Once your grays begin growing in, you might need to tweak your routine to complement both the new color and texture. “Natural gray hair can lose its luster, often turning a slight yellow hue,” says Nash. "To keep hair looking bright, use a shampoo and conditioner containing silver or violet tones. " Try Davines Alchemic Shampoo Silver, which gently cleanses hair without harsh sulfates, or Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo – Blonde & Silver (it's a stylist fave).
Louis, MO, stopped coloring her hair at 38 after going gray at 22 and now documents her progress at @nellegreyz, says, shockingly, that it was women who gave her a harder time about her transition than men. "The women in my life are staunchly anti-gray," she says. "Early on in my grow-out process, when it looked like I just had 'roots' that had gone four weeks too far, I was accosted by colleagues I'm close with during a work happy hour.
It's about women owning what happens to us naturally. "I was 31 and always coloring my hair but, within a few weeks, would have a silver stripe down my roots," says Liz Kamarul, now 34, a New Orleans, LA-based designer and stylist who's blogged about going gray. "It just so happened at the time that silver hair was very popular and everyone was coloring their hair intentionally that way.
Despite the supportive networks on social media, women say they're still feeling pressure from friends and family who are stuck in antiquated mind-sets. "The biggest challenge is seeing social media memories of when I had dark brown hair," says Andrus. "And before I went with it, I had so many people try to convince me I was 'too young' to go gray. " Janelle Gambino, an insurance adjuster in St.
The women featured on it helped her stick to it, even though she's been tempted to color it back. "My own mother still doesn't have gray hair," she says. "Every once in a while, I'll come across a gorgeous caramel color on Pinterest and think, Oh, I love it!
But across the board, those who've done it are happy with it. "My hair has never been so low-maintenance and received so much positive attention," says Kamarul. Collins agrees. "I’ve had more compliments on my natural gray hair than I ever had on my dyed brown hair," she says. "I have never been as content with my hair color as I am now.
Plus, the burden to conceal gray hair falls disproportionately on women. "I was really annoyed with the double standard for men and women when it came to gray hair," says Collins. "My dad, whom I inherited my premature gray hair from, had never felt the pressure to color his hair.
And then there are more surprising barriers to make it happen, like finding a colorist who agrees to help. (Really. ) "When I talked to my stylist about letting it go [gray], she flat out refused to 'condone' it," says Andrus. "I had to ask three colorists before I found one who would help me transition to gray. " She also found support from her husband (who, she thinks, is happy with the money they're saving) and the Grombré account on Instagram.
But four years ago she decided to stop. "I was pregnant with my fourth daughter and knew I wouldn’t have the time to do it myself or get it done," says Collins, who lives in Florida. "I'd been thinking about it for a couple of years, and once I decided to do it, I knew nothing would stop me. " Now, at 31, she's documenting her transition into gray on an Instagram account she made specifically to track her progress, @young_and_gray29. She's not alone.
Certain hair color formulas can blend or "camouflage" the gray, according to Rebekah Nash, a colorist at Cutler Salon in New York City who's a fan of Redken's Color Camo for Men line.
But even those with a game plan can run into trouble. "I decided to color the majority of my hair bright white-blond and have it blended very close to my roots so it would be less harsh as it grew out," says Kamarul. "The hardest part was finding a hairdresser who could lighten my very dark brown hair that much without damaging it.
Then consider blow-drying your hair instead of air-drying it. "The actual gray hair is not shiny, so if you don’t blow-dry it, it can look very dull," says Nunzio Saviano, hairstylist and owner of Nunzio Saviano Salon in NYC.
Sure, you might not want to go to the salon every week, but you can still experiment once you're silver. "A few well-placed highlights, lowlights, or gloss can go a long way to complementing the gray," Kim says. "So feel free to have fun and try things out. " That's what Kamarul did a few months ago.
You could even call it cool—so much so that women are now seeking it out advice on how to grow it out instead of frantically googling "Does tweezing a gray hair really mean that three grow back in its place? “ (For the record, the answer to this is no.
It's almost a rite-of-passage in and of itself. “There are no shortcuts when it comes to Mother Nature and how fast your hair will grow," says Min Kim, senior color specialist at Butterfly Studio Salon in New York City.
First, know that growing out your grays could take a while. "Grays seem to take forever to grow when you are actually trying to grow them," says Collins. "I had moments that I just hated my hair when it was half-grown out and half-dyed hair, but I decided to tough it out.
A heavier conditioner will also help, since gray hair is inherently dry. “As we get older, our scalp produces less sebum, or oil, which results in a drier and rougher hair texture,” Nash says. “In other words, the hormones that cause us to lose our natural pigments are the same ones that change the oil we produce to nourish new hair growth. ” Try a moisturizing conditioner that has brassiness-neutralizing purple tones, like Sachajuan Silver Conditioner.
Growing out grays is very much like growing out a terrible haircut—you're living with the shame of the 'ugliness' you don't really want there, but you know you have to go through it get to where you want to be. " She says knowing others are going through the same thing is a "tremendous boost on days when I may not feel as glamorous as my Instagram makes me seem.
Gray hair, don't care. ✌️https://t.co/rZcSiCBnE7— Glamour (@glamourmag) June 8, 2019