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Confessions of a Grey-Haired Girl


You know how I’ve been cutting and coloring my own hair for the past 18 months? It’s still going strong. With the exception of 2 professional hair cut/colors prior to interviews I’ve been exclusively doing my own hair (one professional cut/color was back in November 2014, the other was in January 2015…funny enough, neither of those are jobs I actually landed. Before the interview for my current job I hadn’t done anything special to prepare myself physically. Just wore my interview suit – third time was a charm – and styled my hair normally).

Anyway, I’ve mostly been blonde but about a month ago I decided I wanted a change and I went dark for Fall. Dying my own hair, as usual.

Only….I made a terrible discovery in doing so. You guys! I’m going grey! Eeek!

Yes, at the ripe “old” age of 32 technically 31, but only for one more month. Grey hairs galore! I guess I hadn’t noticed before because they blend in much better with blonde hair. In fact, I bet it actually increased the length of time I could go between hair dyes because the grey masked any darker-colored roots. But with dark brown hair the grey is painfully obvious.

And now I’m in a conundrum.

I like the dark brown. I want to stay dark brown for awhile. But….yeah. The grey is an issue.

I feel like I’m going to have to dye my hair more regularly (maybe every 4-6 weeks instead of closer to 8-10 weeks, which was my norm with blonde hair). And I’m using cheap grocery store dye, not something professional. I’m worried about the condition of my hair. Especially with our colder weather it feels very dry and brittle. I’ve always been a person who has HAD to wash my hair every single day (because otherwise it would get so greasy!) but I’ve moved to an every-other-day wash schedule because my hair is so dry it really doesn’t need to be washed more frequently than that.

So, I don’t know what to do. I’m torn between my preference (I’d like to stay brunette for now), my pocketbook (more frequent dying = more $), and my hair quality (more frequent dying = more damage).

I know back when Adam and Emily were blogging I’d once commented on a post by Emily about hair care. I’d found some type of at-home salon-quality hair dye that’s professionally matched to the person based on hair type, color, etc. It’s a bit more expensive than the cheap grocery store hair dye, but it’s still much cheaper than going to a salon and maybe it would save my hair from some of the damage???  What do you think?

What would you do? Try better quality at-home dye? Go back blonde? Some other alternative? Any suggestions for good hair dye brands are welcome, too!



Texan at heart; Arizonan on paper. Lover of running, cheese, camping, and family (fur-family included!). Blogger, motivated to get out of debt YESTERDAY! Follow along with my journey!

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  • Reply Megan |

    Do you have Sally Beauty in your area? That is where I buy hair color. Did you know they will do a color consult for you there? I did not know until yesterday when the lady convinced me to buy a slightly darker shade and to skip the Clairol and instead I bought something called Age Beautiful by Zotos. I doesn’t feel quite as harsh and drying as the Clairol. It was $6.29 for the 2 oz tube that is enough for 2 coloringings for me and I bought their smallest 4 oz bottle of their brand of developer at $2 that will last for 4. How does that compare to drugstore prices and is your hair short or thin enough to get 2 colors out of a tube?

    Props for cutting your own hair!

    • Reply Ashley |

      I had no idea they color consult for free (and, yes, they’re in my area)! My hair is pretty thick and long so I generally can only get 1 dye per tube. But even so, the prices you’ve listed are pretty comparable to the cheap grocery-store dye I’ve been buying (only I’m assuming Sally has better quality dyes than I’ve been using). I’ll have to check them out! Thanks for the tip about the color consult, too!

  • Reply Mary |

    I’d just go to a salon and get it done. Switch to a permanent hair color if you haven’t already and that will keep the grey covered and then you’re just doing touch ups every month or whatever your time frame needs to be. Mine is every four weeks, lol. That way you’re not covering the whole hair again and that should help with the dryness. Also, they can blow dry it and style it with ionic tools which help with the dryness.

    You could still do permanent hair color with an over-the-counter hair color but most of the over the counter ones are more temporary hair colors which means they wash out. With a permanent hair color, it will cover the grey better and you really only have to concern with outgrowth. I know you’re trying to save as much money as you can but I think it’s money well spent to look professional when you have a professional job. That’s just my two cents. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • Reply Mary |

    P.S. I really like the dark color and would stay with that. I don’t think that you need to go blonde just yet. I thought the dark was so flattering on you.

  • Reply Louise |

    I’m the same age as you, with a bit of grey, and I went through a period of dying my hair, but I’ve been all natural for a few years now. My hair has natural highlights from the sun and from using bicarb soda or lemon juice on it. I feel really good about it! I also can’t see the grey hairs. I realise some people (like my mother) can’t go without dye. But I love how cheap my hair care routine is, and the time I don’t have to spend maintaining a colour.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Yes! The time is another issue I didn’t even mention! Even doing it at-home still takes quite a bit of time!

  • Reply Juhli |

    I started going grey at 21 and never died my hair. It is so much easier to go with what nature gives you and use your clothing and accessories to make yourself look good. That being said, if you keep dying your hair make sure you find a way to not let the roots show as that is more aging than a sprinkling of grey.

  • Reply Amanda |

    I’m 36 and starting to go gray around the edges…and just going with it for now. Anything else is far too expensive and time consuming at this point in my life. If I were going to color it, I’d go to a salon. The damage the grocery store stuff is doing would concern me.

  • Reply Jean |

    I color my hair at home – both for the cost & convenience. I have dark hair naturally & have added a hint of red to the mix!

    I use Garnier Nutriesse, and I’m an every-other-day washer, although I normally stick my head under the shower to wet it down so it’s easier to style (my hair is in a wedge type of cut right now, above my shoulders – which means more trips to the salon for cuts.) My stylist always comments about how healthy my hair is. I have a lot of hair, but the hair shaft itself is thin. I am starting to get more grey hairs, but as the color fades, it almost looks like highlights. (or maybe I’m just telling myself that?!)

    Because my hair is shorter, I color my whole head. When I was in college, a suite mate had long hair & just colored her roots (blonde). Is that what your stylist/colorist did? That might help your hair stay healthier.

    Do you have any friends or friends of friends that could recommend a box color brand? Maybe if you tried a different brand it would not damage your hair like the current brand you’re using?

    Obviously just throwing things out there, but maybe one of them will work for you! If you want to color your hair/hide the grey, there are ways to do it without breaking the bank – I know you’ll find the way that works best for you (both your hair & your pocketbook!). 🙂

  • Reply Carolyn |

    You have good reason to be concerned about the cheap dye destroying your hair, it is loaded with harsh chemicals that not only ruin your hair, are carcinogens. One chemical PPD recommends that you use gloves when handling and not touch the skin. How close to the roots can you reach and not touch the skin? So seeing the grays as you have, I did the research and went with henna. All natural won’t destroy your hair or cause cancer. You can get the light mountain henna from multiple online websites. My guy who cuts my hair became my colorist. He mixes the henna with apple cider vinegar and coconut oil before applying. The color came out fantastic, it is shiny and feels really soft. My hair has never been in better condition and I get a lot of compliments on my hair. All hair color is messy, henna just needs to remain on your head longer, but it deeps conditions as it colors. I will never go back to the box dyes that ruin your hair and are dangerous to your health. And it saves me a lot of money. I get my hair trimmed by my guy every couple months (FREE) and he does a better job that they did at the salon. I color my hair every three months 2-kits as my hair is long at $9 and I freeze the leftover henna for my guy to touch up my roots at the six week point. So great looking hair for under $60 a year versus $1500 if I went the salon route and my hair would not look as good.

So, what do you think ?