There’s no turning back now guys. It’s been 8 months since I stopped dying my hair and I’m like really gray now.
By: Lisa Fennessy
I’m also celebrating my 40th birthday this March. If you had asked me 5 years ago if I would be gray by 40, I would have dyed laughing! But here I am, entering my 40s and embracing my gray hair. So here’s the latest.
First of all, at 8 months out my hair is SO DRY! I realize now when I was dying my hair every 4 weeks, it wasn’t only adding color, it was adding shine, texture and vibrancy. Now, after going cold turkey, the true condition of my hair has been exposed and it’s not cute.
My virgin hair is not dry but the chemically treated section is. And not only is it dry, it’s inconsistent in color. Some parts are darker than others and some strands have fully lost their chemical pigment. Every few months I would have my colorist run my color all the way through the ends of my hair during the last 5 mins of treatment to even out my color and avoid this from happening. And now I have nothing in my arsenal short of a pair of scissors to avoid it.
RELATED: Best Natural Shampoo for Gray Hair
And while I’m on the topic of texture, why is it that when hair goes gray, the texture goes berserk too!? I have some strands of hair that are breaking off at the corner of chemically treated hair meets gray newbie and these 4 inch rogues insist on standing straight up like a soldier at attention on his last day at boot camp. Why!?
A hair oil might be helpful for some. It won’t solve the problem but it will help. The whole key to success here is not using too much oil. Less is more when it comes to hair oil friends. Less is more. Then also tend to set my hair daily with which really helps lay down the rogues.
Be sure to check out how I currently style my hair (both curly and straight).
Also, just had my second haircut with Jen – founder of the coming soon hair salon Creature. Throughout this process, as my roots get longer and my hair gets shorter, I can finally see the end of the tunnel and I’m telling you right now, 2018 is my year ladies! I will for sure be fully gray probably by the fall. Depends on how short I go.
(You can also check out my final hair cut here!)
I asked Jen about putting a glaze on to help with the dry ends and she discouraged me so I dropped it. The less chemicals the better anyways.
By the way, this study may help you decide to go gray earlier.
Looking to the future…
I sometimes catch myself looking through my kids eyes and I think it’s really interesting that they will never remember me with dark hair. I feel equal feelings of loss but also pride. Maybe it sounds superficial but it’s a part of me they will never know. I remember looking at pictures of my aunt when I was little. (She went gray early too and started dying her hair blonde because of it.)
I just remember thinking Wow, this is my auntie when she was younger. Then I probably pictured her doing cool things with her cool friends and made up a story of what she was really like. Meanwhile those dark haired pics where from her teens and I knew her when she was gray/blonde and THIRTY. Anyways, I wonder if my boys will do that with pictures of me someday. Probably not.
But I am also proud that they will have a mom who’s looks will never change drastically for them. I will look the same to them now as I do when I’m 60…just with a few more laugh lines, God willing.
On the Outside Looking In
I’m getting less comments now too. Around month three I was getting so many comments from strangers about my gray hair. Mostly positive ones which was encouraging.
But now that my grays are taking over the comments are changing.
I am not getting as many and if I do, it’s a compliment to my hair color instead of the process. Before it was “Did you dye your hair like that?” and now it’s “I love your hair color!” This is probably because the gray is taking over.
If I pull my hair up in a bun now, I have that gray hair, black bun look which is pretty stark but kind of edgy cool too. But the point is, all the hair around my face is gray so it’s becoming my look rather than a question.
On that note I want to add that looking back I can say for sure the hardest part is over now. Growing out roots is THE WORST. It’s like, it’s just…out there. All exposed. Looking like you missed a hair appointment…or three. But now it’s easy to own. Gray hair wraps my face and if anything, I’m just excited for it to grow out more.
And by the way, I finally have the highlights I’ve always wanted. Booyeah!
What about you?
Are you going gray? Where are you at? How is it going? What are you loving or not loving? Comment below so we can share and support each other!
For more, check out these posts on Going Gray:
- Growing Out Gray Hair: 10 Ways to Go Gray
- Going Gray: Why I Stopped Dying My Hair
- Going Gray: 3 Months And Counting
- Going Gray: 5 Months and Counting
- Going Gray: It’s Been A Year!
- Going Gray: A Transformation both Inside and Out Video
- Going Gray: The Final Cut!
- Going Gray: Real Life Inspiration
- Best Natural Purple Shampoos for Gray Hair
- 10 Things That Surprised Me About Going Gray
- 5 Going Gray Don’ts
Photos by Jenn at Monkey & Squirrel
Common questions about gray hair
There are several ways you can do gray. I happened to just let it grow in “cold turkey”. Here are 10 more ways to go gray!
A bit of hair oil might help to add some shine and softness back and hairspray (all the hairspray!) to hold down those flyaways.
It’s a no-intervention process where the hair roots grow longer while your hair gets shorter. Here are some photos of my process.