If Its Gray, It Stays…


My grays hide when my hair is pulled back...

When I mention the amount of gray hairs my head is producing, my slightly, balding husband always responds, “If its gray, it stays.” I tried searching the internet to find out if this was actually true, however couldn’t find any research saying it’s true. I could, however find many debunked myths about how someone gets gray hair such as:

  • Pluck one, get 10 in return
  • Wash your hair daily to rid them
  • Trauma causes them
  • Low vitamin B12 levels
  • Sun damage
  • Smoking

I did find some research as to how gray hair does happen. Researchers at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom believe that when hydrogen peroxide builds up in our bodies, we go gray. Hydrogen peroxide is produced naturally in the human body and interferes with melanin, the pigment that colors our hair and skin. The body also produces the enzyme catalase, which breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. As we age, catalase production diminishes, leaving nothing to transform the hydrogen peroxide into chemicals the body can release. Thus turning your colored locks into a sea of white.

Gray hair starting

There they are!! I am blessed with opalescent white hair.

Although you don’t need to be old to enjoy the look… Seems gray is the new blonde! Young stars such as Rihanna, Adam Lambert, Zayn Malik, and Kelly Osbourne are all sporting silver manes.

I’ve been a slave to the bottle since I was 16. Yes, there was hair dye in the early 1800’s 😉 I’ve been every color in the book and then some….. A few of my high school friends went into cosmetology school and I was their hair model. Luckily, I didn’t have to wear any hats after their assignments!!

I’m now 40 something and dying my hair every 5 weeks is getting old. Out of all the colors I’ve been, gray was not one of them, so I’ve decided to give it a shot. I’m not running off to buy a bottle of bleach… I don’t want to destroy my hair. Another reason that I want to stop dying it is that I’d like to grow it as long as possible. Everyone has a feature that is taken for granted, however everyone else would kill for. My hair is one of those features. I’ve been threatened to be scalped … even with my Eddie Munster hairline!


Rouge from XMen

Here’s my plan:

Dye my hair back to its ‘pre-gray’ color, which is a dark reddish brown (Level 4). (Black=10 / Blonde=1).

Let hair grow in at least 2 inches (about 3 months) to see just how gray I am…. I think I’m70%.

Go with gray highlights of some sort, or a balayage look of just doing the hair framing my face? How about going Rouge?

See my PINTREST page here for other gray styles I love!


What are your thoughts? Are you going to go gray naturally or die dying??


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

46 thoughts on “If Its Gray, It Stays…

  1. 50 shades of gray … or something like that… I made this eggs-periment once too, to see how much gray I am… the result was: OMG! so I’m addicted to bottle-blond now all 4 or 5 weeks :o) btw: the balayage is a great idea, but it looked only good on my nut the first time… after some weeks it looked so awful with the original hairs what grew back, that I had to do it again… and the second one looked sh*tty… it’s impossible to sort the strands and the color the way it was possible the first time…it looked mottled somehow :o(

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was wondering how a “touch-up” would be done on a balayage. Painstakingly, I assume 😣 OR in your case not!
      I’ve already dyed it back to dark and have a 1/4″ (2mm-ish) grow out…. we shall see how it goes. I did pick a color that’s really close to my real one, so I’m really only seeing gray grow out, not dyed hair grow out.
      Thanks for the heads up (ha ha) on the results! I didn’t think about touch ups.


  2. I did just what you’re planning when I was 40 and I didn’t like the grey it was so I went back to the bottle. However when I reached 50 my grey was turning white so I tried again and it was an extraordinarily beautiful colour. People ask me how I get it the colour it is. Finally at 50 I have natural beauty

    Liked by 2 people

    • OMG! That is awesome! 😃
      I am lucky to have the white/gray, as both sides of the family have it.
      Isn’t it hilarious about how things change? I’ve had nice hair throughout my life, but it’s only been recently that is been growing like crazy and looking healthy. Maybe cuz I don’t attack it with a curling iron and enjoy my straight hair? Many have asked if I straighten it.
      I guess we should all just embrace what we have now. I hope I’m like you… finally at 50, I will have natural beauty! 👵

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s a good idea to go back to your roots. (Sorry, couldn’t resist! :D)
    And see what your hair grows out like. You might find you can be close to your original shade, but maybe a few shades lighter, so the grey blends in rather than stands out.
    I don’t have a landing strip down my parting (yet), but find that overall my hair is just duller, with a sort of greyish sheen to it. So I dye my hair a few times a year to bring back the shine. I was dark brown, but use the shade Dark Golden Blonde, which is basically brown with a golden shine in sunlight and a few shades lighter than I was.
    However, you look to have a full head of luxurious hair, so no wonder others want to scalp you. Me – I have always had very fine hair and hardly any of it. I probably won’t even notice when I go bald! 😀


    • Doh! 😂😅😂
      That was a great one! A coffee-out-nose laugh!
      I’m a pretty dark color and I’m not sure there is a way to blend it. The upside is that, for all the time I have been dying it, the gray does look like highlights, as it doesn’t suck up the color like the rest. I do have a Rouge ‘swoosh’ in the front already, it’s just not that pronounced now.
      I have started to take biotin and my hair and nails are happy for it! Why I’ve not taken this earlier in my life, I don’t know…
      My hair is happier that I don’t blow it dry and curl it anymore. ‘Embrace what you have’ I guess. I always thought my straight hair made my head look little… Funny, right?! That is why I would 80’s poof my hair daily.
      I have so much more time now that I just brush it and put on a headband. More time to read blogs!! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was born with beautiful auburn hair. I started going gray some time in my 40’s when I was working in corporate America and trying to move in a circle with guys that were 10-15 years my junior. Off I went to the stylist for a ‘touch up’ that lasted about 25 years. The first week it is done, it is perfect. From there until the day it is redone, all you do is worry about what is showing. I let mine go gray about three years ago. After I got past the six to eight weeks of down right ugly, it was a freeing experience. I now look at other women my age with their hair colored, and just chuckle to myself. It’s not like anyone really thinks you can age and not have your hair turn gray. Gray is good. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • You brought up a great subject… how to not look too old in the corporate world. It’s a tough call… look enthusiastic by dying or experienced with gray? I may be job hunting in the future and don’t want to be judged by the gray. Although, it’s not like my face wouldn’t give me away 😉 ha!
      I think I’m over that tho. I do want to reflect the years I’ve spent on this earth and all the knowledge I’ve gained while living on it. 😋
      I can guess the 6-8″ grow out time will be a crazy look on me… Maybe I’ll embrace hats or scarves for a season? 💂


  5. I am about 50% gray on top, last time I looked under all my color. I’ve done the faux silvery gray that was trending awhile back, and every color in between. While I do (obviously) dye my hair routinely, it’s not because I don’t want the gray to show or care about how much I have. I dye it because it’s part of the artistic expression that is part of my daily personal appearance. My Grama went totally, beautifully white by 40, and if that happens to me (and at 47, it hasn’t yet), I will rock that with no more than an accent color now and then–her hair was beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love the pintrest ideas! Maybe if you can “control” where the grey goes/starts by adding in the highlights it will feel fabulous instead of part of letting go of your color. You must do an update with pictures! And there are lots of men out there that envy a good head of grey hair 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I will update my journey 👵
      I’ve gone darker, to match my original haircolor-ish, next is for it to grow and I’ll assess… I needed to get rid of the 3rd color in the mix, before I could grow it out.
      Here’s a tidbit.. I’m 8 years older than my hubby. 😆 He does find the prospect of me going gray attractive, so that’s a plus 😉


  7. I feel your pain. I started going gray in my early 20’s and colored my hair, which was black, for 20 years. It finally got too difficult to keep it colored besides being time consuming and expensive. I did low lights for a while too, but then just decided to let it grow out. The transition was hard but it didn’t last long since I cut my hair off short. I am 47 and have a head full of silver/white hair. My younger co-workers refer to me as “the silver fox”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Love it! Silver fox! 🐺
      Ah yes… the short haircut to shorten the grow out. I totally understand how that can get your hair grown out faster, however, I can’t do it. 🤕 The shortest I’ve had my hair was shoulder length. I’d freak out.


  8. My mother at 70 plus had very little grey. She was a red head so maybe that helped. I have brown hair and fast approaching 60. Like my mother I have very few grey strands. So I think I would probably dye it if I started to see a lot of grey. I say this because I am now wearing braces. I tell others it is my mid-life crisis. I guess you can say I am fighting getting older 🙃 So do what makes upu happy. There is always the pink or purple rinse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very interesting about your maternal line lacking grays! Maybe, if my research was right, your bodies still produce the enzyme ‘catalase’, and that’s what keeping the grays away. 😉
      Yes, in your situation, I’d pick up a bottle also.
      Wow. Braces huh? That’s pretty cool. Never too late for a smile! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I went gray a long time ago and decided to keep it. I think natural is always better. But there is a double standard though with men and women. Men are considered distinguished looking and women? I think we all look good with gray.

    Liked by 1 person

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