How to grow out your grey hair
If you're thinking about growing out your grey hair, here are some useful professional tips:
- Be prepared to wait it out
- Touch up grey regrowth until you're confident to go natural
- Think about your ends as well as your roots
- Consider cutting your hair shorter
- Learn from your hairstylist
- Hydrate your hair as much as possible
- Don't completely ditch the hair colour
When the grey roots take over and it feels like you need to colour constantly, it's the time many of us ask ourselves, 'Is it time to grow out my grey hair?'
Here at Josh Wood Colour we celebrate all colours including grey and Josh is famed for making grey hair a trend. He’s put grey hair on the runway at Jean Paul Gaultier and turned supermodel Kristen McMenamy grey (pic below), plus he has embraced the grey hair colour personally too.
Josh’s mantra when it comes to wearing grey hair is, "If you going to do it, own it!" So if you’re thinking about growing out your grey hair, read on for his invaluable tips, with hair styling and haircare help from Matt Hawes, creative master stylist at the Atelier.
Watch here as Josh discusses the greying process with journalist and author of The Tweakments Guide, Alice Hart-Davies.
Be prepared to wait it out
Josh: “When you do decide you want to start to grow the grey out, you’ve got to be committed as there will be a period of hard regrowth and realistic about the timeframe. The quickest I’ve ever seen anybody be able to transition was around nine months, but realistically, it probably takes around 18 months to get to a point you're happy with.
“The first step in the process is to purposefully leave a little bit of grey regrowth around the hairline, so it starts to break up that harsh regrowth. It looks a bit more natural and helps to introduce a bit of grey gradually. If you’re going to a salon, you should talk to your colourist about having a lighter tint around the hairline for a few weeks, then introduce some kind of highlights or balayage. This will help break down the demarcation (the line between the grey and your coloured hair). It's much less noticeable to grow grey out into a lighter blonde shade.”
Touch up grey regrowth until you’re confident to go natural
Josh: “If you're struggling with the noticeable regrowth, there are temporary root touch up products you can use that’ll ease out the harsh line of regrowth. These wash out, so don't worry, you won’t be taking a step backwards towards having a colour when you’re trying to grow it out.”
Think about your ends as well as your roots
Josh: “If you’ve got mid to shoulder length hair, that hair’s been on your head for two to three years, and it’s going to be a slower process to expose grey hair. First things first, you should start using deep cleansing shampoos to help lighten up the intensity of your colour very naturally, and then it’s worth thinking about getting the ends of the hair lighter too, as that will ease in the idea of your colour not looking too solid. Talk to your colourist about adding bigger, thicker highlights that’ll give you the appearance of contrast between grey and the shade you’re starting to grow out.”
Consider cutting your hair shorter
Matt: “Obviously the more hair you cut off, the easier it is to transition to grey, but cutting hair short isn’t an option for everyone. I always say go as short as you dare and try out some layers to add texture and distract from the ‘tramline’ grey regrowth. Hair that’s perfectly straight and one length tends to have a more obvious regrowth.”
Learn from your hairstylist
Matt: “Grey hair tends to be more wiry or coarser than naturally pigmented hair so if you’re going to wear grey, it’s all about knowing how to manage it. Having a really good blow-dry will smooth grey hair, which can sometimes naturally look very brittle. Ask your stylist to share some tips so you can blow-dry your hair yourself in a similar fashion when you can’t make it to the salon.”
Hydrate your hair as much as possible
Matt: “Your natural grey hair is often in better condition than your coloured hair but, due to the texture of grey hair, it can look worse. Grey hairs naturally have an open cuticle, unlike tinted hairs where the cuticle has been chemically shut. This means that grey hairs can often look dull, frizzy and in bad condition, in comparison to tinted hairs.
“To combat this, use a deep conditioner such as the Everything Mask that’ll really hydrate and moisturise the hair. It's rich in Shea Butter so it will 'feed' the hair; makes hair softer, encourages shine and counteracts dull tones.”
Don’t completely ditch the hair colour
Josh: “There’s probably under 10% of people who have grey that’s silky and beautiful, silver platinum. Most people will need a little bit of help after they’ve grown out their colour as it’s rare to grey evenly. I would always advise that adding some highlights or lowlights for contrast will always make your natural grey hair look more premium. You can also prevent your grey going brassy by using our Icy Blonde Gloss, that neutralises any brassy, yellow tones and deep conditions hair. It also helps blend blonde and grey hair during the grow out process. I'd advise leaving on for 5 to ten minutes initially then building up to a maximum of 20 to achieve your desired result.”
Want to hear how members of our community embrace their grey hair? Read here why Kat, 23, loved her grey hair so much she dyed it silver or here to read Kate Watson-Smyth's (@madaboutthehouseinteriors) post that reveals her top interiors trends and why aged 50+ she's embracing her natural grey.
Looking for advice? Book a free 1:1 virtual consultation with one of our professional colourists.