Our Gray Journey Diary

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It took almost two years and now I'm going to grow back to my shoulders. How often do we curly girls need haircuts?
Originally Posted by Barbarosa
Your curls look fabulous, Barbarosa! I'm going for a trim every 10 weeks or so at the moment as I have a bob and it has lost its shape by then. However, when my hair was longer I would only have a trim a couple of times a year (probably would get an inch or two cut off each time). I never seemed to have any major splits to deal with.
UK - 3a/b med/coarse - mix normal/ high porosity.
Currently in my rotation:
Cleanser/Cowash: CJDF,
Tresemme Naturals, DGJ Hairjuice clarifying, Urtekram Lavender
Conditioners/DT's: CJH&BDF, CJCR, DBPSC, AOWC, Y2C
Protein: AOGPB, Joico Reconstruct Condish (regular not PT)
Leave Ins/Curl Creams: CJCCCC, CJ Smoothing, KeraCare/JCAC
Gel: FSG, BRHG, Giovanni LA Natural Styling Gel, L'Oreal Studio Mineral Control Invisi'Gel
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41240927@N03/
barbarosa -- your hair looks great -- so shiny and i love the silver!!

after i transitioned and was, and am still, trying to grow it back to its original length, just barely to m shoulders, it is taking awhile as i was getting it cut too often (in response to a friend who also goes to same place i do, and wanted to make the trek into city together). if i go less than once every three months, i am standing still with length. ideally, 4 months to let it grow. so these past few months i've gone somewhere from 3 to 4 months and i've finally seen results!
it would depend on how tight your curl is i imagine, the tighter the curl, the less often the cut???
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
I am going to just let the gray grow in. I am SO tired of spending time and money coloring. I've been coloring my hair since I was 19 simply to cover the gray. I'm really tired of it, and since I started my PhD program, it's time I can ill afford. I need to use those two hours every five weeks to study and write. Plus the money. I'm just tired of the whole freakin' rigamarole.

What I am most concerned about is "THE LINE" - you know, that line between my chocolate brown hair and the gray that's coming in. Any suggestions on minimizing that? I REALLY don't want highlights or lowlights or a salon intervention. Any rinses or anything help? Or do I just live with the skunk stripe?

TIA for any help/encouragement you can give me. 45 has been a big year for me aging-wise - I am officially in peri-menopause and I had to get freakin' bifocals. What the hell, right? May as well let the gray hang out.

(I am determined to do this. I have fair skin with pink undertones and blue eyes. The gray that I can see so far is a bright and shiny silver. My grandmothers both had gorgeous gray hair - one pure white, and the other silver. I think my gray hair will look pretty damned cool, especially since my face looks "young for my age".)

So. Help? Encouragement? Product recs? (2A/3B, prone to frizz)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Rock on with your bad self.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
I am going to just let the gray grow in. I am SO tired of spending time and money coloring. I've been coloring my hair since I was 19 simply to cover the gray. I'm really tired of it, and since I started my PhD program, it's time I can ill afford. I need to use those two hours every five weeks to study and write. Plus the money. I'm just tired of the whole freakin' rigamarole.

What I am most concerned about is "THE LINE" - you know, that line between my chocolate brown hair and the gray that's coming in. Any suggestions on minimizing that? I REALLY don't want highlights or lowlights or a salon intervention. Any rinses or anything help? Or do I just live with the skunk stripe?

TIA for any help/encouragement you can give me. 45 has been a big year for me aging-wise - I am officially in peri-menopause and I had to get freakin' bifocals. What the hell, right? May as well let the gray hang out.

(I am determined to do this. I have fair skin with pink undertones and blue eyes. The gray that I can see so far is a bright and shiny silver. My grandmothers both had gorgeous gray hair - one pure white, and the other silver. I think my gray hair will look pretty damned cool, especially since my face looks "young for my age".)

So. Help? Encouragement? Product recs? (2A/3B, prone to frizz)
Originally Posted by PartyHair
PhD --awesome!! its great that you are now more focused on what is IN your head that what is ON your head. you will look great don't worry. i did the same thing, just let it grow in, it helped that when i colored i did it myself so i missed some parts, that way when it grew in it kind of made streaks. i've kept mine long and it is just doing its thing. when i put it in a pony the top is all gray and the ends are all brown. when its down it blends more. it will change every month. good for you!
meadowlark2 likes this.
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
What I am most concerned about is "THE LINE" - you know, that line between my chocolate brown hair and the gray that's coming in. Any suggestions on minimizing that? I REALLY don't want highlights or lowlights or a salon intervention. Any rinses or anything help? Or do I just live with the skunk stripe?
So. Help? Encouragement? Product recs? (2A/3B, prone to frizz)
Originally Posted by PartyHair
we've all been there! it is worth the transition time. i wore headbands, stretchy ones, plastic ones (narrow, black, some with some decorative thing, some plain) and let the white show in front, the darkest brown/black in back. strangely enough, i got sooooo many compliments! go figure???

i did not do any lowlights as i knew it would fade to orange/brown which i hate against my skin, and then i'd have that growing out, or more to do.... just went cold turkey and am happy i did. you will be too.
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
Good luck partyhair. Some days I hated that skunk stripe and some days I liked it. Sometimes it really showed and others it blended in more. On the days that it was bugging me I would dab Roux Fancifull hair rinse in a color that matched my dark hair onto the offending areas with a cottonball. I did this after my hair was dry and styled. It worked well.
I know there are some threads here with good info and tips but I'm a dimwit today and can't find them.
Did find some funny old threads that made me laugh tho. You old ladies in the Over 40 forum are pretty entertaining. : )
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**

I'm just tired of the whole freakin' rigamarole.
Originally Posted by PartyHair
Sing it, sister!!

First, congrats and best wishes on pursuing your PhD. I don't think I knew that before.

As already stated, go for the headbands to help blend/deal with the line of demarcation. I did the lowlighting thing until my line got to about ear length. I was fed up with that nonsense before that point, but I felt that was when I could comfortably deal with it. As one who did it, I can tell you that your decision NOT to start with the lowlighting is a good one. At times, I felt like I was taking 2 steps forward and one step back; if my HD grabbed some hairs for lowlighting accidentally that were previously nicely gray, I was undoing some of the progress.

I also think that some half-up styles, using a small barrette or mini claw/octopus clip can help to accentuate or hide (depending on how you feel that day ) the line. Sometimes when you pull back the hair to clip it, it can hit at the point where the "down" part of your hair is showing the line of demarcation.

When some of my new grays started growing in, since they were sort of shorter and looked "wiry", they would tend to stand up and wave on the top of my head unless I used gel to calm them down. Once they grew longer, they were fine and curled/behaved better. I like firmer hold gels like BRHG or Max Green Alchemy Sculpting Gel.

When you have time between writing and studying, you know where to come for support, tips and encouragement! Best wishes, PartyHair!
curlygoinggray likes this.
Location: Texas
Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Salon Care Honey Almond, Devacurl OC, Acure Argan Stem Cell+Argan Oil, Mill Creek Botanicals Keratin Repair
Leave-ins: BWC, KCKT, cno overnight
Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG
DT: Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak, Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!

Last edited by Spiralli; 07-24-2011 at 10:53 AM.
+1 on all the tips above - these ladies have some great ideas. I'll add that for me, wearing a sort of zigzag part rather than a stick straight one helped to camouflage the line a little. I also embraced the white-in-the-front, brown-in-the-back look by pulling back the front with clips and bobby pins. A lot of people told me my hair looked cool that way.

I found that the line was least tolerable when the roots were between 2 and 3 inches long. I was excited to see the gray coming in to that point, and now that I'm past that point, I'm excited to see what it will be when all the old color is grown out - but that middle part was a little rough. Give yourself some extra TLC - clothes you love, a smart piece of jewelry, a pair of shoes you feel sassy in - to help you feel fabulous on those inevitable days you want to reach for the Miss Clairol. And keep visiting this forum - the posters here are truly fab!


Sent from my iPhone using the CurlTalk app!
curlygoinggray likes this.
Sulfate/non-water-soluble silicone free since 8/16/10
Northern VA
Med-coarse, normal porosity, low elasticity
Dye-free since 11/2010

You all are WONDERFUL! Thanks so much for the encouragement. I am, right now, two weeks overdue for coloring. My hair grows fast so I have a goodly chunk of shiny white in the front. It looks kind of cool...and kind of funky...and kind of like I need to go to the salon.

Thanks for all the encouragement for the PhD too. I am somewhat discouraged and disgruntled right now so I needed that. (Oh, to just walk away. Some days I just want to quit, but I know that that's not who I am...but gosh, it's nice to fantasize about!)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Rock on with your bad self.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Oh, forgot to mention - if you haven't already, visit Going Gray Looking Great! - Make every stage of going gray absolutely fabulous.. I love to read the stories of the women there and look at their transitioning pictures.

I can't even begin to imagine what it would feel like to go for a PhD at my age. I loved college and I loved getting my master's 10 years ago, but putting in that kind of time and effort now? Meh. To quote your own signature, PartyHair, "Rock on with your bad self."

:-)
Sulfate/non-water-soluble silicone free since 8/16/10
Northern VA
Med-coarse, normal porosity, low elasticity
Dye-free since 11/2010

Well I did it! Last night I threw out my boxed color and went to the salon for "the big chop". I go in tomorrow for all over highlights to help transition to natural. I finally got so sick to death of all this coloring every 2-3 weeks to hide the gray and reread this whole thread yesterday. You all are such an inspiration! All post pictures this weekend.
< member since 2006. No idea where 1969 came from.
Well I did it! Last night I threw out my boxed color and went to the salon for "the big chop". I go in tomorrow for all over highlights to help transition to natural. I finally got so sick to death of all this coloring every 2-3 weeks to hide the gray and reread this whole thread yesterday. You all are such an inspiration! All post pictures this weekend.
Originally Posted by eche428
Yay! I was just reading through this thread and remembering that you posted a few pages back trying to decide if you wanted to do it or not. The ladies here are a terrific support system - they'll help make it as easy as possible!

It's been quite awhile since I posted any progress photos, and I realized that in my signature photos, a lot of the gray is hidden underneath so you can't really see how much is in. So here are a few updated pics with the bangs pulled back (it's second day hair that I spent about 30 seconds on, so excuse the frizz and lack of curl!). I'm 8.5 months gray at this point, and actually a little frustrated that it's coming in so slowly! Because of my cut, the longer side pieces aren't even halfway grown out yet, so I guess I have another year of this to go, unless I decide to cut it all off (which I don't think I'll do - I like my inverted bob cut). Since the back is so short, it's all the way transitioned - there's not as much gray back there as in the front, but you can see some white curls here and there.
Attached Thumbnails
Our Gray Journey Diary-img_2678.jpg   Our Gray Journey Diary-img_2684.jpg   Our Gray Journey Diary-img_2682.jpg   Our Gray Journey Diary-img_2690.jpg  
curlygoinggray likes this.
Sulfate/non-water-soluble silicone free since 8/16/10
Northern VA
Med-coarse, normal porosity, low elasticity
Dye-free since 11/2010

Rustina your hair so sooooo great. I'm really super excited now that I've taken the plunge. I know there will be a lot of tough days ahead but I'm so glad to have all you great curlies here for support!
< member since 2006. No idea where 1969 came from.
I've been color-free a little over 2 months!! So far, so good. I just can't devote the time, money and exposure to chemicals anymore. I notice "THE LINE" that PartyHair speaks of in some lighting more than others. Fluorescent lighting is not my friend, so I had the overhead lights removed in my office.

I am curious, has anyone ever been asked about what's going on with their hair? For me, that's the weirdest part, I feel like I need a little sign explaining that, yes, I know I have roots, and yes, it's on purpose. Like I need to defend my aging eyesight as well. No one has asked, but I'm sure people notice.
I took this earlier in the week. I see a lot more gray than this pic shows!




Sent from my iPhone using CurlTalk.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Rock on with your bad self.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Thanks, eche! And partyhair, your roots are looking good! I look forward to seeing both of your progressions!

I am curious, has anyone ever been asked about what's going on with their hair? For me, that's the weirdest part, I feel like I need a little sign explaining that, yes, I know I have roots, and yes, it's on purpose. Like I need to defend my aging eyesight as well. No one has asked, but I'm sure people notice.
Originally Posted by guinness
You know, no one has asked me about mine, either, except for the cashier at the grocery store once. I thought for sure that once it became obvious I was letting the gray grow out and not just overdue for a root job that someone would say something, but no one has (except for my mother, which is a whole 'nother story!). I guess they think it's too delicate of a subject to bring up.




Sent from my iPhone using the CurlTalk app!
Sulfate/non-water-soluble silicone free since 8/16/10
Northern VA
Med-coarse, normal porosity, low elasticity
Dye-free since 11/2010

You know, my mom is going to have a problem with this too. Which is really odd because I am blessed with an amazingly loving and supportive mom who (and I'm not kidding) never expresses a negative opinion about the choices I make regarding my looks. She is WONDERFUL but I know for a fact that she will not get this. (She's 80 and colors her hair...)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Rock on with your bad self.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
PartyHair, you are a very pretty lady and I love how your hair looks growing in the silver/gray/white.
Location: Texas
Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Salon Care Honey Almond, Devacurl OC, Acure Argan Stem Cell+Argan Oil, Mill Creek Botanicals Keratin Repair
Leave-ins: BWC, KCKT, cno overnight
Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG
DT: Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak, Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
My mom doesn't color her hair, but she also doesn't have much gray - a few strands here or there, way less than me, that's for sure. But the second I see her, she'll say something like, "You're still keeping that gray?" and make a face and roll her eyes. I just say, "Yep!" and move right along. I don't know, I wouldn't describe her as prim and proper or anything like that, but she's very tied up in doing things a certain way because that's what's expected. Therefore, I should be coloring my hair because that's what's expected for a 44-year-old woman. Maybe it's a generational thing?
Sulfate/non-water-soluble silicone free since 8/16/10
Northern VA
Med-coarse, normal porosity, low elasticity
Dye-free since 11/2010

You know, my mom is going to have a problem with this too. Which is really odd because I am blessed with an amazingly loving and supportive mom who (and I'm not kidding) never expresses a negative opinion about the choices I make regarding my looks. She is WONDERFUL but I know for a fact that she will not get this. (She's 80 and colors her hair...)
Originally Posted by PartyHair
Hang in there Partyhair! Your silver roots are looking good. Don't worry about Mom. Mine was 85 and still straightened and colored her hair in a nursing home! She was so upset about me going gray and hated the curls as well. It's not about Mom, it's about YOU! I will never ever again try to make my hair become something that it's not. You're gonna love this journey! It is so liberating!

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