What’s the Best Way to Transition to Gray Hair?


Transitioning from your dyed or natural hair color is typically slow and gradual. It’s a process that may take months, sometimes a year, depending on your hair’s length when you start.

Patiently waiting for your hair to go full gray as a part of aging can often be the most challenging part. Most of us would love to avoid the gray roots and dry, wiry strands that can come with it. But the best method for gray hair transitioning isn’t as tricky as you’d think.

A Color Correction Helps You Avoid Growing It Out

Letting your roots grow may be the most inexpensive solution, but not the most stylish. Some women transition their hair to gray by growing their tresses a couple of inches and then getting a pixie cut.

If you want to avoid a drastic cut, ask your stylist to do a color correction. Instead of correcting it to your natural or dyed hair color, you can have it matched to the gray hue growing in.

Have Your Roots Blended with Your Highlights

Depending on the hue you dyed your hair, you may have a distinct color separation in your hair before your transition decision. Many of us don’t find this look very appealing or natural-looking. At this point, many of us may give up and return to dying our mane.

Instead, have your hairdresser give you highlights or lowlights throughout your hair to reduce the line. Your stylist can guide you on colors that blend silver with your natural color while complementing your skin tone.

Ensuring your stylist uses thin hair sections to mesh with your original hair color is crucial. Also, depending on the length of your gray hair, you may have to wait until it grows out at least two inches before you start.

You Don’t Have to Cut Your Hair

The general rule of thumb was that women should cut their hair short when they reach a certain age. However, that rule is arbitrary, and there’s no reason to cut your hair unless you prefer it that way.

The only thing you need is patience. Your transition to natural grays may take several months or longer, depending on how deep you’ve been coloring your hair or how dark it is before you start. Blondes will transition faster since lighter tones are closer to gray.

Avoid reducing your natural salt and pepper hair color by more than a few levels in one process. You may want to consider lightening your hair a half-level each month.

Check Your Pillowcase 

Gray hair is more vulnerable and fragile, so adjustments are needed to protect it from damage, especially while you sleep! Standard cotton or nylon pillowcases can create friction while you toss and turn, leading to breakage.

Consider opting for a satin or silk pillowcase to reduce nighttime friction. Alternatively, you can wear a satin or silk sleep cap over your head to protect your hair regardless of the material covering your pillow.

Upkeep May Be Needed Before Your Hair Has Fully Transitioned

You may find that gray highlights can turn brassy like platinum or any blonde shades. The lighter parts of your hair can turn a harsh yellow or orange tone, and you may need to visit your salon for additional gloss or toner treatments. 

If you want to neutralize yellow tones and visit your stylist less frequently, consider using a purple-toned shampoo like our Silver Lining Purple Brightening Shampoo For Grey & White Hair.

This purple shampoo has an optical coloring agent that diminishes yellow undertones to help lighten and brighten your hair color. It’s perfect for improving blonde highlights in brunette or gray hair.

Ensure Your Hair Remains Hydrated

Losing melanocytes during our gray hair transition is normal, while hormone fluctuations cause reduced sebum oil production. All this leads to hair becoming dry and brittle, so it’s vital to keep it moisturized.

Additionally, the texture of gray hair will likely differ from what you’ve experienced most of your life. Your formerly soft, manageable hair may feel rough and out of control.

Our Silver Lining Purple Butter Masque eliminates unwanted yellow tones while softening, nourishing, and conditioning coarse, wiry hair thanks to its ingredients:

  • Our proprietary blend of avocado, murumuru, cupuaçu, macadamia, and mango butters: This rich blend penetrates the hair shaft for optimal amino acids and vitamin delivery. It also maintains softness and safeguards your strands from environmental damage.

  • Folic acid: Derived from vitamin B, it helps support protein production, which, in turn, bolsters scalp renewal.

  • Green coffee extract: Abundant in chlorogenic acid antioxidants, which aid in stimulating your scalp follicles and improving hair smoothness.

  • D&C violet 2: This optical coloring agent brightens your transitioning grays and offsets yellow tones.

Use Better Not Younger to Help You Transition to Gray Hair

Going from blonde or brunette to gray doesn’t happen overnight. Having patience during the transformation and following the tips above will help you ease into the switch and properly care for your new silver locks.

Whether you use strategic cuts and dye jobs to transition or wait while the new lighter tones grow on their own, Better Not Younger can help. Check out our Shop page to see our entire line of products, each designed to meet the needs of your aging hair.