Many women mistakenly think that gray hair should automatically be colored, says Andre Walker, Oprah’s long time hair stylist. Actually, if styled correctly, gray hair can be quite attractive!
“Style is important because, if left long, gray hair can be overpowering. But styles above the shoulder or shorter can look great. If gray hair is not distributed evenly over the head (30% or more), then I think it should be colored. Anything less isn’t an attractive mix against your natural color,” says Walker.
Be Cautious of the Extreme
When coloring your hair, stay away from very dark or very light colors as you age. Extreme colors can be harsh. If your natural color is very dark, lighten it a couple of shades for a softer look. If you are blonde and color your hair, do NOT go lighter as you age! Many blondes who lighten their hair tend to lose sight of how light their hair really is and continue to go lighter and lighter, which in fact ages them. Stick with warmer shades of blonde.
Jenna Rabideau of Halo Salon & Color Lab says it is safe to go one shade lighter or two shades darker at home, but never more than that. (How many of us follow that rule? We should!) Anything else should be left to the pro, including any highlight or low light techniques. For very gray clients, rather than paying for a complete root touchup at the salon every few weeks, ask your colorist if she would recommend a home color similar to the one she uses on you. Mix according to directions then apply to the temples and the part using a clean mascara wand. This will easily extend your color service by three to four weeks.
Trust a Professional
Before making a huge change ask your colorist what would be involved if you decided to change your mind, then make your decision accordingly. If you are on the fence and backtracking isnt easy, then maybe you should think about it a bit longer!