Remember when I said gray was not my colour? Well, it is now. I had been thinking about reverting to my natural colour (actually a pretty, silvery gray) for a while. I’m not sure if this is because I was getting close to the 60 milestone, or because I had been colouring it for close to 30 years, or a bit of both. My gray hair started coming in at the age of 14! In my twenties, people thought I had streaked my hair, as the silver was face-framing and (so I was told) quite pretty. By thirty I had more gray than dark brown. This is my transition to gray hair story!
DIY Dyed Hair for Years
After several years of experimenting with store-bought, boxed hair dye, I discovered a way to create my own recipe from esalon and must admit I did love their product. I got the perfect reddish brown shade I was aiming for, without the orangey glow that often comes with a red tone.
Biting the Silver Bullet with Platinum Streaks
In early 2020 I bit the bullet, the silver bullet that is. I had my hairdresser match my silvery roots to silver (platinum she called it) streaks amongst the reddish brown I have been dying it for years. She (and I) was quite pleased with the results and the fact that the colour came out of the streaks enough to make them silver and not yellow.
Pre-Treatment for Transition to Gray Hair
The early success could have been a result of the pre-treatment I tried at home. I googled at home remedies to remove permanent hair colour and tried a concoction three times. It did remove some colour (I could see a difference) but not quite enough for my liking. I used a mixture of baking soda and crushed vitamin C tablets mixed with Head and Shoulders shampoo.
Whatever the reason it worked, it was a shock when I looked in the mirror at the salon, but once it was blown dry I loved it. It will make growing out the silver much easier and less obvious than sporting a white, skunk-like stripe every three weeks.
If you live in the Ottawa area, go visit Michelle at Mancini Hair Studio in Kanata’s Hazeldean Mall.
One Year Later
A year later and my hair is totally white, it was pretty much so by July. My hair grows very fast; I have been cutting it myself since that last salon visit. Luckily I have a bit of wave in my hair so it is very forgiving when I mess up with the scissors and thinning shears.
I must admit, I do like the fuss-free white look, even without makeup on to brighten my complexion. I cannot remember the last time I wore makeup; this pandemic has really shortened my morning routine. Shower, a dab of leave-on conditioner, tousle and done. The gray hair has grown on me, literally, in more ways than one. No more worrying about trying to disguise the white roots that always seemed to grow in so fast.
Most of my grandkids have forgotten the red-brown look, or in the case of our pandemic-born grandson, never knew it. My three-year-old granddaughter saw an old picture of me the other day and said “who’s that?” My seven-year-old granddaughter does remember the old me, but recently asked “why would you dye your hair?” Two of the boys are much too young to remember and the four-year-old could care less. At least he hasn’t mentioned it.
Conclusions on my Transition to Gray Hair
The transition to gray hair is still new to me; every time I see a reflection or picture of myself I am taken aback at how much I look like my father. Which is a good thing as I miss him and my mother so much. I hope you are smiling down at the new me, Dad.
Every woman friend or family member I have since run into love it too. My husband, not so much. I knew he wouldn’t…he is, you know, a creature of habit kind of guy. He cannot figure out why anyone would want to go gray. That’s probably because he has very little of it himself. Two of my three sons were ambivalent, the youngest loves it. Go figure.