Transitioning to Gray

My sweet friend Val and I in 2020

To color or not to color...that was the question!

Transitioning to gray, I mean silver, has taken a few years and it's not 100% there yet. I suppose it would be if I just chopped my hair short, but I'm not ready for that yet, and maybe never will be. 

I started noticing "gray" in my hair in my late 20's, so I did what most people do/did, I started coloring it. Call me cheap or frugal or budget conscious, but I wasn't going to pay salon prices to color my hair. I have A LOT of hair, and it grows fast. That added up to a lot of money in my brain. Money I could spend on other things. So I did it myself. Good ole' Loreal. Sometimes I chose just a solid color, other times, I added highlights (sometimes successfully, and sometimes it' didn't look the best, but oh well, I'd say, it's just hair, it'll grow back or grow out. After several years of doing this, I decided I was done with the chemical, toxic (in my opinion) hair colors and swapped to henna. I hated the smell, and the time it took, but was happy with the results....for awhile. 

Like I said, my hair grows fast. My gray decided it wasn't going to arrive in streaks here and there. No, it was going to come in like an army lined up from my roots outward. I noticed with the henna, that the more my gray came in, the harder it was to cover, and it didn't last long, AND it had a bit of a green tint for a few days.

What's a girl to do? Well, I suppose I could have said, no way Jose am I going gray this early (40's) and run off to the hair dresser, but again, budget conscious, toxin conscious, whatever you want to call it, I wasn't doing it. I had been himming and hawing for a few years about just letting it grow out, but my family wasn't quite ready, and to be honest I wasn't sure if I was either. Would it make me look old? Would I be happy with it? Because, in my mind once I started down the path, there was no turning back. I decided to just jump in. I decided that in order for this to work, I had to be confident with the decision, I had to "rock it" so to speak. You really do, because there's so much pressure out there to NOT age, to fight it with everything within you. Women my age and older would come in with their colored hair, looking young, and if I'm honest, sometimes it was hard. Sometimes it still is. 

Pretty soon though, I was seeing a trend of younger women "intentionally" coloring their hair silver/gray, in fact, the further mine grew out (after the skunk phase as I called it at one point), many thought I was coloring my kind of had an ombre look...more silver in the front, not as much in back. I would laugh and say "are you kidding me? I wouldn't intentionally color my hair silver". 

Maybe it's because of my complexion, or the fact that my hair is curly so the silver and brown would intertwine, or the color of the silver coming in, but it has worked and I get many compliments, even comments that it doesn't make me look older at all. I like to keep it just above shoulder length. I've thought of cutting it short, but there's that "it grows really fast" thing and I'd always be cutting it if I was trying to keep a certain style. Plus I like to wear my hair up more often than down because I do get really hot.  I also have pretty coarse hair that doesn't get oily, so I typically only wash it once maybe twice a week. I purchase an organic (or less toxic) purple shampoo and conditioner, but also swap out and use regular shampoo as well. I don't want to dry my hair out too much and I've heard purple shampoo can do that. For product I use mousse, and gel and let it air dry. My hair tends to be heavy, so the bottom is curlier than the top so I'll sometimes add curls too the top of my hair with a medium size curling iron barrel. 

Everyone transitions differently and in the way that works for them. If you're considering it, I encourage you to embrace it. Maybe follow a few influencers on IG or FB that have transitioned. They can be so encouraging and helpful. If I was asked why, or someone commented on my hair, I always told the truth confidently. I was tired of fighting it, I was tired of coloring it. I had to come to a new way of thinking and throw out the mindset that gray = old. Let's be honest, that's what we've been ingrained with over the years. A few friends who started the journey, went back to coloring. They just couldn't do it. That's okay. 

When covid hit and women couldn't go to the salon, I laughed and said "I've been preparing for this moment for the last few years." I mean, you have to find humor in all of this right?
2015 at my daughters wedding. I had to make sure I colored my hair at just the right time (it couldn't look "green", but the couldn't grow out either)
You can slightly see that my hair is lighter at the roots. I think this was 2017ish
That lovely part of growing out. The front of my hair grew out first, the back is still growing out. 
When my hair was pulled back the gray was very prominent. My messy buns were funny because the top and front of my hair would be silver, the bun part would be brown. I received lots of comments about this. 

Getting there. 

2019 or early 2020


With Joy Unquenchable,


  1. Kirstin, I'm not sure how I missed this post but I love your perspective on the color gray! I think my weeks are blending together! Another blogger shared her experience with her gray hair. You have tons of great pictures of your in all its shades. I love your final shot of your mostly gray tresses! See you soon!

    1. I just posted this one yesterday. It wasn't my "color gray" post or linked to any other challenges etc, which could be why you missed it. I just thought I'd share my journey.

  2. Hi Kirstin, Your hair looks great! I have many friends who decided to go natural too! I'm not quite there yet. ;) It's funny you should take the challenge in the direction of hair as I kept thinking of the old commercial, 'hate that gray - wash it away! wash years away in minutes!' Remember that one? If not, I must be older than you. :) :)

    1. Haha..I think it's something you have to be ready for. I actually just posted this and had another one posted for the gray challenge. Lol.

  3. Kristin, I actually like your gray color better than the dark brown. I was inspired to start growing mine out by the young women who CHOSE gray! It is so difficult to keep up with a dark color. I kept my auburn until my forties, then switched to blond. I grew mine out during my bout with cancer followed by Covid. I'm still tempted to start coloring but mine is so thin now. Don't go back - ever, though. Yours if gorgeous. :)

    1. Thank you Marsha. I really do like it. Especially on good hair


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