Kitchen Conversation

I’m going to embrace grey – my natural hair colour

Since I was 19 I’ve coloured my hair first henna, later full on dye from the hairdresser. I wasn’t grey when I started, but as the grey, my natural colour came through, I needed to colour more frequently. I was up to every 4 weeks, and still had to use a root spray in between as well.


I’ve been thinking to embrace grey – my natural colour for a while. But my hairdresser talked me out of it were they interested in me or was it because I was a lucrative client?

But it’s not just about the money, there is also putting chemicals on my head and the time half a day once a month spent at the hairdresser I have better things to do with my time!

We are conditioned by the media to equate grey with letting ourselves go and being old. But really? Would I look so much older if I stopped dying my hair, and would it matter if I did look older? We are who we are. Why can’t I embrace grey and feel good about it?

Think of someone with grey hair and we often think of someone with a short curly perm wearing polyester leisure wear without makeup. There’s nothing wrong with this if this is what someone chooses, but most people with grey hair still wear fashionable (or quirky) clothes.
Since deciding to embrace grey I’ve joined several Facebook groups that support women along the journey. Every photo I see is of a woman who looks glorious. Today I’ve been reviewing some of the pages. The conversations are not just on the transition to embrace grey and choose authentic hair but a more feminist view on how we look.

There is too much focus on telling people that they look younger. Too much focus on the number. They say you look good for 60, or you don’t look 60. Why the need to quote a number? The focus is on old as a negative, not as vintage!

I’m following their advice to keep a journal. Today I’ve washed my hair and brushed it back, rather than including a parting. It’s a bit messy, I didn’t blow dry it (well, I never blow dry as can’t seem to do it right), but I haven’t straightened it or added my heated rollers. I think this will be a good look, but my husband is unsure he doesn’t think I look like me, but he will get used to it.
I rarely wear makeup but as my hair changes I’ll probably want some colour in my face. The first thing I’ll do is to look at the makeup I already have and to see how that works. With a month in the sun I’ll wait till January and then visit the nearest department store for a makeup lesson with suggested products
I’m cancelling my colour appointment and nearly cancelled my hair cut too but I’ve never gone longer than 8 weeks without a haircut, so I’ll keep to my cut and finish appointment. It should make me feel better. The video was created as I got back from the hairdresser, 6 weeks on.
At some point people will notice my new growth, will they say anything? I need to expect that some will support me, and others won’t, and some will compliment me, and some comments will be negative. I’ve been told that 3-6 months is the hardest time, so I need to be ready for this.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on making the transition to embrace grey, feel free to make a comment below.
This is the first of a series of posts as I share my transition to embracing gray – my natural hair colour.

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  1. Go well, Denise. I’m further along with the same journey. I started using gentle highlights about 20 years ago, just to lighten hair that seemed to be getting more dull brown, and losing the blond that I’d had when younger. Then, as the grey started to appear, I had some gentle blending of a warm brown and the blond. Every 12 weeks, and goodness knows what that has cost over the years. But, like for you, it was something to do with being authentic that tipped the balance for me. I thought about easing towards natural grey (though I’ve discovered I’m still more brown than grey) but the tipping point was someone treating me deceitfully over something quite unrelated. In condemning his deceitfulness, I needed to address my own authenticity, and I think, as we become older and more secure in who we are, we can take this step.
    For me, keeping up a regular cut and styling has been important – and I guess ‘keep in shape’ could have much wider resonances then just a hair cut!

    • Hi Lyn, good to hear from you. Yes, just because we stop the dye we still need a good cut otherwise I know I’ll end up as a bit of a wild woman – not a good look.
      I’m thinking more about authenticity, and honesty as I age, along with more respect for others – giving people time (thinking of older relatives here) rather than trying to rush them on.
      I’ve lots of silvers coming through but could be different at the back – will do my videos every 6 weeks, be so good to look back at them

  2. Good for you. This shouldn’t be such a weighty decision, but somehow it is. I embraced mine almost 3 years ago. I’m not fully gray by any stretch but I had been coloring a light blonde to camouflage my darkening color, shot through with gray. I stopped coloring, and after several months cut quite a bit off to speed up the growing out process. Once all of the color was out, I discovered that I like my natural color, even with the gray. I get a lot of compliments and the curl is coming back because there’s no damage from bleach. I don’t think it makes me look older, and I’m not sure I care if some think it does. It’s the authentic me, and I’m ok with that. Good luck with yours, I’m sure it’ll be lovely!

    • Hi Paula, thanks for taking the time to comment, I’m going to keep my hair this length, but once the old colour has gone will grow it a bit. I’ve seen so many photos and every person looks better with their natural hair colour. I’m going to love my hair colour, whatever colour it is
      Denise x

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