Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Grey Lifestyle

"Am I going to look like an old lady?"
"Yes."

(via)
All this time you thought I was a nice boy from Ohio.  But when clients ask me if they will look "like an old lady" if they let their hair go grey, I always say yes.  It sort of addresses the elephant in the room.  Here's the thing: who cares? Who decides what an "old lady" looks like?


I then go on to explain that I love grey hair.  Do I think grey=old? No. Do I think grey hair is less maintenance? I'll get to that later. However, I have no control what my clients think of themselves and what society tells us an "old lady" looks like.  As far as double standards go, I think few are as blatantly unfair as Grey: Men vs. Women.  This debate goes deep into the past, with the same question--why do men get to be distinguished and women are just "old"?


I believe this is a changing tide.  When I started working in the beauty industry about ten years ago it was uncommon for affluent women who had been coloring their to stop.  Sure, there have always been circumstantial reasons like budget or illness; and there have always been women who never started coloring their hair.  But nowadays there are a lot of healthy and vivacious women who can afford to continue coloring their hair who choose to stop.  I'm totally on board. 


First and foremost I am a hairstylist to make money.  When I started in beauty school I thought I wanted to do all "hairshow" hair. Crazy cuts, outrageous color, all the "fun" stuff.  I think most people in beauty school start out thinking that's the type of hair they will build their career on.  But as I grew into the profession and began building skills, I quickly learned a few things:
-hot pink haircolor will always be shocking. No matter how well or poorly it is applied.   
-Often clients who want hot pink haircolor are not the type of client around which a business can be built.  I realize by saying this I run the risk of sounding like an asshole.  It's sort of an asshole thing to say. But a successful salon is fueled by clients coming regularly.  Pink hair is usually a one time thing.  It's a really fun thing to do, nonetheless.  I've done it.  I have the photos, but I'm not sure I can bear to look at them. 


The deeper I got into my career the more I began to appreciate and enjoy the challenge of keeping it simple.  I found it was far more difficult to craft a natural blonde haircolor than it was to create a shockingly bright green.  I built an understanding of the fine details that lie within the shades and subshades of all haircolor.  To transform a dull brunette into a rich sable with undertones of mahogany and highlights of not-too-gold caramel demands tremendous skill.  I have found success with my color clients, I think, because my mission is always to work within their palette.  I feel anyone can have any haircolor; if she has the colorist who can translate it to her skin, eyes, and lifestyle.  I also learned that women who want this kind of attention to detail in a hairstylist are willing to pay the premium.  The focus of my salon is never on volume.  I have a small clientele and each client is immensely valuable to me. 


The slogan for my business all things beautiful came to me in a second.  After adding it to my logo in 2011 I wondered what made it fit so easily? Coincidentally it has 18 characters, just like my name.  To say that was a happy accident would be an understatement.  All things beautiful is what ties my mind together.  I was surprised when people had trouble wrapping their head around a hairstylist who caters who also does floral work.  Looking back I see the confusion.  I've always seen these things as having far more in common.  Whether designing a haircut, a floral centerpiece, or a fabulous vinaigrette--there is only one thing you really need.  An eye, a sense for proportion.  I feel that I was gifted with this sense for proportion. It came at the expense of many other things like basic math skills and being able to throw a ball further than two feet. 


What does grey hair have to do with this?  A lot. 


A woman who wants to quit coloring her hair needs a hairstylist who accepts and appreciates this decision. She also needs a hairstylist who has a strong eye for proportion.  You could say designing haircolor is like designing an English garden.  Weaving colors together in similar shades to harmonious effect.  There is a star and there are backup singers.  Easier said than done.  You could say designing a haircut for grey hair is like tending a Japanese garden.  An exercise in restraint, a manipulation of the ordinary to striking effect.


Usually grey hair is on the coarse end of the spectrum.  Coarse hair demands a few things from a haircut.  First, the client must have her hair cut often.  6-8 weeks for long-medium length hair and 3-6 weeks for short hair.  Just because there are no roots anymore does not mean skipping the salon.  In my opinion, keeping fresh ends on grey hair is the major tipping point between structure and chaos.  Coarse hair is more prone to dryness; which translates to scraggly ends if a client goes too long between haircuts.  For longer (shoulders or below) grey hair, I usually recommend a level perimeter.  Meaning the hair on the sides falls at the same level of the back.  Often in longer haircuts there is a slight graduation from back to front that creates a V-taper.  I think a more linear profile helps the grey look fresh.

Great Gray Hair Styles
Even though Blythe Danner has curly hair, hers is still cut into a level profile.  I like the way it falls cleanly. 
Blythe Danner
Also with haircuts for grey hair, it is beneficial to keep the hair layered.  Even if slightly so.  Often when women stop coloring their hair, they also wish to stop having it layered.  It sounds like it will be easier to maintain if the hair is all the same length.  The problem with hair that is all the same length is that the majority of the weight will fall in one spot.  Layering distributes the weight evenly, when done correctly.  With grey hair it is of the utmost importance that the layering be even and well-proportioned.  There is no magic length for layering.  It is different for everyone.  Someone with very thick, coarse hair needs sharply angled layering whereas someone with fine hair needs much softer and obtusely-angled layering.   Layering, even in when it only starts an inch from the ends, is an important facet of wearing grey hair well.

As for going grey, as in growing out haircolor, you have my sympathy. Not an easy process. This is particularly difficult for brunettes. I advise that one has her hair heavily highlighted when she decides to grow out her color. This is disarming for women who have brunette most of their lives. The reason for the highlighting is that it bridges the gap between dark ends and grey roots.
Another common problem with grey hair is not maximizing the platinum tones.  Grey can catch slightly yellow or green tones.  Often this is a result of product build up.  But it can also be environmental.  Using a violet shampoo and conditioner like this once a week can help:


This helps grey hair just like it does blonde hair.  Because blonde and grey hair are both void or slightly void of color, they are susceptible to color change from minerals in water, chemicals in products, and free radicals and particles in the air.  It works in two ways.  It is a slight exfoliant which helps open the outermost layer of the hair and it deposits a faint violet toner that corrects the off tones.  You want a shampoo that deposits color rather than removes.  Often people feel that violet shampoos are similar to grocery store shampoos like Sheer Blonde.  Sheer blonde actually has a diluted hydrogen peroxide in it that lifts the overall color slightly.  Not what we want with grey hair.  Long term it will lead to more dryness. 


If the unpleasant tones persist after using a violet-based shampoo for a month, a toner could also be considered.  I have one client who I use a clear toner/sealer on once about every two months.  I add a tiny drop of pastel violet and it transforms her grey from sort of dingy to fabulously platinum.  If you are considering this, MAKE SURE your hairstylist is going to use a zero lift/deposit only developer.  Even a 10vol developer could change the texture and color of your hair. 


Some clients also feel that as their hair goes grey, it becomes much more difficult to style.  This is sometimes because they are continuing to style it just as they did their hair was colored.  The key to styling grey hair is to look at it with fresh eyes.  Don't think about how it used to be styled.  Assess how it wants to be styled now.  If your hair has a persistent cow lick to the right, there is no point in styling it to the left.  Following the lines in which the hair grows makes for unbelievably easy styling. If you have curly hair, choose a haircut that works with curly hair.   Often along the natural partline grey hair will have the most dimension.  I'm not sure why this is, but it usually holds true.  Exposing the natural highs and lows of grey adds texture and suits the face beautifully. 


 I saved the easiest tip for last--shine spray! I cannot overstate the importance of using shine spray with grey hair.  If you were to follow none of the other tips in this post, I hope you still incorporate shine spray into your morning routine.  This is my favorite:



It is light and incredibly moisturizing and really does add tremendous shine.  Also it is vegan, gluten free and non-aerosol.  I advise spraying the Surface shine spray onto your hair after your towel dry and before you blow dry.  If you are going to let your hair air dry, this should be the last product you work in.  Spray about three sprays throughout your hair and work through with your fingers.   If you wish you can also add another spray once dry.


This is quite a bit more than I had intended to write and I do apologize (to those of you still reading) for being so long-winded.  I think there is a lot of misinformation out there about working with grey hair.  I will admit there is also a lot of unnecessary attitude among those in my field about "going grey".  Some stylists see losing a haircolor client as losing the client all together.  I see it as an opportunity.  My grey clients are some of my most prolific sources of referrals.  I feel this is because a woman wearing her grey beautifully, sharply, and intentionally always turns heads. 

71 comments:

  1. This is definitely one of my favorite posts of yours -- ever! You have an absolute wealth of knowledge and it is great to get your perspective. I was going to go grey last year but lost the courage to do the growing out part. When it's a bit more grey I will try again. But even though I'm still blonde I'm going to invest in the shine spray you recommended, because my coarse hair could definitely use it!

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    1. Thank you so much! If you get the Surface shine spray, you'll have to let me know how you like it!

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    2. It's in my amazon bag! But I'm going to check my salon and see if they have it before I buy it there. I know they've used some kind of shine spray on my hair before when I get it cut there, and I like it!

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  2. I'm with you 100%. I would let my hair go grey in a heartbeat, but it does not want to (yet). Your clients must love your philosophy on the subject. I applaud the fact that you are not just promoting covering up the grey. Some of my friends have almost white hair and they are stunning! A good cut (that is age appropriate) makes all the difference. You've got my vote.

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    1. Thank you so much! I definitely still love haircolor but I realize it's not for everyone.

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  3. This is great! I have dark hair, so I always wonder if I will want to color my hair or go gray when I'm grown up. Dark & gray mixed hair is not a pretty sight. I'm always leaning towards going gray, but I didn't know what to expect... until now!

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    1. Thank you! On very dark hair like yours once someone has a few greys, which of course stand out dramatically among the rest of the dark, I like to just foil in a few lowlights. It's nice because it allows the stylist to spot-treat the greys while keeping the natural haircolor intact. Thank you!

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  4. Your post is full of great information for those of us who have opted to go grey. I have been using a small dab of Moroccan oil after blow drying. It seems to tame the tendency to go frizzy and adds shine. My mother who is completely white uses Blue Malva shampoo. I think grey hair is slightly more high maintenance than when I had my hairdresser colour it....but it is less expensive and I have recently retired.

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    1. Thanks! Moroccan oil is very, very similar to the Surface spray. I agree that styling grey is a little more demanding in day-to-day styling.

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  5. What a timely essay, Stephen, dear.

    I will never have the lovely platinum grey hair that we all admire. (If I could wake up tomorrow with fabulous grey, I would do it in an instant). My mother is in her mid-70s and has just over 50% grey, and my father is about the same. It's genetic, and I accept it.

    A few months ago, my daughter hollered from the bathroom, "Mom, I have enough hair dye left to do yours ... do you want some color?" I agreed. I'm impulsive that way. Turns out that it was the most persistent demi-perm color EVER and this stuff STILL hasn't faded completely away. It has faded just enough so that my greys that still have color are the most wonderful gold color ... a lot like my natural highlights that I had when I was younger.

    The good part about my grey is that I have a fabulous stripe in the front, just off center. I call it my skunk stripe, and I am eagerly waiting for it to grow out (after the color incident).

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    1. Yes I hear that a lot--and that is why I don't worry about 'endorsing' grey so to speak. There will always be enough women who aren't keen on their grey to keep the industry viable.
      I know exactly what you mean about your hair, and I love that look too! It's more of a stained glass effect rather than truly covering the grey.

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  6. Awesome post!!... I have been brunette forever. At almost 49, I do not have to color my hair .. yet... although I have about 10 wirey greys that I can see beginning to muliply. I have fine hair, and I definitely would look OLD because of my olive skin .. with grey hair. I have always had really shiney, deep toned brunette hair, but I've noticed it is beginning to dull. My stylist said I don't have enough grey to color it yet, but she recommended a glaze, which she applied, with light layers... and I loved the look. The glaze is beginning to wash out four weeks later.

    You clearly know what you're doing... I wish you lived on the East Coast, I'd travel!...lol...

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes a glaze is a great thing to do for someone in your situation. It adds a lot of depth and shine without the commitment.

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  7. Loved this post....I have been grey for about three years...I keep it short and spiked. 90% I love it...10%
    I hate it. I find when I wear makeup and dress up a little more I get lots of compliments on it...(I'm 60) I do love the freedom of not coloring most of all. Didn't you write a book?...I read it and loved it.

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    1. Thank you so much! I haven't written a book--but I think I know the book you're talking about. I wish I could remember the author's name. Your haircut sounds cute!

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    3. I think Ain't is thinking of this: http://www.stagingyourcomeback.com

      He's a local guy and totally reminds me of you. I drunkenly met him once at a club opening and he critiqued my outfit in that wonderful bitchy way that makes me want to both change my clothes and make him my best friend.

      That's how you are Stephen! But not the bitchy part. Although I love a little bitchy in my life.

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    4. Haha! Thank you. I try and keep the bitch at bay.

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  8. This post is perfect timing for me. I am a 53 year old brunette with curly chin length hair. I started coloring my hair in my 30s and just decided this month to stop. I have about an inch of gray root right now. I am the most gray in the front around my face and less so in the back. I really wanted to let it grow out without having to highlight it in the process, but after reading this post I am rethinking it. Thanks for all the great advice!

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    1. You are so welcome! I hope it helps rather than leaves you with more questions! I do feel that highlighting makes the process a lot less painful. Although it seems counterintuitive to spend more to let it go grey, I think it's worth it once or twice during the grow out.

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  9. Fab post, I do love grey hair though when the time comes to go au natural I'll probably take mine up to shoulder length oh and that V taper, I have been trying to get a straight line at the bottom for about three years - I cut my own hair - that could be it!

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    1. Thank you so much! I think your hair looks fabulous!

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  10. I wish you lived closer Stephen Andrew- you sound like a wonderful hairstylist to have. I loved your "all things beautiful" story... and it reminded me of a quote that I think will resonate with you as it does for me...
    " I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life." ~Elsie de Wolfe
    xxojoan

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    1. Thank you so much Joan! I haven't ever read that quote before. Thank you for sharing it!

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  11. this was a wonderful post!
    i think of you not as a hair stylist. but as an artist.
    and by that i mean . . .
    you make life beautiful.
    with the flowers. the cuisine. the home. the hair.
    i would expect no less from you than what you have written here. it is so beautifully and wisely said.
    you are a consummate artist of beauty. in all things! xoxo
    and my pixie cut hair is silver. not grey.
    to quote cindy joseph... silver has value! LOLOL.
    love you darling stephen.
    hugs to beautiful barbie too!

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    1. Thank you so much! Hahaha I LOVE that. Especially as the price of silver continues to soar :) have a great weekend!

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  12. Great post. I have long thick blonde hair I've been covering he grey for about ten years and at 54 I'm tired of the routine. I'd love to find a hairdresser in Australia who could give me as good advice as you.

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    1. Thank you so much! Maybe I should just come to Australia every 6 weeks :) thanks for stopping by!

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  13. I am so glad that Janet from The Gardeners Cottage posted a link to you here. I have always enjoyed your comments on her blog but this post of yours takes the cake; I mean, what a wonderful, comprehensive analysis of the gray hair dilemma. I am duly impressed, Steven Andrew!!

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    1. Thank you so much Vicki! I just love Janet's blog too. And I always enjoy your comments.

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  14. I don't think I've ever heard such good info on colour to gray EVER!! I will be crossing that bridge in the next 5 years--hope to heaven you are still working in the industry!!
    Seriously Stephen, I will be happy to come find you. Your comments on flowers and catering seal the deal. You look at the whole picture. I'm very nervous as I'm a brunette (colouring now of course at 48) with olive toned skin. I know when I go gray everything from the shoulders up must change; colour, care, style and makeup. Based on this post I know you are the man to help me! I'm signing up for your blog--expect a call from me in the next few years (or sooner)!

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    1. Thank you so much! I can tell you with 100% confidence I will still be here in 5 years. When it's time, I'd love to meet you! Thanks again.

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  15. Aaargh. I have thick, dark brown slightly reddish hair that has garnered me compliments over the years. I feel dark hair suits me, I'm pale, maybe "too pale" but with the contrast of dark hair with my light skin my coloring can at least be " striking" haha, or so I like to think. It seems that all at once, at 46 I have developed noticeable grey roots. I love to see women with all over grey, but roots against dark do NOT look good! I actually work in a spa with some great hairstylists and colorists . . . I just don't WANT to have to get low lights or highlights. I WANT to just go silver overnight! I don't want to have to forsake my " striking" contrast! But OK, you have convinced me, it is time to embrace this and accept change and do what I need to do.

    Found you via the gardenerscottsge . . .and I too feel I have been gifted with a decent creative eye but at the expense of basic math skills (or any kind of sense of rhythm) your comments made me laugh.

    By the way, what is a good color for someone who CAN look "too pale" with grey blue eyes who does seem, strangely, to look good with a very dark rich brown, to go to transition to grey? In your opinion? Even though I work with stylists I ask your advice as I think you maybe a genius. . .and while I like to think I have an artistic eye I just cannot picture myself with any shade of lighter hair at all. Plus my hair is already coarse and prone to dryness!

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    1. Hello! Thanks so much for coming over here and for your comment. Without actually seeing your face it's a little difficult to advise on color; but with very fair skin (which looks gorgeous with grey) and light eyes you probably want to highlight and then use a pearl-violet ash toner in a medium blonde range. It's important to use pearl ash (called cendre in some lines) rather than a true ash because pearl ash has a cool violet-Ivory base whereas true ash has a green base. I think the nice thing about that combo is it is light enough to lessen the shock between your roots and your ends but still has enough color and tone that it won't wash you out. Also aside from depth of shade, it is an effective way of keeping your hair warm enough to keep you comfortable but cool enough to make the grey look at home.
      Hope that helps! Thanks again.

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    2. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond with such great advice.

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  16. Oh dear! I need you in my life. To help me cook, arrange flowers, and color my hair.

    I started turning grey when I turned 22 so now deep in my 50s I'm nearly totally grey. I use a darling girl at an Aveda salon that I love. She's very good and my hair is very challenging. It likes to grab super dark around my face (belch!), but I look totally weird with it lighter. And it's becoming more and more brittle. Oh well, daily struggle.

    You are creative. I don't understand why it confuses people that you are creative in more than one way! I'm a graphic designer so I know of what I speak. I can decorate fairly nicely, style outfits ala Zoe, take a few good photographs, write a good sentence. Creative is creative.

    Are you left handed? Curious . . .

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    1. Thank you! Aveda is sort of its own world so I don't know much about it, but usually when hair grabs darker in one spot it is because it is more porous. Has your colorist ever put your color on your hair wet? Sometimes that is enough to help. Because the hair shaft is already saturated with water it won't grab excess color, therefore not as dark. A lot of people think haircolor can't go on wet hair but that's not true. But, again, maybe with Aveda it is.
      I totally agree with you. Creativity touches every aspect of someone's life. Often much to the other people in that person's life's dismay! Just ask our mutual friend Elise Elliot! Funny you should ask, I am primarily right handed but actually ambidextrous in everything except writing. Which I realize is why I can't truly claim to be ambidextrous.

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  17. Thank you for the vote of confidence on going grey. I have never dyed my hair because the thought of having roots was overwhelming. I don't have the budget to see a wonderful stylist but your tips on products have given me some resources to explore. Thank you so much!

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    1. You are so welcome! Let me know if you try any of the products!

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  18. You really touched on something! Such great advice you have. My mom went grey years ago and she still looks quite stylish with it at age 80. Clothing and jewelry choices make a big difference with grey hair.

    My hair is naturally blonde and has not turned grey or white yet, at age 56. wonder if it will. I rely on the Joico violet shampoo once a week to keep my hair from getting brassy which washes me out.

    You are a visual artist and it applies to all the parts of your life. Being creative is such a wonderful way to enjoy life! I know your clients appreciate your creativity and expertise in all the things you do.

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    1. Thank you so much! I love joico products. You're so right...it's amazing how earrings and necklaces really pop against grey.
      Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

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  19. I am another who found your blog through The Gardener's Cottage. You are so generous with your sharing. Such helpful information you have given in both your post and the replies you've given to the comments. I love your honesty! I stopped coloring my hair several years ago and strangely enough I was once told that my gray made me look distinguished - hmmmm, I wasn't sure whether to take that as a compliment (which it was intended to be - I think) or if it meant that I looked like a man! My hair does not have the coarse, wiry thing going on - it is still quite fine and for that reason if I used conditioner, at all, I would just have a flat, oily mess. I also find that my hair really is more of a taupe color (I love taupe, but not sure that I love it on my head) with areas that are more silver.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you stopped by. Something you could consider is highlighting just a little bit. If you were to highlight in very, very fine pieces it could brighten that taupey blonde just enough for it to all be more cohesive. The nice thing about the baby fine highlights is they would grow out well and be low maintenance, as in you wouldn't have to keep up with them more than every 12-14 weeks. However if you're (understandably) apprehensive to get into color, you could try the violet shampoo. Depositing just a touch of violet into that taupe (underlying gold pigment) will tone it and make it more neutral/Ivory.

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  20. Good morning! I recently found your blog through Hartwood Roses. What a treat! This post is so timely for me... @ 48 I have decided to go natural (grey). My hair grows very fast so I have only ever had blond highlights. The grey is coming in beautifully! I will incorporate your tips... if I lived in the same time zone I would look you up!

    I think the combination of hair stylist, catering and flowers, although uncommon, is perfectly understandable. You have a creative soul and choose to express it in many ways... wonderful!

    P.S. Barbie is a gorgeous, lucky dog!

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    1. Thank you so much Devon! I just love Connie's blog. She is so talented and positive, I think her blog is always uplifting.
      It really is great how easily grey blends into blonde highlights, isn't it?
      Thanks again! From Barbie too :)

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  21. Hi Stephen. I'm a new reader of the Gardeners Cottage. Please excuse my long comments and questions. I was blessed with a nice shade of auburn-red (but of course did NOT feel that way as a child). I do like to keep life simple so I have no plans to color my hair when the red is gone. I'm 56 this year and white strands have made their appearance known.

    My concern is this: because of my natural hair color, and because it was/is thick and longish, it received a LOT of attention most of my life. People would even walk up to me and touch it, sometimes without asking.

    I'm worried about how I will feel when it is no longer red. I understand what I'm about to say is not really reality, but it's a feeling none-the-less: My identity feels so closely connected to my hair color I'm kind of scared about losing it. As an older woman I already feel like I've "disappeared" to a large segment of the population.

    Since I see only pure white hair strands does that mean my hair will turn all white and no grey? I would think the white/grey color would affect my choice of colors in the clothes I wear, and that could mean I would no longer be a "warm autumn". That's a big image changer!

    And what do you think about an older woman with long hair? I have a small square face with a strong jaw line and an overwhelming amount of hair and a low hair line! If you know if any blogs or books for some of these concerns I'm all ears :-)

    I realize you may not have the answers, but it felt like a nice place to share. So thank you!

    And I love the dog pictures!!

    Debi

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    1. Hey Debi! Thanks for commenting. I don't have any studies to cite here other than my own observations but I've always noticed that natural redheads seem to go purely white rather than a mix of white and grey. I totally understand your red hair being a part of your identity. It's worth considering that maybe you do want to color it. Of course a new hair color does open up a whole new world of choices in makeup and color! Funny you mention Color Me Beautiful! My mom was certified in that so I grew up always knowing I was a vivid winter :)

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  22. Very interesting, Stephen! A girlfriend and I were just talking about her going grey due to recent allergies to hair dyes. Any suggestions? And I would say in the last 5 years, I've noticed more women with grey hairs - at least the ones visiting my shop. Have a great Sunday. xo

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    1. Thanks!! I think it's a good change. There will always be women who color their grey; but I think it's wonderful there's less pressure to cover it up than there used to be. As for your friend's hair-it would be best that she see a dermatologist. There can be SO many variables that can make an allergy appear seemingly from nowhere. pH of scalp, medications, surgeries, menopause, thyroid, vitamins all can play a role in a sudden sensitivity. What I generally recommend for clients with an allergy is that we switch their color application to completely off the scalp. When hair is foiled off the scalp rather than applied directly to the scalp it can eliminate the irritation. But I would definitely advise she see a dermatologist first.

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  23. I was just laughing about my gray hair yesterday on my 48th B-day.. I keep going blonder as I age to mix in with the gray but maybe one day I will let it just go gray!

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    1. Happy birthday! You make a lovely blonde.

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  24. Hi Stephen. It is good to meet you and thanks for dropping by my post today.
    Now I know all I'll ever need to know about grey hair! You are correct in saying that there is a double standard out there about men going grey vs woman going grey.
    I watch my sisters covering their hair with colour(s) and sometimes it works and other times....well it just doesn't. I know they would look terrific if they let it go naturally grey. But who listens to me!!?? lol
    I am grey as is my partner.....he is only 1 year younger but has way less grey than me. That's OK. I think he looks great with streaks of grey on the temples. Me, I just wish I had the HAIR I had in my 30's!!! lol
    take care.
    Jim

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    1. Thank you! Haha nothing wrong with salt and pepper. I hope when I go grey I have some of that going on. My fingers are crossed that I will indeed have hair! If the maternal grandfather connection holds true, I'm in the clear.

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  25. What an interesting and very informative post SA!! I feel like I've learned so much...but what I'd really like to do is to say, thank you. Thank you for helping women feel beautiful, and to feel better about themselves, despite their age or their hair color or especially, about aging. Deep down inside, we're still always going to be the same people we were when we were young, and we'd like to still feel attractive and an important part of society. Through admiring and appreciating my grandmother, I've learned the value of older people, and cherish their wisdom. I so wish that our society would learn to appreciate older people, and see their value. We as people are more than what we look like. With people like you in this world, we're headed in the right direction. Thanks again!

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    1. Thank you so much! That is such a wonderfully kind thing to say. I'm still very much a believer in hair color; but only for those who want it. I think it's important for hairstylists to assure their clients that we accept their decisions about their hair.

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  26. I love you! So refreshing to see a post in favor of women going grey. In my early 40s and not grey yet, but a few grey hairs are sprouting.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  27. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading. I'm very grey - and bald!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  28. So happy to have stumbled upon your blog. Stopped colouring my hair over a year ago and have been pleased so far with the results. We'll see how it progresses...

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  29. I've had every haircolor in the book. Extreme blonde to RED to dark brunette.
    Then last year after I had grown it out as much as I could stand, I suddenly got it cut very short.
    BOOM! I was silver-grey.
    I was loving it.
    I let it had grow to my shoulders and
    I was "pinning" all these images of trendy fabulous grey-haired women on Pinterest.
    I felt like I was hip and trendy too.
    Very cool.
    Then one day I was walking down the "mirror" aisle at Target. I saw myself, an old-looking grey frumpy woman.
    The next day I was back to blonde.
    Dang it. I should have just gotten some "Shine" and a great haircut.

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    1. Well I'm sure your blonde looks great! The good news is it's much easier to go grey with blonde hair than it is with red hair :)

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  30. My mum has STUNNING grey hair (tonnes of snaps on the blog) but I will fight it on the beaches, in the salon and in the streets and in the trenches just like Churchill said too. My face is collapsing I need my blonde 'do.

    Am adding you to my blog roll RIGHT NOW.

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    1. I have seen your mother's gorgeous hair! Hahaha I love your blonde so in glad it's not going anywhere :)

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  31. Interesting post! When I stopped colouring my grey hair, I let it grow about 2 inches, and it wasn't always pretty, then I bleached the heck out of the remaining coloured ends. Amazingly, it worked and I've been happily grey since. I get compliments on my hair all the time too!

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    1. Thank you! Yes the highlighting helps a great deal!

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  32. Great post, Stephen! You'd have an apoplexy if you saw my hair, or, at the very least... a serious case of the vapors!

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  33. Great post, and I love that you are OK with clients going grey if they want. I have a stylist like that myself. I have what Connie calls a skunk stripe, though mine is not large, but looks like a nice silver highlight in the front, with silver scattered throughout my dark brown hair. I have found as long as I have it cut into a layered style, I look younger, it's when I let it grow and hang down that it makes me look older. I've had quite a few younger, half my age, women compliment me on letting it grow grey, it's more of a necessity, as my hair grows extremely fast...I would have roots showing continuously.

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  34. Ever since you wrote this post, I am finding more and MORE gray hairs on my head. You should know I think of you every morning when I look in the mirror and check out my temples. This "aging thing" is starting to suck LOL.

    My father went ALL gray in his late 20's. It suits him, and he wears it well. Me? You'll only get me over to the gray camp kicking and screaming.

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