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Covering Grays

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Covering Grays
Covering grays is a matter of choice and preference. Sport the look that you are most comfortable with - be it flaunting your grays, highlights and lowlights.

Women hardly need a reason to color their hair. Be it for covering grays or opting for a whole new look or sporting a trendy hair color fashion – there are way too many reasons to want to color hair.

A visit to a salon or opting to do on your own in less than 20 minutes, in the privacy of your dwelling with the help of D-I-Y kit; you can have the hair color you want. But it lasts up to 28 shampoos or about 4 weeks only. Thereafter, your hair roots would reveal the natural color! The camouflage begins to wane.

Science of hair color

  • For the baby in the womb, hair starts to grow around 30th week of pregnancy.

  • A baby can end up having a beautiful shade of hair inherited from both parents.

  • Brown hair is the most common hair color in the world.

  • Blonde is one of the most desirable hair colors.

  • Pigment melanin determines dark hair color, brown and black.

  • Hair color can change with person's age.

  • A surprising hair color is attributed to recessive genes in one of the parents.

  • A hair strand has about 14 various trace elements, including gold.

  • Loss of pigment cells in hair follicles turns hair gray.

  • Genes play a role in turning hair gray.

  • Caucasians tend to grey faster and earlier than Asians and Blacks.

  • Dying hair does not turn it gray.

  • Smoking contributes to hair graying earlier.

  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy affect hair.

  • Plucking does not lead to more gray hair.

Hair coloring is instinct driven

The need to alter is constant with men and women. The year 2015 has seen more Google searches for men's hair style. More men are now eager to search and select a trendy hair style and hair color. Psychologically, the very first decision common in men and women eager for a change is opting to change hair style and hair color.

Many prefer not to stress over hair. They remain in a comfort zone where they are committed to au natural embracing grays. And looking absolutely incredible - for these people, gray is the new black. They hate living under artificial coloring and prefer to embrace gray hair with confidence. Confidently sporting gray is by itself a fashion statement.

But why gray hair

Gray hair isn't gray at all. Melanocyte is a cell that produces the pigment melanin. Lack of melanin turns hair gray. The more the melanin present, darker is the hair color. The less melanin, lighter the hair color. With advancing age, the body's ability to produce the pigment melanin wears out. As such hair does not turn gray. The new hair follicles contain less melanin. Eventually these hair follicles with less melanin become transparent and look silver, white or gray. This transparent hair stands out amongst the darker hair and gives the appearance of gray hair. In reality, the hair is not gray but transparent.

Don't blame aging

Aging is the main reason for grays. Genes determine the age when hair begins to turn gray. This may not hold true when an 8 year old or even a teenager develops gray hair. Besides genetic conditioning and ethnicity, there are many contributory factors influencing hair graying.

  • Vitiligo (a skin condition)

  • Smokers are prone to premature graying

  • Hormonal imbalance

  • Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism

  • Malnutrition

  • Pernicious anemia

  • Nutritional deficiency

  • Using electric dryers and concentrated hair dyes

  • Genetic disorders

  • Chemotherapy and radiation

  • Faulty diet and mental worries

  • Lack of B vitamins, iron, copper, iodine in diet

  • Stress

  • Bad hair care products

  • Poor scalp conditioning

  • Abuse of hair

  • Environmental factors.

No grays for me

Irrespective of whether gray and silver hair is trending, you may decide not to embrace gray hair. As a personal expression you have decided to cover gray hair, a custom that existed since the dawn of civilization.

The new technology on the horizon is to actually restore melanin to your hair. At a very nascent stage, implantation of the melanocytes is indeed a far better solution than traditional methods. But it is a costly technique and not feasible. Rather than just going gray because of time constraint and feasibility factor consider ways to cover grays, a personal choice made by personal preference. After all, 75% of women in United States use hair color.

Ways to cover gray hair

You are probably exploring ways to cover gray hair. Consider quick, easy and low-cost options at the salon or home. Covering grays can't get simpler. No mess, no drip but the end-result is close to feeling natural.

Dye: Dyeing the hair is the most obvious choice. As gray hair is vulnerable to the drying effects of chemicals, choose a dye which is ammonia-free for it secures hair from damage.

What can color do to gray hair? Some colors lighten hair while others make it darker. Good hair color dyes to cover grays are blonde, dark blonde, platinum and ombre. Account for your skin tone and eye color in choosing hair color. The color should complement them and cover your gray as well. Rather than dyeing the whole head, it would be faster to cover individual gray strands with a color that matches your natural hair color. Also, when the hair grows in, the roots will not be obvious.

Touch-up pen: This is purely a touch-up technique. When your hair is not fully ready for coloring; a hair color touch-up pen helps in coloring the gray roots that are just beginning to show. Without a trip to the salon, a temporary hair color in a pen is a quick fix for gray roots. It is a quick way to redeem your natural look just before an unscheduled meeting. The color would rinse out when you shampoo your hair.

Foolproof mousse: The advantage of using a hair color in mousse form is doing it in one-go. To try it out, just spread mousse in your hand and massage in the hair. The grey hair is camouflaged.

Let it glitter: Extend your fascination for all that is sparkling by adding glitter to hair roots. Not limited to fun loving teens with colored hair, you can stretch time before coloring appointments by adding glitter to colored hair. It is a popular way to cover up or conceal gray roots. All loose hair styles are fabulous with glitter but pairing with space buns can also make a statement. So easy to wear, just add gel and dab a handful of glitter on it. You can wash it out easily in a shower.

Highlights and Lowlights :If looking to retain your natural tones and at the same time ready to take gray hair to the next level, highlights or low lights can just do it by adding dimension to the hair. Highlights and low lights are ideal for anyone who is fond of au natural; doesn't mind some of the gray showing. It is a twin delight, to amp color as well as style. It is more modern, fresh, appealing and an interesting way to embrace the natural gray hair without going completely gray.

For best results, at least the very first time, make an appointment with your hair salon. Talk about color, time, money as well as your needs.

Fashionistas have over the years observed that gray hair looks best with pink, olive and dark complexion. The combination of gray hair with sallow (yellow in color) skin tone or pale looking skin makes the appearance dull, drained and washed-out.

Hair-dressers use foils or a highlighting cap to apply hair color to select individual strands. Most appropriate color would be a shade or two lighter than your original color. When the color is blended with highlights it is less obvious that you have colored your hair as your hair grows out. Highlights add depth and movement to your hair. It also stretches the time between trips to salon. The need to cover gray every month or so is done away with. You will only have to touch up your highlights every 3 months.

Yet another approach is adding low lights. If hair is less than 50% gray, a demi-permanent treatment with low lights gets the most natural result. The process is similar to highlights, the difference is in choice of color, a shade or two darker than the original hair color.

The perfect formula is to choose from the three shades that are deeper than the current hair color. Lowlights is the perfect way to subtly add color throughout the mane and to blend away much of the gray. It doesn't hide gray hair but makes for a more natural appearance. For instance, black Low lights for gray hair ushers a real blending between the original natural hair and the gray hair.

Care for colored gray hair

The look conveys the truth, well-cared for or not. Gray hairs tend to be dry, brittle and wiry. Depending on choice of covering gray hair, look for ways to retain softness with right care.

  • Use an appropriate moisturizer, conditioner and shampoo

  • Scalp massage helps stimulate hair follicles and increase blood flow to the scalp.

  • Avoid using hair dryers.

  • Say no to heat styling, perming, hair accessories that will dry hair.

  • Top it with the perfect haircut and style.

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