How Long Does it Take to Go Completely Grey? Tips for transitioning to Grey Hair without shocking friends

worried woman

  • From the moment the first greys appear, it can take about ten years for all your hair to turn completely grey. It all depends on your genetics.
  • It’s a gradual process, and unless there’s a medical condition, your hair won’t turn white overnight.
  • Now, if you want to speed up the process, there are always a few methods you can use, which I’ll tell you about later. These methods can make your hair look completely gray in three years.
  • If you’re not determined to transition to completely gray hair, you can use spray-on dyes or even style your hair differently.


There are no secrets or magic formulas to accelerate or delay gray hair from appearing.

It is a natural consequence of the passing of time. How does your skin show that you are older? With wrinkles. How does your hair do it? With gray hair.


Hair follicles have pigment cells that produce melanin, a chemical that gives color to hair. As you age, these cells begin to die. Without pigment, new strands of hair become lighter and take on various shades, ranging from gray to white.

But there is an irreversible truth: once a follicle stops producing melanin, the hair will not grow back with color.


Seen this way, it seems like an ultimatum, but the important thing is not to make a fuss out of it. If you’re 35 and you discover a few grey hairs, that doesn’t mean that your hair will be completely white in a year. 

Depending on your genetics, your hair may not even be completely gray by the time you’re fifty. There is no universal law because there are also some other factors involved, such as vitamin deficiency, stress, or even a condition like vitiligo.


I propose a game for you. Look at your parents.

Do they have a lot of grey hair?


If they do, ask them when the first grey hairs started to appear. That will give you an idea of what can happen in your hair and when it will turn completely gray.

Does your hair have little grays?


There are methods to hide them, even without the need to start using hair dye.

Is your hair more than 50% gray?


Then, you may be at a crossroads: stop dyeing your hair and embrace gray, or hide gray with other coloring techniques.

So, if gray hair has become one of your biggest concerns, stay with me, because I will tell you:

  • How to hide gray hair while your hair turns gray
  • How to transition to completely gray hair


Then, it’s time to decide which side you’re on. Will you declare war on the grey hairs or accept them as your best allies?


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How to hide gray hair if you don’t want to look gray

headbands and hair updos

To hide the first grey hairs, options are easier. These first grey hairs usually appear on the sides of the hair and in the temples. You can use two simple methods to hide them: specific hairstyles or some hair products.

Let’s start with hairstyles that will help you hide your grey hair.


Hairstyles to hide your first grey hairs

  • High bun

If you have some gray hair around the crown area, you can gather all your hair into a stylish chignon. Don’t use a middle-part to gather your hair because you might notice the gray in the front.


  • Side part ponytail

If you have white hair in the middle, this hairstyle is an option. It is also ideal if you have some grey hair around the back of your neck and neck because this hairstyle will cover all of it.


  • Use headbands and shawls

You can also wear wide headbands to cover your grey hair, or scarves and shawls to hide your grey hair in the front.


  • Bulky hairstyles

To use this option, you only need to create volume in your roots and form some curls, either with some rollers or with a curling iron. Curls will make your hair look more voluminous and hide those annoying grey hairs.


Now, if you’re halfway through and your hair is 50% gray, I want you to know that the worst is with you. Do you want to hide your gray for a more natural look?


  • Highlights for moderately gray hair

stop using hair dyes

If you have almost half your hair gray, and you want a more natural look, you can have very fine highlights on the parts where your hair is still dark.

This will give a grey effect where there isn’t any, achieving a more even and careful color. This option is ideal for those who are very anxious and want to hide, at least to the naked eye, all the grays in their hair.

You can also always use some spray dye to cover the gray hair if you have an event and you don’t want the gray hair to be noticed.


Now, what about those who have a lot of grays in their hair and are tired of dyeing it?

There is only one way left and it is to make the transition to completely gray hair. But I’m warning you. It’s not an easy road. And that’s what I’ll talk to you about next.


How to Transition to Completely Gray Hair

short cut

Whether your hair is 80% or 50% grey, transitioning to full grey hair will not be easy.

It’s not just a matter of stopping coloring your grey hair overnight. Because your grey hair won’t magically appear as if you had been touched by a magic wand.

You will need patience and a lot of personality to see your grey hair appear. You will have to learn to live with hair which, in the meantime, is neither gray nor looks good.


If we talk about patience, I remember Gloria, one of my clients.

In her case,  it took three full years from the time she decided to stop dyeing her hair until it looked completely gray. 


Yes, you read right, three years! Gloria’s hair grows very slowly. Apart from that, she trims her ends every two months religiously because she can’t stand a single open end.


Of course, every person is unique. If your hair grows faster and you only trim the ends every three months, in two years you would have gray hair up to your shoulders.

If you are patient, you already have 50% of what it takes to make the transition to gray hair. And the other 50%? Personality.


Several years ago, another of my clients, Raquel, got tired of dyeing her hair to cover her growing gray and decided to stop. So I cut her hair with a pixie cut because she couldn’t stand to see the white roots growing either.

Two months later, she went back to the salon to have her hair touched up and said goodbye forever to her colored hair because all her roots had her natural color and 70% gray.

 We are all different. Some ladies want more gradual changes, like Gloria. Others are more radical, like Raquel. 


If you’re not a radical woman and don’t want to shave your hair, I recommend that you:

  • Switch to a lighter shade.

You must plan the transition to gray hair properly. One way to do this is to lighten your current color one or two shades so that there isn’t as much contrast with your new natural growth.


  • Trim the ends every three months.

It would be ideal if you chose a very short cut, but don’t even think about it.


  • Lighten your hair.

Do you have any areas where your previous hair dye can still be seen? You can have a few highlights so that there is not so much contrast with your growth.



Hair doesn’t turn completely gray overnight. It can take from three to ten years, depending on your decision regarding gray hair.

  • If you have a few grey hairs and you want to hide them, you can try some hairstyles or use spray dyes for retouching roots.
  • If you want to speed up the transition to grey hair, you will have to choose either to have a very short haircut or to hide the growth, getting some highlights in the darker parts.


Now tell me, are you ready to make the transition to gray hair or will you continue to dye your grays?

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