Gettin’ My Kicks on Root 66

Last October I decided to stop coloring my hair but chickened out when I saw a picture of myself. Horrified, I made a beeline to my colorist.  I just wasn’t ready.

Late November, near my 66th birthday, my grey roots were once again making an appearance. Looking at myself in the mirror, I played with my hair, flipping it this way and that, checking my hairline to see just how much grey was trying to overtake my youthful appearance.  My grey roots shone in the light. Hmmm, not so bad. The color is kinda pretty, like Grandma Harvey’s, I thought hopefully.

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Christmas rolled around, and with new resolve, I recommitted. But I was not going down this road without a map. I hopped on Information Highway and Googled everything I could find about others who had bravely taken this route before me. Blogs, photographs, and videos on going grey gracefully were everywhere. Amazon had books — so many books. Hardbacks, paperbacks and Kindle versions expressing the do’s and don’ts, ups and downs, joys and regrets about, gulp, going grey.

I read, I studied, I researched hairstyles, I took screenshots of older women in varying stages of transitioning from colored to grey hair, inspected my emerging hairline daily, and weighed my options.  Should I go cold turkey? Should I color match? Use a root concealer? Shave my head? Definitely not! Too drastic. I settled on cold turkey — no more dyes.

In February, I made an appointment with my stylist. She played with my hair, flipping it this way and that, checking my grey roots now grown a couple of inches from my hairline.  “I love the color,” she said,” you have a “silver halo” framing your face.” (Those of you who know me, know this is the only way I will ever get a halo, so I’m going with it.)  I showed her the hairstyles I’d photographed, and we decided on one that would fit me. She cut five inches from my long straight hair and soft layers to frame my face — no more bangs. My new hairstyle is a long bob called a “lob” for short. I love my new look. For me, the lob is a low-risk, easy to care for style, although I will have to take a quickie You Tube course on how to use a curling iron. I still have natural dark brown hair coming in but it blends nicely with my silvery roots giving my halo a soft salt and pepper effect.

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Straight from the salon

Crafting My Retirement: A Journey of Rediscovery started as a way to learn what my interests were, who I was, and what I wanted to do in my retirement. It’s become a journey of discovering who I am, what enhances my life, and what no longer serves me. I’m grateful for those of you who have followed and supported me along my initial journey and hope you will continue to join me in my travels. As I step from one life into another, one thing I know for sure, I won’t be bored.

“Smiles are contagious; let’s start an epidemic”     -Laura Smith-

“Smile of the Week”

Athelene Rose

Another silver haired beauty–My Mom–Athelene Rose–Age 93

35 thoughts on “Gettin’ My Kicks on Root 66

  1. I envy those of you who have pretty gray hair. Mine does not fall in that category 😕

    It’s a very flattering cut and it looks like your colourist did some low lights to transition the new growth with your existing hair? Very nice.

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    • HI Joanne
      Thanks for your encouraging comments. The last time I colored my hair was in late October. No low lights or highlights done. In fact, over the almost 20 years of coloring my hair my colorist only covered the emerging roots. She was a great colorist and made a special mix for my hair. Otherwise, the way my hair responded to the color treatment, normal color fade, and sunlight helped with the color textures you see in my hair. Oh, I also had her deep condition and put a protective glaze on my hair at each visit. When I had my hair styled in Feb. we did not do any of that. Just a wash, cut, and blow dry.
      Thanks for your support
      Laura

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi CC
      I agree with your choice to not want chemicals like formaldehyde on your head. Truthfully, I cannot tell you what was in the concoction my colorist put on my head. I will say, sometimes it burned a bit, but in my misguided attempt to stay young looking I looked the other way and didn’t ask questions. I am enjoying watching the grey hair come in and I feel great about my decision. Thankfully I am older and wiser now.
      Thanks for your support and encouragement. Keep up the good work with your commitment to be chemical
      Laura

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    • Hello Janis
      I’ll try to take you on a road trip soon. My husband recently drove a gorgeous loop down Hwy 1 and back up Hwy 101.
      It took me 20 years of coloring to learn going grey can be very empowering. Check out Cindy Joseph Pro-Age Revolution. Her philosophy influenced me greatly.
      Thanks for your support
      Laura

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  2. Very nice…the cut suits you and the gray blends in beautifully.
    I, however, am fighting the gray tooth and nails…not going down without a fight!
    At some point I might join you, but not yet!

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    • Hi Nancy
      I struggled with my decision to go grey for at least 2 years. It’s a major choice in all women’s (and some men’s) lives. I cannot believe how freeing it felt when I just went for it.
      Thanks for your comments a support.
      Laura

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  3. I’ve never colored my hair and at the moment I only have a few grays but I think I’m just going to let them do what they do. Wish I had more hair. Wouldn’t care what color it was. I follow another blogger who wrote about her decision to stop coloring her hair as well. It turned out nice for her too. Yours is great.

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    • Hi Janet
      In hindsight, I wish I had just let my hair go natural and never colored it. But hey, live and learn, eh?
      Times are changing and I think women (and men) are becoming more accepting of aging in general.
      Thank you
      Laura

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your new style is gorgeous. Kudos to you for taking this step. I’ve not gathered the courage, but the freedom of it is very appealing. By the way, your Mom is also gorgeous and I can tell she has style!!

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    • Hi Tracey
      Thank you for the compliment from both me and my Mom. You used the word “Freedom” in your comment. I have to say making the decision to stop coloring has been one of the most freeing decisions I’ve ever made. It’s so strange we have to muster up the courage to do something that is a natural part of life.
      Thanks for your support
      Laura

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    • Hi Debi
      Thanks, believe me I had to step way out of my comfort zone to come to terms with accepting aging. But Mom and Grandma were good role models on how to do it gracefully, don’t you think?
      Love you, see you soon
      Laura

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  5. Love the title of this blog post, as my husband and I just drove part of Route 66 yesterday and today (in Arizona). What a beautiful and radiant photo of you after the visit to the stylist, Laura!

    Mark is getting grey, which means we will have to cut his hair more often, which we do with hair clippers (free!). I’ve never colored my hair or went to a stylist. I assume I’ll go natural all the way and all my life. It took a while for my mom to get grey and even now, I barely notice it. She never colored her hair either, so I think I’ll be OK. 🙂 Your mom looks fabulous, by the way!

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    • Thank you, Liesbet

      I thought I was the only one who cut their husbands hair. It does save money for sure.

      Good decision not to ever start coloring. It seems it’s more acceptable to go natural these days. I colored my hair for about 20 years. With the length of my hair even now it will take about 18 months to grow it all out. But I’m excited about my decision.

      Enjoy your travels
      Laura

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh you look fabulous, Laura! I would have never guessed your age based on your avatar image of you with bangs and sunglasses! I’m lucky my strawberry blond hair is going white, very subtlely for now, my dad’s red hair went white, so I expect the same results. I’m daring my hair to go white, but it’s not taking the dare 😁

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    • Hi Terri

      Thank you.

      I have a friend who has strawberry blonde hair. Like you, the grey in coming in so naturally you can’t even tell. I notice this on natural blondes too. It’s so subtle.

      Also thanks for your support and encouragement in the past. I appreciate it
      Laura

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m strolling over from Joanne’s blog to read yours…

    So glad I did. I am toying with the idea of letting the grey grow in… I am sooo tired of the constant coloring of the roots. I do use a non chemical coloring though, or so they say. I am not quite ready to go au naturel but am getting there and seeing you with your very stylish lob is certainly inspiring! It is strange that I am not gray as I AM one of those who believes in aging naturally and hopefully gracefully and have not and would not ever use botox and all that kind of stuff, but am having a hard time letting go of having brown hair. Problem is the spotty way that my gray grows out… only in some places, so I fear I would look racoon like.

    Well done for having the courage. And you look terrific!!! As does your mom. Good genes obviously.

    Peta

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    • Hi Peta

      Thanks for popping over. I’d been thinking about not coloring my hair anymore for about 2 years. I got closer and closer each time I gave it some good long thought. I struggled with wanting to age gracefully, and coloring my hair. Kind of a conflict of interest. Finally, it was just time. That was it. It took the leap. And I am happy I did. One of the consistent helpful hints I read about in my research of going grey, when you have longer hair, was to get a great shorter hairstyle. Thus the “lob.” I really like. So thanks for your comments, you’ll know when the time is right for you.

      I also checked out your blog, greenglobaltrek.com. Very nice. I need to sit down with it an enjoy the photos and your writings about your travels.

      Thanks again and safe travels
      Laura

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  8. Hi Rhonda
    Thank you for the nice compliment. I love hats!!! I’m thinking as my grey hair grows out I’ll be covering up too. I also learned grey hair has a tendency to turn a yellow color when exposed to too much sun. I also love the sun, so hats are definitely in.
    Thanks for your support
    Laura

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  9. I love your hair, Laura. Nice choice on the cut, and the color looks good too. I’m sure that was a big decision. For now, I continue to add brown low-lights to mix in the gray. I have thought after retirement, if we travel as much as I want to, I may need to let the gray out or find hairdressers around the world! 🙂 Also, I love that photo of your mother and her beautiful smile!

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  10. Hi Sam
    Gee thanks. It took me a long time to finally make the decision to go natural. But, when I was ready there was no looking back. I’m happy with my decision. I’d been coloring my hair for about 19 years. So it was time.
    Laura

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