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Going Back to Natural Gray After Coloring Your Hair

As a 60-something female, Kate Swanson is well aware of the challenges facing women throughout their life in health, beauty, and fashion.

If you've been coloring your hair, letting your hair go back to its natural gray is not as easy as it sounds. You can't just let the roots grow out - hair only grows about six inches a year, so you'll look like a skunk for a very long time!

If you care about the gloss and health of your hair, then the safest way to achieve the transition is as follows:

  1. Get your hair cut into a short, layered style - as short as you possibly can - so you have only a small amount of colored hair left.
  2. Ask your hairdresser to disguise the color line with lots of highlights. Or consider switching to a semi-permanent.
  3. Keep having the ends trimmed off and highlights redone every six weeks or so.

Unfortunately it could still take you about six months to make the complete transition, and you'll have some big hairdresser's bills! So it's worth considering other alternatives.

Remove the Color?

You may have read that there's a way to kick-start the process - hair dye remover. Unfortunately it's not as easy as that! Results are very variable. On some hair, dye remover works reasonably well - whereas others see very little effect at all. Sometimes it removes only a percentage of the dye so your hair looks muddy rather than gray. Sometimes it looks great immediately after you use it, but it re-oxidizes shortly after and goes right back to the color you started with. You may even end up with green or orange hair! Not to mention the fact that they are harsh products which can cause breakage.

If you want to try removing the color, go to the hairdresser and have it done professionally. They may not achieve a better result - but if it goes wrong, they'll be obliged to fix it!

Perhaps you're thinking about making the transition because of all the “pro-gray” publicity recently - there have been so many magazine articles, and even whole books! But have you noticed something? All of the beautiful “proud to be gray” women have something in common.

They’re not gray.

Not like the average woman is gray, anyway. The average woman is pepper-and-salt gray, a mix of colours that range from her original hair colour through various faded shades to gray and white. It's quite likely you have uneven patches - a wedge of original color at the nape of the neck is quite common, as are tufts of solid white on top of the head.

Now look at the “gray icons”. Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” – pure white. Helen Mirren – an unblemished platinum.

Pepper and salt looks good on George Clooney - but can you think of a female gray icon who looks like a schnauzer?

Thought not.


The key to being beautifully gray is a uniform colour. A steely dark grey or an “is-it-platinum-or-white?” blonde. Grays like that don’t trigger the “old lady” message in people’s minds. Patchy salt-and-pepper does.

What that means is that if you’re going gray and you want to look good, you may have to color your hair anyway – either to change it back to a "younger" color, or to make your gray a uniform shade, or to even up the pepper-and-salt highlights.

If you decide to opt for gray thinking you'll have less retouches, don't you believe it – gray and white hair dyes tend to discolor and go yellow, so you’ll need just as much maintenance as any other color (just for different reasons).

Tip: Rinse your gray hair with lemon juice once a month to reduce yellow tones caused by pollution.

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There are other factors to consider, too.

Is her hair white or platinum?

Is her hair white or platinum?

It may be wiser not to go gray if:

  1. Your hair is thinning. Blonde or gray hair can look thinner than darker shades.
  2. Your hair is frizzy. Coloring will keep your flyaways more in check.
  3. You have olive skin. Gray can be unflattering because it's a cool tone.

If you decide not to go gray, that doesn't mean you should stick with the same shade of hair colorant you've been using for years. As your hair changes color, so does your skin. Skin gets paler as we age. That’s why you'll often hear hairdressers say that if you’re going to color your hair, you shouldn’t match your old shade – you should go lighter, to flatter your aging skin.

Unfortunately, the result is too many middle-aged blondes, who end up looking less like Britney and more like retired hookers.

Go lighter if you like, but please – not to extremes! None of us want to look mousey, but caramel, mid-brown or ash brown are often more flattering choices for a brunette whose skin tone is fading.

Eyebrows are a dead giveaway. I see so many women whose ash-brown brows contrast with red or purple tints in their rich auburn or mahogany hair. It screams “I colour my hair!”. Of course, if your brows are gray, it's even more obvious!

If you’re going to choose a tint that's markedly different from your natural hair colour, get your eyebrows done as well. Alternatively, think twice about the shade you’re choosing!

If you're coloring your own hair, though, think very, very carefully before deciding to attempt your eyebrows. Many women do it routinely - including the lady in this photo! - but if you get dye in your eyes, it can cause severe damage and even blindness.


I’m all for growing old disgracefully, but perhaps not where hair color is concerned. There comes a point where the rest of your body has aged to such a point that colored hair can look terribly fake.

For instance, I have a friend who’s a vibrant 58. Yes, she has wrinkles but she still looks fabulous with a flaming mop of red curls. However, yesterday I saw a similar red mane on another woman. She had it styled in a beautifully cut bob and from the back, it looked amazing. From the front, framing a face and neck that was obviously pushing 70, it just looked too try-hard. Had the bob been a pristine white, she would have looked elegant and dignified.

The trouble is, of course, that we can’t see ourselves as others see us, so knowing when to give in gracefully is easier said than done. We must trust our friends to be honest enough to tell us!

Further reading


madonamurfy from United states on May 12, 2017:

Actually, in past week days, i have tried these all remedies which You have been shared at the up. would like to share My Experience of hair color. one of the best thinks was that i am trying this in My Life first time that's why there is ausweichen in My Mind.

Marsha Musselman from Michigan, USA on May 20, 2013:

I started going gray when I was around twenty-six. I used to blame it on my ex-husband, but then I realized that my mother dyed her hair when we were too young to know.

I waited until I was in my forties to begin dying my hair and did make the decision to stop. I was probably in my early fifties by then. I thought my hair would look like your dogs, and it did to some degree, but I was surprised that it actually looked good that way.

Now, I'm sixty-one, or at least almost and it is the same as it was before. None of it is exactly the same color. I don't mind at all. It's me. And it's saving me a mint load of money. I did take the cheaper way out, though. I bought the store brand when I was coloring my hair.

I think it's interesting that when I was younger there was actually a hair color to turn your hair gray, now it's just Frost, and that isn't always available.

Sometimes I think it's not the gray hair that makes women look older, but rather how it's cut. I know someone that got her length cut and I couldn't believe it was the same person.

I know many women with gray hair that look great. You can always change your mind later, I suppose.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on March 23, 2013:

In spite of the fact that I wrote this article, I'm still a bit undecided myself, Dorsi! One thing that strikes me is how much older my husband looks when he lets his hair go grey, even though his natural colour looks very George Clooney. If gray makes him look old, what will it do for me? Decisions, decisions!

Dorsi Diaz from The San Francisco Bay Area on March 22, 2013:

Hi Marisa) Great subject matter. I have alot of gray hair now (54) and some of the color I actually like, but some of it looks like that Schnauzer! So I keep dying it from time to time.... I still haven't decided how to "gracefully age" so until I do I guess I will keep experimenting. I have very long hair too and I don't want to cut it so my options are limited but this hub helped me with some ideas - thanks!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 27, 2013:

Grey eyebrows are a problem because it's hard to find a gray eyebrow pencil. Maybelline used to make a Charcoal Gray one but no longer.

This article has some good tips on alternatives:

beckiroyce on January 26, 2013:

I have just taken the plunge and cut my hair quite short and am about two cuts away from being my natural color which is gray and a tiny bit darker in the back on the bottom. It was actually a relief and is going quite well. My question is that having over tweezed my brows as a teenager I have quite sparse eyebrows and have been using a powder brow accent for about 5 years. However I have been a redhead and now going gray, I can't figure out what to do with the gray brows that need to be augmented. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on June 12, 2012:

I used to dye my hair and beard dark brown thinking of my image as a performer but when I came to Tenerife I found that the sun was bleaching it so fast it was a waste of time and I gave up. I had to go though a period where I had two shades of colour showing but eventually it ended up more or less all grey. The one advantage I found was that I could easily use temporary hair dyes to colour my hair or beard without using bleach first.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 20, 2012:

@Deb, you're 57, your hair is very fine but you have lots of it, which is starting to curl a bit - are you sure you're not me? Or at least a twin?

Igora and Elimin8 need a professional. There are a couple of home removers - One ‘n Only Colorfix and Color Oops - but honestly, I'd go to a professional anyway. If you decide to try a home remedy, do a test strand first - you don't want to end up with a head full of orange or green hair.

Deb Knapp on January 19, 2012:

Thank you Marisa, for this great hub! I am a salt and peppered 57 year old, wanting to stop coloring. Can I find and use the Igora or Elimin8 on my own, or do I need to see a professional to have it applied? My hair is very fine, but I have lots of it, which is starting to curl a bit as I age. It damages easily and I'm a bit worried about this transition, but feel encouraged after reading your hub and the comments. Blessings!

fluffyoldster on January 19, 2012:

After I wrote this, I thought about changing the white to silver which is what I meant, but just happy it's not faded blond.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 18, 2012:

Yours comes in white? I think that's a huge plus, glad you're happy!

fluffyoldster on January 18, 2012:

Thanks for all the tips and opinions on going gray. I'm 61 and went gray (first time) late forties. I loved it! but bowed to public opinion and started coloring again. Since then it's been 'I will', 'I won't' every other month. Since it's winter, I decided that I WILL finally and am on my way. I cut my hair myself very short and keep checking my roots every day, willing them to grow faster. I do not work outside my home, so that's a plus getting through the awkward period. I wear a fashionable hat in church and when I'm out shopping. I'm WAY past noticing stares. I guess women don't wear hats for fashion very often nowadays. Happy I am and this is the last time I'm going to worry about gray hair. Mine comes in white so I'm a lucky camper. Girls, it's not the gray but the HAIR CUT that determines how you look and feel. Spring for a great cut. Tootles!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 01, 2012:

Pink on silver - way to go, Zoe!

Zoe Mason on January 01, 2012:

I am 38 and stopped dying my hair about 10 months ago. I had it cut VERY short Ao it was pretty much gone in 2 months. I know have a pink wedge in my silver grey hair and get SO many complements!!

sandytoes on November 13, 2011:

I think whatever makes the individual feel good is what it's all about; what other people think is immaterial ...

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 31, 2011:

Mary, coloring your hair platinum would require harsh chemicals that would damage your hair. I'd start with a professional color remover (Igora or Elimin8) and see how it goes from there.

Mary Elizabeth Murphy on October 30, 2011:

Hi, I am assured by two training salon supervisors I asked to check that I my roots are 100% pure white and uniform. My hair is dyed dark caramel blonde which really looks mid-brown on top of white all over. I want to go natural because the dye is so artificial looking now and blonde is just wrong with my pink skin and greying eyebrows. If I just got it dyed a strong platignum tint all over, would that look OK in contrast while letting the rest grow out? Is it possible to get the ends dyed to match your white roots? I havn't seen any mention of it anywhere I've searched and it seems obvious to me so I'm wondering whether I'm right.

The Fastionista on October 21, 2011:

Great hub! Thank you for all the advice and for demystifying how those gorgeous grey ladies like Streep do it. As one who has experimented with her fair share of hair coloring, I always appreciate hearing how others go about it. Voted up!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 15, 2011:

Mumzy, whatever you do, cutting it short is always a good first step - the less hair you have to deal with, the better. However as you say, you do have to find a style that will suit you, even if it's only temporary - hair takes a while to grow!

The good thing is that at your age, your hair is less likely to be patchy than if you were younger.

My advice would be, go to a good hairdresser and follow their advice. You might want to start with a dye remover to get an idea what your real colour is, then go from there. Good luck with it!

mumzy2u on October 03, 2011:

I have colored my hair for so many years I do not know what my natural color is anymore. I used to be a dirty or dark blonde in my 30's. I have tried all colors but when those white/grey roots would show at the temples in about a week I started to go lighter. Now I am a VERY light blonde as I cannot get the dyes to color my temples that are all white. Now I am at the point as most of hating the job of coloring and want to go natural. However my roots that are not grey look black against the light blonde and I have no idea how to let it grow out. If I go darker all over to better blend with the roots then I have the white issue on the temples. What suggestions would you have. Highlight the roots, low light the body or just cut it off short and have what could look like tips for a while, although I do not know how I would look in short hair as I have a square face and a large forehead. Oh, by the way I will be 65 in 4 months. Again like a lot of you most people do not think I am that old and I am afraid I may suddenly look my age.

I have agonized over this process for so long I am sick of the hair topic, not knowing what to do. Thanks for the advice.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 01, 2011:

Yes Gina, there's nothing like having a worse experience to make you appreciate what you've got!

I remember when I was young and slim, I used to agonize about my fat thighs. Now my whole body is fat, I'd settle for those "fat" thighs any day!

Gina V on September 30, 2011:

My hair was thinning and I was so distraught that I promised it (yes, I made a promise to my hair) that if it would stop falling out I would never color it or do anything abusive to it again.

Fast forward 9 months, I stopped the medication that I think caused it (a statin for cholesterol) and started biotin and a multivitamin, and all the fried ends are gone from the coloring.

I have mousey brown hair with gray strands at 44, and will never have Devil-Wears-Prada gray. But losing your hair is worse than anything. I will take these grays and luuuuuuuv them forever!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on August 16, 2011:

Good for you, Tara! We're the same age. You're lucky to have no wrinkles - I was the same until about 54 when they all seemed to appear overnight :( I suppose I should be grateful my hair is still 95% natural brown - I just wish I could find a really good color that looks natural but covers the other 5% properly.

Taramore on August 16, 2011:

I stopped colouring my hair about a dozen years ago when my then-husband said how much he loved silver hair on women. I was getting tired of the whole colouring process, so went along with it. My hair grows amazingly fast, so it didn't take long. I got mixed reviews, women were horrified, but their husbands paid me compliments and said they wished their wives would go natural - I should mention that none of those people were under sixty.

Now I am fifty-eight - that husband divorced me and took up with my best friend (though not in that order!). I am on my own, looking for work, and tired of people saying, "but aren't you retired?" I am in good shape, and because I have taken good care of my skin since I was thirteen, I do not have a single wrinkle on my face - honestly! Someone referred to "your granny" when speaking to my son about me.

I'm also considering dating again.

My daughter (a wise and astute young woman) suggested that I colour my hair. Even thinking about it made me feel younger! So I guess this week I shall check out what's on the market and take the plunge.

What all this waffle has been about it, I guess it's how you feel at the time - and if you're not feeling good about yourself, then it's time to make some changes.

May Monten on July 01, 2011:

Interesting. I started getting gray hair very early, in my 30s. I was dyeing it for years when I was younger, but then stopped. Now, in my 50s, I'm thinking about dyeing it again, but am not sure -- so this was food for thought. P.S. LOL at "less like Britney and more like retired hookers."

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 17, 2011:

Thanks Jean, I'm glad you appreciate I was taking a light-hearted approach!

Jean Bakula on June 16, 2011:

This hub really made me laugh! But it's so true. When people get ALL gray it looks great. Even salt & pepper isn't bad. I have dark blonde hair which began getting reddish with tiny amounts of gray when in my forties. You are correct that to keep trying to stay blonde makes most people look older. My hairdressing genius mixes up a batch of light golden brown, with a dash of red and a dash of light blond (and I suspect things she doesn't admit to)and it comes out a reasonably believable,darker strawberry blonde. I know I'll reach a point where I'm sick of it and will stop coloring it though, I can feel it. Maybe when I'm 60.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on March 14, 2011:

Yes Susan, it was deliberate!

Susan on March 14, 2011:

I laughed my head off when I read "I'm all for growing old disgracefully..." I was loving the article till I got to that sentence. Was it intentional? Please tell me it was MEANT to be funny.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on March 14, 2011:

@SmilingHill, everything's relative I guess. Some people would consider having blonde highlights for 18 or so years is expensive! How it looks will depend, really, on what your real colour looks like. If it is silver you'll probably look great - unfortunately many women find their "white" hair is dirty gray!

@d rickard, I agree. There does come an age when you're really not fooling anyone!

d.rickard on March 14, 2011:

My aunt is 82 years old, and dies her hair dark dark brown. I think that at this age, it is time to show gray hair. I think like at lot of you gray hair can be very stunning if you wear the right makeup and cut. Besides at her age it looks very fake.

SmilingHill from NH on March 14, 2011:

I am almost 38 and I think I will try to grow out my blonde highlights that used to cover the fine silver throughout my hair. I noticed my first gray in my early 20's and have been masking it for many years without too much time or expense. I'm at the point where I don't want to commit to spending either the time or the money on coloring my hair, which so many women do. It's a personal choice that I hope to be choosing correctly.

I am petite and am usually thought to be younger than my age so I'm hoping my size and style will help me maintain confidence and beauty inside/out. I am fair skinned with blue eyes so I know I may have to wear a little more make-up. I have to admit though... I think stylish, healthy white and gray hair can look beautiful even on younger people- let's hope I continue to feel that way 12 months from now! ; )

Justsilvie on February 08, 2011:

Interesting Hub.

I have seen many very attractive women with Salt and Pepper gray maybe they are not Hollywood Icons, but I know few people who look like one regardless of their hair color. Even the Icons don’t look like that without some major help.

I quit coloring my hair almost a year ago. Up until then I had it highlighted to make the change over easier.

The choice was easy for me, since I was tired of covering my head in chemicals every 6 to 8 weeks to avoid that faded out color look and spending half a day in a Hair Salon.

My hair has not looked this good in years and now it is at the price of a good cut and some decent shampoo and conditioner.

Everyone should do whatever it takes to feel good, but also realize going gray is also a statement for many women these days that says, I am comfortable in my skin. An amazingly effective fountain of youth.

Sa`ge from Barefoot Island on September 07, 2010:

Interesting hub. I am 66 and do not color my hair so for me this was very interesting reading about hair dying. :)

Daydreamer on August 20, 2010:

I'm reading this because at 55 and looking ten years younger,thank God,I'm suddenly sick of coloring my hair.I saw someone the other day with an interesting look.You know how the young folks are wearing their hair with the two tone look? I saw a woman who had her hair cut in a bob. Long on tip really close to the neck at the bottom. The top was colored dark and she left the bottom snow white. I know it sounds odd but she looked stunning! Cut/Color just made the whole do!!

Ann Lee on July 06, 2010:

Great tips.

Helen Straw from Tasmania on April 19, 2010:

Great hub on graying naturally. My mum is gray, but she still insists on those pink or purple "rinses", lol. I have seen some beautiful gray haired women, who looked very elegant.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on March 21, 2010:

Some great tips, Cher - thank you!

green tea-cher on March 21, 2010:

If going gray makes you look and feel older, and it bothers you - keep coloring. If you like your gray hair - keep it healthy and shiny looking and it can look awesome. A great tip for someone who feels faded out by white hair is to add some color to your clothing and make-up( be natural with this) to brighten yourself up. If you find your white hair yellowing, use a purple based toning shampoo and/or conditioner to neutralize the yellow.

On the subject of coloring the eyebrows, powdered eyeshadow -in the appropriate shade - applied with a brush works wonders. It is soft and natural looking and less dangerous than applying a hair color to them.

M. on March 16, 2010:

I'll be 45 next month. I've been coloring my dark brown hair since my twenties. Letting my natural hair grow has been an adventure. My husband asks every time I go in for a cut...You're NOT going to dye it, are you?

Lots of white in the front, and salt and pepper towards the back. Long live schnauzers. I am sick and tired of dying and frizz. I just want healthy natural hair....and a good cut.

E on December 27, 2009:

I've been going gray since I was 16. At that age I plucked and/or colored it. Since the age of 26 I've let it come in as it pleased. I get so many compliments from men and women on it ... and that's of all age groups (I'm now well into my 50's) and loving it!!!

Helen Cater from UK on September 17, 2009:

As a salon owner and having been in the industry for donkeys years I have one thing to say. Never stop colouring your hair.

Feline Prophet on September 16, 2009:

I started greying in my 30s and have been colouring my hair since but recently I decided enough is enough! So I've been trying to grow out the colour and let the natural grey show through and it is a painful process...I look like a schnauzer gone very wrong! :P

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 15, 2009:

@choke, I thought dying eyebrows was dangerous too, but you'll see one of the other commenters disagrees. I haven't had to face that problem myself yet1

@research analyst, I believe henna on gray hair can have some unfortunate results!

Sylvia Van Velzer from Hawaii on September 15, 2009:

I am in this dilemma, keep the grey or keep dyeing. Thanks for a very insightful hub.

Research Analyst on July 30, 2009:

Going grey is not an easy choice for some, especially when the media is so obsessed with youth. Those who can embrace their grey hair will definitely be showing a crown of beauty, and the other issue is the harming affects of hair dye as well as the damaging chemicals hair color will do to the environment. There are safe alternatives like henna, which I hear works quite well.

Choke Frantic from Newcastle, Australia on April 22, 2009:

Dying your eyebrows is very risky since its possible for you to get it in your eyes, and the dye may irritate the sensitive area. One way to avoid a bad eyebrow job is to do a skin patch test before you dye - a step that most home hair colourists skip. My mother says that she's proud of her grey hairs (she's earned them!), and it makes me sad that there's not a grey dye out there on the mainstream market.

All in all, very good hub Marisa =]

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on March 20, 2009:

e-cigarette, what kind of color are you using? If you have white strands, the only thing that will work is a permanent color which offers 100% gray coverage. If it offers coverage of up to "x per cent" gray, then it's only a semi or demi and won't work on white, because all it does is make the grays less visible - it's not capable of coloring the white. I know what you mean about them springing up, too!

e cigarette on March 19, 2009:

I'm tempted to just go gray because when I color my hair I still end up with several startling white strands. Even though I use a color just for gray. Also, can some one please tell me why my gray hairs insist on standing up, waving their little spring "arms" and screaming "HERE WE ARE!"?

Anna Marie Bowman from Florida on March 02, 2009:

Excellent advice!!! I haven't started to gray, and probably won't. The women in my family generally don't gray. Our hair just gets lighter and lighter until it turns white. My hair has already started to lighten a little. Some of it has to do with the Florida sun, but not all of it.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on March 02, 2009:

Oh, I wish it was, JB! It's more than likely they had to resort to coloring their hair ash blonde to achieve the transition. That's the worst part about deciding to finally go gray!

JB on March 02, 2009:

I'm 57 with only a few grey/white hairs to date....and I wish it would hurry along! My question is how do women who "..stopped coloring a year ago" have beautiful shoulder length grey hair? It couldn't have grown that quickly...? I'd like my gray to gradually take over my blond highlights....can I anticipate that to be doable?

suZy-Q on October 17, 2008:


I'd like some advice re: ahampoos to brighten my hair, and well as any colours and/or products I could use to integrate back some earth tones. Thanx! I love your site!

suZy-q on October 17, 2008:

I started going gray in my early 20's. I'm 45 now. Around 40 I got sick and tired of dying my hair. I'm au naturelle otherwise, and it just didn't seem to fit who I was. So.... I did it and got some great comments.... many women were horrified - not that they thought I looked awful, but they just "couldn't bring themselves to do it". We do live in such an ageist society. It really IS about the cut - it becomes that much more important to reflect a youthful presence. When I'm mistaken for my Mom's sister, its time for a cut. Great ego-booster for her!

Now things have evolved again where I am actually considering, can't believe it, to colour again. What bothers me the most is that all the earth tone colours I love to wear don't look the same anymore. I look great in black and purples and bold greens - but I LOVE the coppers and browns.

Question: I'd love to integrate some streaking etc without having to colour over completed. Ive got some pure white patches that I love.

Jill from deep in the heart of Texas on August 26, 2008:

coloring fried my hair. I am 50 and decided to quit it after I dyed it what was supposed to be an ash blonde and it was......brownish with a hint of blue. Hideous. I got the dead ends cut and am actually excited to see what shade of gray I am. Roots...come on in!

Sharon on August 18, 2008:

Jamie Lee Curtis is a grey icon and really IS grey. She looks fantastic.

franciaonline from Philippines on July 14, 2008:

Hi Marisa Wright,

I like your down-to-earth hub which views coloring and going gray from the angle of appropriateness. Thanks for your article.


Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on May 03, 2008:

SuziJane, thanks so much for your comment!

Sounds like I got sucked in by the big companies' warnings. If I get to the point of having to do my brows, I won't worry so much after all!

SuziJane on May 02, 2008:

That's me in the hairdye photo! Ladies, I've been dyeing my eyebrows for 15 years, and have never once had a close call. That warning is the hair color companies protecting their asses, just like the one that says NEVER dye your hair without testing for allergy first. Hair dyes now are very thick and clingy. I put it on with a Q-Tip, then go about my business for 30 minutes, and it never drips or runs. Maybe if you were sweating or something ...

I dye my eyebrows because I hardly have any (thanks to overzealous plucking in the '80s), and what I do have is half-gray. If I didn't dye them, they wouldn't be visible!

Interestingly, just yesterday I showed my officemates a photo of me with gray hair (now up in my Flickr photostream), during the few years I was "natural." They thought it looked beautiful, even though it was definitely Schnauzer-like. (Or so they said!)

Lifebydesign from Australia on April 25, 2008:

I've been wondering about this very same thing ie will going gray gracefully involve some colouring? My hairdresser said I could do it but just keep doing the roots which seems like the same thing to me! thanks for clearing this up!

Betty Jo (Harris) Petty on April 10, 2008:

I wrote an article all for going gray, white, whatever is natural.

If ever I get old enough I might consider something different.

For now, my daughter keeps my hair color whatever shade she prefers.

No purple, dark blue (or light blue) or green, like my kids do!

Natural hair feels much better. If you color, remember and condition well.

Hi everyone.

Jason Stanley on April 10, 2008:

I love your comment about growing old disgracefully.

I have always hoped for gray hair - that is, gray rather than gone. So far it is a bit of a race, some has grayed, some moved on. Ya, it's a bit different for us guys.

caspar from UK on April 06, 2008:

Excellent hub Marisa - I'm sure that I'll be a Schnauzer gray when I go, so I'll stick to my blond highlights for now.

Rhym O'Reison from Crowley, Tx on March 28, 2008:

Great hub Marissa. My best friend and I have a pact to tell the other when we are too old, not only to be coloring our hair, but also as to how its cut and what we wear. But like you, I plan to try to look as young as I feel (and act) for as long as I can get away with it. Good advice about the color too.

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on March 24, 2008:

Well! I as usual have to be on the other side of the fence. I too would like it if my hair were to go a beautiful white all over but as life is never fair salt and pepper will have to do. I believe if a nice and fashionable hairstyle is maintained the salt and pepper is more acceptable than the fake look of hairdyes. I'm proud of everyone of my grey hair...I've earned each and everyone. So why agonize over the inevitable and proudly display the natural beautiful hues of salt and pepper. great hub Marisa regards Zsuzsy 

(What wrong with Schnauzers? Great picture though. Reminds me of my Missy girl best dog ever.)

Shelly McRae from Phoenix, Arizona on March 24, 2008:

"Can you think of a gray icon who looks like a schnauzer? Thought not. "


Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on March 24, 2008:

Eileen, you are so right about colouring your own eyebrows. It can be risky if you DIY, so it's only an option if you're having your colour done in the salon.

Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on March 24, 2008:

Another thing to consider: all the magazine models that I see sporting white or silver hair and looking fabulous are phonies in my book. Look at them: they have no facial wrinkles. hello? That is not real aging. So, because of my face's refusal to stay firm and smooth, I have decided that coloring is the way to go. At the moment I have no plans to be natural in the hair department.

Elisabeth Sowerbutts from New Zealand on March 24, 2008:

As a blonde I have been helping my natural blonde to the more extreme ballroom blonde for a number of years. My partner has been regularly died for about 15 years - he's now 55. When we were camping and not dancing last year he decided to go natural - well it lasted about 4 months and niether of us could stand it - he's pale skinned anyway- natural pepper and salt made him look at least 10 years older! This year I went back to blonding as well - I was getting too dark for a blonde - and will not go brunette - blonde to white for me!

You are so right white looks great solid grey is fine - mixed is awful - at least my partner still has all his hair!

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on March 24, 2008:

Great article as all yours generally are. That is my problem, it grows and then I think dam, I'll let it go gray. Then it gets to the stage I cannot stand it any longer and yes another color goes in.

Just a point though- you mention coloring your eyebrows. I was always told not to do that in case you spill and get into your eyes. Just a thought. Nice hub. thanks

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