How to go gray: A year in review

January 10, 2019

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going gray 18 months
Going gray: 18 months

One day I caught myself fantasizing about going gray. Not in the sense that it was a utopic scenario. More like, I caught myself wondering what I would look like gray. I have always been obsessed with my gray hair since I started growing them in at 19 – and not in a good way. I used to pluck them all with my Tweezermans but when I couldn’t keep up, I started hitting the salon every 2 months, which turned into 6 weeks which eventually turned into every 4 weeks about 20 years later.

I figure over the past 20 years I’ve spent almost $17,000 and just about 30 entire DAYS in the chair getting my hair dyed. And I was a die-hard. Let me tell you, with the conviction of a thousand men and in my deepest heart of hearts I just knew I would NEVER stop dying my hair. NEVER.

Then one day, I saw this beautiful woman in a restaurant in Hingham, MA. (Stars on the harbor to be exact – for all my south shore friends). Anyways, she struck me because her face looked so young and her hair looked so gray. And she was… BEAUTIFUL! Beautiful skin, a joyful smile, cute sassy curly hair – and she seemed like, happy. Enjoying a bottle of wine, dinner, and a few laughs with her hubs.

And something came over me. I couldn’t help myself. My legs got up and started walking right toward her and the next thing I knew I heard myself say, “Hi! My name is Lisa. Your hair is gorgeous. How did you do it? Was it hard? Did you have to cut your hair? How about hats? What did your friends say and HOW OLD ARE YOU!?” She was 45, it was hard at first but then it got easier. Her kids didn’t like it but now they are indifferent. And it’s been 3 years and the best thing she ever did.

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Guys, that kinda sold me. It took my curiosity from back seat to turn up the music, put it in cruise control and roll down the windows because MAMA’S DRIVING! And I was never really the same after that. My thoughts started changing and instead of thinking “I wonder….” I started deliberately thinking; “What if?” and “When?”

And just as thoughts get louder and louder the longer you sit with them, it got to the point where I couldn’t turn it off. So one day I casually mentioned to my husband, “Maybe I’ll stop dying my hair..” And I’ll never forget what he said because it was the final push I needed. He looked me right in the eye and said, “You should totally do it.”

So the following month I made a hair appointment and…dyed my hair. Hahaha! I don’t know why. I think I just needed that one last time. It’s like the boyfriend you broke up with but you get together with that one last time just to kind of make it all final. To really solidify that you made the right decision. To give yourself the opportunity to officially say goodbye. It’s was almost like so I could commemorate the experience, really burn it into my memory, honor every part of it and then let it go.

April 2017, the last time I dyed my hair.

And then I let the grow out begin.

How long does it take?

For anyone planning on growing out there hair or wondering how long it will take, I would say to plan on a solid 2 years for the grays to grow past your chin or for like a long bob type of hairstyle. But that being said, it’s not 2 years of hats, scarves and hiding. I would say it’s a solid 9 months – 1 year of making due and then you are home free.

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Josh Rosebrook Hairspray to hold down the flyaways.

True Botanicals Nourishing Shampoo – the only nontoxic shampoo that really cleans my hair. LISATRUE20 will save first-timers on orders over $40!

Innersense Organic Beauty Hair Mask to keep my hair conditioned, strong and hydrated!

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer for the fastest hair dry. Less drying time = less damage.

Overall I would say months 2-5 are probably the hardest because you walk around looking like you missed a hair appointment. It’s like being pregnant in your first trimester where you just feel fat but you don’t look pregnant yet. But once your grays grow in long enough to where you can almost tuck them behind your ears around 6 months, it starts to look intentional rather than questionable. This is when I really started to own the grays and enjoy the process. And the rest is just a waiting game after that.

The hardest part about going gray is deciding to go for it. Once you’ve made up your mind, it’s about perseverance in the beginning but then it’s just about waiting it out in the end. That being said, the best thing you can do find some supports to help you though whether it be you sister, mom, friends, husband, or finding someone else who is going gray…AND join The Gray Book Facebook group for more support. Support, encouragement and reassurance are three things that really got me through the tough parts.

For more on Going Gray..

Now I can say that going gray and loving it is a reality. For more information on going gray, you can follow along here where I’ve journaled about my experience along they way. I thought I was just growing my hair out but little did I know I was growing and changing on the inside too. It’s all here!

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Join The Gray Book

Also! If you are in the middle of going gray, are thinking about going gray or are like #beentheredonethat – consider joining The Gray Book Facebook group! A place to come for inspiration, insight, community, conversation and strength – all centered around going gray.

One year of going gray pics

going gray 1 month
Going gray: 1 month
going gray 2 months
Going gray: 2 months
oing gray 3 months
Going gray: 3 months
going gray 4 months
Going gray: 4 months
going gray 5 months
Going gray: 5 months
going gray 6 months
Going gray: 6 months
going gray 7 months
Going gray: 7 months
going gray 8 months
Going gray: 8 months
going gray 9 months
Going gray: 9 months
going gray 10 months
Going gray: 10 months
going gray 11 months
Going gray: 11 months
going gray 12 months
Going gray: 12 months
going gray 13 months
going gray 18 months
Going gray: 18 months
gray hair cut grey hair
2 years! (the final cut)

View my “final cut” video here!

Xo, lisa


how to go gray

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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!


  1. Reply


    Hi. Thank you for sharing your grey journey. You look amazing, I love it. I’m turning 49 in less than a month and have dyed my hair with box dyes since at least my early 30s to cover my grey. I thought about stopping last year and didn’t have the courage. Than the world changed with COVID19 and most of us did with it. Last time I dyed my hair was 8 weeks ago and I am already falling in love with my silver. I look at my roots and fall in love with the color more and more each day. I look forward to my big haircut too in about 2 years from now. I am a strong believer in making lemonade when you are handed lemons, and that is exactly what I’m doing with the current pause we are all in, I’ve made the decision to go grey and not turn back. Sharing your own journey has given me even more courage to do so.

    1. Reply


      Hi Tracy! I’m so glad! Keep me posted on how it’s going. If you are on Facebook, come join us at The Gray Book for all things inspiration, connection and solidarity during the going gray process! xo! Lisa

  2. Reply


    Hi Lisa,
    I too am in the middle of converting to gray, thanks to Covid-19. I’m 63, and in the advertising business so appearing ten years younger than I actually am has always been my reason for coloring. But now that I see it coming in, I kind of like it. My husband has been wanting me to do this for so long. With no other options, I think the time is now. Thanks for the inspo!

    1. Reply


      Hi M! This is so awesome! I love that you got a sneak peek and are digging it – best of luck! You’ve got this! xo, Lisa

  3. Reply


    Lisa, you are so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have decided to go grey, also. To tired of hair dyes and stuff. Turning 51 in October. My hair it’s been through a lot since we moved to Costa Rica. Heat, sun and humidity.
    I hope that I would look as good as you.
    Pura Vida!!

    1. Reply


      Hi Carmen! So exciting! Good luck on your grow out. Also, I hear Costa Rica has remained mostly untouched by COVID_19 – stay safe! xo

  4. Reply


    Thank you for sharing! The photos of the process were especially helpful. I’m 36, but almost fully silver at my roots, and due to Covid, it’s now been 3 months since I last dyed my hair and I can really see the beautiful silver coming in. In some ways, it’s the perfect time to go through the growing process since I’m not seeing many people right now.

    1. Reply


      I agree! The perfect time! xo, Lisa

  5. Reply


    Hi. Could you share some of your favorite bright lipsticks that you wear. I find we have similar coloring and hair color and love the brights I see on this website. Thanks

    1. Reply


      Hi Andrea! Yes! I linked two of my faves in this post: Clove + Hallow’s Lip Velvet in Roadtrip and also OLIO E OSSO’s Lip Crema in Ibisco! I am actually publishing a post in June with my top lipstick picks for gray hair so stay tuned! xo, Lisa

  6. Reply


    You look amazing! I haven’t colored my hair since February and debated about doing once covid restrictions were lifted. Tomorrow I’ll be getting a haircut finally but nothing else. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

    1. Reply


      That’s so exciting Emily! Enjoy your haircut (only) – a day that marks the start of a new you! Keep us posted! xo, Lisa

  7. Reply


    I’m also growing out my hair during Covid-19. I wear hats a lot, but my baseball caps didn’t cover all the gray so I ended up buying a lot of hats from, which is a company for sells wigs, hats for cancer patients. I do have a question about the yellow that is showing up in the gray. How do I make that go away? I wash my hair once a week using charcoal shampoo, but I think I need to try something else to clean and get rid of the yellow. Any suggestions PS. I also signed up for your FB group.

    1. Reply


      Hi Pam! Awesome! One of the best ways to counteract that is by using a purple shampoo. I detail out three natural options here!

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