To grey or not to grey?

by Sylvia

Should you go grey after 40 or dye it? |

Like many women over 40 I always wonder whether I should let my hair go grey or color it. Obviously my decision so far has been to color it, but it’s certainly a very costly one. My hair occupies the largest chunk in my monthly beauty budget by far and I often wonder if it’s worth the money and hassle.

Add to that that for a big chunk of the month my hair looks less than perfect because of roots starting to grey again, and you could argue that it may be better just to adapt to grey.

Grey has also become increasingly popular with even young starlets like Pixie Geldoff adapting a grey hairstyle.

Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Factors in favor of coloring your hair

  • Let’s face it grey hair usually does age you.
  • Having a funky color can really add to your style.
  • You can change colors whenever you feel like it. I like to change it up all the time. In fact I feel I should push myself a little bit further in that area.
  • Some grey colors are nice while others not so much. The current trend seems to be the lighter more silverly color grey. Your grey hair may have a completely different color though.
  • Letting your hair go grey may completely change your coloring. Clothes that have always looked good on you may no longer work.

Factors in favor of letting your hair go grey

  • You save a LOT of money every month. That is, if you stick to the color grey that your hair has. Your hair may need additional coloring though.
  • No more hassle of having to keep up with your roots. Save a lot of time AND money.
  • Freeing your hair on monthly chemicals may be beneficial to the actual quality of your hair.
  • You may look more natural. After a certain age people will expect you to have grey hair and will find it more natural that you are sporting a grey hairstyle.
  • Your change of coloring may actually be beneficial to you. Perhaps your new color grey suits your (paling) skin tone better.

It’s not an easy decision. Both the pros and cons are quite convincing. I certainly am starting to get increasingly annoyed with the time and money it takes to keep up with my hair color.

There are lots of inspirational grey hairstyles on my pinterest board, so there is enough evidence that grey can look extremely good. For more tips, you can also check out my tips for the best hairstyles for women over 40.

I’d love to hear your opinion. What do you think? To let the hair go grey or not?


All image sources can be found on my Pinterest Board

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Jane Mott

Interesting article.
As a hairdresser in my 40’s I do colour my hair its a great way for me to demonstrate the colouring services I offer. That colour can look natural, healthy, shiny and compliment skin tone and fashion style.
For ladies who want to use home colour for the first time my advice is avoid colours with ash tones as your grey hair is natural rich in ash. Instead go to the complimentary opposite on the colour wheel and choose a warm golden tone. Also as we get older our skin tone changes so its a good idea to go for a shade lighter than what was your natural hair colour before grey. And for anyone colouring their hair I would advise that if you
want to go more than one shade either side of your natural colour then go to a salon and let a professional do it. Colour can be unpredictable so leave anything more than subtle change to those who have training in the hair structure and science involved in the chemical process.
Will share this article with my hair clients via my FB page and Twitter @charismacutz
Thank you


Here’s the truth about gray hair (and it’s going to hurt): People lie to themselves about how much younger they look without gray hair. It’s so much more than hair–skin tone, body fat percentage, condition of teeth etc. Seriously, nothing screams “old” more than a mature face with super shiney, reddish-brown hair with blond highlights. Really, that is the female equivalent of a male comb-over.


How true.


Very true. However, I have the opposite problem. I’m 41 but look like I’m 25. Thinking about letting my grey show so ppl will address me w the authority my years have gained me! I’m not a girl. I’m a woman!


I am 49 years old and my hair is 90% bright silver white. I have never dyed it. The only time I came close was right after my divorce. But while I waiting at the salon (a high end celebrity boutique in LA) I caught the owner staring at me. He then told me how much he wished he had my color himself, and it was gorgeous. I confessed that I had been planning to discuss color with my stylist in just a few minutes. He emphatically told me not to do it, that I had the skin of an 18 year old, and that he had clients who would do anything for this color–some by dying it, others by growing out color. And so I took that to heart.

That said, I recognize that this is a risky look that needs support to truly “shine.”

1. PURPLE SHAMPOO– there are many brands but I use Clairol Shimmer Lights 2-3 times a week. This eliminates dingy yellowing. People who compliment my hair often mention the tone. Purple shampoo is the key to that.

2. Frequent heavy conditioning, for the coarseness. My stylist recommends it (just for me) with every shampoo.

3. Shine serum. Make it gleam in the sunlight.

4. Colors! It’s no coincidence that random strangers compliment my hair when I wear dark blue! No more earth tones.

5. Makeup–I’ve rarely worn makeup in the past, but I think I need at least a little now to ensure that my features don’t wash out.

6. Wardrobe style– I’ve decided I need more polish to support this hair color. My former more flowing Bohemian look is risky (a fringed shawl is almost fatal!). There is less margin of error on the frumpy-unkempt scale. My journey to work on my style is what brought me here!

Whenever I second guess my decision to stay natural, I consider this: random strangers never stopped me in the street to compliment my hair color when it was brown. This happens now.


Great tips Pamela. Thanks!


At 43 and with a good 50% of my hair being grey, I consciously chose to change my colour from constantly dyed brown to full grey. I stripped the colour off, and then toned the result with a silver dye. I actually look younger – it looks like I made a fashion choice. The silver colour I picked is much softer against my skin, and I absolutely love it.

If it’s good enough for Jamie Lee Curtis (gorgeous), it’s good enough for me! And it requires considerably less upkeep than the brown dye did.


What did you use to strip the colour – or did you have it done professionally? Did it damage your hair? I am wrestling with going grey but the growing out part is holding me back

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