To some people having premature gray hair is like a curse and that’s exactly how I felt about my hair. I remember discovering the first gray hair when I was around 19 years old. By late twenties my dark brown hair turned dramatically gray and I had to dye it every 6 to 8 weeks, I had never imagined myself going gray at such a young age.

Over several years of dying my roots, I developed skin irritations, the itching and burning was so severe that I went to several dermatologists to find out why I had this but no one could help me. The skin problems never seemed to go away, I even tried switching to salon quality dyes and changed my shampoos often in search of a cure.

Allergies never crossed my mind until I stumbled upon a website recently that talked about allergies associated with PPD (Para-phenylenediamine), a chemical that is used in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes.To be honest I didn’t do the patch tests every time I dyed my hair because I pretty much used the same brands, I didn’t think I would be allergic to them after all these years. All the symptoms I read about was exactly what I was going through and I know that it had to be allergies.

I came to the conclusion that the best way to deal with this allergy issue was for me to grow my natural gray hair but the thought of giving up my hair dye terrified me. I associated gray hair with being old and I just couldn’t accept that for myself but as I kept searching to find a natural dye, I saw photos of these radiantly beautiful women with naturally gray hair. Seeing them gave me the courage to decide on growing my gray hair.

Here are some women I found online that inspired me to stop dying my hair:

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Some suggestions to growing out your gray hair:

If you are thinking about growing out your natural gray hair you have to be patient, specially if you’ve been dying it a dark color. You have some options to make this transition easier. If you have long hair and you wish to keep your length you can do that, there is no need to run to the salon to get short pixie cut, although that would be good look for some people.

1. You can wear hats and head bands until your hair gets to a point where you can cut it. I used hats for a month but since I’m not a hat person I got tired of wearing them I moved on to other options. If you like how you look in a hat they’re fashionable and fun, plus you don’t have to worry about getting your hair done.

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2. You can try covering up your roots with special wax pens and sprays. There are some really nice products out in the market that are designed specifically to cover up roots and they come in array of color. They are great temporary solution and wash right out of your hair when you shampoo.
tarte

I’ve personally used only a few brands like Bumble and Bumble hair powder spray, Tarte Amazonian Clay hair powder, Roux Tween Time and I should warn you most of the products out there have strong scent with the exception of Tarte which is unscented and less messy.

Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder

TIP: Remember protect your clothes when you use spray powders and don’t go out sweating when you put on the stick because it will run down your temples and it’s plain embarrassing.

3. You also have the option of highlighting your dark hair to blend with your roots while you patiently wait for you beautiful gray hair to grow out long enough to get a pretty hair cut.

For me leaving the house with a hat everyday was driving me crazy and because the roots were so much lighter then the rest of my head I chose to color my hair blonde to save myself from cutting it all off. I know it’s different for everyone, if you have more of a salt and pepper roots maybe going platinum blonde wouldn’t be the best choice.

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I chose to have my hair lightened professionally by a salon because I wanted to keep the length of my hair with minimal damage. My original idea was to eventually die my entire head gray but I would have needed to bleach my hair 3 times to achieve that and I honestly just didn’t want to spend that much money. Luckily and to our surprise I only needed to bleach my hair twice to get to the desired shade.

TIP: If you are thinking about bleaching at home remember that it could be far more damaging to your hair and if you are not used to the process your hair can fall out (yes that actually has happened to me in the past). Also be sure to deep condition your hair regularly to prevent it from breaking.

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Bleaching turned my hair blonde with yellow/brassy tones that I truly hated so I ended up experimenting with different toners and shampoos to get the brassiness out my blond hair. I will blog more on that topic in the near future :) I hope this blog post inspires and helps you with your journey.

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Have you thought about growing out your natural gray hair? How did you do it?