Going Gray: Three Months…And Counting

August 14, 2017 (updated January 31, 2023) — Written by

Going gray has been super scary but on the flip, I had no idea this experience would gift some fun surprises and a world of support. Come see!

my hair looks lighter and faded and salt and peppery at the top of my head around the three month mark after i stopped dying my hair

By: Lisa Fennessy

So it’s been about three months since I decided to stop dying my hair. Mama is going gray. This is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done – and I have a lot to stack it up against! Like a 550 meter bungee over Queensland canyons…or a surprise skydive with my hubs in Orange, MA…one time I ate crocodile and emu in the same day –  or what about giving birth to an 11 pound toddler baby!?

No matter what dare-devilish endeavors I’ve pursued, I still feel so venerable ditching the color and exposing my true roots. BUT it’s been only 3 months and I’ve had so many unexpected supports as well as surprises in just this brief time.

10 things that surprised me when I first started going gray

RELATED: Best Natural Shampoo for Gray Hair

#1 A new identity…

I have a new identity. You would think that I would know myself pretty well at this stage in my life. I’m almost 40, I’ve traveled the world, had Guinness in Dublin, wine in Napa, I’ve been to Jazz Fest, Gasparilla, Highland Games and that nude bar in Key West. And now I’m married, kids; the nine. I mean, if I haven’t seen it yet, I can anticipate patterns and set reasonable expectations. But all of a sudden I am SEEING other woman going gray either in pictures or on social and I’m like, Hey girrrrrl. And then I’m like Did I just wink at a stranger!? I was like, what IS that? Then I realized, that feeling? The one where I want to inappropriately high-five the silver haired lady next to me at the grocery? That’s me identifying with this choice. And I have to say, I love it. It’s bold. It’s unexpected. And it’s against the grain. But bigger than any of this, it’s me: CHOOSING.

#2 Support

Support! My husband was all-in when I told him I was thinking of this change. And actually he was bummed when I came home freshly dyed from the salon for what turned out to be my last time. My mom was over the moon excited for me and my mom is pretty even keeled so that made my heart skip a beat.

But really the most surprising and encouraging place I have found support is ONLINE! Sharing this journey on social and on my blog has connected me with so many brave, passionate, BEAUTIFUL women! The encouraging comments and unsolicited pep talks have truly tickled me pink. And I say this to all the women out there who are going it alone – find some friends on social or join our Facebook group THE GRAY BOOK where you can find community, share your experience, make friends, glean inspiration, peep pics, express fears, boast successes and more. I didn’t know I needed support but I truly did and DO! So thanks to all of you who have built me up along the way.

#3 Getting to know my body 

I have a brown streak in my bangs!? Who knew!? Now that my hair is growing out – I am seeing its natural intended color and patterns and its so so cool to get to know well, ME! I can’t wait to get to know more about my color story!

#4 The grass is greener

For the first time in my life I find myself wishing I had MORE gray hair.

#5 Noticing my judgement

Sometimes I still catch myself looking at other women and judging their choice about their hair and I don’t like it. It’s a learned behavior and a practiced way of thinking that will take some time to break but I am working on it friends.

#6 Maybe I won’t have to cover up as much as I thought…

I don’t think I will need to lean on hats or headscarves as much as I anticipated BUT the journey is still new my friends. Right now, I probably have about 3 inches of grow-out so I anticipate when I hit the halfway mark I will need some cute accessories. I mean my hair may be gray but my mood ain’t!

#7 A shortie!?

Strongly considering a pixie cut. What!? Who just said that!? Noodling over the idea now in hopes that when it comes time to decided I will be ready to 100% back myself. I mean if I’m shy in one department…it’s the patience department so I can see myself just chopping it off one day just to get it over with. Loving something like this….

a hairstyle inspo pic of a cute pixie cut with long bangs

But with the humidity in Atlanta, it will probably look something more like this…

a poofy white cat that looks like a big ball of hair

So there’s that….

#8 A brighter complexion

I am seeing myself for the first time with gray/white hair framing my face and it’s beautiful! I LOVE the contrast of tan/olive skin with this snow white number going on on top.

#9 I don’t look as old as I thought I would

#10 What will my kids think?

My kids who are 3 and 5 haven’t said anything yet…do you think they notice!? I think the problem is when they look at me they just see “dinner” – it’s an ingrained Pavlovian response I don’t think I’ll ever be able to break.

More On Going Gray

Haircut by Jenn Jones at Creature in Atlanta.

xo, lisa in cursive

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


    I think you look great! I want to be brave too as I’m contemplating boycotting all hair color. I’ve stopped using harmful dyes since 3/2017, but then I’ve used Hairprint twice, which I love. It’s just so much work! I wonder if it’s all worth it! I’m about 30-40% gray. I just turned 43. I haven’t used any color since June, so I have about 2 months with. Wow, it really shows through on my brunette self! Anyway, I’m still considering giving up hair color all together! I’m hoping to decide soon. I’m so indecisive!!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      That’s how I was too for a couple of months before I just went cold turkey. When you know, you know! Just trust yourself that time will tell. I feel the same about Hairprint. Love it, hate the time commitment. Going gray is easier than I thought it would be though – although at times I feel like I need a t-shirt that says, “YES, I”m growing my hair out!”

  2. Reply


    Hi, I love this post! I admired women whobtake the leap and decide to be themselves, and you are one of them. I have a friend who went gray. Her hair was halfway there so she decide to go all the way. Her hair looks so lovely gray and it makes her stand out. She plays around with hairstyles and haircuts. Eight years ago I decided not to dye my hair. My hair is dark brown so I would dye it light brown with honey blond highlights. In a year I grew out the highlights and I decide to cut it in a bob. My hair looked so healthy and shiny plus I loved the haircut. My hair eventually grew out and I noticed I had one gray hair that grew on my hair line. I would always pluck it out lol. I noticed more gray hair after I had my second child 4 years ago. But they are on the middle of my hair. Is so weird. The top of my head is brown and the middle there’s grays and the bottom is brown again. Anyways, I finally accepted the fact I’m going gray before my thirties… (I’ll be 30 in November) after a few years of not liking the fact that I was going gray I finally accepted it. My hair is pretty long now and I still don’t dye it. I’m very happy with it. But I do want to cut it short again.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      I love hearing people’s hair stories. Your hair sounds beautiful! Thanks for sharing and reading. xo!

  3. Reply

    Caroline W

    This is so inspiring. I’m 41 and have not dyed my hair since Feb, so 3 months. Really considering growing it out. Want to normalise the greying process but also have the fear!

    1. Reply


      The fear is real girl! It goes away though. One day at a time. You’ve got this! xo

  4. Reply


    Hi Lisa, it’s been about three months since I decided to stop dying my hair. Can you please give me advice about hairstyle during the transition (hair up or not?)? I have a bob haircut. I thank you very much. Hélène

    1. Reply


      Hi Helene! I always loved braids! xoxo

  5. Reply


    Im 3 months in. My hair is coming in white. Do I transition my shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair now or wait? What would I use?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Susan! Using a purple shampoo will help keep your white hair a brilliant white instead of a brassy or yellowish white. If you are not noticing any brassiness yet, you can wait! Hope this helps! xo, Lisa

  6. Reply


    Thank you Lisa for your encouraging words. You look beautiful. I have decided to go gray. I am excited. I am almost at the the 3 month mark. I really want to have the courage to hang in there and see the beautiful transformation. I wanted to say thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Susan! You’ve got this, keep going! xo, Lisa

  7. Reply


    Hi ‘Lisa,

    I really appreciate all of your different posts. You look beautiful. You are so encouraging. I have made the decision to embrace my grays. I am in my early sixties. I have had my hair colored for a long time. I am so tired of the whole process and the ups and downs that go along with it. I feel so ready to make this step. Thank you for sharing your journey. It is really helpful to others going through the same process. You are the best.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Susan! I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait for you to reap the rewards of your gray hair journey. You’ve got this! xo, Lisa

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