I am excited to have a special guest post today from Katie at Katie Goes Platinum.
I’ve admired Katie since I first saw her inspiring photos of transitioning to gray hair on Pinterest, as I’ve been getting more and more natural gray highlights myself. I’m pretty sure I’ve pinned every single one of Katie’s gray hair before and after photos!
I love the classy look of gray hair, silver hair, white hair, platinum hair, whatever color is uniquely natural to you, that women have as they are aging gracefully.
I think it is time as women to embrace our natural beauty!
Enjoy Katie’s story, as you decide if growing out your gray hair is right for you!
By Katie Emery
One day, you’re a carefree teenager dyeing your hair for fun...and the next thing you know, you’re in your forties, feeling chained to the dye bottle or to your monthly salon visit.
Why? Because hair coloring is no longer something you do to express your creativity and your youthful exuberance.
Instead, it’s a boring chore that you feel obligated to do, because you must cover up those gray roots.
Stop right there and think about that for a second.
Why must you cover those gray roots? Why do you feel like you have no choice?
I understand all of these fears because I had them, too. And those fears kept me chained to the dye bottle for years.
For 25 years, I dyed my hair - not for fun, but to cover my gray roots.
I’m Irish-American. We’re genetically predisposed to go gray early. I started going gray at 16, and was probably fully silver in my 30s. But I hid my gray hair until age 50, when I finally said “Enough!”
WHY I STOPPED DYEING
I stopped dyeing because I was tired of the boring cycle that I had been trapped in for decades.
The cycle went like this:
When I say my dyed hair looked fabulous at first, I mean it looked smooth, shiny, and gorgeously brunette.
But within a few days, the gray roots would appear, and then the frizz would show up. I spent hundreds of dollars trying to tame that frizz, and nothing worked.
On top of all this, my hair started falling out. I thought it was due to menopause, so I accepted it as part of the normal aging process. I had to buy a special plug for my drain to catch all the hair. It was dismaying!
By the time I reached my late forties, my hair was taking up an awful lot of my time. I started really resenting it.
I’d sit in that salon chair, bored to tears, with my scalp burning and itching…
And for what?
So my hair could look good for just a couple days a month?
I broached the subject of letting my hair go gray with my hairdresser and she shut me down immediately, with a curt “You’ll look old.”
And, like many women, that fear of looking older than my age kept me from thinking about dropping the dye for quite some time.
But finally, at age 50, I decided I’d had enough.
I was done with dyeing (or any salon processes) forever. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
BENEFITS TO DITCHING THE DYE
Here’s what the hair industry won’t tell you: natural gray hair (or as I prefer, “silver” hair) is BEAUTIFUL.
It’s unique, and it can be shiny, smooth and thick!
Now that I’m fully silver, I no longer need to use anti-frizz products or shine sprays. My hair grows out of my head shiny and silky. That’s not what I’d been lead to believe would happen, but it’s true.
And not just for me, but for many women in the silver hair community!
My hair loss stopped.
That’s another bonus that many of us in the silver hair community have found. It appears dyeing was causing our hair loss, not aging.
My hair is thicker now than it was when I was in my 30s!
What a relief!
And the best part about going gray? I no longer need to chase those roots. Those pesky roots were taking up way too much of my physical and mental energy.
I literally just wash my hair twice a week and get a haircut every 3 months. Not only am I saving money, but I’m saving time.
NONE OF MY GRAY HAIR FEARS MATERIALIZED
Aside from the benefits to my hair and to my calendar, the other big benefit to going gray is one that’s a little less tangible, and that is the emotional side of the gray hair transition process.
All those fears I mentioned earlier? The ones that kept me from going gray for years? They didn’t come true.
The world didn't come crashing down on my head just because I decided to stop dyeing my hair.
Since so many of my female friends and colleagues dye their hair, I was afraid that the peer pressure would be intense. But it wasn’t. I only received 1 unsupportive comment during my transition, not the hundreds that I thought would pour down on me!
I was so afraid I would look old, but I actually look younger than I did when I was dyeing. Silver hair is very complementary to all skin tones because Mother Nature knows what she is doing! Why did I ever doubt her?
When I look back at pictures of my dyed hair, it seems too dark (and too warm) for my complexion. Going gray has brightened up my skin and glowing skin gives a youthful look no matter your age.
Going gray has brightened up my skin and glowing skin gives a youthful look no matter your age.
My husband loves my gray hair, and I get a lot of compliments from men (and women) all the time. Many more so than when I was dyeing my hair.
In terms of my career, I still have my job and also started a brand new, lucrative career once I went gray. A lot of women in Silver Revolution (my Facebook gray-hair support group) find that going gray helps their careers more than it hurts them.
In certain careers (judge/lawyer/doctor), it can even be a bonus as gray hair gives a kind of “gravitas” that is desired in those professions.
Finding out that so many of my beliefs surrounding gray hair were not true made me question other limiting beliefs in my life and that has lead to many positive changes.
I feel more like “me” than I have in decades.
So many of my fellow silver sisters have found this to be true as well. It’s probably one of the biggest bonuses to going gray!
If you’re on the fence about going gray, think about it carefully. What do you have to lose? If you hate your gray hair, you can always go back to dyeing.
But if you love it, you have a lot to gain:
Get Katie's expert tips on ditching the dye and transitioning to silver hair with grace
Do you think that you might be ready to go gray from dyed hair but are not sure exactly HOW to do it?
Katie, the author of this article and gray hair expert, has written an extremely helpful and comprehensive ebook on how to go gray that will be such a huge help and encouragement to you on your silver hair journey!To check it out, click here: Every Which Way to Gray and use my coupon code “PAULA” to get 15% off!
If you need advice on how to go gray, want to see examples of beautiful gray-haired women of all ages, or if you’re interested in getting more tips on transitioning to or maintaining your gray hair, please sign up for the Katie Goes Platinum newsletter.
You might be surprised (like I was) to find out how FUN it is to join the Silver Revolution!