Enjoy Kate’s story featured in our Color Me Gray ebook.

For me, going gray was more than just being freed from the hassles of hair coloring—it was about honoring my mom. My mom and I shared the same thick, coarse hair that grew full and not long. It wasn’t until the signature big hair and mullets of the ’80s that I finally felt more at peace with my unruly hair. I could keep it short on the sides and have big hair!

My first gray was a shock at the age of 21. By the time I was 30, I colored my hair to give it life and to cover the ever-present grays. My mom, however, remained true to herself. She never once picked up a hair coloring bottle, nor felt the need to do so. Still, I continued the ritual until I was 46, spending much time, money, and energy.

Then I lost my mom to breast cancer. At that moment, I decided to stop. Since I was a child, I’ve been told that I looked like my mom, and I felt this was my way of paying tribute to an amazing woman. Mom loved all and lived each day to the fullest; the least I could do was love myself in gray. And now I love it! I can hardly remember what it was like to have brown hair. There is no maintenance. All you need is a good haircut. Plus, the gray is such an attention-getter!

Total strangers have stopped me just to compliment my hair. It’s so weird because I do nothing to it but wash and go. I have been approached by young and old, male and female, in parking lots, bookstores, shopping malls, restaurants—everywhere—that my friend teases me for setting what she thinks is a record. Once, less than five minutes after we sat down at a restaurant, a man approached me and said he liked my hair. For me, that was huge since I never thought I had “great” hair. My all-time favorite day was at an outdoor concert about two years ago. I walked by a group of young men and women in their late 20s, and one of the girls called out, “Hey, I just want you to know that all of us think you’re hot!”

50 and hot! And noted by the younger generation. I don’t think my feet touched the ground till I got back to my seat.

So far, it’s been a fabulous ride, and I thank my wonderful mother for giving me the courage to just be me.

Need more inspiration? Enjoy 23 more stories and gorgeous pictures in our Color Me Gray ebook!