Expert Tips for Transitioning Your Dyed Hair to Gray

Transitioning Gray Hair

The beginning of a new season is a good time to think about change. One change you might have been considering is is to make the transition from a years-long dedication to dyed hair to your natural, dye-free gray hair color. Gray hair is actually on-trend right now, especially after a year of missed hair appointments, so the old myth that going gray ages you is nothing more than that—just a myth. 

Decision time: Keep it gray, blend it, or cover it up?

If you’re considering ending your monthly hair color treatments and transitioning to your natural gray, make sure to discuss the decision with your stylist ahead of time. They can then advise you on the best course of action and work with you to make a smooth transition. They can also work with you to find a shade, a cut, and a method that you’re comfortable with. The conversation about your desired result is an important one for both your stylist and yourself. They have a number of different options and methods to make the change an easier one for both of you.

Female Stylist Giving Haircut To Senior Woman's Hair

Transitioning from a Darker Color

The point you’re at in regrowth from your last appointment can dictate the direction your stylist goes with the change to your natural gray. If you’re living with speckled gray roots and brown ends, your hairdresser can most likely blend the regrowth line away with a transitional color correction. If your previous dye color was darker, you might opt for a lighter shade than usual because blending the lighter tone will create a more natural color combination with the previous dye color. Keep in mind that this is a tricky procedure and should only be done by a qualified professional. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a head of orange meshed hair! The whole idea here is to allow your roots to grow out naturally with the same color as your gray applied like a balayage to break up the brown ends of your old tint.

Expert-Tips-For-Transitioning-Your-Dyed-Hair-To-GreyYou can also consider adding lighter tones to your already colored ends in preparation for a natural progression into a lighter shade. You can eventually transition to an all-over gray hair color.

Note that the lighter color is first applied with the same monthly trip to your stylist. You can start applying the lighter color around your face line first, then move into an entire head application until you are eventually 2 or 3 shades lighter than you are now. This will be a much easier transition to gray hair, but the eventual progression could add up to a year or more to the transition period.

Happy senior woman posing

Lighter Browns and Blondes

If you’re transitioning from a light brown or a blonde base, you’ll have fewer decisions to make regarding the process. The transition should be an easy one; your stylist can simply add very fine highlights throughout your hair. You should still avoid block colors, or you’ll have to fight with a continual regrowth that needs upkeep and attention from your stylist. Again, working with an experienced professional can save you time and maintenance because they’ll know the best way to blend your current shade with your new natural gray hair color to make the change an easy one.

Cut it off!

Another option is to cut out all the old dye, leaving your exposed natural gray roots. If you elect to go this route, you need to be ready for what could be a major change. It can be relatively extreme for yourself and your family to suddenly change both color and style, though a short gray cropped haircut can be exceptionally beautiful on the right woman and might just be your favorite haircut. If you are going to take this route, keep in mind that while you have an endgame when it comes to your natural roots, you’ll have to deal with unsightly regrowth until you cut off the dyed hair, so plan accordingly.

Woman working on laptop at cafe


I hope these options will help guide you to what’s right for you. One thing is for sure if you are coloring your hair at present, the grayer your hair becomes, the more upkeep it will take to keep the roots at bay. Of course, that also equates to a higher cost to keep your hair looking its best.

As you transition to your naturally gray hair color, you’ll find that the products you’ve used in the past are no longer what you should be using. There are many products on the market that are designed specifically for gra or white hair, keeping it soft and helping prevent your hair from taking on a yellow tone. Here are some of our favorite gray hair products:

Better Not Younger Silver Lining Shampoo for grey hair
Better Not Younger Silver Lining Shampoo, $27
Kerotin Purple Shampoo
Kerotin Purple Shampoo, $28
Redken shampoo for gray hair
Redken Color Extend Graydiant Shampoo, $23
Shimmer Lights shampoo for gray hair
Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo, $9.59
Matrix shampoo for gray hair
Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo, $17

Read Next:

6 Women Share Their Experiences With Going Gray

How To Combat Yellow Tinges In Gray Hair

Give Yourself a Gray Hair Makeover

Expert tips for transitioning your dyed hair to gray


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