Going Gray During Lockdown? Help Is on the Way!
Inside: Answers to all your lockdown gray hair questions.
In early March, most of us had no idea that we’d be spending the next couple of months (or longer) at home due to a global health crisis.
It’s still hard to fathom!
One of the side effects of this crisis is the closure of salons (in most areas), and so women all over the world have been growing out their gray roots whether they want to or not.
A lot of women are going to rush back to their colorist once salons re-open…and that’s their prerogative.
But a lot of you are the opposite. You were ready to embrace your gray hair, but the time never seemed right, and this worldwide shutdown gave you the kick in the pants that you needed to get started.
The silver sisters who have come before you are a wee bit jealous that you get to do this without that kind of pressure. Seriously, we’ve all been chatting about it!
Even if you’re ready to go gray, you probably have a lot of questions. So here are some tips, created just for you:
DON’T BE AFRAID OF YOUR GRAY HAIR
Let’s face it, bucking societal norms and letting your gray roots grow out (even in isolation) isn’t for the faint of heart. It can feel scary at first.
But those of us who’ve gone before you want you to know there’s nothing to fear!
It’s actually quite liberating to be done with all that worrying about your roots. It’s a big weight off your shoulders – and you don’t always realize HOW big a weight until you ditch the dye.
The gray hair transition period is a GREAT time for a little self-reflection. I learned a lot about myself during my two year transition to naturally silver hair, as did so many of my fellow silver sisters.
Think about it – what was holding you back from letting your natural hair show?
Was it because you associated gray hair with old age?
You can throw that belief in the trashcan where it belongs. That’s a mistaken belief handed to us on a platter by over 60 years of anti-gray advertisements.
Some of the women in my Silver Hair Transition stories started going gray as young as 5 years old. Many were fully gray by their mid-20s.
Start thinking of gray as simply a different shade of haircolor, and not as a sign of age. It will change your mindset, I promise.
Did You Think That Going Gray Would Mean You “Let Yourself Go”?
That’s something a lot of us feared.
When our roots showed, we worried that we looked unkempt, messy or like we couldn’t afford to take care of our hair.
But once you make the decision to purposefully grow out your gray roots, and you feel confident in that decision, those worries fade away.
And remember, you’re lucky!
Since women have been enthusiastically embracing their naturally silver hair for a while now, you have a ton of online gray hair inspiration to remind you that gray hair is beautiful.
YOU CAN’T PREDICT WHAT YOUR GRAY HAIR IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE
A lot of women who are just starting their gray journey fret that they’re not going to like the final results.
Some women have been told by friends (or stylists) that their gray isn’t going to be pretty, or that it’s going to be “drab” or “blah.”
NOBODY can look at an inch or two (or even 4!) of gray roots and know ANYTHING about your final result.
Why? Listen – “gray” hair is simply unpigmented hair. It’s clear. And it reflects the colors surrounding it.
So if you still have a lot of dyed hair left, that clear “gray” hair is going to reflect that dye and throw off your perception of its color.
Here is a comparison picture of me at 3 months post dye vs. 27 months post dye (once my hair was fully grown out and all the dye had been cut off):
I can’t look at those wild and crazy roots and see anything approaching the final result, can you?
Check out Nanou:
You can get a wee glimpse of what her future color will be, but is it really possible to predict the stunning result?
Finally, check out Liz:
She doesn’t have roots showing (or if they are, I can barely see them) – but looking at that head of dark, dyed hair, who would guess there’s a gorgeous, multi-dimensional head of silver hair underneath?
And no matter what your final result is, what’s super cool about gray hair is that, unlike dyed hair, everybody’s hair is so unique!
Some women will end up with completely white hair, which is totally badass!
Other women will rock pewter or steel gray tones, while others will have hair that looks like spun silver.
And some women have super-cool gray patterns!
The combinations are seemingly endless: gray in the front, and dark in the back. Or gray on the top layer of hair, and dark underneath. Some women are gray on one side of their head, and not on the other.
That’s what makes this whole thing so fun! Everyone is different.
** Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. I only link to products that I personally like or that have been recommended to me by my silver sisters. You can see my full policy here.**
YOU NEED A STYLIST WHO IS ON BOARD
Once salons are open, a number of you are going to head back to your usual stylist for a haircut.
Unfortunately, many of you will have the opposite experience and will get some VERY negative feedback on your decision to grow out your grays.
I hope that doesn’t happen to you, and that you have a fantastic stylist who is willing to work with you and won’t push you to immediately go back to dye.
But a lot of us have had to deal with unsupportive stylists while we grew out our gray hair, and we want to remind you: Do NOT pay someone who makes you feel bad about yourself and your decisions!
If your stylist is NOT on board with your decision, it’s time for a new stylist.
Check out my international directory of gray-friendly salons for one in your area.
Can’t find one in the directory? If you are in the USA, try to find an Aveda salon as they tend to be gray-friendly. In the U.K.? Check out Headmasters Salons.
Always play it safe by calling ahead and asking the receptionist if their stylists are open to working with women with gray hair.
If (for some reason), they’re not, and you’re back to square one, check out this great article about how to find a supportive stylist.
Let’s hope that one good thing to come out of this global crisis is a new willingness on the behalf of salons to enthusiastically support their gray-haired clientele.
IS GRAY HAIR HARD TO MAINTAIN?
A lot of women worry that gray hair is high-maintenance, but it’s definitely a lot less high-maintenance than dyed hair.
Think about all the time and money you spent covering your roots and coloring your hair. And dealing with hair that had been damaged from years of coloring.
Not to mention all the mental energy you spent worrying about your gray roots showing.
There’s no contest – dyed hair is MUCH more high maintenance.
Are there products that can help your gray hair look its best? YES!
Are they completely optional? Also YES!
There is only one area of concern that is unique to gray hair: Some people (not everyone) can have issues with their gray hair turning yellow.
Other than that, taking care of your gray hair is no different than taking care of your colored hair.
There are products that can enhance and nourish your gray hair and you can use them… or not. It’s up to you!
The main product issue that seems to confuse gray-hair-newbies is all the talk about purple and blue shampoos, so here’s a quick little primer:
PURPLE SHAMPOO VS. BLUE SHAMPOO
Fading dyed hair can take on brassy (i.e., warm) tones.
- If your dyed hair was blonde, it can take on brassy yellow tones.
- If your dyed hair was brunette, it can take on brassy orange tones.
- If your dyed hair was red or very dark brown/black, it can take on brassy red tones.
These brassy tones can drive women crazy when they are growing out their colored hair. So, they turn to tinted shampoos.
- Purple shampoo targets brassy yellow tones
- Blue shampoo targets brassy orange tones.
- Green shampoo (a new phenomenon!) targets brassy red tones
When is the right time to start using purple or blue shampoo?
First of all, just a reminder, you don’t have to use them. Maybe your hair isn’t brassy. Or maybe you are worried about the fact that tinted shampoos can be very drying.
But if the brass is getting you down, you can start using them whenever you want! They will not affect your silver roots unless you overuse them.
A good rule of thumb is not to use a tinted shampoo more than once a week. And always follow up with a deep conditioner.
Check out my blue shampoo article for tips on how to apply tinted shampoos properly. The same technique works for all tinted shampoos.
Check out my shop on Amazon for all your gray hair needs:
Katie Goes Platinum Storefront
HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR DEMARCATION LINE
The demarcation line, aka “skunk stripe” is the line that appears between your old dye and your silver growth.
Some of us learned to love our demarcation line – it was fun to see it progress and it represented growth and change.
But a lot of you hate it – I get it! There’s no shame in that.
If that is cold comfort to you, and you want to cover those roots NOW, here are some things you can do to lessen the demarcation line:
- Change your part – you might be surprised to find that you have a lot less gray in some areas than others, so flipping your part can hide your stark demarcation line
- Try Color Wow Root Powder to touch up your roots
- Prefer a spray? Try root spray for a quick fix.
- If you want to match your dyed ends with your silver roots, try L’oreal Colorista 1 Day Spray in Silver
- Criss-Cross or Zig-Zag your part
- Headbands are an easy way to hide your roots
- Try a fun gray hairpiece!
And just remember, if you honestly cannot stand your demarcation line, when the salons re-open you can find an experienced stylist to help you transition your hair to gray via salon methods.
NEED MORE HELP?
Still have questions? Make sure to use the search tool at the top of each page to search this blog for answers to all of your gray hair questions.
Check out my Start Here page for resources to help you on your journey to naturally silver hair.
I wrote that back in December 2019, not realizing that this year would propel a ton of women into the Silver Revolution. It has a lot of tips and links that should help you on your way.
Still have questions? Post them in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.
Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our Silver Revolution! And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Pinterest Feed for more gray hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!
Check out my shop on Amazon for all your gray hair needs:
Katie Goes Platinum Storefront
Katie is the founder of Katie Goes Platinum. After constantly dyeing her hair for over 25 years, in 2018 Katie decided to stop the madness and embrace the gray. Since then, she’s been sharing her favorite gray hair tips, resources, and stories to empower women to feel beautiful during and after their transition to gray hair.