Anthea Boyd photo: Annie Johnston

Transitioning to grey requires creativity and patience. The in-between stage is not for sissies but what I’ve found useful is… looking at other women’s hair. And I’m not alone. Antiques dealer Anthea Boyd stopped me in the street to ask about my grey hair. I confessed that I too had become a little obsessed with The Gray-dient: whether that’s a young woman with balayage or dip-dyed hair or someone nearer my age growing in the grey, I am constantly assessing the hair situation in order to figure out my own progression. The good news is that there are quite a lot of women with half-and-half hair – and so it’s easy to pretend that the in-between stage is intentional. Current Gray-dient: When it’s tied back with the underneath on show, my hair is predominantly grey with a yellow bun and when it’s down, there’s still about 60% dyed blonde. Very slowly getting there…

Anyhow. Anthea and I had a good old natter about growing in the grey and so I asked if I could write about her for That’s Not My Age. The vintage-loving, former legal secretary invited me round to her south London home, where she runs a business selling antiques and collectables via the website Anthea’s Attic. Collecting antiques started out as a hobby until at the age of 40, Anthea ‘left the glass tower in Liverpool Street’ to start a business. Most of the merchandise is picked up in France, and as well as architectural salvage, interiors and silverware, there are clothes and textiles. ‘I love French labels like Agnes b and Sonia Rykiel,’ Anthea tells me,’I don’t do new clothes and I don’t mind if something has a mend or a stain –  it doesn’t give me any pleasure to spend a fortune on clothes.’

The 49-year-old’s hair has always been a focal point, ‘I’m a bit of a goth so it’s been short, long, all the colours under the sun. I went blonde once.’ And to aid the grey transition Anthea had her hair cut shorter, at first into a layered bob and then a Pixie Crop, ‘I’m a bit all or nothing. I stopped colouring it at the beginning of the year, and I just want my colour out so that I have a blank canvas to play around with.’ Anthea uses more styling product now to add texture and admits that her hair is a bit of an experiment, ‘My hairdresser loves me. I don’t regret cutting my hair or letting the grey show – I feel totally liberated. The grey stripe is getting fatter and fatter and on a bad hair day, I’ll just wear a trilby or a Baker Boy cap.’

Anthea’s plan is to go shorter for summer, mine is to tie my hair back and ignore it. Two simple solutions to transitioning to grey.

You can also find Anthea’s Attic on Ruby Lane and Etsy. And here are some products to help make the grey look gorgeous:

78 thoughts on “Grey hair: making the transition

  1. Both Alyson and Anthea look terrific. Head-turningly terrific. May I suggest that continuing to colour eyebrows is pretty important in this grey-diation process. Keeps some definition. I’ve been inspired to work out a way to Go-Grey-Well this year. There are days when my heart weakens so inspiration like this is good for the resolve….

  2. You both look cute and perfectly acceptable. I can’t remember my strategy but I think it was similar to yours….basically, just don’t look in a mirror too much! I love my silver highlights and don’t care if they make me look older. What’s wrong with being older, it is a privilege many are denied.

  3. I’m 58 and have decided to grow out the blonde, slowly, just having the front and temples lightened every 4 months and au natrelle underneath so a bit like your, grey/brown underneath with a blonde bun/ponytail! My mum had beautiful white hair when she was quiet young, I’m just not there yet in making that decision! Would love to go to my hairdresser and be brave too, but I’m just not ready to take the plunge lol x

  4. My hair is still dark brown at the back and grey at the front, so what I now do is have just a few very fine lowlights put through the front to match the back. Not too many – the silver suits me, it’s just to ring the changes, and helps with the on line dating!!

    1. I have the same issue, but I’m trying to add gray to the back! Only semi-successfully. Anyone have any ideas on how to go white or gray?

      1. I think it is completely in the hands of the gods. I am the same – palest grey at front, dark at back, what I define as Friendly Badger but it is not possible to find a grey dye in the shops. I know, because I looked. I thought a little grey wash-in, wash-out might be interesting. Actually impossible. I have friends who went completely white, silver or pewter very swiftly but they seem to be a rarity. In a good light, I look distinguished. Patience is the order of the day.

    2. I have just made an appointment to ask a colorist about doing just this. How often do you need to have the fine lowlights put in?

  5. I starting going grey in my late teens….(touch of the ‘Mallen Streak’)! Then over the following 40 years I had every colour of hair (dyed) & every style, finally coming to pale blonde, shoulder length. Eventually I decided to foregoe the usual monthly touch up & just let it go. Eureka! I have a head of silver white hair, apart from a few stray dark hairs when my grey streak used to be ….weird! I’m loving it, transition was no problem and I’m now wondering how long my natural hair was silvery white, without me realising. I always used to say I had no idea what colour it was anymore!

  6. …..a further thought. Keep away from obviously Granny clothes,….although proud to be one! some makeup helps….I go for lightly made up eyes, barely tanned skin & red lips. Sunglasses & statement earrings, (as in Alyson’s pic) add that touch of glamour! How fab.! Celebrate age, sure as hell beats the alternative!

    1. Sounds a great look you have there, I am only a few weeks into my grey transition so have a long road in front of me, feeling very liberated at my decision though, good to read fellow friends story 🙂

  7. I am not very patient and I don’t mind having short hair so I went to my hairdresser’s last thursday and had it cut very short; now I am finally getting there! The only problem is that winter is coming down here, but I will solve the problem with a warm scarf around my neck.

  8. Thanks for writing about this. I am 65 and probably almost completely grey. I’ve been dying my hair its (previously) natural medium brown for around 20 years. It’s a big pain in the butt, but I haven’t worked up the guts to let it go grey. Part of it is that I like the way I look with dark hair better, and part of it is I don’t want to look older. (It’s probably genetic – my 89 year old mother still dyes hers auburn!) Reading about brave women going grey does help me think about what it could be like. Thanks for being an inspiration! Also thanks for highlighting Anthea’s Attic. I’m thinking of buying one of her beautiful linen smocks.

  9. I am now at the end of my transition and boy t has been a journey. I went for highlights and regular trims and also wore it up once it was at your stage. Now I have got to the end I am more pleased than I ever thought I would be and my hair is in the best condition it has ever been. I am also loving the fact I can wear black and navy which both drained me when I was a brunette. The main reason for my transition was the migraines I had after every colour – I have not had a migraine since my last colour two years ago. Good luck with your journey – it looks amazing.

  10. Well, isn’t this good timing, Alyson? I just chopped my hair off for the summer, and I figure that will take card of much of the transition!!
    But I look at my mom (the 70+ model on my blog) and my stepmom (the 60+ model) and think that their grey hair looks so nice! So I guess patience is a virtue!!

  11. I really don’t think having grey hair necessarily makes you look older. To me that’s more about attitude and style. Since I grew mine out I get lots of compliments, which I never used to when it was dyed! Both on the colour, which suddenly becomes different and striking, and I was stopped by 2 younger women recently who said how fantastic they thought it was that I don’t try and cover it up. The transition was a bit of a pain, but once it’s over you never look back! I do find that a bright red or pink lipstick really helps though.

    1. I have more compliments on my grey hair than I ever has when it was coloured. A fellow college student has apparently been talking about my grey hair to a stranger on the bus!!

  12. yours looks great – hairdresser cut mine to a layered bob and then I did a spray dye for about 3 months – she then bleached the inbetweens to ends so the ‘tide’ mark between the dark brown and grey was a bit more gradual looking – it was a relatively low maintenance way, and the only maintenance I did do, was to get my hair cut ever 6-8 weeks so it looked a bit sharp. overall it took about one year but really it took 16 months, its now nearly 20 months and my bob is now the right length and layers all gone – I like the grey in that its my hair (as opposed to hair coated in dye) and the condition of it so much better, but I do miss having darker hair, clothes look a bit different but I am so much happier not dying it as it was beginning to look severe with my skin tone

  13. Oh, your gray looks gorgeous. Just keep at it. You know nobody pays as much attention as you do. So just develop an attitude that this is the right way and you love the way you look. But, those earrings? Who, what and where can we find those?

  14. You’re at the hardest stage – keep going. I’m now 6 months into being fully grey and absolutely love it, in fact I wish I’d done it years ago. I absolutely agree, looking at other women’s hair kept me on track. I spent a lot of my time collecting photos of amazing, grey haired women for a pinterest page. When I felt my commitment to grey wavering I would look at the photos and find the inspiration to keep going. I still seek out silver haired women in a crowd. It surprised me when I went to Copenhagen for the first time the number of incredibly chic, silver haired women there are there. In my youth I died, shaved, crimped and backcombed (all at the same time) but going grey feels, by far, the most adventurous thing I have done with my hair. You’re looking great and you’re going to love it!

  15. I’m loving your hair, Alyson. I’ve completed my “growing out the grey,” and have never been happier with my hair. I feel a sense of freedom and authenticity. The entire process was an experiment!

    I enjoyed Anthea’s websites! Thank you for the introduction.

  16. Any advice for someone who has hennaed hair (approximating my natural colour of pre-grey)? I’m loving the beautiful grey/white examples I’ve seen here and on the street. Seems difficult/impossible to do the transition though, so I just keep going with the Lush Caca Brun … I don’t even know how much grey is there.Help!!!!

  17. I obsess about this way too much as well. My hair doesn’t have “enough” gray in it according to my hairdresser (who is a gray fan)
    And, the base and highlights give my hair much needed body. Have you found a difference in the texture of the gray part that’s grown in? Is it thicker, thinner, more wire-y, etc. Very curious…Thanks

  18. I’m 70 (am I really? Shock horror!) and .loving my hair for the first time in my life. Fed up with ‘blond’ highlights put in by well intentioned hairdressers I went to back up to London to Jaqui who always understands what I want and said I want to be properly grey without all this blond rubbish. A couple of hours later I had wide pure bleached and silver highlights. I maintain it with a very purple shampoo – which doesn’t stain my hair purple but messes up the shower. The condition is great and am told I look so much younger with my grey & silver streaky hair. And another plus it seems much thicker. So pure bleach and toner and find a hairdressers with guts!

    (blue toner)

  19. Loving your summer-bun and I am curious to see Anthea and you at the end of summer!
    Even though I think the transitioning looks fabulous on you, I just don’t know how to do it business-wise as a dark-dyed woman with shoulder long hair myself… On the hunt for new clients at the moment and afraid to scare them off, if I go skunk. And I don’t want to cut my hair short because it doesn’t suit me (even though I love it on other women, just saw one yesterday on the street and complimented her on it, short on the sides and longer on top, looked very “relaxed-edgy” ; ) – I think it is the easiest way to transition, just like Anthea is doing it. Perfect – on her!
    Just haven’t figured it out yet and always enjoy your posts on this moving subject, Alyson!

  20. Loved this post, perfect timing for me as this year I decided to stop fighting my own grey tide so am currently sporting a short bob with an undercut which is root to halfway salt n pepper. Seriously considering a crop just to get rid of the dyed ends!!! Cx

  21. I set my self free of expensive trips to the hairdoers age 43, and haven’t looked back since. I definitely don’t feel invisible. I do laugh when I get asked who my colourist is as it’s ‘done so well’….!

  22. not only have I started letting the gray grow but I’m letting all the hair grow long- so I can do wonderful twisty , big things with it . Growing out the gray is awful with long hair- you have salt and pepper and this big bun of auburn . But I won’t cave- tired of the chemicals . Ive had 2 allergic reactions after getting my hair dyed and one after getting my eyebrows dyed – at Christmas last year and I had to stay home while everyone went out of town and had fun so I decided no more and I’m kind of loving it.

  23. I don´t think grey hair makes you look older, I think dark dyed hair makes your features tougher, what I mean to say is that it makes you look more severe; grey softens your expression, and you can brighten up with a colourful lipstick (have I used the proper words?)

  24. My hair has been gradually going grey for about 20 years! I don’t colour it, choosing instead to embrace my silver highlights. Lately though, they’re becoming more than highlights! I’m quite grey at the temples and the rest is a salt and pepper mix. My hair is very thick and curly. I’ve kept it short for the past couple of decades, but after seeing so many women with gorgeous heads of long grey hair, I decided to try growing it out. Not sure how long that will last though! It’s at a terrible stage right now… quite unruly and too short to tie back! Some days I love it; others I feel like ripping it out!

  25. I also went for the crop when I was about 44 and love it, but totally agree about avoiding granny clothes and wearing bright lipsticks! It has taken me time to work out what colours suit me now and some old favourites just drain me now. Maybe a blog on that Alyson when you have completed your transition?

  26. Once I stopped being a brunette, I was surprised to find how many of my favorite colors no longer flattered me. Burgundy and brown were staples but no more. Khaki and cream are also out, but the strong blue that once made my complexion look sallow is now a big part of my wardrobe.

  27. My mom, who has always had very good taste, recently coaxed me into letting my hair go grey. I have changed my mind so many times for fear of appearing old before my time ( I’m 36. ), but as she tactfully pointed out one day, my hair has become so fried and dull from years of dyeing, that my hair looks like it is screaming for a long hiatus from dyeing. I hate the condition my hair is in right now–dull, fuzzy, and damaged. I have about an inch of silver coming through, so my journey towards grey has only begun. I hope I am doing the right thing. I guess my problem is that I am afraid of what people, especially men, will think when they see my grey hair. Going skydiving seems less stressful than letting my hair go grey.

    1. Trust me no one will think anything – be free be yourself and don’t try to second guess what others think – it’s pointless and chances are it’s not anything negative. My hair is very silver and I love it. I just went to a number two head shave and got it over with. And you can always dye it if you don’t like it. I’ve gone back and forth several times ( from dyed to natural) with no regrets either way. It’s all good but the silver seems to work the best for me as it may be for you.

    2. I have been covering my grey since I was 24, I am now 37. Two years ago, I decided to give up dying my hair as it is 100% white around my temples, only black could cover it and as soon as the dye had rubbed off of my scalp, it would only look good for a couple of days before I had a line of regrowth!
      Two years in and I get stopped by many other visibly greying women my age who tell me that I have been their inspiration for ditching the bottle!

      The best part of the process has been rediscovering my natural colour, I thought I had very dark brown hair. But it is in fact brown with beautiful red and gold natural highlights, and now grey! The only person who has struggled with my transition is my older brother, but I pointed out to him that I was going grey where he was going bald; he laughed and never mentioned it again!

      Good Luck with your transition, you won’t regret it!

  28. I found the easiest way was to have a pixie crop so that all the non-grey was gone quickly, then I grew it down via a very short bob etc …and less sustained effort of will to get past the in between stage needed! The major bonus has been that my skin tone looks way healthier than when I used to dye my hair … would thoroughly recommend the purple shampoo Provoke Touch of Silver, cheap and great at keeping off yellowing .. I’d also agree it is very liberating to stop dyeing .. it really doesn’t make you look older ..

  29. Thank you for tackling this topic frankly and practically. I decided to let the grey grow out earlier this year (I’m 51). I also cut my hair short to help with the visual transition and notice that more effort is required to texturise my curly hair. You’re right about the patience needed! Maybe by the end of the year, after several more trims, I’ll see what’s under there.

  30. I love my grey hair. It is very nearly there. I just have some dark blonde at the back which I blend in with highlights so that there is not such a demarcation line. I have also discovered a sort of shine rinse. This I have done at the salon and it sort of lifts any dullness which can happen with grey hair.

  31. Thank you for bringing up this subject – it is so interesting. I’m 51 years old and started turning gray when I was in my thirties. Since then I have been coloring my hair every 5-8 weeks. About 5 years ago I started thinking about going gray but hesitated because I was afraid of looking “old”. All my younger friends were encouraging me saying that gray was cool etcetera – but that is easy for them to say. They can “play with the gray” and then go back, for me it felt it would be a final step. Then 8 weeks ago I took the plunge and cut my hair pixie short, and no coloring, and suddenly I am salt-and-pepper gray (with a little more salt). I love it and I actually cried a little (of relief) after stepping out of the hair dresser’s. I feel so liberated and strong and myself.

  32. Love this. You both look really wonderful. I am 42 and getting very white and grey. Problem is, in some areas it’s salt and pepper, in some it is very brown still, in some it is huge patches of white! Have no idea how to grow it out without looking very odd. But after reading this today, I am going to the hairdresser and getting highlights instead of my usual all-over brown dye (which was turning more coppery every month, the dye won’t cling on to my white hair I think!).
    Please do updates on this as I think many women struggle with this or actually are very happy about it! Or: both.

    1. My dye wasn’t holding either. Turning rusty looking. I started by journey to going grey by adding highlights and lowlights. Then less and less. My last haircut was really short. And I have one more cut left before all old dye color is one. It’s been a gradual 2-year process for me and I’m feeling better and better about it every day. I have grayed from the crown outwards. It’s been interesting to note that not everyone grays the same way. It’s all good. My favorite part is the freedom and less expense.

  33. I decided to let my grey grow in, so went very ash blonde then stopped colouring it. Unfortunately, my natural colour is a sort of nothingy pearly-grey colour and when I saw myself in a recent photograph, I looked completely washed out. I’ve decided to go back to being a warm blonde: grey doesn’t suit everybody, and it was making me feel older than I actually am (61). If you have the right skin tone, then grey or white can look fantastic, but on my already pale skin tone, it didn’t work. I was also tired of being offered seats on public transport, often by people who looked older than I was!

  34. I’m 55 and started to transition to gray about 5 months ago. I am probably 100% gray and have been for many years. The trips to the hairdresser for touch ups and color were getting ridiculous and time consuming. Plus my gray hair was not taking the color well anymore. I’m of Scandinavian descent and was always a dark blond.
    I kept the length of my hair – a little past chin and my colorist stripped all color on top which made me a white, silverish blond. I loved it. Then I went back for a haircut and she dyed the underneath a dark blond. Don’t like it as much and my top part is looking more white/gray as it grows out.
    I think it is critical to find a stylist that can work with gray hair. I am realizing that I am the first “going gray” client this stylist has worked with and she doesn’t really get it. Award winning stylist but has a lot of very young clients.
    I do feel sometimes like the lack of color makes me look older and I don’t see any of my peers making this transition. I dress far from
    frumpy and pay attention to makeup. My mother-in-law comments every time she sees me on my hair and has told me I should color it again as I have plenty of time to be gray. My husband thinks my hair looks great and I should leave it. I have gotten other compliments on it as well.
    Interestingly there is a hair colorist in town (Austin) who does a “Scandinavian treatment” that looks fabulous – balayge I suppose that layers in grays and whites that look stunning in photos. But, the treatment starts at $500! All to get a fairly similar look to what I have.
    Finally, for me, I think that the gray with aging in my face – I have done no treatments other than using excellent products and IPL facials – is what’s making me question this. I always looked “at least 10 years younger” until about 53. I think I look fine but next to my friends who are doing botox and fillers I am looking like I am aging faster. I honestly have no desire to start these treatments. Focusing on health, fitness, and style are what I want my embracing aging to be. Struggling a bit with it though. Love this blog!

  35. My last few years as a teacher I decided to go gray. I gradually lightened my hair with wash out hair color in a light blond. Surprise! Skipped gray & went straight to white!

  36. When I chopped it all off six years ago (to get rid of the deep auburn henna I’d used since I was 16), I thought I was much more white than I am. Now, women ask me who colours my hair – the silver streaks look like highlights against my mostly still raven hair. I love it and wonder why I didn’t chop it all off sooner – plus I’m still digging the shorter length – although it’s gone from pixie to shaggy bob since.

  37. I am 61 and have very long hair. I have been going grey/silver for a few years. The top layer of hair is completely silver yet underneath it is still dark brown which is very odd as when I wear my hair up, as I often do, my hair looks as though I am wearing a hair piece. Usually I love my hair but there are days when it looks a bit like Gandalf’s! Would’nt dream of dyeing it to be all brown as I rather like the fact my husband and I are silvering together.
    Thanks for all your interesting musings.

  38. I have the opposite problem. Hardly any grey at 62. You’d think it would not be a problem but my natural colour (very very dark) began to look wrong on me, far too draining. So now I have to have colour put in not to hide the grey but to ameliorate the brown-black. I can’t wait to go grey. Perhaps I should go stay in a haunted house?

  39. For those who are afraid of looking frumpy: your hair may look older, but your skin will look younger! Every since I started adding grey/white to my hair, I have been getting tonnes of complements on my “youthful” skin. From people who already know me, from people I have just met, and I can see it myself. It’s a thing! I have darker hair, so can’t speak for blondes.

  40. If you have a good head of hair, as in these photos, the color is not a big deal. But if you have thin crappy hair that has to be worn short and still looks sort of pathetic, going wispy gray seems kind of scary.

  41. I think to grey or not to grey is a very personal decision for women. It’s wonderful that we live in an age where it is considered cool to embrace the natural progression of going grey. But is it still quite a challenging proposition, as we are bombarded with images of youth culture. I am forty-six and just beginning to get grey hair through the temples and around my
    forehead. Though most women I know dye their hair, I am determined to let the process unfold without giving it too much power to shake my confidence. This is a bit daunting, as I live in Los Angeles where both men and women regularly undergo procedures to look younger. As a cancer survivor, I believe aging is a gift, and the changes that occur can be empowering for women who need no longer care about societal expectations, allowing those bonds to loosen with the wisdom of age.
    Thank you for sharing this topic.

  42. Glad to read so many comments on this topic. Encouraged by the last post on greying hair I decided to grow out my dyed brown hair to see what colour it was naturally. I had shoulder length hair cut into a bob first. Then today it had it coloured with white highlights to match the roots and silvery hair. My auburn hair was toned down. Looks really good and purposeful rather than a big mess. Now I shall have to see how it fades when I start swimming regularly. Recommended to use a purple shampoo like those featured to keep orange away. I’m in mid sixties and finally embracing new hair situation.

    1. I’m thinking of adding white highlights to blend mine. It would help me to decide if you would tell me how they look 2 months later. Can you see a root line on the highlights? Have they changed color or oxidized? THANK YOU.

  43. With regards greying eyebrows I first tried a pencil from Clinique in soft brown. Not bad but a better solution I discovered by accident is using Wow Colour for Roots. This is a powder in a compact with tapered brushes. It was okay for touching up roots at temples. But after consulting Wow website I put on eyebrows to darken them. All you need after that is a little brush to blend in. A good way to achieve the dark thick brow look which is needed. No dye required. So healthy and cheaper solution. I’ve also given up dying eyelashes. Mascara will do instead.

  44. I have grown mine out twice now. I am 51 and started to go grey in my late 20s. The first time (mid 40s) I bottled out after seeing photos of me that looked just a bit too much like my mother. And because I hated being invisible.
    My hair is mouse, and has always been dyed because I just never liked the colour. So about 2.5 years ago I started changing my semi-perm brunette for lighter brown, then to dark blonde, then lighter. About September last year I cut a lot off, to a sort of pixie bob, which was white-blonde at the front and grey-brown at the back. It has all grown out now and I am still conflicted about it. I don’t mind the colour so much, though I do find I have to wear more make-up, just so I can see my features. It is the change from visible to both men and women, to invisible.
    I do realise I have to get to grips with this aspect of ageing, but it can be demoralising. Mainly because I am not less attractive, I just have different colour hair. I can still run marathons, I can still dream, I just have grey hair.

  45. I am 47 and have grown out my (dyed) blonde. Its taken ages, even though I have short hair, but its now completely grey. I am amazed at the number of strangers who comment on it – always positively. Many cannot believe it’s my own colour. I much prefer it like this (there’s no political agenda!) but I do wonder how it has become so remarkable that a 47 year old woman has grey hair. I recommend the Provoke range – use it every day not once a week.

  46. Many brave and honest comments here. I have now noticed the number of men on television be they newscasters or currently politicians etc with grey or white hair. Women less so. Though there is the prominent Theresa May with her neat grey hair do. And Christine Lagarde of IMF. Not the same for women as men. One just has to try to look and feel good. Wear attractive clothes and be engaged with the world to not be made to feel invisible.

  47. Just go grey. It is only hair. Everybody can tell if you colour your hair because your ageing face does not match. And – change your make-up at the same time. I have a very good looking friend who is colouring her hair to avoid the grey and her make up hasn’t changed in many years. She is starting to look very tired and – yes, you guessed – rather older than she actually is because she is caught in a time-warp. The thing about going grey is that you are simply revealing your true self. I can understand that is frightening for some people but surely we should be grown up about this. Because once you are grey, you really ARE grown up.

  48. Hair going grey is not a problem as I have been grey for some 40 years. However, eyebrows going grey is a problem. There is an excellent product made by Blinc Cosmetics that is like a mascara and is applied the same way, only on eyebrows. It comes in a grey that blends very well with the look of grey hair.

  49. I am 45 and have been dyeing my greying hair for about 10 years. My haircut is very similar to Anthea’s pictured above. Not knowing what my natural colour is now, I have ‘half’ bitten the bullet and am deliberately growing out a grey streak either side of my parting. My hairdresser has offered to colour it to make the transition less obvious but I am happy as is at the moment – I am waiting for the ‘looks like a seagull as flown over your head’ effect but am fine with it at the moment. I have also been telling friends that the grey bits are deliberate so they don’t think I am overdue for a colour!! A lot of them have asked ‘why?’ though.

    Turns out the colour on the front of my head is a silver with darker grey streaks. My stylist says that the back is still very dark as no roots show when I have the rest of it coloured. Will wait to see if I decide to go the whole hog and go completely ‘au naturel’.

  50. I say grey is the new black – & I agree you both look great.
    IMHO what keeps me looking and feeling well is eating local and organic foods many from my own yard and relying on the homemade herbal remedies as my great-aunts and uncles did. My grandmother was incredibly well and active until the age of 106.

  51. I’m 74 and only just going grey and I love it! I’ve never understood the fear of growing grey – it’s much more flattering on an older face (no granny perms, though!) I was worried that I wouldn’t grey well – my hair is fine, though not thin, and this hair type rarely gets the glorious silver of thicker hair, But I’m delighted with the grey streak at the front and the grey wings at the sides. I find I need a tiny bit more blusher but that’s the only change I’ve made.

    Incidentally, Alyson, I hadn’t received a post from TNMA for a spell and thought you were too busy with the book. When I Googled, I discovered posts I hadn’t received so immediately re-subscribed and all’s well. Don’t know how I got cut off but it’s great to be back in the fold!

  52. I took the plunge a few years ago after getting bored re-dying my roots every 3-4 weeks. But mainly because on a trip to Berlin I saw so many stylish women with beautifully cut grey hair. I’ve not regretted it and think it actually makes me look younger!

    1. I’m 57 and moved from Melbourne to Berlin a couple of years ago. I’ve been transitioning to grey for the last year or so. Like you, I got sick of the process every four or so weeks. But I think living in Europe gave me the confidence to change; older people seem much more visible here. And you’re right, there are so many stylish grey-haired women around, how can you not feel inspired! Thank you for this post, Alyson. I find all the responses wonderful.

  53. Hello, my first comment here. You were ‘recommended’ on my Instagram feed. I’ve enjoyed reading your latest posts, you have a beautiful blog.
    I started to go grey at 26, at 41 I have rather a collection of wisdom highlights (as my nephews call them) but I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t hide them. I don’t want the bother of root touch ups, and then the eventual transition. I’d say I’m only about 5% grey at the moment – with stripes at my temples mostly, maybe I’ll feel different when the greys start to creep into my parting and fringe? But for now I’m embracing it. I don’t mind if it makes me look older, a lot is wasted on the young after all.

  54. I am almost 62 and I found that my mental transition has been very slow. Can’t say that I decided one day to go grey. But here I am, an originally dark brunette who began highlighting at 45, then semi-permanent coloring in my late 50s, not unhappy to live with the grey hairs showing through. Then began adding honey-ish highlights within the grey and now, I’m noticing that the increase in grey hair is not unflattering with my olive skin tone, especially in the summer. Two conditions: good haircut and minimal makeup with a reddish lipstick. Yesterday bought three COS black and grey dresses and seem to be falling where I feel just right. And when a woman feels just right, she looks pretty good…….

  55. Anthea is my older sister and I think she looks great now she’s leaving the hair dye behind and embracing her white hair. Im four years younger, 44 and recently decided to quit dying my hair every month it was becoming so tiresome! It’s scary but I’ve had many compliments which helps me to persevere with it. My hair was very long and wavy but I took the plunge and had it cut into a bob and I’m embracing the white now. Some days I think I’ll get the dye bleach washed and avoid the transition and then other days I just pull it back put on my shades and lipstick and forget about it!

  56. Hello, some great comments here. I too am ‘gronde’ and about 8 months into my transition. My grey now reaches just above my ears so is starting to take on a balayage effect (well I like to think so anyway!). At the same time I’m growing my hair from a short tapered bob to shoulder length and am finding it easier now that it’s long enough to tie back. It’s a very interesting journey and almost becomes like a hobby! Strangely enough, my colleagues haven’t commented on my grey and it does sometimes feel like the elephant in the room, I get the feeling they are grey snobs, but don’t let it bother me. I’m enjoying the freedom it brings with it along with the slight feeling of almost eccentricity!

  57. Brilliant, thank you for sharing. I am 51, and have just made the decision to grow my gray out (in?) and am feeling great about it. My hairdresser and I have been talking about this for a couple of years; she says I’m 75% gray (thanks, HRT!) Anyway, she has a plan, and I’m just going to let her handle it. It’s nice to let go for a change (something I’m not good at where my hair is concerned.) I’ve been coloring my hair a coppery dark blonde for the past few years, and she’s going to use some semi-permanent transition color while my hair grows to help mitigate the stripe. I’m not sure I even care about the stripe, but we shall see. She also says I’m going to have to “cut some hair off.” I’ve got below-collarbone length hair, and am not sure how we’re going to deal with that, but I’m excited to see what she comes up with.

    I really appreciate this blog. Thank you.

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