Is It Time to Ditch My Red Hair and Go Grey?

Does grey hair make me look old or beautiful?

That’s a question which I keep asking myself, will I consider this transition.

My self-isolating story during COVID-19 began on March 16, 2020. Thankfully my family and friends are healthy and well.

We all are facing many challenges and varying degrees of the same challenges. The world we knew only a short time ago has changed. Not only am I facing different challenges staying at home, but I’m learning more self-love; wrinkles, grey roots and all.

Being in the medical aesthetics industry, I’m used to getting Botox every few months and filler touch-ups when needed.  Now,  I’m watching my Botox wear off and my fillers dissolve which by the way is not a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with giving your face a break as long as you keep up with a good skin care routine.   Thankfully, I have good skin care products and facials to tide me over until I can finally get a Clear and Brilliant laser treatment that has been cancelled three times, Botox and fillers.  Can’t wait!! Practices are beginning to come back slowly starting this week in some parts of the country.  Of course, there will be many safety precautions for patients and staff.

However, my biggest challenge – my greying hair, beyond my roots now!  Is this the year I ditch the dye?

Cindy Joseph

I was horrified to discover my first grey hair at the age of 16. I’d find one and pull it out, though they kept sprouting.  By the time I was in my early 20’s I had many strands of grey hairs woven into my natural very dark brown locks.  I hadn’t started coloring my hair yet. This all changed one day when I went to New York to a new stylist for a haircut.  I’ll never forget that day.  I was asked  why I wasn’t coloring my hair and was told the grey streaks made me looker older.   Wow, I was only about 24 years old!  Silver streaks were not fashionable in the 1980’s. I don’t remember why I didn’t color my hair at the time, maybe because my now X mother-in-law had beautiful salt and pepper hair. Going grey is lot more trendy now and women are posting stories about their grey hair journey.  Let’s face it, going grey is natural.  Jane Fonda showed off her grey locks at the Oscars. Perhaps the most famous grey haired model was Cindy Joseph. She was beautiful.   And of course  the super model Carmen Dell’Orefice who is now 88 years old and the worlds oldest model. Instagram has some beautiful going grey naturally posts. I love looking at Jack Martin’s transformations.

After being a slave to color for 40 years, I’ve been considering the idea of ditching my dye for about a year.  I’ve been a brunette, a dark blonde and now a redhead, my favorite hair color.  My color appointments are about three hours every 3-4 weeks, because getting the right tone of red takes time. I always get compliments after a color appointment. Will I get compliments after going grey?!  Does it really matter?  Will grey age me? or will it look stunning?  I’ve gone up to many women admiring their grey or silver hair.

I first thought about going all grey about a year and half ago.  I discovered it was a lot more complicated especially for long hair. I’ve always had long hair, its my identity and I’m not ready to cut it. Once I cut my hair and a friend was so surprised, she said, “you cut your status symbol.”  Going grey without cutting my hair is a long process. I’m still in the research phase and have a few ideas to discuss with my colorist.

My last color appointment with Gari at Archer Salon, SF was before Shelter in Place.

Color- Archer Salon, SF

I’m having fun watching my color transition, actually surprised to still see some dark strands, as I thought I was 100% white.  I’ve not quite embraced the grey fully though the more it grows each day, the more I embrace it. I’ve been wearing hats on all my Zoom consults and meetings. I love wearing hats and happen to have quite a few. A few days ago, I decided instead of touching up my now very big grey roots that I would use Magic Root Color, red,  I’ve used it before. But I had to use quite a bit to cover about 5 inches of white. My hair felt very gritty and sticky.  I left it on for a day then had to wash my hair. It didn’t all come out, I could see red through the grey and now my grey had a orange hue, though nobody could see it except me. I waited a couple of days then washed my hair with a clarifying shampoo. It all came out and I was very happy to see my bright silver again as it was starting to look pretty.

My husband jokes about my grey. He calls me Elivra and says now I know how I’ll look when I’m 80.

Not bad for 80!

I’ve been online looking at different silver hair styles going back and forth between coloring my hair back to red or not.

I have my basic root color from my colorist, developer, brushes, bowl everything I need to touch -up my roots. However, since my roots are now 4 or 5 inches in some spots, my colorist warns me that if I use only my root color on my virgin grey hair, I’m likely to have a band of color. Not a good look!!


3 months of Growth

I could buy the color kit for my virgin hair from my salon. This would entail mixing a couple of colors for roots and another color for my virgin grey hair plus gloss. Red is a difficult color to keep vibrant. Not a simple one-step process.

I’ve started to be braver and show my hair at Zoom meetings. Many of my friends like it.  The question still remains. Will grey/silver hair age me? Or will it look stunning and beautiful?

In the meantime, I ordered a gloss kit from my stylist and will at least brighten -up my ends which look very faded and frayed.

I can embrace my grey and wait it out till mid-June when my salon will open.  Maybe by the time I see my colorist, I’ll have made a decision to either go grey, blonde or color it back to red. I posted the first public peak of my grey roots in a Facebook story.  I’m still contemplating my next steps… Stay tuned!!





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