transitioning to gray with long hair

testimony777testimony777 Registered Users Posts: 237 Curl Connoisseur
Hello lovelies,

So I started graying in the 6th grade and have spent most of my adult life at least 50% gray. A year and a half ago I decided to color my hair for the first time. At that time I was about 75% gray and 35 years old. For the first time in my life I felt like my hair was aging me because no matter what I looked like people assumed I was much older but "looked really good for [my] age" :neutral:. Anywho, I have really enjoyed the change up to this point. I use henna and it has done wonders for my hair but... I am a very low maintenance girl and I really do not like feeling like I have to keep up with the color. I am also cheep and I don't like spending money on Henna every month.

Here is the problem, I am ready to let the gray grow back in but I am feeling very intimidated by the process of growing out this color. Right now my hair is WL stretched and just above BSL curly. I have no interest in cutting it short but I also don't want to look crazy for the next five years. Have any of you transitioned to gray while keeping your hair long? How long did it take before you didn't look like you were desperately in need of a touch up? Can you share any tips for making the transition smoother? I am planning to start this winter with the hope that by the summer my hair will look like I am making an intentional choice and not just letting myself go.

Finally, if you all have any pictures of yourselves or others in the middle of the transition with long curly hair I would love to see them. Most of what I have found on the web is of women with short hair, or long straight hair. TIA
Hair Stats (CG since 3/31/12)
Type: 3c/b; Density: M; Texture: F-M; Porosity: L-N

Products
Cleanser: DevaCurl Decadence No Poo
Conditioner: DevaCurl Original One Condition
Leave-in: DevaCurl B'Leave-in
Stylers: DevaCurl Volumizing Frizz Free Foam, DevaCurl Beautiful Mess, DevaCurl Flexible Hold Hairspray
Refresher: DevaCurl No Comb Detangling Spray
Finisher: DevaCurl Shine Spray

Comments

  • rbbrbb Registered Users Posts: 4,358 Curl Connoisseur
    while my hair is not long, i did transition with it about 90% gray/white and my natural hair was darkest brown/black. so, i can offer you some tips to get thru the transition that i found. the one that worked for me is headbands -- stretchy, plastic, fancy, plain...... i actually got a ton of compliments from both friends and strangers while transitiong using headbands.
    if i had long hair what i would have done is braided some thin breads at the top to go back off my face instead of the headbands. i've seen that look in photos of women transitioning and i thought it looked great.
    a great book with tips for graying hair (you have to add the curly part into the mix) is Going Gray, Looking Great by diana jewel. i got it out of the library, i'm sure you can now download it, amazon.... she has a website called cafe gray that is helpful. to be honest i have a hard time navigating that website. a few years ago the website was called goinggraylookinggreat and was an open website that was a great help to me while i transitioned.
    good luck!
    also, there are plenty of women on here who have long and gray hair. look in this forum for their pics.

    3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity :-(
    washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
    leave in:curl junkie conditioners and treatments as leave in
    styling: curl junkie 
    sealants - jane carter nourish & shine
  • testimony777testimony777 Registered Users Posts: 237 Curl Connoisseur
    Thank you so much for this response,especially the book recommendation! I was thinking about using hats to get me through the rough patch, I hadn't even thought about headbands. I'll have to try that as well. Unfortunately the braid style you recommended looks terrible on me lol. I have tried it several times and it just makes me look like a little girl. I am going to check out that website as well, hopefully I will get more ideas/inspiration. Thanks again(:

    ...off to stalk the going gray diaries thread:lurk:
    Hair Stats (CG since 3/31/12)
    Type: 3c/b; Density: M; Texture: F-M; Porosity: L-N

    Products
    Cleanser: DevaCurl Decadence No Poo
    Conditioner: DevaCurl Original One Condition
    Leave-in: DevaCurl B'Leave-in
    Stylers: DevaCurl Volumizing Frizz Free Foam, DevaCurl Beautiful Mess, DevaCurl Flexible Hold Hairspray
    Refresher: DevaCurl No Comb Detangling Spray
    Finisher: DevaCurl Shine Spray
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 20,731 Curl Virtuoso
    Good luck with your transition! I chopped my hair up to chin length only because my hair grows so slowly that I would have been transitioning forever! As it was it still took a long time. And I ditto the Going Gray Looking Great book. I still look through once in awhile. Great info.
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
    --My CG and grey hair progress -  
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/going-gray/179328-jeepys-grey-hair-progress.html   
    --My article at NaturallyCurly about going grey - 
    https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/color/how-i-went-completely-gray-and-loved-it
  • testimony777testimony777 Registered Users Posts: 237 Curl Connoisseur
    I was just looking through your Fotki Jeepcurly, very inspirational! I imagine that that is how my hair will look when I finally get rid of all the henna colored hair (we have a similar graying pattern).

    It is so funny, when I decided to henna my hair my plan was to color it until age 50 and then start my transition with a (relatively) big chop. One year and four months latter I already miss my gray and am tired of the hassle; I should have just bought a wig lol.
    Hair Stats (CG since 3/31/12)
    Type: 3c/b; Density: M; Texture: F-M; Porosity: L-N

    Products
    Cleanser: DevaCurl Decadence No Poo
    Conditioner: DevaCurl Original One Condition
    Leave-in: DevaCurl B'Leave-in
    Stylers: DevaCurl Volumizing Frizz Free Foam, DevaCurl Beautiful Mess, DevaCurl Flexible Hold Hairspray
    Refresher: DevaCurl No Comb Detangling Spray
    Finisher: DevaCurl Shine Spray
  • SpecklaSpeckla Registered Users Posts: 189 Curl Connoisseur
    I just turned 40 years old and I'm about 50% grey. I started greying at 21 years old. I'm 3a/b and at shoulder length curly and close to collar bone when stretched. I have about 2" of grey/light ash brown roots and the rest is a mix of henna covered with medium brown box dye/hair dresser coloring. I am just going to grow it out and leave it alone. I'm not planning a big chop or a major cut until I reach BSL and then I will probably time a few inches each month and maintain.


    I had tailbone length hair two years ago and donated 22"+ to Locks of Love. That would have been the ideal time to grow out natural. But I had fun with purple, pink, and blue hair. :) I hennaed for a while and then box dyed to get it closer to my natural brown to grow out. It was driving me crazy with red hair and grey/brown roots. Now I plan to just let it grow and wear it up a lot or wear headbands.
  • testimony777testimony777 Registered Users Posts: 237 Curl Connoisseur
    I love that you are at two inches and haven't cut. I am encouraged to hear this because It seems like most of the people I have seen on youtube cut right around that point. I think the 2-5 inches (or so) stage is going to be the most difficult for me because at that point it will be very difficult to mask the roots but there won't be enough for it to not just look like I am lazy.
    Hair Stats (CG since 3/31/12)
    Type: 3c/b; Density: M; Texture: F-M; Porosity: L-N

    Products
    Cleanser: DevaCurl Decadence No Poo
    Conditioner: DevaCurl Original One Condition
    Leave-in: DevaCurl B'Leave-in
    Stylers: DevaCurl Volumizing Frizz Free Foam, DevaCurl Beautiful Mess, DevaCurl Flexible Hold Hairspray
    Refresher: DevaCurl No Comb Detangling Spray
    Finisher: DevaCurl Shine Spray
  • SpecklaSpeckla Registered Users Posts: 189 Curl Connoisseur
    This was taken about a month after my last coloring.


    I have a lot more grey showing now. I cut my bangs very short to get rid of a lot of the color. I guess that's my BC. :) The rest is still longish. I'll post some updated pictures after New Years.


    WP_20141114_009-vi.jpg

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