Category Archives: Going Gray and Silver Linings

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Thirty-seven months, no color: Nov 2, 2016

Going Silver: Comparison and Encouragement

It’s been over three years since I started down Silver Linings Pathway. Recently, I compared pictures from November 2013 with those taken in 2016. I’m slightly disappointed that the differences aren’t more stark. Check out the photos below and see for yourself. The golden highlights and brown lowlights are long gone, but there isn’t a huge difference. Guess I need more stress to grow more silver. Haha! Just kidding! I really don’t need more stress!

I’m so glad I’ve taken pictures for the Going Silver blog, because it’s fun to track my journey. As I look back, I’ve thought about the people who have inspired me to stop coloring my hair. In past blog posts, I’ve mentioned my Mom. Another inspiration for me was Katharine Hepburn. I saw someone interview her years ago (can’t find that interview) and was struck by her natural beauty. I remember her walking around her garden with her hair up (like the picture below). She was so confident, calm, and cool. I admired that. And, I love the way she aged gracefully, that really stayed with me. Did you know that her acting career spanned over six decades? I love it! Here are several pictures I found via Google that remind me of that interview:

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

And, I love what she said at the beginning of this interview I found on YouTube:

I am so grateful that Katharine Hepburn’s interview and image stuck in my mind as a graceful way to age. It really matters what media messages you take to heart. Equally important are the messages you hear at home from relatives and friends. So, that is why I am speaking out. I hear a lot of women knocking themselves down for looking old and ugly. That makes me sad. Negative thoughts like this are due to a culture that is ageist and ugly towards women and the natural process of aging. And, I’ve had enough of that nonsense. I want to encourage others to love the hair and skin they are in!

Need some more encouragement, check out this “About Style” article that features women who have gone naturally gray. The pictures are awesome and inspiring. Check them out. These women are stunning and so are you. Let’s stand up to social norms and embrace life “as we are”. I have. Will you?

As always, check out my gallery of photos (below), these are the ones from November. As you can see, I am enjoying my life no matter what age or hair color. We are all one breath away from the end of our lives. Let’s just enjoy the time we have. Bring on the silver!!!


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Thirty-six months, no color Oct 28, 2016

Going Silver: 3 years and NO COLOR!

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I made it … three years with no highlights or lowlights! What you see is my natural color: my own highlights! If you check out the photo gallery below you will see the magnificent colors that appear under different lighting and in various settings. I still have my moments when I look in the mirror and wonder who the heck that is … but, more often than not I look in the mirror and say, “Dang girl, you look great!”

The picture below, was taken on November 5, 2013. I hope to recreate the shot in the next few weeks. Let’s hope the fall colors cooperate, so I can share “before and after” photos soon! It’s so exciting to get to this point and I’m proud of myself for persevering! I’ve met some naysayers along the way, but far more people have encouraged me to buck the cover-up trend and to “be me”! I’m so glad I did, because I am much more confident today than I was back in 2013. Further, this process of digging under the layers of cover-up has made me realize that deep down, I am truly awesome and do not need to hide! In fact, I learned to celebrate my sparkly silver strands as a badge of honor for a life well-lived! And, I encourage you to do the same!

Going Silver: Highlight, Lowlight, Nolight

Fall has always been my favorite time of year, but even more so now … as I move into the “fall” period of life … I find it is a time of reflection and celebration. What an awesome opportunity to look inwards, to discover the richness that life experiences offer, and to shine and sparkle with all my silver might! How refreshing, exhilarating, and empowering! So, to all you wonderful people who are on the fence about letting those silvers shine … I say, buck the trends and be yourself. It will change your outlook on life, you will learn to love yourself THE WAY YOU ARE and, as a result, you will love others in a much more vibrant way!

And, if you need some encouragement along the way … sign up for my blog! I plan to keep posting about my experience. I run into people on a daily basis who are ready to give up coloring their hair … you are not alone! So many are afraid! I realize a lot of people just need to see their friends and neighbors standing strong and accepting their age and everything that comes with it! So, join me and many others on this journey down Silver Linings Lane!


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Thirty-five months, no color: Sep 29, 2016

Going Silver and Ageism

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My thirty-five month journey down Silver Linings Lane has opened my eyes to how ageist our culture is in America. In “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism”, Ashton Applewhite writes, “Although we age in different ways and at different rates, everyone wakes up a day older.” Well, well … isn’t that the truth and something we all need to ponder!? She goes on to say, “Longevity is here to stay. Everyone is aging. Ending ageism benefits us all.” I concur!

Blogging about my “Going Silver” journey is a way of standing up and saying … enough of looking at silver strands as something unattractive and in need of covering up. Enough of the shame. Be proud of the silver, it’s your shiny medal for living a long life. Think of all the people six-feet-under who would love to trade places with you right now. Get over the drama and live in the present.

Tune out the anti-aging ads for creams and cover ups to disguise WHO YOU ARE! Like Applewhite says, “The next time you see a product touting its “anti-aging” prowess, remember that “anti-aging” actually means “anti-living”! Wow! That is so true! I’d encourage you to purchase Applewhite’s book and look into Atul Gawande’s book, “Being Mortal”. And, google Dr. Bill Thomas’s website and check out his: The Age of Disruption Tour: What if nearly everything we think we know about aging is wrong.

If you need more encouragement, here’s another Pro-Age person, I’ve mentioned Cindy Joseph many times throughout the years, check out her video on ageism (below). She rocks!

Ageism We Commit Against Ourselves…

You are not alone! We are not alone! There is a tribe of Pro-Age Revolutionaries out there! Join us. Wear your age as an honor badge! Stand tall, raise your voice, show how amazing you are and what age has to offer the masses! Let’s be frank about our age, talk about it … check out what Applewhite had to say in her last blog post. It’s time to unpack the age-related baggage, process what it has done to our culture, evaluate how we unconsciously perpetuate ageism, and with that awareness educate others. It’s possible. With awareness and mindfulness, individually we humans can rewire the way we think and start new patterns that will spread. Join the revolutionaries I’ve mentioned above … I am!

As always, see below some pictures of my 35th month of no highlights and lowlights! Check out my natural highlights in the back. Is that cool or what?! It’s me … ala natural!


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Thirty-four months, no color: Aug 31, 2016

Going Silver and Less Makeup!

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Last time I wrote a blog post was back in May. Since then, I’ve been in a personal funk for a variety of reasons. I’m trying to regroup, get my mojo back. Ya know what I mean! Thankfully, I’m starting to see that “silver” light at the end of the tunnel! 🙂

Recently, I looked at photos taken of me in my early 40s. At the time, I thought I was fat and flawed. Now that I’m in my 50s, I think I looked fabulous in my 40s. Although I can’t get those years back, I don’t want to look back at my 50s and have the same realization. No, I’m not going to waste my time dwelling on negative thoughts promoted by a culture that doesn’t appreciate the aging process or the fact that women have a mind to think for themselves and do what they want with their own bodies. So, goodbye to the personal funk, I’m here to enjoy the present moment!

That said, self-acceptance statements are showing up everywhere…we are so privileged to be alive now. For those of you who have followed my posts over the past 34 months, you know that I stopped highlighting/low-lighting my hair and started wearing less make-up! I wanted to be in touch with the real me! I was inspired by Cindy Joseph and her Pro-Age Revolution. Recently, I heard that Alicia Keys has stopped wearing make-up. I actually cried HAPPY tears when I read her essay in Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, these words really touched my soul:

“…I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”

Like Alicia, I feel this is my path … it’s time to BE ME. And, if it’s not for you, take Alicia’s advice, “Do you!” Another female celebrity who encouraged me was Colbie Caillat with her song “Try“! Wow, what terrific lyrics and the video is so empowering! Young girls are so lucky to see and hear these messages! It gives me hope for the girls and women who struggle to keep up with the unrealistic airbrushed women in magazines and online. Check out the color (see below) I was hiding under my highlights and low-lights! One of the stylists at the salon thought I had highlights to get this color! No, this is the real, raw ME!! I love it!!!

Thirty-four months, no color: Aug 31, 2016

Thirty-four months, no color: Aug 31, 2016

So, if you are in a personal funk, be strong. Do you! If you are having issues making the transition to silver – check out the what some young people are doing – and join the grey craze. The Grombre look is the latest thing! For those of us who are naturally turning silver, we have it easy. Join me and many others who are discovering the freedom of less makeup and trips to the salon!


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Going Silver and Acceptance

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Watching my father adapt to having Parkinson’s Disease has not been easy. But then, that’s how life lessons work. It’s uncomfortable to face change. At times we are forced to make changes and at other times we can hide from reality behind something like “hair color”. Our family is not hiding from the harsh realities of Dad’s diagnosis and we aren’t sitting around crying about it either. We are accepting the revised life script and making the most of the time we have together. One thing I really admire is how my father has kept his sense of humor. He’s coping the best he can and keeps us laughing.

That is exactly how I am moving through the phases of going silver and “aging” in general:  accepting the stages with open arms and a good sense of humor. Join me as I celebrate 31 months in the “no color” zone. If you want to read more about acceptance, check out my blog post from 2015. 🙂 It’s full of spunk!

Pro-Age Humor

If you just decided to “Go Silver” … welcome! You are in good company. If you need encouragement along the way, subscribe to my blog and speak up. Let’s do this together. Or, join a forum or two on Facebook. I have found some incredible women who have encouraged me to continue my journey down Silver Linings Lane. Whatever you do … know that there are others who are going through the same thing. Join us … as we keep it real!


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Thirty months, no color: Apr 4, 2016

Going Silver and Unsolicited Input

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Well, it was my turn to hear some not-so-flattering words from a friend. Recently, I was walking through my neighborhood and met my neighbor (who is my age) and her mother. It was a bright sunny day and I was feeling especially good. I had just returned from a trip to Hong Kong – Taiwan – Shenzhen – Dubai! They excitedly asked me about my trip and I regaled them with my tales. Out of the blue, the daughter asked, “Glenda, when are you going back to blonde?” I was puzzled and replied, “After 30 months of no color, there’s no way I’m going back to blonde highlights. I love my hair. It looks better and feels healthier–to me!” She responded with, “But, it will brighten up your face and make you look and feel younger!” I thought to myself, “Hm?! I feel good and definitely don’t think I look like I’m stepping into the GRAYve!” 😉 Take a look at the picture below … I think you’ll agree with me!

Thirty months, no color: Apr 3, 2016

Thirty months, no color: Apr 3, 2016

I went on and expressed how embracing my silver and my age was invigorating and liberating. But my neighbor kept pushing, to the point where her mother started to agree with me. When I responded, I was mindful that they both color their hair and didn’t want to say anything that would come across as judgmental. I simply stated that I am comfortable with my age and everything that comes with it. As I walked home, I realized that my neighbor’s comments didn’t hurt or make me question my decision. I thought of my mother who has embraced her silver strands and started me on this path by setting an excellent example of living life to the fullest. And, I thought of all the beautiful souls on Facebook Forums who have encouraged me on the journey down Silver Linings Lane. I am so blessed. I am at peace and wish the same for others. So, I will continue to share my story and pictures hoping that my experience will help others break free from the social pressures of coloring their hair to “look young”!

Thirty months, no color: Apr 4, 2016

Thirty months, no color: Apr 4, 2016

As always, I added pictures to my gallery from this month–my 30th month–of Going Silver. As you can see … I am living life to the fullest! Check out this video of me on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa! Oh my! 

If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for more! And, please … feel free to comment. We Silver Sisters must support one another.


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Twenty-nine months, no color: Mar 17, 2016

Going Silver: A major trim and a trip to Hong Kong

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Many thanks to the kind women on the going gray Facebook forums who helped me decide it was time for a serious trim. My hair stylist cut off 5 inches and it looks thicker and healthier. I’m so glad I did it. Check out the featured picture to see the natural highlights coming from the crown of my head. Pretty cool!

So, back in February I posted about Millennial men dyeing their hair gray. Interestingly, I had not encountered one millennial male with gray hair in the US, but that’s not really surprising, I work in a solitary setting and do not get out much. However, in March I visited Hong Kong and walked around the city a lot. I was surprised to see so many young Asian men with obvious dye jobs. I wish I had been brave enough to ask if I could take pictures and ask them questions. Unfortunately, all I have are visual memories. In the short time I was there, approximately two weeks, I saw at least 15 guys with dye jobs. It was obvious … like the guy below.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/269441990183348685/

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/269441990183348685/

As usual, I added pictures to document the monthly changes … sometimes the lighting makes me look so blonde that I feel the need to prove that I’m turning silver. I find myself parting my hair down the middle to show my favorite silver spot (natural highlights). Only then, do people “see”. I guess I should be grateful that the process is taking a while … but, after seeing some of the stunning silver hair out there, I find myself getting a little anxious for more. Breathe Glenda, breathe!

I’d love to hear from those of you who are transitioning. Are you like me — noticing all the silver sisters and brothers out there and wishing that yours would fill in soon? Here’s to patience and enjoying the moment. I believe the pix below capture just how much I am enjoying this stage of my life! All thanks to the silver – I sparkle!


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Twenty-eight months, no color: Feb 21, 2016

Going Silver: And Millennial Men

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I chose the best time to go silver! And, here is one reason…a dear and treasured male friend of mine sent me a link via Facebook private message from Pix 11 (a news station in New York City) titled “Millennials dying hair gray as part of new fashion trend“. What a perfect time to blend in with all of these young people dyeing their hair to look more mature! What a hoot!  Here’s a link to the article that contains a video. But, if you skip it all together, big names like Zayne Malik formerly of “One Direction” and Olympic Freestyle Skier Gus Kenworthy both have dyed their hair silver/gray! See below:

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 5.41.35 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 5.41.35 AM (Source: http://pix11.com/2016/02/04/millennials-dying-hair-gray-as-part-of-new-fashion-trend/)

Here’s another screen shot from the Pix 11 video of a millennial dying his hair silver/gray:

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 5.40.10 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 5.40.10 AM (Source: http://pix11.com/2016/02/04/millennials-dying-hair-gray-as-part-of-new-fashion-trend/)

When I was in my twenties and thirties, I remember thinking that men with salt and pepper were “hot”! And, I still feel that way! 🙂 Now it’s time to brand women with silver as “hot” or, as we say these days “hotties”! Young people are showing an interest in fast-forwarding the aging process. No doubt because it will help them gain respect and land good jobs. But, it’s a step in the right direction. I say a big thank you to the millennials who are getting a taste of going silver/gray! It makes me hope that these young people will have a new perspective on aging that will help them down the road.

To that end, here are some pictures of me this past month. February marks my 28th month of no highlights or lowlights! As you can see, I’m enjoying the process and the fact that I’m still on the planet! Care to join me on the journey down silver linings lane? I would love to have some company. Please sign up for my blog and let’s rebrand women with silver as “happy hotties”. Until then … all the best! 🙂

 

 


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Twenty-seven months, no color: Jan 22, 2016

Going Silver: And Your Friends

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Sharing my journey down Silver Linings Lane hasn’t been easy–it takes courage to stand up to social norms. Recently, a dear friend of mine confirmed that speaking out and setting an example is a good thing. Check out her Facebook post:

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 1.35.25 AM

Wow, I inspired my friend! I’ve heard this from others–privately–but, was overjoyed to see Valerie’s post on Facebook. Our story has a unique twist. You see, Valerie inspired me–years ago. When I met Valerie we were in our 20s and she had prematurely gray hair. I thought it was cool, she carried it well, and looked great! When I considered going natural, I thought about Valerie and how good she looked with silver strands back in the day. Here are some pictures of us back in the 90s.

Glenda and Valerie in 1992

Glenda and Valerie in 1992 – You can’t really see the gray in this pic, but you can in the next. I just wanted to show us together!

Valerie in 1992

Valerie in 1992 – Now, you can see the silver streaks!

And, here is my response to Valerie’s post and her story in her-own-words …

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 8.39.29 AM (1)

And, this is my beautiful friend now … on her way back down Silver Linings Lane.

My friend Valerie

My friend Valerie

We each have our own way of moving through this phase, but I have found a common theme. Once we’re on a roll, we see the stunning silver, and want a full head of it! Valerie told me, “I’m getting impatient already! My gray coming in is so pretty!! I do plan to eventually have a few lowlights periodically to break up the totalness, but it will be so much healthier and require less maintenance. I’m very excited for the journey.” And, so am I … for those of you who aren’t so sure about going silver. Just do it! There are others like me and Valerie who are happy to support you! Please subscribe to my blog and feel free to share your thoughts and emotions along the way. You will experience a lot of them – good and bad. We all have! But, it’s worth it … you will see! I’d love to hear from you! Let’s do this!


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Twenty-six months, no color: Dec 8, 2015

Going Silver: All that Glitters is not …

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GOLD! Not the way I see it … I’m all about letting that glittery, shimmery Silver Shine! In early December, I went to the salon for a hair cut and as my hairstylist started to blow out my hair, she marveled at the natural silver highlights cascading down the back of my head. Other stylists and customers chimed in. Interestingly, my former colorist remained silent. She’s the one who warned me that sooner or later I’d be back in her chair. Hm?! It’s been 26 months and I haven’t been back for more color torture. I had no idea these silver highlights were hiding underneath my high and low lights! I’m so psyched! I wish others would go natural … we never know what glory might be hiding under all of that dye. Yep, glorious highlights that are “dying” to be seen! 🙂

Twenty-six months, no color: Dec 3, 2015; check out the mix of colors!

Twenty-six months, no color: Dec 3, 2015; check out the mix of colors!

Which leads me to the fear of not coloring. Why are we so afraid to be WHO WE ARE?! Why are we constantly covering up our true essence in order to look like someone else or to hold onto a younger version of ourselves? And really, do people enjoy spending ridiculous amounts of time in an uncomfortable chair making small talk or every few weeks buying a bottle of dye and making a mess in their bathroom? I’d rather spend time doing what I enjoy; like hanging out with people I love and adore or going for a work out … and I get it, not everyone enjoys working out. But, you get my point, right?!

Not long ago, I attended a birthday party and talked to a guest who stated that her colorist charges $400 for each session. Now, that’s a lot of money. She can afford it, but I know others who can’t and still put tons of money into coloring their hair. Just think if you could save that money and go on a fabulous trip to another country and learn about another culture. I’d rather make memories like that instead of cling to some old version of what I used to look like. Life is about moving forward, not hanging on to the past!

So, as we close out 2015 and move forward … join me and your other Silver Sisters as we celebrate who we are in the moment! Check out the photos below and the ones in my Silver Linings Photos. If you are thinking about going silver, please speak up. I’d love to hear from you. And, please sign up for my blog. The more we band together on this, the more we will deconstruct the social norms that going gray or going silver is a bad thing! Let’s celebrate every stage of life for what it is! On that high note, I wish you a Happy New Year … let the celebrations begin! 🙂


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