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Beauty Banter

Color or NOT to Color My Gray Hair

Started 1330404205.817 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1330959971.437 by Knitgirly

Well, I have been very fortunate (so far) and had very little gray hair. I don't know what has happened, but to quote my hairdresser, it is like all of a sudden my hair has blown up gray. It is happening so fast! Okay, do I color or do I let it go gray. I wear my hair in a sort of Dorothy Hamill wedge. Is it alot of trouble to maintain the color? Do you do it at home or go to a hairdresser? Do you regret that you started coloring your hair? I appreciate your feedback.

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Sunshine K­ate1330404334.0212361 PostsRegistered 11/13/2006The Beautiful Mountains & Western Sky

I say color it or get highlights. I think it makes most women look younger, IMO. I have mine done at the salon (highlights) and it's not cheap. But, the old saying of, "You get what you pay for", is true.

Respectfully ~
Kate

Tarheel1330404594.39793 PostsRegistered 10/18/2005

Sushine Kate...thank you for you feedback. I appreciate it.

dgluvr1330405294.7535258 PostsRegistered 5/12/2008

I've colored my shoulder length hair for years because I was unable to have children for over 12 years ( who knows why- we wanted them, we tried, we gave up and then.....first one, then another some years later we were blessed!) ANYHOW--- that meant I was 12 years older than most of the moms that my kids went to school with and I was a stay-at-home so I went on the field trips, volunteered in classrooms- sewed the costumes etc. that many woman who worked outside the home didn't have time or energy to do. But when we did get together ie the school play, the award ceremonies, the graduations- I was already getting a few florescent whites and greys.

So vanity won out. Now I'm over 3/4 grey/ white floruescent IF I DIDN'T color. Let me tell you- the white frames my face if I don't color and I can see that I look much older if I let it go all the way- that's not going to happen if I can still raise my arms! I've only colored at home-I simply can't afford salon coloring--- with L'oreal products- might try the new foam soon but not sure since I get relatively good results with the 10 minute permanent---- when I let it go too long ( and I often stretch it by different parts or styling, my kids call me "skunk" LOL!

So ---- I really think that grey makes you look older- it would have been different if my hair had been blonde- I have a friend the same age who is going grey- but she's always been blonde so it's not that big a change--- but I have almost black hair so it's much more noticeable.plus i've seen all- grey ladies- and I really can visualize that they would look even 10 years younger.

Last edited on 2/27/2012

Last edited on 2/27/2012

Tarheel1330405908.9293 PostsRegistered 10/18/2005

Dgluvr...many thanks for your feedback. I must admit for the past couple of weeks when I do my hair and put on my makeup, well, I just think I look so old. I thought maybe I wasn't wearing enough blush, etc., but I definitely think it is this new hair that has sprung up in my hair. It is very gray (silver). It is not soft/white. Oh my....again...many thanks to you.

lbj611330407435.24223 PostsRegistered 10/25/2011

I started plucking my first greys when I was 19. I started coloring in my late 20's. I just felt like I was too young to have that much grey. I got my first coloring done at the salon and then decided I could do better at home. I taught my husband how to put it in and being the good man that he is, he colored my hair for years!! Because we are better off financially, I can afford to go back to the salon. That works best for me now at 48 because my grey is the dominant color around my face and my natural hair color is reddish brown, more on the red side. So it is a true art form to try and cover all that grey and keep the red looking good!

I think it all depends on how you feel about the grey and how old you are. I felt like it aged me, especially when I was younger. I also had a surprise baby after being told we could not when I was in my 30s and felt exactly the same as Dgluvr. I already knew I was older but I didn't want to look older! And I don't think redheads grey nicely, in general. So for me there was no decision; it was a done deal. And I'll keep having it done for a long while yet.

My hair grows pretty fast. Ideally I should go every 4 weeks to get my roots done. But I stretch it out to 6 - 8 weeks usually. I like to play with the color too. So sometimes I get her to do more of a golden red and sometimes we do red red and sometimes we do more of an auburn. I love to experiment with colors and my hair dresser loves to go along with me. She always asks me, "So what color are you feeling like today?"

cantdrive551330407674.07918 PostsRegistered 12/4/2008

I did highlights to blend the gray/white as long as I could, it's a lot less maintenance. I have a few friends who alternate between highlights and lowlights, that's higher maintenance.

Once you get into all over color, you have to touch it up evry 4-6 weeks, depending how your hair grows. I've got roots and places around my face that are showing at three weeks.

I have been going to a salon, but am going to try doing it on my own. There are a lot videos on you tube. If you have a nice hairdresser, maybe she could do the all over color, and show you how to touch up the roots.

I think some women look great with gray or white hair. I think I would look at least ten years older. What does your hairdresser say?

candy1330408126.363511 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004Northeast

Definitely color it! No matter how attractive the shade of grey it ages a woman. I started going grey like you, all of a sudden and, for me, in patches. I have it colored at a salon by my long time hairdresser every 4 or 5 weeks. The new type of coloring looks much more natural than in the past and adds shine and strength to my fine hair. Worth every penny.

I know several women with lovely shades of grey and white hair. I know their ages and even with the attractive natural color they look 10 to 20 years older than they are. Life's too short to look like your great grandmother.

Candy

tucsongal1330411287.3172098 PostsRegistered 7/1/2007

I'm going to say my peace and then leave quietly, LOL. (This can become quite a testy subject on this board). Of course you need to do what feels right for you, but I love to see natural hair color as people age. A good cut and more color in makeup/clothing are called for and you can expect many comments here and probably in person about how much older you will look, etc.

I have never colored my hair and don't plan to--I know that those roots growing out in a week or two would just drive me crazy and bother me more than anything. I'm starting to get pretty gray, but that's all right with me. I have thick, wavy/curly hair that is very healthy and I spend all of 30 seconds spritzing it in the mornings. I might feel differently if I didn't like my hair, and I might change my mind down the road, but I don't think so. And thankfully, I am my own judge of how I feel and look. Enjoy whatever you choose!

Ye need not think alike to love alike.

Good4u1330435796.073202 PostsRegistered 1/12/2008USA - Midwest

I was going grey and let it go for about 4 yrs. Then I said forget it. Colored it (still looking for that perfect brunette shade for me) and coloring my hair alone shaved off 20 yrs of age. DO IT!

Beauty is ALWAYS before age...(Dorthy Parker misquoted intentionally)
Light-golden warm skin tone (dry side), olive-green eyes, medium brunette: Dominant Color season - Warm Autumn.

Jeddy1330435934.74779 PostsRegistered 10/23/2007In the Mouth of Madness

Let it go silver and wear it proud.

nodecaf1330436266.552493 PostsRegistered 4/15/2007Pinelands

I say color!

I've had great success using drugstore box colors.

Inexpensive, convenient, easy!

There are some semi permanant formulas out there as well.

It takes 10 minutes & washes out in 28 shampoos.

It's a good introduction to the process.

GL!

“The first wealth is health.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

happy hous­ewife1330436766.45732574 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

It is all a matter of perception - yours - if you think grey makes you look old then it will bother you til you do color it. Just the expense of getting it done in a salon would turn me against that.

I am 63 and have had grey hair since I was in my mid 20's. I colored it til I was 34 and had breast cancer. When my hair came back in it was completely white around my face and I liked it - it was pretty - and I was so glad to have hair again that I let it go and haven't colored it since. I very recently attended a party where I was told by a group of ladies I did not know at all that I look way to young to be retired so I guess my hair does not add the 10 years everyone thinks it does. as i said - it is all about your perception.

i have said before when this subject has come up that I think there comes an age where everyone knows you are coloring your hair - the color no longer takes well because grey does not take color well and the women just look vain and silly. Just like someone who dyes their hair red and they are older. Everyone knows that red hair fades at a fairly young age and that person is dying it that color.

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

traveler1330437076.7511507 PostsRegistered 12/14/2004ALASKA

I don't color my hair. Just don't want the bother. My younger husband has been mistaken for my son and my children for my grandchildren. Don't think dying my hair will solve the problem. My face looks older like some actress who always play older, like Angela Lansbury. I guess it all depends on how you see yourself. Personally I roll my eyes at older women who have very obvious makeup and a not quite normal hair color.

expatgal1330444072.2475587 PostsRegistered 4/22/2005

I am not a Botox-filler-surgery kind of gal - at 55+, I am what I am when it comes to my face. However ... I think the number 1 thing a woman over 40 can do to look her best is to color her hair. Gray hair ages a woman in an instant. I have my stylist use a natural color and I show up for it faithfully every 6 weeks. I'll be the little old lady getting "my color done" for sure.

coldlake1330444504.1831334 PostsRegistered 12/5/2008

I think gray can look stunning and beautiful but one thing it never does is make you look younger.

BellaCarro1330444821.9678345 PostsRegistered 10/1/2011Atlanta
On 2/28/2012 expatgal said:

I am not a Botox-filler-surgery kind of gal - at 55+, I am what I am when it comes to my face. However ... I think the number 1 thing a woman over 40 can do to look her best is to color her hair. Gray hair ages a woman in an instant. I have my stylist use a natural color and I show up for it faithfully every 6 weeks. I'll be the little old lady getting "my color done" for sure.

ITA but then I am a Botox gal.

fbm2lsm1330444941.2072599 PostsRegistered 8/25/2010

I think that this a a very personal choice. I have colored my hair for 20 years I am 56. For me it is the right choice. I go every 4 weeks and in between use touch up, I have shoulder length thick brown hair in a layered bob. Obviously there is maintainence involved of both time and money. To me it is worth it, It is just part of what I do, I power walk, use Retin-A, iron my clothes, just part of my "grooming" routine.

I guess what I am trying to say if you start know that it does require time don't be the lady with the white roots!{#emotions_dlg.scared}

Rember if You are going to be dumb You had better be tough

twopeas1330445724.0234870 PostsRegistered 6/5/2011PNW

I'm 67 and still color my hair. Yeah, I get sick of the maintenance. When I had breast cancer 10 years ago and lost my "red" hair (LOL), it came in totally gray of course, so I thought I'd just let it go. It was, after all, a nice gray color. After about an inch or two of growth - NO - it is very aging. I'm just not ready. I'm thinking that there will come a day when I wake up and say it's time. Until then.............

If you always tell the truth you will never have to try and remember what you said before .....

Kathleen1330445730.46713273 PostsRegistered 8/7/2006East Side, West Side, All Around The Town ... London Bridge is Falling Down

I'm a natural brunette who had been a champagne blonde for more than 20 years. I stopped coloring mine last August. I'm happy with the decision.

My natural hair is very dark brown and it has a white streak across the front with just a scattering of gray/white ... not much. I've been using a "silver" shampoo to brighten the streak ... LOVE the way it looks. It's a bit dramatic.

It's been a win/win situation for me. My hair looks good and is in great condition. I'm spending less money on hair products (I don't even need to use conditioner). I have a wash/wear haircut - and upkeep is a snap. Shampoo, a bit of texturizer - air dry and I'm done!

I saw an article online recently: Love your Gray Hair / Gray is the New Blonde.

How we resist our natural gray locks. We moan and groan about the silver hairs which peep through the glossy brunette (or red or blond or whatever is our natural hair color) as a sign of encroaching maturity. A reminder that we all, if we're lucky, will eventually succumb to old age. Most of us panic and reach for the dye. We go for streaks and tints - anything to disguise those nasty betraying grey hairs.

Never mind all that. You need to know - gray is now THE color to have. Celebrities are even goingout of their way to embrace silver. The Baby Boomers continue to have it all our own way. We are not prepared to fake any longer. We will celebrate middle-age. We will make grey the new blonde. We will make YOU want to be gray.

Note: We Brits spell it 'grey'; Americans spell it 'gray'. I'm going to use both. Because I can. So there.

happy hous­ewife1330446951.26332574 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

As i sit in church waiting for the service to start I will often look around at hair - clothes - purses etc and I do notice that most senior women have let their hair go natural and that the younger ones (40's)have color, streaks, highlights etc. Eventually, I think women just get sick of the maintainence of the coloring.

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

Kathleen1330447586.03713273 PostsRegistered 8/7/2006East Side, West Side, All Around The Town ... London Bridge is Falling Down
On 2/28/2012 morning lover said:

As i sit in church waiting for the service to start I will often look around at hair - clothes - purses etc and I do notice that most senior women have let their hair go natural and that the younger ones (40's)have color, streaks, highlights etc. Eventually, I think women just get sick of the maintainence of the coloring.

It wasn't so much the maintenance of the coloring ... I just decided that I didn't want to do that anymore. I was ready for something different.

Just like 20+ years ago when I wanted a change, I decided last August that I wanted another change.

smhr1330447620.0833822 PostsRegistered 1/16/2012laid back and mellow town USA

Coloring is a personal preference. I equate it to one's favorite food ( poor analogy ). What suits one may not the other. Without a pic, we can't advise either way. I've seen mature and not so mature women with grey hair and they look fine. I've seen mature women that have grey hair and look older. I choose to color my hair, because my hair is about 20% grey. If it were more ( at least 80-90% ), I probally wouldn't color it. I really don't like salt and pepper hair - at least on me. IMO, grey hair in the white shade is prettiest.

SoX1330448044.3678094 PostsRegistered 2/21/2009
On 2/28/2012 Jeddy said:

Let it go silver and wear it proud.

That's what I did! I started greying very early in my twenties ... a little here, a little there. I have very thick hair, so I tried pulling them out (ouch) and that worked for a while. Then I found I liked the salt and pepper when I left it alone. My friends and colleagues were gaga over it ... got all kinds of compliments.

My hair is now naturally all silver ... and I'm sometimes struck dumb when I look in the mirror ... it's not white, nor grey. I still get compliments ... works for me.

BESwede1330448519.1976218 PostsRegistered 6/4/2007Colorado

Personally I would NOT color it, unless it's just a few highlights done to gradually "ease in" to your new natural color at first (heavier highlights, then fewer and fewer until you have no highlights). I do not think gray, silver, white or salt/pepper hair is necessarily aging at all- it can be very flattering and attractive when cut and styled well. What looks far more aging to me is roots of another color showing or obviously colored hair -it doesnt fool anyone to think it's the natural color or that a person is any younger ! Whether done at home or in a salon hair coloring is costly and time consuming- way too high maintenance for me to ever want to mess with it.

You may find you need to change your makeup colors, even clothing colors to be more complimentary with your new color- could be a fun excuse for a makeover :)

48, very fair, blonde, green eyes, cool "summer" coloring. Combination/sensitive skin. Vegetarian

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Last edited on 2/28/2012

Margo Chan­ning1330453267.76313442 PostsRegistered 11/29/2007
On 2/28/2012 expatgal said:

I am not a Botox-filler-surgery kind of gal - at 55+, I am what I am when it comes to my face. However ... I think the number 1 thing a woman over 40 can do to look her best is to color her hair. Gray hair ages a woman in an instant. I have my stylist use a natural color and I show up for it faithfully every 6 weeks. I'll be the little old lady getting "my color done" for sure.


I totally agree with this.

One of my neighbors let her hair go white. She recently lost her job and had been gong to several "headhunters". All three of them advised her to color her hair, they bluntly told her that she looked far older than she was and it was so competitive out there she couldn't afford to have prospective employer think she was too old to fit into a new setting. So far she hasn't done anything about the color. {She's 55}

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Last edited on 2/28/2012

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