We get many, many emails from those of you going gray under 40. You are in good company!! Here is Becki Carr’s Story:

I started dying my hair around 16 just for fun, and it was a different color every 6 months.

I tried everything from hydrogen peroxide to Glintz to professional coloring. At 24, I decided to go back to my natural color, at which point I discovered I’d gone gray. I didn’t have the courage to let it grow out and see just exactly how MUCH gray I had, so I went right back to dying it.

On a promise to my ever-tolerant boyfriend (now fiancé) who loves the gray, on my 31st birthday I started growing it out to see what it would look like. To my surprise, it was a pretty cool salt-and-pepper silvery shade, but now I had two-tone hair. I didn’t want to chop it off, so just before my 32nd birthday, my stylist did a full foil of bleach to get out most of the brown dye, leaving half the strands untouched. She then covered my entire head of hair with silver toner. The problem was that now the bleached part was lighter than my natural color, so I was two-tone again but my roots were darker, and everyone thought I had gone blonde.

At this point, I almost gave up and decided to just go back to dying my hair all one color, but I realized I was sick of adjusting to expectations and wanted to grow out a full head of naturally colored gray hair.

I wanted to be proud of my natural color and to inspire other young women to do the same. I’ve been seeing an increasing number of young women growing out their grays, but until finding Going Grey, I could not find any useful information out there for anyone under 40 (or really under 50) about the process. Natural gray will never be fully accepted in the under-40-set if women keep dying their grays out of embarrassment or in an effort to look “normal.”

In order to transition to gray without cutting all of my hair off, my stylist and I came up with a plan to use foil to protect some of the natural hair, and to dye the rest with a shade as close to my natural dark brown as possible. Each time I go back, she leaves a little bit more hair gray. The strands all blend together, so when the gray grows out, there is not one line around my head that shows my roots.

I’m happy with the way I look now, and I take care of my hair by using as-close-to-natural-as-possible products to keep the grays smooth. I can’t wait to finally be a full “silver fox” one day.