To gray or not to gray; that is the hairy question


This is the picture that started it all. From More magazine probably two years ago now, and gorgeous! But after beating back the gray for so long now (first gray? maybe 40s, but now the procession is fast and furious), I face the great unknown. How much gray do I really have? Is it the salt and pepper look, or sleek silvery strands?

They say it’s all in the genes; well my mother still has a lot of her very dark brown, almost black, hair among her grays, and it looks appropriate for her, but I’m looking for something closer to my dad’s silvery head. So which side do I take after? Is it time to find out?


Dad rocking the beautiful gray holding grandson Jack.

If I have beautiful silver gray like that hiding under years of monthly “color”, well what am I waiting for? For me, indecision is the child of the unknown, however my motto these days is JUST TAKE THE LEAP! But…

At my hair salon, they say it will age me. Well yes that’s probably true, and they’re usually forthright with me about what suits and what doesn’t, but let’s face it, they have a vested interest in my appearance there once a month.

I have also read that one should

a) be slender and fit (not me right now-not obese but certainly not fashionably chic)

b) have straight hair or be committed to blow drying all the time (meh)

c) cut hair short, as long gray hair is ageing in the extreme (hmm, maybe because long hair is supposedly the domain of young people?)

d) understand that no one has that perfect silvery gray and coloring is still required to get the right “look”. (meh)

However, aren’t we all in the process of jettisoning as many shoulds as possible from our lives? I certainly am-life is too short!

So here are some positive aspects:

a) if I really hate it, I can always start dyeing it again. It’s eminently reversible, unlike so many decisions in life.

b) all the money I will save! I haven’t done the math yet, but even if I need highlights every quarter or so for a while, purging that monthly color will save me a mint! Always a good thing

c) embracing the real me, in a continuation of the slow steady process of peeling the onion that is me. I am all about the truth these days, in all realms of life; what is this but another revelation of truth?

Yes I must consider the question of styling. My hair is coarse and thick and unruly, even on its best days, and I understand that gray hair is all of those things and more. But maybe I can just cross that bridge when I get to it. My life’s path is fuzzy in front of me, with only the next step visible at any one time, why would my hair be any different?

Even though of course I always entertain your opinion, and hope to hear from all reading this, I do believe my course of action is set. I am the queen of reinvention after all!

Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments on my journey, your experiences, or anything at all!


More pictures of other people’s rocking gray hair courtesy this board on Pinterest-and more here and here.

grayupdo grayhair4 grayhair3 grayhair2 helenmirrengray

And not that I would chop off all my hair in a pixie again-it doesn’t suit me, but Dame Judi is a knockout!


A special thank you to Von, for her help and inspiration!

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10 Responses to To gray or not to gray; that is the hairy question

  1. justlife57 says:

    That is a good write. I am embracing my choice for now. I feel free. So try it and find out! Love all the photos on Pinterest.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you! And thanks for your inspiration and example. I look forward to the freedom-I just hope I like the way it looks! Thanks for your board on Pinterest-that’s where I started looking for pictures.
      I don’t look like anyone either-but then we are both unique ❤

      • justlife57 says:

        Yes we are unique, LOL……………It’s more about how I feel. I know I look older, but I feel better and more confident. I always felt like I was trying to be young, even though I wasn’t trying. LOL I don’t know how I will look, but I am sure I am keeping natural.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Well I know you look gorgeous! So much of that is how we feel about ourselves though-are we confident and content in our skins? I look forward to being even more content.

  2. justlife57 says:

    Oh and Thank you!

    Funny I sit and go through pictures to see who I may look like, LOL…..I never find anyone.

  3. oh gosh.. i’m in my twenties and i’m already greying !! i can understand your dilemma… great blog u got here.. very original ! 🙂

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Lots of young girls are going gray these days; I think it’s the new fashion trend! Whatever you do, please yourself with happiness ad confidence, never mind what others say. Speaking of others, I see my stylist today and I know she wants to talk me out of it, but I am resolved-even a little excited-to see what grows out! I’m getting some more blond highlights so the gray blends in a bit as i will have quite a line, but that’s it. Setting my roots free! Thanks and 🙂

  4. Pingback: In the purple-have I sold out the gray? | 4redwhiteandyou

  5. Pingback: “Almost” Cut My Hair | 4redwhiteandyou

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