Going Gray Updates from the Beginning - Growing Out My Natural Gray Hair

Have you made the decision to ditch the dye and go to your natural gray or silver hair color? If so, you might like the encouragement and support you can find in the online Facebook groups listed in this post: 5 Support Groups on Facebook When You Decide to Go Gray.  There are oodles of women (& some men) who post photos of their updates, and women who have already been gray or silver for a while who give all kinds of advice.  I think you should definitely check them out!


 Going Gray Update~~February 10, 2016
For some reason, this going gray post seems to be "popular" right now. If you scroll down you can read how I was feeling about the journey as I was going through it and have a little giggle.  The updates from the beginning of my journey are below the pictures.
Photos of growing out my natural gray hair

It's funny that in my very first "going gray update" post in January 2012 I "hoped" that I hadn't missed the gray trend.  Four years later it is still going strong and apparently now people who are not naturally gray are sitting in salon chairs for LONG hours trying to get gray.

 If you can see me in the sidebar, you know that I made it all the way through the "going gray" journey in one piece!  I was actually surprised when a photo from the beginning showed up in my "facebook memories" today.  I hadn't realized it had been FOUR years since I began!!  I thought it had only been three.  I guess time flies when you're having fun.  My updates below only go from January 2012 to March 2012, so I've tried to find some other pictures during the process.

This is what my gray hair looked like by May 2012. It was maybe three inches of gray roots.  I just stopped coloring cold turkey and didn't bother having any highlights or anything put in.  The beginning is probably the hardest part.  By the time I got to this point, I didn't really even care if people looked at me funny!  By this point, they knew what I was doing!
Hair with two inches of natural gray hair showing during the growing out process while going gray

 I ended up cutting my gray hair into a pixie in July 2012 to get as much of the color off as I could. . . and that was all she wrote!  You can tell that the ends still had color on them.  I actually kind of miss the funky variation of color.
Pixie haircut to get color off ends of hair while growing out gray hair

Cutting into a pixie made the growing out process easier and everyone still loved my hair even though I looked like a calico cat.  Hehe.  By November 2012, it was still pixied and looked like this.  A lot of the color was off the ends by this point.  It's a little shorter than I like, but we went really short to get the rest of the color off the ends.
By April of 2013, I had started growing the pixie out again.
short gray hairstyle

In August of 2014, I was actually in All You Magazine talking about my gray hair.  Now, All You doesn't exist anymore.  It's been merged into Southern Living, I believe.  But, I can still say I was in a magazine!  The photo was actually taken in April of 2014, though.

Photo of Gray haired girl in magazine discussing her decision to let her hair go naturally gray
In July 2014, I cut it short again.
AND, I grew it out again.

By February of 2015, I pixied again.  I got bored.  What can I say?
short gray haircut

I'm in the process of growing it out again (it's back to chin-length), but who knows how long it will be until I cut it again.  Since I don't cure my "hair boredom" with color anymore, I have to cure it with haircuts!

 I began my going gray journey in the beginning of January 2012.  The last time I colored my hair was December 23rd, 2011.  Here are the original posts, from newest to oldest.

March 9, 2012
Hi everyone!  My hubby and I went to the Florida Keys a couple weeks ago.  I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things!  Sorry for my absence.  Here are some (really bad) pictures of us from the Keys.  It was soooo much fun.  It was relaxing.  It was wonderful.  

I just look like I have a white spot in front!  That's the lightest part of my whole head I think.  It's actually coming in with a lot of dark in some spots.  I guess there will be a lot of variation in the degrees of silver!  Some silver, some platinum.  

This process is taking so long!  I feel like when I was coloring, the roots happened soooo fast.  Now, that I'm trying to grow it out, I feel like I'm at a standstill.  

People's reactions have been varied.  I have had people crinkle up their nose and ask me, "Why?!?!"

One of my sister's friends said, "WHAT is your sister doing?"  We're friends on Facebook.  My sister's friend goes on a lot and has seen some of my gray pictures.  My sister NEVER goes on Facebook, so hasn't seen the pictures.  I should tell you that they met at cosmetology school.  So. . . . . not thinking she agrees with the whole not coloring thing.

My stepmom has decided to go gray along with me.  She had the front of her hair stripped, so she has it light on top and dark in back while she's growing it out.  When I told my mom and aunt, my aunt said, "You can do that?  Maybe I'll try that over the summer"  She also joked that she was going gray one spot at a time.  If you color your own hair, you know how easy it is to miss a spot.  She apparently missed a spot last time.  She's tired of coloring too!  So, maybe we'll all go gray together.  Mom?  You too?  ;)

The next couple months should be interesting.  I'm almost tempted to use one of the gray hair colors and color my hair gray.  But, then it would be a completely different growing out process.  Wonder if I could put gray streaks in my hair?  Hmmmm. . . .

February 10, 2012
It has been 7 weeks since my last color.  It feels like the process is just draaaaaaaaaaging now.  It's going so slow.  And I'm beginning to get kind of scared.  I was hoping it was actually going to be lighter than what it looks like it's going to be.  And last week my husband told me, "you're starting to look old" after I told him that I thought a woman was staring at my head.  Of course the next day he told me I was gorgeous and that he'd like me even if I had purple or green hair.  So. . . I think it's the in-between stages that kind of stink.  I'm neither here, nor there.  I expect that I'll start getting some pretty strange looks from people soon. 

And wanna see something fun?  Take a minute to check out the Greyovers over at thegreymatter blog!  She has made over celebrities to have gray hair.  And they are all still stunning.  I'm hoping she'll do one of me, too. ;)
Celebrity Greyovers Part 1

January 26, 2012

I'm gonna get pretty scared soon!
Thank goodness for the ladies who have gone through it before and are going through it now at Going Gray, Looking Great!

January 12, 2012
Well, I really have no idea what I'm doing.  I don't know why I'm doing this, other than the fact that I'm tired of coloring.  Even though I use the gentlest hair color there is, I don't want to keep using those chemicals on my head every three weeks!

I don't know if I'll last the entire time, or whether I'll chicken out and color it back.  It seems like such a daunting process.  But I thought, no matter whether I keep doing it or not doing it, I'll be documenting everything the whole time.  So, here are the pics of what my hair currently looks like.  It's hard to tell in the pictures.  I probably have about 1/2" of gray roots right now.  The pictures were taken around 20 days after my last color.

At this point, I'm just going to try to figure out if I can fade the ends of my hair, since I'm not ready for a haircut.  I think it will be easier to wear a ponytail with the crazy roots, than it will be to wear it down.  I've heard that you can fade color with hot oil treatments, vinegar and/or clarifying shampoo.  Whenever I find the time to do it, I was going to try the hot oil treatment.  I've got plenty of olive oil!  
Yikes!  Wish me luck.  It's only hair, right?

I also bought the book Going Gray by Anne Kreamer.
"What I learned about beauty, sex, work, motherhood, authenticity, and everything else that really matters."

I'm about to go start it!  I opened it earlier to the middle and glanced at one paragraph.  Even that random paragraph looked interesting.  So, I'm looking forward to it!

Who's gonna do it with me?!?  *big grin*

January 5, 2012
I might have come to the decision today to grow out my gray hair.  I have no idea where the idea came from.  But, I'm just tired of coloring my hair!  I laugh at you guys who get your first gray hair in your forties and freak out.  I probably had my first at 19.  I am the age now that my grandmother was when I was born.  She was almost completely gray when I was born.  Now, she has the most gorgeous color of white hair.

I will miss my brown hair.  It seems like it has been one of my distinguishing features my whole life.  Thinking about not having it makes me kind of sad!  And when I asked my kids if they would still like me if I had gray hair, they both replied, "No, keep it the way it is".  Of course, Logan went through a phase when he was one or two when he freaked out if I put my hair in a ponytail.  So . . . I think he just doesn't like change.  And my husband isn't too sure about it either.

I'm not sure how I'm going to go about it.  I thought that going lighter with my hair color would help blend the gray in and make it easier between colorings (before I decided to go gray).  But, I was wrong.  Now, I just have 3 to 4 different colors instead of two!

I found a great website called Going Gray, Looking Great!, but it's going to be shut down on the 7th after 5 years of being online.  I missed the boat on this one!  It looks like a pretty cool site.  It shows people going through "the transformation".  Oh well!

I did find this blog post from December about how the gray trend might still be going!  Maybe I didn't miss the gray trend.  ; )


  1. Good for you! I also stopped coloring it a few years ago after having colored it for 20 plus years. It was getting so tiresome and I'd do it at home and in the end it made my hair look like straw! Now I have grown it out and I've got white with light brown sprinkled in. It actually looks like highlights. I love it, but some of my friends said I was too young to have white hair! You understand that feeling. How is being 55 too young to have white hair? Thank you for confirming that we are trendy! You look fabulous and so does your hair!

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey. I love the color and you're really rocking it :)
    Thanks for linking up with Idea Box last week. Your post has been featured.
    Hope you're well!



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