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How to transition to gray hair?

50. Contrasting Curly Gray Hair. Check a new salt-and-pepper option. It boasts dimension and an amazing metallic sheen. Mix silver with dark hair. This beautiful combination really has the power to make people stop and stare.

If you’ve been thinking about going gray for a long time, just leave your uncertainty behind and embrace your naturally gray hair. Cause gray is the new black!

Check out all articles about gray haircuts and hairstyles.

Featured Image: Susannah

I want to go gray. How to transition to gray hair as painlessly as possible?

Gray hair is not just normal, it is beautiful – in the past few years, it has been reestimated in the beauty world. Transitioning to gray hair, dyeing your hair ash gray, platinum, and cool blonde has become trendy. Going gray is a perfect way to get out of the endless cycle of dyeing, bleaching, and fighting against aging. Nowadays you can let yourself feel confident about your natural appearance and even be on-trend wearing your beautiful natural hair color.

For years I believed my grey hair was one of my flaws. I’m happy to say that is not part of my self belief anymore. I’ve been dye free for over 14 months and my confidence in this journey grows stronger every day. @polished_grey

There are many ways to perform the gray hair transition, and each of them is special and interesting. Gray hair can be dyed in many different colors and shades. But what if you decide to come back to your natural gray color?

I considered letting my gray hair grow out for years before I finally got up the nerve to do it. I am so thankful I did. Such freedom in not having to color my hair anymore. And I personally feel that I look so much wiser now. @staceygabbard

1. Best Ways to Transition to Natural Gray Hair. First of all, you need to remember that growing out your natural hair color is not a fast process. And the better this “process” is planned, the easier it will be to survive the rejection of your regular hair appointments. So, let’s check out the most popular and effective techniques and recommendations that will answer the question of how to grow out gray hair that is colored!

2. Transition to Gray Hair with Lowlights. Lowlights will help to soften the transition to gray. They require little maintenance in the future – the only trick is to add lowlights that would pair well with your natural hair color.

3. Transition to Gray Hair with Highlights. If you can’t stand waiting and worrying about how your grown-out roots look, you can ask your hairstylist to blend your gray hair with highlights. This way, you will be able to make this transition little by little. And no one will notice any striking changes in your appearance.

4. Balayage for Gray Hair. There are many ways to get highlights: you can try ombre, babylights, chunky streaks in your hair, etc. But the most popular way of blending gray hair with highlights is with the help of the balayage technique. Ask your hairstylist to choose the shade and placement that will suit you best.

5. Transition Colored Hair to Gray. The darker the color you dyed your hair, the more difficult it will be to transition to natural gray. Together with your stylist, you should find a temporary solution on how to get gray from dyed hair. The contrast of bright-colored hair and gray hair is sharper than gray with a more subdued tone. So, if this sharp grombre transition doesn’t bother you much and you want to keep your strands healthy, just get the regrowth lines softened and wait till your hair grows out and goes fully gray.

6. Temporary Pigmented Treatments. Intensive tint rinsing can also ease the transition to gray. It hides both gray hair and darker roots. Over time, the pigmentation after rinsing will wash off. You may try removing your hair color to go gray as well.

7. Transitioning from Blonde to Gray. If you’ve been a blonde for a while and you decide to grow out your naturally gray hair color, you’re pretty much in a winning position, as you don’t have to make any special efforts to achieve this. Embrace your hair growing gray and soften the demarcation line between gray roots and the dyed blonde hair lengths.

8. Brown Transition to Gray Hair. If you are brave and want to go from dark brown to gray, you’ll need to keep in mind that for 6-12 months you will have to be patient enough and pay more attention to your hair. Again, to make the transition less noticeable, you can ask your hairstylist to highlight your hair to make your natural gray strands look purposeful. Or you can focus on styling – various hairstyles will help you look neater while you’ll be growing out gray roots.

9. Going from Black to Gray. Black is one of the most complicated colors for going gray naturally. And the longer your hair, the more carefully you will have to plan how to go gray, cause sometimes it takes several years to fully grow out the natural color. You can try to gradually dye your hair in increasingly lighter tones until the colors of roots and hair lengths blend evenly. If you prefer to keep your lengths dark, highlights, or a root fade is a good idea.

10. Best Hair Colors for Transitioning. Today, there is a huge assortment of dyes that allow women to transition to gray gracefully and stylishly: platinum, ash, metallic blonde, and more. First, you need to decide on the desired tone – ‘cause a gray hair dye can sometimes give silver hair a light purple or dark gray shade, and those tints can remain in the hair for several weeks.

11. Salt and Pepper Hair. When gray hair appears uneven and gray strands mix with darker ones you get the so-called “salt-and-pepper” effect. You can also use highlights and lowlights to achieve a similar natural look. Try tinted balms and the technique of gray blending for hair that will allow you to try on a new style without causing much damage to the hair.

12. Dark Gray Hair with Bangs. Have you ever heard the term “grombre”? It is a very popular hashtag on Instagram now. When you grow out your natural gray hair, you face the blend of “gray” and “ombre” first. Sometimes this “gray ombre hair” may look quite natural, especially if you have dark gray roots and dark brunette ends, or light gray roots and blonde ends. Additional tip: consider cutting bangs. The all-gray bangs will look much better.

13. Light Gray Hair. There exist different shades of gray hair, from the lightest gray tones, to darker, ashy, purple gray and blue gray hair shades. What color of the “granny hair” will suit you best? If you have a warmer skin tone, try to avoid blue undertones in your locks. If your skin tone is cool or neutral, you may opt for the silver hair trend.

14. Ash Gray Hair. Natural gray hair may look a bit thinner than it actually is. That’s why it is very important to find a good hairstylist that will give your hair more volume with a right haircut. Ashy and smokey gray hair tones look stunning with the medium brown shade!

15. Silver Gray Hair Color. There are basically 3 main ways to transition to naturally gray hair: to let it grow as it is and be patient (a.k.a the “cold turkey” method), to cut your hair very short and regrow it fully gray, or ask your hair colorist to blend your grays with the dyed hair color.

16. Natural White Hair. Transitioning to white hair may look disappointing at first. You will get a very defined demarcation line, and the upsetting “reverse ombre”. Women with dyed hair may face the problem of blorange ends too, when the hair dye fades and you get the not-so-good brassy reddish tone. Don’ t give up, focus on your goal and stay positive. Follow gray hair communities on Instagram for the daily doze of hairspiration. Learning new transitional hairstyles as in the picture below is also a must.

17. Best Haircuts for Going Gray. The silver shine in a combination with a stylish haircut delivers elegance and gracefulness to the whole look. So, your next step to your natural gray hair will be to choose a right haircut. Will it be a short crop, a medium bob, or a long layered hairstyle?

18. Short Haircuts for Transitioning to Gray Hair. Of course, it is easier to go gray if you have a crop. Short and medium-length cuts for gray hair are much easier to care for as they require less time for styling and hold their shape better. So, if you are ready for radical changes in order to successfully grow gray hair, go for a short hairstyle. Get rid of dyed hair in one fell swoop by getting a buzz cut. Shaved haircuts usually suit oval faces with proportional features and a beautiful high forehead.

19. Gray Pixie Haircuts. Before the pixie cut, try to refrain as long as possible from hair dyeing. Hair grows out to 1.5 cm per month, thus, after a few months, you will have a complete gray hairstyle and a new exciting look. The bold and sexy feathered hairstyle looks so natural and relaxed. Add shaggy wavy bangs. You’ll love this feminine, flirty look.

20. Medium-Length Hairstyles. There are a lot of options for longer hair lengths too. The most versatile hairstyle for gray hair is a medium-length one. There are many options, but it’s better to get a layered cut that will add volume to the hair. Such a gorgeous hairstyle makes you look particularly soft and feminine.

21. Long Hair Transitioning to Gray. It’s, probably, the heaviest, but very beautiful way of transitioning to gray. Growing out long gray hair requires a lot of time, but it will definitely show people that you’re a strong and confident woman with gorgeous and healthy natural hair. Be patient.

22. Additional Tips for Transitioning. There are a few tips that will help you avoid some common mistakes and achieve the best result while transitioning to gray hair. For example, stylists advise not to lighten natural salt-and-pepper hair color more than three levels in a single process.

23. Best Products for Gray Hair Transition. Toning gray hair can look very impressive, maybe you should experiment with it sometime. If your gray hair tends to turn yellow, use special toning products and combine them with other hair care products, such as a conditioner and hair mask for gray hair.

24. Gray Hair Highlights. Remember that gray hair looks better with light tones, so consider bleaching or making highlights. However, it may be not a good decision to go for highlights if you have dark dyed locks. Highlights work better on naturally dark/light hair colors or lighter color-processed hair.

25. Other Ways to Go Gray. There are some other ways to transition to gray hair. For example, to wear a wig or extensions until your gray hair grows long enough to cut your dyed hair. You may also try temporary colors and sprays to mask the grown-out gray roots until you get the hairstyle of the desired length.

26. Hairstyles to Hide the Grays. You can let your imagination flow and experiment with different hairstyles using all kinds of accessories: hats, beanies, hairbands, headbands, bandanas, scarves, etc. They may both hide the undesired transition between hair colors, and give zest to your appearance as well.

27. Gray Hair Upkeep. Now that you know how to go gray, you’ll need to learn how to take care of it. Here are some simple tips. First of all, use a purple shampoo to neutralize the undesired yellow pigment. It will give silvery radiance to your natural gray color. Try to minimize the usage of hot appliances. Since gray hair can also turn yellow after heat treatment. Use a hairdryer or a curling iron only when necessary.

28. Healthy Natural Gray Hair. Using oils, conditioners, and nourishing masks is a must – they give shine to gray hair and eliminate dryness. Cut off split ends regularly to simplify your gray hair care and styling. Here are some useful tips for smooth and shiny gray hair from @alanasparrow.

29. Fully Gray Hair. How long does it take to transition to gray hair? Needless to say, much depends on your individual features. But, in general, it takes less than six months for short haircuts, and from six months to a year for long haircuts to fully go from dyed hair to natural gray hair color.

30. Youthful Gray Hairstyle. Will you look older with natural gray hair? Oddly enough, but gray hair can add youthfulness (especially with proper accessories and makeup): hair isn’t damaged by dyes anymore and it becomes healthier and thicker!

31. Flawless Silver Gray Hair. Minimize the damage from coloring. Bleach and apply gray hair dye midshaft to ends, leaving your roots with natural salt and pepper. If you want to maintain perfect aristocratic silver hair that flows gracefully in soft waves, we suggest a purple shampoo to keep any yellowing away from your pure silver.

32. Ice and Fire. Transitioning to gray hair smoothly is so last-century. Be open to bold experiments! Combine fiery red with icy gray to show the world your wild nature.

33. Brown and Gray Curly Hair. For some women, removing hair color to go gray is a challenge. However, others make the transition from dyed hair look beautiful. Curls are your best friends in showing off a gorgeous blend of colors.

34. Salt and Pepper Hair with Lowlights. It is no surprise that black and gray hair go well together but did you know you could get an amazing result with highlights and lowlights? Visit a salon to camouflage gray so that it looks natural and chic.

Long Black and Gray Hair with Highlights
By Jin

35. Messy Natural Gray Hair. The intentionally messy, shaggy haircut looks stunning with lowlights for gray hair. It’s the simplest way to embrace your grays in a stylish way.

36. Two-Tier Layered Silver Hairstyle. Hair that goes gray as we age is rich in texture and hues. Embrace and amplify these features with layers which will also add extra volume!

37. Gray Hair with Highlights. Blending gray hair with highlights and lowlights is a concept that has already proven its efficacy. If you opt for it, your new hair color will vary depending on your natural color, taking that obvious grayness away and bringing a sophisticated look.

38. Brown Gray Hair Color. The contrasting combination of brown and silver is an extremely beautiful way to show the world your new gray hair. Visit a beauty salon to achieve this gorgeous ribbon effect.

39. Bright Silver Hair with Lowlights. The transition to gray hair with lowlights is a fun ride. As your natural gray grows, you will see it blend in. Besides, you can easily freshen up your look by adjusting the proportion of darker and lighter tones.

40. Soft Gradient of Grays. Taming stubborn gray hair becomes an easy task for those who choose a soft gradient style. The combination of hues looks especially magical when your hair is curled in light waves.

41. Light and Dark Gray Hair. The transition to gray hair with highlights is possible even without sticking to the traditional streaks. Spread the highlights and babylights unevenly for an effortless, hippie look.

42. Perfect Gray with Lowlights. Waiting for your hair to grow out its natural gray may be tiring. Luckily, there are ways to do it almost instantly. The gray dye will help you achieve your dream color, while dark lowlights will add dimension.

43. Mixed Highlights and Lowlights. We believe that gray hair is amazing but if you think you’re better off without it, try to disguise gray hair with highlights and lowlights. As a result, you will get an unusual variegated color that will attract glances of admiration.

44. Naturally Growing Long Gray Hair. A lot of dark-haired ladies find themselves believing that growing out gray hair is the best decision for them. We approve: why hide gray hair if it blends with brunette hair beautifully?

45. Layered Ash Blonde and Gray Hair. This gray hairstyle is mesmerizing thanks to the volume, texture, and various shades of noble gray. Besides, choppy strands will add a hint of boldness and make this look complete.

46. Gray Blonde Hair with Lowlights. Going gray can be fun if you use your imagination and fulfill your brave ideas. This patchy dye option manages not only to disguise gray but also brings out your creative side.

47. Many Shades of Gray Hair. While most aging ladies cover gray hair with highlights, those who can’t settle for a specific shade can combine a variety of tones. To spice up your look, add thin strands of blue!

48. Chameleon Lavender Gray. This magical hair color will not let you go unnoticed. The genteel hairstyle embraces soft hues of purple, silver, and blue, mixing them in a mystic ensemble.

49. Trendy Grombre Hair. Grombre is yet another proof of how versatile gray hair is. This beautiful variation of transitioning hairstyles requires maintenance only every 3 months, allowing you to effortlessly boost your natural beauty.

50. Contrasting Curly Gray Hair. Check a new salt-and-pepper option. It boasts dimension and an amazing metallic sheen. Mix silver with dark hair. This beautiful combination really has the power to make people stop and stare.

If you’ve been thinking about going gray for a long time, just leave your uncertainty behind and embrace your naturally gray hair. Cause gray is the new black!

Check out all articles about gray haircuts and hairstyles.

Featured Image: Susannah

by Donna Sullivan
Donna is a hairstylist with 8 years of experience. Ask her about any hair-related problem (haircuts, hairstyles, colorings, hair care) and get a pro advice!
  • Barbara

    Hello. I have decided to no longer color my hair. I was wondering if the treatment known as balayage would be useful technique to help make this transition a little less “painful”.

    • Rachel

      I would go with lowlights as they are much less damaging because they only deposit color instead of stripping your hair of it. It is also way, way less maintenance. Plus the darker base of lowlights easily blends with your natural gray and allows for a smoother transition.

      • Lori Simpson

        I have long hair 2 inches below shoulder and the top is now white and the bottom 8 inches dark brown I would like to color it grey what and how do i do it without spending a lotof money

        • Esther Laks

          I am going gray, but I would like some curls. Should I take a perm?

          • Vernie

            My hair is naturally ethnic type hair.I have been growing an afro now but feel its too young for me.What style should I wear with my hairtype

        • fred

          own it and call it an ombre effect !

          • deej

            I call it OM-Gray 😉

  • Mae Locantore

    I have short hair and about 1 & 1/2 inch grey but the rest of hair is dark brown I would like a salt & pepper look

    • Pat

      Short hair want to go to a salt and pepper

  • Sherry

    I want short pixie cut. W salt and pepper color, I have some blonde highlights now

  • Jaygee

    Have your beautiful hair styled! Seek out a specialist(not average) salon who will treat your crowning glory with the love and respect it deserves.