Gray hair is very trendy nowadays and it started to be fashionable even years back. But as beautiful and attractive “granny hair” might be, especially on young ladies, it can also be very difficult to maintain.
When you color your hair, it is important to take care of it the right way but also to have it grow in a harmonious way so you will always look at your best. So, if you have gray hair that is colored, here is how you can grow it out while keeping its beautiful shade and not damaging it.
How to remove your hair color in order to go gray
First things first. Before you actually get to grow out your gray hair, you might need to get it to be gray, to begin with. Regardless of the type of hair color you have, you most likely will have to remove it in order to reach that shade of gray that you want.
If you didn’t dye your hair before, it should be easier as natural hair tends to respond best to the following steps that you might want to take.if you dyed your hair, you will need to repeat certain steps in order to reach the results that you are aiming for. Here are the basic steps that you need to follow in order to achieve you’re so much wanted gray hair!
1. Bleach your hair
Bleaching your hair should remove the color you have previous to the transition that you want to make towards a gray shade. You can do this at home if you have the patience you need as well as some level of experience. However, if you never bleached your hair before, you might want to have a professional hairstylist do it.
Don’t be surprised if you might bleach it more than once in order to get it as light as you need. Especially if your hair was dyed before, extra bleaching sessions might be mandatory. Also, take some breaks in between because you don’t want to damage your hair.
Gray hair needs an extremely light hair base and this can be easier or more difficult, depending on the initial color of your hair. For natural hair, one bleach session should be enough, unless your natural hair color is a firm black shade.
2. Use a high-quality purple shampoo
Purple shampoos are created especially for bleached hair. They will remove the orange and brass shades that sometimes remain in your hair after you bleach it. These shampoos should be used just like your regular shampoo, only that you might want to leave it in your hair for a minimum of 10 minutes in order to take effect. Always check the instructions before using it in order to make sure that you don’t properly.
3. Apply your gray hair dye
For sure you were waiting for this step since you first thought to get that gray hair! Make sure that your hair is dry before applying the dye. Allow it time to take action, usually, this requires around 30 minutes. Don’t cover your hair with any towels or plastic materials. You can use aluminum foil if you want and split your hair into smaller sections that way you will dye it easier.
4. Wash your hair without using shampoo and apply a strong moisturizing mask
After you dye your hair is important to not use shampoo. Rinse it well with water and dry it out with a towel. Also, to nourish your hair and get it back to its healthy shiny look, it is recommended to apply a strong mask.
Growing out your gray hair
Now, you have your favorite “granny hair” that you are in love with. But hair grows every day and in a few weeks, you will be able to see your roots. This might not be something you look forward too. So you will want to cover them with the same shade of gray that you have in the rest of your hair.
But can you do that without bleaching your roots and starting the entire process over again? Luckily, you can. It would be a big stress for your hair to get bleached every 3 or 4 weeks when you want to dye your roots so it is important to find alternative methods in order to protect it.
Here are some aspects to consider when you want to keep your gorgeous hair color without damaging your hair.
Allow your roots to grow enough before you take any action. This means that you might want to give your hair between 4 and 8 weeks to see how fast is growing and how mandatory it is to actually color your roots. There are certain fashion trends that will even encourage you to let your roots grow out and you might want to contemplate them at least for the sake of your hair.
Use a hair toner instead of hair dye. You can successfully use some hair toner to cover your roots for a while so that you don’t bleach your hair before you absolutely have to. Hair toners are temporary but they do a great job between salon appointments and they don’t damage your hair. Choose one in a shade of gray or silver and apply it over your roots (not over your entire hair!) once at a couple of weeks. Usually, these toners come in the form of a spray which makes them even easier to use.
Use a purple, blue or silver shampoo to maintain your beautiful shade of gray hair. These shampoos are great to eliminate the unwanted yellow highlights that might break through your gray color, especially if you had to bleach your hair several times previously to the transition. You can use them as a regular shampoo and simply allow them more minutes to take action on your hair.
Most shampoos like these ones will be labeled as “silver shampoo” since they are made to maintain your hair color looking fresh for a longer time. Plus, these shampoos will gradually color your roots as well, the more you use them. This might significantly delay the need to bleach your hair…again. Check out these shampoos for gray hair.
Only apply gray hair dye on your roots, without bleaching them. This trick, coming as a follow up after the previous steps, will allow you to maintain your hair gray without bleaching your roots for several months, even close to one year. Simply dye your roots by using the hair dye closest to the shade that you have in the rest of your hair. You can do this at home or at the salon.
Allow it around 30-40 minutes to take action and rinse it off with warm water. If you used silver shampoo regularly and toner in between hair coloring sessions, your roots might already have a nice shade of gray. Therefore, the dye will only enhance the color and make it closer to shade you have in the rest of your hair as well as more permanent.
What about lowlights and highlights when it comes to gray hair?
This is a more complex issue that you might need professional help with. First of all, there is a big difference between highlights and lowlights, as you probably imagined since you read their opposite names. Highlights are lighter than the rest of your hair and they are meant to add some shine to your overall color.
They can be used in tones of icy blonde or silver in order to make your gray hair look more natural. Unlike highlights, lowlights are darker than the rest of your hair. The darker tones are usually applied in the layers of hair that go underneath the first one and they create the illusion of natural hair color.
A combination of the two will make you look like your hair is naturally gray, and not achieved after many cosmetic interventions.
But as beautiful as this combination between highlights and lowlights can be, it is also difficult to maintain. When your roots start to show up, it is difficult to manage to maintain those highlights and lowlights just the way you had them originally.
You can try to recreate them by using different hair dyes but that would be a great hassle to do by yourself, even if you are not a beginner. This is why you are more on the safe side if you visit a salon for this. However, if you don’t want to go to a salon to maintain those highlights and lowlights, you can try the following tips and tricks!
Go for that sexy ombre look. Gray hair looks great in an ombre type of hairstyle. If you have patience and you find creative ways to arrange your hair, you can give it a break of several months in order to achieve the ombre look.
This means that you will either not dye your hair at all in this time and embrace your natural color, or you will use a regular gray dye and hope that your highlights and lowlights will blend in with it as natural as possible. You can also use a toner if you want to skip hair dye all together and give your hair a much-needed break to regenerate.
Use lowlights to hide highlights. This trick is commonly used by professionals but you can apply it as well. What it basically means is that you will dye your hair and roots included in lowlights (not entirely but just a few sections of your hair).
The darker shades that you add in your hair will take the attention off your highlights and they will also completely hide them if you place them strategically. You can also try to dye your highlights into lowlights that are closer to the color of your roots and this will work miracles for your overall image.
Add even more highlights and lowlights. This has not much to do with your roots in particular but it has a lot to do with your entire hair. You can always add new highlights and lowlights, independent from the old ones, in order to create the illusion of a new and fresh look.
You can completely ignore your old highlights and lowlights when you add new ones. No one will notice that they faded a little since you had them done or that your roots grew in the meantime. Everyone will compliment your new highlights and lowlights and the shades they bring to your hair color. So, sometimes you can fix old highlights with new ones and also change your look a bit while you are at it. It never hurts to refresh your image and feel even more beautiful than before!
As you can see, gray hair is not an easy job. It is challenging to go from a different color to the shade of gray that you want. And it requires constant maintenance in order to keep its beauty for a longer time. On top of that, when your roots start to be visible, you will run into a totally new world of problems. But you know what? It is all worth it!
Gray hair is one of the most popular and appreciated colors nowadays and most likely it will remain like that for some time as the trend seems to be pretty steady. And the good news is that, even if this process might seem like a lot, you will get used to it eventually.
It is definitely not impossible to maintain your gray hair and grow it out just the way that you want to. But it does ask for some extra attention compared to other hair colors that might be easy to maintain and grow out! If your hair has naturally some shades of gray in it, consider yourself lucky as this process will take a lot less time and it will be more efficient!