Transitioning from red to silver has been a weekly evolution with constant surprises. It offers change on the most personal of levels.  How I see myself physically in the mirror, but also emotionally and spiritually.  I feel it, but cannot put words to it as yet.

My red hair has been my companion for the past 22 years.  I have loved how it interacted with the colors that I chose for adornment.  I was fond of the fringe of red that framed every style of headwear that met my gaze and landed on my head. Though I sense its loss, I’m embracing a new era which is about more than the color of my hair.


I decided to allow my silver to emerge naturally.  During my last visit to NYC, I was browsing for hats (big surprise) in a millinery shop.  As I was trying on a turban, I mentioned to the milliner’s young assistant that I was going to stop coloring my hair and was looking for something which would  harmonize with silver. She replied, with a hint of excitement in her voice,  “Are you going to go ombre?”  Not knowing what she meant, I looked for “ombre images” on-line HERE and I was in love.


The colors fading from dark to light became a fascination.  I grew enamored of the red and the silver playing together in differing patterns, as the grey-white grew more prominent.


I’ve been inspired to go through my closet and look for pieces that I haven’t worn for years.  This  vintage silk kimono with embroidered blue and white floral trim is one of the long neglected beauties that engaged me.  It seems as though one small change has the ability to ignite other shifts in my choices.


As I watch the silver emerge, I feel as though I’m growing into myself.  Another level of self acceptance.  An honoring of aging.  After every haircut, to my eye I look like a different woman.  I had no idea that this would be so energizing and entertaining. Though somewhat ambivalent at the beginning, I have become more confident in my decision.


I’ve begun to wear my hair back with my headwear, like I did in the hat shop days of the 80’s. I feel more exposed, but also more open. I’ll take that as another metaphor for life.

I’m looking for a new hair style and I have no idea where I will land.  Who knew that hair would become a new frontier in my 70’s?  I thought it was all about the hat!


Photos By Daniel

Vintage black silk kimono with blue and white embroidered trim and black vintage clutch – estate sales, black cropped tuxedo pants and silver earrings – consignment stores, black heeled sandals – retail sale years ago, Patricia Underwood royal blue straw hat – hat shop in the 80’s, jewelry – estate sales, gifted, flea markets.

65 Responses to “Growing Out My Hair To Silver At 72”

  1. Elke Kuhn

    Judith, your silver hair is beautiful…I love the movement of how your hair is being cut.

    I studder with this issue myself…I envision myself with a long silver braid down my back when my natural color is not so blah.

  2. Valerie - Idiosyncratic Fashionistas

    Well, there’s no way you can take a bad photograph, but one and five are particular knockouts!

    Myself, I am not so much thinking ombre, but tending more toward hombre.

    Your adventure is turning out beautifully.

    May all our adventures bring us joy!

  3. kenju

    I let my hair go silver about 7 years ago (I am 74) and I have never been sorry. This year, I decided to let it grow longer; after having short hair for over 25 years. I am enjoying having it longer, very much!

  4. Cheryl

    Love your hair color and style. At 51 i recently decided to grow my gray out as well. My hair stylist suggested doing gray highlights and dark lights to match my real hair color and it seems to be a great and natural looking way of growing out. I also cut my hair in an symmetrical pixie to help facilitate growing it out quicker. I am getting so many great compliments on the symmetrical cut. You might want to check into that type style. Its edgy and fun and stylish, just like you. Thanks so much for your inspiration.

  5. Cheryl

    Oops. I meant a-symmetrical cut.

  6. Lily

    You look absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!!!! and of course your writing is so special and inspiring.

  7. Ellen

    Such a beautiful and stylish lady, love the hair and yes, it is very stunning! I am FOR the silver!

  8. Miss Boom Baby

    Burnishing the silver is an interesting process and also elicits interesting responses. Your reflection on your own experience is illuminating.

  9. Veronica

    I, too, made the decision to stop colouring my hair this Christmas at the age of 60. The best decision in a long time! No more worrying about roots showing etc. Everyone I know loves my grey/silver hair and complete strangers have complimented me on it.

    I love your style and you always look fabulous – silver hair can only add to it!

  10. Pinkerplease

    You´re so inspiring to me!!!

  11. Lovely Links: 9/25/15 - Already Pretty | Where style meets body image

    […] The Style Crone is growing her hair out to silver at 72, and shares her […]

  12. Janet Penwell

    Hurray! What took you so long? 72? I stopped the dye bottle at 56 and once it grew out (about 8 months later) friends and aquaintances told me I looked 10 years younger!. Well, I don’t know about that, but it was certainly liberating and a lot cheaper and a lot less fuss! It has gotten better and better ever since and now at 78 (22yrs later) I wouldn’t have any other way.

    I would encourage anyone to do it, but, PLEASE get a really good, flattering, short haircut!

  13. How To Transition To Silver With Longer Hair – Not Dead Yet Style

    […] Judith has a beautiful ombre effect. Source. […]

  14. Reader Request: Going Gray - Already Pretty | Where style meets body image

    […] So my opinion is this: If you wake up one morning, realize you’re grayer than you’d like, and take action, anyone who has a problem with that should get a hobby. People change themselves constantly. It’s what we do, it’s how we grow and learn. Let them talk, and then let them get over it. As soon as something else of interest happens, the gossip train will pull out of the station. If you’re looking for some inspiration, the Style Crone grew hers out gradually at age 72 and talked about her journey. […]

  15. jaynestanton

    I found this post as a ‘recommended’ at the bottom of your latest post. I’m retiring next month and, having already decided to trial a back-to-grey period, I hope to feel as liberated you did 🙂

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