Faux Real: Tips for Going Gray

Faux Real: Tips for Going Gray

Faux Real is a blog series written by Jeanna Doyle

There are many reasons to go gray through hair coloring. But, there are many women who stop coloring their hair and wish to let their hair go gray naturally. This can be a long, slow process. The results of how you will actually look with gray hair are not fully realized until you have waited months or even a year of growing out your gray hair. And while there are lots of cool videos with gray makeovers from salon professionals, what you don’t see is the time and money it takes to do so. Plus, depending on how long your hair is, you may need to sacrifice some length or you will have to repeat the salon process over and over until your own hair has fully grown in gray. Even once you have 100 percent grown out your gray, you will likely need some salon support to keep it from yellowing or to help manage texture. 

Wish by Ellen Wille in Pearl Rooted


Finding a great gray wig will not only let you know if you will look good in gray (spoiler: there is a gray wig color for everyone) but it can help you look your best while you commit to the awkward growing out process. 

Keys to Finding Your Gray

The best way to find a flattering color with any wig is to wear little to no makeup or foundation on your face. You want to find a wig color that is complementary to your skin tone, not a wig that requires heavy lifting on the part of makeup to make it work. When you try on wigs without wearing foundation, you can see how the wig color and the lighting affect your skin. Even if a wig is not your natural color, you want a flattering look. Yes, you can still wear eye makeup and lipstick but keep the skin clean and makeup-free just for try-ons–trust me; you will thank me later. Look for a wig color that in natural lighting makes your skin look pretty and flatters you without makeup. You also do not have to try to find the wig color your natural gray hair would be because only you and your hairdresser know that actual color. Just find a flattering shade and no one will question if it is your natural gray or not. 

Bethany by Rene of Paris

    Once you have chosen a wig color that is flattering, you can keep it natural and soft or add a little drama with some makeup. With the exception of blondes, the right gray will in most cases be lighter than your natural hair color. Either way, gray can offer you a subtle look or it can be a beautiful dramatic look.

    For understated glam, you can add a little definition to the brows. I like using a soft taupe or light brown color even for  blondes and redheads. The key is that the wig color you pick should be a little darker than your skin tone, so adjust the intensity of your makeup to match your skin. Want more drama? Try a deeper shade of the same colors or alter your brow color and intensify the makeup for your eyes and lips accordingly. 

    Upstage by Raquel Welch in RL51/61

    Makeup tips for a subtle look:

    • Definition over darkness! Keep brows well-groomed and defined; don’t go too dark. 
    • Always match your foundation to your natural skin tone, not to the wig.
    • Lip colors should be slightly darker than your natural lip color. If going with a lighter shade keep the lips well defined with a natural looking lip liner. 
    • Keep your eyeliner close to the lash line to create the illusion of thicker lashes.
    • Charcoal or dark brown mascara and liner may be more flattering than black mascara.

    Makeup tips for a dramatic look: 

    • Keep brows well defined: intensify the color a touch and stick to warm colors.
    • Lipstick can add color to your face. Use lip liner for a well-defined shape; bright is preferable. 
    • Keep foundation natural and match it closely to your skin tone, not to the wig. 
    • Add color to the skin with bronzer containing low or no shimmer.
    • Rich dark brown or black-brown eyeliner and mascara are most flattering. 

    I hope you enjoy these tips on going gray. Considering the alternatives, this could be a time and money saver that offers you an exciting new look. 


    About Jeanna Doyle

    Jeanna Doyle is the author of WigED, the first beauty book on wig selection. Doyle is also the co-founder of The Hopemore, a specialty spa in the flagship Neiman Marcus in downtown Dallas, Texas. The spa offers a full suite of luxury treatments as well as a full menu of services focused on oncology aesthetics. For more information on The Hopemore, visit TheHopemore.com. To purchase Jeanna’s book, visit WigED.com.


    Hi MaryEllen,

    We have experts that are happy to assist you with finding the right gray! We also offer virtual consultations.

    The Wig Experts

    The Wig Experts

    Hi Laney,

    Thank you! We are so happy that this article was helpful and will continue to do informative articles like this.

    The Wig Experts

    The Wig Experts

    Excellent idea. I would probably do that anyway but it’s nice to know that is the right way. I have very fair skin with pink undertones. I’d be interested in knowing which gray would be best for my skin color.

    MaryEllen Kimbrell

    Faux grey is the way to go- my stylist can never get the color right. Need to check out some grey wigs.


    Such great content! I’ve been trying to decide about going grey and this article was SO helpful.

    Aaron Appleby

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