Kelly Ripa shows the progression of her gray hair in quarantine


I am sure many of you have seen by now the meme Reese Witherspoon started chronicling the sh*tshow that is 2020 through increasingly disturbed expressions of characters from her films. Many actresses joined in, the whole meme is pretty funny. Over the weekend, Kelly Ripa contributed her own 2020 Horror Calendar to the mix, but she took a rather unique – and totally relatable – approach. Kelly showed the apocalypse through the evolution of her graying roots:

I think this is a really clever take on the joke. I know so many people who are missing their barber, hairstylist, nail technician, facialist, etc. and I think we could all do one of these progressions for some form of personal grooming. Mine would be of my acrylic nails, as they broke and fell off. My husband’s would be his hair growing out. We all made a pact we wouldn’t cut our hair until salons opened back up. He’s the only one who kept it and he’s entered the Deranged Clown phase of his grow-out. I know a lot of people, women primarily, who are lamenting their roots. Ladies who dye their own hair regularly aren’t having any issues with upkeep but those who are coloring their tresses for the first time over their bathroom sinks are having widely mixed results. I have one friend who matched the wrong color and now her hair is far too dark for her skin tone. She looks like a suburbanite vampire. Another friend is using one of those roots kits from the drugstore and from the pics I’ve seen, it looks as good as her colorist does. I don’t dye my hair so if anyone here can offer tips and tricks to those hoping to clean their color up a bit, please share.

As for Kelly, I was surprised she let hers go but I guess it’s different when discussing bleaching vs. coloring. I know getting the bleach wrong on your roots can really mess up your hair, so Kelly is probably quite smart not to try them on her own. I imagine her hair person told her as such. But I also know some women use blonde and an intermediary color when they start going gray. My guess is Kelly will likely get her blonde back the minute she can, but she’d be cute in a gray, wavy bob. We talked briefly about this before, but I am very curious to see how many folks embrace their gray when we finally get out of quarantine. Until we are released, I like Kelly’s approach of embracing the grow out and having a little fun with it.


Photo credit: Instagram and WENN/Avalon

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28 Responses to “Kelly Ripa shows the progression of her gray hair in quarantine”

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  1. josephine says:

    I feel like it’s a bit of a gimmick/forced at this point but then I’ve never found her amusing. She’s posted multiple times about the hair.

  2. nicegirl says:

    I’m dealing with hair coloring on my own rn. Bleached t f outta it, which I haven’t done in at least 15 years. Better than the bangs trauma I caused myself last summer. Wtf.

  3. nicegirl says:

    Also, love the turbans. They’re so cool but I cannot even pull one off, I look like a fricken poseur. Not even like a regular poser.

  4. julia says:

    Embrace it! There is nothing wrong with aging. I’ve earned every wrinkle I’ve got and I wear them with pride. I’m only 40, but years of love and laughter, pain and sorrow, success and defeat are beginning to show…big time. I’ve lived through it all and my face tells the tale. When the grey comes, I’ll let that show too.

    • Nina says:

      I’m 60-something but been dyeing my dark brown hair since I was in my 20s. Now I’d be entirely gray, but I feel like it would change my entire look – and my eyes and brows are still dark, and I just think it would look weird and I would have to get new clothes and makeup and oh yeah, what is makeup again? and earrings…. I’m just not ready.

  5. GR says:

    1. Always use – vaseline on your hairline and ears so the skin doesn’t get dyed, a dark towel around your shoulders, and gloves
    2. Get help if you can, especially if you have a lot of hair, or at least use two mirrors to make sure you’ve gotten the back of your head
    3. Only do the roots – multiple layers of dye can look weird and sort of “dense.”
    4. Work in sections, pinning the rest out of the hair out of the way
    5. Do a patch test on your skin (allergies) and your hair (color)
    6. Softscrub with bleach will get dye stains out of a lot of surfaces; clean off the stains as quickly as you can get to them
    Good luck!

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      I don’t use vaseline, but I scrub my hairline with aloe on a cotton ball when I’m done applying color to get up the excess before it can dye my skin.

      I’d add, buy a bowl and brush like they use at the salon instead of trying to use the bottle that comes in the box. They cost like $2 and make the application so much easier. Whatever you think is the color that matches your hair, buy one step LIGHTER. Hair dye is like paint, it comes out darker than you think it will. I wear a ratty button down when I’m dying my hair and nothing else. It’s my hair dying shirt.

  6. Boogaloo Shrimp says:

    So stunning. So brave. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  7. pamspam says:

    My stylist made me an at-home root touch up and overall color refresher kit and dropped it off at my front door, along with carefully thought-out instructions. It wasn’t 100% my usual color as she had to throw it together from what she had on hand, but it turned out pretty well and was a little mood pick me up.

  8. Lindy says:

    I’m just not ready to embrace my gray. For one thing, I like my hair on the longer side and would have to chop it off if I went all gray–otherwise it would be this Morticia Adams thing, no thanks.

    For another thing, I work in tech and am already twice as old as my boss. Literally twice as old. The second you start seeming too old to keep up (at my mid-level stage), you’re done. Especially as a woman.

    I don’t know… I’m already struggling to keep up my confidence these days. I think letting the gray take over would be too much right now.

    I’ve always colored my own roots, though. I just match my natural hair color so it isn’t too difficult.

    • Grace says:

      I feel ya on the work thing! I too am TWICE as old as my boss too!! You are dead on when you say “the second you start seeming too old to keep up”, you’re done. Especially for a woman.” Personally, from what I see, women keep the world going, not the men!! I work in education, which is a little more “forgiving” of that natural aging process, but ageism is STILL a problem there too! I am gray..and I noticed a big difference in how much attention I got in meetings once I made the change. It is real!

  9. FHMom says:

    I wasnt too bothered by the little grey at my roots, but I did get them touched up about 3 weeks ago. What I hated were the golden highlights which gave me dark, light and grey hair color all at once. I will continue to get my roots touched up until salons get locked down again, which I foresee happening in another month or so. My hair is curly, so I just couldn’t pull off that cool, grey look which looks nice on so many women.

  10. salmonpuff says:

    I had already decided to let my grey in before lockdown, but I’m not loving it. I didn’t quite realize how much of my identity is wrapped up in being brunette. But the time and money for upkeep just got to be too much. My kids think my new grey highlights look awesome, though
    (and my husband always thought I was insane to dye it), so I guess I’ll keep them for now.

  11. Lori says:

    I discovered that I dont have nearly as much grey as my colourist lead me to believe.

  12. Jaded says:

    About 10 years ago I thought eff it, I’m letting those grey suckers come in (I’m 67). I had some very fine ash blonde streaks put in during the growing out phase. I actually prefer my salt and pepper colour, it’s in super healthy condition and I managed to trim my hair (it’s in a layered bob) and Mr. Jaded’s so that we didn’t look like old hippies. My hairdresser opened up last month so we finally got cuts after 6 months.

  13. Dee Kay says:

    I am late 40s and I love my salt-and-pepper hair!! I get compliments on it from strangers on the street. For me, 100% natural is the way to go as I age. I’m a little more distressed by the lines I see appearing between my eyes (I have older sisters so I know exactly how my wrinkles are going to come in), but I don’t think I’ll ever get botox, either. I am as old as I am!!! I’m not afraid to let it show.

  14. Alice says:

    Ugh I could definitely use hair dye tips haha. I have naturally kind of blah light brown hair so I’ve been highlighting it for years. Right before Covid I had my stylist dye in brown to match my roots so I could let it grow out, but it is more of a reddish brown. So it still contrasted with my roots as they grew out. I dyed it with a cool light brown after a few months to try to counteract the red but it’s still an auburn colour…and now I have roots again. Any tips from anyone since I can’t go to a stylist?

    • Lula Patella says:

      Try eSalon. I found that their color matching was good. As in, even though the colorist had never seen my hair color, I ended up with a color very close to what I wanted. And it looks like an expensive salon job 🙂

  15. Sorella says:

    I have always done Clairol Root-Touch ups in between trips to the hairdressers (as my grays come in every 4 weeks but it is too pricey going every 4 weeks!!). I would go to the hairdresser for a real color / touch up my highlights every 3 months and she would correct it if needed – but overall she says I do a pretty good job. The trick is to find the right color (hint around and your stylist will tell you what you should use). The root-touch ups are SO easy (10 minutes to put in and 15 minutes on and then done!!). As said by many, you only do your roots (if you watch what your stylist does they also only do s the roots). You just need a fine tooth comb and “flip” the hair around and use the brush – I’ve watched my stylist enough to know how how she does it lol. Not perfect, I do miss some spots some times, but you get better at it (a must is a mirror to see the back of your head). I have yet to go back for a color since COVID and I’m savings TONS lol!!

    I’m not going to reveal which color I use in the Clairol root-touch ups as it’s already a popular one and they run out of it sometimes so I don’t need more of you buying that shade LOL!!!

  16. Jaxonmeh says:

    For years I dyed my hair every color I could get away with due to being in the military (and I got away with some I probably shouldn’t have). Towards the end of my career I ran into the silver fashion colors and wanted to try it but just wasn’t ready.

    After I got out of the military, I went to Cosmo school for a bit (wasn’t for me), but had I a lot of fun with fashion colors and undercuts. I finally blonded it and was loving it but hated the upkeep. Then on a whim, I cut it all off into a super short pixie to let my gray grow out. Been letting it grow out ever since with strategic haircuts until the pandemic and it’s almost have a respectable bob, but it definitely needs a trim and it would do better with some layers.

    I do love the gray highlights I seem to have and honestly I don’t miss any upkeep. That money is better spend on wine and Amazon purchases during this pandemic season anyways. I am ready to dive down the Overtone route for some temporary fashion colors, so… do what you want and what you love. Gray is actually not that bad if you decided you wanna do it, but it’s a decision you’ve gotta be ready to do. I would definitely recommend cutting it all off instead of watching it grow out.

  17. Anne Call says:

    My hairdresser has come to our backyard twice and cut my husband’s hair and colored mine. She brushes color in and then I wash it out after she leaves. First time was painful because I let some of it go down my face and into my eyes in the shower although I did get a bonus eyebrow dye on my very light brows. Last time she came the color looked weird after she left and I’m noticing some breakage of my hair above my forehead around my part. Starting to think I should just stop with the dye and chemicals and let it go…I’m fair complexioned and I never think grey hair looks as good as it does on olive complexioned people.

  18. c-no says:

    I shaved my head. It was a pretty short pixie before, and I did home-dye it occasionally – I like a slightly darker brown than my own, makes my eyes pop. But now there’s nothing left to dye, and the grey sparkles!

  19. ooshpick says:

    i shaved my hair 3 years ago and my experience has been 50-50. some people profess to love going grey. I am 50 and i have had male attention since i was in my 20’s really. i have white hair and salt and pepper. when i cut my dyed hair off and grew it out natural, i was immediately carded for old age which i never was before! i have bus drivers lower the bus to help me get on despite the fact that i am a yoga instructor. i am invisible to many men (but esp. most younger men). it is a sometimes painful part of my journey somewhat ameliorated by the health of my hair, the appreciation by some other women and even some men (some women are ageist too though), the freedom not to worry about regrowth, the soft feeling of my hair. I don’t think it’s fair to paint it as an easy ride. Being a woman in this culture, esp. if you have ever been valued for solely being young and cute, is hard enough. Being perceived as an older woman is more so. That said, I say F**K em. I want to be liked, ultimately for who I really am. My 2 cents 🙂

  20. tica says:

    what utter sh*t. we’ve been on lock down and quarantine as well. But hairstylist has done my hair 2 times since. She books me so we are alone in the salon. we wear masks. No reason that someone with her money can’t have the same thing done. I call bullsh*t. another reason for her to post and be relatable. She has lost me and my husband as viewers on her show, just because she is so thirsty and not as adorable as she thinks she is. She is actually horrible and the way she over talks her hosts makes us sick.