I have a love/hate relationship with gut feelings.

When they come over me, they are so hard to ignore.

I feel pulled to embrace them and yet struggle with other factors that play into my perspective.

Recently I learned that my friend Jen, from  Born Just Right, was getting ready to transition, from dying her hair, to gray. I was impressed and intrigued, but didn’t think too much about it until today. I saw pictures of Jen starting the process in my news feed on social media, with #JenGoesGray.

I couldn’t wait to learn more and see her after pictures!

I shared a picture and post on Facebook about what she is doing, which led to a great conversation with other women, close to my age (40). One friend talked about her experience with transitioning to gray over the past year. Another talked about how she has considered it too, but isn’t ready yet, as her hair has been connected to her image of herself for so long.

Jen also weighed in as to why she decided to go this route and what’s next, in terms of her transition.

Which left me with a yearning to do it. To reveal my shades of gray…

As I shared on Facebook, I have always had so much respect and admiration for women who go gray, closer to the time nature intended. This includes my mom, who embraced her gray, younger than most, when she was about my age.

Conversely, I was at a meeting recently with many women who are 55+ and noticed that they all still dye their hair. I was somewhat perplexed by this and came home and told Bob that though I wasn’t ready yet, I don’t want to be still be dying my hair 15-20 years from now.

Which leaves me with this nagging feeling…

Do I seriously consider starting the process of transitioning to gray now?

I have actually discussed this with my long time hairdresser in the past year. She answered my questions and is supportive.

If this is something you have thought about, are struggling with or embracing yourself… Please share!

As with so many things, I think this is a conversation worth having.

My friend, who did this in the past year, shared she doesn’t know anyone else our age who has gone gray willingly/intentionally.

How do you feel about fortysomethings going gray? Does your answer change depending on if we are referring to others/people in general vs. you?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 loribeth March 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm

I am 54 & I only colour/highlight my hair 2-3 times a year — usually just before I go home to see my my mother — who colours her hair every 6-8 weeks, lol. I like the colour/highlights, makes me feel younger & more polished… but even when it gets back to or pretty close to its natural state, it’s not totally horrific (yet?? lol). My younger sister refuses to colour her hair — & she is actually much more grey than I am.

I am not sure how long I’ll keep colouring mine. My hairdresser actually pouted until I caved & let her do colour (I had been doing highlights, but the grey was starting to overshadow the blond, lol), & I am sure she would pressure me to keep doing it. Likewise, my mother would probably pester me about it. It’s definitely expensive to keep up — although only doing it 2-3 times a year helps the budget. But I’m sure that as time goes on, I will have to do it more often if I want to maintain the way it looks.

Some women have gorgeous grey hair (thinking of Jamie Lee Curtis & Emmylou Harris). One of my aunts has lovely silver hair — I look a lot like her & I am hoping I take after her in the hair department too, lol. I think it’s navigating that transition, that in-between stage, that’s the hard part.

I have had a book in my to-read pile for eons — I STILL haven’t read it, but you might want to check it out: “Going Grey” by Anne Kreamer.

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2 Brianna March 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm

I’m totally in the minority in our society. At 34.5 years old, I’ve never dyed my hair. With that being the case, I’m not going to start once I go gray. If I go gray next year or in 20 years. I just can’t imagine dealing with the upkeep of coloring and touch-ups. So, whenever I do go gray will be completely up to nature. That’s not to say that when I begin to see gray hairs I won’t feel old, as I’ve always been told that I look young for my age, but being somewhat of a red-head, I’m really hoping for a nice silver, rather than a gray 🙂
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3 Justine March 10, 2015 at 9:05 pm

I’m 41. Never dyed my hair, either. I’m enjoying watching the surprise … it’s part of accepting who I am. 🙂
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4 Geochick March 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

I’ll need to transition. My hair stylist has suggested at about 45-50 that we do it. At this point, I’m about 50% gray underneath and 75% gray on the top. Oddly enough she seems to want more of my hair to go gray before she starts working with it in that state. And I’m too vain about having young kids at an old age. I like that people think I’m in my mid-30’s instead of 40. Just that few years “deception” makes me feel good.
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5 Geochick March 11, 2015 at 10:56 am

I also feel the need to point out that I went prematurely gray by my mid 20’s and had to swtch from highlights to all over color. I really wasn’t wanting to embrace it back then! Plus I have dark brown hair. It’ll be a shock.
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6 Catwoman73 March 17, 2015 at 6:56 am

I am 42, and have been colouring my hair since I started going grey- at age 16! I can’t even begin to imagine what I would look like if I let my grey show. I think it’s wonderful if other women let their grey show, but me- I’m just not ready. I think not being ready is as much about the fact that I would miss the ritual of going to my stylist every five weeks as it is about concern for my appearance. I love my salon appointments! I drink tea, chat with everyone- it’s a nice, relaxing ritual that breaks up the craziness of the rest of my life. I will likely continue to colour mine until I retire- which I should be able to do in about 13 years. At that point, we’ll see. The ritual will likely be difficult to maintain at that point, as we plan to do a fair amount of travelling. Maybe that will be my time to let it go. Whenever it happens, I hope I look just like my mom- she has beautiful, soft, pure white hair!
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7 Joy April 14, 2015 at 12:13 am

My hair is an ash-brown so it has a grayness to it. I just turned 30. I actually stopped dying my hair and let it grow out, chopped off the old color and I’m au naturel now. I won’t cover up gray but I won’t make myself gray at a certain age either just because I’m a particular age. Que sera, sera. 🙂


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