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Old 10-29-2006, 09:41 AM   #41
 
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You all are going to think I'm the "party pooper" but except for a few older models/celebrities (e.g. Heloise) in real life I generally do NOT like gray hair on women under 60.

I see everyone that has posted here are in favor of gray hair and I hope LoriJ that you're not implying that women over 40 should not color their hair because many, many people do not go gray that early. In the past it was actually unusual, and I personally know people older than me who barely have any gray at all. Since I study Holistic Nutrition I can tell you all with complete certainty that today's stressful life coupled with POOR diet makes people go grey PREMATURELY. The "marker" for some auto-immune disorders, in fact, is premature graying, so instead of a "badge of honor" or even normal it could just be bad health.

Also, I'm a believer in the "Color Me Beautiful" season color palettes, which match up cool and warm skin tones with cool/warm clothing and make-up colors, and only Winters and maybe Summers (the "cool seasons") gray out gracefully. I've always had an eye for esthetics (so I ended up going to beauty school) and I've observed this myself. Frankly, I cringe at seeing women with warm tones in their hair who are partially grey. One thing I learned in beauty school is that when we are graying it's not just some hairs that lose pigment, gradually ALL our hair loses some pigment which gives the hair a dull, washed-out appearance; every woman I've seen like that looks tired, some even look dowdy- not very flattering at all!

I started coloring my hair at an early age, at first just a subtle change, but gradually I went lighter (with a single process). A few times I went back dark but even my own mother (who still colors her hair at 74...) said she liked me better with lighter hair, personally I think it depends on the shade, sometimes I miss being a brunette but I chose to go lighter because of how I feel about (my) gray. The medium Ash Blonde I have now makes a much less noticeable contrast with my roots which I camouflage on the 3rd week, and if not feeling too lazy I color on the 4th.

I DO CONFESS that I get tired of coloring because I do it myself and ash shades tend to fade quickly (so sometimes I have to use rinses) and when the roots begin to show they remind me this color I love is not mine. So I have wondered what it would be like to be "natural" but I know I'm not ready yet. As a matter of fact I plan to do my retouch today and 2 days ago I asked my son what he thought about me going gray and he dodged the question. In the past both my children (who are in their 20s) have given me a flat NO because they don't think I'd look good with gray hair either.

My other reason is that I have said I'll go gray when my mother does, I'd hate to think I'll begin to look older than her, lol! She has been guilty a few times of having dull, overly colored hair and I've had to fix it for her. The last time she visited me I ran a gentle oil bleach through some thin strands and gave her a rich conditioner, which resulted in beautiful subtly highlighted hair that looked very good on her but she can't keep it that way herself. Her excuse to not go gray yet is that because she still has to work and lives in the Dominican Republic where there are all kinds of prejudice, she feels people would "look down" on her, which is really her insecurities talking. Her other objection is actually more valid, she won't just grow it out it would look...freakish (her roots are now white). She'd have to have the color stripped, a very difficult process which could severely damage her already dry hair, or cut it very short and wear a wig.

So, if gray hair is done properly and the right shade is selected women can look good for many years, the problem is too many women choose to do their coloring at home, with the wrong product, and/or don't follow the instructions well. I will never forget this co-worker I had years ago whose roots looked lighter and the rest of her hair was dull. I knew even then that she was putting all the mixture on her entire head. Gray hair is naturally more resistant so on a retouch it must be applied to the roots only and if there's any fading at all on the length, 5 minutes is plenty to brighten it and only the lighter shades, otherwise the already colored hair may continue to absorb pigment until it's like a crow's wing .

One of these days I may swing over to a beauty supply store and try on a gray wig just to see how I would look BUT that's about it. I'm single and looking right now and I don't think the "matronly" look would increase my "dateability", lol!
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Old 10-29-2006, 01:45 PM   #42
 
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Re-read my posts. I didn't imply anything; I said exactly what I meant.

Lori
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Old 10-29-2006, 03:45 PM   #43
 
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I don't think anyone has implied that no one should dye their hair. People should do whatever they want. If they want to be 40 with purple hair or 80 with pitch black hair or 20 with pure white hair, that should be accepted without question. It does seem that grey/white hair is the least accepted regardless of a person's age and I think that's a shame. People should be able to feel good about themselves with or without hair dye and plastic surgery.
I knew few women of my grandmothers and great aunts generation who dyed their hair. They all had thick, healthy grey, white, or salt and pepper hair. Most of the women I know from my mothers generation have dyed their hair constantly for 30 - 40 years. Most of them have very thin, weak hair. Luckily my mom stopped dying hers years ago and she has lovely thick white hair.
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:34 AM   #44
 
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Well, as anyone who participates in forums regularly, I'm sure you'll all understand that sometimes it's hard to perceive the meaning of written words when everyone has different ways of expression (and/or cultural backgrounds), so that's why I asked, thanks for the clarification.
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:23 AM   #45
 
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Heredity surely has something to do with when you go gray, no?

I'm healthy and always have been, healthy to the point that I use sick days as vacation days because I don't even catch a cold or get a sinus infection. I take vitamins every day, exercise, and eat well, and really always have. Despite that, I started graying at 19, and now, at 41, am really gray and letting it all hang out!

My dad started graying early as did all 8 of his siblings. I'd say a good half of my 30+ cousins on that side of the family started going gray by the time they were 25.
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:30 AM   #46
 
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I think heredity has *lots* to do with it. Skunk streaks are part of the dominate/ resessive gene "thing".
I do not discount the additional factor of oxygenation; gray hair can be linked to it. Anti oxidents in diet and vitamins can retard the oxygenation process of the body. It is true that a sudden shock can cause grayness. I've seen it happen!
I do not know anything about my "season", but my gray hairs have a ton of natural shine and a refreshing brightness.
I love to see the freshness of a blue black salt and pepper head of hair. Sigh, my hair will never be that, but I love what I have.
This forum is about our personal choice to be NC and CG's. Gray (grey?) is also a matter of choice; I chose not to color and I chose to be gray.
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:49 PM   #47
 
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Have to agree with halfwavyhalfcurly on some points, especially about warm skintones and grey not being compatible! I am one of these, and let me tell you, I put on several grey wigs of differing tones one time, when I was first starting to get some noticeable grey hair(late 30's, and this is with being very healthy too)and I did NOT like that at all! Talk about washed-out! But the "winters" and "summers" do tend to go grey gracefully, because of the underlying cool tones in their skin. For me, I do really look better with either a medium copper-brown shade, or a medium auburn mixed with some medium golden brown, with my autumnal golden skintone. I'm what is known as a high-contrast autumn, because my skintone is on the light-medium side, and my natural, non-grey hair is close to black. In fact, before I started turning grey, and I had my near-black haircolor, people would ask me if I colored my hair(which I didn't at the time)because it was so dark and even in color. For myself, I plan on hitting the bottle for a very long time, and I'm 59! All the time, I see warm-toned women who are determined to be grey, and in most cases, it looks unnecessarily drab, and sucks the life out of their skintone. But this is a personal thing!
I saw a book not too long ago, "Going Grey and Looking Great". It had some good tips, but it seemed that most of the people, including the cool-toned people, had to wear alot of makeup to compensate for that grey hair, IMO. For us warm-toned people, a perk-up with the right color really brings our skintone to life, and we end up wearing less makeup.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:51 AM   #48
 
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Well, I checked out of the library the book "Going Gray Looking Great" and decided that's not for me, at least not for a long while.

I feel the author didn't or couldn't make a strong enough case in favor of going gray. The women she features in her book are not average, everyday ones and in order for them to look glamorous they had to have an expensive stylist give them modern cuts, which I'm sure is not very realistic for most of her readers which are only going to look like an older version of their former selves.

Also, she mentions several times all the prejudice in society against it so, frankly, other than avoiding the "hassle" of retouches I don't see what I could gain by accepting what to me is the only sign of growing old we can have any control over. I've always enjoyed coloring my hair, even though it was usually for the sake of change, and ever since my mother decided to start covering her gray I began to appreciate the advantage of living in these times (thank you Clairol!). So I will continue to exercise this privilege for as long as I can, gray hair would be absolutely boring and depressing for me.
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:31 AM   #49
 
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Found an interesting article:
http://www.thirdage.com/beauty/facea...s/index02.html

Well, I still haven't colored!

I'm finding that as my hair gets longer I like it better. I am disappointed that it isn't more starkly contrasting black and white (it is really salt and pepper with a decent white streak up front, and lots of pepper in the back). My scalp is damaged and still itches whenever I think of coloring. But mostly I'm thankful I don't have to color, be concerned about my roots.

I'm reading the posts about makeup and coloring. My coloring has absolutely changed. The VERY golden undertone has mellowed- but not quite disappeared. I used to wear makeup every day to work, but decided to stop years ago. I've never worn foundation. I wore lipstick and blush, and rarely because of allergies, mascara. Now, I find if I use my lipstick (now a lovely rosey color instead of orange) on my cheeks it doubles as blush. My eyes are wanting definition, too, so I smudge a bit of liner around them.

I don't look like I did 3 years ago, let alone 10 years ago. But by God I feel good about myself!
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:56 AM   #50
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnafina
I'm finding that as my hair gets longer I like it better. I am disappointed that it isn't more starkly contrasting black and white (it is really salt and pepper with a decent white streak up front, and lots of pepper in the back).
This is me exactly. We are going to be grey hair twins!
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:23 PM   #51
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepcurlygurl
This is me exactly. We are going to be grey hair twins!
Hey! I have a jeep (cherokee), too!
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:32 PM   #52
 
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Jeep and Donna, you girls are so inspirational!!!

I am still on the gray-grow-out quest, and I am feeling good about it. I am also dealing with some health issues and am even more determined not to color. So everyone who doesn't like it can just suck eggs.

Found a great article, too: "Back to My Roots: A Diary of Going Gray," by Anne Kreamer on more.com. It was in the June issue of the mag, but I read it online. Here's the link. http://www.more.com/more/story.jsp?s...9020338182.xml

Thanks for all the kind, gray words!


Lori

P.S. I'm on my way to get my hair cut and will break the going-gray news to my stylist.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:43 PM   #53
 
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Lori, thanks for the article!

I'm still growing too and dealing with a third color - my true, natural color (the ungray parts). Who knew it was such a dark brown? I had no idea. It blends relatively well, but it's tougher to deal with mentally than the gray is - the gray is SUPPOSED to show and be different, but this third color is just... in the way.

On the plus side, the gray just sparkles. I've always loved red and black and white and now very nearly live in those colors. Red looks fabulous with the gray hair. (I also just bought a pair of glasses with chunky bright red frames, and I get TONS of compliments, even from people I don't know!)

Anyway. It's growing! It's gray! It's multi-colored!
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:44 PM   #54
 
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Wow that was a good read, thanks for posing it! She sure looks good with her hair her natural color. It's much softer and not so harshly colored.

My hair is my natural color. I have a few greys but it's not in my genes to get really grey/white until around 60 or so and then only on one side so we'll see what happens.

Maybe another color would look better with my skin, eyes whatever but maybe a swimmers body would look better on me. I don't have another color or another body so I'll be happy with what I've got. Besides I hate worrying over roots and trying to keep my hair in shape despite coloring. I'm never going back.
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:10 PM   #55
 
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PartyHair, you go, girl! The red glasses sound really fetching. I feel you on the dark brown hair! My gray is kinda sparkly too. I just saw a woman at dinner with the most gorgeous silver hair. A sign? I think so. My stylist is also totally on board with the going gray--I knew she would be.

Medusa, you have the right attitude. Elle MacPherson's body would look great on me, but, alas, I have my body, so it's better to be thankful for what I have!


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Old 12-01-2006, 09:03 PM   #56
 
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donnafina, another jeep girl! woohoo!
lori j, thanks for the article!
partyhair, red has always been my best color and it's even more flattering now.

To all you gals (and maybe a guy or two hiding out there?) going grey, trying to grow out the grey, thinking about going grey, wanting to go natural -- good luck and hang in there.
The first couple inches of the growing out stage are by far the worst.
Once it starts blending in and no longer looks like roots that need touched up, it gets easier.

Here are a couple new picks to show how it's blending in .



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Old 12-01-2006, 09:10 PM   #57
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori J
Jeep and Donna, you girls are so inspirational!!!

I am still on the gray-grow-out quest, and I am feeling good about it. I am also dealing with some health issues and am even more determined not to color. So everyone who doesn't like it can just suck eggs.

Found a great article, too: "Back to My Roots: A Diary of Going Gray," by Anne Kreamer on more.com. It was in the June issue of the mag, but I read it online. Here's the link. http://www.more.com/more/story.jsp?s...9020338182.xml

Thanks for all the kind, gray words!


Lori

P.S. I'm on my way to get my hair cut and will break the going-gray news to my stylist.

Wow, she looks great grey; actually looks younger and more stylish.
Jeepcurlygirl, your hair looks great. Thanks for the photo updates.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:01 PM   #58
 
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Default great picks and read

I had read the article in More magazine and enjoyed it more the second time.
Love the pics Jeep, thanks.
I have a grey streak now, a little clump of all gray white hairs midway in my part. I like it and I wish there was a style I could do my do that would accent this new wonder. I was a towheaded child, natural light ash blond until my early 30's, then dishwater, to mousey brown now glorious golden grey at 49.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:14 PM   #59
 
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Hey Jeep...you have a great gray curl in the back...looks cool!
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:19 PM   #60
 
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Quote:
Well, I checked out of the library the book "Going Gray Looking Great" and decided that's not for me, at least not for a long while.

I feel the author didn't or couldn't make a strong enough case in favor of going gray. The women she features in her book are not average, everyday ones and in order for them to look glamorous they had to have an expensive stylist give them modern cuts, which I'm sure is not very realistic for most of her readers which are only going to look like an older version of their former selves.

I got the book from the library too. I thought it was well done, and the pictures were beautiful. There were a couple of gray curlies in it too. The one especially was of a not-so-beautiful woman who would have been so plain with dyed hair, but her gray hair really made her something special.

What is unrealistic about gray-haired women getting modern cuts and styles? Seems like less work than having to re-touch gray roots every couple weeks.
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