or 9, Sue. Straight hair is way to much work. Oh, you meant colour? Au naturel all the way, baby! It would be one-of-a-kind, unique, bespoke, and a beautiful, original finish to the outside of an amazing inside.

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    1. Well, thanks for that, my friend. Not sure if I'm ready... we'll see.

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  42. What fun! I think I'm going to have to play around with that website too. I've been gradually going grey for close to 20 years and, so far, have chosen not to colour my hair. Even my hairdresser agrees that it is lovely just the way it is with its "silver highlights". Like you, however, I sometimes crave a bit of drama; something entirely different, and, as I reminded myself when my kids were teenagers and experimenting with all sorts of crazy colours and styles, it's only hair... it always grows back. I like #3 best.

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All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.