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Transitioning to Grey- 10 tips to success

Transitioning to Grey- 10 tips to success

Hey, Silvina here.

In 2015, I stopped colouring my grey hair.

When my natural colour started to grow through, I began to feel great about just being myself, moving through the world effortlessly, without needing to hide my organic self.

I want to share some tips, to make your transition to grey as easy and rewarding as mine.

I hope you find them useful...

Part A - Making the decision. 

1- Be inspired and determined.

For me, determination was the most important thing in going grey gracefully - to feel that this was the right choice at the right time and the direction I wanted my life to take. 

Set your intention, browse photos of silver women who have the same type of hair as you (whether it’s curly, bushy, straight, fine, thick, short or long) and choose the one you would love to look like. Set this image as your hair goal, and use it to motivate you when the going inevitably gets tough. 

The transitioning process is like a marathon, something that will take time and willpower to complete.

During the many months when you see yourself with different colours in your hair, you’ll encounter a myriad of moods. There will be moments when you will feel like giving up and dipping back into the dye. Be strong - stay motivated by focusing on your ultimate goal, and dig deep for the determination that will see you through.

Success will come from knowing that having your natural hair back is your genuine desire. If you’re really determined, you will overcome any difficult feelings that get in your way.

2- Draw strength from those who support you, and ignore the opinions of those who want to make you change your mind.

If your loved ones try to make you give up on your goal of embracing your natural, glorious grey, you must be ready to ignore their warnings and stick to your intentions.

Letting them know that you’re happy, determined, and willing to complete the journey to achieving silver success is the only way to silence your critics.

Friends and relatives may never change their minds, but they can learn to stop raising the subject if your resolve to stick to the plan shines through. Ultimately, the more determined you are, the less likely people will be to make negative remarks. 

Ignore the comments of others and forge ahead proudly with your plans to return to your natural roots. Ultimately, the opinions of others are irrelevant. You know what’s best for you, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Bear in mind that there are thousands of women around the world who would love to avoid the hassle and expense of a colouring routine, but they are still far from allowing themselves that freedom. Probably many of them, without realising, will be jealous of your bravery! 

3- Discredit the common myths you’ve encountered surrounding embracing your natural grey hair colour.  For instance: “You will look older if you go grey”. No, no and no. 

In my experience, and from hearing about the experiences of other women who’ve gone grey, the outcome is exactly the opposite,

As a general rule, dark hair makes features harder. Light colours, on the contrary, bring illumination to the face.

Along with this, silver hair is part of a look. If your outfits scream "old lady", you will look the same age, whether you conceal your greys or not. Stop hiding your grey hair and you will feel freer. This, in term, will encourage you to enliven your overall look, adopting a more relaxed, casual style that creates a younger vibe.

Another myth to debunk is that: "Grey hair grows stiff".  Again, no! Natural hair is much less damaged than a coloured hair, which is why silver, uncoloured hair is smoother, softer and more manageable than dyed locks in any hue.

4 -Make a list of everything you stand to gain.

Women who have embraced their grey hair generally agree that they feel more empowered by accepting their natural looks.

This is something that you may not believe until you snip away the last cm of coloured hair - and what a moment it will be - I can’t wait to share it with you!

For now, let's concentrate on the practicalities of natural grey hair - starting with saving money.

How much did you spend in the last 12-months on colouring your naturally grey hair? I almost spent the equivalent amount of a holiday when I lived in Spain, and if I had continued with that routine here in London, I would probably have spent even more. I guess you are already wondering what you could do with the money that you save by ditching the regular trips to the hairdresser or expensive home dye kits.

And what about your precious time? Instead of visiting the hair salon, yet again, you could have been spending time with friends and family, visiting the gym, learning a new hobby, or simply spending time resting and relaxing.

How many times, instead of enjoying some time in nature, have you sat in the salon surrounded by toxic chemicals, harsh lights and ear splitting noise?

Imagine reclaiming those 3 hours a month just for you or your loved ones.

Going grey has so many practical benefits!

Part B -Transitioning.

5- Choose the way you want to transition.

We usually associate transition with negativity - but the changes we go through day by day when returning to our natural hair colour help us get used to our new look over a long period of time, without the shock of an instant transformation.

Transitioning processes can be grouped into 3 general types, each with its benefits and drawbacks.

1-Cut it short

Go super short to be both brave and practical.

Snipping off your coloured hair as short as you dare may mean that you don’t recognise yourself in the mirror - or that friends and family pass you by in the street - but it’s the quickest, easiest, and bravest way of embracing your grey. You’ll just need to be patient if you later want to grow your hair to a mid or longer length (many women love the short look and decide to hang onto it for good!)

Pros: Quick, powerful, inexpensive, hair starts to grow new and healthy.
Cons: A new look that may take some getting used to, or some patience if you decide to let your short style grow out to a longer length.

2- Bear the colour divisive line

This is probably the most low maintenance way to go grey, but the one that will most test your patience and self-compassion.

You will have to be happy to show up everywhere with two-tone hair for a while. It may sound difficult, but it doesn’t last forever and is part of a process of embracing your natural-self (and people will notice less than you think).

If you have curly hair, it will be easier as the line will not be so sharp. 

With any type of hair, you can try the hair styles I mention in section seven to cope with the two-tone effect you’ll experience for a while as your natural grey colour grows out.

When the silver regrowth reaches about 7/8 cm, you can start shaping your hair with frequent cuts, and grey hair will gradually start to dominate your look.

Pros: Give up colouring immediately, and hair starts to become healthier as it grows out.
Cons: Two-tone hair can be difficult to pull off for a while.

3-Play with some colouring

To help blend grey regrowth, you can have a good colourist to do some highlights on the tinted dark parts of your hair. This generally involves some bleaching, which will likely damage the hair, making it dry and brittle and prone to breakage.  Moreover, it’s difficult to make bleached hair go as white as naturally white hair (the reason why you still probably have two different hues) . 

That said, if you have a really good colour professional and a good budget to invest, this technique can help your hair appear more natural as it grows out.

An intermediate option is to colour the top part of each side of the split, When the hair has grown 8/10 cm, you change the position of your parting (from middle to side, for example), have a cut, and you will almost be there.

If you’re planning on partially colouring your hair as you make the transition, find a good colourist who is willing to support you through the whole process and plan everything out in advance, so you know what to expect at every stage. Don’t be tempted to colour your hair at home, as pulling this off requires sophisticated knowledge and techniques.

The good thing about this transition is that, if the colourist does a good job, you will always look good, you will never feel that you look unkempt.

Pros: Grey regrowth will be less noticeable, helping you avoid anxiety.Cons: you’ll still need to visit the hairdresser regularly, costing you money and time. And hair will continue to be damaged by harsh colouring techniques.

6 -Get ready for the moments when you feel like giving up.

There will be moments when you will hate how you look - there’s no escape from the difficult parts of embracing grey.

This is likely to happen during the first months, when you have skipped your colouring for 1 to 3 appointments, when your root regrowth doesn't look intentional but a consequence of the lockdown.

Moreover, it’s depressingly likely that when you are at your lowest point, you will be appointed for "that" meeting, party or job interview for which you can't look less than fabulous. And if you are single, that special person will appear when your roots are at their worst - but hey, if they’re the right person, they won’t let a few inches of regrowth stand in the way of romance!

It’s very helpful to have an action plan ready for these emergencies so that you can remind yourself it’s not worth losing months of patience to attend one party or meeting.

If the important event is a job interview, the employer will evaluate you for your abilities, not for your appearance. Dress for the occasion, boost your confidence with a nice updo or blowout,  and stick to your plan. If you have an important social occasion to attend, try some non permanent colour, or have fun with a different hairdo (Read point 7!) You could also wear a wig or a hat - experiment, have fun, and remind yourself of all the great benefits of going grey.

These parties or interviews will happen every time you embark on a plan to go grey gracefully. Find a way to look at yourself with love. Ask a stylist for advice. Remind yourself that looks aren’t everything. It’s never worth returning to the starting line. 

07 - Get creative and look great, even when you have two-tone hair!

Browse Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration. Play with dreadlocks. Use headbands, clips or pins. And if you want to go for something bolder, try a strand in a wild colour (using temporary tints not permanent colours, please!)

Use this time to play, experiment, and be brave. Don’t just try out different hairstyles - overhaul your entire look and have fun trying out new clothing styles and makeup techniques.

It’s also a great idea to have your hair trimmed as regularly as possible to help your grey roots gain ground. It won’t be long before seductive silver dominates your do. 

8- Adapt your style

Now your silver hair has grown out, your hair colour will influence your overall look, creating a new style that might make you unrecognisable to friends and family - even to yourself. 

Lighter hair always lifts a look and can make you look decades younger than draining dark colours.

Now, it is time to change your makeup and clothing colours to something younger and brighter that matches the lighter, freer, younger looking you!

With regard to makeup, experts often recommend matching cold colours like blue, green and silver with grey hair, insisting that we should avoid red, camel and brown tones. As with all parts of this process, I say that experimentation is key. Warm tones work for me and they may for you. Have fun and play with different looks to find your signature style.

Embracing your new greys could also be a great moment to introduce more casual elements to your wardrobe, adding some denim, trainers and blazers for relaxed daytime style. I particularly love oversized clothes, especially trousers. They are extremely comfy, easy to wear, and look  cool when matched with everything on almost every body type!

Don't forget to add interesting accessories like glasses, a scarf, bold earrings or a massive necklace to instantly update and add interest to your look without spending a fortune.

You can learn about and purchase my preferred makeup to compliment silver hair on my website,

Part C - Embracing your Silver

09 -Choose the right products (Silvina London!), and adjust your care routine

Along with taking care of your hair type, you now have to keep an eye on the hue and tone of your white hair, but don’t panic! This is much easier than caring for coloured hair which has sustained years of dye-related damage.

You should avoid allowing your whites to go yellowish and can do this by using any blue shampoo. The problem with this type of shampoo when purchased on the high street is that most contain silicones to boost the shine on the hair.  Therefore I created Silvina London. I have been using the shampoo and the conditioner everyday for more than one year, and I couldn’t be more happy with the results. Again, this is a matter of experimenting, and seeing what works for you. Every woman’s hair is different, so you must explore different options until you find your washing sequence.

It is very important to bear in mind that now your hair is white, dust and dirt will be immediately noticeable (just as it shows up instantly on a white top or shirt). Avoid touching your hair as much as possible, keep it away from your face with a hairband when putting on your makeup and cover it when you exercise.

If your hair starts to look yellow, it could simply be because it needs a wash - not because there is anything wrong with its health.

After some experimentation, you’ll soon find a routine that works for you. Trust me - keeping grey hair shiny, smooth and manageable is much easier than attempting to make dye damaged hair look great.

10 - Enjoy! And acknowledge the good things your new silver look has brought.

Have you imagined how it would feel being happy with your age, instead of wanting to look younger?

Wouldn't you love to feel comfortable in your own skin, without caring about the opinions of others?

How would you feel if you started wanting to take care of yourself, to exercise, to eat healthier, because of the simple fact of loving yourself and not because it’s the ‘right thing to do’.

That is exactly what happened to me when I embraced my silver hair - and I’m not alone. Each and every woman I’ve supported through the transition to grey has recognised that after we stop hiding our natural hair colour, we experience intense internal growth and change (for the better).

Many of us started with the simple, practical intention of avoiding the painful  and expensive colouring routine. All of us discovered that we started loving ourselves, when we accept who and how we are.

Silvina X