Let’s Talk Grays—What Are The Options, Really??

In the last few months white-gray hairs have been sprouting on my head like it’s going out of style. Hair color, and especially going gray, is a tricky topic for any clean girl. One we haven’t discussed in some time…

So what are the options? Dirty dyes, magic markers, or long meditations on acceptance? Here’s how I see it breaking down.

The Dirty Way: We’ve always said that this clean thing is an 80/20 game. Siobhan and I both get infrequent highlights, and I truly believe that if coloring your hair is making you happy then that’s worth a whole lot of something. BUT, we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t remind you (and ourselves) that several ingredients in hair dye are known to be carcinogenic in animals. According to current research, the risk that hair dye causes cancer in humans seems slim, but this type of research is notoriously difficult to conduct. That’s why our motto is to avoid these types of chemicals whenever we can. And given that dyes are created to last, even the semi-permanent ones, when you dye your hair you’re living with these chems for a long time.

Do you dye your hair despite the known risks?

The Natch and Semi-Natch Solutions: Rebecca is a big proponent of henna, though even henna has not entirely avoided controversy (most of it around black henna tattoos). Then there are the so-called natural hair dyes (are they ever really natural?), which Siobhan ventured to try when we were writing the book. The results sucked, but that was a while ago.

Has anyone here found a natural dye they absolutely love?

Beyond that, there are the true hippie tricks like using coffee and tea and lemon juices to change one’s hair color.

Does coffee color grays in brown hair?

Diet and Prayers: We believe that what we eat affects how we look at feel, but can certain foods actually reverse grays? I wrote about this a while ago, when I met a woman who had been dosing on kelp—and, lo and behold, her white hair had started growing in brown at the root. Donna Gates, the author of The Body Ecology Diet—who also eats a regimen rich in sea vegetables—is well into her 60s and doesn’t have a single gray. When I met her she told me it was the diet and the twice-weekly colonics she’d been getting for years. You can’t make this stuff up.

Have any of you experimented with diet to reverse or prevent grays?

Acceptance: And last but not least, it seems more and more women are happily rocking their grays. My mother does it, and I think it looks great with her eyes and skin tone. The 38-year-old woman pictured above also looks incredible.

For the moment, I’m practicing semi-acceptance and going to be upping my kelp intake. But I’m not ruling anything out. If these grays continue on their war path, I may just have to take up arms.

So, which camp are you in?

53 Responses to “Let’s Talk Grays—What Are The Options, Really??”
  1. SJ says:

    OH sorry – I found the Susan Henry line from the link Morgan references above to Shades Salon in Beverly Hills. I’d love to know if anyone has tried it.

  2. Marcelle says:

    I am happy to tell you all that I have gone gray and I love it! It is so nice to no longer be a salve to color touch ups. I believe gray can be very sexy if you stay fit and healthy in mind and body. It is time to be role models for younger women. You don’t have do put toxic chemicals on your body and risk your health anymore. You can feel and look beautiful going natural. Be free of the bondage of hair color and go gray!

  3. Sybil says:

    I didn’t start dying my hair until I was 50 …to cover the grays that were becoming more noticeable. The salon dyes seemed to dry my hair so about 2 years in I started using more natural haircolor brands that I bought at health food stores and Whole Foods…Naturtint, Naturcolor etc….but they all made me itch and my hair just kept getting more dry and brittle…actually breaking. Finally researched henna and went with a henna indigo mixture called “light brown”. After several applications over about 6-8 months and getting about 6 inches cut off, I had MUCH improved hair quality. Was also looking for a new hair stylist during this time and each new one I tried would comment on what great shape my hair is in and how fast it grows. Will never go back to conventional color but I am looking into experimenting with cassia, camomile & alma powder (no henna) to color just the gray in my light brown hair…turn them into highlights.

Leave A Comment