Going Gray at 40: My Transition Story

Going Gray at 40: My Transition Story

Going gray at 40 isn’t all that uncommon anymore but when I made the decision to ditch the dye seven years ago, gray hair was not considered as chic as it is today.  

In fact, many around me were horrified by my decision to go gray so young and begged me not to do it, especially because my daughter and only child was only four years old at the time.

I was warned I would look older, become invisible, and be mistaken for my daughter’s grandmother. I knew all of this was a possibility but spending entire Saturdays in the salon every four weeks and hundreds of dollars on dual process color while using box color for touch-ups in between was wearing on me.

My decision to go gray came at a time when I was already fed up with the endless maintenance so when it became a health issue, I was ready.

Ditching the dye and going gray was already on the horizon in early 2012 when I woke up one morning, stepped out of bed, and could not put weight on my foot; it felt broken. I took some time wiggling it and flexing until I could walk but I was in serious pain. When it went away the next day I shrugged it off as a shoe issue: I used to love cute heels and didn’t mind sacrificing function for fashion. But when the pain kept moving through my body I knew it wasn’t my shoes.

To make a long story short, after a thorough examination, many vials of blood, and tests, and a series of X-rays, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It is severe and aggressive (I already had permanent joint damage in my toes) so thankfully, my doctor took an aggressive approach as well. I did my research and realized I could help make living well with this disease possible by making several lifestyle changes. These changes all revolved around making healthy changes and this included leaving the dye behind and going gray: it was the push I needed. You can read about my dietary changes here and my switch to safer personal care products here.

 

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going gray

 

I committed to going gray in March of 2012.

As you can see in the series of photos below, I started by cutting my hair short. I had color and highlights at the time so frequent trims helped the transition as time went by. I had in mind what my color would look like as it came in, but it wasn’t at all what I was expecting.

Interestingly, when I started the gray transition, my hair was not nearly as silver as I expected it to be.

As you can see in the photos above, even when fully transitioned in 2014, it was obvious I had gray hair streaking through but it wasn’t the bright silver I was expecting when I fought so hard to cover them up each month for so many years. It was more of a steel gray. Also, there was less than I expected! Those grays really stand out next to dyed hair so it can be deceiving.

My stylist suggested many, many times that I wasn’t gray enough to have a successful transition and tried to steer me back to color the entire time. I sort of agree but looking back it actually made it easier because I didn’t have a stark demarcation line to contend with, but rather a few streaks here and there and mostly gray at the temples.

My Gray Transition Strategy

Although I didn’t have a skunk stripe (I wish I had!) to cover because my gray wasn’t very bright, I did need a little help to make the transition go as smoothly as possible. For instance, I started by cutting it short to get most of the color off. To help blend as time went on, I did get low lights a few times. Adding darker strands helped the gray pop more and blurred the line of dyed hair grow out. I had regular trims to continue to ride myself of colored hair. I also used this toning shampoo to help remove any brassiness and relied heavily upon this classic to help my steel gray appear brighter. It was so helpful!

If I could do it all over again and go gray today:

Option 1:  If my color was the same as it was back then when I started I would use a safer, non-toxic semi/ demi-permanent color until the gray was completely grown in then let it fade away.

Option 2: If I was as gray as I am now when I started I would pixie super short and just let it grow (Man, I love pixies and the women who rock them look fabulous) or honestly, I would just let it go at any length. These are some of my favorite transitions to follow because of the clear line of silver versus color. Amazing.

I am jealous of those who have a full head of gorgeous silver coming in as they begin their gray transition. It took a few more years for my silver to show up.

My silver has come in pretty nicely since going gray back in 2012 and I have no regrets.

Have I been mistaken for my daughter's grandmother? Yes, a couple times, but we just laugh about it. I have grown to care very little about stranger's perceptions of me.

I certainly do not feel invisible and do not feel like I look any older than I would if I was still coloring. Age is an attitude, and my attitude is young. LOL. Actually, I think women look younger with gray because it is the color nature intends for them at this point in time. A dark dye can look so harsh.

Now that I have fully transitioned to gray, I just try to keep my silvers healthy (you can check out some of the products I use here) and shining bright and have embarked on a new journey: converting my natural waves into curls!

You can follow my journey on Instagram, where I have found a virtual support group of sorts made up of many inspiring, silver and curly-haired women, connect with me in my new Gray is Gorgeous Facebook group, and keep in touch by subscribing to my weekly newsletter.

I'd love to hear about your journey, too!

XX,

Asa

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Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you purchase a product through one of these links, I may receive a small commission. To learn more about this, click here. 

Gray is Gorgeous is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

 

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Keto Desserts: Ten Must Have Ingredients and 15 Bonus Recipes

Keto Desserts: Ten Must Have Ingredients and 15 Bonus Recipes

It’s 8:00 pm on Saturday night. You have followed your keto diet perfectly for the week and are craving something sweet. The GirlScout cookies and ice cream in the freezer are calling your name, but you know that giving in will kick you out of ketosis and set you back. Thankfully, with just a handful of ingredients, you can easily whip up one of the awesome keto desserts from my free resource library!

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I keep adding to the Free Resource Library regularly, so be sure to visit! https://grayisgorgeous.com/library/ The password is: lotus Thank you for being a subscriber! I appreciate you.

10 Products to Have on Hand when Carb Cravings Strike and you Need a Keto Dessert!

If you don’t know this about me already- I hate grocery shopping! I either order online or put together orders online for local pickup. For this reason, I have added online links for your convenience. These are affiliate links, which means if you place an order after clicking one, I will earn a very small percentage at NO expense to you! It’s a win-win, really.

My assumption here is that you have baking powder and vanilla on hand, so I have not included these in the list.

The first ingredients to consider and the foundational ingredients of most keto treats are

Full-Fat Dairy Products:

Heavy cream, cream cheese, sour cream, and of course, BUTTER!  These are a few of the ONLY ingredients I still order from my local grocery store (I add it to my order for pickup).

Secondly, you must look to replace in your gluten free, low carb, keto desserts, and baked goods is wheat flour, so number one on the list is my favorite:

Almond Flour:

You can use almond flour as a wheat flour substitute in almost any baked good recipe! It’s higher in fat, protein, and fiber, but also much higher in nutrient value.

You can buy almond flour in supermarkets (like Bob’s Mills), but I find it easier and less expensive to order online.  For most baked goods, the finer milled products, like Honeyville yield the best results. I highly recommend it.

Coconut Flour:

Coconut flour is very versatile and excellent for those who are looking for a gluten free and nut free flour alternative. It is quite long lasting because the ratios for coconut flour to wheat flour are quite different: you use much less coconut flour! also buy my coconut flour online.  

Coconut Oil:

There are so many uses for coconut oil that I think everyone should have two on hand at all times: One in the kitchen and one for the bathroom. I use coconut oil in cooking and in my daily beauty routine. You can read more about that here. 

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A milk substitute is also very important. You can use almond milk, but I prefer:

Coconut Milk:

Milk is high in carbs but is used in many baked goods. Thankfully, coconut milk can be used as a high fat, low carb substitute. I order in bulk to make sure I never run out!

You will also need to replace refined sugars in your keto desserts.

Sugar Substitutes:

Sugar is obviously high in carbs and a big no-no on a low carb or keto diet so it is essential to have a replacement on hand for your sweet keto treats. I use Stevia drops when a liquid is required, and for a granulated replacement, I like Swerve and Truvia.

Flavored Syrups:

There are so many options available!

This is a link to the caramel flavor: it’s delicious. These are also great for making decadent coffee drinks. Take a look around after you click on the caramel flavor link. You’ll be amazed at the variety!

Almond Butter:

One of my favorite, quick keto desserts recipes you will get when you subscribe to my FREE resource library is made with my favorite sugar-free almond butter: Barney Butter. YUM!! Many recipes call for peanut butter, but I prefer almond.

Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate:

Some of my most intense carb cravings are chocolate cravings! Thankfully there are many chocolate Keto treats recipes out there that utilize sugar-free dark chocolate.  I also keep Special Dark Cocoa on hand for keto desserts that call for cocoa in place of actual chocolate.

Lastly, an ingredient you will happy to have on hand for keto sauces as well,

Xanthan Gum Powder:

The most important piece of advice I can give about xanthan gum is a little goes a very long way. It is a thickening agent and can give smooth, rich textures to sauces and help bind and emulsify. One bag will last ages and is definitely worth the investment.

I hope you will find this list helpful.  I like to be prepared because I never know when the cravings will strike, and now you will be, too!!

This is one of my favorite keto desserts- the recipe takes less than 3 minutes start to finish.  It’s one of the 15 you’ll get when you subscribe to my FREE library!

 

Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. That means that if you purchase a product through one of my links, I receive a small commission, and the price is still the same for you! To learn more about this, click here.

Thank you for helping me keep this blog going. I appreciate your support.

HI, I’M ASA!

I believe one should never underestimate the power of a good cup of coffee or the perfect glass of wine and that beauty is ageless.

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Amazon Prime Makes Following Keto, Whole30, and Paleo Diets a Breeze

Amazon Prime Makes Following Keto, Whole30, and Paleo Diets a Breeze

Sometimes it is difficult to find specialty ingredients in local stores (or when you do they are overpriced), which is one of the many reasons I love Amazon. I can find everything I need and have it on my doorstep in a day or two without paying for shipping!

AMAZON PRIME Makes living well and eating well so much easier. 

WONDERING IF AMAZON PRIME IS FOR YOU? HERE’S WHY I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD GET AMAZON PRIME AND HOW TO DO IT AS INEXPENSIVELY AS POSSIBLE!

I’m a proud Prime member because I love a good deal, I’ve come to hate shopping in stores because I often cannot find what I am looking for, and I love free fast shipping. It is so easy to order what I need from Amazon because of Prime as so many items qualify for Prime’s free two-day shipping.

I discovered Prime a few years ago when we were living in a very small town in rural Upstate New York. I found great deals on items I couldn’t get in stores near us for the holidays. And then I wondered, could I order specialty foods this way? We did not have access to health food stores and lived in a kind of food desert, so I was a member of a CoOp. I could get some of what I needed, but not all.

This was when I realized Amazon Prime was going to be a game changer for me!

Once I realized that the Amazon Prime program gives me free two-day shipping and offers access to the items I did not have easy access to in my hometown, I realized this was the answer. I could shop online, faster and easier, and it would show up on my doorstep two days later. I now order everything from appliances to spices on Amazon.

And because of the Prime free two-day shipping, I can order one item at a time without worrying about combining orders together to get the best deals on shipping.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! You can read my disclosure here.

How do you join Amazon Prime? It’s so easy.

Honestly, you just sign up for it at this link. Amazon makes it pretty easy. But keep in mind Prime is not free. Thankfully, they let you try it free to see if it will make sense for you like it did for me.

Yes, that’s right — they have a FREE ONE MONTH TRIAL! Use this link

Tip: Anyone with a valid .edu email address can sign up for a 6-month free trial for Amazon Prime Student here.

You can also save 40% on a one year plan. Learn more by clicking here.

I first got the trial, figuring I’d leave afterward. But when I realized how much money I was going to save on shipping, I kept it. Then I realized all the other amazing things I was getting and I was sold for years to come.

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amazon prime for ketp and Paleo

Here are the best Amazon Prime deals for healthy living:

Amazon Fresh FREE TRIAL for grocery delivery. Click here

Get $30.00 off your first order here

Amazon Prime Pantry. Click here

Deep Discounts on Kitchen Items click here

MORE FUN Items on Amazon Prime

Most wished for items!

Gold Box; Editor’s Picks Click here

Gift Cards

Amazon Wardrobe- try before you buy! perfect for indecisive shoppers like me.

My Amazon Prime Collections: These make shopping even easier for you!

Shop my Amazon Prime Storefront here

Amazon Prime Keto Collection

Amazon Prime Paleo Collection

Amazon Prime Instant Pot Collection

Amazon Prime Whole30 Collection

There are many more, so feel free to check them all out!

Be sure to check out my Amazon gift guides as well, which also make shopping easier.

I hope you have a great time shopping on Amazon Prime and that this will help simplify your shopping and help you find a great deal or two in the process!

Need Keto Meal Planning Help? I have you covered. Get Help Here!

 

 


HI, I’M ASA!

I believe one should never underestimate the power of a good cup of coffee or the perfect glass of wine and that beauty is ageless.

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Beauty Business Aids: Must Have Products for Direct Sales

Beauty Business Aids: Must Have Products for Direct Sales

To have a thriving beauty business it is a must to share products and get them into people’s hands. This involves offering samples and sharing products at socials or in one on one situations where people can see, touch, smell, and try the products before buying them.

I send out a ton of samples to potential clients, send samples of new products to existing clients, and host events where I display products, offer raffles, hostess gifts, and sometimes small gifts with purchase. I created a list of all the products I use regularly to share with my team but realized so many others could benefit from a list like this so I put together this post for you!

It is so handy having all of the beauty business aids I use together in one place.

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This post contains affiliate links. This means that when you order through a link from this post I will make a very small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps me create posts like this for you. It’s a win for both of us.

business beauty aids

This beauty business aids collection is made up of everything from sample containers to shipping supplies, to display ideas for socials.

I am a senior manager with Beautycounter, so I have quite a bit of navy and white and teal represented here. There are other color options available for the products I have referenced.

All photos are clickable links that will take you directly to the items.

 

Beauty Business Aids for makeup and skincare product samples

Click on the photos to shop

 

Beauty Business Aids for creating quick and easy, cute gifts with purchase, raffles, and hostess gifts

Click on the photos to shop

Beauty Business Aids for Socials: makeup and skincare display ideas

Click on the photos to shop

Beauty Business Aids for product storage and transport

Click on the photos to shop

Beauty Business Aids for Social Media: Photo and Video

 

Beauty Business Aids for The Girl Boss Home Office

I hope you will find something helpful here, as it is a diverse collection of Beauty Business Aids.

Looking for even more? Check out my ever-evolving Beauty Boss list here

You may like these lists, which I add to quite often:

The Ultimate Girl Boss List

 

Enjoy!

 

HI, I’M ASA!

I believe one should never underestimate the power of a good cup of coffee or the perfect glass of wine and that beauty is ageless.

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How to Look Great Without Makeup in 5 Easy Steps

How to Look Great Without Makeup in 5 Easy Steps

Want to Look great without makeup?

Seriously. Who doesn’t? But

what often keeps us feeling less than confident and feeling like we don’t look great without makeup is:

  • uneven skin tone
  • breakouts
  • dryness
  • redness

Well, this is true for me, anyway.

Unfortunately, because there is so little regulation of the beauty industry, many popular products can actually make out skin issues worse!

Step 1: get your skin looking it’s best.

You need a chemical-free regimen to avoid irritation.

You need products that will work safely and effectively to soothe, nourish, and hydrate your skin to reveal your own natural radiance. This will allow you to look great without makeup so you will no longer need to hide your skin. On those days you choose to wear makeup you can do so to enhance your natural beauty rather than hide imperfections.

I’ve got you covered!

In my quest to live better with autoimmunity (in my case, rheumatoid arthritis) I have made a concerted effort to limit my daily environmental toxin exposure. Since 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed, I chose to swap out all of my toxic skincare and makeup products for the effective, yet safe, and environmentally responsible options from Beautycounter.

Since the swap, my skin has changed dramatically. The redness I used to mask with foundation and powder is greatly diminished and the dullness I used to combat with highlighters now has been replaced with a natural glow.

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Full disclosure: If you click on any of the links to read more about the products below you will be taken to my personal website. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about Beautycounter or your skincare concerns).

I recommend finding a regimen of products that work for you, like the Rejuvenating Line I am currently obsessed with but the second best thing to that is one product that cleans, brightens, and moisturizes. 

The Cleansing balm is my desert island product. I love a serum, eye cream, mask, oil, mist, etc, but if I had to choose one product, The balm would be it. Hands down- best product around.

Read more about the one product I would recommend over any other to ensure you will look great without makeup:

cleansing balm link

Take my skincare survey here  I will help determine a regimen for you and will send you FREE customized samples based on your results. 

 Step 2: Naturally whiten your teeth.

Whiter teeth can not only improve your smile, it can actually make you look younger! Without the use of bright lip color to contrast your teeth enamel, it’s important to remove those stains for a brighter smile, naturally!

The healthiest (and actually quite effective) way to do this is with a charcoal whitener.

 I use this one and love it!

Pure Activated Charcoal Powder is a great alternative to harsh bleach or whitening peroxides; no harmful chemicals; RECOMMENDED USE 1-2 times per week. I mention this and the clay toothpaste I love here.

Step 3: Make sure your lips are smooth and moisturized.

Once you get those teeth brightened up it wouldn’t make sense to ignore your lips. Keep them exfoliated (you can use an old, soft-bristled toothbrush or a little baking soda) and apply a moisturizing lip balm or gloss. I don’t consider gloss makeup and it sure can make a big difference in one’s appearance. Just a little bit of color can brighten your whole complexion!

 

I use this lip conditioner. It is pepperminty, fresh, and super hydrating!

 

 

 

how to look great without makeup

  I use this lip gloss. It looks bright, but it is actually very subtle and sheer. This gloss is ultra moisturizing and divine.

 

 

 Step 4: Get your Glow On!

Once your skin is well-taken care of, hydrated and smooth, it won’t take much to enhance that natural glow (if you even need it). But sometimes, especially in winter, it’s nice to get a little help with a touch of color and a dewy glow.

l

This is where the glow shimmer oil comes in. This stuff is like liquid gold! I use it alone when going makeup free and I add two drops to my skin tint on days when I wear foundation. It is glorious and smells delicious!

If you still like a little coverage with sunscreen, our Dewskin is perfect.

Dewskin is a tinted moisturizer that leaves skin with a luminous glow. Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage SPF 20 provides lightweight, sheer hydration that evens skin tone while protecting the skin from sun damage. Black currant, peony flower root extract, and vitamin C reduce the appearance of age spots and enhance skin brightness, while sodium hyaluronate promotes firmer, smoother-looking skin.

Check DEWSKIN out here.

 

Step 5: Own it!

Lastly, and most importantly, the best way to look great without makeup is to simply embrace your natural beauty with confidence and smile. It’s the very best way to enhance that newly acquired glow.

Here’s to better beauty and looking great without makeup!

 

 

 

Learn more about why and how I switched out my toxic products here.

Be sure to subscribe for my freshest tips and immediate access to my FREE Resource Library.

 

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Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. That means that if you purchase a product through one of my links, I receive a small commission, and the price is still the same for you! To learn more about this, click here.

Thank you for helping me keep this blog going. I appreciate your support.

HI, I’M ASA!

I believe one should never underestimate the power of a good cup of coffee or the perfect glass of wine and that beauty is ageless.

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