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To go gray or not to go gray, that is the question...

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So, I'm a 32 year old brunette who has about 45%-50% silver hair. About a 6 weeks ago, I decided to try and let my hair grow out to it's "natural shade", salt and pepper I guess you'd call it. Most days I'm ok with the gray but on occasion I feel rather self conscious about it. I mean I'm only 32 and I feel like the gray makes me look older than I really am. And I'm concerned of how I'll be viewed by potential employers- I don't want to look sloppy or unkept.

I know some day I'll just have to deal with it and let it grow out because the more gray you have the more costly it is to maintain. Should I just bite the bullet and stick with growing it out or give in and start coloring again??? Any thoughts or opinions would be great- Thanks!

13 Replies (last)

is your hair fairly short or is it longer?

If its longer, maybe try to cut it a bit so its not like...whoa what are you doing with those silver roots...I hope that made sense


That for me would be the worst part, not going gray but trying to grow it out....I would imagine youd look awfully funny there for awhile...two tone..or would it be tri tone with the brown/gray then full on brown...


I say stick with the natural color.  My mom started going gray in her 30s (she's in her 60's now) and NEVER colored her hair.  She told everyone that she earned each and every one of her grays (usually looking at my sister and I when she said it) and she wasn't about to hide them.  There are special shampoos out there that are designed for gray hair to make it look better, so you could get one of those and really work the salt-and-pepper thing.  Keep your self groomed, and if potential employers ask about your hair, just tell them you have nothing to hide. :)

Hi davefiredancer19...My hair is farily long, about 10-12 inches at the longest points so it will take A WHILE for it to grow out.  I've joked with my husband about cutting it all off but I'd feel even more self conscious with really short hair- don't think I could pull that off.

Fortunately, the colored portion of my hair is very close to my natural brunette color so I'm just dealing with about 2 inches of silver roots with a head full of dark hair.

lisarose7- i agree with earning the silver hair, first I blamed my husband and now I blame the kids! Thanks for the info on the special shampoos, I'll check into them. And I like the "nothing to hide" perspective!


I think it's really a personal decision based on how you feel most comfortable. I'm in a similar boat but I'm a bit older than you are. Everyone in my family has gone gray prematurely - my 31 year old brother is all gray but has very thick, nice hair, same with my father and grandfather. And my mother and I both went gray early.

I color my hair -- I'm 36 and have been coloring since 30, and started having noticeable gray in my mid-20's... I have dark brown hair, usually very long (last year I cut about a foot off but now growing it out). I started out coloring at the salon but switched to home coloring. It's a big pain but I'm more comfortable that way. My mother also colors her hair (she is early 60s). I color to my natural brown (as close as I can get, anyway).

With long hair, esp if your hair is dark, it's best to do the roots only if you are coloring to cover gray. And then every 3rd time or so do the whole head of hair. That's how my colorist did it at the salon and how I do it now at home to avoid it looking a lot darker on the longer parts...

I think women who let it go natural usually look great. Especially when it's dark hair with silver. Do whatever feels most comfortable for you!!

I started going grey in my early 20s and now have about 40% gray at 40. I toy with the idea of coloring it, as you do, but to me it's partly a matter of maintenance - I do not want to color it every month or so, but I couldn't live with the skunk stripe. So, since I'm unwilling to subject myself to the hassle of frequent coloring, I have made the choice to live with the grey.

My hair was very dark, almost black, so the grey is very noticeable. In general I get compliments on it. I'm thinking about kind of going the opposite route and looking into color options that will lighten the rest of my hair. I'm not sure yet, I need to talk it over with a professional colorist one of these days.

I believe it is a personal choice.  I started going gray in my 20's and have colored ever since.  My sister has a full head of gray and although only four years older, people think she is much much older than I am. 

Give me the color.  Although I earned every single gray hair, I prefer to 'feel' younger w/ colored hair.

Hm. The question comes down to you. If you are willing to invest the time and money in keeping your hair colored and cut regularly to cover the grey, then go for it.

However, if you know you are the type of person who cannot be bothered seeing your colorist for a couple hours every 5 weeks, then you should think about going grey. It also takes an interesting cut to go grey,imo.

Some women embrace their grey with highlights and lowlights. Let's say you are prodomently gray or even if you are starting to gray. But you don't necessarily want to begin doing all over color, highlights are a great way to add some dimension and some color back to the hair. If you are prodomently dark but you just have a few streaks of white you can begin by just adding some blonde in. What that will do is that would actually blend in the gray so once your gray starts growing out with the blond you wouldn't see it as much. So your maintenance is going to be a lot less on something like this verses permanent color. If you are prodomently white you can actually go in and put your natural color back in as a lowlight and what that will do is that will add quite a bit of dimension as well. It can also take you back a few years back in time that is. Just by adding a little bit of dark back into this gray you can be amazed by just how much it makes it look more like this. That is another great trick that you can do and the maintenance on something like that isn't much either. You are thinking maybe every three months so gray blending is a great technique to use for those who don't want the maintenance of monthly color. My suggestion is to consider this as an alternative.

 btw: Some people opt to do their own coloring at home. It would be less expensive that route. I've never colored mine but think highlights/lowlights are pretty. I also like when people go lighter or darker than their orginal color once grey. These are the things I've observed from older women in my family,ect. If you go all grey remember it can drown you out making you invisible. It's a good time to get an interesting cut because of that. Grey lightens your natural coloring. . .So it is important to up your make up once you have gone grey too. Or: Apply a little if you never did. Foundation is key, as are eyes that pop and a little blush. It may sound like a bit much if you don't wear any. I wouldn't want the shade of your hair to wash out your face though.

I color at home primarily because of the cost -- it's so much cheaper. When I had my stylist do it, I was paying $180 every 6 weeks for cut and color. I can't afford that -- and I only color my hair brown with no highlights.

But a side benefit has been that the at home color is a lot better for my hair. I used to use Aveda salon when my stylist did it. It dried out my hair SO BADLY and that is supposedly good color, enviro friendly and all that stuff. The at home color is cheaper but it's also been much more kind to my hair...

If I had highlights, I wouldn't do it at home.

you know...silver hair is pretty. It's different, and I have always liked super silverly hair.

Haha whenever I see it on a woman in a commerical i'm like "My hair better go silverly gray. So shiny."

go with enchantingimage's suggestion. Well, in my opinion, just because it's very thought out. haha


You could have the rest of your hair dyed gray/silver to match. I  agree it can be very pretty. If you dye the rest gray to match your roots then the only maintenance you would have to worry about would be color touch ups every 5 or 6 months or so if the color fades (rather than root touch ups to go back to brown.)Smile

I'll tell you... I'm almost 24, and when I'm your age, that's what my hair will look like.  I'm already well on my way.  I've been dying my hair off and on since I was 16 (I started going gray very early), and I've just recently decided that I'm done with it.  I'm going to age with dignity, lol.  I'd say embrace nature.  But honestly, do whatever makes you feel good.


Original Post by claudb89:

you know...silver hair is pretty. It's different, and I have always liked super silverly hair.

Haha whenever I see it on a woman in a commerical i'm like "My hair better go silverly gray. So shiny."

go with enchantingimage's suggestion. Well, in my opinion, just because it's very thought out. haha


Thank you! Lol. Smile

OP: Post an update/photos of whatever you decide if possible. :)

If you choose to go natural, that is your choice. But please don't rule out the option of coloring your hair because of cost or hair health!

At-home dyes are a great alternative, as long as you are smart about your choice of color and product. I recommend you try Nice 'N Easy by Clairol. They have tons of different colors, I'm sure you'll find one that closely matches your hair. At Wal-Mart you can buy a 6-week color for only $7! It gives you a very natural color, and you can do it yourself. It also comes with a tube of very good, moisturizing conditioner.

Just try an at-home color. If you are not satisfied, it will grow out and fade within 6 weeks of regularly washing your hair.


13 Replies