Well Friends, it’s been a 16 month journey, with some awkward stages along the way, but it’s finally done. I’m fully transitioned to my natural color, which seems to be an ash brown with lots of gray streaks. And I’m loving it!
The color really looks different in different lighting. These two photos were taken the same day, the top photo is in bright shade and one right underneath it is with direct sunlight coming in the car window.
How It All Started
I started noticing more and more women letting their silvers shine and I thought it looked amazing! I was so curious what my natural hair color was. I had been a dark blond in my youth, but have been highlighting and/or dying it for decades! Who knew what I really had going on under that dye?
Deciding and Finding Support
Once I decided to go for it, it was December 2019. I told my husband and my friends, joined a support group on Facebook, and told myself that I could always change my mind. And so I was off …
By the way, the husband was totally supportive. I’m so lucky. My friends were all very nice about it, but I think some of them thought I was a bit crazy … maybe they still do.
The first time I got my hair trimmed with no color (January 2020), I felt uncomfortable. I was so used to walking out of the hair salon feeling so put together and here I was with roots. And to me the root color didn’t look pretty either! Luckily, the Facebook support group assured me that it took at least 6 months to really get an idea what your color is going to be. So I hung in there. I was considering ways to color to help the transition along … and I really wasn’t sure what was the best way to go. In the Gray and Proud Facebook group you can find fans of both paths, and the group is totally supportive of any course you choose. (Just FYI – a few FB groups are only supportive of the no-dye, cold-turkey approach.)
Of course, soon after that a worldwide pandemic changed all of our lives in so many ways. Bay Area hair salons were closed, so I didn’t really have any choice but to go cold turkey! And for me, I really think that was the best way. It’s absolutely the fastest (and the cheapest) way to go!
At six months, I chopped off my own hair! That was a pandemic decision, but one that got me much closer to my goal .. and I have to admit, rather fun!
It wasn’t until 9 months in that I felt comfortable going to the hair salon, so I cut it even shorter and in layers to get rid of more of the bleached blond ends. At the next trim, I started slowly working towards one length again.
And then the fall surge happened and hair salons were closed again. I had to just leave my hair alone!
Now at 16 months, I went to the hair salon asking for a blunt bob, as short as it had to be for a full transition! And I’m done!
Why I Love It
My hair feels so soft and healthy! I have new hair growth which is sometimes annoying as it comes in, but eventually I’ll have a thicker, healthier head of hair! I love the ash brown and especially the gray streaks. I’m so excited to watch it turn more silver as the years go by. I was spending 3-4 hours and lots of money every month for my bleached blond hair. Just think of the time and money I’ve saved … and all the chemicals I’ve saved myself from as well!
Thinking of going gray? You have to do it for yourself. You have to want it and you have to be ready, because there will be awkward stages. Oh, there are a few women who somehow make every stage of the journey look glamorous, but the rest of us mere humans are probably going to have some bad hair days!
Join an online support group! I can’t recommend this enough. The best inspiration for those bad days is a browse through amazing transition photos! Also, you can ask questions, share how you’re feeling, ask for support. It’s awesome.
I suggest going cold turkey for a faster result, but lots of women have found transitional coloring worked best for them. If you would like a really short cut, like a pixie, your transition can be faster and of course if you want to keep your hair long, it will take more time to fully transition. This bob is the shortest that I like my hair, so that was the style I’ve been shooting for. If you can’t decide on a short cut, think about would you rather have two-tone longer hair or all natural shorter hair while you’re waiting for the grow out? (Of course some women end up loving their pixie so much that they keep that style!)
Those first couple of months are the hardest. I wore my hair in a messy side part that hid the line of demarcation a bit. I also bought a cute hat and some headbands, but didn’t wear them as much as I thought I would. Women have shared with me that they’ve used temporary root spray to get over the first couple of tough months.
Will you look older with gray hair? Actually, I found many of the women actually look younger and fresher with mother nature’s color! But … you might look older. Does that bother you? Maybe you’ll look wiser and more sophisticated as well. Maybe you’ll look more confident and more comfortable with being whatever age you are. Just something to think about.
I’ve also found if you are solid in your decision, the doubters give up trying to change your mind. Ladies in the support group have shared that it’s often the biggest naysayers who up being the most impressed with the transition, and sometimes even inspired to try it themselves.
My best advice is to be extra good to yourself during the process. Think of all the money you’re saving on trips to the salon and spend that moolah doing something else nice for yourself!
Products I Use:
Celeb Luxury – Temporary hair color that’s actually good for your hair. This can help with the transition or the silver rinse can give your natural hair a bit more sparkle!
Quality Boar Bristle Brush from Earth Therapeutics – Best hairbrush ever!
Vitafusion Hair, Skin & Nail Gummies – Can’t hurt, right? I do see a difference in my nails for sure!
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides – I put a scoop in my morning coffee. Some women swear it speeds up hair growth. I don’t know if it really does, but it makes me feel good to DO something to make it grow faster! Head massages might help too!
Pravana The Perfect Blond Masque – my favorite hair masque for my blond AND my gray hair.
If you’re in San Jose: Do or Dye Salon
Facebook support group: Gray & Proud (There are several and they’re all great, but Gray & Proud was my go-to group.)
Okay … that’s about it, Friends. If you have any questions or want some support, please feel free to reach out. I’d also love it if you shared any of your own transition photos with me! And you can find me on Facebook and Instagram!
And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my biweekly newsletter! Every other Friday, I’ll let you know the latest at Fashion Should Be Fun, along with sale alerts, and personal chit chat, as well as access to personalized style advice!
Also on the blog lately, my spring trends shopping list and a review of some super comfy water shoes.
Fun & Fashion,