Is it ok to be grey?

(20 Posts)
PricillaQueenOfTheDessert Sun 09-Feb-14 00:07:23

I'm 42 and almost completely grey - not that you would know it thanks to my wonderful salon touching my roots up every 4 weeks. My hair is in terrible condition thanks to the frequent colour and the heat from hair dryer/straighteners. I'm also worried about developing allergies as my hair is so dark. I've started to think about the future and don't want to be a pale faced 80yo with black hair. I feel to young to see a grey haired lady looking back at me in the mirror, but I resent the time and money spent on topping it up every few weeks. What are your thoughts on colouring and going grey and what do you do to hide the inevitable?

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sun 09-Feb-14 00:09:36

Well you should perhaps start making the colour less dramatic than black to start off with ?

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Sun 09-Feb-14 00:31:54

There's grey and there's grey. I know/have known plenty of grey-haired women who look elegant, stunning, classic. They all keep their hair well-styled, sleek and glossy, and dress as they wish. I think that they are quite lucky, because the texture of their grey hairs is not much different to the rest of their hair. OTOH there are the women like me (and, I suspect, you: hair-straighteners) whose grey hairs frizz.

I've decided that I don't mind going grey, but I really don't like going frizzy. I don't think I'm going to be one of the elegant contingent face it, I never was, anyway.
Which, unless I want to look like a batty old bag, leaves growing old disgracefully. I tried to grow old disgracefully. I dyed part of my hair purple. It was lovely! But TBH all this topping up every few weeks...well, you've discovered it too. Is it really worth it?

Admittedly, I'm also in my 40s but not as grey as you describe. Nonetheless I am one of very few my age who does not dye her hair at all, never mind specifically to hide greying. But my grey hair is part of me - why should I deny myself? Ageing is inevitable. I can't be bothered to fight it and pretend it's not happening. I'm going to do it disgracefully.

peasandlove Sun 09-Feb-14 00:32:52

there's a thread running with some ladies going grey at the moment

LauraPalmer Sun 09-Feb-14 00:41:04

Yes. It's okay to go grey. And will probably look better on you (skin tone, eyes) than the colour you've been dying it. Which probably washes out your complexion.

I stopped dying my grey at 37 - instant transformation. I looked healthier and <shock> younger. It's so much easier, now, without the hassle. I do keep it cut and styled, which makes a big difference. And I've been lucky because my grey streaks are quite silky, not wirey.

Be brave!

Innogen Sun 09-Feb-14 01:10:01

Try a light brown or a dirty blonde?

Shonajoy Sun 09-Feb-14 03:32:18

I shaved all mine off as I'm unwell and not at work. Couldn't stand months of root doing, and it would have been a mess.

whitecat Sun 09-Feb-14 11:10:47

Of course it's ok to be grey.
The more of us that do it and make no apology for it, the better it will be for all women.
Dyeing hair should be a style/fashion choice not an expectation.

josephinebornapart Sun 09-Feb-14 13:45:39

All over flat colour is ageing anyway, and unnatural- you need to think about having 3-4 shades of colour - lowlights- in your hair of you want it coloured. This way you will avoid frequent touch-ups.

The other advice is that as you get older your hair should go lighter in colour not darker- because your skin tends to become paler too.

vitaminC Sun 09-Feb-14 15:58:35

I live in a city with a large middle class Italian population (mainly academics and engineers) and very few of the women seem to dye their hair.

They are all immaculately groomed - hair well cut and styled - and they tend to wear bright, strong colours both for their clothes but also bold glasses.

I can honestly say they all look fabulous and none of them seem the tiniest bit bothered about the grey!

Eliza22 Sun 09-Feb-14 16:39:44

This is interesting. I should say, I'm 51 and not grey but HAVE spent my entire life (from around 20 yrs old) having very blonde highlights in my mouse/dark blonde hair, in an attempt to recreate the Nordic colouring I had as a child/teenager. For the past 12 months I've said "enough!" and. I have to say, I'm very pleasantly surprised by a) the colour of my eyes and my complexion which, I now see, I'd been "fighting" for my entire adult life.

I agree with LauraPalmer. You may find that your natural hair colour better suits your natural colouring generally. I'd say, consult a good colourist and explain what you're trying to achieve and how best to gradually get there. I have a feeling that I will go a flay kind of grey mouse colour when I start to go grey but right now, I'm enjoying my "new" colouring which means I need less makeup as I'm not "over-blonde".

Eliza22 Sun 09-Feb-14 16:41:31

I will go a "flat kind of mouse grey". Sorry, not concentrating. Ready for a post Sunday dinner snooze.

scarlet76 Sun 09-Feb-14 16:58:54

I'm 37 and would say I'm 60% grey and 40% dark brown hair.
Last year I was colouring it brown myself at home. It was a chore and the regrowth horrendous.
I recently had it cut shorter - asymmetric bob. Short round the ear one side and longer jaw length bob on the other side. I asked my hair dresser just to put some dirty blonde highlights through it. Highlights don't catch all my greys but they sort of blend them in better than a block dark colour iyswim. I think I will stick with what nature gives me and a few highlights from now on!

lifesgreatquestions Sun 09-Feb-14 17:42:43

I'm probably 30/70 grey to dark brown and love it, the freedom fromhair colour has been wonderful. My younger friends and my oh, some men at work, thought it was shocking when Imade the decision to go natural. Friends my age and older have complimented both my decision and my hair colour. It feels like a decision that goes against the mainstream but I will never look back.

LittleBabyPigsus Sun 09-Feb-14 17:52:02

Tbh the idea that it's not OK for your body/skin/hair to look how it naturally looks is really sad to me. Of course it is OK to have grey hair. Do a deep conditioning treatment (and have one once a week if necessary) to get it in good condition again though.

PricillaQueenOfTheDessert Sun 09-Feb-14 23:34:35

Thanks for your comments. I am naturally dark brown, almost black and my dye is a lighter shade. I've tried going lighter, but a friend asked if I'd had gold highlights because it was so light on my much-greyness. Also, and sorry to be needy, I'm not sure quite how I could grow out the colour, surely I would just end up with two-tone hair? I did have a treatment once to strip the colour but it really wasn't very effective and my hair was still very dark. Peasandlove, if you could send me a link to the other thread I'd really appreciate it smile

scarlet76 Mon 10-Feb-14 05:47:57

Agree about the growing out stage if you dye your own hair. I can see no way you wouldn't have a line and 2 tones. The longer your hair, the longer it would take to grow out.
Am hoping the highlights will help me with this and that over time I can reduce the number I have.

Allice Mon 10-Feb-14 06:14:25

I'm considering doing the same, have no idea how much of my hair is grey, quite a lot I think.

It's got to the stage where my hair is far too dark, I'm very pale and it's not a good look.

I'm going to have the colour stripped and was going to go a mid brown colour but am wondering now about low lights and embracing some of the grey, I'm not ready to embrace it all!

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Mon 10-Feb-14 07:27:31

I've tried going lighter, but a friend asked if I'd had gold highlights because it was so light on my much-greyness.

What's wrong with that? You either answer "Yes", if you don't want to talk about it, or "I'm making the transition to embracing my grey", if you're happy totalk about it.

You don't need to explain or to justify.

Aquelven Mon 10-Feb-14 08:28:07

I too think it's really sad that you should have to ask. It's a pretty sorry state of affairs when women are so expected to try to look younger & made to feel ashamed of some stupid notion of not keeping up.
It's not even as if grey, or the ultimate white that often is the result, were unattractive colours in themselves. Just look at the number of young women dying their hair platinum blonde & the number of very high lift " white " boxes of hair bleaches on chemist shelves! White never did Jean Harlow or Marilyn Monroe any harm.

The freedom is fabulous. I started to go grey when still at school. I used to dye it but got really sick of the hassle when it was getting to be every couple of weeks to hide the roots. So I thought, blow it! I switched to a semi permanent for about a year, going lighter & lighter, eventually cutting a bit shorter to get the last out.
It's been snow white for years now, since I was about 26. The texture has been no different, it's fine, lots of it, a bit wavy & I wear it in a shoulder length bob. Everyone I know loves it. I even get asked by strangers where I get it coloured! I just think we need to rebel against this stupid notion that to look good we have to go through the chore of stopping our hair looking the way Mother Nature thinks it will suit our skin colour best. Not even mentioning the risk of severe allergic reaction that we risk! I've read of three young women dying this last year from anaphylactic shock when colouring their hair, one had even carried out the so called fail safe patch test.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now