Guest Author - Brandi Ford
It does not matter if your 24 or 45 gray hair can start coming in at any age. You look in the mirror and you start to notice some shimmering grays in your hair. Gray hair is simply hair that has lost its pigment; it is a natural process of aging and can make you look older than you feel.
To keep their youthful appearance most women turn to hair color to help hide or blend away the grays.
When blending away or completely covering the gray hairs there is several things to consider before jumping in.
First, Consider if you want to color your hair at home with a hair coloring kit or if you are willing to have it colored professionally. Coloring gray hair can be tricky and blending it is even harder to do yourself.
If you are going to do it yourself make sure you start with a temporary color so that you can try it out first to make sure you like it. Choose a gray coverage brand that is gentle and easy to apply.
Avoid Ash toned colors these are colors that have a green undertone. Using this tone on hair that is void of pigment allows the green undertone to show.
Stay away from any kind of bleaching of the hair. Doing this yourself can lead to damaging the hair and scalp or creating any hair that is not white to turn a brassy color.
There is a lot to consider when coloring gray hair. Do you want complete coverage? A partial coverage blend? A whole new color? Is your gray resistant and in need of pre-softening? What is the cost? What about long term care and environmental factors? Let's take a look at some of these questions to consider.
Complete gray coverage when the hair has more than 25% gray will need to be touched up approximately every 4-6 weeks to avoid having a gray band at the root. This is the easiest to achieve at home.
Partial coverage is blending the grays so that you do not need to touch up so often. This can give you about six – eight weeks between coloring. It requires a highlighting and low-lighting technique that is hard to do at home. But as it grows out there is not a band of color so it looks much more natural.
Is your gray resistant? Gray hair tends to be coarser in texture and has a tighter compact cuticle. If you start noticing that your grays are not easily covered there are several things you can try at home. Try using a color that is just a shade darker than you normally use. Also, leave the color on the hair for 45 minutes instead of 30.
If your grays are still not easily covered than you may need pre-softening done before coloring the grays. This requires a deposit of a 20% peroxide solution to be applied to the hair for about five – ten minutes to help open the cuticle before coloring. This should not be done at home on yourself.
Other things to consider is the cost of coloring your hair, long term care, and environmental factors. Do you live in an environment in which your hair will constantly fade? If you do than you will need to do more than a touch up on the new growth each time you color.
Can you afford the cost of coloring your hair? If not then you can end up walking around with a gray at the roots and color on the ends of your hair. We have all seen this and it is not pretty.
Can you afford color enhancing or color preserving shampoos? These are all things to consider before diving into the world of color.
As always before coloring your hair you should not shampoo 24 hours prior so that the natural oils on your hair will give protection your strands.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions feel free to stop by the forum and ask.