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  • Writer's pictureKatie M.

Should I Embrace My Gray?

I’ve noticed recently that some of my guests will make a nonchalant comment, like:

“I should just embrace the gray.”

"I don't want to dye my hair forever."

"I'm not sure if I want to come to the salon so much anymore."

As a hairstylist, it’s my job to give you a look parallel to your lifestyle. This may mean spending less time at the salon and finally deciding to embrace the gray. But with that being said, letting your gray hair grow out is a transition that requires a lot of patience. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, here’s what you should know before deciding.

photo by @goinggraybeautyguide

Take Into Consideration

Coloring your hair smoothes the cuticle down, making your strands look nourished. Ever wonder why your grays have a different texture when they grow in? Gray hair is hair with no pigment. It lacks protein and moisture, Aka, frizz.

If you've toyed with the idea of letting your gray hair grow out, give it a lot of thought. As in, at least a few months of consideration. It should not be a spur of the moment decision!

Options For Removing Color

Cut the cord. You can stop coloring your hair altogether. Letting your hair grow out naturally will make the contrast between your roots and color more noticeable, so commit to haircuts more often. When you have enough of your grays showing, consider getting a very short cut to start fresh.

Change your color routine. Instead of stopping root touch ups altogether, here are two alternatives: (1) get a full head of lowlights. A lowlight is color that is put in foils. This will scatter color throughout your hair, which is a great way to help get used to seeing gray hair. (2) gray blending. A demi-permanent color, as opposed to permanent, will make gray less noticeable and your color more translucent.

Full color correction. When your roots grow in (at least 2 inches),

your stylist can do a full foil (depending on the ration of salt:pepper you have naturally, there might need to be an additional step to add the “pepper” color). Then, a toner needs to be applied for a gray/silver effect.

photo by @jackmartincolorist


Maintenance is a must for gray hair. Keep shampooing to a minimum. Since gray hair lacks moisture, your scalp won’t produce as much oil as it once did.

Whether your gray is natural or is the result of a color correction, unpigmented hair can turn yellow easily - both from environmental elements or from hard/well water. It's so important to invest in a purple shampoo and conditioner.

If purple shampoo isn't enough, try to schedule a toner refresh with your haircut appointments. This will only add about 20 minutes to your salon visit.

This process may sound intimidating and ongoing (it could take up to a year and a half), but it won’t be forever!

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