I am a fan of gray hair. There is something that is truly alluring about a shiny silver mane sported in a classy, chic style. However not everyone has the fabric, the skin, or the desire to go the route of the ‘silver fox’.
For some, gray hair signifies something completely different, and its swift concealment is the only solution.
Ranging from the rare gray peaking through, to the full silver mane, pick the stage of cover that is right for you:
Stage One – The First Gray Hair
This is the peek-a-boo stage when you see a few pop up here and there. Firstly; tweezing one does not make two grow back, that’s a myth! It simply means that you have now crossed the threshold into becoming fertile ground for the little guys to sprout.
Since there are only a few here and there, consider semi permanent color options as they will not do too much alteration to your natural color (unless you want them to), and they will ‘stain’ your new color-challenged follicles. Even if the grays are not completely covered, the staining action makes them appear slightly ‘highlighted’ (per se) and will still be forgiving. If total coverage is your goal, move on to stage two.
Stage Two – The Gray Invasion
This is when you realize your uninvited guests are here to stay. This is when it’s time to seek a more permanent solution. There are many color options and this can be a fun opportunity to explore new styles and colors.
There are a couple of things to consider however; firstly, gray hair is often (and no one is sure why) more course and unruly and has a more difficult time adhering as opposed to your natural. The good news is there are many colors that are formulated for gray hair coverage that have a double dose of pigment. There are also additives and drops you can add to the formula that allow color to better cover (these are mainly professional options).
The second point is that if you ever thought your gray hair grows slowly; start coloring it. Your regrowth will show you directly how fast your hair grows. If you have not colored before, start to consider that you will now have a new category in your beauty budget!
Stage Three – There’s No Hiding From The Grays
This is when you find you are pretty much ‘salt and pepper’ (can’t anyone come up with a more flattering term?) or going totally gray. This is where you have to decide whether you are going to embrace the gray or continue to color (see stage two) – but assuming you opt for continual color (which is why I am here), I offer you these considerations.
Highlights are very forgiving in gray-dominated hair and adding streaks of blonde shades add a hint of youthful freshness (choose a couple for balance). Also, against the background of gray hair, they are much more forgiving in retouches. Some also opt for lowlights.
This is where you can add darker streaks back into the hair to start to incorporate the shades of days gone by back into your look. This allows your new color to play nicely with the gray that has taken over.
Whether you color your hair, and for how long, is a personal decision. How you perceive the appearance of gray is also a personal ponderance. Whether you reach for the bottle and brush, or simply nod in the satisfaction that you are fine the way you are, gray hair is simply another phase of life. For me, it can turn gray, as long as it doesn’t turn loose!Covering Gray Hair - A Simple Guide,
Barbara Emerson says
I have a permenant burgundy color in my hair, but it didn’t color the gray, What do you recommend? My hair is normally black. I’m African American. It looks awful. Should I go back to black and let my natural color come out? My complexion is dark.