Ah, so you’ve finally done it. You’ve made the decision to grow out your gray hair!
A tough decision indeed. I mean, you’ve been coloring those nasty roots for years so deciding to go gray is kind of a big deal!
I’m going to share a few tips on growing out gray hair so you can do it gracefully and confidently. The first and most important thing you need to know is that as you transition to gray hair, you will still be beautiful. Remember, beauty is inside, not outside.
There are quite a few ways to make the transition to gray hair, the first, of course, being to cut all your hair off. Now while that may seem like a viable option to some women, it doesn’t appeal to the masses.
So if you’re not up for cutting off all your hair, there are certainly other options available to you.
Let’s first look at how to go gray with dark hair.
Depending on just how dark your colored hair is, one option your stylist might recommend is to add in silver highlights which is slightly more gentle than bleaching out your whole head (we’ll talk about that too).
Your stylist will strategically place highlights to make it look as natural as possible. As your roots grow out, it will look slightly more natural.
One thing to keep in mind is that no matter what your stylist does, everything can be fixed.
Another way to go gray with dark hair is to bleach out your whole head and dye it very light blonde (or platinum). A word of warning here though, if your hair is really dark, like almost black, it may require more than one bleach out which is extremely damaging to your hair.
Please don’t try and do this at home. A good stylist will talk you out of doing this. If you are going to use bleach to remove color from your hair to go gray I would strongly recommend hiring a professional hairstylist to do this.
Removing hair color to go gray
It’s first important to understand just how hair color works so that you can see it’s not a matter of just washing it out and your natural hair color lies underneath. When you color your hair, you are completely restructuring the molecules of your hair shaft. If you don’t like the color you put in, you simply just can’t remove it and go back to the way it was before.
It doesn’t work like that. You have to bleach it out and then reapply a color that you will hopefully like. It’s the same process for removing hair color to gray. This article by thoughtco.com explains it in more detail for you.
Your hair color will have to be bleached out and then a platinum/silver/gray color applied over top. You can check out this video I found on YouTube that shows some beautiful gray hair transitions on women who had colored hair (not dark!) and went totally gray.
How to go gray gracefully
If none of those options sound good here are a couple more.
Some women simply are just done putting chemicals in their hair and would rather just go gray naturally. While this is definitely the healthiest option (for your hair), it doesn’t come without frustrations and baseball caps.
If you do choose this option there are a few ways that this can run smoothly if you’re willing to do a little bit of work.
One way is applying a root touch up product. These are totally safe and harmless as well as temporary. They literally just wash right out. So if you can’t bear to show your nasty roots day after day, a root touch up might be your best friend while you are growing out your gray hair.
The other method to go gray gracefully (and somewhat naturally), are to mix these concoctions:
- Baking soda rinse
- Dish soap and baking soda shampoo
- Baking soda and shampoo
- Baking soda and lemon juice
- Epsom salt and baking soda
This great article from straightaheadbeauty.com gives you the full list of ingredients and instructions on how to remove gray from colored hair. Now while these ingredients are natural they still will cause slight damage to the hair if you apply them too often or don’t condition properly afterwards.
How to take care of your hair while you’re transitioning to gray
Gray and white hair tends to be more coarse and wiry than your natural hair and will require deeper conditioning. This is especially true as you are trying different methods to remove color from your hair.
Don’t be afraid to slather coconut oil or olive oil in your hair and sleep with it in your hair! Transitioning to gray hair will take some time and your hair will go through many different stages as it grows out. It’s important to keep it as healthy as possible to avoid looking old and ratty.
If you notice your hair is starting to get too dry, stop using the methods above, give your hair a wee break, maybe even give it a nice little hair cut and apply some deep conditioner (or oils mentioned above).
Growing out gray hair can be frustrating
Don’t forget why you started this journey in the first place. We all have different reasons for deciding to go gray so when you start feeling annoyed and frustrated at how long the transition to gray is taking, remind yourself why you want to do this.
If you chose the natural method and find yourself at your wit’s end at the 6 month mark, talk to your stylist about different ways to get through the yucky stages. A nice fresh haircut might be all you need.
Baseball caps and other fashionable accessories will come in handy on those days you just can’t stand to look at those nasty roots anymore. If you feel really daring, you can check out some wigs and have fun with a new and sassy look.
And don’t forget the root touch up product that can literally be your only saving grace while you transition to gray. Good luck!