I think we may need a hair update – curious to what your plans are, since I need to do something with mine and looking for ideas.
I started going gray at 17. I know this because I pulled a hair a few years later (in 1995) and, based on a growth rate of 1/2 inch/month, it had lost its color three years earlier. On my father’s side of the family, it was not uncommon to go gray in one’s 20s.
I started coloring my hair for fun, not to cover gray. I’d always thought of myself as a redheaded soul and began dyeing my hair auburn for self-expression in my 20s. Aside from a few forays into blonde and brunette, I was red until 39, when I bleached it and went pink. Pink, it turns out, is a great transition color to gray.
My first, good, look at the gray was as I was growing out a half-shaved head.
I decided to grow out my natural, silver color just as it was becoming trendy to bleach and then dye one’s hair gray. The thing is . . . that look is trendy when you see the contrast between youthful face and icy hair. It’s not so avant garde on a 40+ year-old-woman. Still, regardless of of trends and ageism, I’ve decided to grow out my gray. (Independently, my sister, two years younger than myself, decided to do the same, at about the same time.)
While I am embracing a mature color, I am, paradoxically, growing out my locks to a length traditionally reserved for the young. I love to braid and twist and pile long hair and haven’t had a chance to do so since I cut it short in 2012. I’m already loving the way my white temple streaks look when pulled back into a french braid.
I’m a little concerned that I won’t be able to achieve the length I’d like without breakage. During college, I grew my (nearly virgin) hair down to my waist. Later, though, it would break and thin not much past my shoulders. I don’t know how much of that was due to dye, diet, products or extreme physical training. I’ve made changes on all four fronts, so I am hopeful that it will grow at least long enough for some fun styling.
You can see how ragged my ends looked last time I grew my hair long.
It’s just long enough now to french braid. I haven’t had a cut since the end of June and don’t plan on even a trim until February. I intend to keep long, sideswept bangs, but to otherwise let it go.