Beauty

Should I dye my hair?

Okay. We’re going here. Because I’m curious how other people feel about this… and I’m over here at a loss for what to do.
I noticed my first gray hair when I was, I think, 17. But it was one. An isolated event, I thought. By my freshman year of college, I noticed a couple more. And every year since there have been a few more. But it wasn’t too bad. I always try to part my hair in a way that covers the particular bad spot or use a swipe of mascara to do a quick little coverage.
But… I swear, I woke up one morning and I went from having a few gray hairs to, like, going gray. I’m not exaggerating… There is a PATCH of gray hair. Even if I wanted to pluck them out, I’d create a bald spot.
(Actually, you can kind of see what I’m talking about in my headshot… And that’s just the tip of the melanin iceberg.)
So now I’m at this point of whether to do something about it (read: dye it)… or to let it be. I feel like this is a pivotal decision and, at 24, I just feel… oh, I don’t know, too young to have to deal with it!
As much as I’d love to do something drastic like go with something completely different (I always feel like I missed my calling as a redhead), I’m leaning towards doing some sort of temporary hair dye in that one area. Can you even do that? Hm, I wonder.
But then again… Linda Fargo does make gray hair look pretty darn chic.
Does anyone else have gray hair? Thoughts/opinions on dyeing?

xoxo
PS I may have gray hair, but I do so love this curling iron.
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85 Comments

Jamee Blink

I have been battling this decision myself! I've slowly accumulated a head-full of grays, and it's getting harder & harder to hide them with a calculated part or nifty tuck. I'm nervous about dying my full head (once you start, you can't stop). If others have ideas for "spot coverage" that doesn't look spotty, I'd love to hear it too! Thanks for sharing!

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Jen Yss

I have been having the same internal debate. I haven't dyed my my hair since I was 16 or 17 and I have a grey patch in the exact same area as you. I handle it by covering it up with my part, but sometimes it comes through on its own.

There are some salons that offer a temporary "spot coverage" that I have considered, but a part of me wants to go big or go home if I am going to dye my hair. Haha!

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Preppy Pink Crocodile

Dye it!

I honestly think 20 and 30 is too young to be grey. It looks dowdy at that age. Even if you just buy the touch up kit at a drug store, you need to wash that grey right out of your hair! (I dye mine at home- that shocks everyone)

You can embrace it when you turn 40 and not a day earlier!

KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

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Orhedea

You can touch it up if you want. I would recommend dying the patch your natural hair color, otherwise youll have to worry about your roots. There many dyes to choose from- non abrasive permanent ones that you can get at a salon, temporary ones, like l'oreal mousse that lasts28 shampoos, or grey away that comes in a can and washes off with shampoo ( you can get it at bed bath. There are also natural dyes like henna, but those are very specific to your hair color.

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Carly Totten

Carly! I'm 24, and I have the exact same problem as you. I found my first gray hair when I was 18. Maybe it's our name? I've started having the same battle as I slowly find more and more. I talked to my hair stylist about it, and she suggested going with low lights when I get too upset about it rather than fully dying my hair. Why do we have this problem? We are too young!

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Joy

I have lots and lots of grey hair and I'm only 22!! I have black hair, but I've been dying mine chocolate brown. Dying my hair definitely helps me get a lot less self-conscious about it, but I'm sick of having to do my roots over and over again. I'm actually about to dye it back into my natural color this week so I won't have to worry any longer!

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Mary Margaret

I'm (barely) 27 and have the same problem! I have dark brown hair and streaks of gray all over. I've been using a semi permanent color to match my natural color for about 2 years (per Real Simple's suggestion I use Garnier Herbishine). No one can tell that I color it, and the gray just gets a little lighter brown as it slowly washes out.

I plan on going completely gray one day, but not any time soon! 27 is too young for that!

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Jackie {York Avenue}

I think a lot of people in their 20's have little bits of gray….it's not very noticable, so maybe wait it out. Once you start doing your hair it's a lot of maintenance…that being said, it can probably be fun! I've always pondered what it would be like to be a redhead too!

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It's Just Me

Personally, I say keep the gray. I think it shows that you're not afraid to be your authentic self. Keep in mind that covering gray can be expensive (at LEAST $100 if not more for a color appointment with your stylist) and time consuming (usually 45 minutes at home, not to mention the stink and the mess!). If you do choose to color your hair, color all of it. That way, if the dye is too dark or too light it looks uniform on your head.

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Emily

I got my first white hair (note: full on white) when I was 16, and it freaked me out, because both my dad and my aunt went completely white when they were in their twenties. I've been dying my hair since, and while it does sometimes get annoying, I don't regret covering it up. I'm too young to go white! Eventually, I will have to live with white hair, but for now it's so fun to change up my color with the seasons! I figure if I get tired of it I can let the dye fade out or match it to my original color.

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Nicole Cabral

It's actually not uncommon to have gray hair when you're young. My aunt had it around her teen years too. As for dying it. It's your choice. For me personally, I would dye it. Not because I would be self conscious about gray hair. Actually I think it'd be awesome to have gray hair. But for me personally, I have dark brown hair originally but I love how brown hair looks on me and so do other people. So I want to keep it that way.

SO my advice: Don't think about whether or not it'll make you self conscious to have gray hair or even to stay true to yourself and keep getting gray hair. Don't even think about looking like Linda Fargo. Just look at yourself in the mirror and ask, How do I want to look? Focus on how you will really want to see yourself as. Goodluck!

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Reba

There are very few people who can pull off Gray hair without looking aged, not wise but aged. I embrace the aging factor, but not with my hair. I say color it. The process is not that time consuming whether you do it at home or at a salon. Do not fret over this. This is a small thing. Easily fixed if you choose. Talk to a colorist. A root touch up kit might be all you need. Rebecca

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eHa

It's so good to hear that I'm not the only one with this problem! I want to dye them since I have black hair and the white ones really stand out. But I want to look older and more mature and I am kind of afraid of hair salons so I haven't done anything about them yet. But mid-20s is too young to go grey, right? After reading the other commenters suggestions, I think I'll try out dying my hair at home.

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thestreets2

I'm glad I am not the only 24 year old with greys!!! Phew. Ha. I haven't started dyeing my hair yet because I know the keep-up is intense and I'm still just a broke student! And none of my greys are super noticeable yet, which is probably the main deciding factor (knock on wood!)

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Jennifer S.

I think you should do whatever makes you most confident. If you're wanting to do a drastic dye job, you'll probably want to go to a salon. Typically, a store bought box recommends only going a shade or so lighter or darker. Going from brown to red, you may end up with purple hair. If you wanted to do a transition color just to test the waters, you could do a lighter brown with red undertones. That would really warm up your color, give you a change, and see if you think you're going the right direction. Of course you can get a box if you just want to cover the grey (you may only need a root touch up kit, depending on where they're located). I've seen lots of blondes going more on the ashy side recently, and some people have even been dying their hair grey; there's nothing wrong with being a young person with greying hair, but if you've been thinking about making a change and waiting for the right time/reason, now seems to be the time to do it!

-Jen
yourstrulyjen.com

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Olivia Cloer

Dye it! If you want to experiment with red- go for it. Get a semi or a demi permanent color to minimize damage then go permanent if you like the color. Semi and Demi permanent hair colors will usually last 20-30 shampoos depending on how well your hair takes color so the risk level here is pretty small.

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7c137432-37ee-11e3-b395-000bcdcb8a73

Stacy London is well over 40, what looks good on a 40 year old, isn't necessarily good looking on a 20 year old. I would dye it, I recently saw a woman on the subway with a lot of gey hair, but her face was young, like early 30's. It didn't look good, the hair made her look tired and worn down. And think of it this way, it's just hair, it grows out; whatever you do to it, won't be permanent and you can always change it.

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Jillian Manesh

i've been thinking about dying my hair too bc grays keep sprouting up ….and i probably would but we'd like to start a family soon-ish and i'd rather not dye it and then have it grow out….BUT if you;re not going down that route soon i'd say do it! it's a personal choice and although ppl can certainly pull off the gray streak (you could!) if you don't want it. don't do it. and vice versa. yahh choices ๐Ÿ™‚ xo jillian – cornflake dreams

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Jessa

Kelly over at KellysKornerblog.com is an amazing woman who also went grey at an early age & she dyes her hair – she's an amazing woman inside and out!

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Emma

Don't dye it! It is cute and adds character. Look at Stacy London she's so cute and has had a gray patch for a long time ๐Ÿ™‚

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Catherine Vincent

I think you should just pull a Stacy London and keep it. The problem with dying is that you'll have to continue the upkeep, which can be incredibly annoying when you're busy. I dyed my hair a few years back and trying to get back to your "normal" hair is really frustrating. In fact, years later, I'm STILL trying to get the color to match up. Every time I think I have the color just right, I realize that the sun has altered my hair color, yet again, and I'm stuck with this brassy looking brown that's close to my normal color, but still off enough that when it starts to grow out, it drives me CRAZY! (My hair tends to get red tints when I've been in the sun, even for short periods of time.) You definitely have the personality to be able to pull off the gray streak long term. ๐Ÿ™‚

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ExecutiveKnitter

I have been dying since 24. I didn't get that cool Stacy London streak but gray all over. With brunette hair – all over graying starts to change the color of your hair. My hair started to look ashy and odd. Finally my hair stylist said – do it and I have not looked back. Now at 51 – i am letting my temples gray and slowly over the next years will go to my natural gray self.

For you (and advice to my 24 yr old self) – if it bothers you – color it. Life is too short to be distracted by something so simple to fix. Save your angst for wrinkles that you can't do something about so easily.

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Hana

Advice from someone w. thick dark hair who went through the same situation: I felt that dyeing my hair would be too much change for me. Instead, I opted to go to a good salon + get my hair highlighted once every 3 months. I went w. a natural highlight … nothing crazy flashy … and I have been super-pleased w. the results. Been highlighting for 4.5 years now + I love it.

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Elspeth

In the end, go with your gut – if you're fighting it every day, and it makes you self-conscious, then dye it. If not, and it's just a minor annoyance – then embrace it – truly, it'll make you stand out that much more (than you already do) and people will admire the confidence you have. I would never have guessed you've begun to go grey based on the pictures I've seen. If it's a sweet streak – think of how cool it would look braided?!

Besides, the color of our hair doesn't dictate our age – the appearance of our skin does. My mother (in her later 50s) has skin that all her peers envy, and no one notices her greys (to the point that someone asked if she had dyed her hair and she gave him the "wtf" look).

And you have wonderful, beautiful, age-appropriate skin.

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Ashley Capehart

I've had the same issue! I get bunch of grey hairs due to stress at my job. I didn't think anything of it until my hairdresser saw how many I had. She did a "glaze" on my hair which turned my greys almost a goldish tint. It is semi-permanent. I didn't want grey hairs in my wedding photos!

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ohraq

As someone who dyed their hair for TOO LONG I would say do not "spot cover" it by dyeing just the gray. IF you decide to color your hair I would go demi permanent (basically permanent but will slightly wash out over 6 months-ish) and match your natural hair color… once you go down the rabbit hole of dyeing your hair not its natural color it can take YEARS to totally go natural. That being said, I really like Stacy London's streak and I think you could really pull off a little wisp of gray! Obviously no one wants to be totally gray at 25 (my grandma was totally stark white at 30 though and I have to admit she looks badass in pictures) but I do think that you have a very young face and could easily rock it. This goes down to how YOU feel. I just wouldn't do anything permanent that isn't the same color as the rest of your head… took me 2 years go back to my natural hair.

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kelseymccutch

I think you should dye it! Not because of the gray hairs (they make you unique!) but because your 20s are the time you should be experimenting. Why not try dyeing it once or twice and if you don't like it you don't have to continue.

It is a myth once you start dyeing you can't stop. I dyed my hair for years in high school and the beginning of college and then just stopped.

Why not give it a try? (:

– Kelsey
http://kelseyinreallife.wordpress.com/

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Rachel Medlock

While I have no doubt that you could rock grey hair, if it bothers you at all I would absolutely dye it. I don't think the upkeep would be terrible (it's not like you're trying to maintain platinum blonde…) and at the end of the day it's just about you feeling confident. There are plenty of examples of chic women with grey, and plenty of examples of older women who decided not to embrace the grey (even when it would be age appropriate!).

xo,
Rachel
Suppose Anything Goes

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Jodi Steele

My best advice is to be careful about the color you choose if you decide to dye your hair. I have naturally light brown hair (was blonde when I was little). Over the years, I've had blonde highlights and have also gone completely brunette, but nothing ever looks as good as my own natural color. Everything else tends to wash me out (I'm very fair skinned). That's because my natural color is what best compliments my skin tone. That is usually true for the majority of people.
I know what you're going through. While I didn't get gray hair as early (people with darker hair commonly start graying earlier), I started noticing white hairs when I was 21 or 22. Now at 30, after finishing 3 stressful years of grad school, it is much more pronounced on the underneath of my hair, around my temples. This makes ponytails a pain. ๐Ÿ™ My biggest concern when I do something about it in a year or so is that I find someone who can match my natural color as closely as possible.
Changing hairstyles can be fun, but I think I'll personally reserve that for cuts rather than color. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Alexia Sparrow

You have beautiful color to begin with- but since you do have some grays I really don't see a problem with dying it- especially because you're dying your hair dark. When you deal with things such as high lighting and bleaching, you should be a little skeptical. But it's pretty difficult to get a dark color wrong. I have been getting my hair dyed for years- going between high lights and pure brown and my hair is not damaged or discolored at all. A good hair stylist will be able to figure out what you want after 5 minutes of talking to you. I would try a color close to your natural and everything from there should turn out fine!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Kate

I'm 25 and starting noticing grays a few years ago. I started coloring last spring for the first time and love that they are gone – we're too young for grays in my opinion! I'd recommend going to a stylist the first time and asking questions up front so you don't end up paying to much. I just did all over color a bit darker than my natural color at the salon and now touch up my roots myself every few months when I notice the grays creeping back in, a less expensive quick fix. Do whatever feels right for you!

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Catherine Hrbac

I'm 20 and have grey hair (hooray college stress!) In my case theyre scattered so i leave them because in the light i kinda like the way they shine. if you dye it though be prepared for a commitment. I used to dye my hair when I wanted it lighter and you really have to keep up with it or it looks horrible.
Or rock the stacy london grey streak. I absolutely love it and kinda wish I had one ๐Ÿ˜‰
-Catherine
http://bottomoftop.blogspot.com

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Unknown

My sister got her first grey hairs around your age too. Her secret is to use henna to color her hair. It's 100% natural (i.e. no nasty harmful chemicals that will damage your hair over time), easy to use (although you need to sit around with it for about 3 hrs for the color to take), and it actually makes your hair healthier/stronger/shinier. Henna is technically permanent but it does fade with time. Whole Foods has a great selection and you can even combine different colors (like light and dark brown) to "customize." I've even used color-free henna before to help restore my hair's health in the cold winter months.

Here is an article I found online:
http://www.hennaforhair.com/faq/

Good luck!

-Irina
(www.missirina.com)

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Alexis Giostra

I have had grey hairs since I was an early teen, not a ton of them, but I remember I discovered like 3 of them one day in high school. Since then like 10+ years later I am maybe up to like 10-15 grays. Like you I have dark hair. It's also super thick and I would have to say that the whole 15/2,000,000 ratio means most people never see them. I don't think you need to dye your hair over a few grey strands. If anything, leave them in and they can be like a daily reminder that you need to take care of yourself and slow down once in a while so you don't get too many more too quickly!

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Nicole K

I dye my hair. It's been red more like Burgundy for a year now and I can't part from it. I always felt like my natural hair is boring. ha ha You could always try it with a non permanent/

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Jamie

I started getting grey hair at 15, and I do have a little streak that will show up depending on how I part my hair.

I LOVE MY GREY STREAK and it's not going anywhere. It makes me feel really powerful and BA. Like Stacy London or something!

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Leslie

I have a similar issues and went my stylist to get my hair dyed. Once I got there she recommended that I do subtle highlights/lowlights instead. Yes, highlights, like dye, still need to be kept but if they are done well and are subtle you can get away with waiting longer in between touch ups. The grays are not gone but they are now better hidden beneath pretty highlights. Good luck with whatever you choose!

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Chelsey Hancock

I've been getting grays since 16, its just life. If you want to do a dye job at home, its not too hard and much less expensive. I would recommend Natural Instincts Creme because it only takes about 20 minutes and its more of a temporary and less permanent dye, more like a color rinse. Plus your hair feels great afterwards!

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Jen

Don't dye it! Grow old gracefully, baby. I'm 33 and have been rocking the grey highlights in my dark brown hair for years. You have such a youthful face, don't worry about it. What really will make you look aged is not taking care of your skin. So wear some sunscreen and leave the hair natural. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Ashley B

I feel your pain! I started graying in my early 20s. I think it matters the way you gray. Mine was very clumpy and really distracting. When the grays are evenly peppered through your hair, I think it can look beautiful. Mine did not. So I dye it. I don't think there is a right answer. Do what makes you feel beautiful!

Ashley | History in High Heels

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Alexandra Steinmetz

I love the idea of going gray naturally, but I also haven't yet had to deal with that. I can't imagine being in my 20s and wondering about that (oh genetics!)

That being said, I've been a redhead, a brunette, and now a platinum blond. I love being able to change my entire look and being with a different hair color and sometimes dye can be an oh-so-fun expression of self!

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Sugar Snap Pearls

On the plus side, you are so not alone in this. I'm a third year at UVA and definitely have a couple of gray hairs that I'm trying to convince myself are "sun-bleached" haha. My momma went gray early too and she told me that whenever my hair gets to the point that I should cover the gray, start off by highlighting or low lighting. You can make the difference as subtle as you want but it's more universal than spot dying and you don't have to start with dyes that are really hard on your hair from the beginning!

xoxo,
Erin
http://www.sugarsnappearls.com

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Mana Smith

My hair is light brown/dark blond, but I've had grey hair since I was 12. I died my hair then, but after watching What Not To Wear for the past 10 year I stopped. Stacy London looks fabulous with her grey streak.
I do, however, agree with the person who said try highlights. It is less harmful then a full dye and a better guarantee that it will look go then just trying to dye that one spot.

Mana
Fashion and Happy Things

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Domesticable

Why is there a stigma with having grey hair? It's a natural body occurrence but some how society has made it a sign of aging. I too have grey hairs but not too many. I would probably dye it if it got out of hand but of course I say do whatever makes you comfortable. If you do dye it, I would recommend doing the same color as your hair now…less upkeep. ๐Ÿ™‚ Best of luck going greyzy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lura
x

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Kate

I am happy to hear I'm not alone. I am 22 years old and have multiple patches of gray hair and I am in the same boat you are. I can hide the hairs for the most part but sometimes they show. Sometimes I'm self conscious and other times it's kind of an interesting thing about me. For now I am keeping them and not dying but at some point I'm sure I'll breakdown.

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maxandbruno

Hello I am 46 and I follow your blog, which I love. I have never dyed my hair, and it is a very dark brown, a bit darker than your colour. However, I have more and more grey hair and I have started to pull out and I have a small bald spot right now on my head, which I cover with my hair parted at the side! So don't pull out your hair! I am going to try and find if I can dye just the grey parts. Your hair is a great colour so I wouldn't suggest changing your colour – it is really beautiful. As for going grey, I have many friends who have gone grey and it really "washes them out" and makes them look a great deal older than they are. I am talking from the perspective of a mom in her mid 40's…. Grey can work for some women, but not all…it really depends how the grey comes in and if it is salt and pepper looking or just white. As well, I think that you need to really be able to pull off the grey and have the confidence and the style to do so in order to make it work. Which, you will definitely be able to do! That said, a nice grey streak is lovely!!!
Sorry to go on, but I think your blog is so great and you are very honest with yourself and your life, and I love your style.

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Meg {Boo Boos & Briefcases}

Although I did start experimenting with (natural) haircolor in my teens for fun, I too started going grey around age 20. Like you, it was a few hairs here and there and I joked my sister for ALL of hers until I woke up at age 25 and found that my grey was noticeable. I did my best to camouflage it with some highlights for as long as I could but this summer finally took the plunge and had my roots done. I think many women look really elegant with grey hair but definitely think it's hard to pull off before age 40 and quite honestly isn't exactly the look most guys go for in their 20s/30s (sorry to say).

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Jack Fox

As someone who got his first grays at 18, I can tell you that it can be disconcerting. I have gone back and forth on my opinions of coloring MY hair. I think women can color their hair without having people think it's a gray cover, but more of a fashion thing. You're young, and if you stick to your natural color, no one will be the wiser (except for those that have read this post). What I have noticed is people (including family members) don't notice when my hair has been colored, but when I either don't color it or have gotten a haircut. The hair at my temples with pretty white these days, even though I'm still a young man. Ultimately, it's about your self-esteem. If you are self conscious about it, then by all means, color it.

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Eileen

When I was young, I used to get my hair frosted. Now I have lots of natural frost! I love my silver strands. I own a company and work long hours. Not sure about your schedule but if you don't have a lot of time to spend on coloring and touch-ups, don't color or try to match your natural hair color. Nothing looks worse than roots showing!

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Angel

I've died my hair since I found my first greys at 14. I don't have an issue with it other then remembering the upkeep.

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Courtney

I love your natural hair color! To be fair, I think most people look best with their natural color, or maybe one shade darker and warmer, as a rule. If you are self conscious about your gray hairs, I would just go ahead and have it dyed with a semi-permanenet color that matches your natural hair color exactly. That would keep your maintenance really low too, since it washes out over time and doesn't cause roots. If you do red, you'd have to bleach your hair first to get it light enough, and that would damage it really badly, and it has a crazy maintenance schedule, since red fades so fast ๐Ÿ™
If it makes you feel better, I've been with my husband since he was 20 and I was 17, and he had a new grays at 20 and now he's 27 and his temples are completely gray. His mom went gray in her 20's, so it happens a lot I think.

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Kate Reid

I've got a family history of "white by 30" and my hair is pretty much fully grey already (im 24!)… Ive been dying my hair red for the last 4 years but after christmas this year im going to do shave for a cure and embrace my grey hair! Hopefully it will look ok, or i'll be back to dying it again lol
If it helps your confidence, get a "pigment shampoo", basically it will tint the greys a brown-ish colour and hide them without the bother of hair dye. Most hairdressers and good chemists will have them. Only problem is they do funky things to tile grout, you'll need to regularly bleach the shower so it doesnt stain.

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Cornelia

Why don't you just try some highlights but dark once that matches your natural hair color, that way it won't be such a big deal if it isn't for you and you can just let it grow out without it looking weired. Or maybe try hair mask or something that just lightly dyes your hair, ask a hair dresser/colorist, there are all sorts of products out there..

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Audrey

Dying your hair is so very, very addicting… be careful!

If you are thinking about going the "grey" route, you should look at the grey-lilac hair that is getting really popular in the UK. It's a little more edgy than preppy, but still fun. (: Perrie Edwards, of the girl-power band Little Mix, has adorable "grey" hue on her hair, (http://bit.ly/HS6RHv) as does Lou Teasdale, also known as the stylist for One Direction. (bit.ly/1bmFX1e)

Just thoughts! I am a dark auburn/light brunette who dreams of being a blonde… so my thoughts are immediately drawn to going lighter! If you've got it, flaunt it!

Love your blog, by the way. Our initials are the same, except I am aHc, so I use you as my reference for how things would look with my monogram on them! As a fellow 24 year old who is striving to make a difference, your blog is so wonderful to know that I'm not alone. (;

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Bridget Cotter

I'm in the exact same position. I am turning 20 here in a few days and I have been noticing gray hairs since I was 16. I just tell myself that it is stress related. But I think I'm going to dye my hair. Not all over just get highlights and I think just freshening up my hair should do the trick.

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Kelly Morrow

you should dye it because even though some people can rock the gray hair, they're much older than you…like 50s and up not in their 20s

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