Gray Hair - No longer something to hide?

NancyM on 14 Mar 2007 at 12:00am

The vast majority of women let out an audible scream and then rush to find the nearest utensil, be it Roseanne Barra fork or an eyebrow plucker, or a pair of scissors to cut out first signs of a gray hair.

Who could forget the catchy hair color commercial jingle, "I'm gonna wash that gray right outta my hair?"

I think I even sang that in the shower as a child while lathering up my shampoo.

When did gray hair become the enemy?

On some women, this natural sign of age looks downright fabulous. Take Meryl Streep in the movie, "The Devil Wears Prada..." Her 'do was chic and fantastic, and was no doubt meant to be trendsetting as she was in the role of the most highly esteemed fashion magazine editor in the business.

Meryl StreepIn real life, Roseanne Barr has decided to live in the gray. After undergoing multiple plastic surgery procedures, including a facelift and eyelid lifts  to keep the signs of age at bay, the comedienne is letting her hair go gray.

Barr, 54, was a guest on gab fest, The View, where she told the hosts, “I’m gonna stop dying my hair, and go all the way gray, ‘cause I want to look old, because I am old, and I think it’s damn good to be old too.”  Fifty-four is hardly what I would consider “old.” 100 is the new “old” to me, but I like where Barr is going with her sentiment.

What do you think of going gray?

Is it the worst imaginable beauty faux pas, or an attribute to flaunt? Share your thoughts! 

Comments (195)

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I am 56 and love my gray hair. I have wavy hair that just touches my shoulder and a bit shorter around my face. I get so many compliments because of the natural streaks of copper, and brown amidst the gray. I have had many people ask me where they can get their hair streaked like mine. Maybe I would look a few years younger with colored hair, but I love the way my hair looks and I will never color it again.

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I am with you franspace50. It is so nice to be so complimented for our God given hair colour. I wonder about the younger look but as I told one of me friends on my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I earned and lived my years. I am proud of them and I don't feel ashamed of being 54.

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I allowed my hair to grow out to it's natural gray beauty over the past year. Best decision ever! Most people didn't even notice as I had been dying it blonde for the past several years and my grey is a medium/light gray. The best part is the fact that my hair is so much more healthy. No chemical damage from coloring anymore. Love it!
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I always like to see the brave silver/grays! I dyed my hair with a temporary dye one time. I never dyed it again. I grayed early and had babies into my 40's; people have had a lot of opinions. Recently, has become less novel. I admit, that although I know its healthier and I'm glad it becoming more the norm, there is an independent side of me that liked being so unique. All I can say to women considering it is, 'Come on in the waters fine".
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Let face the truth that reality comes naturally many of us when we getting older we usually forgot our fashion in life and let it be.Greying Hair Color Treatment
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Hi ripnroby,

Wow! You're doing great! I guess this transitional awkwardness is our "right of passage", it almost feels rebellious to me...Ha! Anyway, stay strong!
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I just purchased some light blonde color to hide my grey. Reading this blog helps me to rethink the "why". I guess it's that I look like an emperor penguin - you know, with those white tufts protruding over my ears. And my gray hair looks like it belongs on my other end, not my head, if you get my drift. My hair falls around the middle of my back, and I usually wear a thick braid over one shoulder when I work as a Flight Attendant. Geez, turning grey doesn't bother me...but others certainly do have strong opinions. I won't be coloring my hair today....than you all for your comments!
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Hi chel,

This is great to hear. I'm glad you found us. You wear your fantastic silvery braid with pride because I'm sure it looks amazing. Have a wonderful week!

-Britt

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Hi Chel B,

So far I've been sticking to the plan and I have not colored for almost 4 months. I'm a a weird transition stage(about 3 inches of grey...and am at my third phase...not sure I' going to go to the 4th cut...I like the length I now have). I'm sticking to my guns. I'm right there with you regarding the strong opinion of others...we certainly live in a culture where getting older is feared!! Good for you!!!
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It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics
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I'm right there with you florida mom...I'm soon to be 43 and am quite sure I'm 100% grey and have been since my early 30's...I have very long, beautifully colored hair that everybody loves and am nervous about the change. I found four transition haircuts that will get me to a pixie by July. If I have enough courage to stick to my plan I will stop coloring then. I may hate it..I may love it...I may decide to go back to coloring. One thing I do know is that if I don't test it out, I'll never know and I continue to show up at the salon every six weeks, resenting every moment in that chair! :)
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Happy Belated Valentine's my beautiful Silver Foxes:). Tonight on CBS there will be a special report called GORGEOUS & GRAY. I was so excited when I saw the tv spot I had to let you all know about it so you'd have an oppty to watch it. They will be featuring women who have decided to buck tradition and let their silver/grey/white tresses flow! They also asked the question, "If men are 'allowed' to go gray WHY can't women" I'll be watching.
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I am almost 60 with very few wrinkles. I still dye my hair because 1) I still look good in dark hair and 2) I dont hardly have any wrinkles so until I get the wrinkles to match the gray, I am going to enjoy my dark hair. I have seen others who gray very nicely, it makes me look washed out.
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I personally do not feel very many people look good in gray hair. Most
look older than they are, and the gray removes color from their face. Anyone I have seen ages their selves at least 10 years
wearing the gray. I am 69 and I will never have gray hair. Its not hard to keep a color, like blonde, or li.brown, lt reddish. Its much
younger looking.
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thank you for your advice, but i am trying to stay away from coloring. i am hoping that my hair will just go all gray. I got to stop being freaked out about this..this is a part of who i am..
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Hello Spitfire,
I'm sorry your stylist is making derogatory comments about the little gray hair you have. In my opinion, its just not very professional of her to critique that harshly, so shame on her!
As an artist, model and someone who's been involved in the beauty industry for over 15 years (I blame all these things for MY OCD, by the way!) I tend to be sensitive to harsh criticism as well. There is definitely an art to delivering CONSTRUCTIVE criticism in a subtle and diplomatic way that seems to escape many people out there!

I agree with what others have said. Get a new stylist! Check references on her before making the switch, if possible. I've found that shopping around for stylists is alot like dating...gotta kiss a few frogs before you find your perfect match. ;-)

Also, see my comment above and check out the beauties I listed who are gray and stunning! Gray doesn't have to be a horrible thing.
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thanks for your kind words. i am doing much better and i continue to wear my gray and loving it.
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Thanks LC60613,

Your words will be a great help for not only Spitfire but this entire community. Please continue to stay an active member.

Thanks,

-Britt

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I have the same problem. My hair started graying at age 19. I started coloring it dark brown when I was 29. I want to let it go gray because I'm tired of coloring it. I keep saying when my face starts to really wrinkle I will let it go gray. I now have one inch of gray roots the rest is brown. How can I color my hair all the same color with out spending a lot of money. I love he Platinum gray color it looks radiant to me and not dull. My hair is very course and the coloring helps to soften it.
I can't afford the price of a salon.
Thanks
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Hi Diana,

Welcome to the community and thanks for the comment. You should check out this forum post in our hair care section about Gray being the new Black.  Hope it helps and please keep us updated.

Thanks,

-Britt

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I would appreciate some answers to a lot the questions that women are posting - I have the same questions, but where are the answers?
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Hi Kim, 

Which questions are you looking to answers to? Also, did you see at the top of the page on the right there is a hair care section with a Q&A that might provide you with some answers. Please keep us updated.

Thanks,

-Britt

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Hello I just found your site and I saw a lot of old posts. I hope the site is still running strong because i have gray hair that my stylist don't even like. I went to get it trimmed and she said she is not liking my gray. she say's I have too many patches, thus it's not all gray. she also say's she feels like she cutting a old person's hair when she sees my gray. I am 40 but i have a young looking face. I am a brown skin lady and I too am tired of the dyes. I would love to chat with others who are feeling the pressure to color. I like it but am doutful alot.
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Hi Spitfire201,

That's not right of your hairdresser to make you feel bad about yourself, if anything she should make you feel amazing, regardless of her personal opinion about your looks. I had a hairdresser who made fun of me about my having thin hair, so I switched hair dressers. ;)

As you can see there has been a lot of chatter about gray hair, so you are not alone. Please keep me updated on where you go from here.

I'm sure you are beautiful just the way you are.

All the best and please stay active on our site, thanks for your comment,

-Britt

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Hi Spitfire,
First things first..GET A NEW HAIR DRESSER!! She is neither qualified nor professional enough groom a mangy subway rat much less your beautiful graying tresses. How dare she, someone whom YOU PAY to maintain your hair, make disparaging remarks like that. Since she doesn't like your hair, the she no longer has to maintain it. Now that I've gotten that off my chest(smile)I would love to know what city you live in, perhaps some other "foxes" on this forum live in your area and can suggest a salon for you. Find a stylist who understands hair care and makes you feel beautiful! Take care and please update the forum to let us know the outcome!
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