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Going Gray: Pluck, Color, or Leave It Be?

Age ain't nothing but a number right? But nothing makes me feel like I'm maturing like wrinkles (ugh!) on your face (that's another discussion) and of course, gray hair.  Over the past year, the couple of gray hairs hidden (or so I think) in the back of head have multiplied.  O.k., so now there are only about seven gray hairs but it's enough to make me pause, and wonder what I should do with them.  I have let them be ever since their discovery.  I am curious, what is your strategy for graying hair? Are you a "plucker"? Do you color? Or do you just let it be? Or? Of course I'm blaming the kids for causing undue stress that would turn my hair gray.


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That's one of the few advantages of being a natural blond... the gray hair isn't showing on me. I don't like the chemicals in hair dye, so I wouldn't dye if it were me. Just get a really great cut and find some other worry in your life.

I've been dying my hair for as long as I can remember (15-ish?)--it was Manic Panic in Deadly Nightshade. I'm pretty sure I bought it at a headshop.

I got my first gray hair at 18.

Since then, I've run the gamut, using everything from at-home dyes to a salon chop-and-bleach (does anyone else remember how cute Meg Ryan's hair was circa 1997?).

Over the last year, though, I've been not dying. I want to see just how gray I actually am. And it's not pretty. I have been interested in trying Lush's henna, Caca whatever color. Has anyone had any experience with these? Is it worth the 3 hours of leaving it in?

As far as plucking: My old hairdresser found a spiral hair in my baby-fine, super straight hair one day. She admonished me for plucking (which I hadn't), saying plucking may damage the follicle, resulting in the spiral-y hair. Which of course, made me want to go home and pluck my hairs so they would grow back with some body, but whatever...:)

As a single mom, I need all the advantages. I have been plucking, mostly near my temples, where they seem to multiply annually. But I have been coloring my hair on and off for years, so I think that might be the solution. On a positive note, my dad is 73 years old and has about the same amount of gray hair as me, and a full head of brown! But my mom started coloring at 29, and was most likely a full head of gray. At least I inherited something nice from my dad! Now I just want to inherit the longevity of my 96 year old grandfather! If I live that long, I will probably allow myself to go gray at some point! :)

At 40, I've earned every gray hair on my head. It's a family tradition not to pluck, dye, or otherwise dispose of gray hair. :) Every year gets better and better, IMHO.

Pluck the gray out of eyebrows fo sho.... I color my hair but only have a few gray hairs, I just like the different color it take on and how the change make me feel. I say whatever works for ya I mean at the end of the day no one really cares about gray hair--just one more thing women pick on themselves about it.

Between the chemicals and the money, I am choosing not to dye. Plus, I think it's weird that everyone in our culture runs around with some un-natural hair color, even when they're not grey - even when they're in their teens! If you've ever seen a makeover show, you'll notice one of the first things the hairstylist does is slather some hair dye on their head, as though somehow what we have naturally is ALWAYS wrong. I think it's a huge money-making scheme by hairstylists (...that said, I pay a RIDICULOUS amount of money for my haircut, which I usually just throw back in a pony tail).
I used to pluck, but I can't keep up; it's a losing battle. I'm still MOSTLY brown. I may succumb to dye when the grey really takes over, but for now, I'm trying to go grey gracefully.

I'm a natural redhead who is now going grey, bit by bit. The notion of NOT coloring it has never crossed my mind for longer than a second. Being a redhead is such a part of my identity, and I'm not ready to give it up!

Besides, it just looks better red. Otherwise my whole face looks faded out. I see people with dark hair who are going grey and it looks fabulous, all salt and pepper with silver streaks. Mine doesn't do that.

I mean, I know that I am not my hair, and I don't want to still be coloring it at 60, but for now I put a "rinse" that is really close it my natural color on it every so often to blend in the greys. It makes it shiny too!

I agree with KE that I've earned my grays, and am generally in the "leave it alone" camp with my hair -- though I did make an exception and go red for my 40th birthday last month. When better to do something dramatic and out of character? :-)

started going gray, as is traditional in my family on my father's side, at age 21. at 38, it's almost all gray. Under the dye. Which is usually whatever color looks interesting on the shelf. I don't care if it look natural or not anymore. 80% gray at 35 sure didn't look natural. Actually, i barely remember my natural color, since i've been coloring it (everything from scarlet to black to purple, blue and green, auburns, browns) since I was in my teens. It's a dfferent color every month. Who cares? hehe

I think I used to have mousy brown hair. Then I started coloring about 10 years ago--when I was first divorced--always something in the red/auburn family. I'm pale and kind freckly, so it worked.

A couple of years ago I decided to stop coloring, but I didn't like the color of my roots. They were a darker, flat, dull brown, shot with a little gray. So I went back to coloring, but more to give a little lift to the brown than to cover the gray. Really, it was never about covering the gray.

This past February, when I turned 43, I decided to go natural. I have more gray than ever (maybe 25% now?), but like KE, I feel I've earned every one! I still don't like the dull brown, but really don't want to color due to time and money issues.

Although....if I could get away with it in my conservative job....I'd really like to go jet black with a well-placed red stripe never the front!

I feel like I have earned the gray as well, but nonetheless, I am not ready to look middle-aged. Just not. At 38, I have gray hair and will continue to color until I have a change of heart.
On another sort of related subject... While, I won't undergo any major surgery, I will entertain the idea of going to a doctors office to deal with any major wrinkle issues. I not imaged obsessed, but at this age, I want to continue to look on "young-ish."

The women in my family have beautiful white hair as they age. I'm well on my way to joining them! I love it, frankly. I don't necessarily feel the need to "look younger." I'm happy where I'm at and wouldn't want those younger years back when it really comes down to it. The part that does drive me a little batty is when someone asks me if my boys are my grandchildren. Do I look THAT old?!

OK hopefully I wont offend anyone here. Not going gray on top but somehow I am noticing the curtains dont match the drapes... or whatever that expression is. Going gray down there! So much for growing old gracefully.

I actually did see an ad (in Oprah? or something else?) and it was for hair dye. Took me about an entire minute to realize it was hair dye .... for down there! eek. Not going that route.

The only think I pluck are the facial hairs that sprout every so often out a mole on my face.

("Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a RAT GNAW that THING off your face!")

Otherwise I leave the grays alone.

I started going gray when I was in my early 20s, and I colored my hair until I was 33. Then I just had enough -- I just couldn't deal with coloring it so often and trying to cover roots, etc etc. Plus it just looked fake and weird after a while. I was also, in part, inspired by a colleague who had a beautiful head of gray hair. So I got a cute short cut that helped hide the weird layers of color going on, and then I let it grow out (a process that was, frankly, painful for several months but well worth it once I made it through). I am now 38 (and have been asked more than once if my 7-month old is my grandchild), but I have never been happier with my hair and I can't wait for it to get even more gray. My hair is now really thick and healthy too -- so much more so than when I colored it. I have also been pleasantly surprised at how many compliments I receive about my grayness. I won't ever go back to coloring it.

I'm in my late 30's and have colored my hair twice this year. It looks great, but I don't want to spend any more money on it. I'm going back to natural.a

I quit plucking when I was in my early 20s and have never dyed my hair - it's just not my style. Fortunately I get complimented on my gray all the time. I'm almost 40 and am about 30-40% gray, but I also look have a pretty young-looking face and body so it doesn't hit my vanity too hard!

Just want to clarify that just because a person wants to look "young-ish," doesn't mean that they want be "young-ish." My 20's were fun, then a massive period of growth that wasn't easy. I have no desire to go back. I have much more wisdom and self-assuredness at this point in my life and would choose that over youth any day of the week.
Being mistaken for my kids grandma would definetly throw me for a loop. I would not enjoy that at all.

Leave it be. I'll take genuine silver over counterfeit gold any day...

I started facing a life-threatening illness in my early 20s that had me not knowing if I would ever get to have grey hair or wrinkles. Having survived far longer than anticipated, I appreciate every new wrinkle and wise hair I get!

I also want to be a positive example for my daughter to see that I can be beautiful without altering nature. She will have so many challenges in our culture of eternal youth and image dependence. I choose to keep myself from folding to the unspoken pressure to color to help give her the knowledge that she is perfect as she is.

I may occasionally color in the future - like the 40th birthday example above - but I will choose natural, non-toxic means and talk with my child about what I am doing. Everything we do affects them and their future choices deeply; I feel responsible to help her feel more comfortable with herself.

I suppose it's different if you go gray in your 20's, but I'm getting a stray few in my late 30's and could care less. I think of the older women I admire most, and their hair color never factors into my opinion of them. At all. Are we really worried people are going to like us less if we look older or don't look like we spend a lot of money at the salon?

I wish I was like all of you who love & accept your white hairs.

My hair is a flat dark brown on my very fair skin. It's not pretty. I've been dyeing it since I was in my teens, mostly auburn, red and brown. My whole face lights up with some warmth in my hair.

I wish I was some natural hippie mama, but I just hate my natural hair color.

I'm going champagne blonde if I live long enough to have a head full of white hair. Now *that* will look hot with my walker.

This topic actually caused a huge fight with me and my mom...she thinks I should cover my gray and be "like the girls on Sex in the City". Ugh. I think, to each their own. Maybe someday I'll dye to change up my look, but for now there's a million other things I'd rather spend my time and money on. It's just too annoying to me to have to always pay and make the time to maintain the color...and what's so bad about gray hair anyway? I'd love to see it come into fashion....!

i have been colouring my hair for years to , but have noticed recently that i am about 50% grey and im 38, but lately the colours have been going more red at the root instead of the chocoalte brown i'd wished for , i was thinking of maybe going lighter instead maybe a golden blonde ???

I am 35 and have been coloring since high school. At that time it was to maintain the blond that I achieved naturally in the sun every summer. But then, I started to color my natural color or at least close to it. I've never really found the right shade, except for one time, I really liked what one salon did, but it was so expensive. Anyhow, I am considering growing out my gray. I also have a baby and would hate it if someone thought I was his grandma--how old would I really look? I just hope I have the confidence to pull it off. I am really sick of our youth-obsessed culture! And want to go the other way. It's one thing to take care of yourself and yet another to be something you are not...right? Who knows--to each his own, I guess.

I'm 35 and 25% grey. I coloured my hair for my sister's wedding and had a horrible allergic reaction on my face that made me look like an alien. Eyes were swollen shut, face burned and itched and it didn't happen until a week after I had it coloured. Those darned nasty chemicals!!! So I haven't dyed since and now the grey roots are multiplying as each week passes. I have been surfing the web looking for home remedies to cover the grey and then happened upon this site. Yay to all you women who are sticking to the grey!! You're an inspiration! I'm not sure I'm mature or wise enough to pull off grey hair yet but I'll give it a shot.

I am 45 and have a recession hair cut (aka letting my hair grow out)... some gray in there and it's welcome... I am going to wait until I am even grayer and chop it all off and dye it... pink or blue or red... looking forward to it!

As I read this, I sit here with another 10 minutes to go with the dye in - ha! I don't mind the silver/gray/reddish brown that my daughter commented the other day is "colorful"...though I often feel older than my age when I see the whites and grays dominating....

I liken it to those who choose to wear makeup (which I don't)...maybe a bit of foundation evens out the blotchiness in skin. But like dye, there are alternatives to using makeup as well. for those, like Monica in Cali, who worry about skin aging (like melasma from pregnancy or sun exposure) and wrinkles, there are a number of products that work well (shameless plug forthcoming....) Rodan + Fields - by the doctors who created Proactiv have come out with some amazing "anti aging" products. Not hippy-style all natural, but well formulated, light, clean stuff that have great results. Message me if you're interested.

As with everything, though, to each her own. You all inspire me regardless of silver, black, orange, or mousy brown....we are beautiful.

My mom has really dark hair and looks great with the salt-and-pepper dark and light. My hair is lighter brown, and curlier. I don't think the change will look as nice on me.

I had a hairdresser tell me once, when I said I didn't care much about my grays, that once my kids got older and I saw all the other moms at school, I'd change my mind. If I find I'm more confident coloring my hair as I age, I will do it. But it won't be because of other people, I hope.

They are coming one by one and I yank them one by one. I'm sure I will be overwhelmed soon, but now I look at them and say, "No you don't!"

I've been graying since I was 20, mostly around the front mixed in with my bangs. I have long hair to my waist and I dont ever dye because I have a nice deep brown color. I'm not sure why, but I LOVE MY GRAY HAIRS, and have always thought of salt and pepper hair as sexy (Think Stockard Channing, one of the Aunt Owens from Practical Magic). There arent too many for me to worry, but I still cant wait until I am a silver fox! I say, unless you are self conscious let them be because they are your wisdom hairs! Plus, I doubt anyone will be sifting through your hair as much as you do.

Yesterday, my daughter was playing with my hair and told me with delight, "Mommy, one of your gray hairs looks like crinkly silver tinsel!" So Saskia, yes, people sometimes do sift through your hair and make comments (loudly!).

I'm breastfeeding my second son, and my hair is falling out. This happened to a lesser extent with my first, I had a couple bald spots hidden underneath all my long hair no larger than the size of a quarter.

I'm curious what other women do about the gray 'down there'? Shave it, wax, dye it, or leave it alone since no one sees it? Does it have to match 'upstairs'?

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