The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

As many of you know, in December of 2016 at the age of 45, I made the hard decision to stop dying my hair. Thus began what felt like a very long process of transitioning to gray hair.

I got my first gray hair in my twenties and have dyed it myself ever since. When I made the decision to transition I knew I was gray but I really didn’t know the extent of it since for the past twenty plus years I’d only ever seen my roots. It got to the point where I was having to dye my hair every four weeks just to keep on top of the gray. I hated this monthly ritual and the pressure I felt to get it done before anyone should find me out. And as many of you know, the pressure is intense! Society is pretty clear that not dying your hair is your fast pass ticket straight to the old folks home. Good grief! It’s no wonder making the decision to stop is so hard considering how counter-cultural and frowned upon it is.

How and why I transitioned to gray hair in my forties - my unexpected results!

By the time December 2016 rolled around I had been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for two years. I had completely changed my diet to manage my RA without meds. This diet is an anti-inflammatory Paleo diet without grains, legumes, gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Here I was eating a clean diet yet dumping chemicals on my head month after month. It just didn’t make sense for me anymore and it was the last push I needed to finally make the decision to quit. But oh the emotions that followed. Nervousness that I wouldn’t like the results, excited that I would, bracing myself for the backlash from others and of course just hesitant about all the unknowns involved in the process. It’s been an interesting ride these last 18 months that is for sure.

First let me start by sharing some before pictures with you. The fact that I’m sharing a blog post heavy with self portraits makes me so uncomfortable (it’s all sorts of awkward, selfies are hard y’all!) but in order for this post to tell my story, I realize it has to be done. So here goes. The first photos show my before and after and then I’ll share some of the transition pictures as we go along.

This picture is from 2012. I dyed my hair this color for years.

In 2016 I went a little lighter.

This picture was taken in November 2016 right before making the big decision.

And here I am in 2018 almost fully transitioned.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

Now I’ll get into the nitty gritty and share with you some of the unexpected results I experienced during this whole transitioning to gray hair process. Please know that I am simply sharing my personal story here and am not in any way passing judgement on those that choose to dye their hair. You do you 🙂

I Wasn’t Alone

I remember that January day in 2017 when I walked into my bible study group and declared to the ladies that I was no longer going to be dying my hair. There were audible gasps around the room followed by a lot of questions and uncertainty. I explained my reasoning as best as I could.

I was tired of conforming to society’s standard of beauty and being told that forty was way too young to let those gray hairs shine. I was tired of the chemicals and the monthly commitment and frankly being told what to do. I was just done and wanted off the hamster wheel. What did my real hair look like? No one knew. I told myself and my friends that if I didn’t like it I would dye it again but I wanted to give it a go.

It felt very scary. But that day, surrounded by a large group of woman, one of my girlfriends bravely stepped up and said to me, “I’m going to do it with you too”. And all of a sudden it didn’t seem quite as scary anymore. My girlfriend has stuck it out with me and now she too has a gorgeous head of silver sparkles.

The Grow Out Process is Painful

I knew the process would be hard but I guess I thought it would be a little easier than it was. Oh my goodness, transitioning to gray hair was a slow and not so lovely process to endure. Short of cutting a pixie cut, which was something I wasn’t prepared to do, I just had to sit back and wait for the skunk line to slowly creep its way down my head. Yes it was exciting to see the gray color finally start to reveal its true shade, but the contrast between the old color and the new was a lot to take some days.

One month in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

2 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

5 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

These next two pictures are 6 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

It never seems as gray to me in person until I see a photo of myself and have to do a double take.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

8 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

The Fascination Is Real

By the 6 month mark I think people really started to figure out what I was up to. Not one to love attention, I felt very exposed. Ladies were just genuinely curious (and surprised!) as to why I was doing it and couldn’t help but ask me about it. Even random strangers would stop me to ask about my hair. It definitely took some getting used to that is for sure, I often felt like a lion on display at the zoo! Most ladies were very encouraging yet there were others of course that thought I was totally crazy. Thankfully, for the most part, I was able to let the naysayer comments just roll off my back and not bother me.

9 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

*I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.*

At this point the brown was starting to fade but was still noticeable. My girlfriend bought me this Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo (affiliate link) and it really did (and does) make a huge difference with manageability. It keeps the grays soft and shiny while keeping the brassiness down on the brown. I highly recommend it and though it’s expensive, a little goes a long way!

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

I Wished I’d Done Toner Sooner

In addition to using the above shampoo I also had my hairdresser apply a toner to the bottom half of my hair at this time. As you can see this helped immensely to tone down the brown color and make the contrast of the two colors a little less obvious.

10 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

The toner isn’t permanent though and after a couple of months the brown gradually  reappeared.

One year in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

I had the toner done a few times and I always felt so much better without the obvious line. If I had known it was an option I may have started doing it sooner. Other options are hats and head scarfs of course but I never really felt those looked good on me.

I Had to Change my Wardrobe

The problem with gray hair is it can wash you out if you let it. It became clear to me that my makeup and clothing choices needed to be an important part of this process. I still wanted to feel pretty and alive and the gray clothing that lined my closet wasn’t cutting it anymore. Apparently I really loved gray clothing because I owned a lot of it. I’m slowly trying to incorporate brighter colors into my wardrobe as I can afford to.

14 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

I continue to play around with makeup to add color to my face and bring out my eyes. And while you can’t tell in these particular pictures, I’ve also been trying to go brighter with my lipstick to perk me up and feel a little less drab.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

I Don’t Feel Old

This one surprised me the most. I wrongly believed the lies that with gray hair I’d automatically feel old. Like the two would just naturally go together like bacon and eggs. Every day I’d wake up and wonder if overnight it had finally happened lol. The emotions I went through in anticipation of what was to come with transitioning to gray hair were strong and all over the place. It takes awhile to adjust to the person you see in the mirror everyday but eventually I realized it’s still me. The same person I’ve always been. My goofy, crazy personality wasn’t going anywhere.

What I’ve learned is that gray hair is simply a color, nothing more. It only dictates what we let it dictate.

16 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

Setting an Example for my Kids

I’ve always encouraged my kids to dare to be different, to be leaders and not followers. And what was I doing with my hair? Totally being a follower because culture dictates that I hide the natural beauty that God so beautifully bestowed upon me. Nope now I can stand proud and tell them that I’m practicing what I preach. That I’m brave enough to stand apart from the crowd and it’s okay. I’m okay. My world hasn’t fallen apart. That feels really really great.

16 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

I Don’t Regret My Decision

Now here I am a year and a half later. I still have a tiny bit of color to grow out but I’m almost there. I had some doubts over the last year but now that I’m on the other side I’m so glad I did it. I’m really proud of myself. I love the way my hair has grown in and I get even more compliments about it now. Without the obvious line, everyone wants to know where I go to get it done professionally, ha! I shout it loud and proud that this is what my Father gave me and it didn’t cost a thing! 🙂

18 months in.

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

And then finally one more taken just today. See how it looks different in different lights?

The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

Update: 2 years in!

Gray Hair is Beautiful!

If this is something you’ve been thinking about doing, I hope this post encourages you to just go for it!

I’ve literally studied hundreds of before and after pictures (as part of the Gray and Proud Facebook group I’m in) of gray hair transitions and can sincerely tell you that all these ladies look so much better in their after pictures. The uniqueness I see in the variations of gray/white/silver coloring is simply stunning. Plus as we age our skin tone changes so the lighter grayer hair just naturally looks better.

I feel no shame in my gray hair game. Only confidence that I made the right choice for me and can proudly stand firm in that decision regardless of what anyone else thinks. That alone is so very freeing for me especially considering that by publishing this post the possibility for judgement is there. Eeek!

Whether you dye your hair or not, confident women are beautiful women so be bold and brave in whatever you choose!

If you’ve got any questions about the transitioning to gray process, please leave them for me in the comments. I’d be happy to try and answer them.

Proudly gray!
Laura 🙂


Filed under: My Life


249 Responses to The Unexpected Results of Transitioning to Gray Hair in my Forties

  1. 1
    Ally S says

    I’m not sure how I ended up here, but just wanted to say how great this is. Firstly you look amazing! And I know it’s really difficult with so much pressure on us all to continue to meet society’s ridiculous expectations, but the more of us that do it, the easier it’ll become. I applaud both your bravery and your elegance!

    • 1.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you Ally! And yes that’s exactly right, the more that do it the more normal it will become. I’ve already had a few more friends say they are going to do it so sharing here (as hard as it is!) is totally worth it if I can inspire some more people to give it a try 🙂

      • Melissa Felix says

        You look amazing !!
        I am also in process of transitioning to gray from dying my hair black since 18 yrs old …. I will be 42 in 4 months … I am excited and your blog just gave me an extra boost and confidence to know that I am doing that right thing for me … want to say Thank You !!

        • Laura Wittmann says

          Awe, thank you so much Melissa and I’m so glad I could help. Makes all those embarrassing selfies so worth it!!! 🙂


    • 1.2
      Peggy says

      I grew mine out too just cut the last of the old color off a month ago. Every now and then I’m tempted to add low lights but I think I’ll try the brighter colors instead.

  2. 2
    Debbi says

    I have been debating this because, even with touch ups every 4 weeks, the roots are so awful before I go get a retouch. It is a really scary idea though! I go for a coloring today and will talk to my hairdresser this morning about what she thinks. Would you share your Facebook group, either publicly or in a private message with me? Thanks for the encouragement!

    • 2.1
      Kelly Boettcher says

      I have been thinking about going natural for a while now also but am terrified of the transition process! I would also like to know more about the Facebook group if possible.

      • Laura Wittmann says

        Hi Kelly, the transition process while hard wasn’t as bad for me as it could have been and I think that’s because I did start so early before I was more white on top. Just another reason transitioning early is a good idea! 🙂 The Facebook group is called Gray and Proud.

    • 2.2
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Debbi, the Facebook group is called Gray and Proud. It’s such an inspiring space of brave woman sharing their transitions. You will be inspired for sure!

  3. 3
    Sheila Waddell says

    I’m still in the growing-out phase but going natural was the best thing I’ve done for myself in quite a while!

  4. 4
    Melissa says

    Wow, this was just what I needed today. I’ve been thinking about it. My mom still colors her hair at 70…so I’m a little scared. I do remember how beautiful my grandma’s white hair was. I’ve colored since in my 20s as well. I have no idea what color I would end up with. Thanks for your courage in sharing your story. I will look for that facebook group. It has helped with the keto diet – maybe I’ll take this step toward naturally me. It would be such a relief.

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Melissa, the Facebook group is called Gray and Proud. It’s very inspiring!!

  5. 5
    diane says

    You look great.

  6. 6
    Judy Wyzlic says

    I went natural about 2 years ago, and haven’t looked back. While some say I look older, others love the streaks of white and gray color, and still some dark brown( I am not as young as you -67). I’ve had far more compliments than negative responses. I have noticed that the colors that look best on me has changed. I had brown hair and a peachy skin tone, so wore lots of peach, green, brown, yellow, orange. Now gray, black, violets, reds are colors I can wear, and yellow, peach, and brown are not as flattering. I have darkened my lipstick, because as you said, you do tend to look washed out without it.

    • 6.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      That’s awesome Judy! Yes I totally wasn’t expecting the colors I wear to make such an impact but they really do.

  7. 7
    Andrea says

    Laura, your hair is beautiful! It really does make me wonder what my hair even looks like beneath this color. The time and money spent (and chemicals absorbed)… why am I doing it? Thank you for making me think!

    • 7.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yay, this comment alone makes me so glad I got up the courage to share this post. Thank you for that Andrea!

  8. 8
    Sue Pate says

    I am so glad you made the choice to be you! I think you look great with your natural color. I went gray in my early 20’s (straight down the middle only for a few years). I tried coloring once and the smell made me extremely sick (I was pregnant at the time might be why) but I never did it again. Over the years I have now become white headed. I love how it looks and get tons of comments about how white it is, I’m happy for you!

    • 8.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you so much Sue for the encouragement, I only wish I’d done it sooner!! Which is part of the reason I wanted to put this post out there even though it really doesn’t have anything to do with organizing 🙂

    • 8.2
      Jess says

      When did you decide to let it out. I’m 27 and coloring my grays every 4 weeks! Went blonde from brown to hide better between colorings. I thought maybe I could learn to embrace it but can’t help thinking I’m not going to be able to hold out and commit. HELP!

      • Laura Wittmann says

        I decided to stop dying at 45 but now that I’m on the other side I wish I had done it sooner!

  9. 9
    Susan says

    You look gorgeous! I have been coloring my hair for years, with the excuse that the color adds volume. I have a hair appointment this afternoon, and I now plan to discuss working my way back to natural (whatever that is – I have no idea anymore!). Thanks for the push i needed and for sharing your story.

    • 9.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Susan!! The Aveda Shampoo seems to help with volume too, it really is amazing stuff!

      • Patricia A Scott says

        I also have autoimmune issues and have changed my diet. Like you, I have thought about all the chemicals in hair dye. I have decided to go for it!! At 61 its time to reveal my true colors!
        I requested to be in your FB group. Let the process begin!!

          • Lisa Vander Meulen says

            Laura- I’ve visited your site a few times for motivation in my own hair color journey. You look so beautiful and are such a motivation for the rest of us! My natural color is medium brown but colorists had made it very dark to cover the greys. You can imagine that skunk stripe looked pretty bad! I decided to make the change because I saw people like you who had embraced their own changes and made it look great!

            I found a colorist who understood that I was ready to do and she lightened my hair and added a toner to the brown. It’s only been about 4 months and I know it will take about 2 years but now when I notice roots, they aren’t so obvious and I don’t panic like I used to. My hair started to grey a little later (I’m 60) but am still working and very active. It has been a challenge to see a different person in the mirror but I’m learning to like it. Btw- I’ve been getting a lot of positive comments.
            Thank you so much!

            • Laura Wittmann says

              Yay I’m so glad to hear that! The unknown and transition of not only our hair but mindset as well is tough but so worth it. You got this!

  10. 10
    joy says

    I know it is COMPLETELY different for men, but my hubby’s hair was gray in his late teens/early twenties, and I’ve always asked him not to color it.

    I’m a true blonde, and I normally wear a ballcap, but even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t color my hair, as I absolutely love the silver. Normally, when I comb and brush my hair, the silver is usually the first to go. ;-( I can’t wait until it all silver, as I think it is just absolutely gorgeous!!! :)))

    And, I think your hair is absolutely gorgeous!!! The contrast is just perfect!!! :))) Just like Morgan’s, my DH.

    I think it’s great that you are celebrating what God has given you.

    I also think it’s great, and really important, that we grow our children up in His truths. Nice going, Laura!!! :)))

    God bless you, Hon!!! :)))



    • 10.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you Joy, it’s been a time of growing for sure, mentally and physically!! Knowing what I know now I do wish I’d been brave enough to do it sooner which is why it was so important for me to share this post.

  11. 11
    MelanieL says

    I love your new hair!! You’re beautiful! Great blog post.

    • 11.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you, thank you!!! It’s scary to put yourself out there (especially as an introvert!) but I really think it’s such an important topic to discuss. Hopefully this opens up that dialogue.

  12. 12
    Debra Schramm says

    I think your hair looks great!

    • 12.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you Debra for your encouragement, I appreciate it!!

  13. 13
    Jen W. says

    You look amazing, fantastic, wonderful, beautiful and on & on & on. Way to go girl!

    • 13.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh wow Jen, you sure know how to make a girl feel good! I was so nervous to hit publish, in fact I had it done last week and just couldn’t do it. I wish the pictures were better but when I started transitioning I never thought one day I’d make a blog post about it lol. Have a great day girl!

  14. 14
    Linda says

    I agree with everyone else, you look great.
    My hair dresser once told me that grey hair was ” God given highlights “.

    • 14.2
      Janis says

      Transitioned from coloring to grey in my sixties… it is so freeing not to have the maintenance! Although the grey does increase after some time… I now have low lights added every 8 to 10 weeks..There is some maintenance but I feel the coloring gives it shine and a diversified youthful look instead of all grey… I also like the idea of a toner…

  15. 15
    Lynda says

    I had colored my hair for many years slowly going blonder and blonder from my natural brown as the gray crept in. I was in my early 60s when I got tired of the expense of having it colored and decided to let it go gray. Even though my hair is very short it seemed like it took FOREVER to grow in! It was probably only about 8-9 months but honestly, several times I thought about giving up, plus it was hard to tell what it would really look like with the blond/brown still there. Once it had all grown it, it was a beautiful silver color on top and shades of gray underneath. I don’t think even a hairdresser could color it so perfectly! My natural brown was a mousy color and I feel so much prettier with my silver/gray!! I have to say that deciding to go gray was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I feel like finally, it’s all ME! I figured I’d have to brighten up my wardrobe and brighter, clearer colors do look better rather than the subdued, “muddy” ones I am normally drawn to. I was surprised to see that I can still wear gray although again, clearer, brighter shades look better…black is amazing!! 🙂

    • 15.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      It really is so fun now to be on the other side of the grow out and am so glad I hung in there! Thanks for sharing your story!

  16. 16
    Fiévet says

    You are very beautiful and that’s why you mustn’t be worried at all ; the first thing I see when I watch your photos is a pretty woman, a smiling and happy face, I mean a genuine smile, the one that goes up to your eyes and it’s great !!!!!!!!!!!

    • 16.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      What a kind thing to say, you have blessed me with your thoughtful comment. Thank you!!!!

  17. 17
    Christine says

    Thank you for sharing. I have considered not coloring my hair, not sure I am brave enough. Thank you for the information.

    • 17.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      You’re welcome Christine! Yes it’s definitely a very personal decision to make for sure.

  18. 18
    Cathy Meska says

    Laura, your hair is stunning! I am starting to get gray “highlights” and have been debating whether to color or not. Thanks to your encouragement, I will resist the pressure and remain natural!

  19. 19
    Julie Goltermann says

    I so enjoyed reading your post, and I think your gray is beautiful. I colored my hair one time, over 20 years ago when I started to go gray. I’ve never liked the uniform look of Home-dyeing, so didn’t want to continue. Thinking about how this is how God designed us, and how gray hair is esteemed in the Bible, I decided to go natural. One of my friends has since done the same, and there are several ladies at church who did what you did, making a transition. They all look lovely! It is so nice to see people loooking the way they really are!
    Congratulations! Also, I never thought about the clothing color choices and will
    Have to pay more attention to
    mine. Make up
    Not an issue, as I don’t where it! 😉

    • 19.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you Julie, now that I’m on this side of it I really am glad I did it 🙂

  20. 20
    Dee says

    Congratulations and thank you for being brave, posting all your personal photos. I have a feeling you’re going to help a lot of women do the same!

    • 20.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I hope so Dee, thank you for saying so 🙂

  21. 21
    Jean says

    I can imagine the bravery it took to post all those photos of yourself. You look fantastic! Gray looks good on you 🙂

    • 21.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you Jean, yes it was terrifying. I kept putting it off thinking I’d wait until I had professional pictures done but those weren’t happening and then finally I decided I just needed to go for it.

  22. 22
    AlleyCat says

    You look SO pretty with your natural hair color!

    I transitioned away from coloring my hair about ten years ago, and I’ve never regretted it. If God wanted me to have brown hair into my 50s, he would have given it to me.

    • 22.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes that’s how I feel, wish I’d done it sooner!!

  23. 23
    sam says

    I decided about three years ago to quit coloring and let my gray shine through. Your hair looks gorgeous, and really complements your eye color. You look beautiful!

  24. 24
    Chris Cox says

    I am wanting to transition back to my natural color, but fear the transition will be a little more difficult. My “gray” hair is more on the blonde side, so the transition will really show. My current color is Light Amber Brown. Do you think that doing the toner would help?

    • 24.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I think so, definitely something to consider. Talk to your hair dresser about it for sure. Good luck!

  25. 25
    Lauren says

    I swear I see signs everywhere telling me to stop coloring my hair! I have been thinking about it for awhile and also lurking every day on the Gray and Proud page. Now I get on your site and lo and behold—more inspiration! Thank you for another positive story. It may just give me the courage I need!

    • 25.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh wow isn’t that crazy. The first couple of months are the hardest for sure. Good luck!

  26. 26
    Bonnie Hanes says

    It’s beautiful! I waited until I was sixty (5 years ago) to stop coloring my hair. It is scary to take the plunge, but I’m so glad I did. I feel the same as you…my Father gave me this color hair and there is no need to cover it simply because society says I should.

  27. 27
    Linda says

    Your hair looks great, it would cost big money to pay for all those “highlights!” I transitioned at a couple years ago at 55. I wish I had done it sooner. Men frequently men compliment me and say they wish their wives would quit coloring. Great post!

    • 27.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Isn’t that interesting Linda about the men. So fun to see so many silver sisters commenting!

  28. 28
    Willie Walter says

    Wonderful post–thank you! I’m 56. I found my first gray at 21 and began coloring my hair around 23. I decided to stop about three years ago. The decision was partly based on laziness and partly on curiosity as to how much gray was really there. I wish I’d taken photos during the process as you did. I wear my hair longer–which used to be a serious faux pax for a woman my age!–and the very last of the artificial color was trimmed off a few weeks ago. I’ve made my peace with the gray. Dare I say I LOVE it?? 🙂 I’m amused when people I haven’t seen for awhile look at me and say, “Did you lighten your hair??” I laugh and say, “No, those are nature’s highlights!” Right now, I have some heavy streaks in the front that frame my face, so in certain light it really does look like highlights. Now I’m off the find the Gray and Proud FB group! Thanks again for prompting this conversation!

    • 28.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      The comments from others have made me laugh on occasion too especially when I see them looking and not knowing quite how to ask about it lol.

  29. 29
    Rose says

    I turned silver at 28, colored my hair until age 51. I love it! At first people would stare, now you see it everywhere! You are beautiful!

  30. 30
    Susie Wilcox says

    I have never colored my hair, but have thought about it numerous times. The expense and time have held me back. Now I deal with thick, coarse silver, dark brown combination with little silver hairs that frizz like crazy. I cannot get a sleek look at all. I have tried numerous products. I don’t mind the silver, but the frizzyness drives me crazy. Do you have any recommendations for that. I have tried everything my beautician has suggested. Your hair is beautiful and doesn’t seem to frizz at all. Thanks for being real!

    • 30.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Susie, did you see my recommendation for the Aveda Shampoo? It totally helps with frizz, I highly recommend it!!

  31. 31
    Jeannie says

    A few years ago I too had been coloring my hair for years. The stress of keeping up with roots & the time it took was getting old. Then I read an article about how you can develop an allergic reaction to hair dye at anytime. Symptoms start with an itchy head then get worse from there. I just didn’t want to take a chance I’d develop an allergic reaction. I also hated the chemicals I was putting on my head while eating organic & clean. So I decided to stop coloring my hair. I told my hairdresser who is probably 25 years younger than I am. Here reaction was priceless. She’d seen my roots before & they looked pretty white. I had no idea what color my hair was or how gray. (I was in my late 50s then.) As my hair grew out the white roots weren’t so white. I too was nervous about the outcome. But I love it! Funny side note to this is my 83 year old mom stopped coloring her hair when she saw how good my outcome was. She looked so pretty with her natural color. My hair looks very similar to yours with a little more lighter gray around the temples. People have asked me where I had it done. And like you i say God did it.

    • 31.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      That’s awesome, thanks for sharing that!!

  32. 32
    Colleen says

    You’re an inspiration. I admire your bravery and you look fantastic.

  33. 33
    Jo-Anna says

    You look so beautiful and full of life Laura! xo

    • 33.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you! I was hoping to get beautiful professional photos done like yours before posting but it just didn’t happen. Hopefully this summer!

  34. 34
    Esmarie says

    Beautiful! Absolutely Beautiful! Oh my – you’re such a beautiful woman! Just look at your smile – your eyes even lights up!
    I shake your hand for hanging in there for 18 months! I couldnt do that…
    I never like dyeing my hair and only did it once in a while. Until my teenage daughter and colleagues at work said that i should dye my hair – grey is just not the thing. Thus i started dyeing more often but everytime i was sooo concerned about the chemicals. Thus the last time i used henna which is without chemicals but had another problem on hands… when i wanted to dye again the hairdresser told me that i cannot dye with chemical dye while the henna is still in my hair – the hair will simply break off. Thus i made my final choice – I’M GOING GREY no matter who said what. Never am i going to dye my hair again.
    My hair was little bit longer than shoulder length at that time… I stuck it out for about 3 months and then took the huge step… I just had it cut off where the grey hair began… Oh yes! my hair is very short now but i am so very much surprise of all the compliments im getting of how much better the short grey hair suits me 🙂 The first day I felt good… the next couple of days i was not so sure that i made the right choice but since yesterday (10 days into my really short hair) and im starting to really like it and starting to wonder if i really want to go back to longer hair… Only time will tell. But I’m really happy that the struggle of dyeing is in the past now and looking forward to my future with bright shiny healthy grey hair 🙂

    Thank you for your blog… I really enjoyed reading it. Congratulations for sticking it out! Yes, we have to appreciate what our Father blessed us with and not be shy… we might just be the inspiration that somebody else need to also take her step.

    God bless.

    Esmarie – South Africa, Cape Town

    • 34.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh I love this and reading how your confidence has grown little by little. I’m sure your hair looks amazing, way to go Esmarie!!

  35. 35
    Simone says

    I don’t even see a gray haired woman, just a pretty lady with a great smile! Well done!

  36. 36
    Colleen Mace says

    From one grey-hair to another–LOVE the grey!

  37. 37
    CyndiM says

    I ran across your blog by chance this morning. Like you, I started coloring early, then probably 15 years ago gave it up. I was feeling blah and frumpy, and a year and a half ago, an opportunity came up. I started coloring my hair PURPLE. It has been a beautiful ride, and I still get compliments nearly every time I leave the house. In my mind, you look at the women who color their hair jet black, and my color isn’t any more unnatural than theirs. Plus, I work in a creative field, and my customers get it. However, my daughter is planning to get married next spring and doesn’t want her momma to have purple hair in the wedding photos. So for her, I’m letting it go. Fortunately, fashion colors fade over time and don’t take as well on the gray anyway, so I’ve got a cool ombre thing going on right now (gray and purple are natural compliments). I am very worried about how I’ll feel after letting the color go completely, since I’ve truly loved this vibrant phase of my life. I am afraid of feeling older and more “blah”, and that my inner liveliness won’t come through. Do you have any words of support? Would that FB group help me feel better? And congratulations on your own beautiful transition, I love your photos and am glad you shared your story!

    • 37.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Love this, thanks for sharing! I think you could get really playful and fun with your makeup and clothes and still feel young with the gray. Also go with a funky hairstyle to liven things up 🙂 The FB group is so inspiring!!

  38. 38
    Amy says

    I too am on this journey. I will be 12 months in next month. In the last couple months I have had more people ask me about it…”are you coloring your hair differently?” It hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be and I do like my gray. Although, I am spending most of my days in a ponytail at this point. I may try your toner tip. I do feel like I look older. Which I have had to come to terms with. I am a new “nana”. I used to get the reaction, “your not old enough to be a grandmother!”. I don’t hear that much anymore. Although, I am old enough to be a grandmother. So, it is appropriate for me to look old enough;) Looking and embracing our age…definitely not what society preaches. You look wonderful!

    • 38.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      You make such a great point Amy, so glad to read your story. Thanks for sharing!!

  39. 39
    Amy McGuire says

    You look absolutely AMAZING, Laura!!!!!! <3

    My mom and I were JUST having the "people will _____ (fill in the blank with whatever healthy, good for you thing) but still slather themselves in toxic chemicals, and on their head!" discussion the other day.

    Super inspiring, and encouragement as I work hard to NOT pluck every gray hair I see on my head. 😉 My time is coming!

    • 39.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hey Amy! Thank you for your sweet words, I’m so glad I did it now that I’m on the other side. You are doing well if you only have a few grays so far, those are some good genetics right there!! 🙂

  40. 40
    Christine Noble says

    Hi Laura,
    I’ve been colouring my hair for decades as well and, like you, began to question that decision when I started to have health issues. How could I continue to dump chemicals on my head every month when I was trying to clean up other areas of my life to mitigate my health issues?? Still it took me a couple of years to stop dying my hair because I liked how youthful I looked with brown hair and “everyone is doing it” so I felt that I would be the odd person out looking old while people older than me continue to look great because they dye their hair.

    Seeing your pictures has changed my attitude about this. You still look as fabulous as you ever did! I see Laura when I see your pictures. I see your beautiful eyes and fantastic smile. I see health and happiness. I see that you love and are well loved. I see that you still have your spark and you love life. I see an amazingly beautiful person. This gives me hope that perhaps when I’m through this transition, people will see me too instead of just my hair colour.

    Reading about your journey a few months ago inspired me to finally stop dying my hair. “If Laura can do it then so can I!” Because we are the same age and dyed our hair similar colours, your pictures have helped me visualize how my hair will look at different stages and your timeline has given me real perspective on how long this journey will take and that it won’t always be easy. My hair was quite long and I’ve had three haircuts now to go shorter to help with the transition. It’s about your length now. I’d like to go even shorter but my hairdresser hasn’t bought into me transitioning yet.

    I’m about three or four months into this journey and wish I had never dyed my hair in the first place. Some days seeing the greys grow in doesn’t bother me because I believe that I’m doing the best thing for my health; however, some days it bothers me a lot. I feel like people are looking at me as lazy, unkept, and “letting myself go” because everyone can see the line between the dyed hair and the natural hair colour. It helps a bit that my husband has mostly white hair (he went white before he hit 45) but I wish I had a close friend to transition with like you did. I will look up that Facebook page you recommended for additional support.

    What does that shampoo do? Does it take out some of the brown so the contrast isn’t so harsh or does it change the white hair to grey?

    Thank you so much for sharing and being an inspiration!! ???

    • 40.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hey Christine! Thank you for your sweet words, such a nice thing to say. I’m so excited for you that you are doing this. You just have to get through the transition and then everything changes. Once it’s grown out then it looks like you’ve done it on purpose and you no longer feel unkempt. I totally know what you are saying. The first little while is rough but you can do it. Whenever you feel like giving up send me a message and I’ll talk you down 🙂 Sometimes that’s all you need. It does get better I promise. As for the shampoo yes it takes out some of the brown which made me feel less obvious. Plus it helps with frizzies and keeps the gray from looking yellow. It’s really great stuff. I’d just use it a couple of times a week so it really lasts a long time. Hang in there girl, you’ve got this!!

  41. 41
    Lynn says

    LOVE your beautiful gray!!! It is such a pretty color! I decided in August 2017 to stop highlighting my hair to help hide my gray and embrace my gray. I have dark blonde hair and so bleaching it worked but I hated the time and cost. I’ve gotten many positive comments and compliments on my gray and just last month I cut my hair very short and it’s all gray and sassy. I love it! Thanks for sharing your story of embracing the gray. It’s the BEST way to go!

  42. 42
    Olivia S says

    Congrats!! Gray looks great on you! I have colored my hair off and on, not to hide gray, but just for a change. My first grays popped around 34 and I’m 42 now. I don’t have many, mostly just streaks. Anyone who asks, and especially the ladies at the salon, I tell that I’ve earned everyone of them and I’m proud of them. I have a couple female relatives who are terrified of looking old, so I’ll admit to keeping the gray just to annoy them a bit.

  43. 43
    Marcia says

    Thank you for posting this. I have been wondering how long I can continue to afford dying my hair. My mother was totally gray at 35 years old, and was asked several times if she was my father’s mother which she hated! But she had beautiful silver gray hair. I am already older than my husband so I didn’t want to be gray until he started graying which he is now. I don’t know if I am ready or if I would even recognize myself anymore. I have been going through a transformation in my weight and have been losing my hair in great amounts which they say is normal and also temporary, but I figure I have lost about 40 percent of my once thick volume. I am a grandmother in my 60’s and should probably embrace my age but it is a very scary journey. I was also concerned about being washed out so it is very interesting to read about your needing to change the colors your wear as well as makeup or lipstick. I am seriously thinking about this. Your blog was very timely. Thank you for the courage to share it with total strangers. I sometimes would joke about getting the sparkles removed, but it may be time to let the special sparkles the Lord has provided as He shines His light on me!

  44. 44
    Kathy b says

    How can I go gray faster???? I want the light look!!!! My gray is only around my ears. You post is lovely and a thrill!! You look awesome

    • 44.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I love this comment, you don’t hear that too often 🙂 Thanks Kathy!!

  45. 45
    Lorraine Ashton says

    It is a relief to stop having to pay out every six weeks. I enjoyed your pictures of the process. As for me I had an easy route–I got breast cancer, lost all my hair with chemotherapy and just left it alone when it finally came back. And just when I wonder if I should redye it I read your blog and think, “And maybe not.” I like different colors but you’re locked in when you have a different color underneath the dye. Thanks for your post.

    • 45.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I’m sorry to hear about your breast cancer Lorraine but glad you are doing well now.

  46. 46
    Valerie says

    I loved how you showed the monthly progression. My mom has dyed her hair forever and I always saw her grey roots. I vowed to never do that, I haven’t dyed my hair ever and I’m 48. Yes, I have gray strands and I’m fine with my hair turning gray. I’m embracing it also and glad that you are doing the same.

    • 46.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Loved that you have never dyed, that is awesome!

  47. 47
    amy says

    What a lovely post! And I don’t just mean the hair but you certainly do look beautiful! Thank you for sharing so much about the process, not just the physical transition but the emotional one as well. It goes so much further than hair and you are a true inspiration!

  48. 48
    Gwen says

    I stated this same journey approximately 12 months ago. My hair dresser embraced my d fusion with me and has been wonder support. She suggested the toner right off and it made a world of difference in keeping the obvious skunk line from being so very obvious. She shared my excitement as time went by and what type of gray I would become. The pixie cut idea wasn’t for me but I did make a suttle hair cut change just to give me a new feel with the new me along the way. All this being said, if you don’t have a good relationship with your hairdresser find one who will support you in your decision and work with you through this journey of the real you shining through.

    • 48.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh this is such good advice, thank you for sharing it!!!

  49. 49
    Rhey says

    Your hair is lovely and really compliments your eyes.

  50. 50
    Brenda says

    I had let my hair go to its natural grey/brown color and also let it grow out its length. When my son married in 2016 I asked my beautician if I should: (1) put a brown rinse on it, (2) consider highlights, or (3) cut it. I wanted it to look decent at the wedding and not embarrass my son, the bride, or myself. Imagine my shock when my beautician said, “I would leave it just as it is. It’s a pretty color and the length is great on you.”
    So I did! I get lots of compliments on my hair so overall I am satisfied with nature’s color.

  51. 51
    Kathy says

    I too quit coloring my hair about 2 years ago. I was sick of spending the time coloring my hair only to have the gray roots showing up again in a few weeks. It was a hard decision to make and I was afraid it would make me look really old. Going through with it wasn’t fun because of the length of my hair and I didn’t want to have it cut real short. But this is probably the best time to go gray because of all the younger people coloring their hair gray and other colors, you don’t look so out of place. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I’m ok with my gray hair and it is just a color and I’m still me!

    • 51.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes exactly Kathy! It’s just getting through the transition and then it’s so much better!

  52. 52
    Nina C. says

    You look great! Using bright, colorful scarves with your existing clothes will help keep you from breaking the bank. I made the decision to stop coloring my hair at least ten years ago. My Mom was battling a type of cancer that can be hereditary and I was fighting my own health issues as well. One day I thought, “Why am I putting these chemicals INCHES from my brain? That’s crazy!” Friends and colleagues asked me why I was letting my hair go gray and I replied that each strand signified a battle I won. They were my badges of courage and I had earned every one of them. My husband now says he likes my hair better this way.

    • 52.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh I love that so much Nina, great attitude!

  53. 53
    Jodi says

    Gray looks great on you! Also, you take great selfies!! ?

  54. 54
    Karen says

    Good for you. I also began going gray in my 20’s. I made the choice not to color. I would have had to touch up roots at least once a week. I did not have the money to do that nor did I want to waste that much time.I felt it was what God gave me,so I embraced it.

  55. 55
    Angela Tucker says

    I also let my hair go gray. I was so over having to color it every 4 weeks, plus the cost and damage to my hair. Now my hair is shiny and healthy looking. I get a lot of compliments on it. However, I still have days when I think – man I need to color my hair.

    • 55.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes occasionally I will too, like when I see myself in pictures lol. Thankfully those times are getting less and less frequent 🙂

  56. 56
    Lisa Zahn says

    First time commenter here, though I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I just have to say, you look great with your natural color! You look more “you” than ever! At 47, I don’t dye my hair (and really never have except for highlights back in high school days), and I call my gray hairs “silver sparkles” too. I think gray hair is beautiful.

    • 56.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      High five to that Lisa!! Thanks for taking the time to comment, I love hearing from my readers!!

  57. 57
    Lady Critique says

    I think you look great! You have a beautiful smile and pretty eyes! A big plus when you decide to go gray! I’ve been contemplating this the last few months. I keep saying “When I turn 70”, I’ll go natural. One big benefit to going without hair dye is being able to go out in the sun again, without worrying about the gray that will show on the crown the next day. 🙂

  58. 58
    Janet says

    I was following a link (really need to organize our home in many ways) and happened upon this gray hair story instead. Very encouraging to read your process and positive results. My mom and several aunts grayed early (all but one hide it with dye) so I knew my fate! My dark brown/black shade became peppered before age 40. I had two of our four babies AFTER those strands changed–still hard to hear people ask if they are my GRANDkids. And it bothered my resolve when stylists nudged me to let them color it (I do get occasional perms to give wave to the thin strands). I chose to live with what God gave me, and didn’t want the expense or mess of keeping up frequent coloring, and fear of how to ever transition later. My whole head is very silvery gray/white now at 55. I do look older than my “dyeing” peers–that is hard sometimes at social settings to feel alone in this choice. BUT I’m supported by my husband, who has also grayed at the same pace! Your post and the comments from others is very encouraging. I love wearing purples, blues, teal, but must follow your lead to brighten up lipstick and be alert to the colors nearest my face and hair!

    • 58.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Such a great attitude Janet, good for you!!

  59. 59
    Brie says

    You are so pretty, and your hair is stunningly gorgeous. I’m in my early 30s and haven’t ever altered the color of my hair … but now you’ve inspired me to not pluck out those silver strands when I see them. 😉

  60. 60
    Noelle says

    I’m so happy to see more and more women ditching the hair dye. Your natural hair is so pretty! I am only 4 months into my transition, and have been frustrated at times, but reading blogs like yours are really inspirational! It was just what I needed to read to stay focused. Thank you for sharing!

    • 60.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yay, so glad to hear about another silver sister! Hang in there, it is tough but so worth it.

  61. 61
    Sondra Poorbaugh says

    What an inspiring and motivating story, especially, for us gals still on the fence. I had a family member put me to shame about my dark hair color a few years before the gray arrived & I have been hitting the colors ever since. Your hair looks fabulous. It compliments your skin tone. I appreciate you mentioning that there are ways we can enhance our look by choosing the right colors in clothes and make-up that would brighten our appearance. I think in months 2-3 its hard to get a feel of what it will look like if you have gray that is scattered though out the hair. Now that I approaching 47, I know its time to embrace the natural color God has given me.

    • 61.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh I’m so glad to share because it’s been so freeing for me. And I agree, when you really have no idea what your grey will look like the unknown can be scary. Not to mention you feel a little frumpy. But if you can get through it you will feel amazing and pretty when it’s done!!!

  62. 62
    Rene says

    Thank you
    I’m so glad I read your story. I’ve been thinking about letting my gray grow out. I’m 47 and i think I’m ready ?
    Thank you for sharing

  63. 63
    Jim Jamea says

    As a man, I applaud you for going natural. I hate the fact that our society makes women think that they need makeup and hair coloring to be beautiful. God doesn’t make mistakes. Let your natural beauty shine through.

    That being said, I do have one gripe with your post. Why mention “the beauty that God so beautifully bestowed upon” you, but then wear makeup to cover up that beauty?

    Thanks for the blog. Keep up the good work.

    • 63.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks for your comment Jim and yes you make an excellent point. I’m not sure I can give up makeup but I never thought I’d have the courage to not color my hair either. So you never know!!

  64. 64
    Lori H says

    Laura – I love your hair color. It looks great on you! My questions is:
    has anybody tried using wigs to get through the transition? I’ve heard they can be harmful to hair but not sure if that’s a fact. My mom wears one all the time and does well with them but she’s 78. I was thinking about starting with one that’s a little lighter than my hair color with gray mixed in then gradually getting more gray over time. Any comments from anyone who’s tried it?

  65. 65
    mary says

    natural is best all around. good job.

  66. 66
    Linda says

    Laura, thank you for your courage and for sharing your journey!
    I am 72 and have been coloring my hair since my mid-forties. No one in my family wants me to go gray because they believe I will look older. I probably will, at my age, but I am weary of the monthly routine, leery of the chemicals, not to mention the cost. Your hair is so pretty, before and especially after, and the style is beautiful.

    I am encouraged to continue my mission because of you. :>)

    • 66.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Ahhh Linda, I’m so glad! I was so uncomfortable posting selfies of myself but I wanted to do it to help others. It makes me so happy to know I am, thank you!!!

  67. 67
    Marilyn says

    Hi There
    Im going on 2 months dye free . Its scary , but with the support of my FB group its not so bad. Im getting some flak from a few people I know but they think Im too young to do this until I tell them Im 63 . Well anyway . Im excited and cant wait .to see the end result. I did try on a few wigs but they dont look right on me . I have a lot of hair .
    I did find a cute wide crochet headband that looks good. Hats not so much . Baseball caps look ok . I use Wow powder for the sides. Not cutting my hair so I wear it in a pony most times . My son says it looks cool . thats what I like to hear!! Yours looks really great! I like it better than the dyed pic. You are pretty either way ! Rock on girl!

    • 67.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Marilyn! I just added the two last pictures today so that was good timing to visit this post 🙂 Hang in there, the grow out is so hard but once it’s done you will feel and look amazing!!

  68. 68
    Katie says

    What an inspiring story! I’m in my 10th month of transitioning to gray hair and I’m doing it the cold turkey route. I’m 51 and wish I had started sooner. I love my natural color and I love not wasting time and money at the salon every month. I think you are setting a great example for your kids. Since the gray hair movement is picking up steam, I hope that the stigma against gray hair will eventually go away.

    I started a blog about my experience going gray, and share other women’s experiences there, too. Would love it if you stopped by!

  69. 69
    Ginger says

    Wow this is just what I needed to not feel so alone and get the validation that nobody else in my life will offer. I have so much joy in my heart that shines through I can’t imagine that grey hair will change that or that somehow my value and worth as a person in my loved ones lives is bc of my brown hair.

    • 69.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      You are not alone. Let your true light shine bright!!

  70. 70
    Jo-Ann says

    I wanted to stop dyeing my hair dark brown in my 50s but was made to feel like I can’t do that, it will make me look old. I felt disappointed, it seemed like other people had control over my hair until one day when I turned 60. I thought, I’m not young so why should I keep fighting trying to look younger. What kind of younger? At 60 I decided I’m done. I began to take very good care of my skin and wear a little makeup. Today I get so many more compliments than I ever did when I colored my hair. I don’t look older I look better. Not to mention, my natural hair is lighter silver around my crown and salt and pepper around my face, the opposite of what I usually see but it’s silver and charcoal (it was almost black when I was younger) I do not have any brown cast to my hair yet I was dyeing it brunette so it looks so much better now. I think gray hair is beautiful and I compliment women all the time. A good haircut/hairstyle is very important also. You look much better with your natural color it compliments your eye color. About gray, there are cool grays and warm grays so you have to pick the gray that matches your gray hair whether it be cool or warm toned.

    • 70.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I’m so happy for you that you decided to embrace your natural color. I’m sure it looks absolutely amazing on you!

  71. 71
    Jennifer Palomo says

    Love your hair and I am in the middle of the same process; however I have been adding low-lights in to help. I am considering the toner and wondered what brand and shade of toner you used?

    • 71.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Jennifer! My hairdresser did it so I’m not sure about what brand it was. However I’ll try and remember to ask next time I go in for a trim.

  72. 72
    Janie says

    I will hit the 2 year mark of growing it out next month and I love it! It was a surprise that I had white hair surrounding my face, not the silver I expected. It’s starting to come in all over now but the variation of natural color has been fun. I’m glad the hard part is over. Your hair is beautiful, just perfect!

    • 72.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Janie! It is so much fun to see how it grows in. It’s so unknown 🙂

  73. 73
    Erin says

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey. I’m less than two months away from turning 40 and strongly considering to transition to my natural gray. Your story has inspired me.

  74. 74
    Sheri says

    Thanks for sharing your hair journey with us. I have naturally curly hair and I have been dying it blond and flat ironing it forever! 3 weeks ago I decided to let my curls free – cut 4 inches off the length and I am slowly adjusting to “the curly girl method”. A few days ago I decided that I wanted to transition to my natural colour and let my grey shine through. I am very nervous but at the same time excited to see what’s underneath my bottle blond. Your hair colour is gorgeous!

    • 74.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you so much Sheri! I too have pretty curly hair but I’ve never been able to let it go free because it’s all over the place and frizzy. I may have to look into the curly girl method a little more. I’ve heard others mention it before as well.

  75. 75
    Dee | says

    I love your real hair color, it looks so natural and matches your eyes! I too am getting on the paleo diet for my arthritis ?

    • 75.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you Dee! I hope you find the diet to be as helpful as I did. The first couple of weeks are the hardest for sure. Good luck!!

  76. 76
    Andrea says

    Thank you for such a great description of the process! I started going gray when I was pregnant with my third child, and I have been coloring it ever since. Lately I have been questioning the sense of using chemicals in regards to my autoimmune conditions. I am currently two appointments overdue because I had shingles on my scalp, and my roots are showing me I have a skunk streak like my grandmother, which I always admired. I think I’m going to go for it! I’ll ask my hairdresser about the toning, thanks for the tip!!

  77. 77
    Shannon says

    Beautiful!! I’m actually 33 and after having a miscarriage in December, I’ve stopped dying my hair. Similar to you, I’m just trying to clean up my body and figured stopping the dye would be a good start. Cheers to the trailblazers!!

    • 77.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Shannon good for you, you can do this!! And I’m so sorry about your miscarriage. Laura

  78. 78
    Amanda says

    Thanks so much for posting this! It really is encouraging. I just turned 40 and got my first grays in high school. I’ve been coloring since my 20’s and I am really just tired of going every five or six weeks to get it colored. And then only having a couple of weeks before I need to start using a root cover stick to cover the new growth! It really seems kind of ridiculous! I have have some apprehension about going natural but reading this makes me think I can totally do it.

    • 78.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes you can Amanda! The worst and most agonizing part is first making the decision and then the transition. Afterwards it really is no longer even an issue. I don’t even think about it now! Well until someone compliments me on it that is 🙂

  79. 79
    Shelly says

    Thank you for your post! It was so encouraging that tears began to fill my eyes as I read it. I am just beginning the journey. I have colored on that 6-8 week cycle for the past 6 years or so. I am currently 44. Every time I would reach that 6 week point I would begin to get anxious. I hated the chemicals but I continued to play the game. A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my church youth group small group. Here I was telling these girls that they were beautiful the way they were and that God had created each of them uniquely. And it hit me…I didn’t believe it about myself. I was still hanging onto my youth and not accepting what He had in store for me. So, here I am…really nervous but feeling determined. Thanks for helping me realize that I’m not alone!

    • 79.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh Shelly, you are definitely not alone! The scariest part about is the unknown of it all. How you will look, how you will feel, how others will treat you. But honestly now that I’m through it, all those fears went away. I feel great and not having to die it all the time is so freeing. You’ve got this!! I’d love it if you came back to share an update with me from time to time.

  80. 80
    Gina says

    I will be 45 next month and I too am tired of being a slave to hair dye so I am going to go gray! Thank you for your encouragement, I’m going to need it! I’ve been going gray since my 20’s so I have a feeling I’m more white than gray. I can do this!

    • 80.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I totally thought I was going to be more white as well because my mom is. Turns out I’m not (but might be eventually). Not knowing ahead of time was so scary to me. You CAN do this!!

  81. 81
    MG Peeples says

    I came to the blog looking for ‘how to start’ tips. The first thing I noticed is how going grey was so flattering to your complexion. My color has started to get rusty looking and my hair brittle all of a sudden, so I’m thinking I really have very little to lose, appearance-wise. I’ll keep thinking about it. It’s a big move!

    • 81.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you! It definitely is a big move! But now that I’m through it I only wish I’d done it sooner 🙂

  82. 82
    Ide says

    After reading this I have decided most definitely at nearly 43 I’m going grey. Have been thinking about it for 6 months or more, but Laura you have given such a positive response to your experience it has given me the confidence to go for it. So here is to going grey!!!

  83. 83
    Alison Cavell says

    Hi found your blog so helpful.Ive been colouring my hair dark brown for years and everyone says how much it suits me.However I am now 67 and every month I go through the root colouring process but around 3 weeks later the white appears in my hairline and i hate it! Hate photos as thats all I can see despite encouraging words from hubby who loves my dark tresses. Anyway made the decision to go for it.Havent coloured my hair for nearly 6 weeks and already the silver is showing and im excited even though the overall colour is somewhat brassey brown. I’m determined to see what lies beneath..! Hope to be as brave as you. thank you so much.

    • 83.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hang in there, don’t give up until you see what lies beneath. It’s hard but so worth it!!

  84. 84
    Vikki Darlington says

    Wowsers!!! You are just gorgeous and your tips and story is truly inspiring! I’m 6weeks in. Freaking out every day, yet remaining positive and hopeful for a lovely main of silvers in the end!!! I actually wish I had started this years ago. But, all good! Here I am. With so many other awesome ladies! Thank you for sharing your journey. And I’m also an organised junkie and intend on sussing out your pages! Thanks again! You’re tops!!! ???

    • 84.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Vikki I totally understand the panic. It’s scary when you have no idea what you are going to get. You got this girl, hang in there!!

  85. 85
    Naomi says

    You look great! The silver really suits you. I’m at the beginning of my journey to get rid of the henna I’ve been using for over a decade (to keep my red hair red) but now I’m so sick of the time and mess of henna, even though it’s good for your hair. Henna doesn’t play nicely with chemical colouring so I can’t do anything but grow it out – cold turkey, scarves, hats and possibly a pixie cut – although that’ll be a last resort! Thanks for the sharing.

    • 85.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I think cold turkey is the easiest in the long run, you got this!

  86. 86
    Karen Tieken says

    Today, With the help of my stylist I started the process of transitioning to gray. I just found your post tonight. Your hair looks beautiful. Most of my friends told me my face is too young looking for gray hair, I am 56. Sometimes I thought maybe I was too old for crazy brownish blond hair. I am looking forward to being free from monthly trips to the salon to cover the roots. Thank you for posting your journey, it is so encouraging.

  87. 87
    Dawn says

    Thank you so much for sharing. It really encouraged me. God bless you.

  88. 88
    Christine Calabrese says

    You look beautiful! Perfect! I’m doing the same at 58. No regrets. Kind of exciting to see the different colors under there!

    • 88.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you! It is exciting to see what colors are there!!

  89. 89
    Mar Ann says

    Thank you so much for this article. I’m growing out my grey after coloring my hair since I was in my 20’s. Now at 62, I’m ready to embrace what I received from my parents. Your article is encouraging and gives me the strength to continue. I’m only two months in and I see that my face will be highlighted by grey and I’m excited to see the final results.

  90. 90
    Julie says

    Trying to get the courage. I am 54 now and found my first gray hair at 13! Underneath all this color is WHITE hair. The reason I am so hesitant is that my husband (same age) looks SO young! I sure am tired of coloring after 40 years though! You look wonderful! I wish I still had some dark left. Maybe I will be brave in 2020.

    • 90.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      It’s a big decision Julie, you’ll know when you are ready. Good luck with it!!

  91. 91
    Dawn says

    I am in the process of embracing my gray. The multiple and costly visits to the salon and the gray roots that were getting more and more persistent, was a huge decision factor. I am doing the baby lights throughout and incorporating my natural ask brown because my line of demarcation was very obvious, and I am just not brave enough to go it cold turkey, lol. I am sure there will be phases of this journey that makes me wonder why I am doing it. My mother would have loved this choice and cheered me on every step of the way. That alone will keep me forward in this venture. Yes, gray hair is beautiful.

  92. 92
    terry ramsey says

    You look fab! wonder if you know which color toner your hairdresser used to help the brown ?

    • 92.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Terry, I’m not entirely sure. I actually didn’t know there were different colors. If I think of it I’ll ask next time I go for a trim.

  93. 93
    Heidi N. says

    Laura, You look beautiful! I am 50 and have never colored my hair, mostly because my husband tells me how much he loves my natural color (I had considered it, as you say because society seems to send the message that we shouldn’t look our age). A few years ago the grays really started to show up, mostly around my face. My sister-in-law and a few other women have asked me where I have my “highlighting” done, LOL. 😉 Kudos on your post, as I feel like it will encourage others to give it a try!!

    • 93.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you Heidi, that is so kind of you to say. Way to go on never coloring your hair, that is awesome!

  94. 94
    Aimee says

    Delighted to come across your blog today- THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR JOURNEY! I’m wanting to start embracing going gray. I currently have blond low lights on dark brown hair (natural color). Do you recommend dying a solid color as close to natural one last time to start with a clean slate or just ash toner treatments with hair cuts to current? Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • 94.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Aimee, thanks for stopping by! I would definitely check with your hairdresser about it. Explain you want to transition and they should be able to tell you the best way to go. Good luck!

  95. 95
    Lynne says

    I am so grateful I stumbled upon this blog.

    Before my most recent heart surgery, I made the daring move to get a pixie cut. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of managing my VERY thick and long hair, and didn’t regret the decision at all.

    Now, a couple years later at the age of 36 (almost 37, yikes!), I’ve decided to go grey. I’m not regretting it, but it’s in that weird “I’m confused, what is happening” phase where to me, it looks dirty, even though it’s not.

    I’m going to try your tips with your shampoo and the toner.

    The best part is that my gray hair is growing out EXACTLY as my mother’s did, and it’s so fun to talk to her about it.

    Mother nature, I am convinced, knows what she’s doing!

    • 95.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      So sorry about your heart surgery Lynne, but glad you are doing well and growing the grey out! Yes the beginning stages are SO hard. Hang in there, it’ll be over before you know it and you’ll look amazing!!

  96. 96
    Laura Carlson says

    Thanks so much for telling your story! I am about two months in and some days I have to look for support on the internet. It’s just so hard! As you said, I didn’t think the transition would be this challenging. The problem is – every time I look in the mirror I see the contrast between the gray and my dyed color – blonde. The blonde looks nice – I was just tired of the time and expense of color. So, now I have to compare the two – constantly. I guess it’s hard to know what you will look like when the transition is over – but you look great!! BTW, I’m 59. Going gray as a 60th birthday present for myself 🙂

    • 96.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Laura, you are in the hardest stage, hang in there. I promise it gets better and it will all be worth it!!

  97. 97
    Noura Al-saadi says

    Am starting that journey too! In my 40s as well. I was excited but am terrified now. My natural colour is jet black! Not sure what to expect. I was thinking, it will go all magnificent silver! I doubt that now. Skunk line indeed! 3 months in but, I will stick it out and see how it feels.

  98. 98
    Erika Fogarty says

    You’re definitely one of my inspirations on this journey! I’m only 3 months in, so I still have a long road ahead. I’m 41 and a little scared, but super excited as well. Can I ask, by chance do you know what toner your stylist used at the 10 months mark? Thanks!!

    • 98.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I keep forgetting to ask but I will at my next appointment. I haven’t had my hair cut since last October.

  99. 99
    Jan Rose says

    Your natural hair color is really beautiful! I’m 48 and last colored my hair in April of 2018! It feels like it’s taking forever but i’m sticking to it! Thanks for sharing about your transition! It’s inspiring. 🙂

  100. 100
    Jan Rose says

    I meant April of 2019!! I’m still not used to it being 2020! Lol!

    • 100.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Haha no worries. All the best on your transition!

  101. 101
    Tracie foster says

    Love your journey! I’m very similar. Have RA, doing paleo a few years now. Hair is thinning due to RA meds and every time I color I lose more! I’m almost ready to take the plunge!

    • 101.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Tracie! Yes you can do this, I think you’ll be so happy you did!

  102. 102
    Kari says

    Did you do the toner yourself ? How did you know what to use ?
    I’m in the same process and I’m so close to chopping it off.
    I’m so happy to have found this, your hair is beautiful.

    • 102.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you Kari! I didn’t do the toner myself, my hairdresser did it. Next time I go I’m going to ask her exactly what she used and then will update my post.

  103. 103
    Linda Shankle says

    Now that we can’t see our hairdressers for a while due to the corona virus, at what point would you recommend putting on toner? My salon only sells products now, no personal contact. I am one month in and don’t want to put dye on my scalp again. Is it too soon to use the Aveda shampoo? You look wonderful and I love your cut.


    • 103.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Linda! Congrats on your decision to not dye, yay! I wouldn’t worry about the toner till after you can get back in to see your stylist. I’m not sure what color your dyed hair is but if it’s on the blonde side the purple shampoo might give it a purple hue. Just don’t leave it on too long 🙂

      • Linda Shankle says

        It’s an auburn, similar to the color you were using.


  104. 104
    Shelley says

    I just came across your blog this morning. I’m 68 years young and have been dyeing my hair since my 20’s. With the gray roots coming in like gangbusters, I needed to touch up every 3 weeks, and even though I could sometimes do it myself, complete overhaul has been running upwards of $300. Just crazy. Well… enter the Coronavirus! Salons are closed, and I decided what better time than now to let it go. No one can see me. But unlike your beautiful transition, I have a huge, ugly gray skunk stripe at the top. No lovely “natural highlights”, or shiny white weaves…. it’s very very awful. That’s why, secretly, I’m hoping the isolation rules continue for at least a year so I can get through this. I won’t go back now, but when salons open again, I hope I can find a stylist who understands how to blend and tone and do whatever to manage this. In the meantime, any advice is helpful. Yes, I do caps and headbands and emergency root spray if needed, but I’m not embracing the gray gracefully. You looked stunning during your transition, and many of the comments sounded like others did too. I will check out your FB page. I’m too young to look this old! ?

    • 104.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Shelley, this is a great time to grow out the gray! I know it’s hard, but once you are through it, it’ll be so worth it. Makeup helps fight the frumpy “letting yourself go” feeling. Remember your hair doesn’t define you, this was one of the hardest things for me to get past. The emotional roller coaster is a lot but you can do it!!!

  105. 105
    Dianne Pekema says

    Hi Laura. You look amazing! I am 68 YO and have attempted several times to let my gray grow out. I am very much salt/pepper & know I will like it. After spending more $$ than I’d like to admit to on highlights/lowlights only to have my hair fade back to yellow or brassy brown, I have come to the realization it can only be done by being patient & growing it out. I currently use Fanola Blue or No Yellow shampoo & it helps with the faded brassiness. So, my question is which toner do you use? I ordered Fanola T11 & was going to do it this weekend…do you apply it only to your old, faded growth? Look,forward to your response!

    • 105.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Dianne! I’m not entirely sure which toner my hairdresser used and when I asked her she couldn’t remember. But I do know she only applied it to the old hair color. Good luck!

  106. 106
    Jill says

    Do you use the Aveda blue malva conditioner as well?

    • 106.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      No I don’t, I’ll occasionally use the AG Sterling Silver conditioner and I like it.

  107. 107
    Shannon says

    You look great!

    I also starting going gray in my 20s. I am on the brink of 50 and I think this corona shut down is the inspiration I need to commit to trying the transition for the 2nd time.

    You are an inspiration. Thank you!

  108. 108
    Angela Allan says

    Thank you for sharing. So good to see all your photos in each different stage. During these 7 weeks of lockdown I have let me hair do it’s own thing. I normally dye it myself. While I am not fully Grey underneath and probably only 15% Grey I think I’m going to not dye it. I’m 45. Some of my friends are full Grey and it’s beautiful. Yours looks amazing.

  109. 109
    Carissa says

    I am literally dying, I’ve been growing my hair out for 6 months, I have these 2 awesome stripes, but my hair is super long. I’m 46 and I feel like I want to colour it one day and my kids say I look really old. I’ve always been super made up but I’m enjoying the more natural look but I’m scared ?

    • 109.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      You got this Carissa, just hang in there!!

  110. 110
    Rashi says

    You look beautiful! Your story is very encouraging. It’s just 2 days since I decided no for dye. I am 36yrs old mom of a boy & a girl. It’s been many yrs since I first dye my hair. Enough is enough. I dnt know how far will I be able to pull but I will try my best.

  111. 111
    Dana Handbury says

    I love this story!! I’m a teeny bit older than you at 72, lol, but my grey is about where yours is at 2 months. Perhaps a tiny bit more, but not much. And instead of the brown you’ve been coloring your hair, mine is a platinum. I haven’t colored my base (roots) for years because fortunately dark roots are in style, and I’m not trying to disguise myself.
    Being unable to go in a get my monthly weave has helped me deal with something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. I was just waiting to get some gorgeous silver chunks somewhere as a highlight, but it wasn’t happening. So I’ve going instead to chunk in some gorgeous turquoise or magenta when it reaches the point that there is little blonde left around my face and it looks drab. At 9 months in in your picture probably, but I think it will be sooner for me.
    Anyhow, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your “confessional” with all of the pics. I wear my hair somewhat like you, and it’s been hard for me to figure out how to just “go for real.” Thank you!!

    • 111.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      So nice, thanks Dana. Sounds like you have a great transition plan 🙂

  112. 112
    Nadine says

    Loved this post, thank you! I decided 1 hair appt prior to the pandemic lockdown that I wasn’t going to dye my base colour anymore…Think I’ll still allow myself some highlights when I feel like it. Anyway, now with the pandemic and no hair appts, I’m about 4 months with no dye and can actually see how much grey I have and what my actual base colour is! Like you, I need to start getting colour (or at least less grey) in my wardrobe and have been putting more effort into my makeup game again, which I love.

  113. 113
    Kacie says

    I’m doing this at 35! Your positivity is encouraging. Thanks for the post!

  114. 114
    Shawna says

    I turned 46 a week after we started lockdown. I had been contemplating stopping my hair color routine and quarantine pushed me over that hump. I am nervous because I had children late, my youngest is 7, but she said a few months ago, “no fair, how do you get silver in your hair!” So now I am going to let my silver shine. I am going to my hair stylist tomorrow to help with the brassiness of the colored hair. Fingers crossed for a smooth and easy transition. Thank you for the article!

    • 114.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh how I love how your daughter sees it. I wish everyone saw it this way!

  115. 115
    netty says

    Love your hair Laura! I’ve just decided since lockdown to go for it at aged 57 because roots and grey appear too quickly! Last had hair low/ high lighted in Feb so nearly 4 months but of course not seeing many people atm so that helps lol!
    Please can I ask – as love your style too. Do you have layers in the back or is it all one length? Do you blowdry and then do anything else?
    Well done you- you’re such an inspiration?

    • 115.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Netty, yes I have layers in the back that helps me get some height. I do blow dry it every day otherwise it’s a frizzy mess with all the uneven natural curl that I have. So I blow dry it and then often will add a few curls around my face with my hair straightener.

  116. 116
    Sue says

    Love your colour it looks gorgeous. Im 52 and thinking of taking the plunge of ditching the dye. Dreading the growing out phase though and to be honest, am also worried I’ll end up looking like my mother (though love her dearly). I guess a modern cut will help. Think i might try a toner though having read your post. Thank you for sharing.

    • 116.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Sue! You’ve got this and I don’t think you’ll regret it!

  117. 117
    Gina Minion says

    Do you know what color toner your hairdresser used?

    • 117.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      My hairdresser left the salon I go to so I’m still trying to get this information. I’m not giving up!

  118. 118
    Jill L Palmer says

    Hi Laura!

    My name is Jill, and your story has inspired me! I have decided to let the gray come in. I am 47 yrs old, and I am now 4 months in, without any root touch ups. So good. I know it’s going to be a long painful process. UGH! After reading your journey..I know it will definitely be worth it. You look beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I do have a question. Did you use the Aveda Blue Malvo Color Shampoo every day? Or is it to be used once a week? This is all new to me. lol When did you start using it? Did you start at 6 months? Does it matter? Thank you for any help you can give me during this journey. Again, I think you for sharing your story.

    • 118.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Jill, thanks for stopping by! I don’t think it matters when you start using the shampoo, you just have to experiment with it at the beginning to see how your hair takes to it. I only use it about once or twice a week. A bottle lasts me a whole year! lol So while it seems pricey at first, you definitely get your money’s worth! Good luck to you with your transition, you got this!!

  119. 119
    Jill L Palmer says

    Thank you, Laura! I may be making a purchase very soon!

  120. 120
    Kate says

    I stumbled upon this because I am, too, trying to decide if I should let my hair go. You look beautiful, I think the gray is quite stunning on you! My hair is dark, dark brown so my grays coming in are very pronounced— like you say skunk-line. I feel more like Cruella Devil..I have a strip and chunk of gray that is just rampant in one section. Here’s the thing, I’m 32.
    I don’t know if I’m ready to accept it yet. Salons being closed for monthsduento covid, it just naturally happened. I hated it at first, but like you, I am starting to embrace it. My hairdresser keeps asking me what I’m doing and I just don’t know what to tell her!

    • 120.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Kate, I know it seems extreme now but once your hair is all one color you’ll feel better about it. Try it out!!

  121. 121
    Shannon says

    Hi Laura! First of are STUNNING! Your hair is beautiful and I actually loved every one of your transitions pictures! I’m so grateful for stories like yours that continue to inspire people like me to stay strong! I literally felt as though I was reading my own story while reading yours! Every single bit of it rang true! I am 46 and began the process in Jan of this year. Luckily for me, I have been working from home since March and have not had to endure too much of the harshness the world has to offer with the unsolicited feedback people offer! I go in tomorrow to do some blending and get a much needed cut! I’m so excited for my end result and can’t wait to encourage many other women like ourselves! Thank you again for sharing your story!

    • 121.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thank you so much Shannon for such nice words! All the best to you on your transition, sounds like it’s going well, yay!!


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