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!
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.
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.
You may also like: how to dye your hair roots yourself
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.
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:
- How can I best take advantage of rather than fight with the new texture?
- Is a different cut a good idea and would it expedite the grow-out process?
- 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!
“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.
From Sylvia: More ways to cover up too obvious gray roots – with temporary hair colors
If you’re transitioning to gray or just want to take a bit longer between hair coloring appointments, you can also use grey root fixers.
I personally use L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up Temporary Gray Concealer Spray, Light to Medium Blonde. It helps me cover up my gray roots and I can last much longer between coloring appointments
Other options are:
- Everpro Gray Away Temporary Root Concealer Root Touch Up Magnetic Powder
- Everpro Gray Away Women Temporary Root Concealer, Black/Dark Brown
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.
- How to transition to gray hair (part one)
- From colored to natural hair (part 3)
- To gray or not to gray
- Long gray hairstyles
- Mid long gray hairstyles
- Short gray hairstyles
Are you considering going gray? How will you do it?
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.
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My older sister went grey years ago and while she looks great I swore I would have my hair touched up just before they cremated me! Now because of Covid I have 6 months of roots. I am taking the plunge and going to try leaving my grey. I recently got a cut and no colour and it was wonderful not to have an itchy head from hair dye and to be done in 1/2 hour.
All my girlfriends think I’m nuts so I really appreciate your inspirational blog and will continue to follow you. All the comments are positive too which is so wonderful. Keep rocking your curls, they look great and are very trendy.
I went grey after years of colouring I just stopped colouring worked out fine colour just faded then had ends cut off
Hi! This is Lani Dizon 50 years old filipina. I
decided to go gray because i am tired of
coloring my roots almost every week. I am
on my 9 months transition now. I am enjoying
it and my hair was so healthy.
I’m 66 and have stopped coloring my hair since this past January. I have curly hair so the white does blend. Several times I thought about having it all cut off, pixie like. I really like my bob style so I’m staying strong…..for now.
I’m 68 and have been thinking about going natural ( my hair is white) but I’m scared I’ll look old.
my hair is white too. i was having it foiled every 7 weeks, but i want to see my white hair , maybe i will like it…..
My name is annie I am 51 I haven’t colored my hair since covid19 started the roots are driving me crazy but I am tr6to tough it out I may go and cut it short so it doesn’t bother me so much I’m just so tired of hair color
I am 61 and find that Mother Nature has begun to gray my hair. I have no problem with being gray, but don’t have the patience to wait for my hair to grow out. Is there something out there that can rush this gray process?
I absolutely love white hair. I’m transitioning to my salt and pepper so it’s more salt and pepper and wishing for white. I think white hair is so classy. I’ve been highlighting my hair for about 35 years and after waiting for six months of Covid to to re-open hair salons I’ve decided to go natural with the exception of some silver highlights while I’m waiting for white.
I started my journey five months ago. I am surprised how many of my friends are trying to discourage me from going great. But I will proceed. I have a great stylist who says she will blend in some platinum highlights so the transition between colours won’t be as obvious. So far I like it. I will try to attach a pictur
I’ve decided to be natural. So excited for this journey. Immediate circle of friends and family are not to supportive along with my stylist of 10 years. I am determined to transition. Found a wonderful stylist who is excited for the journey. We first used some kind of treatment to take off layers of brown and then on put a lighter color. She then mini-highlighted strands of lighter color yet. In between the foils she lightened the roots. The results are wonderful. I go back in 6 weeks to lightened and blend more. This transition will tale 12 to 18 months…so very excited!!!
I’d love to see a picture
I have been silver for years and love it. We are beautiful at all stages of life besides you can’t cover up the wrinkles!
I started going gray at 16 (early gray runs in my dad’s family). I colored, highlighted, did highlights & lowlights for years. Then about 10 years ago, I embraced my silver. I’ve worn short hair for most of my life (3 cowlicks & funky waves on one side while stuck straight on the other). I absolutely LOVE my hair and wear my silver gray with love. I’ll be 59 in about 2 weeks & have not once regretted going gray/silver. I love your attitude & approach!!
I am 46 and for years I have been a very dark brown. As I got older the grey/white was getting harder to cover. In the end I asked my stylist to strip it right back and then I asked her to dye it Silver. Now I am letting my natural colours come through, no more dying and it’s great. I reckon another 6 months and it’ll all be my silver locks xx
I started to enbrace my grey from June 2018 and haven’t looked back. I haven’t coloured at all in that time, as I want to see what my hair colour actually is! I have light coloured hair, and the grey is coming out sprinkled. Unlike you, people comment all the time about “just blend it in” or “put some highlights in”. But I say, I don’t have a problem with it, I actually like it. The texture of my hair is much smoother and saving time colouring is wonderful. Thanks for your inspiring story.
It looks good Elaine. Due to a good haircutter. And of course your courage. Keep going on! I am curious for the next step.
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!
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.
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
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).
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!!
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.
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
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.
Brave woman. I am very curious to see how your hair(style) is developing.
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!
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.
Looks good and I like the waves.
Great inspiring story and doing it with such flair! Love the curls!
Elaine, how great to find a hair stylist on the same wave as you! You have a great plan and a great look.