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Anyone let their hair go gray?



  • FlowerArtist
    FlowerArtist Member Posts: 11

    Not going grey yet....nope, no way.  I'm allergic to most hair coloring products.  Only one works for me; its Goldwell and it uses natural ingrediants.  Actually, my hairdresser is using 3 colors and doing everything in foils .... no dye actually touches my skin.  Doing this over and over every 4 weeks has given me lots of color variation.  I still have some grey (darn it!), but its blended in with everything else and not real noticable.

    My greyness seems to be coming in primarily at the crown .... most of my lower head is still the original color .... I really don't want to know what I'd look like if I went natural.

  • julesgg
    julesgg Member Posts: 3

    thanks so much for your post!...i have been coloring my hair to cover the increasing amount of gray for probably 10 years now...i am certain that if i stopped, i'd have a full head of gray hair...and yes, not knowing if it would be a pretty gray, or an ugly gray, pretty much keeps me from letting it i'm just not quite ready to go there yet...i will start chemo probably in about a month...still waiting on a ct scan and full body bone scan to be sure there are no surprises, and that my dcis is all that we are dealing onc doesn't think i'll lose my hair in the process, but i haven't asked yet about the hair i know i need to...i am not looking forward to seeing a full head of that gray stuff i cover up every 2 weeks at the root...(i do it myself at home)...and its hard to really tell what it will look like when you only let about a 1/8" grow out before covering it back up...but nice to know i can see someone about a no amonia mix that could help disguise it a little while its growing out...

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,433

    I went the other way when my hair grew back; I started coloring it, and trying colors I would have never dared before; blonde, an almost purple maroon (gorgeous and crazy), now its the reddish/brown in the picture. I figure, hey, why not, what's the worst that could happen?!

  • cary1
    cary1 Member Posts: 106

    Has anyone had the new post-chemo gray go away and the past natural color return eventually? I was about 85% dark brown and 15% gray before chemo. Now the proportions are reversed. I am 4 months out with very little hair, maybe about 1 1/2 inches. Any reason to think the color will revert? Is it all an urban legend? :)

  • ravdeb
    ravdeb Member Posts: 277

    I haven't colored my hair since my hair grew back in 2006. I'm 55 years old now and started turning gray in my 20's. By the time I was 30 I was quite gray and started dying my hair my original black (natural looking black) until chemo at age 50. I now have almost all "SILVER" hair with a few hairs here and there that are black. Haven't touched it. It was suggested by one hair stylist to leave it alone since it's all white now and another one suggested black streaks for effect.

    My wig specialist said, when I was dreaming of getting red hair to grow in after chemo (LOL) that my hair would come in gray/silver/white and would not come in any other color. he was correct!

  •     I honestly like my gray's a silver color and I can't figure out how it got this color since I always thought you had to have really dark hair to get a nice gray.  Mine was always sort of a mousey ash color brown, but I always streaked or frosted it and it got blonder as often happens when you are adding streaks each time.  Once I died it back to brown and my father actually said to me, I lliked your natural color and I asked What? and he said when it was blonde!!! I said Daddy, I never was a natural blonde!!!  Anyway, I like my hair color now and my hairdresser tells me people would pay for this color...but then again, I am now 60 years old so I think I have reached the stage where I should be gray.  I had let it grow out and had a lot of gray before chemo, but it also had a lot of darker hair left so it was a mixture or color....don't know what happened, but it all came back gray, white, silver.  I never would have worn my hair this short before, but that is also something I like and I have had tons of compliments on it and plan on keeping it short.  I hated a wig and would just wear hats or bandannas if I ever have to go through that again.  One of these days I will get my husband to sit down and work with me on downloading pics.  All I have to say is hair any color, gray or died, is just wonderful to have.  But where are the curls everyone kept saying I was going to have? 

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,433
    Marybe, that is so true about 'any hair is good hair'. I say NEVER have a bad hair anymore, and when friends complain about not liking a cut, color, style; I think 'you have no idea you how lucky you are to have hair to complain about'! Mine started out with the really cute curls, went to frizz and is now back to straight. It seems like most people I know who've gone through this have found that they do look good, and younger, with shorter hair than they've had previously, and most keep it short. Crazy way to find a new hairstyle. Frown
  • jpann39
    jpann39 Member Posts: 92

    Well, its been a while now. My hair has grown like crazy!!!!!! My ledge is down about 6 inches now......I have also discovered I have the skunk streak that runs in my familySurprised. There is one section about 2x2 inch square that is whiter than the rest. Thankfully it is off to the side and mixes in with my bangs instead of running down the middle of my head!!!!

    I think I just might make it until the rest of the color grows out. I have discovered that if I keep the sides pulled back with barrets I cant see the ledge so it doesnt bother me as much Laughing. My hair is all one length now, except for the bangs, it reachs right below my bra strap in the back.

    Hope all you ladies are fairing well with going gray!!!!!

    Will check in again soon.



  • fortunate1
    fortunate1 Member Posts: 467

    Wow! I should have checked back on this thread.

    Spar, thank you so much for the compliment - you made my day. Yep, that's me in the avatar. The Natural Instincts Sahara on white front hair, shading to light brownish in back. Oddly, it photographs differently under different lights, from white to quite yellow. What I see in the mirror is pale blond. The not so temporary rinse is cheap and easy.

    The problem I have with my hair is long standing and getting worse. Thin fine wispy hair getting thinner and thinner. Very distressing, it's best that I don't look very often. First a hysterectomy at an early age, now Femara,-  complete lack of estrogen (and genetics) slowly taking my hair like a weird slow motion chemo. Any suggestions? 

  • otter
    otter Member Posts: 757

    cary, you asked this:  "Has anyone had the new post-chemo gray go away and the past natural color return eventually? I was about 85% dark brown and 15% gray before chemo."

    My pre-chemo hair was medium-brown with red highlights depending on sun exposure.  I'd never colored it -- not at all.  I was developing some gray at my temples -- at the "front corners" of my head.

    My first post-chemo hair was that wispy, thin, colorless stuff.  The fine wisps grew out to a house-mouse gray-brown color by 4 months post-chemo.  My hair had never been that color.  Within another 2 or 3 months, though, the medium-brown color was back, with lots of curls. 

    I'm now 20 months post-chemo.  My hair is straight once again, just like it was pre-chemo, although I'm keeping it much shorter than I did then.  And, it's the same medium-brown that it was before chemo.  My hairdresser says she thinks it's a bit darker than it used to be.  I think that's because it hasn't had much sun yet -- once the weather warms up a little and I get ouside more, I think it will lighten up on top and I'll get those red highlights back.  There is still some "gray" at my temples (the corners), but it looks more like a blonde color than real gray and there is less of it -- yes, less gray, so far at least -- than there was pre-chemo.  That's fine with me.

    So, yes, your hair might come back with exactly the same color it used to have. Or, maybe not...


    [Edited to add:  I am 57, so I'm kind of surprised I don't have more gray.] 

  • GryffinSong
    GryffinSong Member Posts: 42

    Mine after chemo was a light silvery gray. Pretty quickly it seemed that there was a darker grey undertone to it, and the silver does seem to be growing out. I haven't cut it yet, but am pretty sure it'll be back to a brownish/blondish/greyish mix when I do. The oddest thing for me was the texture. It was so fine and soft that it almost felt like fur instead of hair.

  • frostyiris
    frostyiris Member Posts: 1

    I'd colored my hair for 40+ years.  I was 67 when I was diagnosed with BC, shaved my head before chemo and never colored it again after it grew back.  It's terribly thin (thanks Arimidex), but I've decided I rather enjoy the gray (now). 

    I originally didn't go back to coloring it because of the chemicals, but have decided it quite 'freeing'.

  •    I sure did let it go gray and I get a lot of compliments on it and would not think of coloring it again.    And since my cancer diagnosis, I am actually happy to be aging( and face it gray hair is part of it)  because it certainly beats the alternative.....every birthday is a milestone now. 

  • Medigal
    Medigal Member Posts: 183

    I stopped dyeing my hair when I lost it all after Chemo.  I suddenly got afraid of the chemicals in the hair dye.  I was very concerned about how "old" it would make me look but to my delight it turned out a beautiful two colors with almost a silver gloss.  I got many compliments on it!  So I guess nature knows best what color we are meant to have for our age and complexsion.

  • cmksocal
    cmksocal Member Posts: 163

    Boy am I glad I found this thread. My hair is shoulder length and the last dye job was early May, just one week before I was diagnosed!  So I know have 4 months of grey roots.

     I am using the Penguin Cold Caps and have not lost my hair during chemo (4 TC @ 3 weeks).  My last treatment is 9/7/10!   I have dyed my hair for decades (honey blond) and at age 52 I am wondering if it is time to just stop.  I certainly have other things I could spend the monthly $100.00 on!  I might just get going natural a try.


  • swimangel72
    swimangel72 Member Posts: 142

    SInce I started this thread, I have to admit that I am still dying my hair. I never lost my hair during my "light" it made it harder for me to go all natural afterwards. I keep thinking to myself "maybe next summer" - but another summer has come and gone, and two days before school started I found myself sitting yet again in the beauty parlor getting a color job. It looks great for about 4 weeks - then it starts fading and getting that brassy orange tone (due to the chlorine exposure at the pool where I swim.) So once again I tell myself this will be the last color job and I'll let it grow out.......if my DH were all grey it might make it easier (like my friend down the street who's DH is totally white with a white beard even though he's only in his mid-50's - she stopped dying her hair and it's a beautiful brown with silver streaks).

    I'm happy to hear how many of you have received compliments on your natural gray hair color......Colleen, you are right - there are so many other things I could spend the $100 on instead of color for my hair. I think next time I'll talk to my hair dresser about NOT coloring it and she what she recommends for a rinse to help in the growing-out phase.

  • AnneW
    AnneW Member Posts: 612

    I didn't catch this thread the first go-round. I quit coloring my hair about 4 years ago. I went gray in my 30s, and that was 20 years ago!  Dying was just too hard to keep up, every four weeks or so, and I did it myself. I'm fortunate that I'm salt-and-pepper, so it looks okay instead of mousy. But at times I look at my pictures and reflection in the mirror and wonder what it would be like to go back to coloring...Overall, though, I love how low-maintenance my short, gray hair is.


  • sushanna1
    sushanna1 Member Posts: 61

    I also just noticed this thread.  I had a long standing bet with my mother (she started coloring her hair while a teenager) that I would be gray before she would be.  After damaging my hair trying to streak it in dorm room in the early 1970's, I swore I would never color it.  (Henna, a couple of times, but nothing more.)  My mother bet me that I would start coloring my hair when the gray hairs arrived. So when I started chemo, I bought a short gray wig (fortunately, it actually looked better than the other options) and wore it the first time I saw my mother after my hair fell out.  Mom looked at me, grinned and then began to laugh.  It really broke the tension.  That was 9 years ago when I was 48.   My hair is thinner, with a few more gray hairs than pre-chemo, but I still haven't colored it.  So, the point of this story and my advice to those who are worried about turning gray, try on a gray wig.  You may like what you see.  If my natural gray approximates the color of the wig, I am going to look good!   

  • brca1953
    brca1953 Member Posts: 15

    The gray was pretty well spread out in my hair so I opted to stop coloring it about 2 years ago.  I'm really happy with it, it's short and I don't really think it made me look any older.  I've read that to go natural is a new trend.  It took about a year to go natural, my hair dresser put sort of a rinse on my hair that didn't last too long and that helped as it grew out.  Also more highlights in a matching shade to help. 

  • cmksocal
    cmksocal Member Posts: 163

    I like the idea of trying on a grey wig.  I think my hair is coming in pretty whitish -- if I could transition to a platinum white that would be nice.  I have very pale skin with green eyes.


  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605

    I have stayed true and not dyed in the past year. I did break down and get highlights to blend the gray in more. I'm very lucky that my gray is FROSTY! When I'm outside and talking to someone, I can see they're just staring at the silver. I like the softer colour and it makes my face look softer too. I'm only 52, but my DH at 60 is totally gray. I'd say I'm about 50% gray now, but as you can see, it doesn't show up in inside lighting.....

    Now, let's talk about those brown age spots!!!!!!!!! Yell

  • sespebadger
    sespebadger Member Posts: 11

    I always wondered what i would look like if I didn't color my hair....and thanks to chemo, now I know! After coloring my long hair from age 35 to diagnosis (49), I am appreciating how freeing having short gray hair is. I used to have to touch up roots every 2 - 3 weeks. It's pretty white on top and a bit darker gray around the ears and in back. I get lots of compliments on the color and the "cut" although I haven't had it cut yet....I just trim a bit around the ears.

    My hint for anyone who wants their new gray or white hair to look its best: use a special shampoo for gray hair. I just walked into a haircutting place in the local mall and got some. It's made to combat any yellowing and is also good if you have water with a lot of minerals in it (hard water).

    It does seem to be growing very slowly in general and especially in the area that men have a receeding hairline over the temples. I'm attributing that to lack of estrogen (thanks chemo). 

    I also use a bit of oil-based styling gel (Enjoy   Shine and Smooth) that gives it a nice shine and smells like orange. I got it at my hair salon. I do like getting out of the shower and having my hair all styled in 2 minutes. 

  • swimangel72
    swimangel72 Member Posts: 142
    Barb - yes - I HATE the brown age spots on my face! Anyone have some good OTC products that really work? My dermatologist would send me to an woman specializing in removing these spots (she also does BOTOX - something I'm never going to do) - but she's very expensive and not covered by insurance. I've seen a lot of ads for miracle cremes that remove the age spots - but never tried any. I only use Oil of Olay moisturizer (since I was 17, lol) - so I'm really a newbie with all the age-spot removal cremes. Maybe I should start a new thread dedicated to that topic?? Undecided
  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605

    Don't waste your money on vitamin C cream....been there...

  • sushanna1
    sushanna1 Member Posts: 61

    I spent what seemed like a fortune for a clinique product a few years ago that was supposed to fade "sun spots."  Bought some for myself and for my baby sister.  It did nothing for the patches.  A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at Clinique products and lo and behold, the clerk tried to sell me a new and improved version.  No thanks.   

    Please start a new thread.  Of course mine couldn't be age spots, just "sun spots!"   

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605

    I just started a thread "Insult to Injury", let's get some feedback!!!

  • Rachelmh
    Rachelmh Member Posts: 1

    I let mine go gray several years ago, and love the freedom.  My hair is very naturally curly, so a short spunky look is best for me.  I've even been told I look younger! I have some natural white streaks in the sides that add a little interest.  Also, a good shampoo is Matrix for silver.  Keeps it a bright silver, not dull. 

  • blondiex46
    blondiex46 Member Posts: 2,726

    in one word "Never"

  • carolehalston
    carolehalston Member Posts: 7,501

    I just discovered this thread and read the back posts.  I've been debating with myself for a couple of years about letting my hair go "natural color" to see what the color is.  I was a white blonde (tow head) when I was a little girl.  Gradually my hair turned a light brown that streaked during the summer when I was out in the sun a lot.  That's the way I really liked it with the natural highlights.  When I was in my 40's I started having my hair "high-lighted" at the beauty salon.  Then the gray roots showed up, and I had to have base color and highlights.  It's quite expensive, plus the cost of styling.

    My mother's hair is a silver color now at age 87.  It's really pretty.  But she was a brunette. 

    DH and I are rv'ers and we travel during the summer so I have to get haircuts and color here and there.  It would be so much simpler to go gray. 

    It's good to know other women are going through the same indecision. 

  • CoolBreeze
    CoolBreeze Member Posts: 250

    I did it the easy way - I'd been dying my hair a fabulous auburn red for years.  Lost it to chemo and it came back in a pretty silver color. 

    I thought I'd never, never, never let my hair go gray but people tell me it's quite striking.I get lots of complments on it. 

    I still can't get get used to it though - I catch a glimpse of some grey-haired chick in mirror and oh yeah, it's me!  :)  

    Oddly enough, nobody ever asked me if I dyed my hair when it was red (my natural color is black) but I've had several people ask since it's been gray.  I guess because it's silver with black undertones - looks like lowlights to them.

    But really, what middle-aged woman dyes their hair gray???