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I’m back to regular programming and my rose garden is in full bloom.  I love to travel, but returning to my sanctuary always feels comforting.  It’s time to settle in and give my home and garden some much-needed attention.

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Time to smell the roses and take time to enjoy the simple pleasures that surround and ground me.

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In an effort to simplify my life and more fully embrace the aging process, I’ve made the decision to allow my natural hair color to grow out over the next several months. I feel excited, ambivalent, confident, unsure, determined, hesitant, and most of all, curious.  Like any transition, it will be a journey of discovery.  I have many role models in the blogging world and in real life who have inspired me.

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Photos By Daniel

It’s not all black and white.  Or red and white.  I’ve been a redhead for 22 years. Before my 50th birthday, I chose a new hair stylist.  Assessing my then blonde locks, he made the comment that I looked a bit “washed out.”   I went with his recommendation to “go red,” which happened over my lunch hour.  When I returned to work my colleagues didn’t recognize me.  And I’ve loved the color ever since.

However, the texture of my hair has changed and the color doesn’t hold like it did years ago.  I’ve been thinking about it for several years, but now I’m ready.  I support the choices of others to dye or not to dye.  Hair color is something we can control, unlike many things in life that can change on a dime without warning.

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Photo By Linda

Just for fun, I went with my friend Linda to a wig shop, where I tried on “headwear” in white, which is the color that my roots display beneath the red.  It’s a big change, but it’s not life or death.  And if I don’t like it, hair color isn’t permanent if I don’t want it to be!

Vintage navy pillbox with trim and sparkle, bangles/bracelets and vintage navy/pink earrings – estate sales, Uniqlo tunic on sale in NYC, cropped skinny jeans – Buffalo Exchange, blue pumps and pendant – gifted.

72 Comments

  1. Curiosity drove me to leave coloring and take a look under the hood.

    I am 72 and wore an auburn shade of red. For four months, I had it cut
    super short (and liked the mix of color and gray). Now it is a silver shade, mostly salt with a little pepper.

    Some days, I like it. Some days, I feel older. I promised myself at least
    the summer to get use to it before coloring again. Good luck.

  2. I have been reading your blog for several years but never left a comment until today. I, too, made the same decision regarding my hair about 4 years ago at the age of 61. It was very scary but empowering at the same time. And I have to say it did take a while to appreciate what I was seeing in the mirror after the color grew out! Now I wouldn’t have my hair any other way. Freedom from those stylist appointments every three weeks plus worrying about roots showing in between…SO worth it!

  3. I use to dye my hair red myself which looked like it came out of a bottle(it did) and I could be seen from outer space. Loved it, but stopped and have my own white/gray colour, and now and then add highlights….about 2 x’s a year just to give it that ooooopf. So go for it. Based on the wig you tried on…you look smashing…and very, very young….I think you will love it, and it saves you money to purchase more delightful hats and vintage outfits! I vote YES, YES, YES.

  4. I have natural salt and pepper- with salt around my face. Have been natural for about 8-9 years- have never regretted it. It reflects who I am at 66 y/o- I wear it proudly. Good luck.

  5. Wow! The wig looks amazing! I’ve been a faux red head since I was 18. It looks natural and most people have never seen my original color. In the intervening 40 years the regrowth has become increasingly silver, to the point where I go in for touch ups every three weeks. I’ve often wondered how long I’ll keep it up. Maybe trying on a wig will help.

  6. What gorgeous photos of you in your beloved garden. It is good to be home even though, like you, I’m a gypsy at heart.
    You look beautiful as both a redhead and a silver siren. How lovely to have the best of both worlds. xxx

  7. I am certain whatever hair color you will always look outstanding! Congrats on your return to roots- I think silver\white will look amazing on you.

  8. Great post! I turn 74 in September, born a dishwater blonde, as years passed colored it light blonde. Like you, my now white hair will not hold color longer than a couple of weeks ~~ embracing my natural color is the smartest, healthiest thing I’ve done! You are lovely …

  9. It’s definitely a journey…I’ve been growing in my natural color hair for almost two years (it’s long) and there are still moments when I question my decision. But it is much less hassle to keep it natural, much less expensive, and it almost always feels more authentically Me. Go for it, and I hope you love the results.

  10. You look fantastic with grey hair! GO for it. I think it actually makes you look younger, not older!

  11. You look so good either way. I had the same experience as you..beginning to look washed out with light brown/highlighted hair. Finally this past winter at almost age 75, my hair dresser suggested going red…mine is a darker red than yours. I love it but for quite a few years, I’ve wondered what I might look like if all the color grew out. I think I’d look more washed out but sure wouldn’t mind less upkeep!! My natural hair color is very dark/almost black but the first gray appeared in my late 20’s and that’s when the coloring began.

  12. You are beautiful with either haircolor! I too used to color my hair and found that it just doesn’t hole the color well at all anymore. I was a natural ashy blonde and I upped it a few shades. Since age 16 I had a gray streak that keep growing. My hair had grown from grey to all white. It is past my shoulders. And ironically I have more people ask me the name of my hair color since I have gone natural. Everytime I think it looks old and want to color it, I get a day of compliments on it. LOL. Go figure. Just remember, I am sure you know it already, makeup and clothing colors might need some changes to get it all right. Best wishes!

  13. The wig looks fabulous on you, so I say: be your AUTHENTIC self and stop with the dye jobs. Women who dye their hair must believe it makes them look younger? Well, not if they add a pound per year to their bodies (on average) for every year after 25. Your lithe body speaks to your youth more than your dye job. By far!
    White haired myself,
    N

  14. You look beautiful in your natural grey/ white and are inspiring me to do the same. I have thick hair and don’t look forward to the long process of going natural! But sure I will love it in the end. Keep those pictures coming!

  15. I would not have recognized you with white hair. But that might also be because the cut is completely different and I always see you with a hat. It does look good on you. Makes you softer. (People tell me that all the time too, with my blond hair.)
    Your outfit is, as usual, ever so nice. I love the bright pink trimming on the tunic.
    Lovely ensemble.
    Greetje

  16. You are beautiful whichever hair colour you choose! Those roses are so lovely and I can almost smell them from here. Mine are blooming too and the scent of them is just heavenly.

  17. Judith, you’re a very stylish lady, and an inspiration, whatever your hair colour – and that’s not going to change.

    I felt the need to expose my white streak after I was made redundant last year because it felt more honest – an outward sign of who I am inside now. I love my hair again now and I’m sure you will too. Have fun!

  18. I like your attitude about checking out your natural hair colour again. I’ve been toying with the idea myself, but I don’t feel quite ready. Still, with a 9-week stretch away from my regular stylist this fall, thanks to extended travel, I’m thinking it might be an option — would I have the nerve to get it chopped short and then see what grows in?
    Hmmm, maybe I’ll sit back, first, and see what you find with your experiment. You certainly look wonderful in that white-haired wig — so vibrant!

  19. judith, your hair looks great. I made the decision to do this about 4 years ago. I never felt that all the time and money yielded a wow result. I am so much happier. Good for you!

  20. your natural color looks great with your skin tone. I stopped coloring a while a go. Did not feel the results were good enough to warrant all the time spent sitting in the chair!
    Good for you.

  21. Although I do love the red, I think the grey is a different direction, i do like it.i know we don’t know each other, so my opinion really has no weight.

    I have dark dull brown hair, it has finally started to grow in with grey streaks, I truly love it. My daughter has white hair! Strange but quite attractive.

  22. I know it too well it’s great to travel but wonderful to come home. I love your red hair, while I am sure you will be irresistible (do not know if that’s the right word).
    The photo with the gray hair looks absolutely stunning. Your garden looks so lovely and so do you.

  23. Go for the beautiful grey – and never look back! Ever since I let my hair go to its wonderful natural color – growing whiter every year – I hear comments every time I leave the house about how much people love my hair. (Nobody ever commented on my hair when it was its natural – or helped along – brown.) It’s the vibrant face under the hair that counts. When people ask you in the next few months what you are doing, tell them, watch their surprise, then say, I have the only vote that counts!”

  24. Love the white hair on you, looks better than the red.

    I decided to let my hair go grey after a period of blonde streaks, get many more compliments now than then!

  25. Well you look brilliant either way. Keeping up hair colour is time consuming and expensive. I also have blond hair that I started dyeing red about 5 years ago. I’m not ready to give it up yet though.

    bisous
    Suzanne

  26. I feel the same way, time to settle in after a period of excitement. I think you will be beautiful no matter what you hair color is because I think it is your sense of style, your hats and fabulous clothes as well as your incredibly lovely personality that makes you gorgeous. To be honest, if someone asked me what color your hair was, I probably could not have answered but if someone asked me to describe some of your gowns or hats I could in a heartbeat. Go for it my dear!

    Accidental Icon
    http://www.accidentalicon.com

  27. Tres chic! Your beautiful blue eyes really show up sparkly and bright with silver/gray hair! Congratulations on your transition.

  28. Those roses are MAGNIFICENT!

    My good friend and mentor (dissertation advisor) has gorgeous grey/white hair. One day she showed up for lunch with a glorious hot pink tuft of hair right in the front. She told me that she wanted to add color to her life — it was a really cold and stormy winter in NYC — and thought that pink would do the trick. She looked mischievous and radiant … and completely smitten with herself. She told me that her 93 year old mother chastised her for dying her hair pink, she was 73 at the time. HA! Hilarious!

    So, if you get antsy about your hair you can always follow in the footsteps of Prof. M and put a little hot pink or purple in your hair. 🙂 I believe she’s been doing plum and pink for a couple of months now and loves it!

  29. Congratulations, Judith…join the club! Because you’re beautiful on the inside, as well as on the outside. a hair color change will make little difference as to how you’re perceived. And as I’ve come to learn over the years…it’s only hair!

  30. You look even more gorgeous with silver hair. Go for it and buy a red wig for when you need it.
    What is the wig brand and style name you showed us? Obviously a very high quality and it looks beautiful on you.

  31. WOW if that is your “gray” hair you are so lucky. It is beautiful and will be such a cool compliment to your hat collection. Go for it girl! I look forward to seeing the change.

  32. Lovely roses, nice hat. I have found that as my hair color changed, my skin tone changed too. I am happy with the combination of white/grey hair, lighter and pinker skin and my blue eyes. So far, I am not planning to change the color of my hair and will always top it off with a great hat!

  33. Bravo to you! I can only hope that more and more women transition to their natural hair color for your reasons: “to more fully embrace the aging process” and “to simplify my life.” It is so freeing. That you look beautiful in the white/grey of the wig (which shows off the color of your eyes) is icing on the cake. I would recognize you anywhere with white/grey hair.

  34. Go for it, my girl. I decided to let my silver show a few years ago. A cabin attendant on a plane said she loved the fact I was embracing my “Arctic Blonde” look! I have never regretted the decision. Maiden, Madonna, Crone . . . we need to embrace all the stages.

  35. Love it, Judith!! Having gone “natural” myself, I can tell you you will totally enjoy rtf his s stage in your life. I received conpliments all the time and feel liberated!! Keep up us posted

  36. Be the silver fox!! You look great in that wig. When you change, there is going to be a problem with your current color wardrobe. Sometimes what looked good on you is not so flattering. Aging, also changes your coloring, so one needs to adapt!!! So we always are changing.

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