When transiting from dyed hair to natural hair color, women may choose to chop it to speed up the process or visit the salon for highlights to blend their roots with the dye. Then there’s going gray cold turkey with long hair. The latter is the toughest route because it can take two, three, or more years to achieve your desired hair length. And this is the path I took.
While chopping off hair speeds up the transition, it’s a shock to see yourself with a skunk line AND short hair. Highlights and other blending techniques salons perform may work well for women with healthy hair, especially those with light color hair. However, if your hair is damaged or a dark color; you’re playing Russian roulette with your hair. I belong to three Facebook groups for women embracing their silvers, and have read hundreds upon hundreds of posts and comments from women who regretted having this process done. They complain about it frying their hair, turning orange or green, and the upkeep.
Advantages of Going Gray Cold Turkey with Long Hair
We live in a world of instant, yet our hair doesn’t instantly grow without extensions or a wig. On average, hair grows half an inch a month. Many things in life are worth the wait and allowing your silvers to grow in naturally is another. Here are six reasons for going cold turkey with long hair:
- You can ease yourself and watch the process of your natural hair color emerging. This helps you to get used to viewing yourself with silver hair. If you truly despise the way you look, then you can dye it again without losing your length.
- There’s no risk of damaging your hair with blending techniques. Plus, those salon visits are expensive, and there’s a ton of upkeep for you to do in between.
- You will avoid the horrible grow out from short hair to a longer length.
- Fewer salon visits equal more money in your pocket because there is less upkeep with long hair.
- Hairstyle options! You can leave your hair loose, braid it, and do a ponytail or bun.
- It’s fun to twirl long locks.
Straight Hair vs Curly & Natural Hair
Whatever type of hair you have, there are two main advantages and disadvantages to keeping your hair long during the transition. As follows:
- Straight hair’s advantage is it takes two years to reach the shoulders.
- Its disadvantage is the demarcation “aka skunk line” stands out in an even line around the head.
Curly and Natural Hair
- The advantage is the skunk line blends in the curls/coils without an even line.
- Curly/natural hair disadvantage is it takes longer to grow in length because of the shrinkage. At two years, the shoulder hair length can shrink anywhere between the chin to the roots.
How to Handle Polite Hair Trolls
Are you wondering what a polite hair troll is? It’s a term I came up with to describe judgmental people who give unsolicited hair advice in a nice manner. There will be at least one or more people who will make comments when you stop dying your hair. I wrote a blog on How to Deal with Unwanted Advice and Comments. And I would recommend reading Katie Goes Platinum’s article on this topic.
Women in Facebook groups are supportive of other women who experience negative feedback on allowing their natural hair color to grow in. What shocked me was some of these supportive women became polite hair trolls to women who are going gray cold turkey with long hair.
I’ve experienced unsolicited advice to chop my hair and other unhelpful tips, which are really their judgmental opinions. This taught me NOT to do the following two responses:
- Stick up for myself as the woman will be offended, because she her comment is helpful. Or tell me that I’m rude because I dared to make a boundary.
- Explain why I’m going gray cold turkey with long hair. However, that’s time-consuming. And none of these strangers’ business.
The method that does work is reporting the comment to the group administer. But what I like to do is to delete their comments. It feels empowering to watch these strangers’ unsolicited advice disappear. In some cases, you may need to block her as you would an impolite hair troll.
Despite the tougher route of going gray cold turkey with long hair, it’s worth the trip. Other women and I who chose this journey have gained self-confidence, created healthy boundaries, and learned patience. Plus, our hair looks awesome!
*Originally posted February 27, 2022