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Gray Hair - To Color or Not To Color


Covering Gray Hair Color or Not?

Covering Gray Hair Color or Not?

Gray hair is one of the most color resistant types of hair, thus many women decide to go natural rather than attempt to hide their gray. While some women look tremendous with gray or white hair, others feel it is simply a reminder that they are aging.

Gray hair is notorious for being stubborn, thus it is usually more difficult to get rid of than ordinary hair. One of the reasons gray hair is so challenging is it is a different texture than normal hair. Gray hair usually grows in coarser than normal hair because it lacks pigment. Thus, many colors have a hard time attaching to gray hair.

Some women find that when coloring gray hair, the color takes but only lasts a few days. Fortunately if you prefer color to the natural look, there is still hope. The key to coloring gray hair is softening hair so it doesn’t appear as course. This will help open the hair cuticle so color is more easily accepted on the hair shaft.

One way to do this is by applying a 20% solution of peroxide to gray hair. You can leave the solution on for up to ten minutes. Once this step is complete, normally you can apply any color you like.

That said coloring gray hair is tricky, and no two gray hairs are alike. You may be only slightly gray, or you may be 50% gray. If you try coloring your hair without pretreating it the color will usually only take to the non gray areas.

Many women seek out the expertise of a professional hair care stylist when dealing with gray. Their stylist can talk with them about completely covering their gray, partially covering their gray and even changing their color completely.

Professional Treatment For Gray Hair
Your stylist may choose among several different approaches for treating your gray hair. Some prefer to add highlights and lowlights to provide natural contrasts in the hair. This helps new grays blend more easily. This is an often selected choice for women that are not yet completely gray. Some will work to recreate your original pre-gray hair color, while still others will work to just blend the gray you do have.

Here are some things you might want to consider if you decide to try and hide your gray:
  • Cost to upkeep. If you plan to hide your gray, you’ll have to pay frequent upkeep to maintain the color your stylist produces.

  • Initial financial output. Usually the first consultation and treatment cost more than follow up visits.

  • Your long term needs. If you go in when partially gray and plan to continue coverage when you are 100% gray, you’ll likely end up spending more in the long term.
Remember if you plan to select a completely new color you may have to invest even more time and money in your hair.

Now, you can always decide to try and cover your gray on your own at home. Most over the counter products provide temporary color correction. While you can select a permanent color, you may be surprised if the results don’t come back as you’d expect. Clairol offers their Loving Care and Lasting Color varieties. These are formulated to help blend gray hair away without impacting your natural color. They are designed for people with up to 50 percent gray hair.

If your hair is grayer, you might consider using Revitalique by Clairol. This formula purportedly blends away 100 percent of gray, even if your hair is traditionally very color resistant (as most gray hair is). If you plan to do it yourself, stick with a color that is close to your natural color.

Going Natural
Of course, rather than mess with any color at all you could elect to go natural. Women are beautiful after all, in all their forms. A gray haired woman is just as appealing as an artificial brunette. Some women look fantastic as they gray. As a matter of fact, it’s largely a matter of attitude. Natural gray actually comes in many shades including silver and white. In fact, many women consider gray chic and hip.

If you do plan to go gray, you might consider coloring until you are about 40 percent gray. This will help ease your transition to gray. Going gray does take time. It isn’t something that happens overnight. Some women opt to cut their hair short and then let it grow out as they go gray. One way to ‘phase in’ gray is to add some low lights to your hair to help minimize the appearance of your roots as your hair grows out.