Home » The Gray Hair Journey » 3 Ways to Go Gray Gracefully (without a Demarcation Line)!

3 Ways to Go Gray Gracefully (without a Demarcation Line)!

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Do you want to go gray but you’re afraid of sporting a skunk stripe while your dyed hair grows out? 

Well,  I’ve got great news for you:  You don’t have to!

Today I’m going to share with you three different ways you can go gray “in secret” from dyed hair with NO demarcation line between the dye and your naturally silver hair! 

Make sure to scroll to the end for a BONUS method!

How to Go Gray Gracefully

All of the methods below are fantastic ways to go gray gracefully, as your transition will be more subtle than if you went gray completely cold turkey:

#1: Wigs or Hairpieces

Wigs or hairpieces are a great way to transition to naturally gray hair if you:

  • do NOT want to go gray cold turkey and risk a skunk stripe
  • do not want to cut your hair short
  • do not want to (or can’t) use hair dye anymore
  • have damaged hair and can’t risk a salon transition (since that involves bleaching, which can be quite harsh on hair)

Here’s how to do it:

Stop dyeing your hair (obviously 😉)

Let your gray roots start to grow in – but disguise them with root spray or root powder and/or wide headbands.

image of a blonde woman wearing a colorful headband and a white shirt against a pink background
Headbands are a GREAT way to hide your gray roots!

Once you get to the point where you really can’t disguise your roots, you have two choices: a) start wearing wigs or b) start wearing hairpieces.

If you choose to use wigs:

  • It’s super easy – just wear wigs until your gray hair is fully grown out to the length you desire, and then reveal your glorious naturally silver hair to the world.
  • You can wear wigs that are the same shade as your natural color, or wear a variety of wigs in different hair shades.  Have fun with it!  Keep people guessing!
image of one woman wearing a purple wig and one woman wearing a blonde wig against a purple background
Are you a purple wig or a blonde wig type of person? Or both?

If you choose to use hairpieces:

  • Once your gray roots have grown long enough to pull them back to the nape of your neck, use a hairpiece in a shade of silver that matches your roots.  
  • You can choose messy buns, ponytails, etc.  Have fun with it!
  • Once your gray hair has grown out to the length you desire, you can stop using the hairpieces.

Whether you choose to go gray with wigs or hairpieces is totally up to you  – some people find wigs more comfortable than hairpieces, but the opposite is also true.

So before you spend a lot of money on a human hair wig or hairpiece, you might want to try them on at a reputable wig salon to see which one you prefer.

Where to Buy Wigs:
Paula Young

Where to Buy Gray Hairpieces:

Click here to subscribe
pinterest pin with a pink foreground and an image of beautiful gray haired young woman plus text 3 ways to go gray gracefully with no demarcation line

Please PIN to save to your favorite Pinterest board

#2: Dye Strip Method

Before I explain what the dye strip technique is, I just want to tell you that in order to use this method, you must have medium-length to long hair, and you must be able to part it on the side. 

So if you have bangs, super curly hair, or short hair you might want to scroll down to the next method.

Now, this crazily brilliant method might be the right choice for you if you:

  • do NOT want to go gray cold turkey and risk a skunk stripe
  • do not want to cut your hair short
  • are OK with continuing to dye for a while
  • want something that you can do at home or at the salon
  • do NOT want to do a full-on salon transition

The dye strip technique is a little involved, so check out this blog post for the full instructions.

In the meantime, here’s the quick, condensed version of how to do the dye strip method:

  1. Part your hair to the side and only color a small strip of hair at the crown of your head (about 1 ½” wide by 5” long)
  2. Dye the roots of ONLY that strip of hair as needed. In the meantime, your gray hair will grow out underneath that dyed strip.  
  3. When your gray hair has grown out enough that you feel comfortable showing it to the world, you’ll flip your part so that the gray side shows.
  4. And then you’ll simply let that dyed strip grow out underneath your gray hair.  Nobody will be the wiser!

Crazy, right? But it works!

Will some gray hair show?  Yes! But it will end up looking more like silver peekaboo highlights and there will NOT be a harsh demarcation line like you get when you go gray cold turkey.

image of one woman with a gray roots and fading dyed hair plus another woman with dyed brunette and gray hair
Katie (Cold Turkey) vs. Diana (Dye Strip)
Gray Hair Transition Progress at 9 months

If you want to see an example of someone who had great success with the dye strip method, check out the video I did with Diana, the lady who introduced me to this method.

If you decide the dye strip method is for you, here’s a printable PDF of the instructions!

image of ebook entitled the dye strip technique for going gray in secret. - white cover with blue photo of a brunette woman on the front and spiral binding
Get the PDF here!

#3: Salon Transition

A salon transition is when you go to a professional and let them transition you to gray hair using salon methods.

This is a great option for women who:

  • do NOT want to go gray cold turkey and risk a skunk stripe
  • want to have a seamless transition to gray hair
  • want a quicker transition
  • have healthy, undamaged hair
  • have lighter-colored hair
  • feel nervous about going gray and want the help of a professional

There are many different salon methods, but the most common ones are balayage, highlights, lowlights, and gray blending (which is a combo of highlights and balayage).

(You can find out more about these techniques in my book – which provides details on ALL the various ways to go gray and the pros and cons of each method).

Most methods of going gray at the salon involve bleaching the hair to the lightest color possible (usually a light yellow) and then toning the hair to make it appear gray.

This is where it gets tricky:

Your hair can become quite damaged from the bleach if you have any of the following:

  • Damaged hair
  • Fine hair
  • Thin hair
  • Curly hair
  • Brittle or fragile hair
  • Dark brunette hair

It can also be expensive and time-consuming as you often have to buy special products to use between visits and may have to go back to the salon for follow-up treatments.

BUT – for a lot of women, especially in high-profile professions (like actors or lawyers), the risk of damage is worth it to avoid a skunk stripe. 

If you want to move forward with a salon transition, make sure to find a reputable salon that has experience doing these types of treatments.

Here are some tips:

  • Ask for before and after photos, and read online reviews.
  • If you need to find a good stylist near you, make sure to check out my International Gray Friendly Salon Directory – these are salons that have either been referred to me by women who have had great experiences with them, or the salons themselves have reached out to me and asked to be listed. (Not all of the salons in the directory do professional gray hair transitions, however, so make sure to ask them before you book an appointment)

Click here to subscribe

Bonus Method: Going Gray with a Buzz Cut

Yes, this isn’t exactly a “secret” way to go gray but it is the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to go gray.

And guess what? NO skunk stripe!

All you need is a pair of clippers to buzz off all that old dyed hair and – voila, you’re done!

image of woman with red bobbed hair and then same woman with buzzed hair
Philippa Before & After Her Buzz Cut Transition

image of woman with shaved head and then the same woman from behind with her beautiful gray curly hair growout
Theonita with her buzzed hair (L) and the beautiful grow-out she achieved (R)

The women I know who’ve done it say it’s incredibly liberating. And it’s definitely the only way to TRULY go gray overnight.

Now a buzz cut isn’t for everyone, obviously, but for some of you, it might be the BEST choice.

Related Posts

If you’re ready to go gray quickly, with no risk of a skunk stripe, and no more chemicals being poured on your head, a buzz cut might be for you!

Here are two transition stories from women who’ve done this chic technique:

Video: How to Go Gray Without A Skunk Stripe

If you prefer video, here’s a video I did recently that lays out all your options:


Going gray doesn’t have to be scary – surprisingly, it can actually be fun! But if you’re worried about the process, and about people commenting on your transition, then going gray gracefully in secret might be the best way for your to proceed.

If you have any questions, make sure to comment below! I’d love to hear from you.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *