Transition to Gray Hair, Mission Accomplished

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.

Early Results

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.

transition to gray hair

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.

transition to gray hair

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.

Wedding Flowers on a Budget

How do you find wedding flowers on a budget? Easy! Visit friends’ gardens looking for the color you want the day (mid morning is best) before the event, put the cut stems in cold water immediately and store them in a cool place until you are ready to arrange them.

A friend’s son got married this week, and I guaranteed I could provide the wedding flowers on a budget. The bride and groom did not want bouquets, just flowers for a few vases on the tables. That made it simple for me. The biggest problem I encountered was that the colour theme was blue and silver. Any garden or flower lover will know that blue flowers are rare, and silver nonexistent. Lucky for me I had blue delphiniums blooming in my own garden this week and a few Gardens4u clients that also had blue blooms to share.

Silver was a whole other problem; thank heavens for spray paint! To add silver accents, I painted ferns and baby’s breath for the vases, and dusty miller and ornamental grass for the large arrangement at the front door. If you decide to try this trick, be sure to use lots of newspapers or other materials to cover everything in the vicinity of the painting process. Spray paint gets everywhere!

The vases for the guest tables were tiny, silver, and small-mouthed, so I used appropriately scaled-down sprigs of flowers…

wedding flowers on a budget
blue and silver theme

with larger blooms reserved for regular-sized vases on the head table and the gift table…

Weeks ago I planted blue lobelia and white dusty miller in an insert that fits into a plant holder to act as a “welcome sign.” Last evening I spray-painted the dusty miller as well as a chunk of ornamental grass I chose for some height…

wedding flowers on a budget
blue and silver-themed planter

Voila, wedding flowers on a budget. The total cost was a measly $62. Some may say I have a green thumb, but today I am sporting a silver one!

wedding flowers on a budget
silver thumb!