Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Gray Area: Chopped


Well, its done. The last few inches of (faded) dyed hair has been placed in its final resting place in the trash bin at the hairdressers. No more telltale line drawn in the follicular sand that marks the end of the dye and the beginning of my real hair.  I have officially gone natural.


Well, okay...there are a few centimetres of color here and there
on the tips , but by and large,  I am declaring it a job done!
See the look of smug satisfaction on my face?
Gray cashmere crew neck by Charter Club for Macys. 




And you know what the kicker is? My husband says that he thinks he likes the new, chopped-off version of me better than before version of me, thereby shattering the myth that men only "see" women with long hair, and the rest of us will just have make due with reruns of Downtown Abbey and a carton of Chunky Monkey (which, incidentally,  I hate...why I used that as an example is beyond me....I'm more of a mango sorbet gal myself).

So if you're new to the blog or haven't yet delved-into the Gray Area, here is a quick photographic recap.

Sept 2010: Ready, set...grow!
                                                   
The terrible, unintentional-looking
 period at two to three months. 
    
Three months

?? Maybe 10 to 12 months or so 

16 or 17 months

Three weeks (or so) ago

Aaaaaand finally........today. 


Taa-Daaa!


Here, you can see it from the side. 

So that's it. That's me. Will I keep it like this? Color-wise, yes. Cut wise, I'll probably grow it back to just above my shoulders. I have really thick hair, and it tends to go all mushroomy when it is short if I don't style it meticulously. This is my hair with a whole lot of product in it to get it to lie down and behave. More on that in a forthcoming post. 

Now on to the philosophical stuff; what I've learned. 

1. You have to be ready. If you are the type to worry excessively about what others might think, you're 
     not ready. 
2. Hang in there. Many of your female friends will think you're insane to want to do something that is so 
    "ageing".  They,  or maybe even complete strangers may say things to you because they want to "help" 
     you.  Ignore them. Your haircolor choice is not a medical condition. 
3. When people do say things to you, remember that this is a reflection on them and their personal 
     insecurities, not on you and yours.  If they persist,  speak to them from the heart about your reasons for 
     wanting to go natural. You will know your reasons well when you are ready to go natural,  so it 
     should come easily.  If, despite your heart-to-heart,  they continue to persist and badger, well...that 
     person may just be an insensitive a-hole. They have shown you who they are. Move on. 
4. Have fun with products and fashion. Give that unforgiving fuchsia lipstick that you were never brave 
    enough to wear a try, you will be amazed what looks good on you now that you have less colour next 
    to your face. Also try on your clothes and assess what still works in your closet, and maybe what 
    doesn't. Open your mind to new colours (says the girl in the gray sweater), really, colour is your friend. 
5. Hair product is your friend. Gray hairs are wirey little bastards with a life of their own. I will be 
     reviewing products I try in many, many forthcoming posts. Probably for the rest of my life. Your input   
     here is most welcomed. 

I would say that I am finished here, but I'm not. I have finished the technical part of the going natural process. Now comes the details...finding what works. I feel like a teenager who, by way of heavy experimentation,  is still struggling to decide if blue eyeliner and violet mascara is really the way forward (it isn't). 

So with that, I set off on another set of tasks; finding stuff that works with my new hair, from clothing to beauty products. And for those of you out there in a similar situation, feel free to drop me a line...particularly if you have found the Holy Grail of Frizz Control. I know I've said this before, but I'm serious....if you have the Holy Grail of Frizz Control  I will follow you... I will follow you Monty Python: Life of Brian-style, just about anywhere, so great is my desire for frizz control. Just sayin'.

100 comments:

  1. That's a fantastic hair cut - the chopped-off version of you looks fabulous!

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    1. Thanks! Still getting used to it and using too much shampoo, but it is certainly no hardship!

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    2. Hi, I too am going grey. My hair grows so fast and I was having to dye it every 4 weeks, with concerns of damaging my hair or goin bald. My hair dresser gave me highlights and lowlights to help the transition. After 6 months I'm well on my way and the grey transition has hardly been noticable. Doing the high and lowlights really helped. I am so happy to not dye my hair and I like the color much better. I wish shampoo and hair conditiner manufacturers would cater to the grey hair customers more though. My hair dresser recommended smoothers in shampoos and conditioners to help with the courseness. But all in all I love it. Freedom.

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    3. It looks great! I am growing mine out and have about 4 inches of grey. I have been using Aveda's smooth products. They are awesome!

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  2. You look stunning! Found you via LPC at Privilege and I can't wait to read all about navigating the 'details'!

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    1. Thanks Lilly, and thanks for supporting my wee blog. I enjoyed your post on the ins and outs of navigating the elevator. Nothing peeves me more than when people stampede to get on an elevator or a train before you can even step off. I am going to forward that one like crazy!

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  3. I love your color. Love it.

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    1. Thanks! As always, a work in progress.

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  4. You look really beautiful, with a very young face. As for frizz control, I really love Jane Carter Hair Nourishing Cream, a recent discovery of mine. I have naturally curly hair, and this stuff really keeps the frizz down without suppressing the curl. I have a friend with very thick straight hair, and she uses it to smooth the gray wiry bastards at her temples. http://www.janecartersolution.com/hair_nour_cream_tube.html

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    1. Kathy, I am writing this down, thank you so much for this tip. Those wiry little bastards at the crown and temples are exactly the ones I'm after. They stick up like sprigs...rendering me more Chia Pet than 40 year-old professional. Thank you for supporting my wee blog.

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  5. You look stunning, and have given me the courage to "just do it" when the time comes. I have a few crazy white hairs around my temple now, and when I go completely gray it will likely tend towards a simliar shade to yours. You wear it well!

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    1. Hi Jane,
      I think you're right, you will probably have a very similar gray to mine...you have a beautiful face...when the time comes...go for it!

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  6. It really suits you! Thank you for the progress pictures and tips. How encouraging! And how liberating it must feel to let go of those twice-monthly hair appointments and enjoy the feel of virgin hair on the nape of your neck (even if its a bunch of wiry little bastards prickling you).

    I also found you through LPC/Privilege (who has fabulous hair of her own) and I am also letting my grey grow in because — shocker — I like how the color harmonizes with my skin tone, and even more shocking, my stylist said to leave it alone. Right now I have a grey-flax stripe where my part meets my forehead, and it blends in with the rest of my hair, which is dark ash blonde. I have been planning to write my own going-grey post, but something non-tangible has held me back. Grey is a hot topic, and women are certainly opinionated/impassioned about it. I am really glad to see you're getting positive support and encouragement. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your support of my blog! And a big shout-out to LPC as well who has increased todays numbers exponentially. (I must send a gift basket...) And thank YOU for the fabulous profile of that beautiful rosy Chanel lipstick that I WILL be purchasing the next time I am in Glasgow... no iffs, ands, or butts. That is a beautiful colour. And I encourage you to wear it if you decide to go ahead with your grey post!

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  7. I am trying to decide what to do about mine, but I don't have pretty gray like you! Just drab light brown shot with drab gray! Maybe in a year or two. Yours looks great!

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    1. Did I use enough exclamation points? Maybe not!

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    2. If you ask me, there are never enough exclamation points. Everybody always says they don't have pretty grey...but go to Going Gray Looking Great on Facebook and look at the photos. Most of the women on there look better with their natural colour. If you are patient, it will reward you :)

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  8. I think it looks great!

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  9. Thanks for sharing the photos -- your final looks fabulous. I'm glad to see it took awhile. When I colored my hair, all I could see was roots. Growing it out took far longer (9 months to a short cut) than I anticipated. I thought my process was weird, but now I see that growing out hair takes awhile!

    My natural turns out to include a shocking (to me) amount of gray in surprisingly (to me) dark hair. I've also gone short (longish pixie) to facilitate the growing-out process. The jury of one (me) is still out on both looks. I love low-maintenance hair, so once I find a length that feels more like my version of feminine, I'm likely to stay with that cut (which I have to say is gonna be longer, maybe back to a bob-ish thing) and keep the natural color. Maybe. :)

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  10. Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer

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    1. After a brief hesitation (the name of that product left me wondering what exactly was....it sounds a little......a little porno. There, I said it.), I realised that we were talking about frizz control, and I googled Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer. I will be giving it a go. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  11. I love your new hair, and I love your five philosophical points (especially number 3 -- SO TRUE). Of course, I say this as a person who has just gotten back from the salon an hour ago, so I"m not quite there yet. But it helps having people like you and Lisa blaze the trail.

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    1. When you are ready, you will know. Kind of like salmon finding their way to the stream in which they were born. Okay...bad analogy. But everyone has their moment where they feel ready. Thanks for your support!

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  12. You look fantastic! I've also grown out my greys over the past couple of years. An stylist's mistake meant a very short cut at the end of the process, which I've just decided to grow out. I love seeing other women with the courage to stand by their silver strands!

    I also discovered you via Privilege, btw.

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    1. Susan, so glad that you are happily a card-carrying member of the Gray Brigade! If you want to grow it, go for it. Cut it, grow it....its a blank canvas! Thanks for reading!

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  13. Wow! so glad to have taken the time to visit your blog (from Privilege). I'm starting this process, still just at 2 months (!) and already got down to some of the same philosophical statements! If I felt that 50 was liberating; going natural is still better! As this is not an easy process I keep my focus on natural(grey)-haired women I see to stay inspired. I hope to be able to stay the course as you did. You look fantastic and I'll keep this post to cheer me up ;-)
    JJP

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    1. Thanks to you (and to LPC at Privilege) for reading! my advice...HANG IN THERE. You are in the most difficult part, but it went really quickly for me, and it wasn't all that painful. If you haven't already four them, check out Going Gray Looking Great on Facebook! Loads of "real" inspiration there. And if you really want to feel inspired, check out Kristen McMenamy's (the supermodel) photo editorials. so chic! You will get there, and sooner than you think!

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  14. I too was sent here by "Privilege." Your hair looks great. When I went natural, I had dyed red hair. My stylist put in blonde highlights to ease the transition and we just kept whacking away at the length until eventually all the red was gone and what remained of the blonde blended fairly well with the new gray and old mousy brown.

    I've recently started using L'Oreal's Intense Smoothing conditioner and shampoo. It's sulfate free and contains argan, sunflower, and olive oil (in, I'm sure, minute quantities, but something is working to tame the frizz.)

    MamamiauBarb, AKA Barb

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    1. Hi Barb, thanks for visiting, and thanks to Privilege for the generous sharing of her readers! I have not tried the L'oreal sulfate free shampoo yet, although I have been dying to do so (not available as yet in my highland town). And congrats on your own journey of going natural as well!

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  15. I've always disliked dyed hair on older faces; hence my own decision to not cover my gray/white and to highlight the natural high contrast hair color to blend. I think you look great with your "new" natural hair color. Thank you for this entry. I also found you through LPC.

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    1. Thanks for your support Susan! And thanks to LPC for sharing her readers! Your hair is beautiful!

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  16. I got lucky and found that my hair is silver, which many women admire, and fear they won't have if they take the big step. Since I wear mine shoulder length, usually scrunchied (not losing mine either, Lisa/LPC) , I find the way around frizzies is to comb it smooth after washing, and let it dry as much as possible naturally...it's the hairdryer that causes the frizzies.

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    1. Its true a lot of women think that their gray won't be a "pretty" gray...but I have yet to see a photo of someone with their natural hair that doesn't look more at ease and natural than the dyed version. Its all how you wear it! Thanks for visiting, and I will add the hairdryer to the long, long list of things that give me frizz, which is pretty much everything.

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  17. Oh gosh, I looked at those inbetween pictures and thought, "I'm never going to do that!"

    Congradulations - you made it!

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  18. It really wasn't so bad. I wore it up a lot...had a lot of half-updos. It was easier wearing it up because I have a lot of my natural deep brunette underneath, so it blended well. WHen you're ready, a few inches of roots can't hold you back!

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  19. I'm at month 14 here - (I have and insist on having long hair) and I. can't. wait. Congratulations!

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    1. I too didn't really want to cut. I waited until I could do it and have the exact same version of my hair only three inches shorter. Just makes it easier to feel like yourself! Thanks for reading!

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  20. About the holy grail of frizz control.... I have a lot of hair and it all has the texture of cotton candy. I love my hair straightener. I don't use leave in product because of allergies but I condition it heavily then straighten it every time I wash it. I use a hair clip and straighten it in small sections. I usually only do the full treatment right after a wash but I straighten my bangs and around my face a lot.

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  21. I would suggest paying lots of money for thermafuse treatments at your hair salon. It will leave your hair absolutely silky for months. It has totally transformed my hair

    Congratulations!

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  22. It looks great!!! I love it that length and you really do look great with the gray. I love the gray more so than your brown. I hope I like mine as much once this is all over!

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    1. Posted a link to your "new 'do" on the blog today!

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    2. Michelle, thanks again! It will be your turn next! you will indeed like yours when you are finished. Takes some getting gused to, but while it is growing, you have nothing but time to get used to it and experiment!

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  23. Amazing - you look great, and I love the new cut too. Found you through Lisa's blog. And the lippie is just gorgeous. x

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  24. You look stunning with gray hair. Congratulations! As for frizz, I find that I do better with no product but lots of silicone-free conditioner. My hair is fine, though, so maybe it's different for me. That said, I'm a work in progress and open to new hair care strategies. I look forward to reading about your journey. As we say over at my place, Rock the Silver!

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    1. Hi Donna! I am familiar with the Rocking of the Silver, and am indeed a fan. Thanks for your support of my wee blog! Like you, I am always open to new strategies as well, so if I find something, I'll send up a flare.

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  25. Hi Donna. I have the ultimate tip for gray frizzies, so read on! When I grew out my hair to its natural gray, I was really happy with the color, not so happy with the texture/lack of shine. Then my stylist tried a product called Moroccan Oil after my shampoo and cut, and...OMG! Soft, smooth, shine for days. My hair is pixie short, so it's easy for me; maybe not so easy for someone with long locks. But I think that hair oil was the original beauty treatment, was it not? Moroccan Oil is basically argan oil, so I'm sure there are other brands. Give it a shot!

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    1. Just had the same experience with Orofluido...which I will be reviewing next week! Thanks fir your support! I will definitely have to try Moroccan oil one of these days. I have heard so much about it!

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  26. Love it! You look fantastic. I'm at the 4-month mark, which is a tad awkward, so seeing your transformation is very inspirational. Where are you from in the States? I'm in NYC and find myself proud of our shared Americanness as I'm cracking up at all of your posts from way over in the Scottish Highlands. Humor is very much in need at this particular point in the process, so thank you very much!!

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    1. Hi Monica, thanks for the kind words about my wee blog. I am originally from Wisconsin, but have been all over the place. Last stop before coming over here was upstate NY! Keep going with the process, you won't regret it! Say hi to NYC for me, I miss it!

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  27. It's very beautiful, kudos to you for having the balls to do this, my hair is long so I'll look like a witch when I decide to follow suite.

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    1. Sometimes I definitely feel like I have witchy hair. That is where the product comes in handy...Thanks for your support!

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  28. Hi there, popping over for a visit by way of Privilege. I only have a few silvery strands hidden here and there, but yeah, the texture is completely different! I've mostly switched to organic products with just a few basic ingredients... I would be very curious to know how these products work on natural grey. I use the mangrove shampoo & conditioner by Keys Soap (one of the highest rated brands on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database). I'm always cycling through long and short, colored and natural, and those work especially great on my natural hair. I've had good luck using the conditioner as a leave-in styler and frizz tamer.
    Congrats on reaching your goal! Looks lovely. :)

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    1. thanks for your support and for visiting my wee blog. I am definitely jotting down the names of those shampoos and conditioners. Might be hard to find up here in the highlands, but I always prevail when I have a product I am interested int.

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  29. The color of your grey is actually lovely. I don't color at all, but seemed doomed to go the route of a mousy color for a decade to come. le sigh.

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    1. "mousy" is in the eye of the beholder. Look at supermodels like Karlie Kloss. They all have "mousy" hair as well, but it translates well on the runway. THanks for visiting and taking the time to read. I am fairly new to the blogosphere so it means a lot :)

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  30. Came to your blog from AmidPrivilege and I like your color. It looks like my husbands, who went from dark, dark brown to very salt and pepper! Mine was pale brownish and now is going very gray (children's fault), except for the very light streak in front which has been there all my life. BTW, out of curiousity, what is the plaid on the heels in your banner up there? It looks like MacBeth, but I'm not sure.

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    1. You know, I'm not sure about the tartan on the shoe...you're right, it does look like MacBeth. The shoe itself is a Kate Spade shoe from a few seasons ago. There are so many tartans out there now, you;ll have to forgive me for not trolling through to find what it is, as I am far, far too lazy. Thanks for your comments and for stopping by to support my wee blog.

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  31. Stunning!!!
    I am going au naturelle very soon myself..

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    1. You should definitely go for it. Not the easiest thing, but it rewards you in kind with a unique haircolor the you and only you will possess. Thanks for coming by to support my wee blog:)

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  32. It looks great. I'm just starting to get a few (ok a lot) of grays, and you're right, they are sooooo wirey!

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  33. Indeed they are. I am planning at some point to go to the salon and try one of those semipermanent conditioning treatments. They come highly recommended. Thanks for your support:)

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  34. I've had mine natural grey for several years now. The best was when someone asked me who did my 'highlights'!! I guess God did them, the best kind and I do realize I'm lucky.

    Agree about the change in colours for makeup, clothing. I'm still adjusting, and look forward to your posts on the subject.

    PS found you via Privledge also.

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    1. Thanks so much for your support and readership, and thanks too to LPC for sharing her readers!

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  35. Forty one year old here that decided to do the same thing almost two years ago. I have a variety of reasons but mainly a new baby tends to make me want things to be as simple as possible. I love your honesty about it and I believe women of all ages look alot better with their natural gray. I will now follow your blog, seems like a cool read. I'm currently residing in Northern New York so my "fashion" is nine months out of the year I am wearing my Woolrich Jacket-the other three maybe shorts. Tina

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    1. Hi Tina, and thanks for your kind words and readership! I did graduate school in Rochester, NY at U of R....I know the area well. I miss the autumn there, all the colours. Fall is the only windows-open time it seemed. Like you say, the other nine months are central-heating months. Thanks for supporting my wee blog...say hello to Upstate for me...

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  36. Good for you - my Mom was a very light-white-haired blonde and then went dark grey/white at about 30 so hers came in a lot faster than yours. I do not know if I could be so daring as to expose my natural color as you did - but it looks so wonderful on you! You have wonderful hair

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    1. Thanks so much, and thanks for your support. the thing about going natural is that it is such a gradual process that by the time you are finished you almost forget that you have a new haircolor at all!

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  37. My frizzy curls started going grey when I was at school. I dyed shades of brown and red for years and then decided to stop in my late 30s. I wasn't as brave as you- I went very, very, short. Of course then I discovered that my hair isn't grey at all any more. It's little old lady white. I think that's just a step too far, so I get pale blonde highlights every few months. I'm so happy not to be colouring dark, that I think my hair is all natural :D

    I use Aveda's Be Curly, which is wonderful at managing frizz; maybe their straight range would be worth a try?

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  38. Thanks for the tip, I will definitely look into this. I have used aveda smoothing lotion in the past with pretty good effect. And love your screen name by the way. Thanks for your support of my wee blog!

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  39. I'm sure a million people have asked you this, but would you share the brand/color name of the pretty lipstick color you're wearing?

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  40. Hi Robin. the lipstick is actually a gloss stick called Lipsurgence by Tarte. I got it at Sephora a while back when I was in the US. Its pretty sheer but build able! :)

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    1. Oh, and the shade is called Frisky....

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  41. Wow! What that did for your eyes!! Just popped over from Privilege for a look-see as my hairdresser and I recently started the arduous path toward gray by accenting my already prevalent gray streaks. More fun than I thought, thank you for blogging on this! oxo

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  42. love the haircut(and color)! you are gorgeous girl !

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  43. What color lipstick are you wearing in the last pic? Love it! You were so brave to just go cold turkey with your hair. I am just started. Wish me luck.

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  44. oops just saw you posted it the color, sorry.

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  45. Hi! I just found your blog via Pinterest. I myself, have been transitioning to my natural color. What an adventure! Love your recount of the process. You look beautiful!!!

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  46. Hello! I just found your blog via Pinterest. Love your transition story! I,myself, am transitioning to natural/gray. It's been quite the adventure. Thanks for sharing!!

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  47. This was very helpful for me. I'm 26 and already going grey. Once it grows out some more it's gonna be super noticeable. Still not quite ok with it, but we'll see.

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    1. It takes a while to get used to seeing yourself with silver hair, but once you get used to it, you'll love it,.

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    2. Been silver for about a year and love it. Have had women stop me on the street to tell me not to let it grow out. In a small town it's amazing how many assume they have a say as to how others wear their hair. On the flip side two hairdressers have now decided to grow their hair out. The most helpful tip was washout colored spray mousse. It really saved the day. It comes in all colors and beauticians can get it. I love not coloring after years and years. Still finding the best hair products that will keep it white.

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    3. Ah yes, I can relate. People do have an opinion, which I suppose is fine. They think they are "helping you out" by telling you the "truth" about your choice..as if you are just making a bad decision and they need to have a chat with you and then you'll see the light. But like I've said before, that's their baggage coming out, and its got nothing to do with you. After all, its just hair.

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  48. You look fantastic.

    I am at the 5 1/2 month grow out. I will never dye again, but I am really scary looking right now. Limbo. No end in sight. No going back.

    2 years you say, to get to the length you have in the above photo? God help me!!!

    Greetings form Saint Paul , and Elite Repeat!

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    1. It was probably about 18 months to get to the photo length, with just a wee bit left. It gets easier the longer you do it...like everything else in life! Yaaaaay Elite Repeat! Love that place! My sister is blocks from you (dangerously close)

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  49. Awesome!
    I too have given up the dye. I'm 32 and have a lot of premature silvers coming in. The stigmata that comes with gray hair is particularly infuriating since it seems to exclusively apply to women. On men it's considered distinguished and endearing.
    You don't look any older with silver hair, if anything the premature silvers in contrast with your age is really edgy and interesting. I dig it.
    I started getting silvers as a teenager and I've read that it's hereditary but my mother always (and still) dyed them. My sister is 12 years my senior and she has never dyed her hair and is still completely silver-free. I'm lucky, I think. It might take a while but this is going to be so cool.

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  50. Okay......now I am at the 7 month mark......I want to chop it all off......but I really am a length girl......I love your lipstick posts. I have the same complexion as you with brown eyes, and all of sudden lipsticks and eye liner do not work. I am off to look at all makeup in detail this weekend. Any tips for new lipsticks AND eyebrow liner.....I forgot about the eyebrows!!.........don't want white eyebrows!!! Ha ha! Thanks !!!

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  51. I like your final pic of "today". . . . all grey from head to toe? :)

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  52. The Holy Grail of Frizz Control is a product called "Crack" ..just google crack hair product..it is awesome..also,if you use hair oil,make sure any serum/oil is clear.. Moroccan oils are tinted and can make your silver turn yellow.. The best oil I've found is called White Sands Orchid Oil..Coconut oil is a great conditioner and will make your hair really soft. Jhirmack makes good shampoos,as well as Blondshell(it's for blonds or silver/gray/white). Hope that helps!

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  53. Thank you for your honest pictures, I am at 4 months growing my hair out - and I get a shock every time I look in the mirror. I feel as if I look old but I can admit to loving the silver highlights. I am not sure if I like it and I am grateful to read your experiences and what you have learned because it encourages me to keep growing. Maybe I am just at that difficult stage, my hair is dyed blond, grey, and dark. Tending to want to stay at home a lot.

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  54. You look great! I have dark brown hair and have worn it long ever since I was old enough to take care of it myself. (My Mom had me get a pixie cut when I started kindergarten. She didn't want to deal with me screaming every morning as she combed out my tangled curly hair. She had a three year old and a new baby, and my hair was the last straw.) I've worn it at least half way down my back, and sometimes past my waist,except for a hair cutting accident when I was 13. I did it to myself.

    I began getting the occasional gray hair in my mid twenties. I told my husband we better hurry up and have kids or I wouldn't be able to blame the gray hair on them. Actually the hairs are white. I started dyeing at home and as close to the natural color as I could in my late 30's. Then stopped for a while when we had (surprise!) our last son when I was 39. I didn't want people thinking I was his grandmother, so I dyed more often. Still, I ended up coloring every 4-6 months instead of every 4-6 weeks. Lately, the roots at the front have been showing as a convict stubble in two or three days after I colored. I've decided I've had enough, the last time I colored my hair was in March, just before my second son's marriage. I covered up the roots that popped out with mascara. I also use a dab of it on my graying eyebrows when I'm in the mood. I like the white that's showing around my hairline. Since it's summer' I've been wearing my hair up. The part that annoys me it the faded reddish color (about 3 inches) of the last brown dye job. Ugh. I don't have so obvious a skunk stripe as some, but I'm not looking forward to the long grow out period. I don't want to cut my hair short, so I'm probably going to grow it for a year or year and a half before I cut it off, so I'll still have 6 or 8 inches of hair on my head when I cut the dyed part off. My hair grows fast, but sometimes not fast enough.

    My husband (of almost 32 years) is not sure how he feels about me not dyeing it, but we both agree that we don't want me to have a pixie cut again. Of course, HIS hair is graying beautifully. His natural color was a medium ash brown which his gray (not white) hair is blending into perfectly. We're both 52. I remind him that he will always have a younger woman, even if I have white hair. My grandparents, all four of them, had beautiful white hair, and so does my dad now. I didn't get to see how my mom's hair would age, because she died of cancer just before 51. I've no doubt it would have been beautiful, just like the rest of her. Thank you for letting me get all that off my mind. I SO enjoy reading the messages here!

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    1. Thanks for the lovely message! Both you and your husband will get used to seeing you with your ""new" natural hair colour. It takes a while to get used to seeing yourself with silver.....I stilll give myself a start every once in a while when I catch my reflection! But I have never seen anyone who has transitioned who ultimately does not look better natural. It will be beautiful. Hang in there and trust yourself and the process!

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  55. You look gorgeous! I prefer your gray hair actually, it suits you.

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  56. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am just starting on mine. At 53, after years of monthly "color", it's been three months since I just said no. I was hoping for a head of silver like my dad, but it seems I have my mom's salt and pepper. That's ok though-I am ready to be me-whatever that looks like. I am ready and eager to watch it unfold!
    Thank you again

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  57. Hello,
    I found you via a comment you left on That's Not My Age - I just want to say that your grey looks incredible and I am bookmarking this to read whenever I waver... I'm 41 and have tried growing out my grey twice - once I lasted nearly 18 months, last time only 9 months. I hate the in-between stage and the random foxy (not sexy-foxy, but urban-chip-eating, chicken-stealing foxy) orange the dyed bits tend to go as they fade. Arggh, It's a two-year process that I keep scuppering. I guess I haven't been ready yet. BUT these pictures of you are really giving me motivation - thank you so much for posting them.

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  58. You're welcome. It sounds like you're really ready now. Remember, it's a gradual process. I still catch myself out when I see myself in the mirror every once in a while!

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  59. Your hair looks great! I started growing mine out to silver a couple years ago. I had a year and a half of growth next to my light blonde below-collarbone length. The grow-out looked silver in sunlight, but indoors appeared steel grey. So I found myself a fabulous colorist who specializes in "pearlizing" hair, which means highlighting "grey" with platinum and silver. Suddenly there was light around my face again and it looks spectacular. 9 months later I went back for a touchup. This is the best and most beautiful silver hair I could imagine and I'm so happy. BTW, the specialist is Anne Marie at Gerard Boleil Salon in NYC in case anyone is interested. She should be elevated to the rank of Queen or something! :-)

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  60. I know I'm a little late to the party here, but I have a suggestion for your texture issues. Once a week, coat your hair in Coconut oil. Work it through all the hair, really thoroughly. Put a shower cap on and let it sit for at least half an hour. Wash and style as usual. It will make your hair really soft and more manageable. My hair is curly/frizzy and I am apparently growing out my dye and ive found that this helps. I didn't intend to go natural, but noticed that my hair was falling out terribly every time I colored it. My hairdresser thinks I've become sensitive to the ingredients in the color products so I stopped using permanent color. I've tried some semi-permanent color and rinses, but nothing looks right. I have colored my hair for years, a nice blonde that reminds me of my younger days, but better mousy and gray than gone. Thanks for sharing your progress.

    And the coconut oil is just the stuff from the kitchen - all natural, nothing added.

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  61. Second that on coconut oil from the kitchen cupboard. Very effective. The longer you leave it on the better it seems to work -- hours not minutes.

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  62. These photos are by far the best I've seen in showing the growing out phase, so a big thank you for posting them. Sadly, I am at the three month mark. I actually think, based on your photos, that it's not so bad once it grows out a little bit more. Reading this is giving me the courage to move forward. Quite frankly, it's exciting, like opening a present, albeit very very slowly.

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  63. These photos are by far the best I've seen in showing the complete growing out process. Thanks for sharing. I am at the awkward three month mark, but I can see from your photos that it actually looks better once it grows out a little bit more. Due to having allergies to everything, I quit coloring cold turkey and switched to EO Shampoo from the health food store. My scalp is no longer itchy, but I have some very frizzy hair! On a good note, this whole process is very liberating.

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