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    Tips on How To Let Your Hair Go Gray

    Attractive 30ish Woman with a short haircut and gorgeous gray hair

    How long will you color your gray hair?

    The title,”Tips on How To Go Gray,” might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not an incongruous statement. I wish I knew percentages here, but baby boomers are graying by the millions and they have two choices . . . to color their gray hair or not!

    I met up with some of my old high school classmates the other night, some that I hadn’t seen since way back when . . . notice I’m deliberately avoiding dates here, but yes we qualify as baby boomers. Anyways, a great time was had by all and it went by waaay to quickly.

    But before it was over, we had shared a bit of our histories, philosophies, quirks and stories. Of course in the buzz of it all, the subject of hair, hair styles and hair color would come up as you might expect. Two of us were in the hair industry, but I think the topic of hair would naturally come up anyways, in the course of an evening out with seven women.

    Of the seven women present, three had let their hair go naturally gray . . . as pointed out by one of the naturalists of course. They looked great! Gray hair can be beautiful! But as you know, I am not one of them. But don’t get me wrong, I will be a true gray hair naturalist one day. I’m just not sure when I’ll be ready to do that. I still like seeing color in my hair when I look in the mirror. But, even being a hair styling professional I must admit, I get tired of the month to month ritual of touching up my gray roots.

    So if the majority of baby boomers color their gray hair, which I think might be a good assumption, they will be up against the dilemma of, how to go gray, once they make that decision. I’ve heard from a number of desperate women, looking for advice on how to quit coloring their hair gracefully. I’ve written a number of articles with regards to going gray. Check out the “related articles after the article below, or, enter a search on the topic on this site.

    Here is one success story from Judy in a recent comment:

    I’ve just turned 50 and decided to stop poisoning myself with hair color. My scalp has been blistering and sore for the past few months each time I used a hair color, even the ‘natural’ ones. My hair was red/brown and medium length. I found a good hair colorist, she used pure gentle bleach to strip out my old color (lotsa foils) and cut my hair much shorter, to the delight of my friends. A month later, I had more color stripped again using many foils and had a toner added to reduce the yellowing. This helped lots.

    Another month later and a shorter cut again, and stripping the remaining color out of the whole lot, and my hair has never looked better and the comments have never been better. The regrowth was hardly noticeable, however the hair ends were a bit brittle, hence the shorter hair cuts. I’m almost there with about half my length very blonde (stripped) and half regrowth (varying shades of gray). I’m looking forward to what color I’ll end up – a mix I think, white, silver and grey. I’m loving the process. I hope this encourages others to go natural.



    Next time you place an order at Amazon take a peak at “Going Gray, Looking Great! by Diana Lewis Jewell,” she’s the guru on the topic.

    Barb Quinn on Google+  



    1. I visited two excellent colourists and they both told me the same thing; NOT to bleach my hair. Let the silver grow in. I was concerned about looking like a skunky fool but thank God, for the first 8 weeks I was able to flip by hair around and hide 90% of the new silver growth and then I sprayed it into place. Hair grows 1/2 inch per month. My silver hair regrowth at this point is 1 1/2 inches and harder to hide. Next to my dyed deep auburn hair, it is quite a contrast! But, I love my silvery part! I put a bobby pin in my hair to pull it up in a sweep of mixed auburn and whitish silver and it looks very…shall we say…interesting! Friends who are being straightforward actually like it. They say the regrowth is brightening my look. I will be cutting it short…to 2 1/2 inches in 8 weeks and I can’t wait!

      Comment by Robin — January 6, 2016 @ 5:49 pm

    2. Thanks Sharron for sharing your wonderful experience!

      Growing out gray hair isn’t always easy, but it seems like you found the best route for you.

      Looking for more insider tips? Don’t miss the incredible article How to Grow Out Gray Hair by today!

      Comment by Michelle Skye — December 25, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    3. I had very dark brown hair that had already been trashed from going back and forth from highlighted to the brown. I wanted to go gray. I could not have highlights due to the damage. This is what I did. I stopped coloring my hair other than touching up the roots in front, period. The underneath and the rest started going gray and I let it. Six months into this, the underneath was going gray nicely. My hairdresser did several malibu treatments to pull color out. Then I got protein treatments a few times. Nine months of growing it out completely I cut it short. I was all gray by that time because all the underneath was already there and when I had cut it , it was revealed. Wow! What an amazing difference. My hair had been dark brown and long. Now, short sassy and Gray. My hairdresser posted the before and after pics on face book. Thumbs up 207 times and people remarking how young and gorgeous I looked! If your hair is trashed and you want to go gray this method works very well! Congrats on deciding to embrace the real you! It takes courage to speak your truth! Go Girl! If you want something bad enough you can have it, just comit and don’t turn back no matter what!

      Comment by shannon — December 7, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

    4. Hi Sebeasl,

      Grey extensions are a great option, but they can be expensive. A wig will probably give you more bang for your buck!

      Want to learn more insider tips? Don’t miss’s blog How to Grow Out Grey Hair. It is one of my all time favorite articles with lots of great ideas.

      Good luck!

      Comment by Michelle Skye — September 30, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    5. How about getting grey extensions put in will that help until it gets to a length you can be comfortable with? How do you think that would look. I’m thinking of doing this but it’s expensive to do. I would like your opinion before I spend all that money on fake hair?

      Comment by Sebeasl — September 26, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

    6. What a great article! We love Diana and her book. Going gray is deeper than just saving some money by ditching the dye. The choice to go gray is very courageous. It represents the collective strength we have as woman to make choices that are line with what we value and what’s most important. It’s about telling society that this how WE define beauty. It’s a beautiful thing!

      Comment by Going Gray — November 18, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    7. With no budget for professional services your options are very limited. Can you get a friend to learn how to give you some gray highlights? Start with just a few and gradually add more as your gray comes in then go with shorter hairstyles as the gray comes into its full glory. People will gradually see you with more and more gray. Then have a color treatment with a shade of gray as close to your natural shade as possible.

      Comment by Barb Quinn — August 6, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    8. I have hair half down my back. My dream for a number of years. But the cost of colouring my hair is now plenty. I dont want to cut. How do I go grey as natural as possible. I work in the corporate world . So need to look good doing it. I am 56 years old

      Comment by Barbs — August 6, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    9. Tana,
      It’s a bit trickier than just adding light streaks with darker hair, especially when you want to keep the length.
      There is more than one way a colorist could get you to gray, depending on your natural color and the color that is on your hair, and how long your willing to go through other lighter colors to get there.
      Check out Diana Lewis’s book, Going Gray, Looking Great to check out your options.
      Hope it helps!

      Comment by Barb Quinn — March 1, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

    10. I have been coloring my 70% grey (med. brown) hair for years. I am ready to go natural grey, but do not want to go short hair. Can I get white or very light streaks and expect it to look natural when my grey grows out?

      Comment by Tana — February 24, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

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