How To Go Natural With Gray Hair

Meryl Steep gray hair in The Devil Wears Prada
How to Go Natural With Gray Hair

Ladies, who says that only men can be awarded the title “silver foxes?” Just take a look at who is going natural with their gray hair these days!

If you’ve colored your hair for years and are now considering to go natural with your gray hair, you are not alone! Over 50% of baby boomers who have colored their hair for years, now reportedly are making the shift to embrace their silver foxiness. They want to know how to get back to their natural gray hair. Though it’s definitely a big time and money commitment keeping grey roots hidden, making the changeover to go natural with gray hair can be frightening and even a bigger undertaking.

Sometimes embracing your grays just might be the style change you’re looking for. Seriously, haven’t you heard, “gray is the new black?” Some of the celebs that have embraced a return to natural hair include Jamie Lee Curtis, Patti Smith, Sharon Stone and Emmylou Harris to mention just a few. And, they look great and are even getting good press about it! You can learn how to go gray with grace by copying the examples of some of these stars.

Jamie Lee Curtis with natural gray hair with a pixie cut
Getting Started

If you regularly dye your hair with permanent hair color you will need to cut back on the dye so your gray hair can begin to show through. This can be a tricky phase to get through. One way to get things over quickly is to let your roots grow in as much as is comfortable and get a pixie cut a la Jamie Lee Curtis. You can use a hair mascara like, Tween-Time or Hairmarker, (Sally’s Beauty Supply) for the in-between time, to touch up roots that show. If that becomes too much, roots can be blended into your old color with lowlights or highlights until the transition is complete.

If the idea of going to super short hair overnight scares you, you can start blending highlights with your natural grays for a slow fade to silver. Sharon Stone seems to be favoring this approach. To do this, you will add in lowlights with your gray that fall somewhere between your silver color and the color you’ve used to highlight. As you get more and more natural gray showing through, lighten up the lowlights. Eventually, you will be able to ditch the semi-permanent lowlights to rock your silver strands. The benefit of this approach is that you get to keep your length and go gray at the same time. However, paying for all that hair dye can add up. If budget is a concern, it may be better to chop it at the get-go.

Sharon Stone growing in gray hairs with lowlights and a short cropcut

If you want to keep your hair super long while transitioning to a full head of grey hair, it will take you a considerably longer time than if its cut shorter. But, if you don’t mind making the change slow and easy you will be able to wear your hair longer. Just know you will still need to keep your hair coloring appointments up, it will just be a different formula you or your hair colorist will be using. The formula will depend on what color you have now, the health of your hair and your skin-tone. Keep in mind, hair grows about 1/2 inch per month or six inches per year. If you get tired waiting for the conversion, you can always cut it shorter.

To keep your gray hair looking shiny and healthy, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Gray hair is naturally more coarse than pigmented hair, so moisture is important. Deep conditioning treatments are good to do, maybe twice monthly. Once a week, wash with a shampoo that prevents gray hair from turning yellow, like Aveda’s Blue Malva Shampoo and to keep it as silvery as possible. That shiny silver hair just may be the confidence boost you need to feel like a ‘silver fox’ in your skin.

Barb gray hairstyle blogGuest Author:  has been a professional hair stylist for over 30 years and has established herself as a nationally recognized hair designer, educator, and freelance writer. Barb has been chosen by her peers to serve on the advisory panel of Cosmos C International the global hair stylist network. Thousands of women each day follow Barb’s hair styling wit and wisdom on her highly successful blogs Hairstyle Blog and Visual Makeover. In 2011 The Hairstyle Blog was selected as Top Beauty Blog by BeautySchool.com.