Wednesday, February 3, 2016

All Grown Out {a gray hair update}


Remember that time I told you that, inspired by Kendra, I was finally just going to do it?  And by it I mean finally finally stop dying my hair to cover the gray that had been filling in since college?  Then, because that's what bloggers do, I blogged about it here and here?

It's been over a year of growing out my hair and letting it be whatever color it was made to be and can I just say I really kinda like it?

I have ZERO delusions of grandeur here.  It's still thin and a bit mousy.  I will probably, barring some very strange and very uncharacteristically superficial miracle of the divine, never have great hair.  It's always been on the thin side, made even thinner with each three-seven month postpartum wave of suicidal tresses leaping out of my scalp each time I shower.  Yay babies!  (Just kidding.  Worth it, obvs.)  I still have no idea what one is supposed to do with hair besides wash, brush, and clip it up with a plastic jaw clip circa 1998.  But for the first time I actually...kind of like it.

For a while, a long while, it was transitioning.  My head hair grows ever so slowly and for a good year at least, it had 3-4 colors in it as the old dye grew out.  Which I probably should've been self-conscious about but 99.7% of the time I totally forgot about it because it was on my head and I couldn't see it.  Very often I wouldn't remember that my hair was so funky until I looked in the mirror.  (Not because I'm super humble, just super distracted and busy.) 

It is finally just the two flavors now - original and new recipe.
But first a quick few throwback pics:

Circa summer 2013.  I don't remember having my hair that long but there it is, box-colored and all.  When I did dye, I died it darkest brown to match my original color.

Quick throwback to last summer as the dye faded so so slowly:

I thought of doing a little progression of photos over the last months since then but I'm the mom so there's like three none of which show my hair all that well.
So...here's where it is now:

Full on gray.  Fancy hair band courtesy Lilla Rose.  Postpartum bald spots courtesy Baby Ben.

But he's worth it.

Super awesome back of one's head shot

And creepy eye shot showing it straight which definitely highlights the silverness of it all.

It was a long and often awkward transition to get to where all my head is now its meant-to-be color but I'm so glad I persevered and didn't last ditch resort to the box in the medicine cabinet.  I even even gave that safety net away!  At the risk of sounding way hokey and ridiculous, I feel more me.  Free and hippy and crunchy and all.  I've even gotten a few grocery store comments from random strangers and store clerks telling me they like it which is equal parts hysterical and amazing.  (I also get some funny looks, too, but I'm not clear whether that's the hair or the five boy children piling in and around the cart.)  I still forget that it's different and that people will notice that.  I also know there are people who I'm pretty sure think I'm crazy for doing it or just don't like it.  But funny enough, it doesn't really bother me.

I think the most interesting change of all is that I'm relearning what colors look like on me.  I hadn't even thought of that but going from very dark to very light hair makes clothing look different!  I'm finding myself opting for more blues, grays, and pinks than I used to because they seem to work better with it.  I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the postpartum loss filling in again and then maaaybe even getting a real cut again.  We shall see.  In the meantime, jaw clips and fancy headbands it is.

(If you're interested in gray hair inspiration I really like Lauren's encouragement and tips at How Bourgeois!)


36 comments:

  1. You are beautiful in any color hair but I am really loving the grey! I have not yet had to cross this bridge... And I've never dyed my hair. But I am taking notes. :)

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  2. It is so pretty! I do like the wavy look on you too!

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  3. You look great! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gets the post partum bald spot. And I have that same headband! I haven't died my hair at all with this pregnancy, so I have quite the distinctive line between gray and dark brown. But now that I have three inches of gray, I kinda don't want to go back to dying it. I'll probably chop off the long parts this summer when it is hot, and the idea of starting the dying routine again makes me . . . Tired. But my husband is NOT a fan of the gray, so I'm not sure what to do. But you look fabulous. It looks more silver to me, so genteel and classy.

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    1. Yeah, the transition is hard and I just had to deal with having a rainbow head for a while. My husband likes it, so I really appreciate that! I wonder if yours would change his mind once it's all grown in and looks more natural?

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  4. Gorgeous in silvery grey! Love it and I am inspired to keep letting mine grow out to. ;)

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  5. First time commenter here: I love it!! I've got 2 little ones (3 and 18 months). I am 26 and am starting to get more grays. My dad went gray early and I think I'm probably going to follow in his footsteps. I think I'm just going to let it happen. Anyway, it looks wonderful. I think the best part is that you feel comfortable being you.

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  6. You are so lovely! It's a beautiful silver and I love it! I've never dyed my hair before and have shears said I wouldn't (drives my mom crazy! So crazy she jokingly chased me around our house while I was in hs wanting to give me highlights!). Anywho I don't know if my hair will every turn as beautifully as yours has but I sure do hope so!

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  7. So lovely! It turned out beautiful and suits you so well. As it should, I guess, it's yours! I started to let mine grow out at the same time you did but chickened out about 8 months in. (I started a new job that was super corporate and very appearance- focused and "natural hippie mama" didn't seem to work, sooo I caved.) I still regret it, especially when I have to dump those nasty chemicals on my head every few weeks. This is pretty inspiring, maybe I'll give it another try.

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    1. Good luck! Yeah, being at home definitely makes it more doable...and if anything when it comes to the doula stuff it possibly makes me more credible ;)

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  8. It looks so good! My husband always asks me never to dye mine. I've only seen a couple gray hairs so far...and I cry every time I find one, but you look awesome! I hope mine can look at least half as good as yours!

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  9. Your face looks so gorgeously young that the grey looks like something you did to look extra cute. It looks beautiful.

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  10. Your face looks so gorgeously young that the grey looks like something you did to look extra cute. It looks beautiful.

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  11. I love it - it looks so good all grown out. I'm a teeny bit jealous - I strangely wish I was graying. But my mom isn't even graying yet.

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    1. Ha! I love your hair as is :) I'll never have those beautiful curls!

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  12. The silver looks really good on you!!! I love it. I still only have a few gray hairs, but I'm getting more every year. I never really considered dyeing my hair so I love the inspiration to make gray hair look good!

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  13. Wow you most certainly pull it off! I think because your face is so youthful, it's striking! Where are all your wrinkles???

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    1. Hahaha, oh, they are most definitely THERE. I credit crappy phone pictures with any semblance otherwise. Still working on accepting those ;)

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  14. Your hair is lovely! I am so jealous! I am stuck in the "keep highlighting" phase, trying to grow out my base (40% gray?). I think it is a very slow way to transition, I'm going to gradually highlight less and less, but for now, I am frustrated by how slow it's going and can't wait to be done!

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    1. It's very very slow. Hope it works out for you!

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  15. As a fellow back to gray person, I say hurrah! It's very freeing. And your natural color is so beautiful.

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  16. Well I think you look beautiful! And oddly enough, right now silver hair is on trend. (Which may be why you get comments.) People are paying a lot of money to get their hair to look just exactly like yours.

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    1. Ha, that's funny. I tried many times to Google ways to strip the color out and possibly dye it the gray to match what was growing in but couldn't find anything that applied to dark haired people. There must be a way, although whatever it is might make for some really dried out straw hair, at least on me!

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  17. Mary, you look great! I agree that your natural hair color is something that people pay money to have! I like the natural wave as well. I went through a highlighting faze, but in the past few years, I've stopped all together. Why pay all that extra dough and I don't even have gray hair?!?! Anyways, going all natural is freeing, I completely agree! When I saw my Dad over the holidays, he thought I dyed my hair darker, but I had to explain it was just my natural color! You look fabulous!!!!!

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  18. I love it! It looks great on you. I, too, enjoyed being able to wear colors I had never worn before. I was a redhead, going from strawberry blond to auburn at different times in my life, so purples, blues, pinks, reds never looked on me. Now I can wear all sorts of colors I liked but never wore. (Sadly I still wear a lot of black and gray!) One thing I learned is that I have to wear a little make-up or my face is completely washed out. I am very pale + silver/white hair -- I could pass as a ghost!

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    1. Yes, I'm very pale in the winter as well...I know what you mean!

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  19. You look awesome! I think it's really cool when I meet young moms who have let their hair grow gray. I don't know how people started getting the idea that gray hair was something to be avoided; I think it is a beautiful color, and can be really dignified and flattering. Plus, there's a Bible verse that endorses gray hair: "Gray hair is a crown of glory;it is gained by a life that is just." ~Proverbs 16:31 (I ran into that verse when I was young, and I immediately loved it). Is it bad that I'm actually kind of excited for the day that my hair starts going gray?

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    1. That is going to become one of my favorite verses, I think :)

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    2. Glad I can help spread the love! :)

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  20. All those tones look beautiful together. When I became pregnant last year, I vowed I was finally going to dye my hair because I couldn't possibly be a greying mother. The baby's eight months, and the two boxes of dye are still at the back of the bathroom cupboard, due to a mixture of cowardice and laziness. I do often go sort of boho, though, and cover it all with fancy headscarves.

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    1. Haha, part of my decision was most definitely based in laziness ;) Keeping up with the dying gets old real quick!

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  21. Mary, it look so good! Someone might give you a double take because it's so uniquue--so you--and looks great with your youthful face! (I am finally subscribing to your blog for my RSS feed.) Praying Baby Ben is sleeping for you!

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