Sure, gray hair seems to be making a comeback in Hollywood – did you see Kelly Osbourne's recent gray locks?! – but most women avoid the straggly little buggers like the plague.
Weigh your options
We're showing you your best options for dealing with your shades of gray.
Once upon a time, gray hairs used to be like battle scars: They showed a woman was dignified and wise, after all. Nowadays, women are pretty terrified of slipping into the silver zone. We chatted with Justine Piecuch, Stylist at Boston's renowned Jeffrey Lyle Salon, to help you tackle the grays and we're dishing all the details!
What not to do
You've probably been warned that if you pluck a gray hair, more will grow back. We're not so sure about that, but Piecuch does tell us that getting all tweezer-happy isn't a good thing. "Tweezing them is not necessary. When they grow back in, they'll stick straight up causing the whole world to really know what's going on."
What to do
Whether you decide to cover up your hair with a whole new shade or simply get strategic about covering them up, Piecuch says there's an easy solution for everyone: "There's an option for everyone -- whether you have black, brown or blonde hair, are a six week or a 12 week type of client."
Since gray hair can leave skin looking dull, coloring it has many benefits. A new, fresh color can take years off your age, bring vibrancy and richness to your natural skin, and make wiry gray hair soft and manageable.
"The great thing about color is it can almost always be fixed or altered," Piecuch says. "Trust your stylist to pick out the best color for you and together work on a schedule so you're always looking your best."
What are my options?
Enough talking! Let's check out the best options for dealing with your grays.
For the commitment-phobes:
Maintenance level: These options require the least upkeep and are great for women in the six week maintenance bracket.
If you're not ready to fully commit to a new hair color but are still bothered by your grays, Piecuch says you have a few options. "Highlighting (either balayage or foiling) will add some brightness to the hair and the gray will blend in with them," she says. "If you're extremely gray but don't plan to be at the salon often, this will be the best for upkeep. With this option, when your roots come in they won't be as noticeable.
Another alternative is to low light, adding your natural color back in and basically turning back the clock a few years. With this option, you'll still have grays but there will be less of them.
For the in-betweeners
Maintenance level: This most common coloring option lasts four to six weeks.
If you want to get rid of grays but aren't ready to commit to a new color totally, demi permanent color is the best option for you! "This is the best gray blending service," Piecuch says. "The color lasts four to six weeks and then slowly fades off the hair, leaving no regrowth lines."
Another bonus? Piecuch says that all demi permanent color lines are usually ammonia-free and are very gentle on the hair. Plus, it's usually the quickest option, and the hair is left in shiny healthy condition.
For the risk takers:
Maintenance level: Depending on how much gray you have, this option usually requires a four to six week upkeep routine.
"When you're ready to fully commit, it's time for permanent color. This will cover any piece of gray that's on your head and no one will ever know the difference," Piecuch says.
Since regrowth can be very obvious, Piecuch recommends pairing this service with a highlight "to keep the color looking dimensional and minimize the line of the new root and the previously colored hair."
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