My Silver Hair Transformation Complete! 2020

The day final arrived!!

Archer Salon, San Francisco. Gari James is the owner and Colorist Extraordinaire

2020 certainly was a year full of challenges. When we started shelter in place in March, 2020, I had just moved and Covid-19 entered our lives. The last time I saw my colorist, Gari at Archer Salon in San Francisco was February, 2020. I was planning to go once we moved- at the end of March for my 8 week color touch-up. Well, we all know what happened next…

Shut down of all hair and nail salons. So, I waited it out, thinking that everything would open back up fairly quickly! Who would have thought…….

Finally on November 5 after months and months of anticipation, the day came for my color transition from my grown out faded red hair and stripped white roots to silver-grey. I honestly was not how my hair would look. I was both excited and nervous too, as I knew my color would need to be bleached. I’ve read so many horror stories about hair damage after bleaching. Plus my previous colorist told me that I would have to cut my hair to really transition to grey the right way. I had contemplated going grey before…

Would going grey make me look older or at least my age!!? Over 60.

I was the only one in the hair salon that day. Gari and his assistant gave me the VIP Covid safe treatment, which included a private parking spot right in front of the salon.. huge since the salon is on a (once) busy street in Union Square, a black paper mask, and a pair comfy velvet booties. The process took about 9 hours. My hair was bleached and checked in stages. The good news- I was told that my red lifted much more easily than Gari thought it would. I was happy about that too.

The time actually went by quickly. It was nice to catch up… I was getting really excited to see the outcome.

Once the my hair was bleached then Gari deposited different color glosses and toners, plus Olaplex to minimize any damage.

I was thrilled to see my transformation and absolutely loved the outcome. The color looked gorgeous and I felt younger and lighter.. go figure. I sent some photos to my husband… who even now is not quite sure he likes it.

Experimenting with different make-up shades and colors is fun. I can now wear colors that I could not as a red-head. I get lots of compliments too!! Except my husband is still debating!

It’s been 12 weeks since my color change.. and I continue to love the look. The salons are shut down again, but that’s Ok. On Gari’s advise I bought, Mr. Smith Blond to minimize any yellowing and Guy-Tang Color 10A to use as a gloss every 8 weeks or so.

I’d love to go just a tiny bit more silver.

There is some breakage, but I’ve been taking care of my hair by continuing using Olaplex No. 0, No. 3, No. 6 Plus weekly shampooing with Mr. Smith. Blond.

I get lots of compliments too!!

By the end of 2021 all my true color should be revealed!!

Happy New Year!!


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!!




10 Cosmetic Treatments You Should Not Do

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase I may make a commission.

You want to look your very best!!

‘Tis the Holliday season. Dinner with friends and family, holiday parties, weddings and special dates.  You’ve bought your dress, shoes, accessories, scheduled your hair and make-up.

You look into the mirror feeling you need a little perk. I know that feeling all too well!!  I’ll wake up one morning thinking I must get some fillers, botox and a facial stat! I’ll look at my calendar and try to plan. If I’ve had a dental cleaning or any dental work, I’ll wait three weeks before any fillers. I don’t want to get a  Biofilm infection.

There is a menu of services and specials at every medical spa, dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s practice during the holidays. It’s very tempting. 

Plan!! Schedule these treatments allowing yourself the proper time for healing or any adjustments. You don’t want to look bruised, swollen or red before your event. Since I am a bruiser, I’ll  schedule my treatments 3 or 4 weeks before any event because sometimes my bruising  lasts 10 days. But, there are times I want a quick fix and this maynot be the wisest decision. If you can’t get in to see your favorite dermatologist, esthetician or injector, my advice is to schedule after your event. I wouldn’t suggest going on Instagram and choosing  a doctor you’ve never meet before. This is not the time to experiment. f you do bruise there are many makeup tips to help cover your bruising or redness. Ask your  doctor or injector about zapping the injection sites with laser. You can usually see bruises  pop out quite quickly. I always get zapped before I leave the office and sometimes have to go back a few days later.  

My favorite cover-up  is from Colorscience. It helps to cover bruising, uneven tone and redness.

Colorescience Mineral Makeup Palette, Beauty On the Go, 5 Neutralizing Makeup Shades

Schedule these treatments at least two weeks before your event

  1. Botox– you may bruise, need a tweak or develop a droopy eye which is very rare but a reality.
  2. Laser– depending on the type and depth you could be red, swollen, itchy, and peeling. One treatment may not give you the results you are seeking.
  3. Mico-needling – you may look red, and slightly swollen. This usually resolves quickly unless its a combination of laser and micro-needling.
  4. Don’t change your skincare routine or introduce new products. Start 6-8 weeks before an event on the off chance you may get a reaction.
  5. Stop any Retin-A treatments a week before you are planning a trip or event so you are not red and peeling.
  6. Lip Fillers- Swelling, bruising and soreness is very common. You may be swollen for 7 days and you really will not see the final result for two weeks. Juvederm swells more than Resytlane.
  7. Filling your eye hollows or tear throughs. This can be very tricky. Bruising and swelling is very likely. There is a chance you could be  overfilled or underfilled. Tweaking this area is common.
  8. Facial Fillers – Two to three weeks in advance. You may bruise, and have swelling. Plus if you need any adjustments you will have time. This includes Juvederm, Volumna, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra. Hyaluronic acid fillers (HA) like Juvederm swell. 
  9. Hand rejuvenation with fillers. Your hand will be swollen and may feel hard for several days.
  10. Looking to rid of brown spots with IPL? Chances you will need to have several treatments. Those ugly brown spots turn dark brown before they go away. 

Most importantly always consult a board certified plastic surgeon, dermatologist or a certified aesthetic nurse.

Be Beautiful Not Botched!™

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