My journey of trials and tribulations of letting my hair go gray and being natural.
I’ve been coloring my hair now for 20 years ever since I found my first gray hair back in my late 30’s. I know so many women embrace their gray hair, but I just couldn’t let that happen.
You see, I was raised in my mom’s beauty shop and watched how she made sure her clients gray was never a problem for them. Her sister was a beautician also and they would “frost” each other’s hair to cover their own gray as you can see in the picture above of my mom.
The Word “Old”:
The truth was I couldn’t deal with gray hair showing up on my really dark brown hair because gray meant “old” to me. I wasn’t ready to show the world I was getting older.
Fast forward 20 years later when I finally came to a decision. I had been thinking of doing this for several months and kept putting it off. But, I then realized it was time to let my natural self shine through.
I was so tired of my hair breaking off and finding it everywhere in the house, being brittle and dry, making sure my schedule worked around coloring my hair and buying all those products. And I really don’t want to think about all the chemicals I’ve been putting on my skin for 20 years!
I realized that gray hair doesn’t make me old. I make myself old! I’m healthy, workout often, keep active, and really love living life right now. I just needed to change my mindset of the word “old”.
Just like everything else I do in my life, I did a lot of research. I also joined a Facebook group called Silver Revolution. So much support from women going through the same thing I am with tons of before and after pictures.
I have to admit, that I did shed a few tears the day before I went to my stylist. I felt like part of me was going to die the next day. My dark brown hair has been a part of my life for so many years and now that was about to change. I was losing an “old” friend but gaining so much more.
Since I wear my hair in a short pixie style, it wouldn’t take long to grow out my hair. I let it grow out for 2 months and went to my stylist for some highlights and a shorter pixie. I wasn’t ready to go cold turkey because the demarcation line would be really noticeable from dark brown hair to gray. She gave me just a few highlights which really blended in my hair nicely and hid the line. My next cut was 6 weeks later which was when I decided to go really short.
Then……the pandemic started and I wasn’t able to get my hair cut for the next 12 weeks. The third picture above shows my hair a few days before my next hair cut. My hair was really long in the back and so wavy. I couldn’t wait to get it cut. The day I went for my haircut, my stylist didn’t recognize me with all that hair and because it was so gray.
Even though I am doing this process for me, we still present ourselves to others and I was hoping this wasn’t going to be a shock to everyone. You know what I mean? When you see someone for the first time after a big change and see their eyes get really big or they are at a loss for words? But I was so wrong! Nothing but wonderful support from all my friends and family. I’ve even inspired other women to follow suit.
Taking Care of My Gray Hair:
I have very coarse wavy hair and coloring did help tame that. Living in an area where the humidity is high most of the year was only going to make my hair more frizzy and poofy.
I’ve been using John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Straight Fixation Styling Creme and Daily Nourishment Conditioner for many years now. Both these products really work well on the frizzy and kinky hair issues my short hair has now that it’s gray. I rub the styling cream throughout my hair after I wash it. You can either blow dry or naturally let your hair dry.
I was advised by my beautician and others who also have gray hair that the MATRIX Total Results So Silver Color Depositing Purple Shampoo is the best choice for shampoo. Purple shampoo is a must to keep your gray from turning yellow. I wash my hair once a week with this shampoo and let it sit on my hair for about 5 minutes to strip the oil and sweat buildup. This shampoo also helped the colored part of my hair slowly lighten and blend in better during the grow-out time.
Matrix also carries products for blond hair to keep it from becoming brassy.
In the end my take on it all:
I’ve never been happier!! I feel a sense of release that I don’t have to hide a part of me that’s been wanting to be seen.
I love to swim and would never put my colored hair in the pool because I was afraid the chlorine would bleach it out or make it brassy.
And how about all the money I will be saving on not having to buy products to color my hair with. I had to buy two tubes of a salon version of hair color which is much more expensive because the box type wouldn’t color my coarse thick hair. Plus the processor, etc.
Have any of you taken the plunge and let your gray grow out? I’d love to hear your story.
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I’m just a country girl loving my geeky life with my wonderful husband, always taking pictures, getting my hands dirty in the garden, being crafty, exploring with travels and enjoying all this on a budget. But above all, living my faith as a child of God!