To gray or not to gray: that is the question.

I’ve been coloring my brown hair since I could drive myself to the drugstore. When I decided to grow out my ombre highlights last year — still a work in progress — I thought I’d give my hair a rest from the chemicals and go au naturale for while.

It turns out, I like my natural color… and now my head is being slowly colonized by grays.

Ironic, dontcha’ think?

It started in my late 20s with a silvery strand or two — which I yanked and forgot — but when I tried a deep side part a few Sundays ago, I found a sneaky streak hiding near my left temple that I hadn’t noticed before. (I’m sure I sprouted several more over Valentine’s week.)

When women start to gray, we find ourselves at a fork in the road: one path leads to years in our colorist’s chair waging a war against our roots, and the other embraces it. There’s even an #embracethegray hashtag, which I discovered while scouring Pinterest and Instagram for fierce ladies who let their silver shine; see: Sarah Harris.

Considering my aversion to maintenance, I think I’ll join the latter camp and let it go. For now. ;)

To blend everything in, I want to add some hand-painted balayage highlights to the crown and around my face. They’re more subtle and grow-out friendly than foils, and will hopefully camouflage the gray without the need for regular root touchups.

Best case scenario, I end up with some awesome natural highlights like this gorgeous model from Cisthene.

{Image sources: Refinery29, Cisthene, Constanza Arena, British Vogue.}

30 thoughts on “To gray or not to gray: that is the question.

  1. I’m dark blonde and my hair goes quite light in the sun. I always used to have some highlights put in during the winter to lighten things up, but, now mother nature does it for me with what I like to call the ‘platinum blonde’ streaks. I have rather a baby-face, so, I welcome the greys an in fact do an on purpose side part to show them off during job interviews… can’t wait to see how you play with yours!

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  2. I love that you are embracing your grey roots. I’m currently in the process of dying my hair grey. Your beautiful just the way you are.

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  3. I think whether to go with the grey or cover it up depends on your natural hair colour and the tone of your skin. If they grey makes your skin look dull and tired then perhaps add highlights to counterbalance the grey. My grey hair has grown as distinct streaks from my part all the way down to the tip of my hair ends. I have light blond hair and fortunately the grey looks as though I have had platinum highlights. So they work for me- for now anyway :)

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  4. At 24 I think I have something like 4 grey hairs already! I come from a family of women who all dye their hair into their 80s and 90s so I’m not sure I’ll ever let it go all the way, but ironically it’s really “in” for 20 something year olds to dye their hair silver.

    http://www.danikamaia.com

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  5. I battle with this too! I color my hair every 4 weeks because I have so much gray hair. I was at target today and I saw a woman my age (30) who had grey hair, long and grown out with some highlights. I’m thinking of that route too :)

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  6. I discovered my first gray hair when I was 20 and thought it was hilarious. As they have begun to multiply over the years I started to find it less and less funny. I had convinced myself to embrace the gray and actually dye a gray streak, a-la Stacey London (So Fabulous!). My hair stylist wouldn’t let me do it though and now I am left trying to figure out my next move… Good luck!

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  7. Love this! Women are told to change so many things about themselves… it’s refreshing to see women embrace their natural and true beauty! Good on you for embracing the gray!

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  8. I know a couple of women who dye, and they look pretty, but me and my mom go ‘au naturale’ (although I don’t have to deal with grays yet) and we love it.

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  9. Ooh yes, embrace the grey! I think it looks so cool and dreamy…and besides, aging isn’t always a bad thing. I think it’s one of the most beautiful things about being human :)

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