Ok, you guys have inspired me! I'm ready to start this graying journey! I think I'll go the shade lighter route. But after reading about all of your experiences, I'm still a bit unclear as to just how that works. Can one of you ladies who chose this method tell me how it works? I have medium brown hair now.
Originally Posted by lionese
the first time i was going to go gray, several years ago, i started with the shade lighter technique. my original hair, before gray, was darkest brown, some people called it black. each time i got the roots touched up, she went a shade lighter. after a few times i hated the look and went back to coloring.

almost two years ago i decided to bite the bullet and just go cold turkey. i thought i might do lowlights somewhere along, but then decided not to color in any way as then i'd have fading, touchups, etc., everything i wanted to avoid.

i am happy i did the cold turkey way. for you, with a medium brown, it won't be as bad as mine was. and, i don't know what percentage of gray you have. if it is more of a salt & pepper, the grow in won't be terrible.
i used headbands to pull back my hair. at the very first it covered the roots, then i let the white show around my face, the back was black. for some very strange reason i got tons of compliments on it -- the whole weird look i mean! of course, i also got a surprising amount of friends and strangers voluntarily coming over and saying how great the white/gray looked against my face.

all in all, it's not as bad as it seems, tho i will admit there were tough days.
in the end, i am very happy i did it and very happy i did not bother with any color at all.
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: [I] curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj aloe fix gel, cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab.
sealants - jane carter nourish & shine