Ditching the Hair Dye - All My Hair Fell Out last Week ... - The Fermented Foody

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Ditching the Hair Dye – All My Hair Fell Out last Week …

A couple of months ago I wanted to see for myself how women deal with hair transformations.

Although ditching the dye is most definitely a major life change for any woman, dark hair-to-silver makes for a particularly dramatic transformation.

To this end, I went digging around on the internet to find out more.

Okay, so my hair didn’t actually all fall out.  But it HAS felt thinner over the past couple of years and I do throw a lot of hair in the bin, which I can confirm is not my favourite activity. 😉

Then, last week. Boom! A fun chick made herself known to me in my secret on-line area of social media and we had a bit of a giggle about the whole idea of ditching the dye together.

Like … right now!

  • We both last coloured our hair around the same time in December.
  • We both have the support of our husbands.
  • We are approximately the same age. (She’s a little younger, but I won’t hold that against her. Wink.)
  • Since then I’ve chatted with another two silver sisters one-to-one on-line who are on the same road, so there are now 4 of us travelling this route together.

I know there will be more!

Do You Ever Make Decisions that Scare You?


Maybe Yes No Dice Represents Uncertainty And DecisionsIt’s a phrase that could apply to business, studying, lifestyle change and more.

Well, I’ve just made a decision that quietly excites, but also scares me!

(Cue, rather loud: Argggghhhhhh!)

Ditching The Hair Dye

Why Would Anyone Do It?

To cut another chemical out of their life (and body).

Well, that’s a pretty good starting point.


I have wrestled the past few days as to whether or not I should blog about my decision.  After all, this blog isn’t about ‘me.’  However it IS about health.

I then realised that there were dual benefits in going public:

  • It’s reinforces my own commitment.
  • Other women who may be wrestling with making the decision to transition may get to see this series of posts and find some answers or support that they need.

The Common Concerns



  • Will I want to hide the silver/white stripe as it grows on my crown … and how will I feel if I do, but am unable to achieve it?
  • Will I feel a mess during much of the growing out phase?
  • Will I feel that I look old? And will that make me feel older?
  • Will I be able to deal with negatives from other people?
  • Will I like the colour(s) that are waiting to spring themselves upon me: light silver/dark silver or white?
  • Will I feel comfortable – if I manage to completely transition – looking in the mirror at a very different reflection to the one I have always known?
  • Where can I find support?


The Positives



  • Adventures are good!
  • I will overcome each hurdle.
  • I will learn how to deal with negatives and how not to worry about them.
  • I may LOVE the changes as they happen! If not, I could grow to love them.
  • I won’t be inviting chemicals into my scalp.
  • The only real opinion that matters is my own.
  • This experience could turn out to be enormous fun!
  • I can always change my mind.



It’s said that the most interesting elements of transitioning are:

  • Learning more about yourself.
  • Learning more about other people.
  • Confirming your real friends.


What’s the Worst that Can Happen?

Goals Letters Falling Showing Objectives Hope And Future


You don’t realise a goal.

That doesn’t mean you have failed. You have simply learned something new that will help you move forward with greater knowledge.

This is a great quote to keep close:

“There is no such thing as failure. Only feed-back.”

Stunning Transformations

I’m not at liberty to share photos of some of the amazing women I’ve seen on-line, although I may ask permission to feature some of them in future.

Many look noticeably younger and even more incredible with white or silver hair than when they were using hair dye.

Yes. You read that right!

What’s been most striking to date is seeing photos that have taken natural beauty to a whole new level of stunning.

It seems that while we busy ourselves conforming to the rules of grooming – and how our society in general perceives youth and beauty – (Grey = Older/Old) we forget that our own hair is often far more flattering than anything we could find in a bottle.

Having said that, there are struggles along the way for many. The route to ‘au naturel’ doesn’t run smoothly for all, which makes it extra special to see the progress photos and check out the before and after head shots.

A Few Benefits of Ditching Hair Dye




  • Hair that is thicker, shinier, healthier in general (hair loss has often stopped after ditching the dye)
  • A sense of freedom at being natural instead of a slave to a bottle and ‘your roots!’
  • Clearer skin
  • Better health (what can be more important than improved health?)



So that’s my secret. No longer a secret!

In my next post I’ll share a few selfies I took last week. In for a penny. (Wink.) .. And I may well have some more interesting info to feed your way.

Little Extra Note:

As mentioned above, I KNOW I have support and am so appreciative of that.  Thank you to the fab women I’ve met to date.  You know who you are.  Sisters together! 🙂 (My hubby is also right behind me and happy for me to do whatever feels right. x)

What I DON’T KNOW yet is if I will reach the finishing line or – if other answers will come my way as a result of going public – perhaps take another – safe – route.  

Right now I’m just keen to see what my real hair looks like, so I plan to keep going until more new hair has been revealed … and keep learning along the way.

Keeping Things in Perspective

A little vanity isn’t a bad thing.  It gives us a pride in our appearance.  Ultimately though … it’s good to keep it in perspective.

It’s just hair. In this case, MY hair! Ha.

And maybe .. YOUR hair?! 😉

I’m lucky to have hair.  I know someone with alopecia.  She doesn’t have my choices.

There are also people in Paris last week who lost their lives and all their choices.

‘Nuff said.

Okay. Onwards! 🙂

Please join this conversation below:

  • If you’ve been through this.
  • If you’re thinking about doing this.
  • If you’re part-way through your own transformation!
  • Or just chip in with your thoughts about this subject.

Look forward to chatting!

About the Author Sarah Jackson

I love to experiment with food, write poetry, read, walk in nature, take iphone photographs, sing, cycle, watch good movies, documentaries, dramas and comedy.

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Leave a Comment:

Trish says

I’m happy to have stumbled onto your site. Two years ago when I turned 60, I decided to experiment and stop dying my roots. It was hard to stick to it at first! But as I tell perplexed ladies, “I’m FREE!!”

I’m free from the tyranny of what I call the Hollywood Beauty Cult, and I’m also free from having men in their 30’s checking me out while I feel embarrassed, since my own sons are 38 and 39.

Interestingly, in going gray I’ve noticed that younger ladies no longer view me as a threat, and they even open up to me with little issues. Oh, and when I was having “issues” with my smart phone last year, I went in gray haired for assistance, and the young lady behind the counter looked at me with sympathy, instead of with, “What’s the matter with you?!” Haha! I find find that so amusing!

Finally, I have an unusual law of nature observation to put out there…I’m not fertile anymore; so why should I put out signals otherwise? In being grayed the past couple of years, I have noticed that young ladies have amazingly shiny silky hair because like flowers, they are fertile and everything about them advertises that fact!

So I’m free from sending off false signals too about my fertility. I am one free woman, and although younger and older friends are still puzzled, I am really enjoying myself!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Great that you feel so positive Trish! We all find our own groove with silver locks. 🙂

Robyn says

Sarah, you are a funny, funny girl! I wanna be just like you when I grow up (eh hum!)

I stopped coloring my hair about 4 years ago when a dye job went bad. I had purple hair with orange highlights (NO KIDDING). The beautician had to strip by hair of all color – including my natural color- down to a very bleached WHITE! I was then instructed to do nothing to my hair -including washing- for one month and absolutely no color for at least a year. I’ve never gone back and I’ve grown to love my grey or as I call it, my hairs of wisdom (hey, I’ve earned every one of those greys!)
Great post and I’m rooting (pun intended) for you!!!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Well that’s ONE way of going great Robyn! (Is drama a regular feature in your life? haha)

    Gosh. Many people would be upset enough about the dye disaster, but to be instructed not to colour for a year? How wise of you to grow to love them and not colour them again though. You’re earned your wisdom!

    (Thanks for the compliment. I love to hear that you laugh when you read my posts. For the right reasons. 😉

Yvonne Dalzell says

Hi Sarah, It is my time to admit that I am also 50 shades of grey. Like yourself it was the battle of continually dying my hair which I got fed up with. I have highlights put into mine about every six months now. Initially, two or three toning shades but now have just one shade put in as my hair has a naturally ginger tinge when it is stripped right back giving a golden blonde shade. My hair also grows very quickly so prefer to have it coloured six monthly than being a slave to the bottle. It really needed doing again when you met me. Best of luck with your new hair style.

    Sarah Jackson says

    Ah, Yvonne! Bless you. You looked lovely when we met!

    Some of the silver ladies have suggested highlights as an option to ease the silver growth. With paler hair I think that works pretty well. Some transitions do look painless and some women have said they’ve enjoyed it and not struggled in the least. It depends on the hair/the hairstyle and the person I guess.

    Thank you for popping in to offer support. This is the easiest time, before I go public with a lot more growth. I’m la la la’ing today, writing my next two posts and smiling away.

    I’m sure you’ll see a doom and gloom post before summer!! 😉

carol says

I’m cheering you on Sarah! As a former dark haired compatriot I know all to well the journey (twice, I know, I’m a glutton for punishment) and the end is worth it! Yes you still have the same skin but it looks brighter with the lighter color. Good news! Can’t wait to see 🙂

    Sarah Jackson says

    Gosh. You went through this twice? That’s something I don’t plan to do!! 😉

    Thanks for the cheer Carol. I’m gathering confidence apace here. Support coming in from several places, so it’s definitely ON! (Would be a tad embarrassing to back out just after declaring my intentions I guess. Ha)

    Chat again soon … 🙂

Katie Paul says

Congratulations on your decision to join the silver sisterhood. I’ve been ‘transitioned’ since late 2010. I had short hair and used to have blonde highlights. Once I noticed my roots didn’t need doing because they were as light as the highlights I just stopped. I have a great deal of admiration for those who have to live through the striped stage. Since then I’ve grown my hair long and I love it.

    Sarah Jackson says

    Thank you Katie. Great to keep hearing of success stories! I did consider highlights, then worried about bleaching my hair as it’s had so much colour already. :-/
    Not sure how I’ll get through the striped stage yet! Hats may help though! 😉 ..

Nicki says

Wow, great article and very brave decision! So many of us are scared of looking older, but maybe we should just embrace it and say WTF! Can’t wait to hear your next posts!

    Sarah Jackson says

    I can’t say that I’m not concerned about that too Nicki, but if I take the plunge and it works out ok, maybe a few others will gain the confidence too.

    If you surf the net for silver haired women, you’ll see how gorgeous you could look with silver hair. There are so many pretty shades of grey. What you think is dark may have beautiful shades of light silver or white. We definitely don’t know until we allow it to grow through.:-)

    I just heard from someone who said she doesn’t give a hoo haa about what ANYONE thinks, LOVES her grey hair and is more concerned about exercise. If we were all brought up to think like that, there would be no stigma. Wouldn’t that be fab?!

Linda Scannell says

Good luck on your journey. I don’t think I’m brave enough to join you just yet. I used to get a burning sensation when my hair was being dyed so thought I would be forced to give it up. But it’s not been a problem since I changed hairdresser so I’m staying brunette for the time being.

    Sarah Jackson says

    Hi Linda

    I think we all have to decide when we feel ready .. and it’s different for everyone. If you’ve changed your hairdresser, I guess they’re using a different brand of dye. It seems, from what I’ve read to date, that a reaction can be immediate or happen after many years of using a dye that was fine for a long time for someone.

    Did you see yesterday’s post and read the links? The Henna site has a dedicated section on the Home page with several links to stories of allergic reactions.

    Perhaps you could seek a safe Henna dye if it ever happened to you again. That site looks useful because they explain that certain brands of Henna claim to be natural but actually contain PPD (the chemical that seems to be the root of most of the problems.)

christina says

I am going a similar way but with dye. I am going blonde! from natural black. I already have a Cruella DeVille white mesh at the front. I am actually enjoying a newer, lighter shade. Keeping colouring it dark made it look strange when roots were coming and I do not dye as otfen – sometimes even 2-3 months apart – just too busy with life

    Sarah Jackson says

    Ooh! Love the sound of your Cruella streak! Many women covet that look Christina! It seems that many women who eventually ditch the dye point to the time it takes as one of the key reasons for wanting out.

    My white tram-line parting really got to me. It’s a never ending run to the hairdressers every 3 weeks for me, to avoid it showing. As you say, life is busy. It would be a great thing not to have to worry about!

    Let me know if you decide to join us and ditch the colour altogether. 🙂

Lottie says

O My Days!! Soooo tempted to join you as this is a conversation I was having just the other day…….. Hmmmmm, BIG decision to make!
Good luck – you’ll be a beautiful grey x

    Sarah Jackson says

    Bless you Lottie, thank you.

    Would LOVE you to join us! Would welcome you with open arms if you decide to go ahead. x

Eliza Beck says

My mum had the most beautiful red hair. Red hair seems to fade to white at a younger age, first transitioning through varying shades of a peachy glow. I know she misses having some colour. I’m a darkish blonde and probably have a few white hairs but they go easily unnoticed. Perhaps the transition from blonde to grey is easier as you are already used to lighter sections in your hair.

    Sarah Jackson says

    Hi Eliza

    I would agree with you. I’m sure everyone misses colour at some point.

    From seeing many blonde transitions, many look fairly painless, but of course, it’s the emotional journey that is different for each person. Some dark haired woman have embraced and loved their transition and kept their hair long. I’m not sure how I’m going to tackle this yet to be honest! One step at a time I think. And I’ll document it so you can see what transpires!

    If I had my time again I wouldn’t colour at all. That way, no transition ever has to be tackled. I’ve seen photos of young women with beautiful slate hair, blended with various natural streaks of silver and white. I’d go that route if I had my time again!

Sarah Arrow says

I’m considering joining you. I finder it harder and harder to get my grey covered. The oranges I like to colour my hair are hard to come by and not often stocked. The hormones are thickening my hair up and it’s growing again, and that now means I need two packets to cover the roots! And yesterday I touched up my badger stripe, and low… my whole scalp is trying to crawl off of my head!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Oh Sarah. You’re ringing similar bells. Last year, when I didn’t feel well one day when I went to the hairdresser, my head was literally burning during the colouring process.

    I’d had low lift tints (a gentler way of lifting some colour to bring light and shade to the hair, as constant colour had been making it look generally a little too dark) but when the burning started I was literally trying not to pull my hair off during the time the dye was on my head. I messed up all the previous low lights by rubbing the new, darker root colour into them. What a mess!

    Since then it’s been back to normal. However, I always need the pointed end of a steel comb to poke my head with when the dye makes my scalp ‘tingle.’ It’s bearable, if I can poke it.

    However, I’m now seriously wondering what it’s doing to my insides if I feel like that. I’m not surprised you feel the same way too. If your scalp is hurting the following day, that’s an even more dramatic reaction than mine. Definitely worth questioning.

    Will PM you in a minute. Please join me! I have some new friends who are travelling the road. There are a few of us! Much easier to do it together than alone. 🙂

Kama says

I am really looking forward to following your journey. I loved my journey to silver, there were difficult moments, but now looking back, I wish I had started sooner.

    Sarah Jackson says

    Kama, So glad you’re here! And to have met you on-line at the week-end. I’ll speak more of you in future posts, but for now, just know that it’s good to have your support. Thank you. 🙂

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