Let’s talk about going silver, shall we?

You’ll notice I said “silver”, didn’t you, instead of “grey”? Because like so many terms in our world today, silver has better connotations than grey, and we are all about shades of meaning in the 21st century.

(Two months in)

Be that as it may, I stopped having my hair colored in March for several reasons, and the journey is a fascinating one. To me, at least, which is why I’m writing about hair instead of books. (Plus, everyone I know is sick of talking about it with me.)

I stopped with the coloring process for these reasons:

  1. It hurt.
  2. It is rather expensive to have it done at the salon. Which I did.
  3. It turned a bizarre brassy shade in the sun, which was neither brown nor blonde.
  4. It didn’t last.
  5. I wanted to see what I really looked like, what my hair was doing unbeknownst to me under all that dye for all those years.

You’d be amazed about all the comments people give you, solicited or not. Here are some of the most oft-repeated reactions:

  1. It will age you ten years.
  2. Why would you do that?!
  3. Don’t do that!
  4. It looks beautiful!
  5. I would never have the guts.
  6. You should cut it all off.
  7. Does your husband let you do that?
  8. I didn’t recognize you sitting there/walking across the park/from behind.
(Four months, in a French braid)

Now, I never tell people what to do with their hair, so it’s interesting that some should feel compelled, unsolicited, to tell me what to do with mine. But, that’s not the unsettling part. The part that feels really weird, now that I’m four months into this process, is not being recognized. Am I really defined by my hair? Is who we look like on the outside the same as who we are on the inside? A knee-jerk reaction is, “Of course not!” Still, even some people who are the closest to me have to look for me twice.

My hair is a serious point of vanity for me. I love its thickness, its curl, its weight. So to undergo such a big change is a strange thing. I have mixed feelings about it even now, and as my hairdresser said, “You’ve only just begun.”

I tell myself I can always go back to dying it brown. But, after all this conversation, all this time, all this impatient waiting, I don’t think I’ll do that. It’s really nice to be free from the time, effort, and expense of hair color. I think I’m going to like the silver which is appearing more and more each day, revealing who I really am.

25 thoughts on “Let’s talk about going silver, shall we?”

  1. The comments make me laugh. People really have no awareness what comes out of their mouth at times.😁 I still colour. We motorbikers have a saying. We don’t go gray, we go chrome. One day I’ll go chrome but not yet. Enjoy your change……and some of those comments..🤠🐧

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve always been jealous of your body and curl. I’ve have thought of going “silver” too, for many of your same reasons. However, my hair actually seems to be a dinghy grey and not your beautiful color. Dying my hair gives it some much needed texture also. So I guess I will go on dyeing, even if I eventually choose to dye it silver! You look great! Even if people see you differently at first, they will quickly recognize your bubbly personality shining through!


  3. I don’t know you in person, but I’m guessing that “who you really are” to people who are lucky enough to be in your presence is more like the second picture, animated, with **beautiful** hair, by the way. One person only has suggested to me that I start coloring my hair, now that I have grey sideburns, so to speak, in my longish hair. But she is kind of bossy all around 🙂

    I’m glad you are enjoying your liberty!


  4. My beard is slowly turning grey, but it’s like a city losing districts to an invading army, some areas widely dominated by grey others still holding out. My hair is more like a silent takeover with a large native quisling force supporting the invasion. My own opinion on this scenario is that it can’t come quick enough love the idea on my hair being grey/silver/white but then it has been a mousey brown since my childhood full on blond was invaded by that brown 🤣😃😎

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I let mine go several years ago and have never regretted it. However I discovered some photos of me in college. I was bleaching my hair and the color then and the color now are eerily similar. My hair was bleached to within an inch of life and by the time I got to graduate school it had broken off badly and was about 3 inches long! I had to wait a long time for the hair I wanted at 20!!!


  6. You can never please every single person, so why care what people say as long as you feel happy and free about it? it looks beautiful and quite liberating, but what do I know? I have never dyed my hair, I have one or two silver hairs and when I have more, i will probably dye it blue… my favorite color :))

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The thing is – it’s your hair and you an do whatever you want! I think “silver’ looks great but should you get bored, you color it whatever color you choose! We only live once and we should do it per our liking and comfort!


  8. I have been contemplating letting my hair grey too instead of coloring it all the time. But mine just looks grey and colorless. I love the silver tones of your hair. Did you follow any process to get to this, or is it that you just stopped coloring it? What did you do with the colored hair at the back of your head?

    So many questions LOL!


  9. First of all, I think it looks great and I love the ‘silver’ instead of ‘gray’. You are right – silver sounds classier somehow. I did this a long while back, mostly because mine is so short and coloring it had to be done so often, it was an expense that I didn’t want. Plus my husband’s hair had gone almost completely silver and so we now match. I decided it was more money I could spend on books (of course). I do appreciate how thick your hair is. Mine is very sparse these days – part of why it’s so short. Lastly, I have found it amazing what people will say about your appearance. I have no trouble believing anything you related in that regard. You wouldn’t believe the things people have said to me about my weight loss. Mostly good, but sometimes with a little ‘scorpion’ sting at the end. I just laugh and go on.


  10. I love it!! I have never regretted letting mine go silver! And I actually get more comments on my hair now…people stop me on the street 😳😳. My favorite comment…..is that natural?! 😂😂. Hey have you ever heard of LUS Brands? Their curl cream is amazing!! So great with curls and also in keeping down that frizz that sometimes comes with grey hair.


  11. Interesting. I have no opinion whether or not silver or color is better in general. I hardly ever dye my hair, or only with some wash off stuff that’s organic and then I do it myself. Since I’m not going grey yet, I truly don’t know what I would do. Going silver is really a thing in Europe. There’s a famous German presenter who wore a wig for one year, during her transition and when she took it off there was an uproar. It’s courageous for a TV personality but many follow her example and she doesn’t look older because of it. I think it also depends on the silver or grey your hair turns. Yours looks shiny and really silvery. Very pretty color. And you’ve got stunning hair anyway.
    I’m so surprised about the comments you got. I thought Americans were always so diplomatic and far less blunt. Some of the things they said are almost hurtful. I think it’s normal they don’t recognize you right away. If you’d chosen bold red, you’d have the same issue.
    Do what feels right for you. It’s definitely cheaper and healthier and you don’t look one day older. You have such beautiful skin.


  12. My hair started going grey when I was 17 and a couple of years back when I was about 41 I decided to stop colouring, much for the same reasons as you plus when I asked myself what I was doing it for the only answer I could give was ‘habit’ and it didn’t seem good enough. I barely noticed that my colour was growing out, except for the endless comments from other people, the most frequent of which was ‘you’re very brave’ followed by ‘it looks nice’, the juxtaposition of which was not hugely reassuring. I didn’t invite comments, but like you found them in abundance. Most people meant it kindly, but all it did was reinforce the concept that looking ‘older’ as a woman meant invisibility, loss of the lustre of youth, blah blah. Fortunately Doris Lessing is my idol. She aged with aplomb. I intend to also.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t go back. I love my hair as it is now. It is just another colour and I feel better saving myself the time and money that colouring cost. Why are some colours okay, and others not? No good reason, in my book. And you’re absolutely right, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. But it’s an interesting experience, isn’t it? I progressed from not colouring my hair to cutting my own hair. That’s a bit of a leap, but not as terrifying as you might think. I’m determined not to step foot in a salon ever again; I’d rather spend my money disgracefully on ice cream!

    Excellent blog. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. M, you look fab! Going silver suits you 🙂 I’ve always said that once my silver hairs start to show, I’m going to let them shine, so I think its great that are you going with the flow. Thanks for sharing!


  14. You look fabulous and I love your new look. For the past 30 years I have been coloring my hair. No more. It is gray and I do not care any more. I do not have the strength, energy and patience to go to the hairdresser and take all that time. I know that I am invisible to all and I do not care. After the chemo I decided when I was still weak and frail that I would not bother and I will not. I find it amusing that so many women are so vain and they do not look good since their skin tone changes and black hair looks too severe and fake.


  15. Bellezza,
    I think the silver is flattering to your skin tone, and quite lovely overall. More importantly, I hope your “new” hair makes you feel pretty and confident. 🙂


  16. I would not mind going silver at all but the only places I have any silver are strips right in front and that just looks weird. I have no silver anywhere else yet. When I was in my 20s after a very stressful year I had one section of my bangs go white. It lasted for several years and continued to grow out white. I thought I would stay that way but then it started to grow back in color. That same area is now white.


  17. You look beautiful! I only saw the first photo in my feed and when I saw the second (is that your handsome son standing next to you?) I thought, “Wow! Aren’t you lucky!!” I’m rather envious of your lovely silver locks, as mine are not quite as pretty as yours. Like you, I stopped getting highlights after I retired. It was far too expensive and I didn’t care to sit in a salon for as long as the process took. As my highlights have grown out, I have my old mousy blonde (does that sound better than dishwater blonde?) and not the beautiful silver that my aunt is blessed with. Maybe mine will get there eventually, but I won’t go back to the highlights. Brown or silver, I would recognize your beautiful smile anywhere. xo


  18. I hit 50 earlier this year & have been wondering when I will feel ready to go the silver.
    I’m not there yet, but you are an inspiration!

    My plan (as my hair is quite dark naturally) is to gradually lighten the colours I get put in my hair as time goes by. Maybe go back to just having foils of colour through the silver?
    As you can see, I’m not ready yet!!
    You, however look fab & look like you’re loving the new you!


  19. I am trying to catch up on all the posts I’ve missed in my recent hectic months. I can’t read them all but this one grabbed my fancy. I only ever coloured my hair once – in my 30s and not really wanting too. I didn’t really think it was worth it.

    I have therefore gradually gone grey/silver/chrome over the years – and I am among the early ones. While I know it results in people making assumptions about who I am, about my age, I’ve chosen not to care.

    Those comments make me sad – though no. 7 also makes me furious.

    I have two main reasons for not colouring:

    – feminist. Besides the whole appearance expectations on women, it’s the idea that it’s worth spending our money and time on doing this. I would rather spend my money on buying books and my time on reading books, for example. My time is precious. How many men would sit in a salon for a couple of hours getting their hair done. Would they see that as a meaningful way to spend their time? (Maybe they do now and I’m out of touch?) I’m gobsmacked my how much women spend on their hair. And that’s fine, I’m not going to judge women for the decisions they/we make because we are judged enough, but I’d love it if more felt comfortable about just being themselves. I don’t wear makeup either – actually – besides some lipstick if I’m “really” going out!! (BTW When I told my hairdresser that I didn’t want to colour, he said, “don’t you want to look nice?” Yes, I did, that’s why I went to him because he was a great cutter. After a while, and with sadness, I left him because I just didn’t want the pressure any more. I’ve never found a cutter like him, but there are more important things in life I reckon.)

    – health. I’m not an alternative health person – far from it – but I don’t want to apply chemicals to my body that aren’t necessary (hence the no-make-up too!) or sit in a salon breathing in who knows what chemicals.


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