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How to transition to natural grey hair: Top tips

By MiNDFOOD

Annika von Holdt is the founder of her own haircare line Cupid's Kiss. Photo / @annikavonholdt
Annika von Holdt is the founder of her own haircare line Cupid's Kiss. Photo / @annikavonholdt
Deciding to fully embrace your grey hair is a journey that's different for everyone.

While some people welcome the arrival of silver strands here and there, others commit to repeating the cycle of dyeing their hair every few weeks to hide their emergence.

If you’re in the latter camp, often there comes a time when you want to give up that commitment to hiding the greys, but it can be hard to know how to do it.

Stopping your salon visits suddenly will leave a harsh colour demarcation line that can take years to grow, as your roots begin to change to your natural colour. Embracing a big chop may speed the process, but not everyone wants dramatically shorter hair on top of the colour change.

The good news is, silver and grey hair has never been more chic, no matter your age.  There is no shortage of haircare and styling products to keep grey hair bright and true and as long as you care for it well, there’s no reason it can’t be soft and shiny.

If you’re needing inspiration, it’s worth visiting Grombre, a hugely popular Instagram account that celebrates ‘going grey with confidence. ‘ The account features real women who have embraced the change with considerable style and their stories about how they feel about their hair.

More and more celebrities are also embracing the change to grey hair, using a colouring technique called grey blending. This technique seamlessly blends grey hair with your natural or dyed hair colour making the growing-out process more subtle and less noticeable. Andie MacDowell is one star who ignored her agent’s advice and has fully rocked her salt and pepper ‘do.

Grey Blending can be done by blending highlights or lowlights through your hair. Highlights lighten sections of your hair to mix with the grey. This makes the grey less noticeable and creates a more natural look. Lowlights with cool tones add darker strands to your hair to blend the grey with your natural colour. This can provide depth and reduce the contrast between grey and non-grey hair.

Balayage, where highlights are painted on a few centimeters from the roots are low maintenance and can add a pop of face-framing colour that lifts your complexion while the colour transitions fully.

For a very slow transition, stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker have made the move in the most subtle way possible by trying ‘Herringbone highlights.’

How to transition your hair to grey

If you’re ready to embrace the change to grey, consider these tips for achieving your best and most beautiful hair possible.

1. Plan Your Transition

  • Mental Preparation: Embrace the change and understand that it may take time.
  • Consult a Stylist: Seek advice from a professional on the best strategy for your hair type and style.

2. Transition strategies

  • Cold turkey: Stop colouring your hair and let the grey grow out naturally.
  • Gradual approach:
    • Highlights/Lowlights: Blend in the grey with highlights or lowlights to make the transition less stark.
    • Balayage/Ombre: Use these techniques to create a natural-looking gradient from colored to grey hair.

3. Hair cuts

  • Frequent trims: Regular trims will help remove dyed ends more quickly.
  • Shorter styles: Consider a shorter haircut to speed up the transition.

4. Hair care

  • Moisturise: Grey hair can be drier, so use moisturising shampoos and conditioners.
  • Purple shampoo: Use purple shampoo to prevent yellowing and keep grey hair vibrant.
  • Heat protection: Protect your hair from heat damage by using heat protectants if you style with hot tools.

5. Styling tips

  • Texture: Embrace the natural texture of your grey hair. Grey hair can sometimes be coarser or curlier.
  • Volume: Use volumising products to add body and movement to your hair.

6. Patience and confidence

  • Accept the process: Understand that growing out grey hair is a journey and may take several months to a few years.
  • Confidence: Own your look and wear your grey hair with pride.

7. Additional tips

  • Scalp care: Maintain a healthy scalp to support hair growth.
  • Healthy diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support hair health.
  • Supplements: Consider taking hair supplements, like biotin, after consulting with a healthcare professional.

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