How to Go Gray Gracefully

If you're thinking of finally going gray after years of dying your hair it can be a bit of a scary thought, says Carlina Ortega, colorist at the Rita Hazan Salon. However with her best tips to making the change gracefully, it can be an easy process. 

Choose your process 

You can either go gray right away, depending on what color you've been dying your hair, or work with your colorist to go gray gradually, which is less damaging and less of a shock when you finally get there, she says. It may take up to a year to fully get rid of all the color but you will see results within 6 months.

For brunettes

If you're a brunette, going gray can be more of a challenge. Doing it all in one session is not recommended. Work with your colorist. Highlighting and toning is the best option, says Ortega. This will eliminate the brown color and start adding a color that's closer to gray while blending everything together.

For blondes

If preferred, blondes will have the easiest time getting it done in one shot, but if you choose the recommended way and do it gradually you can start by going longer in-between salon visits. The growing out process is more blended because blonde is the closest to gray.  On each visit to your colorist add fewer highlights and tone-to-blend so your natural gray will grow out gracefully. 

For redheads

Going gray from red will usually take the longest to achieve. Red is one of the hardest colors to remove from the hair. It's considered a warm color and going from warm to cool (gray) takes more applications. Highlighting and toning is the best method.

Once you have completely made the switch, a crucial part of taking care of gray hair is deep conditioning, says Ortega. Since gray hair tends to grow in more course and brittle, using a product like Rita Hazan's Weekly Remedy ($42) treatment will help tame it. Unlike most hair masks, this treatment fixes the hair from the inside-out and produces instant results.  Also, because gray hair naturally tends to have a yellow tint, use Rita Hazan's Ultimate Shine Color Gloss in Breaking Brass ($26) to eliminate the yellow, she says.

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