How to transition to gray hair – Part 2 of Elaine’s journey to going gray

by Sylvia

how to transition to gray hair: a personal story | 40plusstyle.com

Four and a half months later and over two inches of natural hair growth, I’m on the path of letting my processed hair color go and returning my hair to its natural state.

As you may have read in Part 1, I started my journey to gray on a winter trip to Arizona. My previous colorist closed her salon and moved away. My first priority was to find a local stylist to help me navigate the rest of the way. Luckily, I located one of her long time employees, Master Stylist Kathy Hull-Yurek to continue my transition to gray hair.

So far, so good

Like many women, I was self-conscious and apprehensive about how my natural color would grow in and how “bad” it might look.  So far those fears have been unfounded. No one has noticed my transition to gray hair or they are just too polite to say anything, which I appreciate!

going gray and how it's looking a few months later | 40plusstyle.com

The highlights I added more than two months ago helped me adjust to the changing situation and since then, my natural color is emerging. It’s light at the temples and hairline with grey and silver strands on top. The process is further along in the back where my hair is shorter, with a lighter gray growing in.

advice on how to transition to gray hair | 40plusstyle.com

The highest contrast area is the back of my head where you can still see the processed color. But the newly exposed natural hair is a light shade that is blending with the processed color and helping to disguise new growth.

In addition to color change, my hair has undergone a noticeable change in texture. The smooth, easy-to-style, bob I sported four months ago has turned to a wild kinky mess in the summer heat and humidity. I’ve stopped blow-drying in protest.

my new going gray look | 40plusstyle.com

I’m not unhappy with this development because I’m now on-trend with a “beachy waves” look and enjoying the low maintenance it offers. I planned to discuss how to optimize the new waves with my new stylist Kathy to understand my best styling options.

The day of my hair appointment, I arrived at the salon with these questions in mind:

  1. How can I best take advantage of rather than fight with the new texture?
  2. Is a different cut a good idea and would it expedite the grow-out process?
  3. With my natural growth becoming more obvious, what color strategies should I consider for the next stages of transition and when should they take place?

How to transition to gray hair: attitude and inspiration

When I greeted Kathy she had a big surprise. She had just colored her own blond hair purple and it looked fantastic!

hairstylist tips on letting hair go gray | 40plusstyle.com

“It’s just hair,” she said. “It will grow back when I’m tired of it.”  All at once I was reassured that I came to the right person. Kathy has always expressed her fearless and fun personality through her rocker-style hair and clothes. She is just the inspiration I needed to keep going!

She washed and trimmed my bob, and with her advice, we made the following plan:

  • Maintain my current haircut to keep things simple and avoid any frustration caused by managing a new style.
  • Start using curl styling products (DevaCurl for all Curlkind) to set the curly hair in place for the best beachy waves. Now all I do is wash, blot dry, scrunch in the product and air dry.
  • From July through September, continue to grow my natural color to a length of four inches. When the length is reached, Kathy will add low lights to blend the two shades until the full natural growth is completed.

These steps will ensure my hair stays in good condition by minimizing the impact of color processing and avoiding brittleness due to excess blow-drying.

The next 8 weeks will be a challenge, but it’s summer, so bring on the sun hats, baseball caps, bike helmets and those beachy waves!

Are  you considering going gray?

Join the popular discussion over at our article, To gray or not to gray.

We will continue to follow Elaine through her journey into grey. Sign up for our email newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it. If you’d like to share your story and images of your transition to gray for a possible story, email us at support [at] 40plusstyle.com.

Are you considering going gray? How will you do it?

Elaine

P.S. Want to take your grooming and makeup to a new level? In the style club this month we will groom ourselves to perfection. Check out all the style training here.

1 elle

Elaine, how great to find a hair stylist on the same wave as you! You have a great plan and a great look.

2 Karen

Great inspiring story and doing it with such flair! Love the curls!

3 Natalie

Looks good and I like the waves.

4 Victoria

I am going to go grey in Sept. I have so much silver and white around my face and am going to have my hairdresser take it all grey and go from there. I have been blonde for many years so if I am not happy with the grey I will just go back.

5 Elaine Lascher

Great to hear your comments and good luck with your journeys back to natural hair color. We always have the option of changing the color if we don’t like the results. Just want to say my hair was still wet in this picture so it looks a bit flat. Selfies…..not quite photo shoot quality!

6 Greetje

Brave woman. I am very curious to see how your hair(style) is developing.

7 Joze

Not to jump with you on the bandwagon but I just started to gray at the same time as you. I am 43 and my natural brown hair is not very gray yet but because it is quit long (between shoulder blades and waist) I feel the need to to have the processed colour grown out of it before the transistion would be to harsh of a line. Very interesting how you and your colorist use highlights to soften the process. Would love to have your waves, it gives you a natural lively look <3.

8 Alejandra

Hello, I’ve been thinking of doing my hair silver for a while now, however, my hair is curly and very dark I’m also afraid of bleaching it as I have red undertones and it damages very easily atm I take Biotin each morning and my hair has become shiny once again, is there anything else I can do to do my hair grey without causing to much damage to it? Thanks

9 Heidi Mahan

I have been Gray/silver for a long time. Coloring my hair was a pain and gets expensive. I did want to try something a bit different so twice I had lo lights. Not one person noticed. So I’m going to stay with my natural color which I do get compliments on.

10 Maureen

Hi! I had been considering letting my gray hair grow out, but was concerned it wouldn’t be a pretty silver color. My stylist assured me I do, in fact, have silver hair under all the color that has been done over the years! Simultaneously, I also wanted to cut my rather long hair. Because NJ has horrible humidity, I had to wait for mid- September to start the process (my hair just frizzes up!). Now, I can’t wait until I have silver hair! Reading your story & the other comments helps a lot because I can see I am not the only one going through this process! Can’t wait to see how yours ends!!

11 Patricia

I stripped all color from my hair recently thinking I had a lot more grey than I have. Found a few silvery hairs at the temple and the rest a light golden brown. Happy I stripped it and leaving it natural (for now).

12 Norma L some

I started going grey on April but I liked but still feel insecure. My self-esteem is kind of low when I see some people’s faces. My hair is about 4-6 inches grey. But thanks to your experience shared I feel better and secure on what I’m doing

13 Joann Carter

I’m 48 yrs old.im 10 months in of ‘gray grow out’.dyed for 13 yrs.tired of the hassle and roots.i usually,dyed my hair dark brown.my top and sides has more silver than the back,of my head.it started to turn coppery brown when it was dyed.now,I have dark brown,coppery brown and my new gray/silver.every time I wash my hair,I put a dime size amount of argan oil on it,while wet.no heat,ever..what timing,gray hair is fashionable these days.thats my ‘new gray’ story.

14 Yshelle Barraza

I am 34 and I have also began the stages of growing mine out since I have been trying to cover them up for 16 years. All I hear is that I am too young, but people don’t understand that I have fought this gray hair battle in my highschool years as well. My hair is a darker brown which means they pop out a lot. I have heard that there is a process which includes getting thin highlights to hide the grow out. I decided not to go along with that process and have completely let it grow out. My students don’t notice, my children don’t comment and most importantly I love it!

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