“Transitioning to gray hair requires a unique coloring process, which is why I advise seeing an experienced colorist who can take the time to explore your natural color pattern with you,” says Pacheco. “For starters, the roots need to be long enough to determine the ratio of white to dark pigment in your incoming grays. From there, you can add platinum white and pewter gray highlights accordingly to get that perfect balance of salt and pepper that looks natural.”
SHOULD YOU GET HIGHLIGHTS OR LOWLIGHTS TO BLEND THINGS IN FOR A WHILE? IF SO, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONE TO ASK FOR?
“If you don’t want to wait for nature to take its course and let your roots come in, adding highlights and lowlights can speed up the whole process of going gray,” explains Pacheco. “Your colorist will typically add lowlights to match the natural dark patterns of the grays and highlights in a platinum shade to match the white parts, so you get a nice blend of color that’s not flat.”
WHAT ABOUT A GLOSS? WILL THAT HELP AT ALL?
“Most people who color their grays have their roots done every four to six weeks. During the growing out process, you can use a similar timeframe to get a gloss instead. This will keep the overall tone of your hair cool and blended until your natural grays dominate your previous blonde,” explains Pacheco. And if you’ve had lowlights added, getting a gloss semi-regularly will help bring them back to their original color since they tend to fade over time. (Your strands will look shinier as well.)
HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR MY GRAYS AT HOME?
Gray hair is naturally coarser. “This is because it's lost the collagen and keratin that once made your hair smoother and more elastic. Adding conditioning treatments to your routine is a must to keep your natural grays smooth and soft,” advises Pachecho. “Like aging skin, you want to make sure to moisturize and support your hair, so it will look its best,” he adds.
Once you’ve gone fully gray, you can try a keratin treatment if you’re concerned with frizz. “It’s a great way to infuse gray hair with the lost keratin that comes with age,” says Pachecho. And some good news for our blondes with curly or textured hair: “Textured hair is actually ideal when making the transition to gray hair because it blends better as you grow it out.”
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