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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Going, Going, GONE GRAY!

Ok, it's an ongoing process. I'm still going gray, but the process of growing out my true hair color, in month 16 now, is almost complete. I've had some surprises along the way, like, I'm not as gray as I thought I'd be!

From the "skunk stripe" along my part-line that would show up about 6-8 weeks after coloring, to the "distinguished" silver of my temples I assumed I'd be pretty darn white. Turns out, those peek-a-boo grays really overstate things. The uncolored hair against the growing out color made a much starker contrast than really existed.

About 2-3 months into the process, so just starting to get the "skunk line"
along my part. Pretty visible at the crown, too.
As I suspected, my hair has about the same percentage gray as my brother's does. More in front than back, and about 50% there.

After 10-months, the contrast between uncolored top and
the growing out red was pretty stark.
What has surprised me the most is how very liberating it is to NOT have to search the mirror for start of that "skunk stripe," to NOT have to plan spending an afternoon at the salon to get colored and highlighted, to NOT spend up to $200 every 8-12 weeks on something as superficial as my hair.

Getting pretty ugly back there. Time to do something,
but I wasn't quite ready to cut it all off.
While my hair isn't completely grown out, it's mostly there. Some of the streaks remain form my purple highlight episode, where the base color had to be stripped out prior to the purple coloring. So, some of the lighter streaks will change. All of the red base color should be gone by my next haircut--there are only a few remaining bits on some of the longer ends.
The purple streaks certainly took attention away
from the gray/red line!

Mostly my own haircolor, after 13 months of not coloring.

In November, after 13 months of growing it out, one round of low-lights, and another of purple stripes, I made the decision to cut! The non-colored portion of my hair had reached about mid-cheek, so there's still some in there, and a few of the white streaks are remnants from the purple highlights, but that's mostly my hair color.

Has there been a down side? Maybe the comments from friends saying, "Oh, no! You'll look old!" Ouch! But, the compliments on my new color and cut have surpassed those dozens to one. Do I look older? I don't know. I think I no longer look like a 50-something-year old woman trying to look younger. And I think that's a good thing.

My most favorite part of going back to my natural color is that I match my dogs! (If you follow this blog or know me, you know what a big part of my life my agility dogs, Muggle and Lupin are!)

Me with my agility dog, Muggle. (December 2014; 14 months of not coloring)

Me and Lupin, my agility dog-in-training (Dec 2014)
To see my complete journey, flip back to these posts:

The triggering incident: Turning 50

The announcement: November 2013

8-weeks: December 2013

4-months: February 2014

Lavender stripes: August 2014 (the post has nothing to do with going gray, but does have a good picture of the stripes. Those faded out in less than a week, so had a darker purple put in.)

 For all of you still on the fence, I say give it a shot. It takes some patience, and you will have more than the usual number of bad-hair-days for a while, but in the end, for me, it's been worth it. The one thing that kept me on track was looking in the mirror every morning and saying, "I can always go back to coloring it."

I'm glad I didn't take myself up on that.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me!


  1. You look fabulous!! Congratulations to you! I just turned 50 and have been coloring/foiling for 20 years. As I was going to make my 6 week appointment yesterday ... I decided not to. I'm embracing my gray! It's time!! I already feel like I have liberated myself.

  2. First of all, is Lupin's namesake the Harry Potter character? Second of all, you look great! The grey suits you, as does the confidence you feel in your own skin.

    1. Thank you! And yes, all our pets have HP names--Lupin and Muggle (the dogs), and Minerva McGonagal (the cat). If my husband would let me have more, we'd have Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom, too!