16 answers

Growing Out Salt & Pepper Colored Hair

Hi, I am going to be 45 years old this May. I think I am going through a mid-life crisis. For the past two years I have been coloring my hair back to its normal color (dark brown). I hate my roots (who doesn't), and would like to try growing my hair out, but, again the roots look terrible when one does this. My hair is very long (middle of my back), and I don't want to wear it short. Does anyone know how to grow it out without the roots being so obvious? By the way, my skin tone is fair to medium and my eyes are brown and eyebrows are black or actually dark grey (pepper) now. I love the way white hair looks on some women. I wonder how I would look. Thank you!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I havent looked at the darker shades of hair color before, but do they have a color between the darker brown and a gray? If you could find a color in the middle then the roots wont be so obvious while growing them out.

More Answers

I would suggest going to a salon and have them add some blonde/grey highlights to your hair. It will blend with your already salt and pepper roots and make them a lot less obvious.

Go to a good salon and get your hair lighly frosted. My mom did this and it made the transition from dark blond to silver seem very natural and gradual. Having your hair frosted doesn't have to mean huge streaks, they can do it where only a few hairs at a time are colored so it really makes it look a lot closer to natural. If you let your roots grow out a little bit before you go in, your colorist should be able to match up the colors and patterns a lot better too since she'll have something to go on. It may be a little pricey, but honestly shouldn't be necessary more than once, since the frosting process is actually a bleaching and the hair remains that way until it's cut off or re-colored.

I began using a non-permanent rinse to color that would fade out gradually over 4-5 weeks rather than grow out. It did help to keep it trimmed up or go a bit shorter while in the conversion process.

I believe it was called "presentation" and I got it at a local beauty supply place. I had to mix the color with a reactant thing. Kind of messy. Then one month I just stopped.

I think it is a great idea to go natural. Gets rid of some chemicals that are not necessary in your body. Plus, what a relief it is not to mess around with color all the time plus those nasty roots.

Here's to your new freedom!

I'm hitting 45 next month, too. Happy Birthday!

To avoid roots, I've been using Natural Instincts non-permanent color. It slowly washes out so you never get roots that are distinctly different. You could try using this for a while until your hair gets long enough for the roots to be gone. It's much less expensive than a professional coloring job, too.

I would consult a professional. If that is out of your budget then try coloring it with semi permanent color i.e. wash out color that will not leave hard lines while you are growing it out and you might consider cutting your hair up to shoulder length while you are growing out the permanent color.

Hi, I. - I would consult an expert. N. at Salon Laurie is very good with color. Good luck! ###-###-####.

Ok - I think you are going to have to color it one last time. Go to a professional colorist and bring all your hair to the color of your roots. One shot - done - no more guessing. That's what I'd do. I'm 47 and I'm still coloring - I just have "chunks" of grey throughout my real color. But I have a 3 yr old. I bet I'll be ALL grey by the time he hits his teens - or shortly thereafter! Blessings, S.

hi lisa,
you don't have to give it a label. you're just ready for a change. i was and am a sahm. my hair is still colored after many ..trials like your own. i know you're busy with the kids;but, remember your husband is in the public all day with people dressed,looking and smelling good. you do the same. go to a wig shop and try on grey wigs the length and color you will be....it's a lot harder to look vibrant with that color and your skin tone. the last kick is when they call you grammy in public. it's hard for you and the kids. buy the cheap wig and see how you feel and your husbands res

thanks for asking this, I.! i'll be 50 this year and one of my presents to myself will be to quit dyeing my hair back to its original blonde and let the silver run free.
only the contrast is really stark, although you wouldn't think that would be the case. and i can't find silver miss clairol anywhere.
i guess i'm going to have to suck it up and go to a salon.
:) khairete
cheap S.

I believe strongly that Mother Nature knows whats best for us so I am not coloring. I think of it as nature's highlights. That being said, I think the problem alot of people make is using a color that is too dark. Our complexions just can't support it anymore. I've seen quite a few people color a shade or two lighter and it is becoming. That might be an option for you to help you grow it out. I am by no means a style expert so I hope this helps.

My mom just did this, but her hair is short! You could try getting it highlighted or ask your hairstylist! He/she'll have ideas!

45 is still too young to let it go all natural. : ) I would suggest a low lighting (like a high light but you use darker color.) This way you can slowly introduce the grey, and the roots aren't so bad. I would wait to go white til you are at least 50. It will age you significantly. Why not just delay the process while still embracing your age. You can do both.

When I was growing out my highlights, I would use wash out color - I would dye my hair brown with Clairol color from the grocery store - but get the 24 washes one (with full gray coverage), so it will gradually fade out and the hair will be back to its original color....keep coloring until the roots grow out and then you can stop using the Clairol and just leave it as is, all grown out. This will take a while since your hair is so long, but if it grows fast, it will be done in no time...and it will help you get used to your hair turning....

I havent looked at the darker shades of hair color before, but do they have a color between the darker brown and a gray? If you could find a color in the middle then the roots wont be so obvious while growing them out.

this one is easy: redye your hair back to your natural color.

I kept my signature long hair way too long past its prime. Now have it shorter (not very short) and wish I did it sooner because it suits the shape of my face better. JI used to be very attached to my hair. It was part of my identity, not just how I looked. A new part of me emerged when I had a different hair cut, which I didn't expect. Just something to think about. Change can be good. And if not, it does grow back.

I am 50.
I am going on two years now since I decided to quit coloring. This was the best thing that I could have ever done. My hair was falling out, the color never lasted, and no shampoo could keep the color true. I wear my hair ultra short. So growing it out took about five trims. I cut my own, and have always dyed my own hair. I say keep it short until the natural hue has time to grow in ,then grow it out if that what you want. Use products for white, grey silver hair. Try new kinds of oils that moisturize your hair. Because grey hair is dry. I found Olive oil products in the African-American hair care section that are just fabulous. Alot of these products have natural ingredients. Anyway it's an adventure.

Good Luck.....B. from Boston

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