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Going gray gracefully

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The first time people spot a few silver strands they typically go scrambling down the beauty aisles to purchase whichever hair dye promises gray coverage. But after years of dying your hair at home, or having it done every 6 weeks or so in the salon, you may be at the point where you’re thinking gray hair might not be so bad. Going natural with your gray hair can actually be very striking and it may even get you more noticed! A striking head of gray hair turns heads, and there are products and tricks that can make it remarkable!

Many of my friends are at the age of becoming tired of the routine of coloring their hair every 4 to 6 weeks and I’m getting asked for help more than I wish I had to admit. It may seem like an over-whelming endeavor, but it won’t be when your guided by an experienced hair colorist. If your on the fence and would like a push, think of these things; yes, a great hair color can be beautiful on any woman but, gray regrowth is anything but flattering. And by going natural with your gray hair, you are essentially embracing your beauty!

Here are some tips on how to make the transition:

First and foremost, do some research to find an experienced hair colorist. The transition from dyed hair to your natural gray will be different for everyone depending on your hair color, length, and texture. Also, you will need to consider how long you are willing to spend with the process. Do you want it done more slowly over time, so it seems like a more natural transition? Or are you willing to cut your hair short to hurry the transition? The ideal solution is finding an experienced hair colorist who can gradually blend your hair into its natural gray shade.

Although blending gray hair into dyed hair is one of the most natural ways of going gray, if your hair is blonde you can get away with letting it grow out.

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Light blondes are the luckiest of all when going natural with their gray hair, they are usually free to let the gray grow in without anyone the wiser. Blonde hair is close enough to gray that it won’t look as unnatural as it would if your hair is darker. Darker blondes can use some help blending the gray hair with highlights or even an all over lighter blonde dye and then using a temporary dye that fades out until it’s not needed anymore.

Brunettes and redheads need a little more hand-holding when going natural. They can gradually highlight their hair to a pale blonde that can be grown out into gray. Your colorist may use bleach and foil the hair lighter over a period of time, or foil and tone the hair to a flattering shade that blends with the gray. That method works well for many women who want to go more slowly into the transition.

You may be able to save some $$ by using a temporary color or rinse in-between visits to your colorist. These colors can only darken the hair temporarily but they can stain the gray which gradually shows through as it grows out.

There are many ways to go natural with your gray hair so, here are some more ideas for going gray. Before making the big change you should have a consultation or two with a professional. Cost, maintenance, and cutting the length of your hair are all factors to consider. Going natural with your gray hair can be easier if you have your goals in mind and both you and your colorist understand what needs to be done.

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Barb Quinn
By: Barb Quinn

Barb Quinn has been a professional hairstylist for over 30 years and was a pioneer as an Internet hairstyle commentator starting her first hairstyle web site in 1999. Since then Barb has established herself as a nationally recognized hair designer, educator, and freelance writer. Thousands of women each day follow Barb's hairstyling wit and wisdom on her highly successful blogs The Hairstyle Blog and Visual Makeover In 2011 The Hairstyle Blog was selected as Top Beauty Blog by BeautySchool.com.