What Is Gray Blending and Am I Ready For It?

Recently Daina came in wanting to start her transition to embracing her natural gray! This can be quite the process depending on the starting point with your hair color.  But have no fear: My exceptional colleagues and I are here to captain your journey to gray! Here are a few things you need to know.

Start at the Root

Letting your hair grow out at least one to two incxhes helps us see what your gray looks like and helps us determine what techniques and formulations to do going forward with your service. You should also root yourself in patience with the process. It takes time and is not a one-and-done type of service. There is no “gray color” we can just put on your head and have it work magic (even though we wish there was!). Everyone and every gray is different!

Stay the Course

Transitioning to gray is a process. And it can be a long one. Knowing this going in will serve you best. Finding and sticking with a stylist on this transition is important so you know you’re taking the right steps to meet your goal quicker, as opposed to not having the guidance and professional input that takes you ten steps backwards.

Trust Your Style Captain

Getting into the weeds a bit, here’s some general guidance for those looking to transition. But always partner with a professional to ensure the smoothest journey!


  • Use demi permanent color instead of permanent. It’ll make for softer transition lines to work towards lower maintenance.
  • Get a good healthy haircut to keep the integrity of the hair while transitioning. Or even consider a shorter cut to have less hair to color, making the transition quicker.
  • For darker color, lighten with foils, be willing to embrace some possible “not so pretty” warm tones if you have any previous darker color on your hair. Breaking through that can sometimes be a challenge, but with time and patience, your goal can still be reached!
  • For lighter tones, add dimension–highlight, lowlight or both–to blend out lines of demarcation.
  • Come in between coloring services for a gloss, to help maintain cool tones, and to keep your hair looking shiny and fresh!

Stick to the Plan 

Using the right professional products at home will help maintain and prepare the hair for more coloring services. Create an aftercare plan with your stylist, so you can confidently prepare your hair for color. Using purple shampoo and conditioner weekly or biweekly to help prevent brassiness (Bumble and bumble and Oribe are my personal favs!). A color-safe shampoo and conditioner helps color and glosses last, preventing it from fading, looking dull and preventing damage. Pair it with styling products that are strengthening, moisturizing, and that have heat protection..  Keeping the integrity of your hair is the most important thing through this process! Using great products will not only make your hair look and feel amazing, but will help make this transition a smoother one. 

Whether you’re ready to go gray or are just beginning to entertain the idea, we can help! While you’re at it, see what other custom hair artistry ideas Anna and our other experts have ready and waiting for you.

Anna W. is an advanced designer at our Cedar Cliff location. Follow her on Instagram at @hairbyannawestby.



Anna Westby

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