Lessons From A Year Of Growing Gray Hair




“You’re going to look like shit.”

That’s how my formerly favorite French hairdresser responded when I excitedly told him that I was ready to hop on board the silver sister bandwagon and grow my hair out gray.

That was 12 months ago and as I sat in that chair I did two things.

Number #1 – I decided that I would fire this hairdresser and never put up with hairdresser peer pressure again.


Number #2 – I buckled up for a bumpy ride. I had no idea that my decision to grow my hair out gray would be something that would piss people off.

I really didn’t intend to chronicle my experience of growing out my hair gray. But that day was a moment of the “You can’t do this’s and that’s” that we are faced with when we are at midlife and I found it incredibly symbolic. I mean how many times have we heard garbage like we can’t wear sleeveless because of our supposed bat wing arms (in Australia they call it “tuck shop arms” – a barb at the older women who work in school cafeterias). And to address that, I’m sorry but for those of us that have been physically active all our lives, this might not even be a sore point. Or what about that we won’t even want to have sex after a certain age. I’ve had nice orgasms this week, thank you very much!

So this one, where someone told me that I couldn’t go gray finally brought one of those “can’t do this and that’s” home. And so, the journalist in me said “document”.

For the past twelve months I’ve been putting my learnings on YouTube. Here are all the video from start to finish.
#1 Let The Grays Begin

#2 Sh*t People Say When You Grow Gray Hair 

#3 Self Acceptance While Growing Out Gray Hair

#4 Gray Hair – Coping With Opinions of Others

#5 Makin’ Like Clooney When You Grow Gray Hair 

#6 Rock Your Gray Roots When You’re Out On The Town

#7 What If Growing My Hair Out Gray Makes Me Look Old?

#8 Gray Hair: Dealing With Wobbly Moments

#9 Exploring Color When You Grow Gray Hair

#10 Gray Hair: Activate Your Inner Badass

#11 Going Gray: A Love Letter To Under 40’s

#12 Things My Ex-Hairdresser Taught Me About Growing Gray Hair

#13 What If Your Gray Hair Doesn’t Look “Good Enough”?

#14 Gray Hair: What You Need To Know About Haircuts 

#15 Gray Hair: Do You Have To Be Brave When You Ditch The Dye?

And in the podcast above, I share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned. Like I say in the episode, it’s taking such a long time for this all to unfold that it will probably be another year of documenting before I fully understand exactly what I’ve done.

All I know is that I feel good. I feel pretty. I feel challenged. And all of that is okay.

Oh, and that hairdresser? He doesn’t work there anymore and wherever he is, I wish him well.

Need some advice about a midlife issues? Want me to research something you’re confused about? Ask me! All you have to do is leave a message – keep it to about one minute maximum – and if possible, I will include it in an upcoming episode. You have the choice to leave an email address and if you do and your question is used in the podcast, I’ll send you a digital copy of my book Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide For Thriving At Midlife.

So, with that in mind – got a question? What is on your mind and how can I help you? Record your message now.

Podcast – TCG 2.0

The Change Guru 2.0 is a new weekly podcast on iTunes dedicated to all things over 40. These are candid, unscripted chats, often solo, sometimes with guests, where I share what’s on my mind. Every episode is loaded with tips and inspiration to make your life rock.

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So – back to this week’s podcast – Are you doing the gray hair thing? What lesson can you pass on about it?

Leave a comment below.

6 thoughts on “Lessons From A Year Of Growing Gray Hair

  1. This is absolutely hysterical. I heard the same from several hairdressers. It won’t be a pretty gray, you will regret it…on and on and on…I have never been happier and have never looked back!! Great post!!

    • Hey Cindy

      Thanks for reading and so great you are loving your decision – I totally agree and still marvel how this isn’t something that the majority of hairdressers are into. One day!


  2. I started growing out my hair 2 yr ago and I have never regretted it . At first I heard , your so brave- I could never do it – now I get so many compliments! Not only from my age group (im 57), but many young 20 somethings! Many have said they wish they had my color! And my hair stylist loves my hair color and agrees she would not want to color it and mess it up!

    • Hey Shirley

      It’s funny what a big deal we can make out of this eh? I really don’t think twice about it anymore and like you, love it and can’t imagine dipping back into dye!



  3. I started going gray in my 20’s. Of course, I colored it, and continued to do so until starting the growing out process about 10 years ago. I am 62. Best thing I ever did. My hairdresser was supportive, and advised me to do heavy blonde highlighting to make the transition less noticeable. Being me, I figured “more is more” so I did more highlighting myself . . enter “trailer trash blonde phase”. LOL. It was a rough two years after that, but now I actually have people tell me “your hair is gorgeous/fabulous/stunning”. The natural curl helps. I still constantly have thoughts of coloring again as yes, it does make me look older but the compliments keep me going. I won’t go back. That’s what wigs are for! #silverfoxes!

    • Hey AnneMarie – Thanks for sharing your story. Amazing the adventure our hair – and color- takes us on. Love that you’re rocking your silver!


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