Going Gray: Gray Hair at 40 (8 Months And Counting)

January 25, 2018

This Organic Girl going gray

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There’s no turning back now guys. It’s been 8 months since I stopped dying my hair and I’m like really gray now. I’m also celebrating my 40th birthday this March and if you had asked me 5 years ago if I would be gray by 40, I would have dyed laughing! But here I am, entering my 40s and embracing my gray hair. So here’s the latest.

First of all, at 8 months out my hair is SO DRY! I realize now when I was dying my hair every 4 weeks, it wasn’t only adding color, it was adding shine, texture and vibrancy. Now after going cold turkey, the true condition of my hair has been exposed and it’s not cute. My virgin hair is not dry but the chemically treated section is. And not only is it dry, it’s inconsistent in color. Some parts are darker than others and some strands have fully lost their chemical pigment. Every few months I would have my colorist run my color all the way through the ends of my hair during the last 5 mins of treatment to even out my color and avoid this from happening. And now I have nothing in my arsenal short of a pair of scissors to avoid it.

This Organic Girl gray hairAnd while I’m on the topic of texture, why is it that when hair goes gray, the texture goes berserk too!? I have some strands of hair that are breaking off at the corner of chemically treated hair meets gray newbie and these 4 inch rogues insist on standing straight up like a soldier at attention on his last day at boot camp. Why!?

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A hair oil might be helpful for some. It won’t solve the problem but it will help. The whole key to success here is not using too much oil. Less is more friends. Less is more. Then I tend to set it with Josh Rosebrook’s Hairspray and that really helps them lay down.

More Haircuts!

Also, just had my second haircut with Jen – founder of the coming soon hair salon Creature. Throughout this process, as my roots get longer and my hair gets shorter I can finally see the end of the tunnel and I’m telling you right now, 2018 is my year! I will for sure be fully gray probably by the fall. Depends on how short I go. I will share pics next time.

I asked Jen about putting a glaze on to help with the dry ends and she discouraged me so I dropped it. The less chemicals the better anyways.

Also, this study may change your mind about going gray earlier.

This Organic Girl gray hair

Looking to the future

I sometimes catch myself looking through my kids eyes and I think it’s really interesting that they will never remember me with dark hair. I feel equal feelings of loss but also pride. Maybe it sounds superficial but it’s a part of me they will never know. I remember looking at pictures of my aunt when I was little. (She went gray early too and started dying her hair blonde because of it.) I just remember thinking Wow, this is my auntie when she was younger. Then I probably pictured her doing cool things with her cool friends and made up a story of what she was really like. Meanwhile those dark haired pics where from her teens and I knew her when she was gray/blonde and THIRTY. Anyways, I wonder if my boys will do that with pictures of me someday. Probably not.

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But I am also proud that they will have a mom who’s looks will never change drastically for them. I will look the same to them now as I do when I’m 60 – just with a few more laugh lines, God willing.

Outside Looking In

I’m getting less comments now too. Around month 3 I was getting so many comments from strangers about my gray hair. Mostly positive ones which was encouraging. But now that my grays are taking over the comments are changing. I am not getting as many and if I do it’s a compliment to my hair color instead of the process. Before it was “Did you dye your hair like that?” and now it’s “I love your hair color!” And it’s probably because the gray is taking over. If I pull my hair up in a bun now, I have that gray hair, black bun look which is pretty stark but kind of edgy cool too. But the point is all the hair around my face is gray so it’s becoming my look rather than a question.

This Organic Girl gray hairOn that note I want to add that looking back I can say for sure the hardest part is over now. Growing out roots is THE WORST. It’s like, it’s just…out there. All exposed. Looking like you missed a hair appointment…or three. But now it’s easy to own. Gray hair wraps my face and if anything, I’m just excited for it to grow out more. And by the way, I finally have the highlights I’ve always wanted – so fun!

What about you?

Are you going gray? Where are you at? How is it going? What are you loving or not loving? Comment below so we can share and support each other!

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For more, check out these posts on Going Gray:

Photos by my girl Jenn at Monkey & Squirrel

Xo, lisa

By Lisa

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

16 Comments

  1. Reply

    Claire D'Anjou

    Congratulations on stick ing put to your decision. At 40, I had décidé to let my hair go gray. And I did…. until my Sister – who I see once a year – came over and sais that I looked old. A few weeks layer, I was back at my hairdresser’s to have my hair dyed again.

    I will be turning 49 next month. Two months ago, I went back to my hairdresser and sais “I’m ready”. I now have short hair (I look best with short hair) and the dye is almost gone (one or two more haircuts). My grey hair is beautiful and looks healthy.

    Going grey do not make one look old. It is sad that society puts so much value on “looking” younger. NEWSFLASH: we are fooling no one by dyeing ourt hair. We are all getting older. That does not mean that we “are” old. We are only as old as we feel. 🙂

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      I love your story! All so true. Thanks so much for sharing. And it just proves too how much weight we hold by encouraging others rather than discouraging. I’m glad you are almost there! Send us pics when you get your final cut! xo!

  2. Reply

    Gwen

    Lisa, still look to you for inspiration! Almost caved 3 weeks ago. I did have my stylist add light highlights so it would not be as obvious at 8 weeks in, and kept me going ????. Going to be a LONGGGGGGG road. Hope I can stick with….

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      You stick with it girl! We got this! Send me pics! xo

  3. Reply

    Vicky

    Keep inspiring! If there was a grey heart emoji it would be for you. Thanks for sharing the stages, progress, and how the hair care changes.

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Thanks for the gray heart emoji! We need that one and a bunch of kale too – no!? Love the support, thanks for being here! xo

  4. Reply

    Tammy S

    I love your hair!! I think it has looked beautiful through the whole process! Yes the grow out period is painful! I feel your pain! I’m in the process of growing out my hair and there are days I’m about ready to give up! Most of all, I love how boldly you have owned the process! Your confidence and naturla beauty shines through!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Tammy! You are a doll! Thanks girl! Hats were the answer for a few months there…now I feel like I am finally owning it. I’m sure you look beautiful too. Share pics with us here if you can! xo!

  5. Reply

    Diana

    March 2009 was the last time I dyed my hair (I was 50) .I thought I would be totally gray since the gray roots were taking over and I was coloring my hair every 3-4 weeks. But it took FOREVER to grow out and when it finally did I had very dark brown hair with nowhere near as much gray as I thought. I had been blondish for 30 years so it was such a shock! The wiry grays were so annoying and I plucked them for a while til I realized bald spots were not a good look ????. Anyway all these years later I’m STILL not totally gray, maybe 50% but I get compliments every day on my silver “highlights”. And I gotta say I am saving a ton of time and money not coloring. Good luck on your gray journey! I think your boys will remember you with dark hair though. My mom had dark hair until she stopped coloring it when I was around 13 and to this day when I picture my mom, she has dark hair.

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Really? That is so cool. I love that you stuck with it. Would love to see pics! Love the memory of your mom too. I still wonder! Thanks for sharing! xo

  6. Reply

    Emilie

    Hi
    Thanks for sharing your story. 5 months ago I started dying my hair with Hairprint. My colour is ash brown with lots of roots in Swedish Blond ( that is a Dutch joke and is actually referring to grey). However Hairprint is covering for 90%. I’m very happy with not only Hairprint’s dye, also her ranges in shampoo and conditioner are fab. I believe it was you that spent a blog post on Hairprint! So many thanks!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Yes! I used Hairprint for 14 months exclusively and I was AMAZED at how it works only using 8 food-grade nontoxic ingredients. It’s mind boggling! Glad you are having success! For anyone else who is curious about Hairprint, search “Hairprint” on my site and all my experiences with it will come up!

  7. Reply

    Andrea

    I just want to tell you I think your hair looks great. It gives you a really modern and edgy look! I started following your blog a few months back when I was researching Hairprint. I decided I was going to try henndigo first and if that didn’t work out for me, I was going to grow my hair out to its virgin state and give Hairprint a try. Well, after a trial run with neutral henna and a horrible allergic reaction to it, I now find myself with two months of roots (dark brown with some gray) and an extreme fear of putting my scalp through any further irritation, so it looks like I might be taking this route. It’s a terrifying prospect, but I have to admit that the thought of shiny, non-chemically damaged hair is very appealing. Thanks for writing about your journey!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Hi Andrea! Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your story! I totally understand and I want to add the first few months are the hardest. After you get through that initial breakthrough you are GOLDEN! Golden in a good way (not in a Golden Girls way : ) Let us know what you decide!

  8. Reply

    lisa

    Oh! Your hair looks awesome. I stumbled upon you a bit ago regarding Hairprint and looked to you for inspiration….I stopped Hairprint also and am letting the gray shine through. It’s pretty liberating. Love your blog and your hair looks great!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for this! I am loving the going gray process – that really surprised me. So glad you are enjoying it too! xo!

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