Growing Out Gray Hair

Growing Out Gray Hair
This reader wants to transition from tint to her natural salt & pepper as painlessly as possible. Her letter reveals the possibility of another problem - thinning hair, so in addition to answering her first request, I have some suggestions for the possible hair loss.

"I am 58 years old and have been coloring the gray in my dark brown hair for many years - I'm probably 50% gray when the roots of my hair show prior to coloring. Since my hair is fine and straight I also get perms approximately three times a year. In the past year I've noticed that my hair is thinning and I believe that it may be time to allow my hair to go gray naturally. Is
there any process that may accomplish this so that I don't have to look awful while awaiting a "salt & pepper" look?"
Thank you, Andrea

Challenge: Andrea wants her natural hair-color back and wants the process to be painless.
I suggest camouflaging the gray roots using a low-light or color-weaving procedure.

1.Let your natural hair-color grow out as far as you can stand it. This may be ½ inch or 1½ inches depending on you. At that point, go to your hairdresser to have the roots "low-lighted" To accomplish this a tint, matching the ends of your hair is used. A low-light is created just as a high-light is, using foil or a frosting cap, except that a tint is used instead of a lightener to color certain strands of hair. The effect is to "break up" the root area, taking away the line dividing roots from tinted hair.

Occasionally the procedure may need to be repeated a second time in one or two months. Fewer low-lights should be added at this time. In this way you will become accustomed to your new salt & pepper look as it grows. Your natural hair-color will soon be long enough that the old tinted hair can be cut off.

2. After your hair has been low-lighted, it is helpful to choose a new shorter, layered haircut. This will remove some of the old tinted hair and reveal more of the natural hair that you want to show. Wearing your hair long will prolong the process of getting rid of the unwanted tint.

Going from tinted hair to natural is never easy, but the low-lighting process will make Andrea’s transition as painless as possible.

There is one more concern mentioned in Andrea’s letter that I want to address.
"I've noticed that my hair is thinning"
While it is possible that the combination of hair color and permanent wave is causing the thinning hair, it is just as possible that the cause is a naturally occurring hormone, DHT. This is the same hormone that causes male-pattern baldness, usually stopping at thinning hair in women. We no longer have to put up with the effects of DHT. New discoveries are being made and
remedies are available. Read Stop Hair Loss and Male Pattern Baldness
Low Level Light Therapy

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