Hair Care and Styling

The first gray strands appeared in my late teens, so I colored my hair until I turned fifty. During the subsequent grow-out time, I kept it very short, wore hats often, and used temporary color a few times to help with the new growth transition. If you want to keep your length, I suggest you work with a stylist to gradually adjust the color as it grows so that the demarcation line will be less noticeable.

I’ll share the rest of this look and our lunch date destination in the next blog post later this week.

My haircut is a mid-length layered bob with slightly angled sides to frame my face. The primarily silver color is natural, and the texture is fine and wavy. My skincare routine is here. I’ll share an updated food choices post soon. Hair, skin, nails, and overall health are affected by what we eat.

My stylist is April Atkins at Van Kye Salon. (423)268-2190 (Much to her chagrin, I am no stranger to occasionally trimming it myself.) The key is to make the most minimal snips only at the perimeter so that you don’t ruin the style. First, I comb all the hair forward and down toward my chin. Next, gather it all to the point that ends below the tip of the nose and snip a minimal amount to even up the front. Next, comb very wet hair back and straight down. Press the wet hair sleekly against the back of your neck. Then, while looking in a handheld mirror into a larger wall-mounted mirror behind you, snip a tiny amount off the ends straight across the back. Taking off less than half an inch can freshen up your style and make your hair look healthier. I only resort to trimming it when there is too much going on to keep an appointment.

I wash my hair with the shampoo here about twice a week and use the shampoo here about once a month and leave it on while I shower. It helps to tone down the brassy yellow hue that gray hair sometimes gets. I use the conditioner here when my hair feels extra dry, but not every time I shampoo.

About once a month, an hour before my shower, I massage coconut oil into my scalp and down to the ends of my hair. Next, I put a plastic grocery bag or shower cap over my scalp and then a towel or a beanie to hold in body heat. Next, go for a walk or do your morning exercise. Finally, at the end of my shower, I remove the plastic and shampoo my hair as I usually do. This process helps hair retain a soft texture and adds a lot of shine. (I always end my shower with cold water to close the cuticles of my hair and the pores of my skin.)

Hairdryer here.

I use the hairdryer without attachments on low speed and high heat while lifting sections of my hair with the vented drying brush below. Always finish on the coldest setting to close the cuticles. I do not blow dry my hair every day.

Brush here.

When the hair is about 80% dry, I start with the back and use the round brush below to lift and smooth small sections as I dry each completely. Lift and dry the sections from various directions to achieve more volume and movement. (For example, some sections toward the front and some toward the back but always lifting from the roots.) I learned these tips by watching the video here.

Round Brush here.

I finish with a light mist of hair spray to keep down the flyaways and frizz. Since I have fine hair, the more styling products I use, the flatter my hair becomes, so I mostly avoid them.

Hairspray here.

As with all my routines, I strive for healthy, natural-looking, and effortless hair.

My apologies if you tried to leave a comment earlier. There was a problem with the feature, and it had to be deleted and reinstalled, but things are back to normal now. I look forward to chatting with you in the comments section.

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  1. This hairstyle and length is definitely the perfect one for you! Shorter was okay but not nearly as becoming to you. Thanks for the information you shared about product, brushes, etc.

  2. This hairstyle is classic. I am going to see if my stylist feels it could work with my hair. It looks lovely on you.
    Thanks, Susan, for this informative post!

  3. You style is very flattering and I think it suits you the best. I struggle with my grey hair yellowing and purple shampoo doesn’t work. My stylist is a new practitioner who really doesn’t know what to do. So I am going to seek the advice of another slob whose website shows grey haired styles. I don’t want to upset my stylist, but I must do something.

  4. Your currant hair style is so flattering! Thank you for the information about using coconut oil as a treatment. My hair has seemed dry lately and a little frizzy and this might do the trick. All the best to you as you go about your week!

  5. Beautiful! And as someone who’s recently transitioned to silver I love these posts! I appreciate your recent help with my questions about color choices and suggestions.

  6. I really like the sparks you’re adding to your classic style! Even though I’m a few years older than you are, I always look to you for tips on ways to improve myself- a bit like my younger sister does! Thanks so much!

  7. I remember awhile back commenting on how I thought you could still wear longer hair. So glad you decided to try it again. It is very flattering to your face shape & very youthful but still classic as well. That’s not to say it didn’t look good short too because it did. Also love that you are stepping a bit outside the box with your wardrobe choices & putting a little fun & flair into your look. It really makes your personality shine through.

  8. Your hair is beautiful! I’m just curious on your non-wash days, do you use a dry shampoo? How do you refresh your style those days? Thanks!

  9. Hi Susan, your image was used in an Instagram ad that I am sure you are not really a part of, I thought you might want to know

  10. My hint for coconut oil treatment, which I used to do, is after you have left the coconut oil on for as long as possible, is to put the shampoo straight on your hair, before the water, massage the shampoo in then let the water on. This method made it much easier to get all the oil out of your hair.

  11. Kris, I’ve been in your shoes. I went to a young stylist for 4 years. She helped me go from dark brown to my natural gray and it was painful. Took a year for the color to actually grow out, which is the same as if she weren’t trying to help! Took awhile longer for my natural texture to recover. She sold me purple shampoo that didn’t work and dried out my hair (I tried others) . I purchased a water filter that fits on the shower head (change out the cartridge periodically) and that helped a lot. I am also careful to use no product that isn’t totally colorless or white because everything else shows up. Finally I happened upon a different salon. Told my other stylist a little white lie and never went back. The new stylist was great!

  12. Just my personal opinion, but I think longer hair is more feminine and youthful; I love your new longer length. I don’t think I knew that your hair was wavy and fine–as is mine. I am still coloring because I am waiting for it to be silver enough to grow out (I have too much mousy brown still.) I too wear a bob, always, as my hair is too thin to be longer than where my neck ends. I wonder, do you eve wear it back, either in a short ponytail or twisted up and secured with a claw clip? I do when I am in between shampoos and it doesn’t look good down. I have also found my hair has gotten SO dry as I move forward of 65….I try only to wash my hair every 2 days, which is about twice a week–at most 3x. Thank you for the styling tips. I will take a look at the videos and incorporate the approach, because your hair always looks salon-styled!

  13. I am going to try the coconut oil treatment today! My hair is gradually going grey so I don’t need to hide the roots or have color added to assist in the process, but I don’t feel like it shines the way I would like it to. So here I go. Thanks for the tip!

  14. Your hair is beautiful Susan! I’ve got dry, curly hair and stay near the sea, and of course the humidity makes it very curly and frizzy!

    Love your hair and would give everything for such a hairdo!

    Susan Badenhorst from South Afirca

  15. This was very helpful. I do really like your longer hair style. I’m trying to grow my hair longer but the challenge is that it is thick and curly. I wear it curly and let it air dry sometimes but I tend to like the smoother look the best. I just feel better. I might try the coconut oil because my hair does tend to look very dry.

  16. Thank you for sharing as always!
    I have followed Dominique for years on YouTube. She’s great for hair and makeup tips as well.
    I greatly enjoyed watching your older YouTube videos.

  17. I, too, love your your look with longer hair, rather than as short as it was! Thanks for the tips today, including the video with the styling demo. I recently got my hair cut in the “Pixie Bob” style from a long, straight style. Knowing how to style it has been challenging, plus the fact that morning styling does not seem to last the day! And also after sleeping on it, my shorter is really a challenge! I think I will grow it out some, to your length, which is so much easier to maintain than very short in my experience.

  18. Susan, you never fail to offer another great post. My hair is very much like yours, grey, and styled in a bob cut. I noticed your shampoo is for blondes. It has been suggested that I use the “purple” shampoo to brighten the grey. Have you tried “purple”? Thank you for everything you do for us.

  19. I love your Susan after 60, even though I am Bernie, 2 + years shy of 80. I am in AZ enjoying your fall photos of the eastern states history. When is your birthday, I think we might be both cancers, I feel such a closeness to you.
    Oh ,my ARE you my sister? I love Loreal Alnett, But it is very difficult to find lately.
    Happy New Year 2023 to that handsome Mickey and you. God speed.
    Hugs Bernie King

  20. Oh love it. I too ‘help’ my style between trims. (Quality hair cuts etc are pricey where we live in Australia.) Never use more than a spot of conditioner on my strong but fine grey/white hair. I do backcomb my hair for staying power before using a little hair spray.

  21. That brassy yellow in your silver hair? My hair stylist told me it was from the sun–the rays pull the blue tone out, leaving the yellow. Yep. Explained that big yellow patch down the back of my head–last summer I wasn’t very good at making sure I had a sun screen hat on when I went out to the garden “for a minute” that lasted a couple hours. Lol So 2023–not slipping out of my habit of sunscreen, sun glasses (even on cloudy days–those really bad rays penetrate the clouds very easily), and a solid hat of some kind with sun proofing and wide brim. Love all the expert advice you share with us all, Susan!

  22. I’m a brunette and contemplating no longer coloring my hair.
    I’m just not sure if my olive skin and grey hair would be a good look. Also,
    I wear mostly gold toned jewelry. I’ve read that gold jewelry is a no no
    with grey hair. I’d like to know your thoughts.

    1. You may find that golden highlights serve you better than going gray, but your natural gray may not be silvertone. Regardless of my hair color have almost always worn silver jewelry because it flatters my skin tone.

  23. Dear Susan,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts for a long time! I recently went on a wonderful Panama Canal cruise. We love dressing up for dinner, and I realized partway through the cruise I really needed another wrap or topper. I remembered one of your scarf posts from long ago where you showed the brilliant idea of tying the corners of a large scarf to create “sleeves.” I did this with a gorgeous scarf I bought on the trip in Costa Rica. It elevated my simple black chiffon overlay palazzo pants and black tank. Thank you for this! Keep up your wonderful, inspirational posts!

    All the best,


  24. Hi Susan! Your hair is always on point and very pretty. But just a caution on the coconut oil- I use a lot of it and was told to never let coconut oil get into the plumbing as it will solidify in the pipes and cause a problem. I know of a lady that had to have her plumbing taken out and replaced! I enjoy your posts! Have a great day.

  25. I have very similar hair to yours, always wore it short and curly, but during Covid I grew it out to a Bob, using a round brush to straighten it, I am loving the longer style for me although it does take longer to style. On vacation or in humid climate I have the option of scrunching and going curly! But I do feel more sophisticated with it blown out straight! I suffer with scalp psoriasis and used to use coconut oil some, I think I will start back and maybe even add a few drops of some peppermint or rosemary essential oil. The previous person mention it clogging pipes, I wonder if fractionated coconut oil would be better? It stays in a liquid form!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.