Style

Four Women on Going Gray

Rachel

A few weeks ago, while I was washing my hands in a fluorescent-lit bathroom, I spied with my little eye…a rogue gray hair. At 24 years old, I did a double take, and much to my surprise, the more closely I looked, the more grays I saw. Curious to hear more about going gray, I spoke with four women of different ages. Here are their stories…

Rachel

Rachel, research coordinator at UC San Diego
Age: 25; started graying at 12

On rocking it: When I was in middle and high school, I was insecure about the rate at which my hair was turning gray. I looked different from my peers and didn’t want to stand out, and was terrified that I’d reach key life events, like getting married, and be fully gray. I’ve considered coloring, but as I’ve gotten older and grown into my hair more, I’ve realized that this is what I am supposed to look like. This gray is part of me, and I shouldn’t try to cover it up. I get compliments from strangers every day, whether I’m at the pharmacy or running around my neighborhood, and I can’t tell you how much they make me smile.

On go-to products: My favorite products are Provoke Touch of Silver shampoo and conditioner. Sometimes, gray hair can adopt yellow or green undertones, and purple or blue shampoos like Provoke can neutralize those pigments. They’ve worked magic for me. I also use Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid to keep my hair sleek.

On family genes: My parents also grayed early in life, so I joke that this trait is so deep in my family genes that one day our next generation will be born gray. I’ve known my entire life that I was destined to go gray early, and at this point, I’m proud to walk around with this big head of beautiful hair on my shoulders.

Christan

Christan, founder of Tula
Age: 34; started graying in early 20s

On role models: My mom went gray in her early twenties. She has the most striking silver hair, so I never had a negative affiliation with it. I colored my hair with henna in middle school (such a ’90s thing to do!) and then colored it through college for fun, but I never colored it to hide my gray.

On evolving style: My style and beauty routine have changed drastically over the last few years, not only since going gray, but also after starting Tula, a mobile plant shop, and diving deeper into horticulture. Nowadays I don’t wear any makeup and I’m very picky about what I use on my skin and hair. I seek out natural products and shy away from stuff with ingredients I don’t recognize. I like Goodtype pomade. It doesn’t weigh my hair down and gives nice texture to my curls without making them greasy.

On aging gracefully: Silver hair is a rite of passage. Gray doesn’t mean you have lost your youthfulness; rather, it says, ‘Look at me, I’ve lived, I’m living and I’m owning the natural progression of my life.’ How great would it be if this were celebrated?

Ty

Ty, author and blogger
Age: 41; started graying at 14

On insecurities: In the past, I would wear my hair to one side and never show underneath, because that’s where all the grays were. And just like everyone else, I still have insecurities to overcome. Going gray was always cool to me, but I never envisioned a whole head of WHITE hair. I’m practicing the art of being grateful, though, so here’s to the fact that I have super healthy hair.

On go-to products: To brighten my grays, I use Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo at least once a month.

On changing perspectives: I’m elated that going gray is becoming more of a trend. Over the years, I’ve realized how much women are advertised to and how we’re told to believe certain things about our bodies and appearances. Every commercial on TV exploits the narrative that going gray means you’re old and that you should dye your hair. It’s important to challenge that idea with images of women who look amazing sporting it.

Suzie

Suzie, second-grade teacher
Age: 58; started graying in late 20s

On taking the plunge: When gray hairs showed up in my twenties, I wasn’t happy. I dyed it blonde for years. Then at 40, I cut my hair really short and had to color it every four weeks — there is no hiding gray roots when the length of your hair isn’t much longer than the roots themselves! In my mid 40s, I finally let it go to see how white it was, but didn’t feel ready to fully embrace it until I turned 50.

On go-to products: I use Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo, which keeps my hair from looking dull. Gray hair can have a different texture, and I’ve never been good at styling, so keeping it short has kept me from worrying about all of that.

On second thoughts: I’ve been asked if I qualify for the 65 and older discount at places — that’s a rough one. Every now and then I look in the mirror and think, ‘Should I color again?’ But it takes about 30 seconds to realize it’s not worth the money, chemicals or upkeep. If you Google ‘gray hair,’ you get lots of hits for ‘cures,’ which is so extreme; I’d rather think of it as a sign of maturity and acceptance.

Thank you so much, Rachel, Christan, Ty and Suzie! What are your thoughts on gray hair? I’d love to hear…

P.S. 16 hair tutorials, and six secrets of a hair stylist

(Top photo of Rachel by Ray Photography Co. All other photos provided by Rachel, Christan, Ty and Suzie.)

  1. Isabel Ibarra says...

    I finally got tired of coloring my hair and the expense so a couple of months ago I had my hair buzzed. After 2 months it has grown and all the color has been cut off. I have more gray than I expected and I get compliments on it.
    My hair was always a dull brown and hi lights gave my hair great color. Now instead of salt pepper I call my hair cinnamon and sugar.
    Go gray girls. I think it’s classy.

    • Becca says...

      Cinnamon and sugar!!! I LOVE this ❤️ my dad went fully gray by 40 and I’m 38 with more cinnamon than sugar but I know it’s coming. I’m low maintenance, hair-wise and would never keep up with dying it so I just don’t. My husband think it looks sexy and I think it makes me look confident. Win-win.

  2. hedi says...

    I started going grey in the late twenties, by the time my second child was born, I was about half grey half dark, now four years and lots of sleepless nights it is nearly fully “silver”. Nobody ever ever thought I could be my childrens gran. I never considered coloring but found a hair stylist at vidaal sasoon who loves my hair for its strenght, fullness and lenght. Whenever I need an ego boost (about twice a year) I go there and have my hair done and blow dried and mainly to enjoy hearing all his compliments. Now a few women around me are wearing their natural color with pride as well and I love it. For me its the amount of sleep I get or don’t, which makes me look radiant or old not the color of hair.

  3. Cd says...

    My mom went grey very young – She’s always had grey hair in my memory. All through her 40’s she decided to dye it blond. Then, maybe in her late 50’s – I don’t know exactly when – she decided to let it go grey and it looked so much better on her! Beautiful, striking! In her 70’s now, her hair is a beautiful white and it really suits her! Me? Oddly I have barely any grey at all and I’m 46. But I get highlights for fun, and have for many years.

  4. Vicki says...

    All these women have beautiful hair! I’ve always loved gray, really as a color and in all things, its so serene and chic, so I’ve sort of looked forward to gray hair. I’m 38 and have a few random gray hairs that really only I notice (I think they are shiny and love them!) Even so I wonder what I will do mostly in transition because I still think I hold an ideal – maybe I’ll dye it all gray!

  5. Erin Goody says...

    I started greying around 16, I’m now 29 and now have a plethora of silver in my otherwise very dark brown hair. They have never bothered me, I actually think they look pretty cool! I think perhaps once the grey to dark hair ratio increases to 50-50 I might consider dyeing the rest grey to match if possible.
    When my nanny was still with us she used to get what she called a ” pearl wash” on her white hair that – no lie – was like a duo-chrome purple, blue tinge that was barely noticeable but certainly very cool! I hope to do the same some day if I can ever find someone who can do it!

  6. Mouse says...

    I was a performer and dyed my hair for many years. At first, I put a blond streak on one side in the front, in a kind of homage to Bonnie Raitt than whom there is no one cooler, and when I stopped doing that and eventually let myself go grey in my 40s, a natural grey streak occurred in the same place!! I loved that–it was lurking there all the time! (Still not remotely as cool as Bonnie though)

    I stopped dying my hair because I wanted to be ME, at my age, as an adult female. I had also just moved to Maine, and there are many many women who are grey here and who are very beautiful; inspiring. Can’t wait to be fully grey, although I still haven’t figured out a way to smooth the frizzies without weighing down my hair.

  7. Scarlett says...

    I’m 28 and started graying halfway through my teens. My whole family has gone gray early, some completely by the age of 30. Somehow I never knew it was coming though! I have more gray hairs on my head every time I look. They’re more like highlights, at this point. It wasn’t until maybe the last year or so that I’ve actually embraced it– I’ve dyed my hair a very light blonde for years and my natural hair is coming through so much shinier and smoother since it’s not being damaged by bleaching anymore. I’ve seen the struggles my mom has gone through to find the right colors to cover her grays with as they fade and her skin changes with age– I don’t want to have that struggle! She is also finally embracing the transition!

    I’m taking the natural next steps and looking to more natural products to put on my skin and hair– I can’t wait to be a beautiful hippie-dippie older lady with a mane of silver hair :)

  8. Nadine says...

    I am 39 and started greying in my 20’s. I stopped coloring at 30. I always get nice comments on my hair, even by hairdressers’. I feel free and I love my grey hair. I take care of it by washing with Klorane anti-yellowing shampoo. I also apply coconut oil every week.

  9. Coral says...

    I’m 35 and noticed a few gray baby hairs. It makes me feel old, which is bad enough, but it’s deeper than that. I’m not where I want to be in life in terms of money and work and seeing the grays just reminds me I’m getting older and still haven’t accomplished what I want to yet.

  10. I stopped dying my hair a couple of months ago. It was a hard decision but my hairdresser is really supporting and cheered me on and so did my friends. I must admit I’ve felt up and down about it, but now the more I’m getting used to it, the more I like it. I actually don’t look older – I look as much my age as I did before and I like the fact that my original colour still is there as well. As I still have old colour left in my hair, we tone it to a colder hue and I’ve started using blue shampoo. Love the toning! It makes me really happy to see examples of women all ages (in particular my age, I’m 43 soon) as I feel I’m an odd bird still.

  11. Jenni says...

    I started going straight up white (but very slowly) about 2 years ago- I’m 26! My mom didn’t gray until her 50s. I think it’s because I teach special education (worth it). It’s encouraging to see women with sections of gray styled well! I always thought white was so lovely, but thought I’d have to wait to really “go for it.”

  12. I started going gray when I started teaching, at 21. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. :)
    Now, I’m 39 and I was looking in the mirror recently, and noticed that my gray hairs have spread. I have dyed my hair a few times over the years but not with any regularity. I’ve been asked why I don’t dye my hair. My standard answer: too high maintenance! I’d rather let it go gray. I have a swath of gray hair that my friends call my Wisdom Streak, which I don’t mind at all! I hope to one day have a full head of gray hair. There was an English teacher in my high school who had long, long hair that was completely gray and I always loved it. But my both parents have salt and pepper hair, so I won’t count on going fully gray. Out of the four women in this post, my hair is most like Christan’s, so I will be following her styling tips!

  13. AN says...

    My 33-year-old wife has the most incredible head of salt-and-pepper curls that I hope she never, ever colors. I call it happy-hair and take a picture of it and send it to my friends when they’re sad; one can’t help but smile when you see it/her!

    • Franny Eremin says...

      That’s so sweet, An. :)

  14. Paris says...

    Going grey has been an experience that I didn’t want to experience. I wanted to just dye my hair and keep it moving. But that didn’t work. So now I am shackled to it, where my grey hair want take. So I’ve decided that I will keep it short and color it sliver and grey as one color. I started getting grey in my late 30’s.

  15. P says...

    I don’t personally mind my grays (quite a lot at 40 years old; pretty much equally salt and pepper in the front half; medium white skin tone with freckles) and I really like them when I “do” my hair and it’s smooth and sleek. However, I definitely mind being mistaken as my husband’s mother and our young children’s grandmother! I am an older mother but my husband is only 16 months younger than me. I’ve had it and I am about to try coloring some of it. Maybe just cover some of the gray that frames my face. Of course, I have felt proud of being one of the ones to stay gray so it becomes more normal. I guess I’m going to try in between for awhile.

  16. Lauren Jackson says...

    I’m 25 and spotted two grey hairs for the first time last week! I was absolutely terrified, but feeling slightly better after reading your piece :)

  17. Laurie says...

    I have earned every single one of my gray hairs and I’m proud to have them.

  18. Sara Scott-Curran says...

    Arghhhhh! I love these awesome ladies who are boldly, and confidently embracing who they are! There’s nothing more radiantly beautiful than someone who owns who they are.

  19. Gretchen says...

    I started going gray in my early 20s. I just turned 36 in July, and in June I decided I was done coloring my hair. I go to a local barre studio and through that community, I’ve been introduced to so many older women who just ROCK their gray. They are so graceful and chic. I was inspired. This summer was one of coming to terms with my own aging, but also being really proud of who I am and what I’ve worked for.

  20. Becs says...

    I’m 35 with an ever-increasing smattering of gray (never having dyed my hair). Whenever I have a moment of hair-related insecurity, I go back to a proverb I came across as a teenager: “Gray hair is a crown of glory.” This little line gave me a positive view of aging, and inspired both the desire and the confidence to live fully and live well. I’m so grateful to have begun my womanhood with this outlook – it has proven a great weapon for battling the cultural lies around beauty.

    • Laura says...

      Lovely!

  21. Theresa says...

    I started getting gray hairs in my late 20’s and am now pretty much salt and pepper at 45. I initially dyed it black (my original hair color), with wash out color, but decided to embrace it and haven’t dyed it in years. My Mom started turning gray in her 30’s and now, in her early 70’s she is completely gray. I love her hair and she always gets compliments on it. She helped me embrace it!

  22. T says...

    I’m 35. Started greying at 22. I stopped dying it at 32, I just got sick of the process and it felt like a feminist rebellion. If an older man is a silver fox well why the heck can’t I be!?

  23. Daynna says...

    Is the top woman, Rachel, actually fully grey? I simply can’t tell from that photo. Perhaps it’s dark grey? Or brown with some grey strands in it? Pity there isn’t a better picture, nor a link to her Instagram or something.

    Otherwise love this feature! I’ve begun greying at faster-than-I-would-like schedule and seeing women like this are inspiring and I can’t wait till I can go full grey!

    • Franny Eremin says...

      Hi Dayna! Yes, Rachel is 25 and actively graying – she says she’s about 1/3 gray now. Hope that helps!

  24. Gray@31 says...

    Yes! Love this! I got my first gray at 11 and now, twenty years later, I have enough that people ask me if I’ve gotten gray highlights – during my last haircut, another hairdresser walked by, looked at my head and joked to my hairdresser, “Good job!”. It took me years to be comfortable with it but I really own it and love it now.

  25. Meg says...

    These women are all so beautiful and their shimmery locks make me a tad envious! People pay to have their hair dyed grey nowadays, or any color for that matter. The grey looks so cool and when I go grey, I hope I remember this article to come back to for this inner confidence!

  26. Darby says...

    I so want to stop colouring my hair! I used to colour my hair dark but as I became more grey, I started to get a terrible “skunk stripe” after just a couple of weeks. I have transitioned from very dark hair to blond and now I get just some blond streaks every couple of months with no in between colour to cover the grey. I am thinking about not colouring at all next visit to the hair dresser and seeing how my hair looks after 4 months of growth instead of 2. Fingers crossed! I actually quite like my silver blond right now and get lots of compliments but I would love to not spend so much money!

  27. Ramona says...

    I love that women choose to do what makes them happy/comfortable. We’re all different and I see women with all colors of hair…from gray to pink to blue and everything in between. It’s creative and fun! When I was a teenager my Mom wanted me to help her with her ‘hair dye-in-a-box.’ I did not like it and told myself then ‘I am NEVER going to do this to my hair and I never have. My first white (not gray) hairs appeared when I was about 25 yrs old. It’s just too much maintenance/expense for me. (I’d much rather spend my money on pedicures!) ;). Embrace your own definition of beauty! Embrace your uniqueness!

  28. Cathy says...

    I had my 5th child at 41. When the gray started showing up around 51, I began dyeing it. I do not want to be mistaken as my 13 year old’s grandma.

  29. I am a young 69 year old who has been gray for approximately seven years I am never going grey I don’t care how old I am I just want to look as good as I can and as uplifting as I can and in my genes grey hair makes me look old and drab I’m not going there. I have seen some women in their 40s and 50s gray and they look lovely that works for them but not for me ever!

    • Patricia says...

      I am almost 73 and at 70 was so tired of coloring my hair, I decided to see how ‘bad’ it really was. Turns out I love it! I used to say I didn’t have the skin color for grey, but it turned out silver, and looks like I’ve spent $ having it highlighted! And now my hair is the same color every day of the month! Good luck.

  30. Renee says...

    So, I am reading this as I am waiting on the color process for covering my gray hair. Ughh, it is so frustrating that I have to color it every 3-4 weeks, but I don’t think I can take the gray plunge at 45.

    • Jo says...

      Exactly the same for me! My mom had me at 43 and stopped coloring her hair when I was five or six; and for the rest of my life she was mistaken for my grandmother despite being VERY youthful looking (and gorgeous!). It kind of scarred me.

  31. Darby says...

    I so want to go grey! I used to colour my hair dark but as I became more grey, I started to get a terrible “skunk stripe” after just a couple of weeks. I have transitioned from very dark hair to blond and now I get just some blond streaks every couple of months with no in between colour to cover the grey. I am thinking about not colouring at all next visit to the hair dresser and seeing how my hair looks after 4 months of growth instead of 2. Fingers crossed! I actually quite like my silver blond right now and get lots of compliments but I would love to not spend so much money!

  32. Grace says...

    This! Thank you for this! I started graying at 20 and in the decade since, I’ve only met a few other early grayers.

    My gray yellows with the hormonal changes of pregnancy, and I’ve always just dyed it brown until everything sorted itself out. I just had my third child, and I’m so excited to try these purple shampoos instead! I can’t believe I didn’t know they existed.

  33. Hillary says...

    I absolutely love this! I started seeing a ton of white hairs growing in a couple years ago when I was 29. I was getting married and had never dyed my hair so I took it as a chance to do something I’d always thought about and have some fun. Now, at 31, I find myself in a year of offering some grace and acceptance to myself. I’m finally doing the hard work to recover from years of an eating disorder and I find the work of accepting my body bleeding into other aspects of my life. I’m letting my white grow in and my curls come out. I now see it as a sign of growth. I never thought I would make it into my thirties so every new white strand is a reminder that I’m here and I’m making it.

  34. C.L. says...

    I love how many commenters are embracing their gray hairs! For the ones who aren’t quite ready to do so, I wanted to share what I use. It’s called Hairprint and it’s not a dye, but a hair color restorer. It can restore the original color to black, dark brown and light brown hair. It’s made of 8 food-grade ingredients, so it’s completely non-toxic. 20% of the proceeds are used to provide education to girls in developing countries. I don’t mean for this to sound like a sales pitch. I just really love this product (in fact, I just applied it on Sunday night) and I hope it can help women who are frustrated with hair dye!

  35. Miba says...

    Thanks for this unique story which reminds me of a request I have been meaning to make. This will probably get buried here but FWIW for some time I have been dying to ask you about doing some stories about middle age. Yes, I understand, that’s not a sexy topic but so many readers (myself include obviously) have been growing through their twenties, 30s, kids, first jobs etc. with Joanna. Supposedly the 30s are the decade of confidence and true self, but now I look at the internet and it tells me very little about life in the 40s. What is next? What is menopause really? Will I have to pump myself up with hormones? What happens to my vagina (seriously)? The lack of stories reminds about a time when no one talked about periods.
    I would love, love some Cup of Jo thinking on this. Many thanks xxx

    • Sandhya says...

      Totally agree — but I have to say that at 46, I in no way think of myself as middle-aged. It may help that I have a four-year-old, though!

    • Nicole Brant says...

      Yes! This. Having just turned 40, I also feel like everything is geared toward younger women.

    • Lindsey says...

      I totally agree – I’m 39 and on the precipice! Maybe also some articles about life with tweens. :-)

    • Grace says...

      Yes! It feels more and more like women between 40-60 just disappear in society’s eyes. I would love to see some attention given to these women. And especially to those who are childless not by choice.

    • Erin says...

      Me too! I’m coming up on 46 and am single without kids. Don’t feel to old to ask the twentysomethings about new music or too young to ask the sixtysomethings about how their relationships changed after menopause! It’s a weird place to be

  36. Emily says...

    I love this! I’m 32 and I’ve secretly loved going grey for about five years now. I get a bit wobbly in the lead up to my birthday every year and start to get freaked out about my lost youth (so dramatic. It was wasted on me anyway.) But then the day after my birthday the storm passes and I love my grey hair again.

  37. Cynthia says...

    I started going gray in my mid 40s, and coloring my hair with semi permanent color off and on for about 15 years. I stopped 3 years ago because my last home hair color job didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, and my grays are very resistant to color. I have a gray skunk streak in the front, which I like. I get low lights a couple of times a year to brighten my color, and my stylist likes my skunk streak too, so she doesn’t color it. To color or not is a personal decision, and I’m glad to see women embracing their gray hair.

  38. Merleb says...

    At 49 I argued with my stylist for a year till he finally relented and stripped my hair of the dye I’d been applying for years. Months later I had a full head of silvery gray hair and have never looked back. I get compliments all the time.
    His argument was: you’ll look OLD.
    My argument was: I look old with a head of dyed hair!
    With some blue shampoo and argon oil I have beautiful hair.

  39. Lindsay says...

    I think it’s admirable, and also totally foreign! My mother is almost 60, and she’s still blond. My grandmother just turned 82 yesterday. She’s still blond with gray patches. She colors those gray patches, but it’s amazing and weird and interesting how the gray has stayed away from the maternal side of my family. I’m 32; I’d be lying if I said that I’d happily accept gray hair. It’s not for me (or for my family, apparently), but keep on rocking it, girls who go gray!

  40. Em says...

    I’m 34, the greys have started and I plan to let them do their thang. Loved this post and I feel it’s liberating to embrace the grey.

  41. Christine says...

    I found my first grey at 18. Started coloring it at 25. After 30 yrs of coloring I’m done. I don’t want to keep it up.
    My sibs, who are still coloring think I’m going to look mousey …….it’s coming in white so I’m calling it ice.
    Boom 💥 I’m owning it.

  42. Tracie M. says...

    Thank you for highlighting these beautiful women. I’m 42 and my silver strands are coming in steadily. My dad went gray early, my mom still colors her hair (at almost 68). I get really tired of hearing how handsome men are with their salt and pepper hair, but how haggard and old women look. I don’t want to spend the time and money on coloring my hair regularly. I’m super lazy about hair maintenance, and I want to embrace aging as well as I can. Just today I got a haircut (first one in almost 9 months) and the stylist said, “well now, what are you going to do about color!?” I told her I was embracing the silver!

  43. Sarah says...

    I started to gray at 25 and it hasn’t progressed as quickly as I worried it might (I am 28 now and not much more gray), but I think I’ll just let it happen… We’ll see if I stick to that promise!

  44. kate says...

    i’m 29 and immediately got rid of each little gray I saw a year ago, when I first noticed them. But after a few months I realized it could be fun and beautiful. Now I let them go – I like to think they make me look wiser.

  45. AJ says...

    Love a silver mane! These women are all utterly gorgeous. I’ve never been too bothered by greying (I had alopecia in the past and suddenly having your hair fall out is a shocker) – BUT I have been dying my hair since my early teens and still doing it at 36. I have a load of greys underneath the dye, but that’s not why I colour my hair – I do it because I’m mousy, which basically means dull no-depth hair that’s always made me feel drab. Highlights brighten everything a little and I feel better for it, the same way putting on a power lipstick can make you feel ready to strut and face the day. It’s nothing to do with being against ageing or natural beauty. It’s just a little pep. I guess my point is, if you like your hair, awesome! If you don’t, then colour/style/cut it and don’t beat yourself up about it! You are still natural and beautiful and you whatever you choose 🙌

  46. Tawny says...

    I’ve always though early grey and early silver are GORGEOUS! BRAVO for this post and to the lovely ladies who keep it real and natural!

  47. Tiff says...

    I would love it if anyone in the comments (or at CoJ! Maybe Regan?) could chime in about how to go BACK to grey. I started getting grey hair when I was 10, and now at 33, am more than 80% grey.

    At this point, I look like a skunk every four weeks or so, and am SO tired of the expense (time and money) of going to the salon and the amount of time I spend thinking/worrying about my stupid hair. I would love to embrace the grey, and I’ve tried a couple of times to grow it out but it just looks so bad. I have been dying it my natural color (very dark brown) for almost 15 years, so it’s been processed too much to try and remove the color.

    My hairdresser says the best thing to do is to grow it out for a few months and then chop it super short, but YIKES, I am not ready for that big of a change yet. Is there another way??

    • Nicole says...

      A creative hairdresser solved this dilemma for me by adding both pure white and black highlights to my dyed blonde hair. It blurred the grow out phase and looked cool – kind of tweedy. He did this twice and then I cut it shorterwirhout ever having that harsh stripe.
      Now I love my long white ponytail and feel liberated from years of dyeing.

    • Kathryn says...

      A good colourist will be able to help you through the process with highlights and lowlights. Get them done every three months, reducing the amount of hair that is coloured each time.

    • Cathy says...

      I had been dyeing my hair for 20+ years (started greying in my early 20s) but hit my early 40s and decided that I was (a) sick of dyeing it and (b) curious what it looked like natural. I kept trying to let it grow out but the contrast between the grow out and dyed hair was always too jarring and I’d go back to coloring it. My stylist suggested that I work in more highlights and start using temporary dyes. Over the course of a year, we’d apply a slightly lighter shade of brown at each visit and continue blending in highlights (which eventually included sections where she didn’t apply any dye). It worked really well. Then I realized that as long as I saw any grey against any brown, I’d keep coloring it. I decided to take more drastic measures and cut my hair at the grow-out line. In other words, one day I went into the appointment with light brown hair below my shoulders and I left the appointment with a silver pixie. It was awesome! Seriously. Best thing EVER. Nice thing is that if you don’t like it, just wait (hair grows!) and/or dye it again.

  48. Jessica says...

    Part of the reason for insecurity about grey hair is what comes out of other people’s mouths regarding it. My mil was fully grey in college. She had all of her kids in her 20’s, yet was constantly asked if those were her grandkids by strangers. Which really, this is just a reminder for people to think before they speak, with it becoming more and more common for women to give birth well into their 40’s.

  49. Annie Place says...

    Healthy, confident, sexy gray! After dying my hair repeatedly for over 35 years, I decided to take my healthy lifestyle a step further. In my early 50’s, ongoing skin rashes began to eat away at my skin and my Dr. dared me to go natural. My husband, my kids and grandson really love the change and tell me the new look fits my outgoing personality. My short, gray mane is so sexy, I actually feel years younger! I use my purple shampoo and straight coconut oil. Freedom! Do it ladies!! I dare you!

  50. Kirsten says...

    My mom started going grey in her 30s and never even thought about coloring her hair, despite lots of negative comments from her mother. Now that she’s in her 60s it’s the most gorgeous silver but still dark underneath—it looks so fantastic in a twist! Because of my mom I’ve also always planned to let myself grey, though I’ll admit it’s still tough to find those whites creeping in in my early 30s…

  51. Kathryn Bagg says...

    At 72, I am very comfortable with my grey hair. It makes me sad to see women my age who are still colouring their hair. They aren’t fooling anyone, and darker shades are so aging. After years of getting highlights, I left it to go natural once I turned 60. No regrets. Fortunately my hair is thick. I wear it shoulder length. Granted some effort goes into the care and styling, but not a lot, and it is worth it to me. I feel good, and receive compliments all the time. Don’tnegl Your hair as it turns grey. It can still be your crowning glory.

  52. Maria says...

    LOVE this!
    I’m soon to be 50, but found my first grey at 16. Had a few in my 20s and then in my 30s i started dyeing it. I colored my hair as a teen, but that was all for fun, never to hide my natural color (extremely dark brown).

    In my late 30s-early 40s i was really tiring of the dyeing, especially since i could clearly tell i had SO MUCH GREY and the upkeep would be nuts. My husband wanted me to color, otherwise i’d probably have stopped sooner. not sure why, but around 45 i said that’s it – and stopped the dye. All i can say is i should’ve done so sooner! i get SO MANY compliments on my silver-grey color it’s ridiculous. I have long, curly hair and i must admit – i do really like the color. sure, i definitely am not taken for 30 anymore, but let’s be honest, i probably wouldn’t anymore in any case. people still think i am younger than i am, so just shows hair color alone doesn’t age you – it’s the whole package. i am happier and happier in my own skin – and hair color – as i age. it’s a great feeling to be comfortable in one’s self.

  53. Carla says...

    45 and lots of grey.
    Jokingly asked husband if I should start colouring it.
    He said “No way, every time I see the grey hairs it reminds me of how long we’ve been together and what a great life we have”
    <3

    • Rebecca says...

      I noticed my first gray at 29 or 30. It turned into a streak that I started coloring at around 35. I am 43 now and haven’t colored in over a year. As my streak got bigger I realized I just wasn’t up for the cost or effort of the increasingly intense upkeep — and the longer you stay in the game, the harder it is to get out. For me, laziness wins over vanity almost every time — and I also really have loved seeing more women my age (or younger!) embrace the gray. Men do it routinely; why shouldn’t we? Plus I like my streak. When I was a kid my mom told me stories about her grandmother and described her hair as looking like a skunk — one day I was looking in the mirror and it hit me, that’s where I get it!

      A couple of points/questions:
      -does anyone really have “gray” hairs? My “grays” are all white — and I’ve been assuming we just call it gray b/c brown/black mixed with white looks gray. Is this wrong?
      -I’ve heard people describe women around my age — or older — with gray hair as “prematurely gray” — but I wonder if that’s really true? I’m pretty good at picking out hair that’s been colored, and when I look around, I think a lot of women my age are coloring. I wish women could feel like it’s normal to have gray hair in their thirties and forties (and of course those who gray before that should feel great too!).

    • Quinn says...

      Carla — that is so lovely!! :)

  54. I have a friend in her 40’s? Early 50’s? No idea. But she’s been a beautiful melange of grey and silver since I met her years ago. She recently went platinum silver and it’s so sparkly and gorgeous! I’m jealous. Mine’s slowly coming in……white! Hoping it will be totally white by 50 (44 now).

  55. Christie says...

    It’s body-positive posts like this that make me feel a lot more comfortable with going grey. I’m 35 and have a decent speckle of grey now (especially around the temples), but I don’t mind.
    Honestly, with everything we have to keep up with in our lives, we have to draw the line somewhere before we say ‘this is ridiculous’, and worrying about going grey is where that line is for me. Going grey is inevitable, like laugh lines or sagging skin, and I’m excited for all of it.

  56. Michaela says...

    I’m naturally red haired – and I have no idea, how it’ll look getting grey! I never saw a red haired person changing to grey… So if anybody out there knows some about that – I’m glad to hear!

    • sara says...

      Hi there…my stylist who also does my red headed friend hair tells me that red heads often go blonde (rather than grey). That is indeed what is happening to my friend.

    • Iz says...

      They aren’t actually grey hairs – they are white hairs which mixed with dark hair create the impression of grey. Red will just gradually get lighter and lighter until it’s all white. Beautiful!

    • Sheila says...

      Hi Michaela, I’m a redhead, too. I’m 51 years old and I have never colored my hair. People ask me all the time if I have highlights. I’ve seen way too many bad red dye jobs to ever think of coloring my hair. Good luck!

  57. Sheila says...

    I distinctly remember finding several “first” greys at about 20. I pulled them out immediately. Now at 34, I have a head of greys (more than 60%), that I pay to get colored. It’s an expensive habit to maintain and, quite frankly, almost pointless, as I have a steady line of grey roots two weeks post color.

    Meanwhile, my over 60 momma didn’t get her first grey until 40 and still has much less than me.

    I’m not ready to accept the grey— I appreciate these women and are envious that they have accepted it as beautiful.

  58. bernadette keating says...

    Is there any shampoo especially for
    Gray / Silver hair .
    I am having a hard time trying to find one. I am really suprised about that there are millions of women in this world with gray hair and no shampoo to cater for them.
    Can anybody suggest some.

    • Mouse says...

      Bernadette,

      As many of the posters say, there are blue and purple shampoos that work very well for grey hair. Clairol Shimmer Lights is one, and Aveda Blue Malva another. Good luck with your beautiful grey hair!

  59. Michaela says...

    My Mom is 64 and the youngest of six women. Most of them went very silver in their early 30’s but my Mom’s hair is still a very beautiful brown. Her sister Bridget always teased her that you have to earn your grey hair! Ha!

    I have to beg my husband to not dye his hair black. I love his silver temples. So HOT!

    • Amy says...

      My redheaded boyfriend is going gray at 35 on the sides of his red beard. I love it too! Makes him look so distinguished and sexy.

  60. Kara says...

    Love this feature and agree that women should do what they want with their hair, dye or not! I’ve been coloring my hair for most of the past two decades (well before I got my first stress-induced greys), and I’m over it. I have so few hours to myself as a mom of two young kids that I no longer want to spend any of them making endless small talk with my stylist. I’ve been worried about how the grey will look as I grow the old color out, so this is very inspiring.

  61. Ashley says...

    I’m 34 and not going grey … but I really want to! My alternative, to me, is much less fun: female pattern baldness runs in my family. By the time my mom was my age, she was already wearing a hairpiece. She now wears a full wig. She looks beautiful, but her hairstyle (short and curly) works really well for wigs, but I can’t imagine that for me! I try to take really good care of it (sulfate-free shampoos, I’ve never colored it, I take supplements specifically for strong hair), but I know it won’t be there forever. I dread the day I notice it thinning!

  62. Bridey says...

    Yess! I’ve been waiting for this post! I found my first gray hair in my early twenties and now in my mid thirties there’s a lot.

    I love seeing photos of women rocking their gray hair, it helps relieve the continual low grade pressure to colour mine.

    Ultimately the hassle/expense/chemicals is enough to put me off though!

  63. Beautiful and encouraging posts and comments. I love when people share their experience with something what women usually used to hide and never speak of – hair of any colour anywhere, especially! My mom had grey hair ever since I can remember and often got confused for my grandma rather than mom. It used to make me sad but she looks great with her hair. I was always scared I will start going grey really early like she did – around 15 – but I am in my mid-twenties now and no grey hair. But whenever they come I will be ready to love them just as much as I love my mom.

  64. B says...

    I’ve recently transitioned my hair to its natural color, including a lot of gray. I’m turning 40 in a month and felt that I needed to embrace my natural color. I wanted to transition before I felt old; I thought that changing to gray would be harder if I felt old. Overall my hair is healthier and the color looks so much better with my skin tone rather than my dyed hair. I’m so happy to have done this.

  65. Laura says...

    Anne Kreamer’s Going Gray is a great deep dive into these issues, and a fun read to boot.

  66. cs says...

    I started getting gray hairs when I was 18, maybe younger, and would immediately pluck them when I noticed. Growing up I had an aunt who had a gray streak that I loved and I always admired Stacy London’s streak so when I started getting a few all in the same area in the front I decided to keep them! Now I leave all of my grays despite some unpleasant reactions. My manager once asked me how old I was and when I answered her (23) she told me I was too young to be going gray. Thanks? I also recently had a coworker come up behind me, point out a gray, and ask to pluck it. No thank you I’m actually keeping them…

  67. Molly B. says...

    Gray hair shows you are so classy, chic, cool, and confident. The color softens one’s face and is so beautiful (i think the texture is more wiry than other hair so it looks good in a variety of cuts). Personally I think women who dye there hair look harsh, unnatural, and like they are trying to run away from something.

  68. Cat says...

    I remember finding my first grey hair on my 24th birthday in the dressing room of TJ Maxx in Hilton Head. SO specific! I was stunned and sad and about to get married. I’m 41 now and I feel like I see more and more every day and my naturally curly hair makes it look even more wild and crazy. I wish they were in a streak or in more of a specific location like beautiful Christin in the interviews, but who knows. I’m inspired to let them come in and own it – and maybe try the pomade she recommended! ;)

  69. Leslie says...

    Until around last year, when I was 43, I hardly had any grays – I was so grateful that I had held out this long without having to color, and I figured that mid-40’s was a more than appropriate age to go gray, and when the time came I would just let it come naturally. However, this past year, the grays have come in quickly, and I find that I am just not so willing to let them be. I have started with a semi-permanent color, and I find myself still plucking the obvious grays. On a rational level, it makes no sense, especially since my husband’s hair is all white (and has been since before I met him 5 years ago). But on an emotional level, I think I might stick with the color just a little bit longer. My mom colored hers until she lost her hair in breast cancer treatment in her 60’s – she let it grow back white, and it is beautiful – it compliments her skin tone, and she has it in such a fun short style that I love. But I am not there yet, I guess!

  70. Maria says...

    I’ve always had random gray hairs since I was about 7 years old, and my dear grandmother would call them ‘wisdom hairs.’ Now, at almost 38, I’ve noticed I’m starting to gray in my uh nether regions, if you get my drift. Upon discovery, I instantly flashed back to the SATC where Samantha discovered hers and said ‘no one wants to f*ck grandma’s…..’ and chuckled. While it’s taken some getting used to, it’s definitely humbling to realize that yes, I’m getting older.

  71. Daisy says...

    Thank you for this articles. I am 37. I think I started having gray hair in my late 20s but since last yr it has become very prominent. I work from home and have to travel occasionally to meet with the clients. Women are somehow expected to dress up and look perfect to be taken seriously. I have this client meeting coming up in a couple of weeks and was thinking today morning if I need to dye my hair. Now I think, I will just go rock with my gray hair and look wiser:)

  72. kim says...

    I have always had jet black hair. Now in my 30s, I am getting more and more pure white. I occasionally dyed my hair non-natural colors when younger, but since black is such a hard color to “get right” I don’t bother covering up the white. I do get comments, but they aren’t necessarily negative, and even if they are, it doesn’t bother me. There does seem an overwhelming sense that I SHOULD cover the white strands, but I never listen to convention. Besides, who wouldn’t want a Rogue from X-Men streak of white?

    Granted, if I start to be a grey that clashes with my skin tone, I MAY dye it, as I have nothing AGAINST doing so.

    But now? I’m totally rocking the white/grey!

  73. witloof says...

    I’m 61 and stopped coloring my hair about twelve years ago. I’m about 40% grey now and I like the way it looks. My eyebrows are grey, which gives me a washed out appearance, so I dye them with Godefry eyebrow coloring, which is a true miracle product.

  74. anne says...

    I’m getting many new white hairs as I enter my 30’s. I didn’t do it to cover up the white hairs (I like them and I’m hoping I go entirely silver!), but when I got dumped a couple of months ago, I dyed my hair red which has been a ton of fun. When I start getting more white hair though, I think I’ll quit it with the red and go properly silver. I love seeing women with their natural grey/white hair!

  75. H says...

    This is so encouraging!
    I found my first grey hair at age 15 and plucked it out in a panic. A year later I found the next one and die the same. Finally, when I was 18 and saw “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” for the first time, I realised that I would never have great hair Like Aunt Voula of I kept on plucking them out – worse, I’d probably end up with bald patches. So I simply stopped and encouraged them to form a grey streak.
    I’m 28 now, have a slight streak (and some random strays) the comments went from “You should do something about them, it makes you look messy” to “Is that a grey streak? I hate you! That looks so good!”
    The secret to going grey? Confidence and excitement. I counter every mean spirited “Are you going…grey?” with an enthusiastic “Yesssss and it will look fabulous!”.
    Also hair icons. Mine are (besides Aunt Voula) Alannah Myles, Jane Campion and Bellatrix Lestrange (sorry).

  76. Katie says...

    Could you do a week of outfit posts for Suzie? I also have super short hair, which is not common, and I love her style!
    Thank you!!

  77. Gina says...

    Love this post!
    57 and have little bits coming in….
    Not sure I am ready.
    Recently had breast cancer and lost it all. I was OK with that to be honest…however, my hair went from straight to curly.
    Right now I am embracing this NEW me!!!

    • Gen says...

      Good for you Gina!!!! Congratulations on your recovery. Here’s to embracing new beginnings.

    • Jeannie says...

      Sending you lots of well wishes on this awesome, exciting step to NEW you! Sounds like you went through so much to get here!

    • Laura C. says...

      I wish you all the best! This reminds me a friend of mine who after her breast cancer, her hair went from very slightly curly to totally curly too!
      You rock Gina!!

  78. Twyla says...

    Ladies, this is VERY tough for me. I dye my hair and don’t want to stop. I love the idea that greying naturally is beautiful, and I certainly cheer women on who decide to do that, but it’s just not for me right now. I feel like it would age me a good 15 years. Maybe when I’m 60, I’ll be ready to stop.

    • riye says...

      Keep doing what makes you feel good or is right for you. My mom and grandma both dyed their hair and felt like they were very glam when they got home from the salon. Sometimes grandma dyed her hair at home and ended up with super black hair that looked like a cutout around her head but she still felt beautiful. :-D

    • Rachel says...

      Yeah, I am conflicted too. I had short hair for 20 years and colored it at home but when I grew it out 4 years ago it was a harsh awakening. I am 49 and thankfully have good skin, and just get highlights, but I am not fully into it. Go back and forth esp interviewing for jobs – I am worried it ages me.

    • Monica says...

      I feel you, girl! I’m a brunette and found my first grey hair at 18 and I’m 44 now. I use semi-perm color and touch up every two weeks. I really feel like brown hair is what I am meant to look like! My mom went fully grey in her 40s and I remember people asking if she was my grandmother. :( I think silver haired women are SO beautiful but I am still so nervous to take the plunge!!

  79. Emm says...

    I turned 30 in the summer, and a week ago I realised that some of my hairs on the top of my head (or those are the ones I see..) were a different texture. I have Scandinavian hair, where the hairs are individually thin, but lots of it. My hair is slightly curly and gets frizzy from humidity, so hairs pointing all directions isn’t something I usually think about. But last week I flat ironed it and noticed all these thick, dark-ish hairs sticking up. “I’m going grey!” First thought was horror, as I am a child of my generation and have been thought that it’s something to be ashamed of, but in second though I was more like:”hm. Ok. I guess I’m changing” end of story. I realised that at the moment I don’t care if I go grey. Maybe I’ll colour it in a few years. Maybe I don’t. But it doesn’t really matter, it’s just hair after all. A friend of mine recently lost her hair due to chemotherapy (also 30 yo) so I’m trying to love every strand of hair, no matter colour.

    • Kirsten says...

      Whhhaaaaaat?! I had no idea there was such thing as “Scandinavian hair”. This is a thing? You described my hair perfectly, and I am of Scandinavian heritage, but I have never heard of that as a type!

  80. Heather says...

    I found my first gray hair at 18 and the silver began slowly and then quickly weaving its way throughout my hair. When I was around 36 or 37 I overheard my colorist say I had more than 50% gray in my hair and I felt myself tear up…I was utterly stunned. I had been coloring it to cover the gray, so I really had no idea how much was there. I’ll always be grateful to my husband who encouraged me to embrace it, which gave me the courage to consider it. No women in my family had ever done that so it had never even crossed my mind. At 40, I finally stopped covering the gray…and it was so freeing! I see now that constantly trying to keep up the color (a never-ending battle!), and quite literally trying to cover up who I was made me feel so unattractive. But, what has surprised me the most is all the positive compliments I get, mostly from women in their 20s, who tell me how much they love it. I never would’ve thought it, but embracing my gray hair at 43 somehow makes me feel cool and even kind-of edgy in a way that I never did when I was trying to hide it.

  81. Sasha L says...

    I know it’s such a prevalent attitude in our culture, but the idea expressed in a great many comments, that grey/silver/white hair makes one look older than one’s years, and that this is such a negative, saddens me so much. I know no one is being insulting, it’s just a given, that to look young is better, that young is beautiful, that if you can choose, choose to look young. I just wish there was more self reflection about how shitty that is. If any of us are lucky, we too will someday be *old*, and won’t we still want to believe we are beautiful? I’m only 45 and all of these comments are making me wonder if I look *old* for my age because of my silver hair (which is really silky, sparkly, long and wavy and pretty)…….. Why do we perpetuate these tired and unfair beliefs to each other?

    • Kari T. says...

      Love this comment. I thought the same thing. In the same breath we say the gray is so beautiful and I still look “young for my age”. That qualifier has such a strange and negative vibe to it. I am guilty of this myself. My new goal will be to feel beautiful at any age not despite my age.

  82. Nicole Holman says...

    I think I’ve quite romanticized gray hair! I don’t have any grays yet at 25, but I can so see myself with my long silver hair pushed up in a bun as I garden or bake :-) idk, seeing women with gray hair has always made me feel very warm toward them, nothing to hide!

  83. Erin says...

    you guys are ANGELS for doing this post. feeling so much better about the stray gray’s I’ve been finding!

  84. Afton says...

    I’ve taken the plunge recently and am growing out my silver hair. I’m 37 and have been coloring to cover the greys since my early 20’s. It’s hereditary in my family, my sister who is 3 years younger has let her silver hair shine for the past 10 years now, she sparkles and definitely inspired me to go au naturel. It’s been about 9 months now and I have about 4 inches of growth, with the rest the old box color, its sort of ombre-ish. I’ve received sooo many compliments ever since I started the process. I can’t wait for it to be all silver!

    • Ashley says...

      Hi! Thanks for sharing your story, I’m 37 too and am growing so weary coloring my hair every 6 weeks. Question for you and any other readers out there with advice—-how does one gracefully go gray when you are our age? How does one go from coloring their hair to gray in a way that still looks professional and polished? I envy friends w just a few individual strands scattered throughout and those with Snow White or silvery hair!

    • Heather says...

      Ashley, to answer your question…first you need a hairdresser that is on board and embraces going gray! My previous one had a “must cover at all costs” attitude that didn’t help me feel encouraged. When I switched to a new stylist who was more encouraging, I felt much better about it. She helped me through the transition with two cycles of highlights to soften the growing out process, and then we just let it go from there. A good cut is essential too. Without it, the gray can look frumpy. Best of luck! I promise it will be worth it!

  85. veronica says...

    what a beautiful post! I had my first white hair with 14, and that was the moment, that I realized, I might be totally gray in my mid thirties. I can truly relate to the fear, maybe not keeping my long brown hair with a beautiful colur ( I get a lot of compliments for it) forever, and also about the part, maybe not even having a partner, that got to know me with my hair still brown, but now, being 38, and having lots of white stripes (so that you can clearly see them even on a photo), I love it. Sure, I use it to sometimes point out to younger colleagues for example “You baby, look at me, been here for a while”, but still, I take it with a lot of humor and I really like, what I see, when I look into the mirror, and I am curios, if I will turn totally white, or stay grayish, or how it will turn out. Looking at other (esepcially younger) gray ladies really inspires me. I will definitely not color my hair – it was a hard step for my mum to go from colouring her hair almost all her life to let it grow out last year – and she looks more beautiful than ever with it. So natural, even her skin looks different now, and she can wear different shapes of rose and pastel stuff, that never worked on her before.
    One thing though, is, my white hair really doesn’t “behave” like my other hair so fair. All my white hairs just do, whatever they want. Must figure out a way for that….

  86. Nina says...

    Thank you for this! I started getting white hairs in my late 20s and my main feeling has always been that I don’t want to start a battle with reality in which I’ll have to continually escalate my tactics and will still eventually lose. Acceptance seems healthier as well as much cheaper! And these women make it look so good, too.

  87. Andrea says...

    YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS! My people– they are all so gorgeous. I have stopped colouring my hair a few years ago at 38 and I have strangers come up to me and say ” wow!! It looks so great. You are so brave. I could never pull it off”. It is my hair, nothing brave about my hair growing out of my head. It seems so insane as my husband is also going gray and no one ever approaches him and commends him for his act of bravery ;)!! My mom who dyes her hair on the reg is convinced people are going to be confused who is the mom and who is the daughter. Uh no mom no one thinks I am 66 years old. Honestly I think it is actually a very significant acceptance of the aging process and celebrating ourselves as we were created.

  88. Lu says...

    Has anyone else found a grey hair DOWN THERE??

    • marcy says...

      yes

    • Alison says...

      Yes. You are talking about pubic hair. It goes grey, too.

    • Mary says...

      That’s the real shocker!

  89. Sasha L says...

    Oh, thank you for this!! I always say I’m happy with myself just as I am (silver blonde at 45, color started going in early 20s) but sometimes I do feel insecure and this post felt like a huge warm hug. These ladies are just beautiful. So grateful to be confident enough to be in this club!

  90. Yesss Franny!! Encouraged to embrace the gray.

  91. Wendy says...

    This kind of post is why I keep checking in with cupofjo. These ladies are gorgeous.

  92. Leah says...

    Thank you for this!! I found my first gray hair in my mid-twenties and now at 33, they seem to be everywhere! They’re not very noticeable from afar but it makes me very self-conscious and I always wear my hair up in a ponytail to hide them. I miss being able to braid my hair because the grays are more visible in the under layers of my hair – Heidi braids are my favorite! I’ve been dying my roots with a semi-permanent dye which I really love but it’s expensive to keep up with. I’m also currently pregnant and not being able to dye my hair for the next 6 months makes me more than a little anxious! My mom likes to point out how she didn’t start turning gray until her 40’s which makes me feel worse. So thanks again for sharing these beautiful women rocking their grays! So inspiring!

    • Anonymous says...

      Would a henna dye be safe for you while pregnant? It’s awesome to go grey, but just in case you want THAT color, it’s okay to do ;) I occasionally dye loved ones hair for them with henna from a natural food store and the only ingredients (2!!) are henna and indigo.

    • Elizabeth says...

      I’m 33, too, and found my first grey in my teens. I know I’m not dedicated enough to keep up with hair dye (can’t even keep nail polish looking decent…), so I never considered it. Now I’m probably about 1/3 grey, and it’s super obvious because I have chin-length, curly black hair and there’s no hiding it. I get compliments all the time about it – I say you should braid away and you’ll be surprised at all the positive comments rolling in! :) Congratulations on your little one, too. You’re doing great, Mama!

  93. Danielle says...

    I absolutely loved the words of these ladies and of so many who commented about embracing their age and experience. I would add that like so many things (makeup, clothes, skin care) it’s easy to dismiss one person’s choice as frivolous or shallow or a waste of time. The intentions that go into one’s appearance and the time and money spent on it are so complicated.
    I love the idea as someone said “reframing” the idea that gray hair is aging or unattractive for some reason but I guess I also just wanted say if you want to dye your gray hair, that’s cool too.

    • Chelsea says...

      This is my first post although I’ve been a Cup of Jo reader for as long as it’s been around! This hits home for me. I’m 32 but have been graying since mid-20’s…it has become more noticeable after each of my two children. I’m the only woman in my family to let my hair be its natural color and it’s hard. At work most women, even those far older than me, color their hair (and have the telltale roots to prove it). I’ve experimented with hair dye – and Botox! – and in both cases ultimately came to the decision that aging is something you can spend a lot of time, energy, and money fighting…but aging is unavoidable, and self-acceptance is free!

  94. Ro says...

    When I was 25, my friend was French braiding my hair when she loudly announced she’d spotted a gray strand. I remember my head spinning as I, for the first time, came face to face with my own mortality. But then I found out my mom also got a few grays in her 20s, and suddenly felt like I had a new lease on life. Since then I’ve decided that I’ll let my hair go gray whenever it decides to fully shift that way. (Today, a few years later, my white strands still aren’t that noticeable.) I think a silver haired lady is positively regal and will be happy to become one.

  95. Lisat says...

    Can you talk more about the gloss–I’m assuming you get this done at the salon? What exactly do you ask for? Thanks!

  96. Robin says...

    I think these comments really highlight how difficult it is to break a social norm. Even something as simple as not dying your hair is such a big issue! At 31, I have lots of grey, which I don’t think is unusual for women my age. Sometimes I get frustrated at other women dying their hair, because they make us natural women look older than our years, compared to all the fakers out there. At the same time, I’m getting tired of the frequent comments from my family and random people (like the liquor store cashier, coworkers, and my husband’s friends) which are certainly not compliments. So I’m thinking about dying it. I’ve decided that I don’t need my appearance to be an activist statement. My career is very much an activist-type career, and I break a few other social norms, so I don’t need to take on another activist role. Plus, I’m excited to see how it will look. I miss my chestnut brown hair. I respect people who make either decision.

  97. Jen says...

    My friend who is 30 just colored her hair gray! It’s very in style now and I gotta say she looks very futuristic.

  98. Briana says...

    Can you do a Beauty Routine with Ty?! That skin! And lipstick! I want to know what she is doing!!

    • Liz says...

      Second this!

  99. Irina says...

    I got my first gray hairs around age 24-25, earlier than my parents. I’m now 36 and have quite a lot of gray, especially in front and around the temples. It’s not super-noticeable at a distance but very obvious up close. No big swaths of gray, more salt and pepper style I guess. I hate doing ANYTHING to my hair other than washing, combing while wet, and then forgetting about it, so, needless to say, I’ve never even considered coloring.

    I’ve never been particularly upset about the gray, nor have I felt proud. Just part of life I guess. The only thing that does bug me somewhat, especially as the proportion of gray increases, is that my hair texture is changing, with more of those coarse, unruly hairs that stubbornly stick up and sideways out of my curls, and the curls themselves becoming less silky and tight. I’ve always liked my curly hair and felt it was special (REALLY don’t understand naturally curly women who straighten their hair), so this did come as a bit of a bummer.

    Another minor annoyance has involved my parents, who interpreted my early graying as a sign of extreme stress and would bring it up periodically while sadly shaking their heads with an expression of pity on their faces. Going a step further, they attribute the gray-hair-causing stress to my husband. There is no convincing them otherwise, so I just let it go and tell them I like the way I look.

  100. Ali says...

    Mum would dye her hair any shade of black, brown and grey but I always thought that they looked terrible. When she stopped dying it and embraced her white hair (maybe in her 50s), she just looked so lovely. The white suited her skin tone so much and I made up my mind then as a teenager to just let my hair be.

    I haven’t really actively looked for grey hairs. By the occasional glint in the mirror, I know they have been there and multiplying since my early 20s. I have a noticable and quite lovely slowly increasing white stripe. It is my favourite part about my grey hair. I really am looking forward to having long curly grey hair. I love seeing it on other ladies and think it looks great.

  101. Joanna says...

    I had been coloring my hair since my 30s, and decided that I would stop at 50. At 48 I was tired of all the expense and effort, so I started planning how I would go gray. Then one day I just cut it all off and have been loving the new cut and “sparkles”. I wished I had done it sooner. I see all the time and money spent when I look at the box of hair ties, headbands, clips, brushes, product, etc. that I collected and will never use again.

  102. Emily says...

    I started going gray at 17, and wondered if it was because I always said as a kid that I couldn’t wait to go gray, that I wanted silver hair. Lucky for me, they are silvery!

    I’ve never used conventional hair dye, but I used henna from LUSH to make my hair even more coppery than it naturally is from about 24 until 6 months ago (now 30). I just got tired of how intense the process is (it took me most of a day!) and curious to see if I can pull off these grays.

    I am struggling a bit to stay committed to growing it out, though. I have melasma – dark spots on my face – originally a hormonal birth control side effect, and worsening now that I’m pregnant – and I worry that the combo of grays + very uneven skin tone makes me look a lot older than I am. My husband and I both have baby faces, but I feel like lately those comments have stopped coming my way and I can’t help but wonder if I look like I’m prematurely aging 😔

  103. Lily says...

    I’m 35 and I’ve been grey for a while now :-) I’ve vaguely considered coloring my hair at the beginning but… My husband begged me not to, he loves it that way ! Short grey hair, cute glasses, it’s my style for now ;-)

  104. Hope says...

    I started graying at 30 (now 32). I have light brown hair, and I get a gloss that picks up my gray strands and blondes them out. I love the gloss; it makes my hair look kind of auburny! It washes out after about 6 weeks so I don’t worry about roots. I also have a pixie cut, so I’m at the salon every 2 months anyway! It’s a very low key system that works for me .

    • Lisat says...

      Can you talk more about the gloss–I’m assuming you get this done at the salon? What exactly do you ask for? Thanks!

    • Gen says...

      What’s the gloss?

    • Hope says...

      My stylist suggested gloss when i said I wasn’t ready to deal with coloring my hair but still wanted to do something with the grays coming in. I’m not an expert but I think it’s a little more….translucent than dye? You have to pick out the color you want from swatches, and my stylist explains how my hair will “pick up” certain shades. It lightens up my brown hair a bit and turns my gray hairs blonde, and subtley washes out eventually.

      Anyway, I hope that helps. If you’re in NYC, I go to Foxy Salon in Greenpoint and have been loyal to the salon for 6+ years.

  105. Laura says...

    I’m into the whole “let it be” ethos, but i’ve been dying my hair regularly (for fun) since i was probably 16. My hair color is pretty blah without the little lift it gets from coloring, but now i’m noticing gray hairs coming in and wish there was a way to color and leave the gray at the same time.
    I guess my question is, how do you gradually make the shift from dark hair to gray, without really terrible root situations??

    • Tricia says...

      Yes, please, more info on this! I’m in the same boat. Not quite ready to stop coloring, but how do you do it gracefully when you are ready (without shaving your head)? Right now, my hair is medium brown and the roots are stark white when the start growing in.

    • Alex says...

      I also color mine and my hairdresser told me that there is a salon treatment that strips the hair of dye so you can get your full head of gray all at once. I’ve not done it myself but I keep it in mind in case I stop dying it one day. That may be worth looking into!

    • Rachel says...

      I have brown hair and it is prob 50/50 grey. I have a large white section up front. I get highlights actually. I was previously coloring my whole head + highlights but it was such a hassle. The highlights don’t fully cover the grey; it is woven in pretty well so I can go 8 weeks before the brown hair shows up. I am blonde in front and natural/not colored in the back. I also had breast cancer 4 years ago and want to avoid color on my scalp. I go to a great Aveda salon here in NYC called FourteenJay.

    • Allison says...

      I wonder if the “gloss” that was mentioned above can help with this? I’m in the same boat…dark brown hair that I’ve been dying for 10+ years now. And I don’t know how to quit…or if I want to yet.

  106. Camille says...

    A famous French fashion author recently told her story of going grey in a book. She documented the transformation on her instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/sophiefontanel/) and she now advocates for grey hair.
    My mom followed her example and proudly wears her hair white after decades of coloring it. She looks wonderful with her fair skin, white hair and large and bright red glasses.
    I’m 32 and after freaking out and plucking the first few grey hairs, I just let it be.

  107. Sandra says...

    Interesting post! I’ve always hated that women (and men, but definitely women more so) are told that natural parts of aging are a problem that need to be fixed. That said, I’m the 51-year-old mom of a 2nd grader and there is no way I’m ready to stop coloring my hair. I am not ready to start getting mistaken for his Grandma, since I’m sure that will happen soon enough.

    I think it might be easier to go gray when you are younger since the rest of you still looks young. But once you hit your 50s and start growing lots of chin hair, your head hair starts to thin, your upper arms get saggy, you develop front-of-leg cellulite (I could handle it when it was in the back and I couldn’t see it, but WTH!), and you start to develop weird age spots, having my hair color not change too just makes me feel a little more like myself.

    • Eloise says...

      I don’t have a young child, but could have written the second paragraph myself.

    • Nadege says...

      I’m in your boat. I’m loving all these empowered “bring on the grey” attitudes, but personally I’m struggling to embrace aging.

  108. Mary Patrick says...

    I found myself urgently looking for a new job when I was 58, a hard age to be out knocking doors. I have salt and pepper hair, going quite gray on top. But I’m blessed with a nice, non-wrinkly complexion. Friends advised me to color my hair to appear younger and I did it for the first time and I hate it. Even though it’s well done and has some nice colors, I feel like I’m wearing a dumb hat. I can’t wait until it I can cut it off.

  109. Liz says...

    These women are all so beautiful. They are totally rocking their grey. Makes me want to let my hair go grey when I’m older.

  110. Val says...

    I have chocolate brown hair and started noticing grays here and there in my early 20’s, got pregnant at 24, and it was like an express train to Graytown after that – I think the stress and sleep deprivation accelerated the process. I am 31 now and I have them scattered all over and then a LOT in one specific patch up front which is usually covered by how I side-part my hair, but I still dye it every 6 weeks. I have dark brown hair and the root cover-up appointment, while an errand for sure, is painless and not that expensive IMO (I live in a small east coast city and it is under $50 including tip).

    I am really attached to having my dark hair and I can’t imagine giving up this simple luxury for at least another 10 years, maybe even 20! The average age of my workplace is 24 years old and I just can’t imagine being the only person there with gray hair.

    Would love another post from women who do cover up their grays, just to get another perspective. The women featured in this post look stunning with their hair as is.

    • Mimi says...

      I resisted dyeing my hair for 20 years. Now I’m 43 with a 4 year old and recently decided to go with a semi-permanent dye. I LOVE it!! I even got carded (almost started jumping up and down and doing a happy dance). I feel young, I’m not ready to look as old as the gray makes me look. I think the point is to do what makes you happy. Gray, purple, whatever. I say go for it! Before dyeing my hair I would get complimented on my “silver and gold” streaked brown hair, but the “gold” disappeared after pregnancy. I needed something to brighten things up. I’m glad I went for it. It’s kinda fun to see the new “me” every time I look in the mirror..and I can always let the dye fade out. Win-win.

    • D says...

      Like many things, I think it is easier to go grey if you are young and it can be a fashion statement, or if you are settled in your career, etc. When you are a bit older, changing jobs or industries, etc., it becomes less neat and cool, and more another step towards invisibility. In my mid-40s, single, in an industry where top women are told to not be seen going grey, I color, and am fine with it.

  111. Marney says...

    So tough! I started regularly dying my hair maybe around 37 to cover up the gray. I feel like if there was a way for it to grown in better, I wouldn’t mind it. But I don’t want years of weird lengths of gray and varying amounts. I’m 41 now, I might feel differently in a few years. This summer I actually went about four months in between appointments – at first the gray growth bothered me, but by the end, I didn’t really notice.

  112. Caitlin Keturi says...

    my mom just turned 65 and started going gray at 30 (right after my brother was born – ha!) and then cut it all off into a shorter pixie. when i was younger i used to look at old photos of her and her beautiful wavy dark brown hair and thinks she was crazy. but it’s so “her”…people stop and recognize her in random places because they’ve seen her running or somewhere around town and it’s because of the hair!

  113. Sarah says...

    Ahh… well I just got my greys covered up yesterday (I go every 8 weeks for a semi-permanent root job). This is my rule: I’ll let myself go grey when Kate Middleton does! We have the same coloring and we’re about the same age, so I consider her my “hair role model.”

    These women look amazing, I’m just not ready yet!

  114. Julie says...

    I found my first gray at 17. Now, at 38, I’m at least half gray, according to my roots. One day I will embrace it and go full Emmylou Harris, but now is not the time.

    • Brooke says...

      Yes- Emmylou is the epitome of grey hair and grace. We named our black rescue pup after her and slowly Lou’s hair is turning grey just like her namesake. It’s perfect.

  115. Hani says...

    After the birth of my second child, I stopped coloring my hair. Our family grays young, so it was no surprise to see quite a bit of tinsel coming through.
    I had decided to just let it be, but, it’s not the gray that bothers me. It’s the crazy wonky texture! No haircut or hairstyle seemed to suit me, and I was spending too much time trying to deal with it each day.
    So, I just colored it with a demi-permanent gloss(my go-to)a couple days ago. It makes the coarse, wiry, kinky bits very soft and generally volumizes and evens out the texture. This is a great option I feel. You can do clear or a pearl tone to keep your gray if you want, or you can blend in the gray. I feel like this is my comfortable middle ground. To each, their own💛😊

  116. Colleen S says...

    I’ve been graying since I was in my late twenties (I’m 35 now), and I color it just because I like to. But my eyebrow on my right side is sprouting silver hairs, that so far only I can see. I doubt I’ll cover that. I think it’s fun to have silver hairs in my eyebrow.

  117. teresa says...

    I’m 44 and decided to invest the money I was spending on coloring my hair into an experienced hair stylist. I think my grey hair with an edgy cut is way more youthful than my previous long, colored hair :)

    • MA says...

      Same! I have the same texture hair as Christan and getting a fun hair cut has been a great way to feel good about my hair. I still have trouble looking at photos of extended family where I’m the ONLY one going gray. With the exception of my 93-year-old grandmother, everyone else colors their hair.

  118. Sonia says...

    I’m 38 and about 40% grey. Currently I’m doing a complicated partial foil dye job every 9 weeks to keep some grey, but not all of it. I want to go all in and stop dying my hair but it’d be a big change. My mom never dyed her hair and she had people thinking she was much older than she was just because of her hair color. We’ll see… I’m inspired by this post and comments- thank you!

  119. Awads says...

    while grey hair can look beautiful, i still think it makes one look older than her years. i’m 50 with just a few grey strands, but i do plant to cover them up (or camouflage them) with blond highlights. to each her own!

  120. Rachel says...

    The timing of this post couldn’t be more perfect! A week ago I went to my hair stylist thinking I needed to start coloring my shoulder length hair again; it just looked funky and wrong. She explained the dissonance was the contrast between the “cool color” of my new grey hair against the “warm color” still visible at my hair’s ends. “Well,” I said, “let’s cut it off!” It was a liberating and awesome move.

    My hair has a shorter, more interesting cut and the silver grey looks awesome. And now I have some shampoo recommendations. Thanks!

  121. Marcy says...

    I still remember my first grey hair – I was 16 and another student (i still remember her name) reached out and plucked it from my head in home room. I did highlights in college for fun but my dark hair takes bleach too well and I would end up with blonde streaks so I left it. until I was getting married at 28 and it was pointed out that the grey would catch the light too much in the photos so I dyed it. Again it bleached out in the sunshine on our honeymoon so I covered it all one last time about 3m after our wedding and haven’t touched it since (we’re coming up on 10y very soon). I finally cut off the last of the dyed bits a few months after my oldest was born which was almost 3y to the day since the last time I’d colored it.

    I do it (or rather don’t do it, I guess) for several reasons. I don’t have the patience for that kind of maintenance. I figured that if I was going to go grey that early, I might as well embrace it. And my mom has been grey my entire life (she had me at 42).

    When I take the time to dry it, it’s a bit like Stacy London’s stripe but when I’m in a rut and it’s always back, I tend to forget that it’s actually still mostly dark brown and I start to feel old. I’m glad to see more women embracing grey hair!

  122. gigi says...

    thank you for the article. I am 66 and finally stopped dyeing my hair black. I feel so much lighter, free-er now that it’s hard to explain. I don’t particular like the color grey of my hair, but I would not go back to dyeing my hair.

  123. emily says...

    My hairdresser calls gray hairs “sparkles” — such a lovely way to look at them!

    • Marcy says...

      mine did too! That and the fact that she NEVER suggested dying it, is why I continued to go to her.

  124. Fiona says...

    They are all so beautiful. What a lovely article.

  125. Barit says...

    I have a very similar story to Suzie’s. I started greying in my early 20’s and colored for years. I finally decided I was spending too much time and money at the hair salon and when I turned 50 I cut my hair super short and let it go. It came in a really pretty shade of silver and I get lots of compliments on it (I’ve even been told I look like Jamie Lee Curtis!). There are some down sides- like the first time they just gave me a senior citizen discount at the movie theater without asking if I needed it! Overall I am happy with my decision and will never go back to coloring.

  126. I’ve been graying since college and am now nearing 33. I do currently color it since it’s not uniform or consistent enough on my head to grow it out; it would just look splotchy and dirty — like white splatters!

    My twin sister has even more grays than I do (we both have them entirely on the tops of our heads, none underneath), and our mother has WHITE hair. It’s gorgeous and she gets compliments all the time. My sis and I are both excited about one day (hopefully) having white hair like our mom.

    I think women who have yet to gray worry far too much about it happening. Since having grays for so long, it honestly feels silly when a 30-year-old friend freaks out on social media about finding a gray hair. I’m sort of like, “So? What are you worried it says about you?” Embracing ourselves as we age is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our hearts. We are all such wonderful miracles and a few grays certainly doesn’t change that.

    • Kara says...

      Ah love this! I noticed everyone featured was a dark brunette, which to me is like no-brainer that grey looks great! I was hoping to see someone with lighter colored hair going grey, and now I know where to look:)

      Also obsessed with Christan’s hair, serious hair goals right there.

  127. Emma Bee says...

    I am a few years away from my first greys (based on genetics) and I will probably let it be.

    However, wondering if people dye their greys for worry about age discrimination (subtle or not) at work?

  128. Kate says...

    I love this! I started really noticing my greys last year at 30 and am constantly stopping myself from obsessing about them. I’ve been encouraging my mom to embrace her grey hair for years and stop coloring it, so now I’m learning to do the same. It’s great to see other woman celebrating their natural selves!

  129. A girlfriend of mine has a gorgeous natural grey streak (think, Stacy London circa What Not to Wear). Sadly, my greys – which are starting to come in now that I’m 34 – are tragically sporadic. Because I have naturally curly hair, they’re in a different place every day. I don’t usually notice them, they don’t bother me, and I don’t plan to colour them. It’s a privilege to grow old, and I’m here for that.

  130. Nina says...

    My dad has had silver white hair my whole life, since his early 30s. His mother had a very salt and pepper till her 80s when it was beautiful white. I like the beautiful white. My mom’s started to turn gray in her mid-40s and then she started dyeing it blonde which she still does to this day, and she’s in her 70s. I think its so unflattering as she doesn’t have the skin tone for that.

    I know our skin does change as we age but I don’t think THAT much and I hate when women color it blonde when they were brunette.

    I don’t really know when mine started to turn gray/white. I love the shiny white pieces but its a weird new texture. I’m 49 (ugh just turned that age it will take me a bit to embrace it) and I have some big patches of white BUT a little over a year ago I had a salon bleach some spots and then color it a deep purple. Which conveniently colored the grays/whites. Can I just say white? I like white better. But since I had been using henna on my hair it turned the dye pretty much iridescent so I had blue and purple and green and all different colors. I LOVED MY HAIR more than I ever have. A summer at the beach faded it and I found celeb luxury shampoo which deposits color on bleached hair. So I used their purple. Then I found a teal and I put that on the roots at the front. I love it even more. And I get compliments all.the.time. Even if my hair is all white I think I’ll do that. IT makes me feel happy everyday. when can we usually say that about our hair? Recently I was going to the pool a lot and let the blue fade almost away and when I re-dyed it my boss was like “Oh I like that better” me too. hahaha me too.

  131. Lilliana says...

    I got my first grey hair at 21 and they have been increasing every year (I’m now 36). I don’t have any spots where it is only grey so it’s basically like having shiny silver streaks in my hair. Maybe I’ll change my mind if I go totally grey suddenly but I have no intention of dyeing it. The silver catches the sunlight!

  132. I’m 31 and grays are starting to pop up. I’ve always planned to embrace the grey, because I just can’t imagine spending the next (hopefully) many decades spending the money to dye and upkeep it. I’ll be spending that money on books and beer and vacation instead!

  133. Kara says...

    Love this article! I started going gray in my early 20s and had to let it go because I didn’t have the money to consistently color my hair (and wasn’t brave enough to attempt doing it myself). Now in my 30s I could color my hair but don’t see the point. I get tons of compliments from other women who “wish” they could just let their hair go gray too. Stop wishing and start doing! Then treat yourself to a nice spa day with all the $$$ you’ve saved :)

  134. Anna says...

    I’m 28 with no gray yet. Can’t wait!

    • Amanda G says...

      I’m in the same boat, Anna! I just turned 30 with nary a gray in sight, and I gotta say it’s kind disappointing. I have been waiting for them for so long, as I’ve always associated them with experience and life well lived :)

    • ks says...

      i agree! i know it’s a the grass is greener, but i come from a family where the women don’t go gray until well in their 80s. i think gray hair is striking and elegant and while my grandmother is no less so with her brunette hair, i always wished i’d have the chance.

  135. Abbey says...

    When I first started graduate school, a friend and I would look around at conferences for older women with beautiful gray hair–we were looking for style role models at a time when we were really unsure if we belonged in academia. We would call them “aspirational manes.” This post is full of aspirational manes–my younger self would be so thrilled!

  136. Erica says...

    What a great piece – thank you! I’m 37 and I have red hair, and since my early thirties it’s been getting “blonder” ;) I’ve had it a colored a few times, but it ends up looking so unnatural. These beautiful women are inspiring! XO

  137. I have to admit, that even though I completely support the movement to embrace gray hair, I’m not there yet personally. I’m 36 and do have a few gray hairs. When I see them coming in, I pluck them out.

    • Louisa says...

      This is me! – In theory I am all for it. In practice, now that I’m obviously going gray (at age 40… not just a “few gray hairs” anymore), it’s harder for me to accept.
      I’m far too cheap and impatient to dye my hair, but I have to admit that I don’t love it the way I thought I might when it was an abstract idea.

    • Meg says...

      I’m bummed that this is something you feel like you have to admit! It’s great that the women feautured in this post chose to keep their natural gray color but I think it’s equally as great for you to decide to color yours! There is too much out there about what women “should” do and it can go both ways. You should do whatever the heck you want :)

  138. Allegra LaViola says...

    Thanks for this. I started going grey in my 20s and then a couple years ago decided to embrace it. (I’m 37.) Then my mother (!) told me she thought it aged me and my husband would find it un-chic (he doesn’t) so I bowed to pressure and started coloring it again, but only with temporary dyes, so it leaves the grey less white looking and more shimmery. I’m still on the fence now. It is so hard to accept the state of change as the real constant in life. Marie of Romania (known for her beauty) wrote about her horror of finding a stranger in the mirror instead of her youthful face, her old friend and protector. Ironically, she became much more confident and powerful after she was older and grey than she was a young starlet princess.

  139. Jo says...

    I love this post! My mom dyed her hair for many years. One day, in her late 50’s, she came home and said, “I’m going to stop dying my hair. What do you think about that?” I was fully supportive, and she’s never looked better. That moment was pivotal in embracing my own natural colors. I’m 40, but noticed gray hairs in my very early 20s. I recently parted my hair to the other side for some more oomph and thought, “Oh! THAT’S where all the grays have been hiding – Hello, there!” I don’t plan to do any dyeing… although the trend of blues and turquoise is a bit tempting….

  140. Ivy says...

    I’m 28, started greying about a year ago … I now have a subtle salt and pepper look going on. You can’t see it from a distance, but up close I have a lot of greys. It made me embarrassed at first, but I’ve decided to embrace it. And everyone (my hairstylist included) says it looks cool!

  141. txilibrin says...

    Love thisssssssss, but you should have added people that dye their hair because they don’t like the grey :)

    Anyways, my “greying” start around 5 years ago (I’m 35), and I was lucky. My mom started early 20s! Now and then I look at the mirror and see the grey hair, and then forget about it… I don’t really like it, cause it is just a few, but scattered all over my head… But I’m unable to keep a skin routine, don’t even want to think about dying my hair once a month. I’d have the ugliest roots eveeeeeeeeeeeer… So, I’m leaving it as is for now… A friend of mine just went grey and she looks stunning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  142. Cindy says...

    I have never clicked through to read an article so quickly! I very much wanted to hear what these women had to say, and they did not disappoint. Every time I read about a woman who embraces her appearance, it pushes the growing edge of my own courage.

    In answer to your question, I embrace the gray hairs that are appearing these days (I’m 43). But I acknowledge fully that it’s easy to embrace them because I have watched women like these embracing them first.

  143. Jill says...

    I tried accepting my gray. It worked for 2 years. Then I decided my hair color needed to match my personality. So now I’m blondish again.

  144. Amy says...

    I’ve always planned to let my hair go gray naturally. I like the look! But that’s easy for me to say; my family genes indicate that I will likely gray very slowly, starting in my late 40s. When I see younger women with gray I always think it looks stunning, and that it gives them an aura of maturity – not just because they have gray hair, but because they’re willing to embrace it despite all the advertising shoved at us.

  145. Kathryn says...

    Yes! All of these women! When my grandma stopped dying her hair blond and let the beautiful grays come in, she ended up looking more fashionable. Of all of the mementos we have of her, one of the most treasured is a lock of her beautiful hair.

  146. I stopped coloring my nearly black hair two years ago. I began greying in my mid 20’s and after twenty years of coloring, I had had ENOUGH. After my roots began showing 7 DAYS after my last color appt – I told everyone that I was done. I might as well have been lighting money on fire. My mother (!!!!) and my hair stylist were the most resistant to the idea. My stylist told me that I couldn’t (not ‘shouldn’t’ – ‘COULDN’T’) ditch the dye “until you’re a grandmother”. And that you had to be “really pretty” to pull off grey hair. (!!!!!!) I now have a new stylist LOL. I’ve never felt such relief IN MY LIFE as when I stopped coloring. I always hated doing it, but thought that I had to, as a woman in today’s world. What a crock! I think stopping has been the best thing for my hair, for my health (the dark dyes are supposed to be extra not great for you), and I’m happy to be setting this example for my tween daughter. I think coloring is fine if you WANT to, but coloring shouldn’t be a thing one HAS to do to be a woman in modern society. I felt like I had been let out of hair jail when I stopped coloring! I didn’t fully realize how much it has been weighing me down until I stopped. I’ve had so many people tell me that I’m “so brave”. Really?? It’s brave to just have uncolored hair?? I’ve also had friends tell me that they would like to stop coloring, but can’t because of how they might be perceived (old) in the work place. That breaks my heart! Anyway, for me, it’s been one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my entire life. Thank you for this article!

    • Quinn says...

      Love your comment! I’ve been colouring my hair for about 5 years and am tiring of it. I too am starting to feel like I can’t go as long between salon visits and it’s SO expensive — I sometimes think about the clothes I could buy instead! Plus I’ve started to get patches of eczema on my scalp and I’m pretty sure it’s related – to your point about health. :( I’ve been thinking about just stopping so I’m thrilled to read about your positive experience! (Also glad you found a new stylist – my goodness!)

    • Allegra LaViola says...

      my mother was really on me as well. part of me wonders if this is because it makes THEM feel old to have a daughter with grey hair! Not unreasonable, but still…

  147. Winter Blue says...

    Thank you SO much for this! I’m greying at 43, which I think is a reasonable reflection of my age. So far I haven’t coloured it but I know so many women my age that do – sometimes I feel like it makes me look so much older. Other times I think it looks cool and ‘sparkly’. I love visiting the West Coast and seeing all the women there going grey naturally (more common to colour it out East I think). I’d love to see more stories of women embracing grey, styling tips, etc!

  148. Louise says...

    I’ve been going grey for a while, but have been ignoring it. Yesterday, I saw my hair in overhead lighting and cringed at how grey I was. I started thinking that I needed to do something about it. Thank you for this very well-timed post of these lovely ladies, and the product recommendations.

  149. Callie says...

    My 3 year old son’s pediatrician (who cannot possibly be over 40) is gray and the other day he told me she had “shiny” hair–what a wonderful re-framing. These four women (and my son’s pediatrician) are all beautiful.