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

by: Better Not Younger August 13, 2021 5 min read

Beautiful woman with gray hair sitting and smiling gracefully | Better Not Younger

You may have instantly made up your mind to let your hair go to its natural gray state. However, transitioning from your dyed or natural hair color is typically slow and gradual. It’s a process that may take months and sometimes a year, depending on your hair's length when you start. 

Patiently waiting for our hair to go completely 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 difficult 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 out 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. Though 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


You may have a distinct color separation in your hair depending on the hue you dyed 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 to your natural color while complementing your skin tone.

It's crucial to ensure your stylist uses thin hair sections to mesh with your original hair color. 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 used to be that when women reach a certain age, they should cut their hair short. 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 on the color spectrum.

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 like platinum or any blonde shades, gray highlights can turn brassy. 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’re looking to neutralize yellow tones and visit your stylist less frequently, consider using a purple-toned shampoo like Better Not Younger’s Silver Lining Purple Brightening Shampoo For Grey & White Hair

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



Ensure Your Hair Remains Hydrated


During our gray hair transition, we lose melanocytes, while hormone fluctuations lead to reduced sebum oil production. Our graying hair can become dry and brittle hair, which is why it's vital to keep it moisturized with a deep conditioner.  

Additionally, the texture of gray hair is likely to be different than what you’ve experienced most of your life. The cells on the outer cuticle layer of your silver strands don’t lay as flat as they used to. Your formerly soft, manageable hair may feel rough and out of control, while precious moisture is more easily lost through the open cuticles.

Better Not Younger’s Silver Lining Purple Butter Masque was formulated to eliminate unwanted yellows while softening, nourishing and conditioning coarse, wiry hair using:

  • Avocado, murumuru, cupuaçu, macadamia ternifolia seed and mango butters: These butters can penetrate the hair shaft for excellent amino acid and vitamin delivery. They also maintain softness and safeguard your strands from environmental damage.
  • Folic acid: Folic acid is derived from vitamin B and helps support protein production, which in turn bolsters scalp renewal. 
  • Green coffee (Coffea arabica) extract: Green coffee is 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 choose to wait while the new lighter tones grow in 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.

Tell Us: Have you been transitioning your hair to gray? Share your experience in the comments below!

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