• Kristin Buchholz-MacKillop

The Agony & The Ecstasy of Going Natural: A Gray Hair Journey


So the hair thing. It has become quite a popular topic indeed. I have gotten many enquiries and comments from women all different parts of the world who are either jumping on the gray hair bandwagon, thinking about joining our ranks, or at the very least, are talking about it.


One of the most frequent emails I get is from those of you in the early stages of growing out the dye. And believe me,  I feel you, ladies...oh yes.... I feel you. Those first three months can be the most difficult months to bear, in my opinion. Those first few inches of growth make you feel as if the world is looking at you and thinking "what's going on there", or "she really needs to get herself to the hairdresser".  After three months or so, your regrowth looks intentional, like you meant to do that.  In today's post I will share some of the ways I have soldiered-on with hairstyling during my transition back to my natural state, which, I should add, is still an ongoing process. I've been at it now since October of 2010.


My hair is not that straight naturally. I feel I should point that out. This is day two without a shampoo. I mention this only because, if your gray is like mine, it is drier and frizzier than the other hairs on your head, and therefore needs a little more TLC. I try to wash every other day, although workouts, high winds, and just life in general ultimately dictates how frequently my follicles are acquainted with the shampoo bottle.

There is also the matter of distribution. My gray seems to be concentrated at the front of my head and at the inner temples. see?

So because of this distribution, when I pull it straight back off the forehead, there is still a lot of dark, natural colour underneath. That is how I got through the first three or four months of no dye. With a hairstyle like this.

I like to use a smaller headband with teeth now that I have grown out well beyond a few inches. But if you are just starting out, you might want to experiment with wide headbands or scarves. I find scarves too fiddly, personally, but they look fabulous on the right person. Also beware of too-tight headbands. I have been out and about more times than I care to remember and suddenly thought I had been stricken by a migraine. I don't get migraines. What I do get, as it turns out, is a headache induced by a too-tight plastic headband. So try before you buy ladies.


Another permutation on this style, something I still use when I need to look more professional and pulled together, is the pinned-back crown half-updo.

If you are struggling with length or perhaps are just starting out, you can always go for the zigzag or messy part look. I used that when I had about two inches of growth. It creates a wee bit of visual chaos right where that telling line is between nature and dye. I would mess up my part, then pin it so it would hold. Probably not a look that's clean enough for the boardroom, but fine for a weekend.

Lastly, as you get more and more gray nearer to your face, you will find that you will have to shift your makeup palette. There is a lot written all over the net about what colours are appropriate for women with gray hair and how orange is to be avoided and bronzing powder is evil...blah, blah, blah.


What looks good on you and your gray hair is something that nobody else can really tell you without seeing you. Kind of like a doctor diagnosing you over the internet....it can't be done. This is especially true if you, like me, still have a lot of your natural colour. Yes, I have had to rethink some of my lipsticks, but I still use my bronzing powder (sparingly), and do not have a problem wearing warm colours or even oatmeal or beige, colours that are supposedly verboten for women with gray hair (whatever).


So these are the things that have worked, are still working, for me. Really you will have to experiment. I am still doing it too. And if you happen upon a product that actually tames frizz effectively and lasts all day without having to heat style, email me immediately. I want in on that action! (Seriously)


And so, dear readers, I will leave you with just one last happy discovery I have made during this process.


Bright fuchsia lipstick is your friend. Who would have thought?






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