Two questions for you curlygirls that are gray . . .

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My first few strands of white hair started to appear when I was sixteen or seventeen; now that I am pushing 44, my head is nearly all gray. I am continually on the verge of going natural, but after I get two inches of gray roots, I run back to the salon, ready for more color.

Here are my two questions.
1. How old were you when you decided to stop dying your hair?
2. Once you went gray and stopped coloring, was your hair healthier?
Thick 3B/C hair, shoulder length and transitioning into my premature gray. Wen SAM or Neuma shampoo, Jojoba oil, Aveda Damage Control Spray and Flaxseed-Aloe liquid gel.
I stopped coloring around age 45, but I wish I stopped earlier. My hair is MUCH healthier! I was using box dye at home and my hair was like straw. Even with sulfate shampoos it was better, and it's even better now that I've gone CG.
curlygoinggray likes this.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
same as you, several visible strands of gray at 17, mostly gray in my 40s. started dyeing around mid 40s, hated it for yrs -- got so that even every 3 weeks i had quite visible roots, the first week too dark, and it never looked right to me.
and it was very time consuming, while i did not go to a salon the last several yrs, a friend of my daughters from high school who is a hair colorist would come by, do the roots, and leave. then i'd wash it out. so, it was easy for me, and less money, but still we had to arrange our schedules and i had to take the time to let the color take, then wash & dry..... too much time, energy, $$ for something i hated. i had always known i'd stop as soon as i could deal with the transition phase. i stopped over 4 years ago and love it! i get soooo many compliments on it.
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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 should add I started at a salon and did that for many years. I couldn't stand the time and money for something I hated either. I felt like I was a slave to the dye. I had to plan my schedule around it. With my dark hair, the roots were very visible, so if I wanted to look good for a particular event, I had to plan around it weeks or months in advance. I've gotten so many more compliments since I stopped. I dyed for a long time - maybe 10 years?
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
I use henna and indigo to dye my greys and it makes it even healthier.
belwillcoily likes this.
Modified CG - No Sulfates, No Silicones

Med to coarse, normal to high porosity, normal to high density. Likes protein, hates glycerin. 3A/Corkicelli

Poos: KC Come Clean, SM Moisture Retention
Co-Wash: As I Am Coconut Cowash
RO: Yes2Carrots, Mill Creeks Botanicals (Henna & Keratin), AO Honeysuckle Rose, GVP Conditioning Balm
LI: KC Knot Today (HG!), SM Milk, Y2C
Stylers: KC Curling Custard (HG!), Goddess Curls Gel
I only dyed my hair a couple times in my 30's just for fun not to cover grey since I didn't start going grey til my late 40's.
In my early-mid 40's I used henna/indigo because my hair was dry and drab and needed a boost. Then I found NC and didn't need that anymore.
When I started going grey I decided that the time and money and damage involved weren't worth it and I just let it grow in naturally. I have dark brown hair and yes there was a nice skunk stripe for awhile but it was worth it. My hair and I are very happy being natural. I get compliments a couple times a week at least.
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**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
OK, as a guy, I'll throw in a different perspective. I'm going to be 41 in less than two months. I definitely have a few strands of gray but honestly, I have no intention of coloring it. I don't care if it's gray. I just care if it's there. I'll take a head of gray hair full of curls.

However, since I notice a ton of gray hair on my face I go with the clean shaven look to look younger. Most people are surprised when I tell them my age.
OK, as a guy, I'll throw in a different perspective. I'm going to be 41 in less than two months. I definitely have a few strands of gray but honestly, I have no intention of coloring it. I don't care if it's gray. I just care if it's there. I'll take a head of gray hair full of curls.

However, since I notice a ton of gray hair on my face I go with the clean shaven look to look younger. Most people are surprised when I tell them my age.
Originally Posted by bobby
One of the things that convinced me to stop coloring was the stark difference between men and women. If you guys can do it, why can't I?
curlygoinggray and chloe92us like this.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
OK, as a guy, I'll throw in a different perspective. I'm going to be 41 in less than two months. I definitely have a few strands of gray but honestly, I have no intention of coloring it. I don't care if it's gray. I just care if it's there. I'll take a head of gray hair full of curls.

However, since I notice a ton of gray hair on my face I go with the clean shaven look to look younger. Most people are surprised when I tell them my age.
Originally Posted by bobby
One of the things that convinced me to stop coloring was the stark difference between men and women. If you guys can do it, why can't I?
Originally Posted by CurlyGrey3
Totally agree CurlyGrey! I am just too lazy to dye and/or go to the stylist every four weeks for touch-ups.

And Bobby, even with the "salt" growing in my pepper hair, I am still mistaken for someone younger :-)
My first few strands of white hair started to appear when I was sixteen or seventeen; now that I am pushing 44, my head is nearly all gray. I am continually on the verge of going natural, but after I get two inches of gray roots, I run back to the salon, ready for more color.

Here are my two questions.
1. How old were you when you decided to stop dying your hair?
2. Once you went gray and stopped coloring, was your hair healthier?
Originally Posted by stacy3C
1. The last time I had permanent dye in my hair was when I was 38 and it was some highlights to camouflage the few gray strands I had started getting.
2. I remember my hair was pretty damaged after that and at 41, I did a big chop. It was healthy, but i was using sulfates and 'cones. Fast forward another nine years and I am now six months CG and my hair is very healthy.

A few years ago (post separation/divorce at 44/45 years old), I read "Going Gray" by Anne Kreamer; I highly recommend this book.
A few years ago (post separation/divorce at 44/45 years old), I read "Going Gray" by Anne Kreamer; I highly recommend this book.
Originally Posted by KauaiMareCurl
how does this book compare to "going gray, looking great," by diana jewel? i loved that book and her old website, got me thru my transition!
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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
A few years ago (post separation/divorce at 44/45 years old), I read "Going Gray" by Anne Kreamer; I highly recommend this book.
Originally Posted by KauaiMareCurl
how does this book compare to "going gray, looking great," by diana jewel? i loved that book and her old website, got me thru my transition!
Originally Posted by rbb
I haven't read that book, but will see if I can find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I don't like going to the hairdresser and now that my hair has gotten long enough and healthy enough, I only go twice a year to get it trimmed. I know if I was getting the gray dyed out of it, I'd have to go every three weeks and I would start resenting my hair and the whole process in general. It has been awhile since I read "Going Gray", but I do remember the author estimated how much money she spent dyeing her hair over the years and it shocked me. Of course the money I've spent on hair products in the last six months is shocking, but the products that didn't work for me went to my daughters or a friend with a curly haired child.
Thanks a bunch, RBB, CurlyGray, Kauai, Jeep, and Bobby.

RBB and CurlyGray, I love the pics of your hair in your avatars.

Do you feel like you look older or pale? Or does this not matter? My vanity sometimes gets in the way of my principles.
Thick 3B/C hair, shoulder length and transitioning into my premature gray. Wen SAM or Neuma shampoo, Jojoba oil, Aveda Damage Control Spray and Flaxseed-Aloe liquid gel.

Last edited by stacy3C; 06-13-2013 at 07:01 PM.
Thanks.

Do I look older? Probably older than if I colored, but I don't care. Who am I trying to fool? :-) I resent the over emphasis of youth as the only representation of beauty anyway.

I don't wear makeup, so I'm the wrong person to ask about looking pale. If you're looking for a more polished or professional look, I certainly think you can achieve it with gray(ing) hair.

I understand it can be scary. It took me a while to figure out what was important to me. I do it for so many reasons - needing to learn to love myself as I am is part of it, but a hatred of the beauty industry, laziness, cheapness, and getting a kick out of not doing what's expected of me all play a role too.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285

Last edited by CurlyGrey3; 06-14-2013 at 06:53 AM.
Thanks a bunch, RBB, CurlyGray, Kauai, Jeep, and Bobby.

RBB and CurlyGray, I love the pics of your hair in your avatars.

Do you feel like you look older or pale? Or does this not matter? My vanity sometimes gets in the way of my principles.
Originally Posted by stacy3C
thanks!
i don't think i look older or pale, but that could be because what colors i wear has changed in that pale/light colors don't work -- no white tops, makes me look like a ghost!, pale colors.... i got a lot of helpful info in the going gray looking great book by diana jewel. she gives lots of tips on makeup, jewelry, clothing colors -- ie, adding a dark color on top with a light top makes a big difference.... i felt coloring my hair made me look old, harsh. also, keeping the yellow out of the gray is important. and that is easy.
JuliaRose likes this.
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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
rbb - I haven't noticed any yellowing, but the hair I can see is still very mixed. My back crown area is much grayer. What do you do to prevent yellowing?

When I see older women with very dark hair it looks aging to me. There seems to be a typical style of flat black that many of them get.

Yeah, I don't bother with makeup, jewelry (I only wear my wedding ring and earrings - I love earrings), or clothing tips. I just wear what I like, which is typically jeans and t-shirts, and sundresses when I can in the summer.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
"When I see older women with very dark hair it looks aging to me. There seems to be a typical style of flat black that many of them get." - CurlyGrey3

Sure, some people do that, but certainly not all. This stereotype of the older woman coloring her hair very dark persists though. It seems that so many people just assume that the grey-haired person always dyes their hair black or dark brown. Not so at all! In real life, there are many women who color their hair and look wonderful. It all depends on the woman and her look and lifestyle. For me, it was(and still is)very freeing to go in the opposite direction and COLOR my hair, as I grew up in a family and location where hair coloring was really frowned upon(I'm far away from both now, plus my parents have been gone for a long time). And right now it almost seems like there's some pressure in certain circles for women NOT to color their hair. But to each their own, and some time will come(not yet though)where in fact I will grow my hair out. It really will have to be just about all white though. I do get a ton of compliments on my hair now with its rich reddish brown that is not too dark at all.
An experiment I did many years ago when my hair was turning some grey and I was on the fence about coloring or not. I went to a store where there were grey wigs with differing amounts of grey in them, and they ALL looked awful on me, washing me out like you would not believe. The only one that "sort of" worked was the nearly all white one. I've stayed with the bottle ever since LOL!
curlygrey -- you may not have any yellowing at this point. i didn't have any til i was about 1 1/2 yrs into my transition, but my hair is more white than gray.
i use ardell red/gold corrector -- i add it to a conditioner, let it sit on my hair while i shower. i only do it periodically, like once a week. i got the idea from jeepcurlygurl. others use commercial blue shampoos but i found them to be very drying. this works perfectly for me. i buy it at sally's beauty online. you can see more about yellowing/care for on the thread, 'our grey journey,' and lots other threads. do a search.
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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
Thanks, rbb!
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
i use ardell red/gold corrector -- i add it to a conditioner, let it sit on my hair while i shower. i only do it periodically, like once a week. i got the idea from jeepcurlygurl. others use commercial blue shampoos but i found them to be very drying. this works perfectly for me. i buy it at sally's beauty online. you can see more about yellowing/care for on the thread, 'our grey journey,' and lots other threads. do a search.
Originally Posted by rbb
Thanks to both rbb and jeepcurlygirl on the ardell red/gold corrector tip, am going to have to try that. I was thinking my gray streaks around my face were looking a bit brown and thought it was from my foundation bleeding on to it. I am now thinking what looks brown to me is actually yellow.

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