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Inside: How to use wigs to go gray
If you’re ready to go gray but don’t want to cut your hair short, don’t want to sport a demarcation line (aka “skunk stripe”), and don’t want to use any dye to help you transition – then going gray with wigs could be the transition method you’ve been looking for!
It’s not especially difficult to go gray using wigs, but I’ve got some tips and tricks for you on how to do it, including all the pros & cons…so keep scrolling to get the inside scoop on this super-cool (and easy) way to go gray.
Why Bother Using Wigs to Go Gray?
I wrote a post a while back about how to go gray “in secret” with the Dye Strip Technique, and that’s a method that many women have used and enjoyed.
Like the dye strip technique, the wig method is also a way to go gray “in secret” and it also targets women who don’t want to cut their hair short, and don’t want to (or can’t) display their demarcation line due to their career
However, the dye strip technique is NOT a good solution for women who can no longer use hair dye for medical or other reasons.
So the wig method is perfect for women who can’t (or don’t want to) use hair dye to transition to their natural hair color but still want the other benefits that the dye strip technique provides.
Why Some Women Don’t Want to Use Dyes to Transition
There are many reasons why some people prefer to avoid dyes during their transition to gray.
In my case, I’d reached the point where my hair was SO damaged from hair dye that I could no longer bear the risk of further damage by continuing to dye it.
Plus, I was just sick of using potentially toxic chemicals on my scalp.
Others might want to give up hair color for environmental or financial reasons… but one of the biggest reasons women choose to stop using hair dyes altogether is due to an allergic reaction to hair dye (the usual suspect being PPD).
Obviously, it would be easier just to go gray cold turkey, or to cut your hair short, than to grow your gray hair out underneath a wig, but those options do NOT appeal to everyone.
So wigs can be a great alternative!
How to Go Gray With Wigs
- Stop dyeing your hair altogether
- Disguise your roots with root powder, root spray, or cover your roots with headbands or scarves
- Once you get to the point where you can’t disguise your roots, start wearing wigs
- Keep wearing wigs until your gray has grown out to the length you desired and all remaining dye is cut off
- Reveal your glorious gray hair to the world!
Once your hair is pretty grown out, if the gray roots are long enough, just pull your hair back and use silver hairpieces for the rest of your transition – until you’re comfortable showing off your natural hair color.
What Types of Wigs Are Available?
Wigs come in two varieties: synthetic or human hair:
Human Hair Wigs
- Human hair wigs are of higher quality, so therefore more expensive. Expect to invest anywhere from $400 to $5000.
- Human hair wigs can last up to several years, with proper maintenance
- Well-made synthetic wigs can be found for under $100, but they are rare. Expect to spend around $200 – $500.
- Synthetic wigs often last only about 4 – 6 months if you wear them every day.
Things to Keep In Mind When Buying a Wig
The most important thing to remember when you’re buying a wig to go gray is that there are no rules!
If you want to wear a pink wig one day, a blonde wig the next, and a rainbow-striped wig every other Saturday – who cares?
It’s up to you – have fun!
And if you prefer to be more subtle, there are many varieties of natural-looking hair color wigs available.
After you’ve decided how you want to do this (subtly or boldly), then it’s time to try some wigs on to find out what type suits you best – what makes you feel the most comfortable when you’re out and about.
Hot Tip: It might be best to start with synthetic wigs, since they’re cheaper, and can give you an idea of whether or not using wigs will be a viable option for you.
The cap construction is the most important thing to look out for – if the cap is too thick, or too tight, you’ll be uncomfortable.
If looking natural is important to you, consider getting a lace-front wig as it creates a more natural hairline.
Where to Buy Wigs
You have two choices when it comes to buying wigs: local or online shops.
Local Wig Shops
If you’re buying a human hair wig for the first time, I suggest you head over to your local wig shop.
A human hair wig is an investment, and guidance from knowledgeable salespeople is invaluable!
A reputable wig shop’s employees will help you to make sure your wig fits properly and can give you tips on wig maintenance.
Some wig shops also provide wig maintenance (washing, styling, etc.), so make sure to ask about that!
Online Wig Shops
Pros & Cons of Going Gray with Wigs
- You can go gray in secret and nobody will be the wiser
- You’ll never have a bad hair day while wearing a wig
- No visible demarcation line
- Great for women in careers that won’t permit a cold turkey transition
- Great for women with hair dye allergies
- Not feeling confident yet with your gray hair? You can wear wigs until you feel you are ready to display your silver hair to the world
- Wigs come in all different colors & styles, so you can change up your look frequently just for fun. You could wear pink or blue hair one day, and a more natural hair color another day. The sky’s the limit!
BONUS: How to Transition to Gray if You Already Wear Wigs Full-Time
Some of you already wear wigs full-time, for medical or other reasons.
So switching directly from colored wigs to gray wigs might feel like too abrupt of a change. Believe me, I get it! That’s exactly why I took the slow route to gray hair.
The good news is that wig companies are getting smarter about this every day, and they now have wigs to help you transition slowly to gray hair.
For your transition period, consider investing in some wigs that have a little bit of gray threaded throughout, like this one.
And then just go lighter and lighter with your wigs until you finally move to fully gray wigs.
Or, if you usually wear dark wigs, consider trying a salt & pepper wig for this “in-between” period.
There’s a wide variety of wigs available, so you’re sure to find something that will suit your needs.
One thing I always tell my readers is that there’s not ONE right way to go gray – you have a lot of options, and using wigs is a great option for those who want to go gray “gracefully” without dyeing or cutting their hair shorter.
If you’d like to hear from someone who actually used this method to go gray, check out Tarla’s Silver Hair Transition Story – she rocked the wig transition!
If you have any questions, leave me a comment below!
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