Things are a-changing. Seasons. Leaves. Hair. As I watched summer blend into fall and trees turn into rainbows of color, I was also thinking about changing up my hair color. And no I don't mean rainbows. It's was time to trade in the warm brown tones and golden highlights for something a little more low maintenance. I have been asking myself for a while: is it time to embrace all the silver coming in. The answer on when to stop coloring your gray hair is intensely personal, but for me the time is now.
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Ready for a Change
When I moved to Vermont, I knew coloring my hair was going to be a challenge. We live in a super rural area, and with COVID, getting back to my home salon was not in the cards. I found Clairol to be a great solution and I was happy with maintaining my color. But now I'm back to traveling again, having to fit in coloring to my life just seemed like a hassle.
Plus I'm 50, and I LOVE being 50. I feel so unapologetically me at this age and I want some outward manifestation of this. I started stalking Instagram accounts with women with white and salt and pepper hair.
Then I finally made an appointment to see my colorist and talk it over. I was willing to let my roots grow out and see what would happen, but he had a better solution that would look a lot less awkward.
How Do You Know When To Stop Coloring Gray Hair?
While I poll my community, I also knew I was the most important piece in this puzzle.
- Check in with yourself: Are you ready for this change? Why?
- Check in with colorist: They are likely to have ideas for you. My trusted friend Rafael resisted at first and then came up with a solution to help me let the silvers grow in without.
- Seek out a community. I started following some great accounts on Instagram that offered inspiration.
Instagram Silver Sisters
Look up the hashtag #silversisters and you are bound to see a vibrant bunch of beautiful women who have given up the bottle. Here are a few of my faves to get you started.
How to Color Correct Your Hair to Let the Gray Grow In
First my colorist deposited overall darker base to match my original hair color, then he added silver highlights to my hair. The idea is as my silver and gray and brunette colors grow in, they will blend with the tones he has created. It took about four hours and $500. Add to that I purchased some fancy shampoos to keep the silvers silver, not dingy.
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And if I hate it?
I can start all over again.
Repeat after me...It's just hair.
How to Maintain Your Color
Here's how I'm caring for this new color.
- Let the Color Sit. Waiting 48 hours after fresh color before washing it gives your it some time to settle into your roots and hair.
- Avoid washing hair every day. The less often you wash, the less your color will fade. Feeling a little greasy?Try dry shampoo to sop up roots between shampoos.
- Use high-tech anti-color faders. It?s not a marketing hype. Products designed to maintain the color in color-treated hair can help prevent fading, keep color true, and put back needed hydration. Always choose finishing products with UV protection, since the sun fades worse than anything. I'm using the Kerastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra-Violet & Cicaflash Conditioner 8.5 oz (get in on Amazon).
- Invest in a water filter for your shower head. This filter will remove water minerals like chlorine from the water, which can fade or distort your color (turning it green or brassy). You can pick one up for $20 at Home Depot, this Aquasana one gets great reviews on Amazon. This is a small price to pay to keep the green in your wallet and not in your hair.
As I start this process, I want to let other women know I think there is no right time or wrong time. At 50 I've become a lot less judgmental. I just want you to feel happy and love the skin you are in!
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