52 CommentsAgeing/Aging, Hair, Life

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On Oct, 9, 2012, I wrote about kicking the hair dyeing habit and letting it go natural.  Well, it’s May 2013 now and the last bit of synthetic colour was applied one year ago!  I have cut it twice; four inches in the fall and five inches the other day, in order to speed up the transition.  Let me tell you, that was difficult because like Sampson, long hair gives me strength.  It’s my “security blanket”.  

Without further ado, here are the results:

The “Old Grey Mare” lives! 

[Photos taken May 7, 2013]

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waist length grey hair
Waist length in back, before haircut, May 2013

[Originally published on Oct. 9, 2012]

Thanks to us, the Baby Boomers, there are some new catch phrases being flung about.  Who hasn’t heard “40 is the new 30”, or “50 is the new 40”?    So, it follows that we’ll be hearing “60 is the new 50” (or optimistically even, 40), yes? 😉  I’m certainly gung-ho about those!  My new favourite? “Grey is the new blonde”.  Yes, indeed.  After dyeing my hair for over 40 years, I am finally FED UP with the whole thing! You really do become a slave to it; every 4-6 weeks, without fail, otherwise those dreaded grey roots become oh so visible.  You know what?  NOW is the time to embrace one’s “greyness” and revel in the independence.  Liberation from the drudgery and mess!


A few months ago, I blogged about letting my hair grow long and I’m still doing that.  

Long Hair and the “Mature” Woman

It’s about the same length now (to the waist, in back) as it was in my hippie heyday.  A friend of mine said she saw me out walking the dogs recently and couldn’t believe how long it was.  I told her of my plans and she actually said “well, don’t let it grow TOO long“.  “Why not?”, I asked.  “You don’t want to look like some weird old lady, do you?” she quipped.  This truly made me laugh  I’ve never been one to care what other people thought and personally, I REALLY like it!  Might get a little trim, just to get rid of the dead ends, but, the long hair STAYS!  As for the grey, it’s coming in a lovely shade of silvery white in the front and blending in nicely with the remaining blonde. (Still quite dark in the back – oh well.)  It may take two or three years to get rid of all the synthetic colour, ( I don’t cut it often), but, I’m hoping it will look like the photo up top, eventually. [Note: the original image shown was a stock photo. I have since replaced it with one of my own.]

So, are you embracing your advancing age, or fighting it?  


ageing is mind over matter

© D.D.B. 2012-2015

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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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  1. Nice post Debbie. As we age the melanin which give our hair its color will diminish over time and as the hair strand loses the melanin the hair strand becomes transparent and over time the more transparent hairs you have give the appearance of gray against your darker hair. There are many views as to why this happens and like anything as we age it becomes more difficult for our bodies to produce the vital nutrients that were so readily present when we were younger.
    Anna recently posted…Health Benefits of HoneyMy Profile

    1. Hello Anna; Yes, I’m familiar with the reasons for hair turning grey as we age. Usually, people who comment on old posts are spammers, but your site looks legit and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt. 🙂 Just wondering where you came across this post? Thanks for dropping in.
      Debbie D. recently posted…PATTERNS – PHOTO FRIDAYMy Profile

      1. I was looking for a personal stories about hair greying (it became personal for me too) … google brought me here. Thank you for your time.

  2. I have recently started colouring my red hair since it was getting quite greyish and making me feel so old. I resisted for a long time but finally gave in. I like it, especially since my choir director who is also a red head gave me good advice on the shade. She told me to use light brown shades as the red will come through naturally which is so true. If I’d used a red shade, it probably would look very unnatural and fake. I just started doing it and I think it makes me look younger. Now if only I could get something that easy for the wrinkles and extra weight. LOL!

    I imagine I’ll get tired of doing it though as the years pass and I’ll opt for the grey look just like you have done. My mom is 83 and her red hair is completely white now.

    I like your long hair and it’s a lovely shade of grey. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, I always say! You are an original, Debbie and I like how you don’t worry about what others think. You go, Girl!
    Cathy Graham recently posted…#1000Speak for Compassion – An Acrostic PoemMy Profile

    1. Hi Cathy; From the photos I’ve seen, your hair looks good. I dyed mine red for decades, but as you said, the grey became too pronounced, so then I switched to a much lighter strawberry blond shade. Basically, I just got tired of the drudgery and took a chance that the natural look would turn out well, which it did! Thanks for the kind words. My hair is the only feature people compliment me on anymore, speaking of extra weight and wrinkles. 😉 You should do whatever you like. Some women dye their hair all their lives. Have a good week. 🙂
      Debbie D. recently posted…COLONOSCOPY: NOTHING TO FEAR!My Profile

  3. Thanks Debbie for selecting this post for the Archives. I can very well relate to your experience regarding coloring of the hair. I am seventy nine. Till I was sixty, i used to color my hair. They were quite long then. Then I stopped and got them cut.Now my hair is ‘salt and pepper’, but more salt. I love this stage. I used to be quite tense.Now that I am experiencing this stage, I am enjoying it.

  4. I just turned 51 and am also thinking along the same lines 🙂 My hair roots need a touch up every month, sometimes twice and I am feeling the frustration and pressure to cover the grey ends, not to mention the cost of getting it done professionally. Will let you know when I decide to go natural, hopefully soon.

  5. I haven’t yet heard “Grey is the new blonde” – interesting! I too have been thinking seriously about letting my hair go after having coloured it for a few years in reddish tones, first orangey-red which ‘popped out’ my blue eyes, and then burgundy red most recently. Since I just became a ‘young senior’ chronologically, I think this is as good a time as any! 😉 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…Very Inspiring Blogger Award: Woohoo!My Profile

  6. I think it’s beautiful, Debbie. And I love that you are part of the trend. Bravo!

    Mine is really gray on top and near my face, but at the nape of my neck, it’s as dark as ever. ~sigh~ I have a cowlick at the center of my hairline, and for some reason, it has remained dark, too. Gives me a weird streaked affect. I had an aunt (my dad’s sister) recently pass away, 95 years old, and she had the same dark streak at the top of her hairline. All of her hair was beaitiful silver except for that streak. I guess I inherited the hair graying traits from my dad’s side. My mom had fewer grays when she passed away at 83 years old, than I have now.

    I’ve never colored my hair, and I was never much to wear makeup either. So I always knew that I’d not fight the gray when the time came. But, I must admit, sometimes I miss looking in the mirror and seeing my dark brown hair staring back at me. 🙂

    Mine is down to my butt again. Time for another round of locks of love. They don’t use gray hair for wigs, but they do sell it to help defray the cost of making the wigs for children. 🙂
    Teresa Cypher recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: A swing in want of a child, in the rain…My Profile

    1. Thanks Teresa! 🙂
      Interesting about the dark streak. I have one in front as well, but not so obvious; it seems to blend in. A reverse “Lily Munster” effect. LOL My father was totally white/silver at 23 and I started seeing grey roots at 25, so obviously, that’s where it came from. My mother didn’t have ANY grey at all until she was in her late 50s and still doesn’t have that much at 89. Sometimes I miss the strawberry blonde L’Oreal colour, (it’s still visible at the ends), but not the drudgery of having to redo it every 6-8 weeks! Great idea to use your hair for charity. Something to consider for next time, although, I won’t be cutting off nearly as much. You were one of my main inspirations for letting it go grey and grow longer. Have a good weekend!
      Debbie recently posted…HOT! HOT! HOT!My Profile

  7. Hi Debbie–as you know, I agree totally with you. ;D By the way, your hair is now the same color as mine, although mine is slightly longer. I braid it after washing it, which gives it a good curl, without the expense of perming it. I use a little mousse and it stays curly-wavy until the next time I wash it. YEA!!!! I’m proud of you.
    Mary Purpari recently posted…“W” is for WhyMy Profile

    1. Hi Mary; I still have synthetic “strawberry blonde” at the ends. but that is fading and the recent removal of 5 inches (didn’t enjoy that!) helps to speed things along. Great tip about braiding it and using mousse. I usually just wash and go, or add a few velcro rollers in front. Must try your suggestion; thanks! I’m proud of myself too! 😀
      Debbie recently posted…IN MEMORY OF OUR BEAUTIFUL TASHAMy Profile

  8. I think in Canada and USA lots of women have long open hair, grey or other hair style. Here not so many, though two colleges have also long greyish hair. It also depends on the hair structure. I could not wear long hair without perm. I dont want perm anymore, so for me it is easier to cut it when it comes out to long. Dont want greasy spaghetti hair. I have to wash my hair nearly every day, dont have the time for longer hair., I m becoming grey too, but only on the top of the hair line and only infront, not in the back. So I only color this part at the moment, but my hair looks like I have highlights which are not colored, only by nature and in summer I look more blonde than usual and not by l Oreal – I may come back to the topic in 5 years – then my hair changed again. But I know I wont get dry and thick hair – I have much hair but very very straight and it just look greasy when I dont cut it reuglary. So see it all depends on how the structure of hair looks.

  9. Hi Debbie,

    I think your hair is looking lovely the way it is. 🙂

    Speaking of myself, I’ve dark brown hair that are going grey now. I prefer not using any dyes or trying anything on my hair because they all do have chemicals and we really don’t know the right ones to use or not use. Instead, I use Henna (I wonder if you’ve heard of it), which is a natural dye and it adds a nice tinge to my hair too.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…Why You Should be Respecting the ElderlyMy Profile

    1. Thanks Harleena. I agree with you about the chemicals; they really did dry out my hair and it’s much healthier now. Henna would give your hair reddish highlights, yes? I have heard of it, going back to ancient times, but, it’s not widely used here. I believe Lucille Ball did use it and her hair was a bright shade of red. Appreciate the comments. 🙂
      Debbie recently posted…#8sunday WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS; MAY 12/13My Profile

      1. Yes, it does add a little reddish tinge, though nowadays you get the black henna leaves too that you can mix with the normal ones, which turn out to be the color of my hair. Ancient as it might sound, it still is the most natural way to keep your hair colored and healthier too 🙂

        We do have the usual dyes in the market and parlors, but again, a lot depends on all the stuff they contain, which can damage you hair. That’s my main reason not to use any of them. Either ways, as soon as I get enough grey hair, I’d prefer stop coloring them and aging gracefully – love the silver streaks 🙂
        Harleena Singh recently posted…Why You Should be Respecting the ElderlyMy Profile

        1. I didn’t know there were black ones, as well. Sounds good and definitely better than chemicals. Silver streaks look great – like something a hairdresser would do. 🙂 My hair started going white/silver when I was 25 but I always hid it with hair dye, until last year. Free at last! 😉
          Debbie recently posted…REGRETS – I’VE HAD A FEWMy Profile

  10. Oh my! Debbie your hair looks beautiful!! So thick and such a great color. Honestly, it doesn’t look grey to me but a very white blonde. Love it! I’ve been procrastinating coloring but for some reason, my hair is getting blonder all over. I can’t stand it so I made an appt for Saturday…cut and color or maybe highlights. Can’t stand the length anymore! Eeek! Yours rocks gf!
    Bren recently posted…Sex and The CityMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Bren. 🙂 You’re a natural redhead, aren’t you? Love that! Looks like your hair is curly too? That wouldn’t be conducive to growing it long, so I can understand your preference. My father had white/silver hair at 23 and I started getting it at 25, but chose to dye it most of my life, (and always shades of red; lastly strawberry blonde). The drudgery just got to me last year and I said “screw it”! Glad it turned out okay. Thanks for dropping by and have a great rest of the week.
      Debbie recently posted…MUSIC MONDAY; REBEL SONGSMy Profile

  11. I love the color of your hair. Very pretty. I have always had my hair short since I was really young. It was long in kindergarten but I hated it, hated having it washed, and hated my mom trying to fight the rats nests. LOL

  12. Hi Debbie

    There was a day that they said if you get over a certain age you need to have your hair short! I remember thinking my power is in my locks. Hate short hair, well at least on me, each to their own. I need to go back in and get a good layered cut as it gives my hair body. I did get a really good cut in 86 and since have tried to keep it about the middle of my back or a smidge shorter depending on what they understood as 2 inches! My hair is naturally very dark and my skin very light, so it kind of made me look sickly. So I did start coloring for about 25 years. Gave up on that when it turned a little gray as it lightened up the hair color and made me not look so anemic. But my hair is mostly dark with a bit of gray hairs. I have no intention of coloring again. Now if the wrinkles would go away that would be much better!

    I agree gray is better than the constant drag of having to color, besides you can only hide your age so long and then people will notice, so what is the point.

    Mary Stephenson recently posted…Failure Teaches What Is Really WrongMy Profile

    1. I’ve always had long hair too, Mary. Just cut it now to speed up the transition process, but it will grow back. Grey is actually “in” now, thanks to us Baby Boomers and I’m happy about that! 🙂 Wrinkles are another issue altogether. LOL I was “blessed” with oily skin, so don’t have too many. It’s a trade off with the blemishes though. Thanks for your insights!
      Debbie recently posted…#8sunday WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS; MAY 12/13My Profile

    1. I think it’s more difficult for brunettes to go grey, so kudos to you, Corinne! 🙂 I imagine your heat is much more oppressive than ours and we only have it for a couple of months at the most, so long hair could be a bother then. I’ve always had long hair, so am used to it. It’s so liberating to no longer be a slave to that bottle. LOL Thanks for reading.
      Debbie recently posted…#8sunday WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS; MAY 12/13My Profile

  13. Good stuff Deb. Way to be a leader! I thought about doing the same but my hubby said he didn’t want to be with an old lady…. Hehehe Says he who is gray and 66 years old. What nerve that took. If I thought mine would be even I would do the same, but for now I guess I will wait. But it sure looks good on you!