Live Free or Dye! (How to Embrace Gray Hair and Go Gray Gracefully!)

Have you been considering going gray, but can't quite take the plunge? 

Maybe you have been going gray for a while, or you might be just now starting to get a few gray hairs. 

Maybe you have dyed your hair for years and are now thinking about ditching all that and embracing your natural hair color.

Maybe you have been stalking all the silver hair Facebook groups, but just don't know if you can do it.

In this post, I'll tell you why and how to embrace your gray hair, as well as give you simple, practical tips on how to transition to grey confidently and look gorgeous doing so!

Wherever you are in your gray hair journey, you can totally learn how to embrace your gray hair and go gray gracefully, and I strongly encourage you to do so, to experience a life of freedom! 

I stopped dying my hair over 20 years ago, and haven't looked back!

Note: This post may include affiliate links, which help our family with no extra cost to you, but are all products I use and love. Thank you for your support! 💜

how to embrace gray hair

My journey learning how to embrace my gray hair and natural hair color

I had started bleaching my hair when I was just 12 years old. I had been naturally blonde as a little girl, but my hair had darkened as I got older, and I missed it! It seemed like all the popular girls had blonde hair...and hey, even Farrah Fawcett was blonde!

I started with that great cultural '70's icon, "Sun-In" which you sprayed on your hair, then sat out in the sun (preferably on aluminum foil) and waited for the magic to begin. Then I got more committed with permanent blonde at-home color kits.

Naturally Blonde when little

80's Big Hair & bleached blonde

Bondage to dying

That's when the bondage began. Having to deal with dark roots every 6 weeks, and stinking up the bathroom, which your siblings would not be too happy about. To top it off, the color never came out as the beautiful ash blonde I dreamt of...more like a brassy reddish tone that screamed "DIY." 

But yet, I kept it up. I didn't want to not be blonde, and I didn't know how I'd even be able to deal with those growing out roots till it was all one color.

My attempt at freedom from dying

In college, I finally gave it a shot. Growing out my dyed hair. Yikes! What a sight! (I really wish I had known about hair mascara back then, which would have really helped ease the transition, by temporarily being able to cover up those roots that were growing out!)

I got engaged, and a wedding date was set. I couldn't get married like THAT! So I had to go to the salon (which I never did!) and had them dye it all back to what I thought was my natural color. Thankfully, I had a wonderful wedding with one-color of hair.

Transition / Growing out dyed hair in college (yikes!)

Dyed natural color for wedding (phew!)

Back to Egypt (back to bondage)

But then, after several years, I found myself missing the blonde. So, (and seriously, I really don't know what I was thinking!) I started the bleaching again.

Back to bondage and being a slave to hair dye. Back to the old grind of color/dark roots/color. Month after month. Year after year.

Health issues from dying my hair

Then my scalp started driving me crazy as it had enough and revolted. It was irritable and itchy. It was getting itchy little scabs that would burn when I'd apply the dye.

I knew that could NOT be healthy. I knew that those toxins were going directly into my bloodstream.

Not good.

I also started having health issues, like allergies and Chronic Fatigue. I am sure there were a multitude of reasons why, but coloring my hair with an inflamed scalp could not be helping. I knew I had to stop.

So I did.

Growing out my colored hair

This time I held out in patience while I let my dyed hair grow out by itself in its own time.
Again, hair mascara would have been so nice to be able to use to help ease the transition, by temporarily being able to blend in those roots as my colored hair was growing least for church or date nights!
Along with stopping the toxic dye and doing other things to nourish my body, I slowly got my health and energy back.


That was 21 years ago. I've had dark blonde/light reddish brown? (I'm not quite sure of the color, actually) for most of those years.

I have been free!

I love the freedom that embracing my natural hair color gives me, without being a slave to dying every six weeks, dealing with all the mess and stinkiness of toxic at-home coloring kits, paying for an expensive  salon visit, or having to deal with crazy-looking dark roots that keep badgering you to do something about them.

Going Gray Gracefully

Now, in the past few years, I've slowly been getting gray "wisdom" highlights as I've being going gray gracefully.

I love it!

I seriously feel quite wise!

embrace gray hair
gray hair transition highlights

Long gray hair has very fond memories for me!

Gray hair, especially long gray hair, reminds me of my dear grandma, whom I so admired and looked up to. I thought she was the wisest woman in the entire world (and made the absolute best chocolate chip cookie dough to boot!)

Some of my fondest memories are of when she would let my sister and me play with her long wavy gray hair. She normally wore it up in a bun, with lots of hairpins and two clear hair combs, but at night before bed, she'd take it all down, and let us take out our brushes and hair accessories to fix her hair however our hearts desired!

She was so patient with us!

Seriously, I am FREE!!! 

I am free to be myself in all my unique grandma glory, just like my own dear grandma! What a privilege to follow in her footsteps.

I am free to spend the time I used to spend on my hair, on better, more worthwhile pursuits, like time with my children and grandchildren.

I am free to go gray gracefully and embrace my gray hair.

I am free to show my "wisdom highlights" as a badge of honor for a life well-lived.

You deserve to be free, too!

Life is hard, and we women deserve to have a beautiful silver crown on our heads for all our work and sacrifice we've done over the years!

If you've been on the fence, thinking gray hair will make you look old (that's simply not true if you don't let it be!), or don't want to go through the gray hair transition period, I challenge you to think of the rewards that are far greater.

Tips for Going Gray Gracefully:

 You can do it! It is easier to transition to gray than you may think. Here are my top 4 tips on how to go gray gracefully:

1. Blend in your gray hair with temporary highlights

Hair mascara is a great way to blend in your gray hair with temporary highlights at home while you are going gray gracefully.

It can also be used to 
cover your roots while you are growing out your dyed hair and transitioning to gray hair.

Check out my video below on how to use hair mascara to highlight gray hair and to cover roots.

I am reviewing the awesome new hair mascara by Lilla Rose that is amazing!

To buy the hair mascara shown in my video, click HERE.

To learn 10 more ways you can use hair mascara, check out my post, "11 Genius Ways to use Hair Mascara."

2. Wear beautiful hairstyles that help you look young, even with gray hair

Check out my blog post, Top 10  Hairstyles for Gray Hair, to see the lovely hairstyles I recommend for gray and silver hair.

Youthful Half up hairstyle in hair transitioning to grey

3. Wear classy hair accessories that will make you look absolutely beautiful!

To see my top 23 recommendations of classy gray hair accessories, see my post, 23 Best Hair Accessories for Gray Hair.

Classy pearl headband in silver hair transition

4. Wear a hair extension that matches your beautiful new gray hair that is growing in

I recently discovered JuvaBun hair extensions, and I love them!

Not only do they give me nicely styled, non-frizzy hair without any fuss, but they make my hair all one color, rather than two-toned, which is great during your silver hair transition. 

They are great for both adding volume to thin hair or for taming thick or coarse frizzy gray hair.

And they are as easy to use as putting on a scrunchie!

Check out my video below, on how to grow out your gray hair with a JuvaBun!

Juvabuns come in curly messy buns, straight buns, curly ponytails, straight ponytails, and more! They also come in many color shades, so that you can find a perfect match for you!

5. Dye all or part of your hair gray at home

If you want more of a challenge, you may want to dye your hair gray yourself. You can do all of your hair, or just the part that frames your face, where you may be seeing more natural gray anyway.

Check out my post How to Dye Your Hair Grey at Home (What to do and what NOT to do!) to learn exactly how to do this, step-by-step!

how to dye your hair to gray at home

Methods for Ditching the Dye and Transitioning to Gray

Are you ready to go gray from dyed hair but are not sure exactly HOW to do it?
Many women start to transition to gray, but then end up quitting because the method they chose was not a good fit for them.

So, if you can find the method that works best for you BEFORE you go gray, you’ll be on track to going gray peacefully and joyfully without any wasted time.

My friend Katie Emery has written an extremely helpful and comprehensive ebook on how to go gray that will be such a huge help to you on your silver hair journey!

(You can read her story and see her fun before-and-after gray hair transition pics here: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Go Gray)

Her ebook is so helpful to anyone who needs guidance, practical tips, and encouragement in this area. 

To check it out, click here: Every Which Way to Gray and use my coupon code “PAULA” to get 15% off!

Use coupon code PAULA

to get 15% off!

gray hair transition tips


I hope you enjoyed my post on How to Embrace Gray Hair and Go Gray Gracefully.

I challenge you to "Live Free or Dye" and embrace YOUR gray as well! 

It is definitely worth it!


If you'd like to enter to win Hair Mascara or a  Flexi Hair Clip, which is a great hair accessory for gray hair, be sure to enter my giveaway below!

Win a $17 shopping credit to go towards a hair clip or any other Lilla Rose hair accessory or product of your choice, including Hair Mascara!

Please share!

I hope you enjoyed learning how to embrace your gray hair!

If you enjoyed this post, please share and pin! Thank you so much! 💜

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About the author, Paula Ramm

I'm a homeschooling mom of 7 & grandma of 7, and I help ladies create the beautiful life they were made for! I want to help you learn to create peace, joy, and purpose in your life and family!

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