Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Caring For Your Gray Hair

By Melissa Colabella

More than 40% of Americans have gray hair before their 40th birthday.

There are multiple reasons for going gray, or shall we say, pigment-less. If you've ever plucked out one of your stray gray's you have seen that it's actually not gray at all, but a white hair that lacks pigment. The appearance of this white hair amongst a bundle of ashy brunette hair appears gray.

There are several ways of caring for the salt amongst your pepper.

    • "Gray" hair is usually more course than pigmented hair. Be sure to condition regularly and use a styling product containing moisture. Remember, if your hair is styled well, healthy and shiny, it will look great regardless. 
    • Neutralize tones with specialized shampoos. Silver shampoos contain blue-to- violet pigments to neutralize the tones on brassy, yellowed white hair. The sun acts like bleach, removing the blue molecules in the hair. Smoking, the water you shower with, and pollution can also be factors. Try Aveda's Blue Malva, L'Oreal's White Color Depositing Shampoo, Phyto's Phytargent Whitening Shampoo, or Clairol's Shimmer Lights to name a few. 
    • Speaking of smoking, don't smoke. If lung cancer wasn't enough to make you quit, be vain about it. Smoking greatly increases the likelihood and amount of graying
    • Don't color it yourself. The likelihood of choosing your own boxed "Just For Men" color to match your natural shade is as impossible as me becoming a professional NBA star. Blue-Black is not natural looking, and unless you are 100% white, you risk colorizing fiascoes when mixing pre-made shades with your natural remaining pigment. Ask you stylist for options. Coloring technology has evolved. You can chose temporary colors that wash out to avoid roots, or demi-permanent colors that translucently blend color into the white, making it less noticeable. Your stylist can also focus on sections such as your temples, leaving the majority, therefore coloring the hair gradually and preventing a shock response from everyone at your office. 

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