Gray Hair – Deny It or Defy It?

At what age should you go gray?  Everyone has their own opinion on this – we thought it would be fun to share each of our perspectives here.


I found my first gray hair in my early twenties and spent an hour each week in front of the mirror pulling them out one by one.  By my early thirties I was traipsing to the salon every 6 weeks for a “cut and color“.  In my early forties I had about had it and wanted to just go gray.  My hair dresser , Michelle, kept telling me I was much too young to let my hair take its natural course.   She only charged $35 so it wasn’t that big of deal.  

 But I was only going to Michelle because it was fun but I had been going to her for over 20 years and it was time to move on.   I made a pact with a woman I met at a women’s leadership conference that we would both go to a real salon and get an expensive do.  Well, I kept my word and went to THE Salon in St. Louis. 

I learned a very expensive lesson.  Once you go to a real salon, you can’t go back.  I loved the color, the products, the ambiance and Nicole.  My first bill was almost $200 (I had to get the right products!).  Every appointment since has been well over $100 – most closer to $200. 

I now have to color my hair every 4 – 5 weeks with a touch up in between.  My natural color is now as white as white gets and it grows faster than my grass.   

Enter do it yourself hair color…and thank God!.  I’ve been filling in with that to keep the bills down. But yesterday I went in again for my official “cut and color”. To say it simply, Nicole was horrified at the number of colors in my hair.  She asked why I would think of touching up a week before an appointment. 

Are you kidding? Why ?  Because I had to leave the house!!!  I was meeting some old friends for happy hour then I had a business lunch on Wednesday.  I can’t go with a 1 inch white streak down the middle of my head. 

I have had grandchildren (from my step-kids) since I was in my early 30s.  I loved the reaction when said something about my grandkids.  People would react with shock, ”You look much too young to have grandkids,”’ but  I no longer get that reaction – ever.   I feel like a brunette and I don’t want to look older but has the time finally come? Only the bottle knows…



I had long been a highlight type, but in my early 30’s realized that my color had progressed so far towards a blonde I would never be that I had to draw the line. One day a stylist noted that my natural color was a nice brown. It was such a simple statement but one I had never thought of so I decided that that was it, no more color.

Over 10 years later and I’m streaked with brilliant white. More so than my older – or younger – sisters and brothers mind you. Still have a good amount of brown, but truth it, I just don’t really care. That isn’t to say I don’t care about my looks. I love me a nice stylish haircut, but I can’t imagine the bills and the hassle of continuous color. On top of that my husband likes the way it looks, and ultimately it just is what it is. I’m not 20, go figure.

I’ve read about women being fired for being gray, and other career impacts and god love em, if they want to fire me for that, have at it! Ultimately my modus operandi is to do a good job. I’ve been lucky, been in generally good work situations and have been rewarded for the job I do. I plan on keeping it that way.

Meanwhile, my white stripes get whiter and more numerous but I swear… they make my headstands much stronger!



I’m fortunate to not have any gray hair yet.  My sister who is three years younger just started getting a few (a WIN for me in this case – she can eat ice cream and Doritos for dinner with no consequences and I gain weight by just watching her).  It’s funny because I haven’t really thought about what I’d do until this blog post. In my close circle of girlfriends none of us have ever dyed our hair – at all.  I’ve watched people try new hair colors and styles, but for me it always seemed like too much to keep up with.  I only get a haircut when I start getting the feeling that I HATE my hair, and then I just get it cleaned up.  (Note: I’m the same person that wrote the blog post about getting her dog groomed every month, so it makes no sense.)

So I will go on what I *think* I will do. 

I’m pretty sure I will dye my hair… until a certain point and then I want it to be beautiful silver like my Grandmom’s.  What that “point” is will remain to be seen, as will how I can go from brown to silver in a hot second.  Stay tuned… and if you have any suggestions for the instant silver please let me know J



I will dye till I die!! I didn’t really start getting a lot of grays till I turned 40 and then I woke up one morning and was about 3 weeks from becoming Bea Arthur. So I get a cut and color every 6 to 8 weeks (to the tune of $150) with a touch up in between. I even keep a “Tween Time” touch up stick, for emergencies, which is basically a brown crayon that makes brown run down my face with the first sign of sweat. But contrary to Michaela whose “husband likes the way it looks,” I would love to have a husband who doesn’t mind if I go gray (it would also be awesome if he didn’t care that I was fat or held down a job) but I am not going to find one walking around looking like one of the Golden Girls. Is it a lot of work and expense? Hell yes. But being a woman is a lot of work – there is shaving, tweezing, waxing, make up, manicures, pedicures, heels, underwires, moisturizers and Spanx. You can’t always do it all; you’d never get out of the house.  So I say do the one that has the most impact, and that is a gorgeous head of shiny brown hair.

– Jen


I don’t even know if I’m gray.  If my eyesight continues worsening faster than I gray, I may never know I’m gray.   I started highlighting when responsibility interfered with being in the sun.  I later tried to go with my real hair color.  (If you’ve done any research about the beauty industry’s toll on our furry friends, you’ve probably considered alternatives to hair color – and mascara.  I definitely ask any new stylist about their brand’s policy on animal testing.  Check out the Concerned Consumer list for more information. )  Anyway, I found out that my natural color is the definition of ‘mousy brown’.  It’s dull and boring and drags my pale complexion right along with it.  My great-aunt had gray hair that looked blonde.  I’m hoping for that and ignoring the fact that I look absolutely nothing like that side of the family.  A girl can hope, right?  I guess I’ll quit covering my gray when I discover I’ve gone blonde, I’m old enough that I just don’t care if I always looked washed out, or my conscience makes me quit.  Until then, I’ll keep pretending to be a blonde.     



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