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How to Embrace Gray Hair: Tips and Styling Ideas

Staff Writer
Share to PinterestHow to Embrace Gray Hair: Tips and Styling Ideas
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Gray hair happens, period. Age and stress (often both) cause hair follicles to stop producing melanin, resulting in either salt-and-pepper gray or platinum-white strands of hair. The good news is that the last few years have normalized the look thanks to salon closures during the pandemic. Younger women are even dyeing their hair gray as part of the latest ongoing trend.

The hardest part about going gray is deciding how to transition styles and embrace the new you. With a few style tactics and fresh ideas, you'll be able to find a new look to surprise even yourself with!

01

Dye it all gray

Share to PinterestCloseup woman hands dyeing hair using black brush. Middle age woman colouring dark hair with gray roots at home
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If you're starting to see some gray, then go all the way. While not an actual maxim, taking the direct approach by dyeing your hair gray, platinum, or silver when transitioning hues has multiple benefits.

First, coloring your hair to match your roots gives you an idea of what you'll be working with while you search for a cut or length to compliment the look. Also, your roots will blend more naturally as they grow. More than anything, this approach projects confidence and moxie.

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02

Start fresh with a chop

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Similar to dyeing your hair to match the root color, going for a big chop is an easy way to transition to your new color in one fell swoop (pun intended). This option represents both a figurative and literal fresh start to your look.

While a gray bob is very much in vogue, it's understandable to want to transition lengths gradually before growing out your hair in your new natural tone. Try a textured pixie cut as a stepping stone to short.

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03

Embrace the Grombre

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The first two options on this list are all about dramatic transitions. Luckily, the grombre (gray and ombre) look is very much in fashion — as a visually stunning presentation that complements natural or dyed hair with platinum or gray roots.

The ideal proportion of gray to ombre is up for debate, though keeping two to three inches of ombre at the end is a good rule of thumb. Consider headbands, braids, or buns when growing your hair out to reach the right grombre ratio.

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04

Use black dye to bring out the gray

Share to PinterestWoman dyeing the hair at home
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While it may seem illogical, dyeing hair black helps bring out salt-and-pepper grays as they come in. This technique works best when your grays are more pepper than salt, so to speak, or feature darker patches.

Try dyeing the ends first for a black ombre look that provides a stunning contrast with the gray or silver hues.

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05

Transition with highlights and lowlights

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Highlights and lowlights are your best friends when going for a gradual transition to gray hair that subtly blends the demarcation line. Gray highlights give off an icy, refined look that helps you get used to your new platinum strands.

This is an ideal option for those who don't want too many changes too quickly. Color smudging can be done to hair of any length and style to ease yourself into the change.

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06

Use buns, braids, and scarves to blend

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A seamless transition to graying hair doesn't necessarily require coloring tricks or a special cut. Fixing your hair position with buns, braids, or even scarves can blend the demarcation line as your hair finds an ideal grombre balance.

Up-dos and braids lend a youthful, peppy vibe, while head scarves are perfect for when your roots are just beginning to grow out.

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07

Have fun with temporary dye

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Temporary dye is a wonderful tool for you to own your color transition on your own terms. Purple and blue play well with gray and leave amber or blondish tones as they fade. Temporary dyes usually last only a few washes, so consider them as a low-risk way to shake things up for a new look while in the transition process.

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08

Use root cover-up as needed

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If the thought of having exposed roots show (maybe before a big office party or public speaking engagement) is holding you back from beginning the transition to gray hair, rest assured knowing you have a handy crutch to fall back on.

Root cover-ups come in permanent and semi-permanent varieties. Apply semi-permanent root cover-up to exposed roots in a bun or braid as needed for an event, then let it fade as you continue in your transition.

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09

Try a supplement to accelerate change

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Less of a style and more of a trick, taking hair supplements can help speed up the color transition while ensuring full and healthy hair. Supplements that include vitamin B-6 may help to restore some of the color, but be wary of any product that promises to reverse the signs of graying hair.

When embracing your new grays, this approach is more about getting the most out of what you have! Your hair should be vital and healthy, no matter the color.

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10

Use purple shampoo to bring out the platinum

Share to PinterestWoman applying toner shampoo on her hair
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A purple shampoo does wonders to bring out the platinum white in your brassy or grayish hair. Similar to how purple tooth products neutralize any yellowish stains for a whiter smile, purple shampoo will offset any blonde or bras-colored tones in your hair for a stunning shade.

Shampoo should do more than color, of course. Look for a purple shampoo that keeps hair conditioned and protected for a fuller, healthier look.

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