Transition to gray hair with lowlights: get used to the change little by little

gray strands

  • If you’re considering letting your gray hair grow in naturally, lowlights can be a huge help in the transition.
  • Lowlights are strands of hair all over the head you bleach and then dye a desired color.
  • In this case, as you’re making the transition to gray hair, the hairstylist will apply a gray dye.
  • That way, little by little, you’ll start getting used to seeing your hair in that way.


 It’s very important that you know that this transition with lowlights needs to be done at a hair salon. 

Why is that?


You can’t do a lowlight technique at home. It’s not like simple highlights.

To be able to do lowlights, the stylist will put a latex or silicone cap on your hair and pull your hair through the small holes in it with a needle.

Can you imagine the disaster that could happen if you did this at home?


So please follow my advice and go to a hair salon where professionals can help you throughout the transition process.

But there is something very important you should keep in mind if you’re thinking about letting your hair go gray with lowlights.

Do you already know what it is?


The tone of gray you’re going to use for the transition.

This choice is fundamental, and the success or failure of your gray hair transition depends on it.


 You should choose well the gray tone you’re going to apply in your lowlights; it can be pearl, smoke, or lead gray. 

The shade is going to depend on how many gray hairs you already have.

  • If you already have many gray hairs, I recommend a silver or pearl gray.
  • If your hair doesn’t have many gray hairs yet, you can choose a darker tone of gray, like smoke or lead.


There’s another reason why you would go to the hair salon to make the transition.

Your hairstylist can help you to decide what the best gray tone for your hair would be.

And not just that, they’ll tell you when you should come back to renew your color and lowlights.


  • Do you want to know even more about how to make the transition to gray hair with lowlights?
  • What’s the process? How can you maintain it?


Keep reading and I’ll tell you all the secrets of this beautiful technique.


What exactly happens in a transition to gray hair with lowlights?

transition to white hair

As I mentioned briefly at the beginning of this article, lowlights are small strips of hair that you bleach to get rid of the color so you can later apply a new color.

When you say it like that, it sounds weird. Get rid of the color to apply color?


  • It’s very simple: bleaching lowlights opens the hair cuticles for the new tone you chose.

It’s an ideal technique to make the transition to gray hair because the alternative – just completely stopping coloring your hair all at once – looks pretty sloppy.


  • You bleach 70% of your hair in strands for lowlights, leaving the other 30% your unaltered base color.

This way, when your stylist applies gray dye, 70% of your hair will have that tone.

You see?


  • That way, you’ll start the transition gradually.

When the moment arrives to renew your lowlights, your stylist can’t get rid of the same color from the previous application.

That way part of that 30% of your base color will be bleached and they’ll apply gray dye.

And so on for each application.


  •  The result will be that after the third or fourth application, all of your hair will be gray. 

See? This transition is quite easy and natural!


It’s not only recommended for gray hair, but also for transitioning from dark hair to blond, or from blond to dark hair.

Now that you know how this technique works, let’s look at what the best tone of gray is for you.


How to choose a gray tone for your lowlights

There are many tones of gray

Some are lighter, others are darker. There are even greenish, violet, or bluish shades!

 To choose one correctly, the rule of thumb is the color of your own gray hairs. 


Maybe you think that all your gray hairs are the same color. But in reality, it’s not like that. You can have white, gray, or yellow hairs.

You’ll need to keep this in mind when choosing your color of gray.


If you have white hairs, you can apply tones like:

  • Silver gray
  • Platinum gray
  • Pearl gray


If you have gray hairs, you can apply tones like:

  • Gray
  • Smoke gray
  • Lead gray


If you have yellow hairs, you can apply tones like:

  • Green gray
  • Blue gray
  • Violet gray


Before continuing on, I’d like to explain something very important to you.

 All of these colors are professional tones that you can achieve by blending various colors together; you won’t get them from store-bought kits. 

Perhaps you’ll be able to get gray number 11, but no more than that.


They’re specific tones, so this technique should be carried out in a hair salon.

So, once more, I’m going to recommend that you talk to your hairstylist and decide together what the best tone of gray is for your lowlights.


How often should I re-dye my lowlights during a transition to gray hair?

That’s going to depend on the quantity of gray hairs you have.


  • If your hair has gone completely gray, which means that your roots are all gray, you should only renew the tone.

You might be asking why.


It’s quite easy: gray hairs don’t need to be bleached since they don’t have pigmentation, so it doesn’t make sense to apply lowlights to your gray roots.

What your stylist would do is renew the gray dye throughout your hair so the roots better match everything else.

If this is the case for you, you should renew your gray dye every 3 weeks.


  • If your hair has a medium amount of gray hairs, which is to say, some of the roots are gray and some aren’t, you should renew your lowlights.

This renewal should be done every 4 weeks when your roots start to show.

In this case, since your roots aren’t completely covered with gray hair, you should keep applying lowlights to achieve the transition.

Your stylist will apply – after the lowlights – the gray dye that you chose at the beginning of the transition.

That way, as you’ll see, it all depends on the amount of gray hairs you have.


Can I change the tone of gray during this transition?

Yes, of course you can.

It may happen that you choose one gray color, but after washing your hair several times you find it’s not what you were hoping for.


So during your next lowlight or dyeing session, you can change the tone of gray.

Whether from lighter to darker or vice versa, you won’t run into any problems.

Just stay in grayscale to continue the transition to completely gray hair.



It’s been a while now that gray hair color has been in style, but now it’s also become popular to let your hair grow out gray.

When you’ve grown out your hair to your ears, you won’t need to apply any more lowlights.

And your transition to gray will be complete!

For most people, your hair grows 1 centimeter per month, so if my numbers are right, this process can take between 5 to 6 months.

What are you waiting for?

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