Fade to Gray

This is number two in an occasional series on what I'm learning as I go gray. My first post, "Why I Decided to Stop" can be found here .

Going gray has turned out to be one of the scariest decisions I've ever made. There's no promise on how things will turn out--I could wind up looking like Jamie Lee Curtis (in my dreams) or (cough) like someone's great grandma. At only 48, I don't exactly qualify as elderly, yet I can't help but wonder if that's how I'll be perceived soon...all because I stopped buying Loreal.

Now that gray hair is taking up a shocking 1/3 of my head, it feels like I'm walking around with a silent announcement: Hi. I've been fooling everyone all along, and this is how I really look. I think to a degree we can all relate to this. Think about the last time you rushed out to the grocery store without makeup, then inevitably ran into three (fantastic looking, pulled together) friends. That's sort of how I feel most the time.

I keep reminding myself that it's just a temporary, awkward phase.

As I endure the slow process of growing out my gray hair, I'm relieved that it's taking time. In an odd way, it's sort of like becoming pregnant. At first, you don't see anything at all. Eventually, there's no hiding it. And there's plenty of time to get used to the idea.

God works in our lives much the same way. He changes us gradually. Much of His work is hidden at first. Of course, miracles still occur, and when they do, I rejoice. But the miraculous aside, He is a God of the process. And the next time life feels awkward and uncomfortable, or I'm frustrated because I'm not sure how things are going to turn out, I'll try to remember that.


Ginny said...

The only thing I can say is..keep your hair short. I decided to stop coloring a long time ago. I keep my hair cut in a short bob and it really does not look bad. My best friend wears her hair long and it looks terrible as she is all white and it makes her look older. As much as EVERYONE I love hates my hair with the gray, I am sticking to my decision.

Karen said...

Oh, join the crowd...sigh... But I choose to consider it "wiley wisdom" and I've earned every one of them. :P I'm glad takes me slowly, too. (hugs)

Melanie said...

here's hoping it turns out more like Jamie's...hers looks fabulous...i think yours will too.
you'll post pics, right?

Cheryl Barker said...

Kudos to you, Julie, for giving it a try. (Wonder if Jamie spruces hers up some with some silver or something??)

I'm one of the lucky ones who hasn't had to color my hair --yet. I always say it's just the grace of God :) I'm 54 and have some gray, but overall, it's still dark. Sure hoping it can hang in there many more years :)

Jody Hedlund said...


Thank you for your vulnerability. I admire you for your step of honesty. And you're so right. . .I'm thankful God works in degrees and has mercy upon our slow, hesitant, sinful ways!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog Julie. You are a brave woman going gray. No doubt you'll look great. I'm 45 and instead of going gray, I fork out money for blonde highlights to hide mine. I need to check out your post about why you stopped.

Sue J. said...

I'm wondering what would happen if you went unnaturally gray. CHOKE! GASP!! Yeah...who wants to do that?!

My only problem with it comes down to the wild tendency of the gray hair to misbehave--as in, it's right in the front, but it won't sit down! I'm OK with the color change, but I'm not sure we need to announce it beyond that! Is yours behaving at least!?

Just like God has beauty in the bulb to be revealed in Spring, He is continuing to develop you into a mature, spiritual woman, who shines brighter than any shade to pop, as it were, from her head! He knows each and every one (and He loves you just the way you are!!)

B His Girl said...

If you do not like the gray when it is all said and done,you can always go back to the box. You are very young: )

Carla Gade said...

At least its winter, you can wear a hat.

Rose said...

If being gray automatically made you look like Jamie Lee Curtis, the makers of hair color would go out of business.
My hair is the only thing in my house that is chemically dependent so I think I will support its habit a bit longer.
I can't wait to see a pic of you with the new do!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Julie, you are SO brave. I love your honesty, and the spiritual application is great!

Have a happy week.

goodwordtoday said...

I made the decision a long time ago that I can never let my hair go gray, unless some medical condition forces me or unless God tells me, "Enough!" I want to prolong the illusion as long as possible even though everyone knows I color my hair.

One thing though is that gray hair does not hold the color well. I've discovered that it fades rather quickly and that is annoying - but not annoying enough to stop. Plus for some reason, my hair grows quicker now than it used to.

When I saw you at church on Valentine's Day, you looked great!
Blessings, Mary D

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Hi. First time visitor. I can so relate . . I'm so tired of dyeing my hair every four weeks . . but, vanity seems to be an issue still for me. I'm not that brave yet . . but, good for you! Your profile picture looks too young still . . Have a good day!


Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Thank you Julie for stopping by, appreciate the kind words too . . God Bless.

Unknown said...

I have I told you lately that YOU are beautiful? Well you are; I so admire your bravery! You may wish you look like Jamie Lee Curtis with your gray, but I would be pleased if I looked like YOU when I go gray. You are amazing inside and out Julie.

I so needed to hear those words, that God is a God of the process. That is definitly so true and good to be reminded of. Love you!

KelliGirl said...

You're so brave. One of my friends recently went gray. After years of dyeing and covering up she was sick of it. She definitely experienced the awkward phase you're in right now, but now that it's all grown out she has a beautiful head of white hair. She looks great and seems freer because of her decision.

As in all of life...isn't it neat how God uses these ordinary experiences to reveal Himself.

Post a picture!

myletterstoemily said...

wow. what a woman!

my good friend has let her hair turn
silver, and it is so beautiful, young
men stop her in the airport to tell
her. i love it!

the freedom must be incredible.

Eagles Wings said...

Oh gal, you crack me up....My friends here are trying to get me to color my hair when I show them the photo of the whole family before we left FL...I told them I earned every one of them and ain't coloring mine, even though people think I'm the babies grandmother. :-(
Oh well, but I love the thought it's a slow process :-)
God Bless hope all is well with you guys!

Sonya Lee Thompson said...

Great analogy, Julie! Thanks for sharing this. Are you going to try a new cut, too? We all want to see pictures. I hope you are taking them as you grow out the color. It would be a fun post to see it progressing.

With platinum blond hair, I don't suppose I'll go gray? Maybe one day I'll have white hair? But wrinkles... That's something I will not be able to avoid. :-)

All part of God's plan for us. Like you pointed out, it is a process.

Nancy said...

This is a great journey. I love what you are doing and that you are documenting it. Maybe you'll start a new trend. Since I started so late to color mine, I'm going to keep at it for awhile. But I love your level of joy and contentment.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I go to the gym without make-up just for exercise.To know that I am OK without it. The Lord whispers in my ear saying, try to act the same way as if I had make up on. In other words to let Him shine through me. It is kind of fun. I just smile at others and it no one has run screaming away yet. (smile)
I'm still working on being totally comfortable in my own skin.


Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

I'm going gray :o)
It is so nice to meet you...I had to stop by after reading your comment on another blog "myletterstoemily"...our son and I would laugh while reading Calvin and Hobbs too :o) We are very blessed that he is a strong, healthy 19year old, who loves the Lord. He is a cancer survivor and has been a wonderful testimony of God's healing. God is Good! And His grace abounds and His mercies endureth forever.

Blessings & Aloha!

prashant said...

it turns out more like Jamie's...hers looks fabulous...i think yours will too.
data entry india

Post a Comment