Claudine Penedo
Updated on January 16, 2024

Ever see a woman proudly flaunt her natural gray hair and think “I wish I could do that!”?

Well, you certainly can! Young women dyeing their hair ash gray has become the hottest trend – while older women are embracing their natural long gray hair as a sign of self-acceptance.

Whatever your reasons for having gray hair – it is definitely one way to push the status quo.

Read on to find out how I started embracing my long silver hair, how I look after it – and why I love it!

How My Gray Hair Journey Began

I was sitting in the San Fernando Valley with a friend, watching our kids play, and discussing life. I was on the verge of divorce – vacillating between despair and excitement. I knew I was ready for a big change and we excitedly discussed and fantasized – as only women can do.

How can we make OUR mark?

It was 2010 and I was 40 years old. There was much talk at that time – although we now read it daily in countless memes – of the idea that the path to success is through discovering and being our most “authentic” self.

I liked it – and it made sense.

As I drove home pondering this, I wondered how I could apply this to my life. I had just enrolled in a yoga teacher-training program. Through the yogic philosophy, I began to merge with the person I wanted to become – instead of the woman I was expected to become.

So, after over 20 years of dyeing my hair, I decided to begin living genuinely!

Long Silver Hairstyles

Being my true self meant I was no longer going to cover up who I was. I was no longer willing to fight to keep my marriage – nor fight to keep what was supposed to be a “youthful appearance”.

It was an act of defiance to embrace my truth. I made the choice to cut my locks short, and go through a year-long process of growing it out.

By 2011, my hair was more salt and pepper than gray – but two years into this process, and I finally had lovely and natural long silver hair. I was poised to begin my new career as an older model. Entering the market as a classic gray hair model allowed me to utilize this platform to contribute a sense of freedom to women over 50.

How I Look After My Gray Hair

My routine has changed radically in the past two years! I went from voluminous long gray locks to thin and brittle hair due to fluctuating hormones, life stressors, and diet.

The summer climate in Southern California lends itself to shorter hairstyles. So, to give my hair a fuller appearance, I have transitioned away from long gray hairstyles – and now the hairstyle I wear is a little shorter.

To improve scalp health and help prevent hair loss, I recently began using Pura’dor every two days. People always tell you that the less you wash hair, the healthier it will be. What I personally discovered was just the opposite – the oils were causing my strands to fall out by blocking the hair follicles!

I believe it’s important to also look after your hair from within. I make sure that my hair gets the nutrients it needs by taking a Biotin vitamin supplement.

I also use Aveda Thickening Tonic to add volume and thickness, and Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo to refresh and brighten my silver hair. My styling routine involves a lot of hair brushing, and rarely using heated tools. Once a week I also treat myself to a coconut oil scalp massage – it feels wonderful! I am hopeful that my nurturing hair routine will strengthen my hair, and restore its original luster.

Hair Products for Long Gray Hair

My Favorite Silver Hairstyles to Wear

When it comes to hairstyles, I like natural and easy looks that compliment my face.

Most days, an easy French twist with a chopstick does the trick. However, there are days that call for a more sophisticated, sexy or youthful hairstyle.

1. Messy High Updo

If your hair is wavy like mine, here’s a styling hack for you. When looking to create a messy updo, use large soft sponge rollers to smooth out the kinky hair. You won’t need that if you’ve had a blow-out – your updo will naturally look effortless and elegant! When your hair is nice and smooth, loosely swirl it into a bun on top of your head and use bobby pins to hold the bun in place.

Messy Updo for Long Silver Hair

2. Brushed-Back Voluminous Locks

Brushing and combing in any direction usually creates enough volume for me. When I have to rush out the door – but desperately need to add a bit of “oomph” to my locks, I use dry shampoo. It works every time!

Long Silver Locks Brushed Back

3. Soft Hollywood Locks

As women, we sometimes love to splurge on beauty. Luckily, I work with a hair stylist in my business! In this photo, you are seeing my friend Donna’s creation. She used a large curling iron on clean and dry hair. She wrapped my layered locks loosely and around the iron. We generously sprayed hairspray – and the look was complete!

Long Gray Wavy Hairstyle

4. Casual Pony

I wear my hair up as often as possible! However, I have heard that the pulling back weakens the hair follicle. I always make sure it’s loose and not too tight – but I love having hairstyles away from the face!

Silver Gray Ponytail

5. Glamorous Side Part

When it comes to hairstyles, I love mixing it up! A side part can be sexy and fun. I love a sweeping bang and it’s easy to achieve that with a side part. Whether your hair is straight or wavy – you can still create this elegant look.

Long Silver Side Parted Hairstyle

6. Any Hairstyle – Plus a Hat!

I love wearing hats!! They immediately make a look more intriguing – and are such a fantastic accessory. Hats are also my go-to when there is a chill in the air and you need to protect your locks from the weather – but you don’t need a reason to wear a hat!

Long Loose Silver Hair with a Cap

7. Bardot Bangs

I’ve always thought that bangs are playful and youthful! Once a year, I look for trendy bangs to get inspired by, take a stack of photos to my stylist and ask for mine to be done! I am lucky because I can always brush my hair back when needed. Bangs are flirty – and they can easily transform a monotonous look.

Natural Gray Shoulder Length Hairstyle

If you want to follow me for more fashion and styling ideas, you can find me on Instagram or visit my website. Embrace your long gray hair and let’s wear beautiful silver hairstyles!

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