Even though I talked about dyeing your gray roots previously, you can also choose to just let your hair go gray.
We had a lively discussion about this topic before right here and I feel that women are split about 50-50 on what is the best thing to do.
In the end it’s a personal decision and both options can be equally fabulous.
I know that I will eventually go grey but I’m not ready just yet.
Thinking of going gray? You may enjoy reading about Elaine and how to transition into gray hair
But today let’s celebrate the beauty of women that have decided to let their hair go grey. Today we specifically celebrate long grey hair!
As you can tell from these photographs it completely dispells the myth that you cannot have long hair after 40.
Above: Jade J., friend of Denton’s and a California IT specialist.
Want to know that colors to wear with gray hair? Check out our article on the best colors to combine with gray hair.
Below Lisa K., 4th generation NYC garment center company owner.
Below writer at the Brooklyn Book Festival
Retired runway model Cory D.
Below is model Cindy Joseph, photographed while attending the ‘Today’ show.
This woman below is Jo Johnson, a tea expert.
This woman is the New York singer and performer Jamie deRoy.
Writer Susanna Moore, photographed at the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Long gray hairstyles sent in by readers
“I love my gray hair! I almost always wear a headband (from casual to more office appropriate). When I get a chance, also love hats :>)”
“I have been white (ie non-dye) for about 7 years, during which time I have divorced my husband, graduated in Fine Art, and turned 60 in January.”
“I have waist length healthy long silvery hair that I am happy to share! The Day light image with the braid shows my true silver where as the other was taken indoors at night.”
“I have never dyed my hair!”
“My hair has been all different lengths over the years. I believe we are changing perception of grey equals old. It Does Not!!!”
“I have been gray since since my mid 30´s, it´s in the family. it started during a long hot summer (2003) spent with mountaineer activities – at the beginning of that autumn the red dye was bleached from the sun and very grown out. so i did cut the ends and went with gray as a test. I liked it very much and since then I have never come near a hair dye bottle again. I got even more white in recent years and would never cut my hair short because I find long hair easy to handle. The poor hairdressers have to live without me ;-)”
“So happy to see you feature grey long hair! I’ve never had as much fun, nor have received as many compliments (and mostly from young adults) as I do now with my Grey hair. It’s in the best shape, healthier, and SO soft!! I’m 58, and an actor specializing in Senior market commercials/advertising. I haven’t done a thing, color wize, to my hair in decades. If I’d known it was going to look like this, I’d let it go years earlier! It feels good to know that I’ve inspired others to at least try going Ala-naturale! Do not fear the Grey!”
For more gray hairstyles also see our articles on mid long hair and short gray hair with some more women sporting gorgeous gray hair.
- How to transition to gray hair (part one)
- Transitioning to gray hair (part 2)
- From colored to natural hair (part 3)
- To gray or not to gray
- Mid long gray hairstyles
- Short gray hairstyles
Are you inspired to let your hair grow long and grey after seeing these pictures or will you continue to dye your hair?
Top 15 photos by Denton Taylor
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I just turned 60. I have been a natural blond, blue eyed spring tone complexion and want to dye my hair grey. I have no natural grey! What grey would look best on me without looking old, tired and washed out?
I grayed very early. I think I was 23 when I first notice a couple of gray hairs on my head. I colored my hair since then and for many years until it got to the point that I was retouching my riots every twi weeks. I git tired. My kids encouraged me to just let my gray grow. I cut my hair really short in 2012, never colored again. Now, I am very happy with the way my hair looks.
Hi everybody! Iam 36 years old woman with almost completely grey hair , as long as i decide to leave my hair grey ,my friends and reletives give me really horrible feedback and cause i am suffering of depression ,they can persuade me to dye , i need someone who tell me i am ok with grey ,
There are many women here who believe that natural gray hair is preferable to dying your hair. You should also do what feels best to you. Don’t let others determine what is right for you. You may enjoy the discussion on this topic here https://40plusstyle.com/to-grey-or-not-to-grey/ Understand that you can never please everybody. First and foremost, you need to please yourself!
Thank you dear sylvia . I am happy to get the response, l will be glad to keep in touch with you and the others. Although i am not a native english person and i live in iran,some times it is hard to write what exactly i mean . However i am apreciate to be with you. Wish you all the best
When I was 39 I decided to grow out my hair and wear it natural, whatever colour that was. The maintenance of colouring the roots so frequently got to be too much. I loved dying my hair a beautiful auburn as my natural hair colour was ash brown, not very exciting. When I grew out my hair I was pleased with the look, it was and still is grey, silver and white with a bit of the brown. It is not an easy decision for many women, but it was the right one for me. I feel very free in a way and enjoy the variety of comments I get, several humorous ones from children who say I look very young to be a grandma (which I’m not!!)!
So your hair is the same as mine, unfortunately i live in a country that i must wear hijab . I wonder it is not cool when you wear hijab with grey hair. to be honest i am in a struggle with my self what to to… as you say i wish i will let them grey and feel free . Please give me advise. I live in iran.
Love all the pics and most of the comments…let women choose freely and don’t judge them!
Thanks Tatiana. More inspirational women coming up!
I am not convinced. For me, long grey hair looks a bit ‘witchy’. For it to work, then it needs to be thick and healthy and a nice shade of grey. Some of the women pictured are beautiful regardless of their hair colour or what they are wearing and others have great figures which enables them to carry it off.
Yes it depends on each woman. Still it is nice to see women looking fabulous with their long grey hair and I have many more examples coming up!
It is a difficult decision to stop dying your hair and go natural. You have no idea what you are going to look like and if you will like the new you. I did it 4 years ago and I am pleased with my natural silver hair, it is much healthier than my colored hair. I also wear it very long and it is naturally wavy. It isn’t for every woman, and we each need to do what is comfortable for us.
Definitely! Thanks for the feedback Linda.
Love! Such beautiful women-It was a difficult year to grow out my dyed hair, but I have never looked back and it is a decision I have never regretted. I only wish I had done it sooner.
So glad you are happy with your grey hair Beth!
Okay, but your post makes an assumption: that those of us “of a certain age” are naturally grey haired. I’m 43 now and my hair is still naturally dark. I have been noticing the odd grey hair for almost ten years but it’s happening so slowly that even my hair dresser has to search to find them. This runs in my family, it seems.
Since noticing those first grey hairs, all those years ago, I’ve been asking myself what I’ll do “when it happens” but it just hasn’t. I hope I’d have it in me to go natural. But I’m so used to having very dark, auburn hair, I would barely even recognize myself with light hair! It’s that in-between stage that doesn’t appeal to me but I hope, when it’s finally all grey, when I’m about 60 or 70 it seems, that I’ll embrace it.
Be glad Charlotte. I was grey already in my early 30s! I think it’s easier for those who only get grey hair later in life as it is far more natural and/or common to have grey hair in your 60s than it is in your 30s or 40s. The whole transitioning process is a lot easier too if you don’t have to cope with any dyed hair…
I am glad. I’ve always loved my curly auburn (very classically Jewish) hair and I agree that it will be easier for me deal with the grey at a later age. The whole ageing process is slow for me, something else that runs in the family, and I think get wrinkles later will be easier too. That said, women who go grey early always look especially beautiful to me because the shining white wonderfully highlights their more tight, youthful skin.
I started going grey at 24… I was naturally blonde and now at almost 45, I’m almost completely grey. I haven’t touched a dye bottle in over a year and wear my hair past my shoulders. I’m very lucky that my hair has natural highlights and streaks and so the growing out was more that I just got too lazy to spend the time messing around with a dye bottle!
It took me two or three attempts to grow my grey hair out, but when I was finally ready it was easy. I used lighter brown shades the last few times I colored my hair, so I didn’t have one harsh line. My grey hair is finer than it was before, and sometimes I wish I had more color. But I won’t dye it again – unless I use a pink tint!
Plenty of photos of my silver hair at http://musefondue.blogspot.com.
You’re one of the lucky ones Val. You have a beautiful silver color!
There is grey and there is grey! Mine, unfortunately, is a yellow grey which does not flatter my skin. Thus, I colour it with light brown/ blonde tones. If I had that lovely salt&pepper grey, I wouldn’t bother with colouring it!
Yes, that is true. We forget that many silver haired ladies actually dyer their hair too in more silvery color. Mine is actually dark grey so not that nice either….
I can only speak for myself, but my platinum grey will go yellow if I don’t use a “blue” shampoo every coupla weeks. The sun can turn it yellow! If I use my blue shampoo, it shines like crazy!
I passed this woman yesterday who had the most spectacular grey hair down to her waist. It looked so healthy and shiny. I almost stopped her on the street and complemented her on it.
Oh, pity you did not stop her. I’m sure it would have made her day!
I embrace my gray! I embrace life and all that is natural, the best that I can, when I can.
Well done Jill. Yes, embracing all that is natural is very tempting…
They look beautiful. But they ARE beautiful, either with grey or dyed hair. I am always afraid, it might not look so awesome on me. What attracks me most, is the fact that (natural) grey hair seems to be thicker. Denton says that as well. Now that could be a pursuader for me.
I agree with you Greetje, they are attractive women and would look great with either coloured or grey hair and it makes a big difference if the hair is thick. Mine isn’t and I’ll be colouring it for a while yet, I think!
I can’t imagine it to be much thicker though. My grey hair is dry and frizzy and I see that too with many other women.
Me with graying hair and most of the colored part grown out
me with dyed hair, circa 2008
I am letting my hair grow gray after coloring it for about ten years. I have noticed that the softer color of my natural hair is kinder to my complexion than the harsher look of a darker home dye job. I guess if money were no concern I would opt for a headful of blonde highlights but I have come to accept my natural graying tresses.
Yes, that is often the case. You look beautiful Kay!
Like you, Sylvia, I will probably go silver but not quite yet! These women look lovely with their natural color.
As the photographer, here is my take on the issue.
I should go into more detail about my admiration of women with gray and silver hair. Part of it started as I watched my wife struggle with the issue from multiple angles, and indeed, she’s ‘gone gray’ and back more than once. I can say though that when her hair is natural it is much thicker, softer, and healthier than when it is dyed. But it hasn’t always been easy for her. Nevertheless she looks beautiful as a woman with natural uncolored hair.
As an artist who has been photographing for many years, there was a time when all ‘serious’ photographers worked in black and white. Working in black and white, we tend to notice black and white and silver and shades of gray. Today I observe that a great many woman who have ‘gone gray’ work the look into their fashion routine and dress in blacks, whites, wear a lot of silver jewelry, maybe add a dash of color like a scarf or a red belt or interesting shoes, and generally appear stylish and artistic.
Although one shouldn’t over-generalize, I also have noticed that there is often a certain type of woman that tends to let their silver hair grow in. That type of woman is independent, intelligent, and sure of herself and her beauty. She’s strong and is willing to buck society’s norms and trends. Personally, I find all these traits to be sexy and attractive.
Today we’re all trying to eat healthier, eat less, exercise more, shop locally, and so on. So does it make sense to do those things and then dump a bunch of toxins into your scalp? Financially, what you save on hair coloring in a year would probably pay for that trip to Paris, or at least some really nice fashion items.
It does seem that these things are starting a trend, as I see more and more women, at least here in New York City, are becoming ‘silver-haired beauties’.
PS: All the photos I take are as ‘natural’ as the women in them. The only adjustments made are cropping, and adjusting exposure or white balance if needed. No other retouching has been done unless noted.
Great comment Denton. You almost had me pursuaded. But I am too scared (yet).
You could always get a wig to try the look out 🙂
Greetje, seems to me you’re almost there anyway with your blonde hair! I respect that you aren’t ready yet, but when you are, have your hairdresser put low lights in your hair. At least this helped me with the grow out (which there was none-you couldn’t tell). I couldn’t believe how beautiful, SOFT, and healthy my grey hair came in. If I’d known, I would have done it years earlier! Never had so much fun! Just make sure to get a good, youthful cut. The compliments from young people are mind blowing! I live in Nashville so there are those that think I’m Emmy Lou Harris! It’s like a club, when you see another one, you give this “knowing”nod! A shout out Thank You to Sylvia who published a pic of me in aLong Grey Hair article not so long ago!
My blond hair is pretty fake Melanie. I am a brunette by birth. No idea if and when I will go grey.
Not completely convinced yet Denton. I know some very independent and confident women that still want to dye their hair. I think that for some, it just looks better. Yes, dying costs money but so do new clothes, accessories etc. so for me it’s part of the overall grooming budget. I still believe that both options can be equally beautiful, so it’s really up to the woman themselves. As for putting toxins on your scalp, yes that is something I’m not totally happy with…..
There is nothing sexier than a woman past her 40’s that have long grey or white hair. To me thst ssys a lot about that woman