I might need a little pep talk...

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  • 2 Post By rbb
  • 2 Post By jeepcurlygurl
  • 5 Post By jeepcurlygurl

So, I'm six months into growing out my gray hair. The gray is probably four to five inches now. I'm not super gray but maybe 30-40%. More gray in the front than the back. So I'm multi-toned at the moment. My natural color is dark brown almost black, my last dye was supposed to be a chocolate brown but it's more auburn brown than anything. My hair is about bra strap length. So the first four to five inches is this really pretty white/silver mixed with almost black and from there down it's a reddish brown. I'm loving the "gray" but I must admit, it does age me. I'll be 41 next week. I'm going back and forth about dying it. I don't want to dye my hair anymore, I've been doing it since I was 18. I think if it was all grown out I could maybe get some dark low lights and it would look amazing, but it's not grown out, I'm looking and feeling old because of it. I really do like the "gray" but this phase of the growing out process is really getting to me. Even my boyfriend says it does make me look older, but he always follows it up with "you're still the most beatiful thing I've ever seen", so he has no problems with it. Plus, he's 9 years older than me anyway! lol. Any suggestions on how to deal with this? A new perspective on how to view this stage to get me through it? I'm a solid 3b and I have about four inches of shrinkage as it is, I don't want to go short in length. HELP!
CG - 3/27/09
3b - dry - medium texture/medium porosity!
Co wash/rinseout/leave in: currently auditioning products
Styling: lube and BRHG
It sounds like a difficult period, where one has several inches of grey and white, but also a whole lot of faded-out old hair color on the rest of the hair. It sounds like the new growth is really pretty, though and you just might not be used to its appearance next to your face since you had colored hair for so long. There are a couple of things you could do. One is to have low-lights put in now, to ease the demarcation line between your faded-out color and the white+mix, and then just let the grey continue growing out, and keep trimming your hair.
Another thing you could do to speed up the process is going for a big chop to a beautiful angled bob that is popular among many of us - then you'd only have a very few inches of old growth to keep trimming plus you'd have a new look.
However, if you really, really, really don't like the way the grey looks against your face, there's nothing wrong with returning to coloring either. No one should have to feel like they have to put up with looking older than they want to, IMO. Sure, people say "embrace the grey", and that works for some people but not all. A lot of things come into just how good grey looks on people, again, IMO. I'm not one of them, that is, the ones who look great grey. I think you answered your own question when you said the grey ages you, and even your husband agrees.
Hope this helps!
you are in the difficult part of growing the gray out.

before i started coloring my hair, i did think the gray made me look older. however, two things i've learned:

1 -- if you look at women of all ages closely, you will start to notice who does color their hair, and who doesn't. and you will also notice the ones who don't look better, their skin and hair go together. one enhances the other.
also, pay attention to the ones who have gray/white roots against their darker hair and have another week or two or three before coloring. as your hair becomes more gray, you have to color more often. (so they get one or two weeks out of 4, 6 weeks that their hair looks ok.) time and $$ i no longer had any interest in spending.

2 -- i would get a copy of the book, "going gray, looking great," by jewel.... (forgot her last name). i got a copy out of my library as i was transitioning. it is filled with great ideas, including how to change your makeup colors, and the colors that you wear. for instance, i can no longer wear an all white top, LOL! she had a website that was soooo helpful, including photos, but changed it, shortened it a few months ago. i would still go to that website, goinggraylookinggreat.com, and register to become a member on cafe gray. while they are totally clueless about curly hair, they know their gray and have great tips.


i used to wear a headband/clip during this phase, the white/gray around my face, and i got lots of compliments, altho i thought it looked weird! and, you can also cut off several inches to hasten the process.

you are in the hardest phase of transitioning. give it another two months if you can, and see how you feel then.

and, look over the thread, our gray journey, in this forum for ideas/tips/encouragement. always log back here for more encouragement.
Goin'Grey and curlygoinggray like 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-thanks for the info! I'm already a member of going gray looking great. Have been for a couple years now. I love that site and actually visited there right before I decided to go gray this time. I tried it once before but never made it past the three month mark. But I was still in my late 30's at the time. I really don't want to go back to dying my hair. I think once it grows out I'll love it. It's just getting it there that's the problem.

I think a lot of the issue is not being able to do anything about my wardrobe. I'm in nursing school so I have to wear a uniform to school (light blue polo and white scrub pants) and then my clinical uniform (ALL white scrubs). I also have to have my hair pulled back which really shows off the gray and not much else. I decided to go gray now because I knew I'd be in school and it wouldn't matter too much about the growing out phase anyway with my hair back all the time, plus I'm so busy it's not like I'm going out, I spend all my time doing school work and taking care of the kids and running a house by myself. I'm gonna try to hold out for the rest of the year and maybe work on other things that age me, like the condition of my skin and quitting smoking. I need to start doing better on my skin care regimen, work on some of these fine lines and wrinkles. Maybe that will give me something to focus on instead of my hair! This growing out period is really hard!!!

I definitely don't want to cut it. I don't want to dye it. At this point, I guess I've answered my own question. I guess I just have to let it be for now and see where it goes.
CG - 3/27/09
3b - dry - medium texture/medium porosity!
Co wash/rinseout/leave in: currently auditioning products
Styling: lube and BRHG
tinah -- you are right about gray hair highlighting our skin!! and teeth! i actually switched tooth pastes when i stopped coloring, buy one that helps whiten my teeth.
exfoliating your skin is a good idea. i use bliss steep clean once a week, it is amazing, been using it for years. it is the only facial mask i have used that really did something long lasting. while it is pricey, the can lasts a long time and i either buy it on aveyou.com with their discount, or from bliss. bliss seems to always have great sales. there are lots of things out there now that help our skin.
going thru the transitioning while i school is great, no time to focus on your hair!! LOL! the time will pass and you will have gotten thru the transition.
[FONT="Arial Narrow"]
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
never heard of bliss before but I will definitely check it out! For awhile I was using a good AHA but got lazy with school and all and stopped. Need to start that back up again. I really like the results from it.
CG - 3/27/09
3b - dry - medium texture/medium porosity!
Co wash/rinseout/leave in: currently auditioning products
Styling: lube and BRHG
Going grey is like most things that involve our appearance - our opinions are influenced by others, by family and friend, by magazines and tv and movies, by what we read and see and hear. Logically there is no way a hair color can make us look older. But we are told that grey hair = old age so that is what we think. It's hard to get past that.
I don't have much advice other than to do what makes you happy. For me, I've never been happier than with my hair as it is now - long, grey, curly, wild. But that might not be the case for everyone. Good luck!!
2poodles and curlygoinggray like this.
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
Jeep- I agree with you but in this case I think my opinion is influenced by the fact that I just look older. It's not the color of the hair so much as it is that I'm just getting older and maybe spending a little more time in front of the mirror allows me to notice the fine lines and wrinkles a little more. That and have my hair pulled back from my face all the time. No.... that's not true, I think it's the color as well, but not necessarily the gray itself. I think it's more the various colors all combined on my head right now, maybe gives the impression that I've "let myself go". I think once it all comes in and settles down to my natural colors it will be awesome. I'm looking forward to it actually. But the dyed half added to the natural that's growing out does make it look like I'm not just growing out my gray hair but I've given up dying it. So I think it just gives the appearance of giving up on my looks which of course people interpret as "aging". I actually love the "gray" and want it to grow in, it's the transition that I'm not all that fond of. But if I'm not going to cut it short (and I'm not) I'll just have to figure out a way to make it more acceptable to me. Cause my opinion is the only one I really care about.

I also wanted to add that I checked out your fotki album. My hair looks so much like yours in curl pattern and length. I hope that mine grows out to look as awesome as yours does. Cause I'm very sure when it grows out, it will be the same shape and style of your pictures (because it is now). So, now you're my hair idol! LOL! Hope you don't mind.
CG - 3/27/09
3b - dry - medium texture/medium porosity!
Co wash/rinseout/leave in: currently auditioning products
Styling: lube and BRHG

Last edited by tinah; 06-06-2012 at 01:30 PM. Reason: adding more
hahaha. I don't mind being a hair idol at all! I have lots of good hair days but also have some crappy ones too. I'd like my greys to be more white like my grandmother's hair was but it's more grey (or chrome as I call it. hahaha.). It tends to get yellow since I spend alot of time in sun and wind and also in smoky bars. But I mix some red/gold corrector in with conditioner and it keeps it from getting too yellow.

As for the transitioning part, yes that is a pain. I cut my hair up into a chin length bob and that made it much easier for me than living with the skunk stripe forever (my hair grows really slow). But others have transitioned without cutting their hair so it's doable!

And yes, we all look in the mirror at some point and think we look older. Because we are! We can't turn back time no matter how hard we try. It's why I just gave in and said f**k it, I'm gonna be myself and be happy with it. I don't mean I don't make an effort to look good. I love makeup and nail polish and jewelry. I just decided to relax about the grey hair and wrinkles and sagging body parts. : )
Makes life much more relaxing. Again, that's all just my look at it. That doesn't work for everyone.
2poodles, rbb, tinah and 2 others like this.
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

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