Why Young Women Are Choosing to Return to Natural Gray Hair

Women are choosing to accept their natural gray hair color at younger ages than ever and the silver hair movement has taken-wing like never before. In this post, I’m sharing a few inspiring young women who have chosen this silver path to self-acceptance a bit earlier than the rest of us and they can inspire you to do the same. 

“We don’t go natural, we return. Natural is where we began.”

Mindy Gale

We all Have Individual Reasons for Returning to Natural Gray Hair

The reasons for their decision to grow out their gray hair are as varied as the tones of gray, silver, steel, & white they’re rocking.  But each woman has found freedom in letting go of societal beauty standards that tell us youth and beauty aren’t in our natural hair color.

Transition to gray hair. Women going gray at young ages. Salt and pepper  hair.

While I wasn’t as young as any of these beautiful women I’m featuring here today, 2½ years ago I just felt like I was ready. And that’s the point, there’s no one age or one right time for every woman to return to their natural hair color. You’re definitely never too young to embrace your natural, God-given beauty. 

I’ve talked about my transition here, here, & here. And I even shared my thoughts when I was just considering ditching the dye.

So no matter what your age, if you’re on the fence about ditching the dye and need some inspiration from women younger than my 55-year-old self, check out these lovelies and their “why’s”.  

This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission if you purchase these links but it doesn’t affect the price you pay for the item. Thank you for supporting me through your purchases and encouraging comments. You keep this website going! Full disclosure.

I’ve also included my current favorite hair care products at the end of this post.

Natural Gray Haired Beauties

Karen – Grateful & Gray

Transitioning to gray hair. Younger woman with gray hair.
used by permission @gratefulandgray

Karen decided to let her natural gray hair take center stage 2 years ago at the age of 44 and really focus on her health. Here, let her explain it:  

I used to repeatedly go into attempting to “get healthy” focused on short-term, quick results goals. I was focused on things like the size of my jeans or a number on the scale as if these things reflected true health. ⁣⁣

I dyed my hair for extrinsic reasons as well. To look the way society expected me to at my age. Because it was what I was “supposed” to do. ⁣When I started to really evaluate my “why” for getting healthy, I realized I had placed my focus on all the wrong things. ⁣⁣

I shifted my focus to my long-term health, how I felt, and getting stronger in mind, body, and spirit. I ditched the dye in favor of eliminating chemicals I wasn’t comfortable with and learning to love and accept myself. ⁣⁣

When my why’s became personal and intrinsic, it became so much easier to figure out a way to stick with whatever path I was on. My why’s became something to cling to on the tough days because they were deeply personal and important to me.

Erika – Grace-Filled  Beauty

Younger women are going gray. Young woman with silver hair.
used by permission @erikamarie

I started my journey in September 2018.  I was coloring my hair every two weeks at that time and I was over it. So when I made the decision to embrace my silver, of course, like everything else nowadays, I wanted it immediately. 

I mean you can get something from Amazon on the same day you order so why can’t I just have my natural color the same day too….  nope!  (Sigh). Anyway, the process was long but 6 bleaching highlight treatments, hundreds of dollars, a hair cut or two, and about 8 months later, I finally made progress.  

I turned 48 in August and this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I feel young, vibrant, and empowered.  I hope to inspire other women to be brave and go for it, it’s so worth it in the end. Silver is the new blonde, you know.   People stop me all the time telling me how much they love my color and ask me what the color is… I call it “God’s special gift number 7”.  

Tristi – Young and Gray Momma

photos used with permission by Tristi

I saw these pictures of Tristi when she shared them on Going Gray Beauty Guide’s, Facebook group. I was blown away by her natural, youthful glow, and beauty. She proves that gray is just a color of hair and not an indictment of old age. So I reached out to her for her story.

I am 44 years old. I was 41 when I stopped coloring (my hair). I wanted to embrace my authentic self and was pregnant with my son (now 2), so I thought it was the perfect time to go for it. I really want to be a good role model for my daughter. I removed my breast implants 1.5 years ago as well. Growing old is not easy, but accepting and loving yourself throughout the process is an empowering and dignified act of self-love.

I’m Inspired & Excited to Have My Natural Gray Hair –

Friends, are you as inspired as I am right now? I’m not just talking about hair color either.

Words like healthy, empowering, dignified, vibrant, and stronger are a testimony to the power something as simple as reclaiming your natural hair color can do for a person. It’s saying, I’m willing to be ME, no mask, no cover, no faking it. Take me or leave me.

So yes, I’ll have what they’re having!

Women are choosing to ditch the dye and transition to gray hair at younger ages than ever before. Find out why these three women decided to embrace the gray and what they found out when they did.

#grayhair #transitiontograyhair #saltandpepperhair

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Salt and pepper hair, gray hair, silver hair - can be empowering. 

#transitiontograyhair

My Current Favorite Natural Gray Hair Products

I try to avoid products with any kind of “icone” in it, like silicone, dimethicone, etc. as they can build up in gray hair and cause yellowing. And, I also use this Quick Silver Hair Clay & Oil periodically to help combat yellowing.

Young and gray. Gray hair is more accepted than ever and young women are making the transiton.
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31 Comments

  1. Marsha Banks
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    I think you look even younger with grey hair. You are such a gorgeous person in every way! I decided to embrace my grey a few years ago. I’m not exactly sure of the year, but we moved to Brownsburg in 2015 so it was after that. I wasn’t sure what to expect as my mom’s grey hair was not pretty at all. But, then, we didn’t share hair type anyway. My dad’s hair was silver when he passed at 45. Luckily, I got my dad’s grey hair genes! My new stylist (my sister had done my hair for the last 30 some years so granny hair and brown color) agreed I should try it since my coloring seemed like it would mesh well. I’m not sure what she did, but my stylist is a mistress of color! Once the brown was pretty much gone, we began to experiment with different colored toners…so I didn’t really give up dying my hair. She would also apply a Demi-permanent smudging of darker grey at the roots. My favorite toner would turn my hair a lovely shade of lilac for a couple of weeks before fading to my (yay!) natural silver. Last year, I told her I wanted to grow it out from the longer bob I had been wearing and to even give up the dyeing part. And, then Covid! Luckily, I had such a good start on the growing out that it has really meant this much easier way of caring for my hair. If someone had told me a year ago I would go out with my hair just hanging straight, I would have laughed myself into the next state! Now, I get so many compliments on it…more than I ever did when I was busy dyeing and teasing and rolling it! Love my grey so much!

    • Paula
      Author
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      Thanks so much Marsha! Isn’t it something how we never knew how great our hair could be, color, style etc.? I’ve always had straight hair and without color it doesn’t hold much curl or style. But I have dermatitis on my scalp so perms are also not an option I’d like to employ. But if I’m trusting God knew what he was doing for my hair color, my texture is in his hands too. 😉

      Your silver sister,
      Paula

      • Marsha Banks
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        My hair is stick straight and very fine. Since my sister is a stylist, we permed it, colored it, even cut it short. She wasn’t really into experimenting much. And, her hair was completely different from mine…coarse and naturally curly. So, for all of my married life…since 1976…I’ve tried to make it what it wasn’t. Only since March have I embraced it in its natural straight life. I guess that’s one good thing from this virus! If I’m every up that way, I’d love to meet you!

        • Paula
          Author
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          That would be lovely to meet you. If you’re ever near, send me a message either through FB or Instagram. I’ll get it sooner that way. 🥰

  2. Diane Sundberg
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    You’re rocking the gray!

    • Paula
      Author
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      Thank you Diane. That’s so kind of you to say.

      Hugs,
      Paula

  3. Donna M
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    Kudos to those wonderfully confident women!! And to those of us who chose the same path, just a few years (or a decade!) later in their lives! I have never felt more happy about my hair than I do now. It’s been a terrific two years for me and I couldn’t love my hair more! I used to worry about the wind lifting my colored hair and the gray roots showing to the world I WAS OLD!! Not anymore! I try to keep a youthful (!) glow to my face and my gray hair doesn’t age me! I love that you embrace your grays (silvers, whites, steels, etc.) and have given us all a platform to stand with you on! Let’s rock the gray!!

    Blessings to you, Paula!
    Donna

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Yessss! I’m all about empowering women to feel beautiful right now. Be yourself Baby! 😘

  4. Barb
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    I wear my hair short, and after nearly three months this past spring without a hair appointment, my hair was almost half gray, so I went for it! By the end of the summer and after two or three haircuts, my dyed dark brown hair was gone! My natural color is mostly white, and I feel pretty sassy with my modern haircut. I was dying every 3.5 weeks and still worrying about gray roots showing when the wind blew. I’m so glad to be over all of that and am enjoying my “COVID gray” at the ripe old age of 64!

    • Barb
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      Whoops! *dyeing

    • Paula
      Author
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      I love it Beth! Theres such a freedom that comes going natural. I’m sure you’re rocking it.

      Hugs,
      Paula

  5. Angie
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    I am trying to transition to the gray. But I look so wash out. I just don’t know what to do ugg

  6. Angie
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    I am trying to let my grays grow out. But it makes me look so washed out. I notice my grays are coming out faster like within 2 weeks of coloring. What can I do to not look so washed out?
    Help

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Hi Angie,

      Sorry I took so long to reply. Most people who have transitioned say that you have to get it all the way grown out for possibly even 6 months or so before you’ll get a real handle on how it will look. If you’re in between and have two contrasting tones in your hair, those tones might be canceling each other out when it comes to complimenting your complexion.

      I would say to concentrate on styling and makeup to ease you through the transition and let me say, blush is so important when it comes to brightening up your face. This article by an over 40 makeup artist is spot on: https://bit.ly/3jvOrPt

      Hope that helps.

      Paula

  7. Karen Darnell
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    These women look beautiful! And you do too ! Not that you looked bad with your blonder hair , but you look so much better with your natural hair!

    I colored my hair from age 40 to 55. At age 55, I was coloring my hair every 4 weeks. Each time, my head would be on fire, itch horribly, and break out in sores. About the time that the sores healed, it was time to color again. I finally had a huge allergic reaction and went into anaphylactic shock. I could have died! No more color for me! At age 62, I am a proud wearer of my natural color. Many women tell me they no longer want to color, but they don’t know how to quit. I have even had men approach me to tell me they wish their wives would quit coloring.

    Thank you so much for your message of encouragement! Thank you for your example!Thsnk you for using your influence to show women that they can be even more beautiful with gray glorious hair!

  8. Jessica
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    It looks good on you. I’m not ready to embrace it for me yet 🙂

    • Paula
      Author
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      I know… everybody has to do what’s best for them.

  9. Becky Yoder
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    I ditched the dye two years ago at 53 years of age. I was lucky – it was an easy, quick transition since I have a very short hair style and it grows quickly. When my very hip and cool great- nephews (aged 16 & 18 at the time) told me how cool my hair was, I felt validated (I was sitting with their grandmother and other aunts who all color their hair when the boys made their comments). It has been freeing both personally and financially. If you’re teetering on the edge of “dye-or-not”, I say GO FOR IT! You can always start coloring again if you don’t like the outcome.

    • Paula
      Author
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      Yes indeed… FREEING! And that’s what I say too Becky! I don’t think they’ll ever stop making hair dye. 😉

    • Paula
      Author
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      Thank you Mireille! Every woman has to do what makes her feel her best. But if anyone is in the fence, we all emphatically say, “go for it”. 😘

      Hugs,
      Paula

  10. Loryl
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    I was one of those people that was NOT going to give up dying my hair. I KNEW I’d feel old and frumpy. Then Covid hit. My hairdresser retired. And I hated dying my hair myself. So I’ve embraced the gray. I always got compliments on my hair but now people tell me how healthy it looks. And men seem to really love it the most. LOL My husband loves it too. I’m not totally gray, still some blond left. I struggle with a yellow overtone some days but its so freeing not to dye it . It was the right time for me. I look forward to the day when I’m totally steel gray.

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Yay Loryl! It’s a hard feeling to be able to put into words… Freeing. You’ve says it, I’ve said it. These ladies have said that and more. But it’s even more than that. And I agree. The compliments keep coming, especially from men. I think a long as style is up to date it’s so attractive.

  11. Sarah
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    I just love the direction your blog has been going! And your posts about letting your hair go natural are some of my favorites! I stopped dying my hair 10 years ago at 47. I did it mostly because I was giving up as many chemicals in my life as possible. There was the added bonus of the financial freedom and not having to go to the hairdresser as often. I’ve just LOVED the way my natural color is graying! The gray actually looks like blonde highlights. I’m a natural redhead but started to go gray in my early 30s so I began highlighting and then dying. What recently convinced me that my hair looked highlighted instead of gray was when a hairdresser in the salon I go to (a colleague of my hairdresser) passed the chair I was in and commented on how nice my highlights looked. My hairdresser turned to her and said “This is her natural gray… I don’t highlight her hair .” I guess if it can fool a hairdresser…. Lol YOU, my dear, look FABULOUS with your gray!! It’s just so liberating, isn’t it??

  12. /

    All of these ladies are Rockin’ the Gray!! Kudos. . . I know I’m going to join this group one of these days. Enjoy November my Dear. . .

    • Paula
      Author
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      Hi Neti! When you join us, I know you’re going to look very distinguished. You’ll be a silver beauty.

      Hugs
      Paula

      • ALLY
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        Love what you have done with your hair and the fact you have different tones of grey is lovely. I’m at the 9 month eeek! stage and yesterday had loads cut off and layers added to get rid of that solid grey to brown line. It’s shorter than I’d like and even my hairdresser was having doubts. Thanks for the tips on products to combat yellow tones. Two more cuts and I should be there. Have you ever tried wash in/out colour on the grey like a brightening rinse? My mum used to call it a purple rinse. 🥴

        • Paula
          Author
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          I have used some rinses to brighten, and even once accident my turned it purple. Not cool purple, because purple on dark/brassy hair isn’t really purple. Eeks! If i use a purple shampoo i try to use a clarifying shampoo first so that doing my best to remove any current buildup of yellowing products like silicones that may be in hair sprays and styling products first. Does that make sense? 🤔

          Stay strong… you’re going to be so happy when it’s complete!

          Hugs,
          Paula

          • Ally
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            Yeh it does make sense I need to get some good products. Had a zoom call tonight with some old friends and actually got some great compliments, just need a little more length. . Thanks for your reply.

  13. /

    I am 57 and have been wanting to go gray for the last few years. I was spending hundreds of dollars coloring my every four weeks for it to hold for about 2 1/2 weeks.

    Growing up both of my grandmothers colored thei hair. One black and the other blonde. I always knew, my year would be natural someday. I only wish I had done it sooner.

    I let my hair go gray during covid. By working from home it was perfect. I love my gray hair and have no regrets!

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Isn’t it a fantastic freedom Tammy? And I think there’s a special confidence that grows on us as our natural color grows out! 😘

      Hugs to you my Silver Sister.

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