When your first gray strands appear, you basically have two choices. You can try to cover them or you can accept them and make graying work to your advantage.
Possible reasons for choosing to hide gray hair:
You may feel that you look less attractive if your gray doesn’t look good with your skin tone.
Gray hair can make you look older than you feel. For many years, gray hair has been considered an unpleasant sign of aging, so many women decide to cover up gray because they want to regain a youthful look.
Five reasons to love gray hair:
- Women with gray hair look fashionable. Right now, silver hair hues are a hot trend among celebrities and young, fashionable individuals. More and more young women are visiting hair salons to request gray dye color services. This new, trendy fashion has inspired a growing number of elder women to quit coloring and wear their natural, gray hair color confidently.
- With the right hairstyle and proper maintenance your gray locks can look cool and appealing.
- Wearing your natural, gray hair can be a sign of self-confidence.
- You will reduce the amount of chemicals you take into your body.
- You will save time and money by eliminating professional color services and stopping the endless gray root battle.
What Causes Gray Hair?
Graying hair is generally related to the normal aging process. Premature graying of hair can be caused by many different factors including hereditary predisposition, autoimmune disorders, vitamin deficiency (especially B12), smoking, and stress. Graying occurs when the amount of melanin pigment that is generated by pigment-forming cells in hair follicles starts decreasing. For some people, graying begins around 25 years of age, while other people may discover their first gray hair in their 40s. Going gray is inevitable and, regardless of age, the process cannot be reversed.
Problems Associated with Graying Hair
Dryness: Going gray changes the texture of the hair. Gray hair is drier than pigmented hair because sebaceous oil glands become less active as you get older. Gray hair is also a rough texture and can be more prone to frizz and difficult to manage.
Commitment: Gray hair is less responsive to coloring than pigmented hair, so it may be a bit harder to get good coverage. For most women who make the choice to hide their gray, this means frequent visits to the salon for touch-ups, which can be time consuming and costly.
Discoloration: The cuticle layer of gray hair is very porous. Gray hair attracts pigments from the environment more readily than pigmented hair and can easily turn brassy.
Lifeless texture: Unpigmented hair lacks shine due to its uneven texture and lack of natural oils.
Brittleness: Gray hair is weaker and less smooth than other hair, which leads to an increased risk of breakage.
Proper Care of Gray Hair
You can’t stop the graying process, but you can do your best to retain healthy, soft and manageable hair. Getting a modern cut and using the right products makes it easier to go gray gracefully.
Shampoo for Gray Hair
To keep gray hair healthy, use a shampoo and conditioner designed to moisturize dry hair. Eliminate all sulfate-containing shampoos as they can increase dryness.
Unpigmented hair is vulnerable to discoloration caused by the sun, chlorine, or hard water. One of the easiest way to keep gray hair bright, is using a violet-colored shampoo and conditioner. Purple toning products are designed to take the yellow (brassiness) out of gray, as well as blonde and white hair.
A purple shampoo contains violet pigments which neutralize the unwanted brassiness that gray hair can develop. This shampoo deposits violet pigments onto the hair shaft, giving gray hair a brighter look and extra shine. You can start using a purple shampoo during the salt and pepper stage of your hair. Use this product once or twice a week in place of your regular, sulfate-free shampoo. Always follow with a regular conditioner to keep your hair moisturized. Apply a deep conditioning treatment weekly to restore smoothness and shine.
Styling Gray Hair
To maintain the integrity of your strands, avoid excessive heat styling and any harsh chemical treatments such as perming and straightening.
Be careful using heavy styling products such as waxes, pomades, and oily serums as they can build up on your hair and make it look dull.
Gray hair tends to look dry and lifeless. To add shine and smoothness to your gray locks, occasionally apply a glossing or glazing treatment.
To prevent damage and brassiness, stay out of direct sunlight and use a hair sunscreen when you are going to spend a day in the sun.
Styling gels made for gray hair help prevent white hair from developing a yellowish tinge and give your locks extra body and more manageability.
In addition to fighting yellow, a styling mousse designed for gray hair provides softness and manageability, while adding volume and shine to your locks.
A leave-in spray for gray hair moisturizes, brightens, smooths, and adds shine to all silver and gray hair.
Ask your colorist to help you find the best haircut to allow you to be stylish while flattering your face.
How to Transition?
If you have been dying your hair, there will be a transitional period until your color grows out. During the first few weeks, covering your roots with a root touch-up spray or powder can fix the problem.
Let your colorist help you during the grow-out phase. The transition will be smooth if you’re a natural blonde. For darker shades, a colorist may suggest you go lighter, as a first step in the transitional process, making the demarcation line between regrowth and dyed hair less noticeable.
Medical disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.