Going Gray During Lockdown? Help Is on the Way!
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Inside: Answers to all your lockdown gray hair questions. If you can want answers to help you embrace your gray hair during lockdown, you’ve come to the right place!
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.
I mean, what better time to let your natural hair shine than when you are isolated from friends and coworkers?
No rude comments from friends!
No dealing with unsupportive, anti-gray stylists!
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:
TIPS FOR GOING GRAY DURING LOCKDOWN
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?
Did you assume that gray hair was only for old people?
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 hair color, 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?
For more inspiration:
Check out Before & After Gray Hair
#encouragequarantinesilversisters – an inspirational Instagram challenge created by @mymidlifeodyssey & @gratefulandgray
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.
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.
Some of you are going to be greeted enthusiastically by your stylist, and will get great tips on growing out your gray hair (either cold turkey or with salon methods).
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? NO!
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.
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, you can always try the Dye Strip Method or 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.
And check Why You Should Transition To Gray Hair.
I wrote that back in December 2019, not realizing that 2020 would propel a ton of women into the Silver Revolution due to the pandemic. It has a lot of tips and links that should help you on your way.
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 Amazon Shop for all your gray hair needs!
This article helped reaffirm my recent decision to “ rock the gray,” as my granddaughter stated. Thx so much!
I’m so glad to hear that, Barbara! Best of luck to you!
I am guilty of starting my silver journey during quarantine in March, but to be fair I had been considering it for quite a while before that. I had been asking other beautiful silver sisters how & why they decided to make the transition. I had also saved numerous photos & pins of different grey styles. So I felt what better excuse than salon closures to finally take the plunge. After 3 months I had a definite sliver streak on my almost black colored hair part, but I was determined to continue & see it through. When I finally saw my stylist she said she could work low lights into my part to help blend the grey more. Sounded good to me. While it did blend it , now i wish I had just left it alone. The chunks of silver before actually looked more modern than the mousey looking blended grey. Lesson learned. That being said, I am really happy I have decided to do this for almost all the reasons people do: the health of my hair & scalp, cost & upkeep, and most of all being my authentic self! People In the past have told me that grey hair will age me , but I disagree. It’s how you feel & carry yourself. If I am confident within myself then I can rock whatever color my hair is at whatever age!
I started letting my hair grow out 6 years ago. I’m old enough now (was 61) to not really care about other people’s reactions. I almost always dyed my own hair, and I don’t understand why others don’t. You can even do your own blends. It’s not difficult.
However, my main reason for changing wasn’t mentioned, and most people don’t realize-hair dye is toxic to the environment and probably our bodies. This was my decision to continue to do my part for our threatened environment.
Agreed! That was one of my reasons for giving it up, and I wish I’d done it sooner after reading True Roots! Yikes!
Looking forward to reading all the emails you send out. Transition is hard
Thanks, Terry! Read through the Silver Hair Transition posts for inspiration – if you can start seeing gray hair (or, as we prefer, “Silver” hair) as beautiful, it makes it much easier to transition. Best of luck to you!
I’ve been 3 months growing out my gray. I can’t go to a salon and I made the mistake of trying to “wash out” my medium blond color with the dandruff shampoo and baking soda method. Now I have ugly dried out hair with some of the color out but a lot still in and my skunk line is there of course. I should have left it alone. Any suggestions of what to do next? Should I continue dandruff shampoo and continue to wash out the dye gradually? I absolutely can’t go to a salon they are closed and when they open I am high risk. Its very hot in NM so no wigs please. lol
I do love reading your site its awesome.
Hi, Roxanne! Darn, I’m sorry that happened to you! I don’t think you should continue with that method if your hair is so dried out. I would use Joico K Pak Intense Hydrator on your hair once a week (after rinsing out your shampoo, put the Joico K Pak on and leave it on for anywhere from 10-30 minutes before rinsing out). If your demarcation one is really bothering you, please see the section in the lockdown article where I talk about how to cover your roots. If none of those appeal to you, check out How to Make Your Gray Hair Transition Fun for more tips. Good luck!
I’ve been growing my grey roots out since February 2020. My last colour appointment was 4th January 2020. I had a motorbike accident on 2nd February 2020 which meant I couldn’t go back to work then lockdown happened. It was the kick I needed to start my grey transition from blonde dyed hair and I’m so pleased and excited to see what my final grey will be. I have long hair so it will take a while but I’m looking forward to the journey, to a new me.