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Going Gray – A New Sensation

Going Gray – A New Sensation
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By Mary Cowser

Many people, myself included, feel that going gray is synonymous with letting go of our youth. We do not mind getting older, but we do mind looking older. Furthermore, we fear that letting our hair go gray will give the impression that we’re no longer concerned with our appearance. Personally, I feared I would suddenly transform into an old lady. Regardless of the date on my birth certificate, I am still 30-years-old on the inside and I feared that gray hair would abruptly take that away. As a result, many of us continue the expensive and painstaking process of retouching our roots every few weeks.

Then a few months ago, famous people began showing up on the red carpet with gray hair. Surprisingly, most of them looked stunning; however, I wondered if it was because they could pay people to make them beautiful. Most of us do not possess that luxury; therefore, we presume it can’t possibly work for us.

Nevertheless, to my amazement, ordinary people with gray hair began to emerge …tons of them. Perhaps wealth is not required to pull this off after all. Try searching “gray hair” on Pinterest or Google. The result is stunning women and men with various shades of silky gray hair. Have you seen Richard Gere lately? Furthermore, young women such as Rihanna, Nicole Richie, and Kelly Osbourne are dying their hair gray and it’s adorable.

The more people I saw with this luxurious shimmering hair, the more captivated I became. If Jamie Lee Curtis, Emmy Lou Harris, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Richard Gere, and especially all of those regular people could do it, then why couldn’t I? I declared, “I am done. There will be no more dying of my roots.”

I have been at it for about three months now.  When I began, my hair was dyed bright red. Gray hair comes in different shades such as white, silver, and slate gray. Mine is white. Therefore, you can imagine the striking contrast alongside the bright red hair. It was like a flashing neon sign on my head saying, “Dye me, please, dye me.” Growing it out that way would have been quite unattractive to say the least; therefore, I required an alternative.

How to Make the Transition

There are numerous ways to transition to your natural gray. The best choice for you depends on your individual hair.

You can go cold turkey and just let it grow; however, if you have been dying it dark, the result will be similar to mine. The contrast between the dyed hair and your natural hair will be significant; especially if you’re natural hair is white. Although, if it’s salt and pepper, you might be able to pull it off.

One of the most popular techniques is to remove the dye and then tone it to a lighter shade that will blend in as it grows. You should know this technique is very damaging to your hair. It will require some deep conditioning treatments and frequent trims as it grows.

There are products that are a perfect solution for hiding gray roots on the crown and the front of your hair. They are available in various shades and come with an applicator such as a mascara type brush or a sponge applicator. Other products of this type are cover sticks and powders. I prefer the powder, which has no drying time.

The technique probably used most is putting light blonde or platinum streaks throughout your hair, which is the technique I applied. This works especially well if your natural color is still salt and pepper. Again, this technique can be very damaging to your hair.

There are temporary rinses that can help your hair blend with the gray. I’m using a product named “Fanci-Full,” which is available in numerous shades from which to choose, depending on the colors you are trying to blend. It is available in a liquid or mousse. Since I bleached my hair to light blonde, the color Silver Lining works great to blend my roots and the blonde. This product rinses out the next time you wash your hair.

Some people are bleaching just the top crown area of their hair to a platinum shade. That is the area where your roots show the most; therefore, it helps to counteract the contrast and is actually quite attractive.

Other solutions could include wearing wigs, hats, and scarfs. So you see, even though it’s not an easy process, there is a multitude of creative methods to progress through the transition.

Is Going Gray for You?

Gray hair is not for everyone. Even if it’s what you desire, there’s a possibility it will be unflattering. If you are unsure, there are a couple of things to try before you commit.

Go to a wig salon and try on wigs. Choose wigs in a shade closest to your natural gray. This also gives you the opportunity to try out different lengths and styles. For instance, if your hair is long, you can check out how you look in short gray hair. Cutting your hair is one way to speed up the growing out process so you may want to consider this option.

Another fun way is by going to an online virtual makeover program. Goodhousekeeping.com has a great one. You upload a photo of yourself and then try on different hair colors, lengths, and styles. They do not have the color gray; however, they do have platinum blonde, which will give you a good depiction of the final result. Its best to choose a photo of yourself facing straight on and if possible, with your hair and bangs pulled back.

As for my hair, I’m estimating about a year to grow it out since I’m attempting to maintain its length.The more it grows, the more excited I become about the big step I’m taking. I no longer see it as abandoning my youth. The more I see that silvery white hair growing out, the more I feel that out of the multitude of colors my hair has been in my life, this one is the best.

 

 

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