Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Gray Hair Grow-Out: Before & After Pics

Posted on Mar 30, 2016 by Lisa Ricard Claro   28 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Image from page 107 of "Iris 1906" (1906)Last summer I began the process of growing out my natural hair color, which was—after a decade or more of coloring—anyone’s guess. Okay, well, that’s kind of a big fat lie, because I knew it would be gray. I just didn’t know how gray. The question was, would it be salt & pepper or all silver? Would I rock the gray or rush back to the store for another box of L’Oreal 6G Light Golden Brown?

The process began last summer when I peered into the bathroom mirror at my widening skunk stripe. Every woman of a certain age who dyes her hair knows what the skunk stripe is. We color our hair, and as it grows our roots remind us how old we really are. And if you’re a hair dyer, then you must dye the roots to hide the stripe. When I first started coloring, I only had to dye the roots every five weeks. Over time, five became four, became three, became two, and I began to resent that ninety minutes of my life—every two weeks—that I would never get back. I decided the time had come to reclaim my Saturday mornings.

The first step was, of course, to stop coloring. The second step—because I’m impatient—was to cut all my hair off into a pixie to make the grow-out faster and easier. This I did, and back in November I changed my profile pic to accommodate my new ‘do, because with my hair short and roots growing out at a rapid rate, it felt like cheating to keep my old photo up. And now the time has come to change it again, because the transformation is complete.

Without further ado, here is the before and after:

Me for RWE 120915Lisa Ricard Claro 300 dpi 032416

It’s a change, let me tell you. Sometimes I look at myself and wonder, “What the hell was I thinking?” But on most days I’m happy I did it. Yes, I look a lot older, but . . . well, I look like I’m supposed to. I am older, and I’m okay with that. I only have one life, and I’m grateful to experience every season of it. Even this one. Maybe especially this one, considering the alternative.

When I list the pros and cons of growing out the gray, there is only one con: looking older. The pros, however, are plentiful. The biggie is that I no longer spend time or money coloring. Also, when the wind blows, I don’t cringe over my roots showing. In fact, while in the car, I open the sunroof and buzz all the windows down because not only do I not have to wonder if my roots are blazing, the pixie means there’s just no way to mess this up to the point it can’t be fixed with a little water and some finger combing. The silver looks great in the sunshine. And maybe best of all—I receive more compliments on my hair now than ever before.  So, no, I’m not sorry to have kissed the skunk stripe goodbye forever.

Growing out the gray isn’t for everyone. I know women a couple of decades older than I who say they will never stop coloring their hair. It’s a matter of personal priorities, really, so there is no right or wrong. There is only making a choice that allows you to feel good about yourself. Do that, and you’re golden . . . even if you’re silver. 🙂

Thanks for hanging out with me! Have a great week, Buttercup.


P.S.  If you’ve read my books and reviewed them on Amazon, THANK YOU! If you’ve yet to post a review, please, please, please do. Amazon will promote after 50 reviews—Love Built to Last has 39, so I’m only 11 shy of the magic number. Please help me get there! Thanks. 🙂  (Real and honest reviews only, please.)

Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last or Love to Believe in eBook or Print, go to AmazonBarnes & NobleBlack Opal BooksKobo, or AllRomance.

Ricard_websize logo  In need of a professional editor? Please visit me at Ricard Writing & Editing for details regarding services and rates.




28 Responses to "Gray Hair Grow-Out: Before & After Pics"

  1. Comment by Jerri Ricard
    March 30, 2016 at 8:00 am  

    Your silver is gorgeous! Wow!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 8:51 am  

      Thank you. 🙂

  2. Comment by Pat
    March 30, 2016 at 8:07 am  

    You look great!

    I’ve been tempted for a while to forego hair color. I have mine done at a salon and hate spending all the $$$. You have taken me one step closer to doing it!

    Critter Alley

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 8:52 am  

      You won’t be sorry! Of all the women I’ve talked to who have stopped coloring, only one started coloring again after growing out the gray. Most are happy they took the plunge.

  3. Comment by Karen Lange
    March 30, 2016 at 8:31 am  

    Thanks for sharing the pics. You are beautiful in any shade! 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 8:54 am  

      Thanks, Karen!

  4. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    March 30, 2016 at 9:10 am  

    Your hair color is a beautiful salt and pepper, and it looks great. I am afraid I would be snow white. You have given me courage, pretty lady.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 8:55 am  

      We silver surfers must unite! lol Should you opt in, let me know. I’ll be your cheering section. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll be gorgeous with your natural color.

  5. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    March 30, 2016 at 9:39 am  

    Yep, it looks great, Lisa! You do look different but you look like you, too, which is still Lovely Lisa. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 8:59 am  

      🙂 Thanks, Cath.

  6. Comment by Rob
    March 30, 2016 at 10:00 am  

    Two thumbs up. Just don’t go blue. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 8:59 am  

      Hahaha! No blue, I promise.

  7. Comment by Terry Lynn Thomas
    March 30, 2016 at 11:32 am  

    Lisa: I think it looks fabulous. And I appreciate your words and the “con.” For me, growing out the gray was letting go of my ego, and giving myself permission to stop chasing youth. The realization that the youth I chased was no longer mine, but had been replaced by something richer and deeper wipes away the angst. Here’s to riding in the convertible with the top down!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 9:01 am  

      You inspired me, so thanks for that! And I agree. Convertible. Top down. (I hope the hubster is paying attention.)

  8. Comment by Sioux
    March 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm  

    Lisa–You look maaahvelous! It doesn’t change your lovely smile or make your bright eyes any dimmer. I am afraid it would be an ugly shade of gray if I went au natural, but I applaud you. Your look is free, and you don’t lose all that time dying it, and when the wind blows (or they pull it up to cut your hair) you don’t have to cringe over the roots that are now several inches long… (And I’ll get the dancer and fireman questions tomorrow. Today was crazy.)

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 9:02 am  

      Well, it is definitely one less thing to think about in a world where my brain is overflowing already. lol And thanks for the questions. I got them!

  9. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    March 30, 2016 at 5:07 pm  

    I think your new hair looks great! I wish mine would turn all gray. I hate being half dirty blonde and half gray. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 9:03 am  

      Your hair is lovely and suits you! Nature seems to know what color we need.

  10. Comment by Theresa Sanders
    March 30, 2016 at 6:18 pm  

    Lisa, you are quite simply beautiful, no matter what color your hair is. I started turning gray in my twenties so coloring is a way of life for me, I’m afraid. Maybe I will find your courage at some point. I will be writing your review very soon. My MIL passed away last week. We were very close and it’s been a very hard time, but I can tell you that reading your book has helped me keep my mind off my sorrow for short periods of time, and for that I thank you.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 9:06 am  

      Terry, I’m sorry for your loss. I’m glad that my book is offering you a chance to escape for a little while. God bless, my friend.

  11. Comment by Claudia
    March 30, 2016 at 6:39 pm  

    If I could look so beautiful, I would gladly go gray…but…alas,…..

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 9:08 am  

      Thanks for the compliment, but I’m sure you’ll be beautiful when/if you go gray. I mentioned in another comment that I believe nature knows what our color palette should be, so you should let Her have Her way. You might be surprised!

  12. Comment by Mary Lou Bolduc Boucher
    March 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm  

    I love your article; your before and after pictures! You are still the same beautiful soul that I’ve known all these years!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 9:09 am  

      Thanks, Mary Lou! I’m so happy we reconnected. 🙂

  13. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    March 30, 2016 at 9:53 pm  

    I love it, Lisa! Women of all ages can benefit from following your lead, and embracing change as beautiful.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 9:09 am  

      Thanks, Deb.

  14. Comment by Lynn Obermoeller
    April 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm  

    You look great – and in any color! I keep contemplating doing it, but then some event comes up and I decide – after that. Guess I’m still plain chicken, and vain. But YAY for you!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      April 4, 2016 at 9:10 am  

      The grow-out isn’t for everyone, Lynn…but I think most women would be surprised by how much they like it, should they opt to do it.

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