Transitioning to gray hair can make your beauty upkeep so much easier. Rather than battling to hide your natural hair color every few weeks, why not embrace the real you? However, the transition period can be a little tricky.
Learn these salon-smart tips to make the switch from colored hair to gray hair much easier.
Things To Know Before Going Gray From Colored Hair
Though gray may be your dominant undertone, you can’t instantly switch to it if you’ve been coloring your hair. Slowly letting your roots grow out could take years, and it isn’t the most stylish option. But, for many, chopping off their locks into a short ‘do to potentially hasten the process isn’t a good option either.
A transition period may be needed. So, the number one thing to know before switching your colored hair to gray is that you’ll need a little time and patience.
You should also be aware that the darker your hair color, the more challenging it may be to have a subtle transition. But you still have options.
Follow These Useful Tips On Transitioning To Stunning Silver Hair
So, how can transitioning to gray hair be made simpler?
Before you get started, you’ll want to let a little bit of gray regrowth “grow in” at the root. No matter which of the ideas below that you choose, a little gray coverage at the roots will help to start the blending process.
No matter which option you choose, you’ll also want to see your stylist for more regular trims. That way, you can keep subtly removing unwanted color from the ends without a drastic haircut.
Here are some ideas that’ll give you plenty of alternatives to work with. Always consult a trusted colorist to determine what is best for you.
1. Lop Your Hair Short
Yes, this is a dramatic option. But for some, it’s a chance to completely change up their style. You’ll need to let your roots grow out at least an inch or two first. Then, have your hair stylist crop your hair in a stylish, (very) short hairdo. But then you’re done – you’re completely transitioned to gray.
2. Go For Complimentary Lowlights Or Highlights
Many people get blonder highlights or darker lowlights in their hair for contrast and pop. Both of these color techniques are fantastic for transitioning to gray hair.
While your roots are growing out, highlights can be added in a silvery tone so that your root line isn’t so obvious. Likewise, a lowlight in a browner tone may help create a salt and pepper effect throughout.
Your colorist will select lowlights, highlights (or both) in shades that pair well with your natural gray hair.
3. Get A Professional Color Correction
When you get a color correction at the salon, it’s often to tone brassiness on blonde hair, lighten up dark hair, or darken hair that’s become too blonde.
If you’re trying to grow in silver hair, a color correction to your dyed color can help it better match those silvery strands. That way, the “demarcation line” between the two colors is far less obvious.
4. Try Out Balayage Or Ombré Techniques
The balayage technique involves hand painting the hair, as opposed to using foils.1 This might help give you a more natural color, as it’s more in line with how the sun would naturally bleach your hair. For gray hair transitioning, balayage might help to cover that demarcation line more purposefully.
Ombré, on the other hand, is the blending of one color hue to another. For example, you may see a blonde who has a brown base color that gradually fades into darker blonde hair and then, ultimately, into light blonde tips. Ombré is a great way to incorporate natural root color into dyed hair color.2
When transitioning to silver hair, ombré can be used in the other direction – what’s known as a reverse ombré. Your natural gray root will be the lightest shade, and your colorist will use gradually darker shades of gray permanent color down the remaining hair length.
5. How About A Root Smudge?
Another way to soften the root demarcation line between new gray growth and your existing color is to get your roots “smudged.” This technique helps to disguise this hard line by smudging color at the root, giving a little more depth to it.3
For graying hair, this means that your colorist will choose a shade that matches well to both your natural gray and the color of the rest of your hair. This should allow for a smoother blend between the hues.
6. Have Fun With Wigs, Extensions, And Accessories
If you’ve always thought that experimenting with wigs or hair extensions would be fun, there’s no better time.
Wigs allow you to change your hairstyle and color within minutes. You can physically see how you might look with long hair, or even a pixie cut. It’s definitely a fun adult way to play “dress up” until your gray hair grows long enough to cut the color off.
Hair extensions can also be used to better blend the colors you already have. Simply clip in a few pieces of gray-toned hair strands. Extensions may also provide an added boost of volume and length to your hair.
Or, you could simply try out some new hairstyles for a while using various accessories like hats, headbands, bandanas, and scarves.
What About Very Dark Or Red Hair?
Transitioning to gray hair color is much easier when your colorist is working with lighter hair shades. Blondes definitely have it the easiest. This is simply because the contrast between the two colors isn’t as sharp.
Growing out red, black, or dark brown hair – whether hair dyed or natural – is going to be a far more obvious transition. But if you’re willing to embrace that, your salon can work to regularly soften that demarcation line, so it’s not as harsh.
If you have very dark or vibrant hair, you’ll benefit from regular hair trims the most. It’ll help to keep removing the unwanted color from the ends of your hair as you gradually go gray.
Gray Hair Trend: How To Take Care Of Your New Silver Locks
As your dyed hair grows out and your gray begins to take center stage, you’ll also need to take good care of it.
As you’re probably well aware, gray hair tends to be more wiry and rough in texture. It may also need a good toner application from time to time to help it stay vibrant.
Here are a few hair care tips to keep your new gray locks looking their very best:
- Invest in a good purple shampoo. Gray hair can sometimes appear dull, but purple shampoo (also known as silver shampoo) may help add shimmer. It can also tone out any brassiness – especially on white hair. This is because the purple tone neutralizes and helps balance out yellow tones.4
- Using a shampoo, conditioner, or styling product with argan oil can be incredibly nourishing for gray hair. It can help the hair look and feel less brittle. Plus, it’ll provide a little extra shine.5
- You can purchase an at-home glossing kit to add shine in between salon visits.
- Don’t forget to protect your hair from the sun, salt water, and chlorine in the summertime. These can be incredibly dehydrating for your locks. Wear a hat outside, and always rinse your hair after swimming.
Going Gray, Naturally: Bye, Bye Dyed Hair
No matter your skin tone or your current hair color, gray hair can flatter everyone. So, if you’re sick of regrowth – and fed up with dying your hair every few weeks – perhaps it’s time to try it out.
Transitioning to gray hair is a big commitment at first – simply because it takes so long to achieve that full head of gray. But once you get there, it’ll be the easiest color you ever managed.
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