Random Wednesday: Silver Foxes

By March

Hi, everyone.  Happy new year.  Let’s hope 2012 will be a better year for all of us.  I’m writing this post on New Year’s Day because this is going to be a crazy busy week for me and I don’t have the heart to dump another post on Anita.  I’m Quing of the Posse, I can blog about anything I want to, right?  So this post isn’t about perfume, it’s about gray hair.  I probably won’t be on here to comment until later tonight.

I started going gray in college; I’ve been hiding it for almost thirty years.  My natural color is espresso brown, trending toward off-black – a nod to my Celtic/American Indian heritage.  The gray is hereditary too. My 89-year-old father still has a full head of hair, but he was silvery gray by his early forties, and my mother probably would have been if she hadn’t dyed it religiously (she had gorgeous, stick-straight, coal-black hair as a young woman).  In my twenties I dyed my hair jet black, which looked perfectly plausible with my pale skin.  Then I moved on to deep reds and rich, dark browns.

About a year ago I asked my colorist how gray I was, and was startled by her response of “Oh, about seventy percent, probably.”  I had a really pretty streak of silver coming up from my widow’s peak in front, and I played around with leaving that part free of the dye job.  Then I decided: what the heck, I’m going to let it all grow out and see how it looks.  I can always re-dye it if it’s awful.

It took awhile.  I suffered through the ugly-root grow-out phase, then cut it shorter, then trimmed it again.  It’s now about six inches long and all natural color.

I noticed a couple of things right away.  My hair is definitely thicker; in hindsight I don’t think marinating my scalp in industrial-strength haircolor every five weeks was doing it any favors.  It’s also really soft, which surprises me.   Can I tell you how much I don’t miss spending time and money coloring it?

My hair’s both dry and wavy, I almost never shampoo unless I’ve been doing something really dirty, like cleaning up the yard.  Twice a week in the shower I wet it and put on a squirt of Aveda Blue Malva Conditioner* and let it sit while I do my thing.  There’s something reddish in our water (iron?), it stains the tiles, and the Aveda, which is purple-y, keeps the color bright.  This was a recommendation from the guy who cuts my hair, which was nice of him, considering they don’t sell Aveda.  (BTW he does not recommend the matching Blue Malva shampoo, which he says is very drying.)  Then I either run through a dab of jojoba oil or some anti-frizz product, and let it air dry.  Enigma, who has very long corkscrew curls, got a bunch of curly-girl hair product for Christmas which we’re playing with.  I think my favorite is the Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel*, which cuts the frizz but doesn’t leave my hair crunchy.

And my new, natural hair color?  It’s … kind of fabulous, in my opinion.  Much better than I’d hoped for.  Here’s a photo from the back (surprise!) so you can see the huge contrast from the front, where I still have mostly dark hair around my face.  The gray streaks range from steel to silver.  I’ve received some compliments, including from a woman who wanted to know where I got it colored like that.  As you can see, the top of my head is almost pure gray/silver, and then halfway down the back it reverts to a solid dark brown, so I’m still experimenting with the cut.  I think it’s better a little longer, like it is now, because that softens the radical color shift underneath.

I do think it makes me look older, in that I have sort of a baby face of an indefinite age.  Not dyeing it places me solidly at my real age  — late forties — and I’m okay with that.  Online research into “going silver” etc. reveals that many women have made this same journey, for lots of the same reasons, and at the same age.  None of them view it as giving up so much as fed up with the maintenance, chemicals, and expense, along with a subtle rebellion against the idea that gray hair is some kind of chronic condition that needs to be treated – on women, but not necessarily on men, who look “distinguished” with gray hair.

Makeup-wise I’ve made a few adjustments.  I look better with a bit more color – a touch of eyeshadow, a dab of blush, a stronger lip.  The whole nude-lip thing is too washed out now.

Finally, and without going into hilarious details, there are clearly men out there, including younger men, who are into the silver fox look.  Take that, Lady Clairol.

Okay, your turn, if anyone’s read this far.  Are you rocking the silver fox yourself?  Contemplating it?  If you used to color your gray hair and then stopped, why, and how did it work out?  Any silver fox suggestions, product recommendations, or insights?

photos: taken by Diva so you can see the contrast between the dark hair framing my face and how silver it is from behind.  FYI I’m barefaced in that photo and squinting into the sun, not getting ready to tear somebody apart.

*Footnotes: Blue Malva conditioner gets a 3.9/5 on MUA.  Most reviewers are using it to tone down the brassiness in their bleached blonde/highlighted hair, rather than on gray hair.   They point out that it’s not very moisturizing (which is true) and they alternate with heavier conditioners on other days.  Also worth noting: it smells very “Aveda.”  I like the smell in small doses, but it’s distinctive, and you might not.

The Ouidad Climate Control gel gets a 3.7/5.  Reading reviews, the most favorable are from people with hair like mine – soft curls and not too long, thick or coarse.  Reviewers with fabulously thick, coarse, curly hair complain that it doesn’t have enough curl “hold” and doesn’t control the frizz well enough.



  • Thalia says:

    I colored my hair before it started to go gray — it’s naturally kind of dishwater blonde, very blah. But surprise, surprise, my gray turns out to be a kind of light silver and I love it! Now it looks like I have platinum highlights and it vastly improves the dishwater.

    In my case, I needed to dye to the cover up the LACK of gray; now I love the way it looks and would never cover it.

  • Olfacta says:

    Late to the party as usual but — finally, at my advanced age (how did this happen?) I have the long golden blond hair I always wanted. It’s a total pain in the a**, btw. Natural color is about 75% gray in front and maybe 25% in back. I’ve had to learn to touch up my own roots, mix the color I want, etc, and I guess I’ll keep doing this as long as I can stand it. Then it’s time to get the short haircut. But, in the meantime, I use Fekkai’s Technician Color Care conditioner to take care of it.

  • Faylene says:

    I’ve never had an opportunity to meet you, March, nor have I ever seen a pic of you before, but I, too, think your hair is stunning and works beautifully with your coloring and features. Seems like I also read an article recently about going natural – probably in More magazine.

    I’m a natural strawberry blonde with freckles and greenish-blue eyes and for much of my life, people asked me where I got my hair dyed! When the white hairs started to build up about 10 years ago – I’m now 59 though I’m not quite sure how that happened- I used blondish henna for while, which turned the white hairs blonde and slightly brightened the red parts. As more white came in – not at all flattering with my hair color or skin tone – I found some cheap drugstore stuff which was a perfect match for what remained of the strawberry blonde and asked by BFF, who has dyed her own hair for years, for assistance. Since then, the stress of recent life events has sucked the remaining red right out of my hair – not an uncommon occurrence for use redheads – and what remains is an ugly beige. My BFF lives far away now and I’m anxious about dyeing it myself so I’m seriously considering some professional attention.

    My hair is also thin, dry, and increasingly curly and my scalp is sensitive. I’ve had good luck by shampooing infrequently with a combo of three different WEN shampoos and using styling products by both WEN and Ojon.

    Congrats, again, March, on your beautiful new you!

  • B says:

    You look fantastic, Silver Fox. I’m bloody fed up with getting my hair dyed. You have inspired me!

  • sweetlife says:

    Wowza! So glad to read this post (albeit late) after seeing the original photo on FB, and to read all these wonderful comments. Theoretically, spiritually, I am totally on board with silver and gray hair. I always thought I wanted mine to go white or silver and when it started making some nice streaks at the temples arount 40 I was ready to let it come in.

    But then I worked my ass off (or on, rather, I was sitting most of the time) for two years, my color as a whole went dull, and on the day I started to recover and got a fantastic haircut, I tipped my head forward in the salon mirror and all I could see were all these grizzly frizzly white hairs poking up out of my center part. My hairdresser talked me into a temp color, my first, just to experiment and OMG I instantly looked 5 years younger. I was really shocked by the difference it made, just to warm up the color a bit and have all the hair the same texture.

    So I’m keeping it colored for now. But when it grows in for real, all over my head, I’ll probably revisit. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was at just about the age you are now… <3

  • Elisa says:

    I suppose it’s easy for me to say — I’m 32, dark blonde and have yet to find one gray hair, though I’m showing my age elsewhere — but I truly think gray hair is beautiful. I don’t envy, exactly, my friends with gray streaks, but I do admire it. I think it looks especially becoming in dark brown or black hair.

    My mother is in her early 60s and her hair is still 80-90% brown, with subtle gray frosting. People constantly ask her what shade she dyes her hair and never believe her when she says it’s natural. The thickest gray streak is above the cowlick/widow’s peak at her natural part, but you can’t see it because of her bangs.

    Anyway, you look great. I’d argue it even accentuates the youthfulness of your face.

  • Lori says:

    Tres Chic, my dear!

  • EchoCharlie says:

    Your hair is GORGEOUS!!

  • Kevin says:

    You look like an academic from those posh American liberal arts colleges like Wellesley or Dartmouth or Bowdoin etc

  • Tama says:

    Late to the party, but you pretty much told my story. I have been coloring for 30 years and just got tired of it. I went blonde a while back, with streaks of bright color. I decided to keep my streaks and let the gray grow in. I am opposite of you in that I am whiter in the front and darker up top and in back. I’m about halfway there, I think – my cut is asymmetrical and the side with the streaks is longer.

    Thank you for this! It was a rather hard decision to make – I am 57, single, prefer younger men, etc., so part of my sexuality came into play as well as how I look. I decided if someone is going to like me it won’t matter.

  • mals86 says:

    I read this earlier in the day and tried commenting, only to be interrupted by The CEO (college classes are out, so he’s home, and it’s too cold outside to go work cattle like he normally does on break, so he’s hogging the puter) THREE TIMES. Also, I have been driving myself nuts by porting my blog from WP.com over to a separate web hosting site, and I have very few real hairs on my own head at the moment, so I am jealousjealousjealous of your lovely color and especially your waves.

    People with your coloring generally do gray attractively, as you are doing: silver! Pretty! nice with your skin and eyes! I’m sure there are makeup adjustments to get used to, but still, I often think going gray is a little easier on people with cool-toned coloring. My mother, age 71, isn’t even 70% gray yet, but she’s an autumn with medium golden-brown hair and hazel eyes; the gray in her hair makes her look ashy but she won’t consider haircolor. My MIL, on the other hand, a summer, transitioned beautifully from ash blond to blond-gray to silvery gray over the last 20 years.

    I’ve seen a few gray ones myself – I’m about to turn 44 – but when they start popping up in larger quantities, I’ll probably cover them, at least until I’m mostly gray. It may take awhile, because I’ve got my dad’s coloring, and he’s still less than 50% gray at the age of 73.

    When “natural” makes you feel confident and attractive and yourself, then that’s the thing to do.

  • Natalie says:

    Your hair looks absolutely fantastic, and what an utterly gorgeous shade of silver… I’ve toyed with the notion of actually DYEING my hair gray ever since that couture model in the 80s with the silver hair and sweet young face (she did a lot of modeling for Lacroix). However, silver is about the hardest shade to achieve with dye, oddly enough. I have a few grays somewhere under all the dye — auburn for about 20 years, and now, um, flaming fuschia — but I’m waiting for more of them before I rock the fox look…

  • dissed says:

    Your hair looks a lot like mine. I’m a naturally dark brunette with a lot of red. When the gray started coming in (late 30s), I used dark red. Switched over to dark brown-red; 10 years later, I had it highlighted. Then it stopped holding dark brown; then it would only hold blond; then I went blond; then I hated blond; then I gradually moved back, and now I”m mostly silver and white. Every few months, I get caramel brown lowlights. It’s all good. My hair is healthy. I miss the hell out of being a dark brunette. This is the best I can do. And, you know, screw it. It’s good hair.

  • Winifrieda says:

    I too went through years of being terrified of showing my grey (and being a secondary school art teacher (ages 12 to 18 in Australia) I just kept dyeing it, battling with the ever more obvious grey part etc. And that horrible brassy green thing that it always showed in the sun no matter what type of colorant used. And always very long hair, way past the age when we are supposed to cut it but I never did. When I retired I basically got it buzzed off and let it grow grey and streaky dark, It became amazingly thick and healthy and once again long. Recently I’ve been going through an eccentric phase and getting purple, pink, and blonde streaks mixed with the silver and dark and if I do say so myself its fantastic! I suppose being the arty type I can get away with it…well to h*ll with it, I’m doing whatever I want! I often think many men don’t even notice, and I’ve been shocked a few times to realise I’m being ogled, especially if I have a strong coloured lipstick!

  • minette says:

    congrats on doing this! you look great! i’ve been letting mine grow silver for a couple of years now – and it’s wonderful. i wacked my hair short to get rid of the dark brown color i’d put in it for a few months (was so glad to be rid of it). now it’s growing out a little and is asymmetrical and little shaggy. great cut.

    i am in my early 50s, and i find that if i have a current-looking hairstyle and wear minimal but dramatic makeup, it totally rocks. some haircuts will age you regardless of your color – you have to have a stylist who is on board with you going silver, and will keep you looking current. some of them really want you to keep coloring and will sabotage your efforts. so crazy.

    my plan is to play with adding wild colors like midnight blue and purple when i get more silver (i’m actually looking forward to getting more – right now it’s concentrated around my face, so it looks like highlights). those wild manic panic colors work great on silver hair – and you don’t have to bleach out and damage your hair first! if you’re not an artistic soul, this plan of mine will sound over the top – but a shock of indigo against silver is stunning. i see dipping my tips in blue, with the roots silver. but it’s gonna take a few years to get there.

    btw, there is a website devoted to this growing out the gray stuff – http://www.goinggraylookinggreat.com – for those who need some support and motivation. it’s a nice site – was toying with the idea of developing my own devoted to silver style and foxes, and how to rock silver hair, but don’t see many positive examples around here. i may revisit the idea, though. it’s sad that we need support to simply be ourselves, but sometimes we do.

    anyway, you go, march! rock the silver!

    • (Ms.) Christian says:


      DO by all means create a website for outre’ things to do with silver hair! PLEASE! The world needs it.

      You raised an excellent point by mentioning a current looking hairstyle/good cut. That is utterly essential whether one is all silver, going silver or just finding the hair and face fading. I live in the Bay area of California and I inwardly cringe when I see women who might otherwise be stunning with white, silver or even salt and pepper hair going around with either a prim and proper ‘do shellacked down ‘do or else hair that probably has not been cut or conditioned since Woodstock.

      No matter how old we get, we are still our original self inside and there is no need to hand the fun off to women under 30 or women with no gray. While I am still high and low lighting what would be pure white hair if left alone, I am experimenting with different haircuts, makeup, jewelry, scarves and all the other things that (I think) can continue to make me look contemporary as well as more attractive at 59.

      I would love to see a “how to ROCK silver” website designed by you.

    • March says:

      That site is going down on Jan 7 🙁 or I would have linked to it. It’s the only site I found that encouraged the process.

      • minette says:

        really? that site is folding?! i shoulda checked it before i posted that link. i haven’t visited it in months, but thought they provided a much-needed boost.

        okay, guys… i shall revisit the idea, and see how i can make it part of my even bigger mission, which is to CHANGE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT AGING – especially in this country.

        my goal is to create rituals and rewards for getting older. anyone who wants to help, let me know!

        • (Ms.) Christian says:

          I write (professionally and for pleasure) and people don’t always appreciate my humor or point of view, but I’d love to contribute, Minette.

          • minette says:

            ms. christian, thanks! i need to do some “visioning” in the next couple of weeks to see if this is indeed where my energies need to go. i, too, write professionally, and people don’t always appreciate my sense of humor or point of view, either, but i don’t care so much anymore! we can’t please everybody. i will find you again if i wind up doing a blog. i almost did one last year – even bought an URL and got cards made – but couldn’t find enough positive examples to photograph and write about, and didn’t want it to just be my journey (though i’ve been told i should do it that way). so… will see if things have changed and it’s time to move on it. cheers!

  • sunsetsong says:

    Your hair looks great! I decided to stop dying my hair in September 09 to get ready for my 50th birthday in 2011. I have gone from a dyed brunette to a silver ashy brindle she wolf! Wasn’t expecting such a range of colours on my head but somehow it works. Downside was a year of bad multicoloured hair, as I was too chicken for a buzzcut. Took down some of the brunette with Paul Mitchell backtrack, which resulted in a trashy lemon yellow look on the lower part(which was still better than the washed out brunette). The website going grey and feeling great was a great support. Yay for Aveda purple conditioner, brow tinting and lipstick!!!

    • March says:

      Still amazed at the stories of everyone’s journeys on here tonight. Brow tinting is KEY. If mine go more gray I’ll be dyeing them…

  • Tom says:

    I think people should do whatever they can reasonably afford to to make themselves feel good about themselves. I started dying my hair when I was partnered with a hairdresser. He was an excellen colorist who kept me in a palette that started with black (looked good with the pale skin and light green eyes, but I was too scared to let him dye my eyebrows so I had sort of a bunny thing going on) then went to light blond (burnt the living sh!t out of my scalp) through a medium ash blond that covered the grey that had taken hold even then. I also grew my hair out to shoulder length, which made me look alarmingly like Joan Crawford. After we broke up I had it colored a couple time then tried doing it myself, getting various shades of reddish brown. Finally I just said to heck with it and chopped it off into a buzz and let it grow out. My hair grows too darned fast to keep it up. Although, I might have to start doing the eyebrows.. I refuse to have old man eyebrows. :((

  • tammy says:

    March, you look gorgeous. I wouldn’t change a darn thing if I were you.

    I’m a redhead,and we go straight to white hair. So far, I’m good.(I’m 48) I have no plans of coloring when the white starts in, but I suppose one never knows. I am not one to fuss over my looks, though; I don’t wear makeup or anything, and I just don’t think going grey is going to bother me much.

    Ask me about my hands starting to look old, though! This is bothering me in a way my facial wrinkles don’t.

    • March says:

      A natural redhead? So jealous. I love red hair, dyed my own hair that color for years. And my hands are the only really wrinkly thing, what’s up with that?!

  • Flora says:

    You look fabulous, and I can certainly understand the part about men having a thing for silver foxes! ;-)

    I breifly colored my hair a few years ago when i was maybe 20% gray – born dark brunette, I had always wanted dark red hair (blame “The Red Shoes” for that) so I went a dark mahogany with red glints, nothing too extreme. I loved it, but I hated the process of getting it done, plus I have short hair so it did not last long if I cut it as often as I should.

    Back to natural now and at 56, I am graying very slowly and “like a man” – at the temples mostly, with a very nice Cruella De Vil stripe in the front that I really like. At this rate, if my family history is any indication, I won’t be fully silver until I am 80 but I quite like it!

  • Austenfan says:

    So grateful for this post. I have started going gray for 2 to 3 years now. ( I am 44) A lot of people have started commenting on this this past year or so. More or less telling me I ought to have it dyed.
    I have never dyed my hair. I tried having highlights once for a wedding. It looked nice, but as my hair is very dry and thick and wavy/curly it became unmanageable. So I let myself go gray as mother Nature dictates.
    It’s funny though isn’t it. The former prime-minister of Germany supposedly dyed his hair, which was a hot item during his re-election. (he always denied the fact). And with us women it seems to be nearly the opposite.

    I like this look on you, it suits you just fine!

    • March says:

      Yeah, why do we *have* to dye it? If you hate the gray, that’s one thing, but why the expectation? And eyeroll on the male vanity double standard.

  • I turned 60 this year and decided to stop coloring my hair and let it go grey. Been coloring it since my 20’s. I get more compliments now then ever. LUSH makes a product for grey hair called Daddy-O….keeps it bright and silvery. And Sally’s Beauty Supply also carries a line of purple-hued shampoos, conditioners, hair spray. Using a bit brighter make-up palette—-gone back to Tangee lipstick and blush. And changing clothing palette to more grey, silver, soft lavenders, black. Always preferred silver jewelry. Happy, happy, happy with my hair in a way I never was before.\:d/

    • March says:

      There are tons of product out there with the purple thing to keep hair bright. The Lush sounds interesting. It’s always a good idea to switch your looks up — I’m a “silver jewelry” person in general.

  • LindaB says:

    Love it…you are STUNNING!! Unfortunately don’t have time to read through all the brilliant comments, but just want to recommend Shimmer Lights shampoo (it’s for blonde, gray or highlighted hair). I’m a dirty blonde (take that how you see fit, lol) but get highlights every 4-5 months. The Shimmer Lights is a purple shampoo that tones down brassiness and brightens all over.

  • Amy K says:

    I love your new look! I’m in my mid-30s and have been greying since my early 20s. My hair is medium brown but the greys are so evenly spread out that most people don’t even realize that I have them yet – they just blend in with my highlights. No clue what I’m going to do when they finally take over. I don’t want the hassle of constant dyeing maintenance, but my skin and eyes are both incredibly pale, so I’m a little concerned that if I go totally silver fox I’ll just vanish.

    Have you tried any Curl Friends products? They have a control gel that’s not quite enough for my thick hair, but it works perfectly on my young daughter’s looser, softer waves. There’s also a website called NaturallyCurly.com that has reviews of all kinds of curl products.

    • March says:

      I’d been so focused on the gray I sort of forgot the curl issue, weird as that sounds. Now that I’ve achieved my color, I’m enjoying playing with product, thanks for the recommendations. BTW I covered my gray for years with a translucent lighter color (red or light brown) that made my gray into “highlights”.

  • highrise says:

    Your hair looks stunning and healthy, and it’s so encouraging to see that more and more women are giving up the (dye) bottle. I first let my 50% greys come in at about 35 but felt frumpy. I’m now about 70% at 41, stopped dyeing about 6 months ago and am totally happy with the steely-concrete grey of my hair (as is my husband). I’ve had young shopgirls ask me how I got my hair that particular colour! I also think that one’s skintone evolves along with your haircolour, which is why dyed hair can lok harsh or bring out undereye circles etc. My face looks ‘fresher’ with natural hair and it’s fun to use more dramatic makeup. Here’s to freedom!

  • Musette says:

    And let’s not forget one of the most beautiful silver vixens around


    xo >-)

  • Joanna says:

    Your hair color is beautiful, as are you and I’m envious! I have naturally very light blond hair. All attempts to color it, be they at home or at a salon, have been disasterous. My hair is so light that there is no diffusing of the color. I’ve always envied people who could nonchalantly change their hair color, or had hair color other than nearly white, naturally. I used to use Aveda’s Blue Malva shampoo and conditioner to keep my hair from becoming brassy in the winter. I like the Aveda smell and used to be devoted to them as a customer. Since Estee Lauder bought Aveda out I am not impressed and have quit using their products. I invested in a shower filter because the iron in water can make hair brassy and it’s helped a lot.

  • KirstenMarie says:

    Good Lord, March, you’re beautiful! No matter the hair color, you’ve got great skin and bone structure – look how high your cheekbones are!

    My mom is in her mid-60s, and her color is very similar to yours. Last summer she went through chemo (and has an excellent prognosis), but it meant losing her hair. She was ok with that – strong woman! – as long as it came back. It has, fuller than it was before. Like you, she has the widow’s peak in front that’s a beautiful silver, and the top of her head has the most silver mixed in. By the time you get to the nape of her neck, it’s her usual dark brown. It’s almost two inches long now, and she does it up in a really cute pixie flip. I hope my hair does the same, but until it does, I’m expressing my inner red head. :)

  • Beth says:

    Here’s the article I was referring to. The woman’s hair in the photo is absolutely stunning in my opinion.
    My hair is fairly long (down to my bra strap). Curly too. What I use for hair care: Aveda shampoos — rotating between brilliant, smooth infusion, dry remedy, then a dab of damage remedy on the ends as a LEAVE IN, followed by brilliant anti-humectant pomade for frizz control.

  • Julie says:

    I’m 38 and starting getting gray hairs in my 20s. My mom has been gray since I can remember, so she was an early bird also. Didn’t do anything about it for a few years, and back then I would dye my hair occasionally (box color only), but not for the grays, just to mess around a bit with reddish or blondish colors, but nothing drastic.

    About 3 or 4 years ago, it started getting a lot more gray, so now I color it regularly myself, box stuff only (the clairol root touch up kit is fab for extending your color in between!), just to keep it the same color. It’s not so much that I feel like I look old with the gray hairs (I’m still probably at 15% gray but with larger patches in the front), but just I think the all brown hair looks better on me than the mix. Once the % of gray gets closer to half, I’ll probably give it up. My hair is thick and coarse, so I don’t think I’m damaging it too much, and I just use the box stuff, so it’s not very expensive so it’s not too much of a big deal at this point.

  • Beth says:

    March, I just turned 50 this year and I stopped dying my hair about six years ago (much to the chagrin of my hairdresser). I was spending about $200 every two months to have lowlights added and I still had roots half the time. My natural hair color is dark brown and I think I’m about 50% gray now, if not more. Most of the gray is up front and on top — underneath it’s still brown. It’s remarkable how many compliments I get from my hair color. So many people tell me they wish they had the courage to go gray. I encourage everyone to do so — screw the maintenance, and the pressure to look eternally youthful. Claim who you are. I don’t feel that it ages me — still feel young at heart, dress young, etc. The only thing I do avoid is wearing more gray — makes me feel monochromatic. There was a great article about this in the New York Times within the last year — if I can find it I’ll forward the link.

  • Lisa D says:

    I agree, it’s some kind of fabulous. Love the silvery sheen. I have a friend who went pure white at an early age, and she was flippin’ gorgeous with it, too.

  • lala says:

    So shiny and smooth! I’m still at the yank em out stage, but my gray hairs are a completely different texture than the rest of my hair. They are coarse, bristly things that tend to stick straight up in the air. When they start coming in in earnest I have no idea how I’ll cope.

  • maggiecat says:

    Many days I think about just letting my color go and seeing what happens, but i doubt it would look as pretty as yours. I have naturally reddish/auburn hair and began going gray in my late twenties, after the birth of my son. I color it all the time now – can no longer afford the hair salon upkeep – and ended up going a bit darker, which seems to complement my complexion. My husband always offers his own solution to hair issues (in his case, a hairline that was receeding all the way to his neck….) – he shaves his head. It looks incredibly sexy on him…on me? Not so much, I think….

  • marko says:

    From one Silver Fox to another – you look mahvelous, darling.

    My whole family grays prematurely, so I spent my 20s & 30s desperately trying to fight Mother Nature (but as a “starving artist” I couldn’t afford anything but cheap Drug Store Hair Dyes….I grimace just thinking about some of the hideous shades of reddish/purpley/ashy brown my hair turned). In my late 30s I decided to Stop the Madness – so I grew a beard and let my hair go completely gray….and let me tell you, I have NEVER been hit on so much by people 20 years younger!!!….it’s sorta weird. I do think that men have it a bit easier when it comes to “aging” – which is a shame….I truly believe that women are their MOST gorgeous when they respect the aging process instead of hopelessly cat-fighting with destiny.

  • Kate S. says:

    Gorgeous silver curls, March. We’ve discussed and you know I am in love with my own hair. I’ll now confess what really tipped me over to the gray (in my case) is when a good friend, diagnosed young with diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer said she couldn’t color her hair anymore per her oncologist. Then she asked me to shave her head instead of lose it to chemo. I grew a pair that day. Friend is doing great today, BTW.

  • Dusan says:

    You’re a beautiful woman, March, no matter what hair color you’re sporting.

  • Smellifluous says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post, March. You look phenomenal! I love the silver shock at the front–it really does look salon-created (in a great way) rather than Mother-Nature gifted. Quite cool.

    I can’t tell you how amazed and grateful I was to read about your Silver Experience. I just went through a similar process–of letting go of coloring hair and embracing my gray–over the past 6 months. I began going gray at 23 (I remember that first gray hair–or at least the first I noticed) but didn’t think about it for another decade-plus because I always dyed my hair anyway, had since I was a teen: henna orange (ugh), cellophane fuschia (not a lot better), bleached blonde…yeah, it was scary for a while. Finally settled into blonde highlights (on my mid-brown hair) for a long time but in the last 6 years just dyed the hair brown, via salon, and became increasingly unhappy with the results, as many others have said. Finally stopped dying it and a few month later chopped everything off. I’m about 60% gray, mostly boring salt and pepper, but a nice streak/section of silver alone my side part. I like that bit best! It’s not quite as dramatic as your silver hair in the front (which I envy!) but still good.

    Overall, I do look older with gray hair. Some days that’s…hard. Nonetheless, I always look BETTER with gray than with the dyed stuff (and the white roots peeking out, no matter how often I went, or so it seemed!). I’m also getting into rocking a pixie cut, something I’ve never done before. Got it in Sept. Love it–except I’m MUCH colder in winter without long hair! And like you, I find I need to be more conscious of makeup with my gray hair. Alas, dark lippies no longer look good on me (they really age my face), so I rely on blush and, oddly, carefully defining my eyebrows (which includes using eyebrow powder/pencil). Makes a huge difference.

    Sorry–one more thing–I’m also a curlyhead, and like others mentioned, the DevaCurl products are great. I especially like their OneCondition conditioner and this lavender hair spritz thingy called…ugh…what is it?…Mist-er Right. Great “curl revitalizer,” as they call it–good for when you wake up if hair is frizzy but you don’t want to wet it in the shower.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    I think you look absolutely gorgeous! This post is very timely because I am trying to decide whether to colour or not. I have had a fair amount if grey at 37 and as my hair is a dark brown with a bit natural red-tone it stands out quite a bit. If I start colouring ( again – I stopped when I got pregnant with my oldest who is now 5) I am committing to it. Time, money, maintenance etc and I am leaning towards not worth it. I don’t want to look old before my time but I am inclined to let my inner silver fox have at it. I am fair- skinned with green/grey eyes so ( with Irish and French background) so I am hoping for a gorgeous colour like yours, March. Early indicators look good but we’ll see! If men can do it, why can’t we?

  • Gina says:

    It’s stunning, March. Really it is! Have you noticed that along with ditching the neutral lips, you can go for rosier cheeks? I too struggle with “going gray”‘. I highlight, which costs me 200+ bucks every 4-6 months. When I wait too long for highlights, my friends give me a hard time. I’m thinking my gray isn’t as pretty as yours. I will be 43 at the end of this month. I have a heavy gray streak on one side and lots of grays at the crown. In time, I will definitely give up highlighting…maybe it’s just not time for me yet? I wish it were. I hate sitting still for hours, though the guy that does my color is charming. I always think there are a million other things I could be doing. Bravo to you. It’s gorgeous.

  • Musette says:

    Your journey closely mirrors El O’s. He has an abundance of hair (he can grow it to bra-strap length in about 3 months) and a gorgeous widow’s peak and he has that florid “Irish” coloring – when I first met him he was coloring his hair, including his beard (himself, alas) JET BLACK! He looked like Roy Orbison’s Evil Twin! 😮 I got him to stop coloring it, saying the incoming color was softer and way more flattering and actually made him look younger! Like you, the hair came in silver – and it’s gorgeous. He gets a lot of looks now where before he got looks – but they were looks of Pure Terror. 😉 Seeee? Mama Knows Best!

    xo >-)

    • Louise says:

      And, he is a def cutie! My fella is also an early grayer…and wears it back in a pony. I think it suits his cool coloring very well…though there is the one white, one black eyebrow thing : )

      • Musette says:

        He is cute for a broken down ol’ thing, ain’t he?

        I LOVE that black/white eyebrow thing. I knew a guy like that in undergrad – it was really intriguing. He had a bit of a ‘skunk’ thing going, with this white stripe running through one side of his face. Excellent look!

        xo >-)

  • Agritty says:

    I also started going grey in my teens and covered it until the birth of my daughter five years ago. I am about 60 percent grey, mostly in the front. I hated coloring it and hated the roots even more (very dark brown/black hair and white roots – ugh). My husband was nervous about me going grey but I just cut all the dyed hair off one day and I am so happy I did. With the still partly dark hair/white skin coloring, I actually find I look much younger than with colored hair (I am 42). Like you it feels so much healthier and I am so glad I never have to touch a bottle of hair dye or pay a salon again. It was so liberating. Very happy to buy the purple shampoo every now and then, but I will also try the Aveda conditioner. Congrats!

  • Kathryn says:

    Welcome to the silver sisterhood, March! Your pictures have always looked fabulous, but I think your silver hair really suits you. You look very confident. Like a warrior quing.

    My own hair has gone from very dark brown to salt and pepper to gray to now quite white. I’ve enjoyed every step along the way. One of the interesting things has been adjusting the colors I wear. It took me a while to figure out that the vibrant colors I once wore made me look too pale as my hair lightened. Now, exploring new color combinations is almost as much fun as exploring new scents. As I’ve come to wear and love a more muted palette in clothes, I’ve discovered that I can wear much brighter makeup than I once did. I like it that the balance keeps changing, that there is always the opportunity to experiment and play.

  • Lauren S says:

    I have always loved gray/silver hair. I don’t have any of my own yet, but when I do, I only hope it’s as beautiful as yours.

  • Elizabeth W says:

    Hi March, you look great! I think Karin has said it best–confidence as the beauty attribute. I started going grey in my 30s, had salt & pepper streaks in my 40s. (A neighbor friend of mine commented that she would pay big money to have silver streaks like mine.) I am now in my late 50s and have never colored my hair, which started out espresso (like yours; widow’s peak included) and is now about 70% silver. Or will be when it finally grows in–I had chemo last summer and the hair is finally coming back. I don’t recommend this method for “starting over”, btw. As my hair changes and goes lighter, I will use a little more color on my face: a little blush and a hint of color on the lips.

    To Nancy: if you are wanting to ditch the hair dye, perhaps you can be a good role model to those 20-somethings for aging with energy and grace.

  • bookhouseshell says:

    What a beautiful woman you are! Thumbs up on the silver.

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    My hairstylist found a gray in my hair when I was 17. I did not believe her, but at age 20, I was plucking gray hairs. By my mid-twenties I used dye to cover the gray, but because my natural color was one shade off from black, when I dyed myself I wound up with ends that were darker than the root.

    I switched to having salon color at 35 and changed the color to a lighter brown with blond highlights (like my brother’s hair.) I had to grow out two or three inches of roots. That was not fun.

    I am not happy because I am still salt and pepper, unlike my grandmother, who went completely silver (in b&w pictures, she looked like a platinum blond.)

    My mother used henna up until her mid forties, then grew it out. She wore a alt & pepper wig while it did. I swore I would NEVER do that.

    Hers was fine once it grew out, but there is a big difference between silver and white. In her early 70s, she is definitely white.

    I don’t plan to dye my hair when I am 80, but will sure be using some product to brighten the white.

  • Marie says:

    The color looks lovely and soft on you, and your complexion is just gorgeous!!!

  • Ronny says:


    First off, you look amazing with that hair.

    I’ve got very dark brown hair (almost black) and pale skin. Not sure of the percentage grey, but when I recently asked hairdresser about dying, he said given my hair colour and skin tone, almost anything would look seriously ‘wrong’. I was just curious — I have no probs with my strangely streaked hair. So, no hair colouring here. I have, however, let him tweak the style, meaning I now have a real fringe (bangs) for the first time in my life.

    I totally take your point about taking a good look at make-up as we age and our faces change. I’ve never been able to ‘do’ red lipstick, but maybe it’s time to revisit…

    • March says:

      Even more streaks would have worked for me, I think it’s such a great, dramatic look! And bangs are good for hiding forehead wrinkles… 🙂

  • karin says:

    Hey, I’m of the camp that says we women should do whatever we want to as long as we feel good about ourselves and happy in our skin. Confidence is the most gorgeous attribute. It’s the ability to look in a mirror and say, “damn, I look good!” Sometimes this means coloring our hair and wearing makeup. Other times it means the opposite. Expressing who we are. It’s the inner beauty that should outshine it all.

    Love that you’ve grown out your natural color, March! But that doesn’t mean I would chastise you for dying it either. You’re gorgeous either way!

    As for me, I’m in what we used to call the “dishwater blond” category. Have been adding highlights since my early 30’s, and coloring the gray probably since my early 40’s. I’m now 51, and am curious about the amount of gray underneath…but have had no desire to grow it out. Yes, the upkeep and $ are a pain, but I like how it looks for now! I am a bit perturbed about the brassiness of the blond, though, and have tried some purple products to counteract it. I will try the Aveda!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Karin. I agree wholeheartedly with you about doing what makes us feel confident and comfortable, and you’re right — it’s what inside us that counts! Thanks for your wise reminder. Happy New Year to you and your family, dear!

    • March says:

      Absolutely, it’s about liking the way you look, and I hope it’s clear (?) that I’m not judging anyone about haircolor. Hey, I did it for decades. And if I’d grown it out and decided it was ugly/unflattering, I’d have colored it again, pronto.

      The folks on here who are continuing to dye seem to fall in your general category — dishwater blonde, where the whole head ends up looking beige and washed out. Having the contrast of dark hair seems to give more silvery gray.

  • Masha says:

    We’re the same age, but being a redhead, I’m lucky, as redheads go silver much later, and it goes straight to pure white (on the other hand, we get WAY more wrinkles!). So I haven’t had to dye my hair yet, but I’ve noticed a few white strands this year, so I’ve started thinking about it. But I know myself, I just can’t be bothered with trips to the salon. Any my DH started to grey in his early 20s, so he’s nearly all silver now, and we want to match! Great blog, March, on a topic I wish more women would talk about.
    And yes, you look WONDERFUL!

    • March says:

      Wow, everyone came on here to talk about it! I’m thrilled to hear from all these women who are working with their gray rather than fighting it.

  • nancy says:

    Dear March, I love your natural silver hair and envy your courage. I have been wanting to let my hair grow out to its natural grey/silver for over a year, and have not been able to do it yet. I have no idea what my natural hair color looks like now or what proportion is silver/grey. My colorist has been listening to me dither, and has concocted a “platinum” highlight compromise until the day I decide to forge ahead–which I quite like. Part of my job is being in the public eye with people in their late teens and early 20’s, and my perception of how much older I may appear is holding me back. I also have a young group of friends, and if I revert to my natural hair color I will be the first to do so. I’m not there yet, but I wish I were!

    • March says:

      That’s part of what bothers me, though, the ageist element. Assuming the hair is pretty, why can’t it just be “pretty” instead of “old”? I’m amazed at how many other folks on here started going gray really young, like me, it must be more common than I realized.

  • DinaC says:


    Your new hair color and length looks very flattering on you! Thanks so much for sharing this post. I, like you, started graying at an early age. My first grey hair was probably when I was 16. When I was 21, I started coloring my hair back to my “real” haircolor — a medium to dark brown. And now in my late 40s, I’m still coloring it every 3 weeks. Why so often? Because it grows really fast, and I have a thing about having a white skunk stripe running down the center of my head.

    In my case, I have long hair (bra strap-middle of my back length), so I’ve often wondered how in the world I could make the transition to grey when the time comes. My mom has gorgeous white hair, but then she has *short* hair so her grow out period only lasted a couple of months. (She stopped coloring hers around age 50.) Also, my hair isn’t evenly grey…it’s more of a crazy Cruella DeVille look. :-)Sometimes I think that the only way I could ever make the transition would be to go through chemo and lose all my hair — a BIT drastic, yes!?

    I’m a curly/wavy haired gal, too, but have not always been. I used to have stick straight hair. But as my brown has been overtaken by grey, the grey hair has a wavy texture that is totally different. I’ve learned to use gel and a diffuser on my blow dryer to avoid frizz.

    • Louise says:

      I’ve got friends who’ve made the transition from colored to silvery by getting judicious lowlights as the hair grew. Maybe less drastic?

      • DinaC says:

        Good to know! I’ll have to tuck that idea in my brain and remember it. Thanks. :-)

        • March says:

          I was going to say the same thing. If you dig around for transition tips online, they basically say lowlights to break up the “line” from pre-colored to non-colored hair. Personally, I think Cruella Deville sounds pretty awesome.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Dina, you had me laughing over my morning tea. Love your Cruella DeVille comment! I’m right there with you, as I currently have two skunk stripes (although one one is solid, the other’s more mixed).

  • Louise says:

    March-we met as redheads, and you looked fabulous then. Then back to brunette (both of us) and now you look the best of all. Your hair is gorgeous, and yes, it is softer and fuller, I can attest to this. Healthier. And the cut is perfect.

    I keep coloring, mostly at home, because thus far, I’ve got only the 10 or 15 percent-makes-hair-look dull look. So I’m currently contemplating going red again-my spikes are so short that changes are easy. My hair feels thicker and softer with a layer of color for some reason. So much for chemical damage on me…

    My parents both went gray late. At my age (55) my mom was beautifully salt/pepper after she stopped coloring, but she had nearly black as the background color. Her hair just marched directly into gorgeous steel gray. My dad went softly silver in his 70s. While my sister has a lot of gray, my bro and I have fairly little for our advanced ages ; ) Stay tuned.

    And, indeed, you still get, and merit, those wolf whistles. Ahoooo!

  • Tommasina says:

    March, I think you look great; I’m all for women greying naturally. I am 46; my hair started greying when I was 17, with ‘badger’ streaks either side (but just underneath to begin with) and I’ve never colored it – except once, by mistake, when a white-haired friend recommended a “brass-out” conditioner that left my hair a really strong shade of lavender! I freaked out and washed it over and over until the color went. Of course, ever since, I’ve wished I’d not trashed the stuff, and / or made a note of what it was, but no… Anyway, I heartily applaud your decision: congratulations! (For the record, my hair isn’t brassy in the first place; and it’s wavy, and about waist-length.)

    • March says:

      I love the idea of waist-length, badger streaked hair. Surprised how many gals there are on here who are NOT coloring.

      • Tommasina says:

        Ah – it’s not badger streaked any more, but looks more platinum blond from behind, with faint darker bits. I always had pretty weirdly- and differently-colored hair, anyway: almost blond (and frizzy) around the hairline; smoother and coppery on top; mahogany-ish and wavy from ears to ends; almost black and madly ringletty underneath; so now I guess you could say that it’s evened out a bit!

  • Jillie says:

    You are beautiful, whatever your hair colour! You are so lucky to look so cool, and I think your amazing bone structure can take any style or colour – I feel jealous!

    My (brown) hair is waist length and I haven’t been colouring it for the last six months as I couldn’t find a dye that didn’t irritate my scalp, and I was interested to see what my natural colour would look like.

    Well, I suppose it’s not too bad – silvery streaks around my face a la Lily Munster. But now I have that dilemma of thinking should I cut it? It is a good way of managing the annoying growing out phase and maybe long hair on an old(er) lady is not attractive? Would I eventually look too witch-like with long grey hair?

    I must say that it has been a relief not having the bother of colouring it lately, but maybe I shouldn’t be so lazy!

    • Musette says:


      Go over to Advanced Style’s blog – there are some INCREDIBLY beautiful women with long hair – most of them rock the livin’ daylights out of it! I love that blog – most of the women are way older 75 – 100+ – and all of them have 900% more energy, joie de vivre and flat-out beauty than most women (or men) half their age.

      xo >-)

      • Smellifluous says:

        Just butting in here to say Thanks, Musette, for recommending Advanced Style. I checked it out–what a gorgeous blog! As a mid-40s silver fox (well, sorta on the “fox” thing, definitely on the “silver”), it’s always inspiring to see gorgeous women with gray/silver/white hair. Merci!

      • Jillie says:

        Thanks very much, Musette, it’s a wonderful site and I am so glad you recommended it. I echo Smellifluous in saying it’s quite inspiring, and makes me realise I shouldn’t worry so much. I have a friend who went silver at 14, and you couldn’t find a more stylish gal – so much so she married a Frenchman and now lives in Paris!

        • Musette says:

          If I’d known that could happen, I would’ve gone silver then, too! 😉

          xo >-)

          glad you like that blog – Ari does a great job showcasing the incredible style of elders – not just fashion, which is fabbo – but outlook! It is very inspiring.

    • March says:

      I think your Munster hair sounds great, and there’s a link from below I’m going to drop in here. For the color — you can “cheat” and put in a few lowlights to break up the color as you transition, you could cut it, or you could just let it go!


      • Jillie says:

        Thank you – lowlights sounds like a brilliant solution. And the article about long hair is great. Think I shall keep mine long for the foreseeable future!

  • ninis says:

    Your hair is beautiful!
    I have a slightly older colleague, she’s in her 50’s. She has long silvery hair in a ponytail and matches this with a bright red lipstick. She’s the most beautiful woman I know (except mum of course!)
    I think you’re on something here, maybe in a few years this will become a huge trend. At least I hope so, not only because of the expense and trouble of coloring the hair all the time, but mostly because I think it’s really beautiful.

    • March says:

      Given all these comments, maybe it will be a trend! Seriously, I googled “going silver” or whatever and it’s all about hiding the grays. But if so many of us are tired of that, and/but still feel attractive, maybe the obligatory color will give way to the gray.

  • sunnlitt says:

    Your hair looks great. It’s very dramatic. I envy you your curls.

    I have been coloring my hair since for the last 15 years, since I was forty. I’ve worn my hair short for most of my life and I LOVED how my hair looked when I first started going silver–all sorts of shimmering highlights.
    But…I have warm coloring and the silver/gray hair just made me look dead. I really think that it is much more flattering on some women more than others. So, I continue to get it colored every 6 weeks or so.
    However, in another 5 to 6 years, I plan to let it go grey/silver/white and get it cut short and spikey!! That’s how I’ll greet my 60s!!

    • March says:

      It’s not fair that nature doesn’t give everyone grays that go with their skin tone. And you’ll rock the short and spiky hair.

  • hongkongmom says:

    Your hair looks stunning! I have never colored my hair except through teenage years with henna. I have lots of gray. i use a leave in conditioner and khiels hair serum which gives it a great shine…I also have two days down and one up without brushing or combing. The best thing for me to brighten up (my eyebrows have faded too) is red lipstick…does wonders.(when i am not in natural mode which is most of the time.

  • Darryl says:

    These photos are actually stunning, March. From what I’ve seen of you on this blog, your previous colors were great but a little…discordant, somehow, especially with your slightly gamine features. The grey makes you look both wizened AND stylish – in other words, distinguished. (It is true that us males catch most of the breaks when it comes to aging, but you’ve just closed the gap significantly!) But then, I’m of the apparently quirky mindset that most people look plain better – more natural, earthy, relaxed, and just RIGHT somehow – with their real hair. Coloring has come a long way in the last 50 years, and it can work wonders for some people, but I think the vast majority are better off sticking to what God/nature/whatever gave them. (Said the twentysomething male, I know. I found a grey hair last month, if it’s any consolation.)

    • March says:

      I did some crazy colors. The red was loads of fun, although it was perfectly clear it wasn’t my natural hair color. Trying to match my “natural” color just left me with flat, boring hair, and annoying roots. Thanks for the compliments!

  • Catherine says:

    You look amazing, March!

    I’m all a fan of silver hair–after watching my mother dye hers (she went gray/silver in her 20s) for decades, I promised I wouldn’t. I’m starting to get some, and while my boyfriend wants to pull them out (ouch!!), I’m just letting it go.

    What is it about lipstick? It instantly perks up the face–the best luxury around. I look dead without it.

    Meanwhile, I would like to thank you for that recommendation earlier in the year for Mère Agitée. We just ate there a second time last night, and I was bowled over again. Homemade fois gras. Oh my! A big group of us is going Saturday, and she asked me what I’d like to eat–to which I just answered, Whatever you want. The food really is so incredibly good. Best Eat Ever. Thank you.

    And Happy New Year.

    • March says:

      Mere Agitee! That’s wonderful, glad you are enjoying it so much! Please give Madame my regards. Isn’t it a riot?

      Lipstick is the one makeup thing I splurge on, because it makes me happy.

  • Madea says:

    I don’t have any grey yet but I dye my naturally paperbag (thanks, Ms. Christian) blonde hair flaming red with henna every few months.

    I used to dye it, but the dye burnt my scalp something awful, and I could never find quite the right shade. Now I use the henna, and my hair is softer and thicker than it was.

    Other than that, mine is so short it’s wash and go. I love it :)

    Yours is really pretty, March, by the way.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Gorgeous photos, March. You are rocking your natural hair color. Thanks for sharing a bit about your journey, smell warnings on products included!

    I’m in the non hair colored group as well, but mostly because I’m terrible about haircut and color follow up. My stylist complains that it’s hard to get me to come in every 2-3 months for a trim. He’s wisely steered me away from color…but I love making my mousy-brown hair red or golden. My mom was completly silver by eighteen. Dad and his mother began to have a touch of silver at the temples around 70, and I like that look. Here’s hoping I have those genes.

    Best of everything to you in 2012, and sincerely glad to have you back posting regularly! I enjoy your product posts. You are expert in creating lemmings of all kinds. I’m still on my red lip search–latest product is NSFW and Harlot in Lip Tars (no commercial affiliation!). Keep writing, and be well.

  • Angela says:

    I am LOVING your gray! Now I know why they call it “silver”–your hair is truly glistening silver. Spectacular.

    Here’s the curly hair routine I finally settled on: I wash every three or four days with DevaCurl No Poo. It’s a shampoo without drying lather, so I can comb it through my hair and get out the snarls and snags at the same time. (Note: that’s the only time I comb my hair. No combing or brushing after that.) After I’ve rinsed out the No Poo, I rake Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in conditioner through my hair (rake, not comb), scrunch my hair with a towel, and sometimes to solidify the curls I scrunch in Kinky Curly Curling Custard (just a tiny bit). Then my hair is usually good for two days down, then one up before I need to repeat the routine. No blow drying, no brushing or combing.

    (I bet that’s more than anyone wanted to know about my grooming!)

    • Musette says:

      No, actually I am THRILLED you commented because I’ve been in love with Ouidad Climate Control until lately – my hair is right between hyper-curly (not kinky but a tight curl) and Enigma’s looser corkscrews.

      Alas, I will continue to color my hair. A motorcycle accident 10+ years ago left my hairline framed in grey and it’s very ageing. I tend to not color in the summertime, as the sun bleaches my hair out to a light brown/blonde, so the grey blends in.

      I have never tried DevaCurl – your routine sounds like it would work way cool on my weird ol’ head! 😕

      xo >-)

      • Angela says:

        Another Curly Gal! I haven’t tried any Ouidad products. Does it have silicone? My hair can only tolerate a small amount of it. I like Kinky Curly products (with the exception of the shampoo), and I can get them at Whole Foods without having to find a salon that has them, etc.

        • Musette says:

          ooh! yet another brand to try! who knew!? I need to get out more – really!

          xo >-)

          ps. I have no idea about the silicone – my hair doesn’t seem to care either way. I obviously need to pay better attention…:-?

          • (Ms.) Christian says:

            Musette, just so you know-regarding silicone(and other chemicals ending in “cone” in hair products)-the deal is this-if one has straight or straight-ish hair, the silicone coats the hair and makes it (temporarily) seem and feel smoother and shinier. That is a delight if you have straight hair because straight hair is not moisture hungry.

            If you have wavy/curly/kinky hair, the silicone will also have the same temporary effect, but it will prevent moisture (curly hair’s BEST FRIEND) from getting in and will eventually dry the eff out of your hair, making it drier, frizzier, more fly away and harder to deal with.

            Ouidad as well as DevaCurl products used to have ‘cones in them which is why I stopped using those lines. At first my hair was happy, then started looking and feeling like dirty straw.

            RECOMMENDED READING-Lorraine Massey’s (of Deva Chan) “Curly Girl.” Get it at the libe or used from Amazon.

    • March says:

      You have the most stunning hair. You know how much I love it. 🙂 My daughter’s hair is a lot like yours, only longer and darker. I think she’s doing your same routine.

  • Vinery says:

    I have coloured my hair since my teens, but seven or eight years ago I decided to grow it all out and check out the grey. I was inspired by someone local who has beautiful hair like yours, and wanted to see how close I could come to that look. It was awful. I have only about 5 – 10% grey, just enough to make my light brown look faded and attenuated. So back to the blonde foils I went and never looked back.

    I have naturally curly-wavy hair, too, and while these days it’s Keratin treatments for me, back when I embraced my curls I liked the Frederick Fekkai Luscious Curls line.

  • Occhineri says:

    I decided to stop coloring my hair a little over a year ago because I was sick of the upkeep and not particularly happy with the results anyway. My gray is mostly around my face (the rest is light brown), and I agonized about whether to let it show or not, but like you, I figured if I hated it, I could always color it again. I kept it quite short for the first half of 2011 and then decided to grow it out into a bob. I feel sort of silly wasting so much time stressing out over it because it really hasn’t been a big deal. I haven’t used the Aveda, but I do use a purple shampoo once a week, and that certainly helps.

    I’m still trying to figure out which makeup colors look best now. I don’t want to looked washed out, but I don’t want to look garish either.

    • March says:

      That’s interesting, your color distribution is kind of the opposite of mine. And I think the various purple shampoos pretty much do the same thing that the Aveda does.

  • Lavanya says:

    Your hair (and you) look gorgeous!! My husband started graying in undergrad too and used to dye his hair. I made him stop – most people now think he is older than he is because of the gray, but I feel more comfy without him putting a bunch of chemicals so regularly on his hair. I convinced my mom to stop dyeing her hair too. She also started graying in her early 20s and used henna for years (and so had reddish/orange tints). Recently she started dying her hair dark brown before I told her to let her grays show (she is in her early 50s). She is still in that phase with the grays mixed with the colors but hopefully it should grow out. I think women with silver hair look lovely and you are a perfect example – love your look!

  • Abigail says:

    I don’t have gray hair yet but I wish that when I do go gray it would look like yours! I have lighter hair — blondish/dirty brown — so when it goes gray it won’t be a pretty vivid color like yours — it will surely look drab, mousy, etc. etc.

    So, I don’t have any suggestions but just wanted to tell you that you rock that color!

    • March says:

      Thanks. I do think darker-haired folks have an advantage in the silver drama department. I know a lot of comments and complaints are from the light/brown and blonde folks who just end up feeling like they look washed out.

      • ggperfume says:

        I came late to today’s post (80+ comments), but have to join the chorus – dark hair does gray so much more dramatically than most lighter shades. You definitely rock the silver, March, much like my Irish-American mother. She had the black hair/blue-gray eyes/fair freckled skin combo (picture Elizabeth Taylor in her child actress days) and went gray from her early thirties forward, with a strong black streak at her widow’s peak. Dramatic! I didn’t inherit her early-gray genes, though; like my father I won’t begin to look gray until I’m past seventy. So we’ll see then how well silver plays with chestnut. . .

  • (Ms.) Christian says:

    Take a sincere compliment from a lesbian-you are a beautiful woman and the hair makes you even more so.

    Started coloring my hair (bleaching it from paper bag light ash blond to platinum) when I was 13 or so. Yes, I was fast and trashy, especially for a Catholic school girl. I started going silver when I was in my early 20s but continued coloring. Having just turned 59 last month, I have flirted with not getting highlights and low lights to the tune of $300 every 3 months. Most of my head is pure white now, and like you, I am very fair and without makeup, almost ghostly thanks to Nordic ancestors.

    Since I still feel resistant to going PURE WHITE (even writing that makes me shiver), my concession is to keep the 2 wavy wings on either side of my part uncolored. People think it’s “fashionably” bleached out; let ’em think what they want. Since I am recently widowed, part of me still wants to have some appearance of youth as I make the random lumbering and awkward stabs at dating again. Maybe that’s just dumb…

    I HATE Ouidad stuff. If it works for you, well, good-but may I recommend the trial products pack from Jessicurl.com? You can order from her website. Woman owned business, she’s a curly herself, she is very cool and I have been using her products for 4 years now and would not use anything else.

    • Louise says:

      Just wanted to note my condolences on your loss-very sorry to hear this.

    • Musette says:

      I don’t think that’s dumb at all – it’s a biological impulse (until a certain point, whenever ‘that’ is, which I don’t think you are anywhere near yet anyway (go ‘head – parse that sentence. I dares ya!).

      You do what makes YOU comfortable. And you have my best thoughts and wishes as you begin to traverse this, as well as my heartfelt sympathy for your loss.


      xo >-)

      • (Ms.) Christian says:

        Plain and simple, I don’t FEEL any particular age, and I’m not trying to pretend that I’m 35 again-but seeing pure white, basically platinum hair and imagining that all over my head scares the hell out of me. I’m in the medical field and I see women (and men) of all different ages with snow white heads and never “old man, old lady” but in my own mind’s eye, I still identify as a blonde.

        So yeh, when I’m ready, I’ll be the Ice Queen, but until then, I’m embracing the dye.

    • Dante's Bra says:

      Another big vote for jessicurl here– they have products for dry and coarse curly (little heavier), and fine and wavy (little lighter), and they’re the best i’ve found yet. you can get them unscented, but the fragrances are essential oils and actually smell good.

      Sorry about your loss, Ms. C, sending good thoughts your way, wherever you are…

    • March says:

      I think your hair sounds gorgeous. And my condolences too, honey. @};-

  • Ann says:

    BTW, great pics of you! You are just adorable!!

  • Ann says:

    Hi, sweet March — what a great post! And so appropriate for me right now. I’m in my early 50s, have darkish brown virgin hair,and I’m toying with the idea of coloring it. I’d be happy with my hair if it were graying subtly all over, in an even way, but it isn’t.
    You know how some people have battle scars? Well, I have “battle streaks.” A swath of gray down the very back arrived shortly after I was laid off three years ago from my job of 17 years. And a lovely skunk stripe of white down the middle of one side appeared during and after my son’s near-drowning and month-plus hospital stay two summers ago. A friend says I look unique and that I “earned” those, but I have my doubts, especially since I’m so much older than the moms of my son’s friends and don’t want to look it so obviously. So I’m debating about heading down the slippery slope of hair coloring. I look forward to reading other folks’ comments.

    • March says:

      HOLY COW. 80 comments?! 😮 I guess it wasn’t boring after all! Everyone who said I look beautiful/hawt/pretty — thanks. I’ll skip writing that over and over again in comments, okay? :)>-

    • March says:

      Your son’s story is both terrifying and miraculous. And “earning” your stripes isn’t the same as wanting them. I do hear you on being older than some of the other kids’ moms.