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How to Transition Your Colored Hair to Natural Gray

By Sandra Roussy January 20, 2023 Makeup and Fashion

Have you decided to let your natural gray hair grow out? Do you want to stop coloring your hair and embrace your grays? Unless you never dyed your hair in your life and/or your gray hair came in slowly over the span of years, you will have to deal with some type of transition. It isn’t always graceful and that’s why I asked some specialists who have professional advice for us who are thinking at letting our beautiful grays see the light of day.

During the pandemic and lockdowns, after several months of not seeing my hair colorist, I thought it would probably be a good time to let my gray hair grow out naturally. Unfortunately, I chickened out and ran to my colorist as soon as I could at the end of 2020.

When the world opened up and I started seeing friends again, I was blown away at how many of my women friends were now fully gray or salt-and-pepper.

The aging factor of letting our gray hair grow out is personally my main concern. I don’t know why, when I look at my beautiful friends, I think they look confident and stunning, and then, when I think of myself with gray hair, I think I will look 20 years older. One thing that the hair professionals say is that we have to be fully ready to embrace the change.

Tips and Tricks to Transition Colored Hair to Gray

Here are some tips and some useful advice from the pros themselves on how to do this transition successfully with confidence and as subtly as possible.

Watson Anthony is a professional hairdresser and the editor-in-chief for Hairstyle Camp. He shares with us his expert insight on how to transition from colored hair to gray hair.

Try Fun Updos

Watson states that the beginning phases of growing out your gray hair can be tough for some people as they are trying to embrace their natural color. “Learning how to create fun up-dos can help to make your gray hair feel more incorporated into your colored hair, and can also help to make you feel confident.”


Lowlights and Highlights

He recommends that, if you want to take this journey more slowly, you ask your hairdresser for some lowlights and highlights that can help to soften the transition of your colored hair to gray. “This can help when trying to grow it out, as it will be less of a contrast.”

Go for a Shorter Hairstyle

Cutting off a lot of your hair can help to make going gray a bit easier, Anthony says. “Opting for a shorter hairdo will help to make the contrast between your gray and colored hair less drastic, and it also helps to get to your goal faster of having all gray hair.”


Take Care of Your Hair

Watson Anthony reminds us that our hair still needs to be cared for during the transition to gray hair. “You want to use products that will help to keep your hair nourished and avoid constant use of hot styling tools. Look for ingredients with shea butter or argan oil to keep your hair shiny and healthy.”


According to hair professionals who follow trends and innovations, the best way to go gray is by matching your colored hair to your natural gray in a type of gradient. It also warrants fast results.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Are you thinking of growing out your beautiful gray hair? Have you done it and do you have any advice for our readers? What is your experience with transitioning from colored hair to gray hair? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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I stopped coloring my hair when the gray was growing out too quickly and I didn’t want to keep putting all that toxic dye in my hair every 2-3 weeks. To do it I wore a lot of hats for awhile. Thankfully it didn’t grow out in a straight line the way one might think. It was staggered gray white and brown all together. I did do a little highlighting for awhile then stopped all coloring entirely. Now I have gray and white and the white looks kind of nice! I get a lot of compliments on my hair. I’m trying to embrace my age and enjoy observing all of the physical changes without judgement. Thanks for this encouraging article!


I went grey at 30 years of age. Since then, I have always coloured my hair, which thickens it, too. One day a couple of years ago, I decided to uncolour my hair. I didn’t mind the silver grey I naturally was. Until the man in the newsagent called me ‘granny’. I promptly came home & dyed my hair again. And have done so ever since.

The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website: www.sandraroussy.com

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