Transitioning To Natural Gray Hair Growing Out Gray Hair


I have been wanting to grow out my gray hair for sometime now. I started turning gray in my early 20’s. I started coloring then. I became a hairdresser 30 years ago and have colored my own hair pretty much the entire time. My hair grows very fast and it is thick! I’m just getting tired of the maintenance…every three weeks. I’m over 50 now and kind of thought I would make this transition around this age.

When Covid-19 hit, everything shut down and I couldn’t get my haircolor, so I took the opportunity and decided now was as good of time as any to start growing it out. I stopped coloring my hair March 2020.

This was the first photo I took once I made my decision. It’s not the best photo, I had just got out of the hot tub, but it’s the first pic.

Second photo. It’s starting to fade a tiny bit here. I was starting to have second thoughts about here..glad I stuck it out.

I started wearing head wraps and hats, lol.

I decided I needed a few highlights this day to help with the blending. I highlighted it myself because the salons were closed. It helped some.

I started getting brave here and stopped covering it up. I’ve actually started embracing the process at this point.

I called this the calico stage lol. I’ve always liked calico cats, now I remind myself of one haha.

This was three months of new growth. I did a light bleach wash to wash out some of the dark red. Bleach, 40 volume and some shampoo was what I used. I also used olaplex to help protect my strands.

This is four months of new growth. I was getting tired of the contrast and needed to blend the line of demarcation. Me and my grandson were also broke down here in my Wrangler, we were waiting for help to come, lol.

I used L’Anza cream decolorizer to lift the red to a tweetie bird yellow. Fun stuff…not lol. Bye bye red.

I then toned with Pulp Riot Silver Toner. Look how well it blended the line. I think I might do this one more time in about a month.

This is five months of not coloring my new growth. I have used a silver toner a couple of times and I use violet tinted shampoo once a week to help keep the brass in check. It is so nice not touching up every three weeks. I can get used to this!

Nine months…no color and I cut off a few inches. I still have a ways to go but I’m loving my new look! Once in a while I use a purple shampoo but that’s it. It’s so freeing!

I also recommend darkening your eyebrows for a younger look. Lighter eyebrows tend to make you look washed out when you have gray hair. I ended up getting mine microbladed.

One year and I am still working on growing out the old color. It is about half way from my ends. All I’m doing now is trimming every couple of months and once a week I use a purple shampoo to tone the brass.

I am so happy I decided to do this transition process. I have no regrets!

1-1/2 years later and I just cut off the last of the hair color. I am finally free!

Update: Three years later and I haven’t colored my hair. I love the gray!

All I use now is Beauty Counter shampoo and conditioner


  1. I have natural red hair and will turn 52 next month. I have been having strands of gray hair beginning in my 40’s but not totally gray. Loved watching this as this may give me a clue on how my hair will transition to gray. I loved the process and your new look is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  2. You did a brilliant job of transitioning. I had a disaster happen when colouring my hair. I had very dark brown hair but not quite black with silver (salt and pepper) and the phone advice from the dye company was to empty 1/4 of the black and add 1/4 brown. My shoulder length hair ended up black and it was PERMANENT dye. I looked into getting it stripped or bleached but decided against it. Thankfully I have a skin colour that can get away with the black and I would just wear bright colours. My transition process was to continue colouring but with only a tiny drop of black dye in dark brown. For a couple of weeks after the initial dying I would see myself in the mirror and say “it’s black!”. My Covid lockdown story was that I couldn’t get my hair cut and I (now) keep my hair short. If it gets too long it drives me nuts and I feel like a shaggy dog (think Shetland Sheepdog). Anyway I decided to buy hair clippers and I now cut my own hair. I go from #10 in summer, #12 in winter, on the top and graduate the back. I have one area above my left ear that I always seem to cut shorter than the rest but is the side that is fluffier than the other side and it grows fairly quickly and I wear glasses so it’s not as obvious, especially having quite a bit of gray now, but still with some dark and my hair has a natural wave to it. However the first cut I did was with what came with the kit #8. That was short!!! But I was at home so it didn’t matter.

  3. I hope you’re not offended but I think your natural color is much more flattering for you! Your hair color is beautiful and makes you look more feminine and youthful!!!

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