Going Gray: A Transformation Both Inside and Out

July 16, 2018 (updated January 31, 2023) — Written by

a woman with long gray hair

IGTV launched a couple of weeks ago and I knew immediately I wanted to do a video highlighting my going gray journey. I honestly thought it was just going to be a slide show of pictures illustrating a year in review. But as the camera started rolling and I started unpacking, things got real. Little did I know this story of transformation runs deep both inside and out.

Do these feelings resonate with you?

Xo, lisa

P.S. For more on going gray, check out these posts:


Video Transcript

Hi, it’s Lisa. Obviously.

I thought this was the perfect place to come on and share a little bit about my going gray story. Um, I went gray a little over a year ago and some of you have been following me ever since. I love having you guys along with me. It’s seriously given me so much strength, so much drive, so much courage along the way just to hear you all cheering me along and your kindness and and everybody’s encouragement really means a lot to me so THANK YOU GUYS. This video goes out to you. I have a little bit of footage of me before I stopped dying my hair and then I’ll take you through the next year or so and then I’ll pop up and tell you a little bit more about um, kind of what this past year has been like. So without further ado..

(Cut to footage of when I first stopped dying my hair. Cover of Imagine Dragons Whatever It Takes by Kyle Wesley + Madilyn Paige plays)

“I dyed my hair maybe 3 weeks ago so now we are at the 3-4 week mark and right now is when I would dye my hair again. So I’m calling this “Day number 1.” I wanted to show you what my roots look like. This middle of my head is definitely where the most amount of gray comes in.”

“So when I am 49 going on 50..and I’m already gray, it’s not going to be….like gray will just be my color or platinum will just be my color.”

(Slideshow of going gray pics from the past 13 months. Any talking in captioned)

So it’s been a little over a year now and depending on where you start counting it’s been around 13, 14, 15 months – something like that. And I would say for sure the hardest part is the first 3 months. I’ve heard people say, “Oh I’ve tried but then I gave up after three months.” Because that’s the worst part! It’s like you know when you’re newly pregnant but you just don’t look pregnant yet and you just feel fat? That’s pretty much how you feel about your hair. You walk around and you’re just like…I wish I could wear a tee shirt that says, “HELLO, I’m going gray. I didn’t miss my hair appointment!” Cuz that’s how you feel. Like you missed your hair appointment but for the rest of your life. But once the three month mark hits and your growth starts to get a little longer, you can pin it back, you can do different things with it, you can wear hats, you can wear scarves..When I started going gray it was right before the summer so I did a lot of summer scarves, hats and sometimes I just went plain too because it’s too hot for all that. But once you pass that little bench mark, “little bench mark?” That HUMUNGOUS benchmark of three months, it does get a little bit easier after that so if you are right there at that mark, stick to it girl! You are so close!

The other thing I wanted to mention too is even though my husband was really really really supportive, um, I didn’t really feel a ton of outgoing support from like, my mom…I mean, love you mom but I was like, I think I’m going to go gray and she was like Hmmm. But she’s soft spoken anyways, she never really has a ton to say about too much so it was kind of in character for her but at the same time, I just wanted my family to be like YEAH DO IT! And I didn’t get that.

Um, and by the way, “Words Of Affirmation” is definitely my Love Language, can you tell!? You can see that need here clear as day. So I kinda wish that I had a little bit more of that and even recently when we went out to dinner with a bunch of my relatives, one of my family members was like, You know when you said you were going to go gray I was thinking don’t do it but now you look fantastic! And I’m like well thanks but I don’t need it as much now as I needed it in the beginning.

So if you feel like you don’t have that group of people supporting you, or that family supporting you, just kind of dive deep. Look inside yourself and think to yourself, Is this what I really want? And if you really want it girl, DO IT! And if you don’t really want it now, give yourself some time and give yourself some grace because there’s a time for everything and there is a space for everything and if now is not your time, that’s okay too. Going gray is not the answer to aging beautifully. There are people who age beautifully who dye their hair for the rest of their lives. And to each their own. Bless their journey. Bless my journey.

So from what I’ve heard, it seems like I have one more year left to grow out if I want to keep my hair this length. But I am aiming for December of this year. Like if December comes and I still have like an inch left of color treated hair, I’m cutting it off. Like 2018 is where its at. This is the last you will see brown hair on my head – although you can still see some brown streaks in my roots. And that’s the other cool thing too like I had no idea when I started growing out my hair that I had highlights essentially. Like it’s more white over here in the front but less white on the sides. I mean, I got to know my hair like all over again, it was so interesting to be a 40 year old woman and think like I’m getting to know my body in a way that I never knew it before and how did I not know that about myself? Like that is so weird.

I mean we are all worried about what people are going to think about us, I mean that’s just human nature so you like walk down the street and you think, Oh this person is looking at my gray hair. Oh their looking at my roots. That’s literally the story I used to live with. Now that I’m just [point to my hair] out in the open like this is me, I walk down the street and if people look at my hair, I’m just like, What. But then they are like, You’re hair is really cool. And I’m like Oh thanks! I mean not that I confront people when they ask me about my hair but I’m saying, most of the comments I get are like, Oh did you dye your hair like that. Oh your hair is really cool. Hey your hair looks good. And I’m talking anyone from old ladies, young ladies, teens…like everybody!

All of that to say, we add a lot of personal like conflict and turmoil going on in our heads and in our hearts about things that may not even exist in real life. Like who knows, maybe 10 years ago when I was walking down the street with my roots showing, people were walking by….they are not looking at my roots. BUT I gave myself that burden and now that burden has been removed. And I feel so much lighter.

Like your story that lives in your head and what you tell yourself IS YOUR TRUTH. Whether it’s positive or negative or somewhere in between. So it’s like 10 years ago when I was telling myself that negative story everyday, all day, that was my truth. NOW that I tell myself this positive story, in part thanks to all of you who have encouraged me along the way, that is NOW MY TRUTH. And I feel so beautiful and I feel so bold and brave. [Eyes get watery].

WOOO! So thanks to you guys for helping me tell my beauty truth instead of listening to all my beauty lies.

So I wrote about my journey on my blog just about every three months since I started growing out my hair. So if you want to hear more about what I think or what my journey looked like feel free to search “going gray” on The New Knew.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply


    So I’m almost at the 3 month mark and totally feel like I need a tshirt that says, I didn’t miss my hair appt, lol! So whaat do you do for the grays that stand at attention? I’ve just been matting them down with hairspray.

    1. Reply


      Hey girl! Yes! We should invest in “going gray” tee shirts – haha! And yes, hairspray all the way. It’s still happening now at over a year but not as much so I think it’s a phase!

  2. Reply


    And I would have never done this if it wasn’t for you! I’m 48 and recently found you through Whoorl 🙂

    1. Reply


      Hi Mina! Oh my gosh girl – thank you so much! I love Sarah! How is it going so far???

  3. Reply


    Girl! You are so inspiring! It has been so cool to watch you on this journey! Thank you for taking us along. I’m sitting here reading your whole “what you tell yourself IS YOUR TRUTH” deal, and I’m like, “Why do I tell myself that I’m too fat to go gray? Why do I tell myself such mean things?”. It’s NOT true, man! The truth is that, like you, I can be beautiful and spunky and GRAY, all with a less-than-ideal self-perception. Because that’s all it is: my self-PERCEPTION. And perception isn’t truth. Quite frankly, I find perception to be a bitchy liar sometimes, and certainly in this instance! Thanks for getting my wheels spinning on this again, and influencing my thought process towards healthier ways! Maybe 2019 will be MY last gray year!

    Your “HELLO! I’m going gray!” t-shirt idea is ingenious, but I think it should be put on a 3″ button. Like a political statement. That way you can wear it every day. Can we make that a thing?

    From a fellow Words of Affirmation person: you are lovely and inspiring and I’m so grateful for you!

    1. Reply


      Are you serious with this comment!? Girl, THANK YOU! This totally made my day. I love when you said, “It’s not true man!” It made me laugh because I was like EXACTLY MAN! This was such an epiphany to me too. Like it was SO SO TRUE to me but SO SO not true to anyone else – and I was so blind to it all. Why do we do it to ourselves!? I am all for a 3″ pin – SING IT SISTER! You are lovely and inspiring and I am grateful for you!

  4. Reply


    This is just what I needed to read. I just stumbled upon your site. I am 35, and have been getting highlights for the past year and a half to hide the gray hairs that have begun to grow. I told my husband I wasn’t going to do it anymore because I’m fighting a losing battle and would soon need to dye all of my hair and I don’t want to do that. It’s too much to maintain, and too costly. He supports me, but I feel alone, because everyone I know dyes their hair. Thank you for sharing your journey. You have greatly inspired me!

    1. Reply


      Hi Paige! YES! Girl, if it’s what you truly want then just go for it! I can tell you from my experience it’s one of the best things I ever did for myself. It’s hard to let go of what we are used to and what we identify with but getting a chance to meet the real you is pretty cool too. Keep us posted! xo!

  5. Reply


    Hi Lisa,
    I found you a few days ago when I was researching Hair Print. I am new to your blog and I am a bit confused. First I want to congratulate you on your decision to go gray/platinum. Ok- back to my question. Isn’t your trial with Hair Print back in March included in your journey? I use to dye my hair. I decided to stop due to the toxic chemicals in hair dye. I am at 6 months of no chemicals in my hair. I don’t like the roots and decided to look for non toxic dyes and found Hair Print. Considering going to a salon that uses Hair Print.

    1. Reply


      Hi Lily! So I stopped using Hairprint winter of 2017. BUT! To keep my review relevant and searchable I update the publish date of my blog post every year so it looks new to Google and it comes up in your search! But I stopped using Hairprint the winter of 2017. I would totally recommend Hairprint. The ingredients are stellar and it really works. You can search the before and after pics – I have 4-5 posts detailing my experience using Hairprint. I would have loved to find a salon that applied it – that would have been so much easier! Best of luck!

  6. Reply


    I’m almost 8 months in going gray and not turning back. It’s nice to see others further along on the journey that so I can see what I have to look forward to. I figure I have about three inches of gray growth. It’s definitely a long transition, especially if I don’t want to cut my hair shorter. That may change as the months go on. You’re an inspiration. Thank you.

    1. Reply


      Hi Gail! 3″ is awesome! You are getting there girl! How about this, by the time December hits you will have a whole new look! Keep it up! xo!

  7. Reply


    Um, you are SO gorgeous who cares what color your hair is! You do NOT look 50.

    1. Reply


      Hi A! Thank you! The video got edited a bit weird – it totally sounds like I said “I’m 50” But was saying “when I’m 50″….I’m 42 right now. Thanks for watching! xo, Lisa

  8. Reply


    I’m so glad I found your site! Sometime after I turned 50, I decided to go gray with high/lowlights. Then at 55 I chickened out because I didn’t want to look “old” yet. Now I’m 59, soon to be 60 and I realize that “old” is an attitude not a hair color! In January, I decided to try again with high/lowlights. Toward the end of my last appointment, the stylist said “Let me just get these temples real quick.” What? Of course, my hair looked great when she finished. But I was starting at ground zero again with my temples, which actually are pure white compared to my roots. I’m really curious how it will look if I don’t blend. This process is not for the faint of heart. I have an appointment tomorrow to get a haircut ONLY. I’m at that really difficult 4 month point. 1-2 inches of root growth. Plus, my medium golden brown colored hair is noticeably different than my salty dark ash brown natural roots. Basically I think the high/lowlights blending didn’t work. Either the wrong colors were used or my hair yellowed. This is not an easy process!

    1. Reply


      Hi Laura! I totally hear you! How did the hair appointment go? What did you end up doing??? xo, Lisa

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