The grey-volution. Picture on the left taken January 2017, on the right January 2018

Going grey when you’re over-50 and female is more than just a hashtag on social media. The change (of hair colour) is both a political and psychological issue. But then growing up in the 1970s at the tail end of punk, I’ve always pushed against the pressure to conform and look a certain way. At 54, I know I’ll never look 30 again and I don’t want to. The aim now is to look good, not young.

When I set out, the Grey-volution feels like an interesting experiment – will my natural hair colour be snowy white like my mum’s or steely grey like Manhattan Brother’s? No idea, but I’m determined to find out.

Initially, I have a mixture of lowlights (to kill off the brassy blonde) and highlights (bleach to lighten the hair and make the grey look more uniform), but after a few attempts I realise that all I’m doing is putting more colour in and decide to ditch the hair dye completely. The hardest part of the transition is the ‘Badger Stripe’ phase – when the regrowth is several inches long and difficult to ignore. I waver the first time I reach this point, have my roots done and instantly regret it. But second time round, I brazen it out. Friends swear by Colour Wow’s Root Cover Up – and Josh Wood’s new collection of Root Concealers – but I go it alone, tie my hair up and avoid looking at the back of my head in the mirror. Fortunately, the Mallen Streak of white at the front of my hair helps deflect attention away from what’s going on backstage.

Eventually I reach a point where my hair is mostly natural with a couple of inches of dye at the ends – a kind of faux balayage effect. It’s been a long process but I’m on the home stretch, at last. This summer will be two years of going Gronde (grey-blonde). To celebrate, I’ve started using purple shampoo – White Hot Hair’s Brilliant Shampoo and Pro:Voke’s Touch of Silver brightening shampoo and conditioner.

Going au naturel is a positive move. My hair is in better condition and the colour suits my skin tone more than bottle blonde. Less trips to the hairdressers, more compliments: win-win. Surprisingly my hair is finer, softer and more flyaway than expected and so when I want to add oomph I reach for John Frieda’s Luxurious Volume Touchably Full Shampoo and Conditioner or Sans Ceuticals Volumising Hair Wash and Hydratant. Or muss it up with a smidgen of Batiste dry shampoo or Bumble & Bumble’s Surf Spray. And guess what – turns out the new natural colour is less ageing than the dye job, after all. While I do not have a beautiful head of shining silver hair, the tone has a chic Scandi vibe and I feel more like me. Pleased that with age, I have found the confidence to stand my ground. To choose wrinkles over Botox and fillers, style over fashion and natural grey (ish) hair over a dye-job.

 

Please note: affiliate links in this post may generate commission.

This post is based on a piece I wrote on grey hair for Sunday Times Style magazine.

 

 

72 thoughts on “Grey hair: still making the transition

  1. Your hair looks great! I stopped dying mine in November. The dark brown is turning brassy in the New Mexico sun but I’m hanging on.

  2. Your transition to grey looks very smooth! I love the white streak and you’re lucky to have a natural color that blends nicely with grey. My hair is dark brown and the grey is concentrated at the temples so I am not ready to go there yet. I’m following my friend Karen, a natural red head, on her journey to going grey and will post the second installment hopefully this week. She is toughing it out and hasn’t gone back to the colorist thus far. I’ll be sure to forward this piece to her.

  3. It made me so happy to read you have decided to age gently. That is what I would like to do, but I’m a bit vain so I could struggle. Wrinkles etc don’t bother me but hair colour could be a challenge. I think you look lovely and your style is perfect. You have no idea how much this helps. Thanks

  4. I started the transition almost immediately after retirement — did it with a short cut, and then had highlights to help blend in the grey for the first few months. It’s been almost three years now, the last two with no colouring at all. I’ve grown much of the length back, and I’m so happy with the overall appearance — not to mention the ease and the cost savings! Travelling for six weeks, I don’t have to worry about scheduling a Colour Appointment just before I leave so that it will last until the Appointment as soon as I get back (I was maintaining an every-five-weeks habit . . . ).
    Love the way your hair looks now — just enough iconoclastic a colour to be You! Still very stylish and very good-looking.

  5. Like in many things, being authentic yields the best results. It’s what you do with that authenticity that makes the difference (more frequent haircuts, better grooming, current and well cut clothing…) Cheers to you for going authentic. I love reading your posts and books.

  6. The key thing is to make sure that you have a good cut. You can go from cool to crone in just a few days with wispy bits flying everywhere. I am still getting used to the change in texture, let alone colour but it is in much better condition these days. Looks even better when I have a tan.

  7. I’m following you in this vein Alyson. Coming up to a year without any hair dye. It is stripey with whiter streaks at front and no way near a uniform lovely silver colour rather ombré with still some brown parts. But I’m committed to continuing. I’m fortunate to have thick hair with body and texture much improved without dye. Whether chlorine affects it begin swimming in nearby lido this week. As you have written one has to approach the hair transition phase with confidence with a good deliberate haircut and panache in clothing and overall style.
    Having not been someone too aware of Mary Beard I saw her on a late night arts show recently which she fronts. Then read some very cruel comments about her appearance by a cultural critic in a Sunday column referring mainly to her role on Civilisations. Another column mentioned that the US edition of broadcast has left her on cutting floor. Still a long long way to go clearly in our lookist society For all her books and success and accomplishments this somehow is inadequate if one has long ungroomed hair and natural teeth and face at 60 plus rather than the looks of an ex-model and actress.

  8. Alyson, your last sentence puts it all in a stylish nutshell. For me (60 next week……FREE travel in London and concessions at fab places like the Curzon cinemas), wrinkles, style and greying hair are the way forward for me and I couldn’t be happier.

  9. I send you wishes for a Happy Birthday Maudie. I’m over 65 and have enjoyed using my bus pass to whizz about and concessions on museum entrance and cinema ticket prices etc etc. Trying to embrace being this venerable age and enjoy life to the full while I’m able to do so. Marking each day with gratitude.

    1. Thanks, Mrs Tonia. I am looking forward to whizzing around as long as I can before I hit my zimmer frame!

  10. I stopped dyeing mine in September last year. Nice salt\pepper at front, brown at back but keep getting a short Bob for now.

    You are right, the transition is hard. But my hair feels so much better.

  11. I had my hairdresser dye my blonde hair grey all over and just left it to grow out that way which was brilliant- I haven’t dyed my hair since and love it

  12. I’ve never had more compliments on my hair colour. I got called ‘the young blonde one’ the other day which made he chortle as neither of those things are true but I will take it. I call my red/grey/ strawberry blonde mix sugar and spice rather than salt and pepper. Make up has taken some adjusting and I try to ensure an edgier cut to avoid the frump (currently and uncut crop with shaved back and sides, sounds more Peaky Blinders than it is I promise). And added bonus is I feel I can wear a wider range of colours thannas a redhead.

    You look fabulous and I really hope more women are inspired to Dutch the tyranny of dye

  13. Ooooh! Just been talking about this today then read your blog……. it is soooo tiring covering grey but mine is frizzy and I’m just not quite ready to transition until
    I know how to manage it! I did catch a glimpse of myself in car mirror in natural day light and worry my hair is too blonde for my age (57) but going to give it another year I think! (I love how you style your lovely block of grey at the front) and thank you for the product tips.

  14. You look great and in this day and age we should all be able to choose how we present ourselves! I’m about to be 57 and have let my hair be – mostly – snow white for nearly a decade. I’ve just had more highlights and a toner put in after a couple of years of nothing. I prefer it; I feel more glamorous.

    I have never had botox or fillers but recently I visited a well respected aesthetic practitioner and have decided to have a neck treatment. My neck has aged badly compared to my face and I do believe that if I’m letting my hair be white, the rest of me has to be up to scratch.

    It’s all about confidence. And the lives we lead. I think we can be starting new careers, new lives in our 60s. My Mum has just turned 80 and is fabulous! But we have to be up to the challenge. Good health, fitness and confidence are key. If natural suits us, great. If we want a little – or a lot- of help, equally great.

  15. Mary Beard is wonderful: intelligent, individual, daring to wear her hair long, undyed, and be herself. I applaud her, and at the age of 63, I now dare to be myself too.

  16. I tried the White Hot Hair products after your blog post, I wasn’t sure, then someone said to me ‘have you changed your shampoo? Your hair looks amazing’ and the styling cream is perfect! Also I saw Tamsin Greig at an event last night and my first thought was, Alyson Walsh should do a blog about her, her hair looks amazing but mostly on TV it gets covered up!

  17. I’m going to be 40 in August and have had grey hairs showing since I was 14 ! Which is also the case for my 14 yr old son. I have been toying for a few years with the idea of not colouring my hair anymore and a couple of months ago went from dark brown to highlights to blend better with the grey ,but nothing works and I actually think once my hair is all the same colour it will look ok , but my issue is everyone keeps telling me I’m too young to go grey and that it will age me , but now I have decided that colours with white roots are far more ageing and with a better style and the right make up it will suit me better so am going for it. Wish me luck in this judgemental society we live in.

    1. Hi Jennie,
      I decided to go grey at 39 (am now 41) and haven’t look back! I turned grey at a relatively young age as well, due to an autoimmune disease. I always camouflaged it with blonde highlights, but got tired of spending time and money on covering up something natural. It’s just grey hair! I only had one friend who told me I was too young to go grey (as if there’s a proper age for that), but I ignored her and made my own decision. And oh my goodness, I’ve received so many compliments on my hair colour!!! Lots of people comment on it and it’s all positive. I am very happy with it.
      Don’t care about what society thinks, follow your own heart and make your own choices. Once you let go, you realise: people, stop fussing, it’s only grey hair for crying out loud! 🙂
      Good luck!!
      Anne

  18. Looks great Alyson! Love this intro: “Going grey when you’re over-50 and female is more than just a hashtag on social media. The change (of hair colour) is both a political and psychological issue.” So true!

  19. I did the same a couple of years back . Unfortunately it was the same time as my son’s graduation but looking around I saw a fashion of girls kind of dip dyeing their hard so psychologically used that .When it was long enough I just went for the cut .Compliments all around .Never looking back to colouring.

  20. Hello, can I ask where you got the scarf in the photo on the left? Great hair, by the way. Olivia x

  21. You look great Alyson, love the hair colour! My hair is curly and quite wayward – I always think it’s difficult for transitioning grey messy hair to look good without the help of a full-time stylist! I see photographs of curly grey hair which look amazing, but not sure mine would – it’s difficult enough to manage at the best of times! So at the moment I’m still having highlights (my natural colour is light brown but I now have some grey), just to lift it. I’ve told my hairdresser I’m not bothered about covering the grey, just want something to stop it being boring, so I have quite a bit of grey around the temples which I like.

  22. I’m late 40’s and just had my hair coloured again, the grey/silver is now rapidly showing and I have contemplated stopping the dye but can’t bring myself to do it just yet. I applaud you for biting the bullet and going through with the waiting process which is the hardest part I guess, hope I can be just as confident when the time comes!

  23. I am struggling with this same issue, but I’m a brunette, so a bit more difficult to figure out how to do without looking completely
    horrible. My husband is not on board with the idea, but I truly think that once it’s fully grey, he will like it. My hair is thick and coarse + I live in a humid climate, so short is not an option for me. If anyone has any tips for brunettes starting down this path, I’d love to hear them!!!

    1. Melanie, I had very dark brown hair which I coloured for a number of years. At present I have left a chunky stripe at the front go natural to see what colour it was (silver). Whilst I am not ready to fully embrace the grey all over yet, its given me (and friends and family) a bit of an insight so it wont be so much of a shock when I do decide to embrace it fully. I have also received loads of really positive comments and people thinking that the silver stripe is in fact the dyed part!

    2. Melanie, my hair sounds a lot like yours – it’s thick, wavy, coarse, and tends to frizz. When I transitioned from dyeing it dark brunette, first my colorist did a series of toning treatments to get any red tones out, then lightened the dyed hair slowly, over the course of many months, as I let my natural color grow in. Early on I did have a couple of months where I just ignored the couple of inches of what looked like pure silver roots against the dark dyed hair – not sure how I did that, looking at the photos now! But it was summer, and I just rolled with it, and it made me feel like the transition was moving along. I also cut my hair shorter to speed things up, and while the NYC humidity is utterly unforgiving, one bonus for me of not dyeing is that my hair texture feels much smoother now. Also, I was very surprised that my hair was not pure white/silver, as it looked against the dark dyed hair, but more a mix of steely grey, some lighter strands, and dark, possibly brunette underneath. It’s an adventure 🙂 Good luck!

  24. Not dying hair has one other huge advantage that is, surprisingly, hardly ever mentioned and to me seems more important than personal preferences: it’s so much better for the environment. All those chemicals and colorants, both when produced and when rinsed into the sink – and the packaging. Plus the packaging and products needed to ‘revive’ coloured hair. Plus transport… And for what? Please, dye-hards, think of the greater good! (did I just coin a word? ;-))

  25. Looking good and the colour suits you. I’ve never dyed my hair, as I am lucky with my red brown natural colour and I’ve always shuddered at bad dye jobs on others, so it was never going to be an option for me. At 56, I now have streaks of white hair and love it, especially the band in the fringe. You’re right about getting older well, with too much fixation on trying to look younger, which often goes very wrong imo.

  26. Thanks to inspiration from you and a few others, I’m about 7 months into the transition. I’m really loving it although it’s hard to have that strong demarcation line at times. Like you, I really wear it pulled back mostly, so that the front is all silver and don’t look at the back!

  27. I am 54 and I stopped coloring my brunette hair when I turned 50. I just love it! I’ve never been happier with my hair, actually. I get compliments all the time on my hair color, from women and men. I’m so glad I went natural! It’s healthier than ever, too. You are so right, Alyson–the dye job is more aging than people realize.

  28. Tried a range of ‘silver’ shampoos before I discovered Bleach London. Cheap as chips – and doesn’t put weight on your hips!
    Certainly gets rid of any yellow creep and everyone asks me how I get such a lovely steely and silver colour. And you can get it from Boots.

  29. I so agree. Just ‘do it’… be true to your real hair colour – none of this faffing around. I now spot dyed hair a mile off and don’t like it. It looks harsh against skin tones. I’m glad to have shampoo advice from you and will try it.

  30. In a bid to make my grey bits look that fabulous silvery colour, I used the shampoos suggested. Fine-ish for the hair but the colour of the grout in my shower is not so good!! Oh yes and it stays and stays…. on the grout that is!

  31. I’m 59 and stopped coloring my hair at age 50, it is now semi long, silky and I think beautiful, I get many compliments from men and women……….but now that it’s so trendy and I hate to be trendy, I almost feel like I’m following the latest fashion hair trend which I dont like to do.

  32. I think it suits you beautifully, Alyson! I prefer your hair colour in the photo on the right. I’m only going grey in my eyebrows so far, but I can’t wait to have icy white hair one day. One of my best friends went from being a redhead to chopping it all off and letting the grey grow in, and I can’t even tell you how much better she looks. She really looks like a movie star with silver hair, and the colour suits her skin better. Brava to you for going au natural.

  33. Another comment…….My hair was naturally med brown and I have a med olive complexion, so I never really realized just how dark my skin tone was until the silver hair came in and now the contrast with skin tone and hair is much more dramatic, sometimes it still gives me a jolt. I never have to worry about the gray/silver washing me out that’s for sure.

  34. You look great! The key to “natural color” hair is conditioning and a great cut be it short, long or in between. A classic or funky style needs to be in place to avoid the dreaded matronly look.

  35. Great article. You look awesome. I’m going through the same thing .. It’s comforting and supporting to know so many others are too.

  36. To Melanie above and others with dark brown hair some advice on how I grew out my brown hair. I have a fair complexion and green eyes but my original hair colour was a mid to dark brown. Even now in my mid60s my hair isn’t that grey. I started my hair coverup with semi-permanent colour only which makes a less extreme demarcation as it grows out. One does end up having high lights or low lights, that is bleached streaks around the face. Not too many to keep cost and damage to hair texture down. The rest was covered up with a brown semi permanent colour. More than a year ago I decided in part by reading in the TNMA blog about others including Alyson growing out their hair to give it a go. I let it grow out for a number of months and then gave in last spring and had white streaks added by a new hairdresser. Finally I’m growing that out. One does look a mess for many months. But the texture of ones hair improves a lot I have found without the drying effects of bleach. I continue to use a shampoo for coloured hair and conditioner Living Proof best I’ve tried. Now I use occasionally a purple shampoo but I don’t much like the way my hair feels with it. The secret is to persist but to keep cutting the ends and keeping hair style and shape looking deliberate. On me I don’t like short cropped hair so keep it in a bob around chin and shoulder length because I like the swish of hair around the face and find it more flattering. I recently cut it to a shorter shape but still bobbed in preparation for swimming. The effect of chlorine should be less this year with less bleach in hair. Good luck to those attempting this. I feel I’ve reached an age when I can do this with confidence and can still look attractive otherwise.

  37. A further point I forgot to mention. As ones hair fades so to do eyebrows and eyelashes. I don’t dye either though I had eyelashes dyed black a few times for summer. Horrible experience with peroxide stinging the eyes. Not worth it from any perspective. Now on eyelashes it’s black mascara and for greying eyebrows a two-ended Clinique one in soft brown followed by a brush. Better still is Wow Root coverup powder in Light Brown bought to touch up temples which go white first. Now goes nowhere near my hair but I use it on my eyebrows followed by a brush. This gives them a thick natural darker brow look which is of the moment. And no waxing or threading only a tiny bit of tweezing. With age they don’t grow back.

  38. Brava, Alyson!
    I gave up the color last year – my hair tends to “grab” more of it than necessary and the grays had became “resistant” (term used by the stylist). Since I’m in “resist’ mode these days, I decided to let my hair lead the way (after growing out a relaxer as well). I now have (count ’em) 3/4 different shades of color in my hair but…it is what it is and I’m using the money I’ve saved from colourist vists to buy a ticket to a favorite destination. I shampoo, condition, condition again, then let the curls and the gray rock on.
    Sheila

  39. Since last week I’ve joined the greyvolution ! It took me some time to make the decision not to colour my hair anymore and let it go grey/natural. So last week I asked the hairdresser to simply cut out all the colour, I know, drastic decision. My hair is now really short (oops!) and I have my own colour back, a colour I hadn’t seen in more than 30 years (I admit, it was a bit of a shock). Actually it’s my own colour with a lot of white strands 😉 I must admit, it will take me some time to get used to, especially to the fact that I’m now admitting to the world ànd to myself that I’m no spring chick anymore… although the mirror already showed me that every morning even when my hair was still dyed 🙂 But on the bright side : I now have a new reason to shop… grey hair asks for a lot more colour in my wardrobe. Every cloud… 😉

  40. I was forced to go grey when I started having reactions to hair color. It felt less like my decision, but now it is almost all ponytail length grey and I really do like it. What I don’t like is having graduated into being called “hun” in shops and restaurants. I am 61, and not exactly feeble just yet. I am replying with “sweetie” until I can think of a better comeback.

  41. Great article and comments, thank you everyone. One other option: Ditching the chemical dyes for natural ones. No demarcation line and, once the damaged hair has been cut, lovely healthy hair. I used to have dozens of haircare bottles to battle the dyeing damage; now I pay for a superb cut and good quality organic shampoo. My hairdresser has started usimg a lighter natural dye on my dark blonde hair to prepare for transition to grey in a couple of years‘ time (53 now and not sufficient grey strands yet).

  42. I think I’m at about the same stage of transition. My hair decided to go from blonde to brunette in my 20s and I went through decades of highlighting to try to recapture that youthful brightness. I was actually relieved to see the white appear at age 56, as it meant (I thought) the end of the brown. However, it turned out that the white is only in the front for now, and the rest of it is just as brown as ever. I’ve now gone a year and a half without salon color, and just have three inches or so of the old blonde highlights left on the ends. Too many colors – I will be glad to see that “stripe” cut off!

  43. Alyson
    I’ve never dyed my hair and started going grey in my 40s. Its all about confidence! I wouldn’t be me if I coloured my hair (well that’s what my husband says!). It’s very liberating. My only comment is find a good hairdresser who will be sympathetic with your look.
    You look great.

  44. Alyson, I so enjoy your blog and am delighted to hear someone relatively young talk about natural aging. I stopped colouring my chestnut hair to auburn 6 yrs ago when I retired, am now 71. After one fall and summer of champagne blonde which I wore up to hide the grow-out, I’m fortunate to have been left with beautiful (so I’m told) silver hair to go with fair skin and very dark eyebrows. I receive compliments from women and men of all ages on the street, at the pool, in the locker room which helps to distract me from the drooping eyelids! Your clothing and shoes are beautiful…making me wish for a trip to the UK soon.

  45. Can you come to the SF Bay Area and give me a pep talk in person? My hair grows ridiculously fast and the gray-lo (gray halo) appears after two weeks! OMG! The “hair crack” as I call it, is a line item on my budget… and not an insignificant one. The challenge is that I’m in the tech industry, in Silicon Valley, and it’s so so so young. I’m in my early 50s and work with people who could be my children. Ageism is alive and well, unfortunately, so I’ve been reluctant to let my gray awesomeness shine. So, if you have any California travel plans, please come my way and I’ll cook a fabulous dinner and play SF tour guide in exchange for a pep talk (and maybe some help editing my closet). Thanks!

    1. I would love to come to SF Bay Area! If anyone has suggestions regarding sponsored flights, I could do a book signing, too – and pop in for dinner afterwards…

  46. Love your style & so glad you decided to go grey – so elegant on you.
    I decided that my light blonde dye was no longer flattering to my 74 year old skin, so I let my hair go grey 2 years ago, & I love it. It turned out to be light silver with lighter whitish around my face. Much more in keeping with my blue eyes & pale-ish skin. I now use your recommended White Hot shampoo & conditioner. Get it sent to me in Canada – easy process. I look forward to seeing your all grey look pared with your great wardrobe choices. Good for you!

  47. I didn’t really like my natural hair—salt-and-pepper with silver streaks— until I changed my wardrobe. Formerly I wore lots of brown and olive (a good match for brown hair and hazel eyes) but now I need deep pinks, purples and corals. Black is flattering but also a cliche these days so I’ve switched to slate grey. It takes a few months to adjust but going au natural is definitely worth it.

  48. I’m 61 and I let my previously brown (with regular highlights to blend the greys) hair grow back a natural salt and pepper after having chemo 12 years ago. I used to pay $200 (Australian every 3 months to keep on top of it, plus the cost of regular in between trims. I was so very nauseous during chemo, that the loss of my hair did not phase me at all. And it turned out that letting my hair grow back natural was an unexpected benefit of breast cancer!
    A word on purple shampoo – I found it very drying (even though it did look nice!). I now use a smoothing shampoo and conditioner and blow dry my bob cut with a paddle brush. Here is a link on how:
    https://insideoutstyleblog.com/2009/03/how-to-blow-dry-a-bob-in-3-minutes.html

  49. I agree with Alicja, grey hair is very liberating. In my mid-50s I feel more confident in myself than ever before (just wish I could psss it onto the teenager). I get lots of positive comments on my hair – as it’s streaky people think I’ve had it ‘done’ – and I have recently taken to wearing blusher and also have my eyebrows and lashes tinted so I don’t look washed out. On top of that, two additional ear piercings. Most importantly, I’m enjoying life.

  50. It’s good to see your progress. As you know, Alyson, I was so against all the (what seemed to me) pressure to go grey. But in October 2016 I stopped dyeing my (once red, but then dull metal quite dark grey) hair. Funnily enough we seem to be at about the same level (what month/year did you start?) as I am about two-thirds grey with a super white streak at the front but with one third still blonde at the ends as I haven’t gone short. Indeed, I have decided to grow my hair. Like another commenter above I’m lucky at my age (72 next month) to have thick hair so I’m hoping I’l look wild and witchy rather than lank! So glad to be doing this as I use far fewer products but put lashings of serum on for its condition. I also love the white streak against a bit of a tan. Looking back at some of my old pics I’m astounded to see how yellow that colouring was – not really all that good a colour tbh. Altogether I’m a happy convert to going natural – it took time but now it’s so right.

    1. Hello Penny,
      Lovely to hear from you! I started the Grey-volution almost two years ago and have found that my hair colour is darker and less grey than expected, but I like it. As many women have said, it’s easier and costs less. Glad to hear that you’re happy going natural.

  51. When I discussed letting my hair go grey with my friends, husband and hairdresser they were horrified. I think they thought that reaching 60 had upset me and that the ‘grey stuff’ was me ‘giving up and in’. The only person who encouraged me was my then 25 year old son who told me “ Go on mum, you’ll rock it”. Then there was all the usual stereotypical ‘rules’ about me having to have it cut short ( in fact although I have regular trims it is now past shoulder length), not wearing my red lippy or brightly coloured clothes,in short ‘ giving up and in!’.
    Two years on it’s almost all silver grey apart from some ‘interesting ‘ bits of pink and brown. I wear it loose, plaited, in buns, with clips, whatever I bloody well feel like and still wear red lippy and bright colours! I get stopped in the street by young people who compliment me and I have noticed a ‘club’ of similar women who smile and nod at each other.
    Do I “rock it”? I’d like to think so!

  52. I am a bit late to this conversation but at 54 have now been natural for 3 & a half years. I have a bob so the transition was a challenge but I think it’s been worth it. My hair is definitely in better condition & it’s better for my colouring. My epiphany around this came in a work meeting all the attendees were in their 40s & 50s, the women all had dyed hair (mainly blonde) & the men (well those that had hair) were grey or going that way. I just thought who are we kidding & why we are doing this, it just didn’t feel right anymore. Definitely don’t regret it.

  53. I ws inspired by your earlier comments to give this a go Alyson. I took myself off to a brand new hairdresser and said – I want to go from my dyed warm browns to great – how do I do it? Two young hairdressers had a confab in a corner, came back and said – it’s simple – we will bleach your hair white, and then put a ‘wash in’ grey toner over it. Somewhat recklessly I guess – I went ahead. It took a pretty painless 12 months to get it to completely undyed status (though my hair needed lots of moisturising and hydrating shampoos and conditioners throughout this period.) Now it is my natural colour – grey – and, like many others who have gone this route, I find it suits me better and is in ,much better condition. I offer this up just as an example how how to get there from mid brown – without the badger period. It is probably worth saying, I went for a short, sharp bob during the transition to make it faster.

  54. It took me 18 months to grow out my ‘real’ colour of dark brown and to go grey/white. Keeping the brassiness at bay was a challenge for a while and whilst I used the purple toned shampoos I found that often they would leave a purple and sometimes blue tinge in my hair, particularly in my beautiful almost totally white streak at the front. I tried many different makes, seriously I tried loads and then discovered Centaury by Klorane. Perfect and cheap as chips. Anna xx

  55. I am 60 and have let my brown hair turn gray gradually, in its own time over the last ten years. I didn’t dye before the gray so I didn’t start during the transition. I admit the first three years were unsettling every time I looked in a mirror. I thought I could no longer wear black, gray or ivory next to my face, lipstick colors were a mystery and nothing I tried seemed right. Finally, I realized I was responding to my insecurities rather than really looking at myself. I have now returned to wearing any shade and color I like. I do invest in getting a deep conditioning treatment at least once a month. I have friends who still dye their hair in their 70’s and they look fantastic. I have other friends who are all gray and all natural and they too look wonderful. “To each her own,” is my belief.

  56. I am four years in to no more color. This was one of the best beauty decisions ever. At 64 I still am only about 30% gray (and wish I had more), but I recommend stopping the color earlier rather than later. That skunk patch would be so hard to manage.

  57. Hello there.
    I’m 52, stopped dyeing my hair a year or so ago and have embraced the grey, especially the silver streak at the front, which I must say I quite like…
    My hair is shoulder length, just about long enough to tie up. Which in this hot weather and when I exercise, is pretty much most of the time at the moment.
    So, my question is, what hair accessories/styling ideas do you use without managing to look like Heidi/the cast of the Sound of Music, you’re just off the Pony Club or your first day of primary school. I am struggling, feel like the 2nd option here most days!

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