An Unveiling

Last year, in November, after travelling for 2.5 months, I decided that I would no longer colour my hair. Travelling for long periods of time, as I do, means that I am always looking for a root touchup. My curly hair is often blown straight and I have no interest or talent in hairstyling. Cost is a factor when colour, cut and blow-dry can run $160 +tip+++.  This project has taken great perseverance.
coloured hair in Arizona (November 2013)
I have a special hairdresser that I visit in Vancouver,Karyn Rudance at Curly Hair Vancouver. When
I proposed my new colour free look, Karyn suggested that she could lift some of the red colour out of my hair so that my look would be softer.
a softer colour with a few lighter highlights (February 2014)
As my hair grew lighter, I found that I was wearing slightly softer versions of my favourite Autumn palette. The look was growing more subdued. Is this just part of ageing? I admire those shameless elderly fashionistas but I'm probably not going to be one.
In Paris (April 2014), I found that I was looking decidedly blonde.
As time progressed, I found myself a soft blonde. I rather liked this look as my grey hair blended in nicely and I did not have to trust my hair to an unknown colourist. Really, anywhere you go in France, you can find a friendly hairdresser. I speak French so I have no problem. If you find a salon in a residential area, you will not need to pay an exorbitant amount.
Early May in Cornwall, I was finding my hair a bit yellow and dry.
As the grey hair comes in, it is stronger because it has not been chemically treated. I had previously coloured, lifted colour (peroxide) and had a Brazilian Blowout for straightening so my fine, curly hair had suffered a lot of abuse.

Yesterday, as Monsieur and I drove to the Rapid Transit, I voiced my fears. How does an older woman 
style her hair to avoid the "helmet" or "wash and wear" perm look? Will I look really old with grey hair? Will my clothes, body, life suit grey hair? In order to reveal the grey, most of the blonde will need to be cut off. I haven't had short hair for years!!!

This is not a project for the faint of heart! Lots of women will ask you why you are "letting your hair go".  Lots of women will colour their hair until they are 90 and that is their choice!!! I was inspired by my friend Nora who stopped colouring and by the The Hostess of the Humble Bungalow who underwent the transition with "tinsel" and grace to emerge more youthful looking than ever! It didn't hurt that she also lost weight.

Now I am mostly grey.
I am not the most secure woman about appearance. In fact, I try to micro-manage every detail of wardrobe and grooming every day so that I will feel confident when I step out the door. For me, this is essential to my life and well-being. Right now, I am feeling a bit unsure of the grey and the shorter hair.

My next appointment with Karyn is in August. My hair will have grown to a length where I could do the curly bob look again. For the meantime, I will be able to enjoy our swimming pool and rain showers without worry. 

I have far too much clothing so this transition may be the opportune time to curate and to develop a more subdued colour palette. I am thinking more greys, blues, aquas, peaches, lilacs and soft greens and fewer oranges and browns. 

One of my older friends says that she will continue to colour her hair because she doesn't want to feel vulnerable as an "old lady". Do you think that hair colour or lack of it makes us old? Have you ever considered taking the chance? Really, I could go back to Karyn and ask for red hair. Would that make me younger than my 62 years?  This is my first day as an elder!!!


  1. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your travels and I love your hair shorter. I don't know if it makes you look younger or older, but it definitely makes you look prettier!

  2. Interesting post. I really like your hair colour, it suits your skin tone and just seems right. It is such a hard decision isn't it. I have done a similar thing, gone from red to blonde as my grey hair is now really strong. You look lovely. Do you not feel more you?

    1. I think that I do feel more me without the coloured hair. I want to be a strong healthy woman of my age, not a woman trying to desperately to look younger.

  3. I love that hair colour on you -- a rich, natural look that seems to really lets your eyes shine through and your skin glow. I like Moonboots' question: Do you feel more you?

    1. Yes, I do feel more me. The grey is a much softer look. I am not sure about shorter hair but it will be so easy to scrunch and go.

  4. You look great with the short and grey hair!

  5. I made the commitment to gray hair 10 years ago, and haven't looked back. My family wasn't very supportive - especially my mother, who was still dying her hair at 68, and my sisters, who thought it made me look old. But I tend to think woman who try to look twenty-one forever, with the dyed long hair, tight short clothes, and way too high heels (saw an example yesterday in Bergdorf Goodman in NY; scary), look ridiculous. Who do they think they are fooling, anyway?

    Whereas my French husband's very classy mother went gray young, and always looked sophisticated and elegant. In her words, why would we want to look younger than we are? I love the age I am, and I want to look good, but not necessarily young. Big difference. Needless to say, my husband loves my gray, and loves that I don't feel the need to dress like our daughters...

    I love your gray, I think it softens your face, as it does for me. We just need to own our natural hair, and own our style!

  6. The French seem to age with grace and dignity. We want to look like lovely, healthy women of a certain age not like older women trying to hold on to our youth.

  7. New to your blog, but I'm compelled to comment that your last pic is lovely. The first pic looks a little harsh, and by the end, you look radiant. Congrats on persevering! I never really got on the color wheel, and I'm so glad I don't have to figure out how to get off!

  8. I think you look great! I've run the idea round my head to stop coloring and go natural. To date, I've not been brave enough (or humble enough). Scary! But it sure does get exhausting having to worry about new growth and the texture and just all the fiddling I do with my hair. Boy! This growing older! But one of these days, I'm going whole hog -- no more color and no more hair dryer.

    PS - Thanks for the comments on my last post and the great story of 70's colors at your house.

  9. You are greying very gracefully. It's softer and really complements your beautiful blue eyes. A softer wardrobe palette will make everything harmonize.

  10. You have lovely skin Madame, I think the grey is lovely on you and I have no idea why you would straighten that lovely curly hair. As you can see my hair is very straight, it looks dark (as it used to be ) in this profile pic but I've let it go natural (and greyer) for about three years now. My hair is thicker and in better condition than it's been in years.

  11. Your skin is beautiful! I think you look younger!!

  12. Wow, you look beautiful! The gray hair shows off your skin and eyes, and the total effect is more youthful.

    I'm a newbie to your blog, having just followed the link from The Vivienne Files. Your writing is, hmm.. enchanting probably isn't quite the right word but close enough. I keep clicking on "older post" to read more.


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