Grey Hair Dye: Are You Ready to Go Grey?
Guess What? Grey Is In!
Yes, it really is! Grey hair is appearing on the catwalks and in the trendiest of salons. Guess who's gone gray recently? How about Nicole Richie, Rihanna, the Olson twins, and of course Stacey London and Jaime Lee Curtis. Have you been thinking about hopping on the grey train? Read on to learn more about silver locks and how to get them.
Looking for Grey Hair Dye?
Do you spell it "grey" or "gray?" Whether want something silver, pewter, platinum, sterling, or salt-and-pepper, you can find all kinds of shades to suit your needs.
It used to be that grey was the only shade you couldn't find, but that's changing. In the past, people wanted to cover the grey, but more and more women and men are now embracing it. Some think it contributes to a more elegant and classy look. Others have been dyeing their hair for years and are tired of the maintenance and expense. Still more are worried about health concerns associated with repeated hair coloring and want to go au naturale. Of course, many people admire the beautiful pewter and silver tones and just want lovely grey hair!
Take the Plunge: How to Go Grey
So, are you ready to take the plunge? Making the decision to go grey is a real relief for many women and can be very liberating. There are several approaches to "going grey," and one of them is sure to suit you.
- You can go to a professional hair colorist and have them dye your hair with light shades approximating a gray or silver tone. The advantage of doing it this way is that you will be able to discuss the different shades available with a professional and perhaps even see a wider selection of strand samples. The hair colorist can look at your current hair color and skin tone and make a recommendation for what would look best on you. The disadvantage is of course the price. You will easily pay upwards of $100, and possibly much more, to get your hair dyed professionally. If you plan to do it more than once, it will add up quickly. Still, if you are really unsure of how to approach the transition to gray, you're making a major color change, or you simply want to talk it over with someone in-the-know, then using a professional hair colorist is your best bet.
- Another approach is to use a temporary (semi-permanent) color on your hair. Luckily, this process is very easy to do in the comfort of your own home. From start to finish, you using a semi-permanent color takes less than an hour. Temporary colors last in the neighborhood of six weeks. You will have to do this until your natural color grows in completely. You will most likely have to bleach it first to get the color you want.
- Finally, consider cutting your hair short. There are so many cute hairstyles now that are on the shorter side that you are sure to find one you like. You can still use semi-permanent color every six weeks if you want.
What Causes Hair to Turn Grey?
Graying is a completely natural occurrence that happens to almost all of us. Some people start getting greys in their late teens or early twenties, while others start late into their forties.
Hair is made up of two parts— the root and the shaft. The root is what attaches the hair to the scalp. (Sometimes when we pull our hair out, we can see the bulbous root at the end.) It is surrounded by tissue called the hair follicle. Each follicle contains a number of cells that contain pigment. This pigment produces a chemical called melanin. Melanin dictates our hair color as well as our skin color. The more melanin, the darker the hair.
As we age, the amount of pigment in the hair follicle cells declines. This means less melanin is produced, which translates into less color and results in grey or white hair. Eventually, there is no color left and we experience a whole head of grey, white, or silver hair. This process can take more than a decade to complete. In other words, if you notice your first grey hairs in your late twenties, you may be well into midlife or even older before you have a full head of grey hair. You will likely notice a gradual change and eventually will either embrace the grey or decide to dye it.
If you always had dark hair, say black or dark brown, you will definitely be more aware of the graying process. If you are a natural blond or have very light brown hair, the greying will be less noticeable but will still occur. It's simply a natural part of the aging process.
This loss of pigment is what makes it so difficult to dye grey hair. Manufacturers have not been very successful in coming up with colors in the gray family that look natural when applied. Perhaps there will be more options soon since grey hair dyes weren't in high demand until recently.
Ensuring a Successful Transition to Grey
- If you decide to go with a permanent color, ask your colorist to use a brightener every six to eight weeks. This will soften the hair and make it less coarse, as well as remove the yellow tint sometimes associate with grey hair.
- Highlight your hair every three months or so to match the grey until you get the look you want.
- Add low-lights and blended color streaks until you get the look you want. This will ensure the gray hair blends in nicely with the colored hair.
- Distract! While you're in the awkward in-between stage, wear colorful and vibrant jewelry, scarves, and other accessories to take the focus off your hair.
Who Wants Grey Hair?
Remember, grey hair doesn't necessarily equate with being "old." It's a gorgeous color in its own right. Some Hollywood celebrities have even decided to embrace it. Anderson Cooper from CNN is known as "the silver fox." Jaime Lee Curtis has beautiful grey hair as does celebrity chef Paula Deen. Richard Gere went natural long ago and so did Stacey London of What Not to Wear. Even sexpot actress Sharon Stone has experimented with it!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.