Grooming & Style

A Few Gray Hairs Showing Up?

BY: Judith Rasband • Feb 23, 2020

“The nerve of some people’s kids,” my father used to say in response to a smart crack or bit of biting wit from me or my brother or sisters.

But it’s not only kids who make nervy remarks.  Seated across from me at a church dinner, a beautiful white-haired woman exclaimed, “Why Judi, did you know you’re getting gray hair?  You really are!”

(Have you ever choked on a dry breast of roast chicken before?  Get an off-hand remark like that and you will.)

With eyes glued to their plates, the entire party at my table listened for my response.  But the woman wasn’t through.

“Mine went white so beautifully,” she continued.  “You really ought to think about dyeing yours Judi.  You’d look so much more attractive.”

So what’s a woman to do? Should she – if she wants to appear attractive feel duty bound to dye her hair the moment she sees the gray?  Not on your life!  Many women are more willing than ever before to keep their naturally gray hair.

Many women who have grayed prematurely have found it’s great to be gray when you’re young.  It’s so different, so unexpected.  It becomes a mark of individuality, regardless of whether it comes at the temples, in a stunning streak or an all-over salt and pepper pattern.

Other women, secure with themselves and with their age, have discovered that gray is more flattering. It’s nature’s way of adding lightness to the face, which is especially becoming as the skin loses some of its youthful brightness.

For some, the contrast between gray or white hair and olive or very warm-hued skin can be gorgeous, even glamorous.

Working women have discovered their gray hair gives them more credibility on the job.  They are treated with more respect.  Whether working in the home, the community or in business, women are busy.  Keeping the gray saves countless hours at the hairdresser, not to mention money.

But let’s face it, gray hair is a symbol of age.  It can make you look older.  If your gray hair happens to look dull, drab and old, chances are you feel dull, drab and old.  In that case, consider a change.

What to do depends on the original color and amount of gray in your hair.  Granted, it’s easier to mask the gray hair if your hair is blonde or beige to begin with.

If that’s the case, while your hair is still in the process of graying, you can have a beautician highlight the hair around your face.  Going further, a beautician can artfully luminize, streak or wave highlights throughout your hair.  Because natural hair color is really a mixture of many colors, it’s a subtle and natural-looking way to lighten your hair and mask the gray.  Roots are less noticeable as they grow out and you can color less often.

Once your hair is entirely gray, you can have it toned.  The result is usually soft and pretty beige.  If you prefer, it can be rinsed with a golden blonde.  A redhead can use a pink-toned blonde rinse for effective results.

Those of us with naturally dark hair have fewer options.  We can rinse, but the color seldom completely covers they gray.  Better to tint, but even then, one flat overall color usually results.

You can, if you have dark hair, luminize or streak your hair before you tint.  Several gradations of mixed color result and eliminate the flat look.  The cost is more, but may be worthwhile to some.

Avoid an obviously dyed look.  Your skin may also be losing pigmentation and hair coloring too dark or too bright only makes you look pale and sickly or cheap and harsh.  The contrast is too great.  Tone it down.

Avoid the bright and brassy blonde, platinum blonde, rust or pinky red hues.  They smack of artificial attempts to regain lost youth.

If your hair is gray and you think you want to try another color, experiment with a variety of wigs before you decide.

As for me, did I run out and quickly dye my hair?  Not I.  But the woman sitting next to me did!

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