Dark brown hair with lowlights underneath 2018

Have you ever thought about going grey, but were overwhelmed about how to do it and look good in the process? One of my readers, Kelly recently emailed to ask about this problem. She writes:

I came across your page on  I would love just to have natural hair and no longer dye it, but what is the best way to get this change? I don’t want to sport a “half head grow out”. Can you tell me how to grow out grey hair gracefully?  Kelly McDonough

I took Kelly’s question to our Fabulous After 40 hair expert and top stylist Chris Maclachlan to get her expert advice. Here’s what she had to say.

Hi Kelly,
I’m sorry to say that the only way to go grey is to grow it out. Because grey is un- pigmented you can’t color it grey (you get blue, or purply!!)

Jamie Lee Curtis Gray hair

Jamie Lee Curtis
photo: Shutterstock


It will mean you have to go a couple of months with no color, so the best solution is to wear your hair up and “paint” your roots with a grey coverage pencil or crayon. They are available at beauty supply stores, and they cover the grey and wash out with shampoo. A mascara will do the same thing. It can be a very drastic change but also totally liberating.

The other option for letting grey hair grow out is to have your mahogany color taken out. You will need to go to a really good colorist for a correction. A colorist will cleanse the dark from your hair with a mixture of bleach, peroxide and shampoo. Then re-color it using a lighter shade. You cannot put a lighter color over a dark one and have it remove the color.

Corrections are expensive, time-consuming (a few hours) and can be hard on the hair, but a good colorist can do it with minimal damage. You could also have a shorter cut at the same time to get you ready to cut out the colour once it grows a bit. A lighter shade will make your grey less noticeable as you grow it out. If you decide to go this route, please make an appointment for a consultation with a good salon’s senior colorist. This should be free, and there should be no pressure to book the actual appointment.

Be clear about what you want and ask about cost and time before you book. You can also eventually get into a combination of natural color and a few blondish highlights to blend in with the grey. Looking at your pictures, my advice would be to go for a much warmer color than either the ashy blond or the brown, which in the picture looks a little flat.

Here are a few nice options when deciding how to grow out your grey hair. Good Luck.




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