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What Can I Do About Grey Hair?

Buying quality shampoos designed for greying hair can give your hairstyle a shinier, healthier look that goes beyond simple coloring.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2014
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The most successful way to handle grey hair depends on its color and texture as well as your overall look. If you find that your grey hairs suit you, there's no reason to use hair color to hide them. If, on the other hand, your greying hair seems to be washing out the color in your face, you may want to consider coloring your hair.

Greying hair is a natural part of the aging process, but some people go grey much earlier than others. If half of a person's hair turns grey before age 40, it's considered as premature greying. Many people don't have hair that grey until age 60 or older. Genetics, stress, smoking and some vitamin deficiencies can cause premature grey hair. If your face doesn't suit your grey hair color and you wish to try coloring your hairstyle, semi-permanent rather than permanent dyes are probably the best considerations.

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Permanent hair color lasts permanently and usually covers grey exceptionally well, but normal growth of the strands causes a noticeable line between the original shade and the dyed one. Due to harsh chemical ingredients such as ammonia, most permanent dyes can be extremely damaging to the hair. Semi-permanent colors are much gentler, plus they tend to add shine. It's also easier to experiment with different colors to cover your grey hair since a semi-permanent dye may last for only eight shampoos. There is also no noticeable line that is created with permanent colors as semi-permanent color just fades all over.

For men with shorter hair and side burns, a "salt and pepper" greying effect is often said to make some people look more distinguished. For women whose grey hair has a silver cast to it, the effects of greying hairs can be that of pretty strands of silvery highlights. White "cotton ball" types of greying hairstyles aren't usually considered attractive unless a person has darker skin coloring and stronger facial features to carry off the look well. White hair, as well as blue-grey locks, can make many skin tones look too pale or make dark lines on the face look even more noticeable.

Whether you choose to let your grey hair stay or have it colored, taking proper care of it is important. Buying quality shampoos designed for greying hair can give your hairstyle a shinier, healthier look that goes beyond simple coloring. If you do opt for color to cover your grey, it's best to get it colored by an experienced hair colorist for the best result.

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animegal
Post 9

@manykitties2 - If your mom had naturally blonde hair I would go with a bit more contrast now that she has gone totally grey. It would be pretty hard to see light blonde highlights amongst all that grey in my opinion.

I think that grey hair colour is one of the harder colours to accent, but if you get a good stylist you should be OK.

If you want to see a picture of someone who really works the blonde and grey look I would google some pictures of Diane Keaton. She's a gorgeous older actress and has always managed to be fashionable. Your mom may find a hair colour she likes by viewing her pictures.

manykitties2
Post 8

My mom has been thinking about highlighting her grey hair and I am not sure what advice to give her. She was a natural blonde so I find now that she has ash grey hair. I actually think the color is really beautiful, and even younger celebrities are dying their hair that color, but she really wants to add in some color.

Do you think it is best to highlight with her natural light blonde or should she go for a darker shade to create more contrast?

I'll be taking my mom to the salon when she is ready to go and before then I want to make sure she finds a look that suits her. I know how much a bad dye job can wreck your day.

Sara007
Post 7

I got my first grey hair at 17 and was pretty horrified when it appeared. Apparently most of my aunts have gone grey by the age of 35 and my mom was totally grey by 30. I think that getting grey hair early definitely has a genetic component to it.

I find that henna for grey hair does a great job of coloring my hair and giving it a lovely red color. The only thing you need to watch out for is cheap henna. Cheap henna will turn grey hair a light orange. It is a good idea to do a few tests strands before you go over your whole head to make sure you don't end up looking like a tangerine.

sunshined
Post 6

@golf07 - If you want to find out how you feel with colored hair, I would recommend you try a semi-permanent color.

You can find semi-permanent grey hair colors that will last for 5 washes, up to 3-4 weeks. I stretch mine out until 6-8 weeks before I need to color again. I will usually touch up the roots before that though.

What I like about a semi-permanent color is that it gradually fades away with each shampoo. This way there is not such a stark contrast between your roots and the rest of your hair. It has a nice way of blending in.

I really don't mind a little bit of grey, so this solution works best for me. It covers it up and blends it in so it doesn't stand out as much.

I figure as I continue to get older, I will keep getting more grey hair, and this will help slow down the process somewhat and keep it blended.

SarahSon
Post 5

I don't think there is any way I could let my hair turn grey. It doesn't bother me on other people, but I figure I don't need any help looking any older.

Maybe because I began getting grey hair earlier than most people is why I feel this way. I didn't want my kids to feel like their grandma was picking them up at school, when it was really their mom.

Once I started coloring my hair, there was no turning back. I am too cheap to have this done at a salon because I have to have the roots done so often.

I have had good results going to my local beauty supply store. They are really helpful with recommendations and grey hair color tips. The texture and color of my hair continues to change, so I like to keep up with the best products.

golf07
Post 4

I find myself going back and forth over whether to color my grey hair or not. I see many women with classy grey hair styles, and I think they look really good.

I just don't know if I could let myself get that grey. Even though it is usually a slow process, I know I feel much older when I see those grey hairs peeking through.

It really comes down to what you feel comfortable with. For some women, this isn't an issue and grey hair doesn't bother them at all. For others, they begin to color their hair as soon as they see the first grey hair.

If you keep your hair healthy and up to date with a stylish cut, you should feel good about whatever you choose to go with. I just need to decide which way I am going to go.

bear78
Post 3

@anamur-- My husband used a grey hair shampoo that claimed the same thing but it didn't work. I think most of these products are a sham honestly, not worth the money.

I don't think that anything can reverse greying. I've heard of several alternative medicine treatments like certain kinds of yoga, rubbing of fingers etc. But there is no proof about the results. You can look into them and try them if you'd like.

For prevention though, I would highly suggest supplements, especially vitamin B complex, vitamin E and biotin. These have helped my husband a lot. It slowed down the greying and improved the quality of his hair a lot more. But keep in mind that grey hair is mostly hereditary, so there might not be much that can be done.

serenesurface
Post 2

I'm a guy in my late thirties and I have premature greying. I don't want to dye my hair because I think it's going to look pretty ridiculous. Is there a way to reverse greying or at least prevent it from getting worse?

I saw a product line online the other day. It's a set of shampoo and leave-in hair conditioner for men that's supposed to reverse greying and bring back color. It doesn't sound too realistic to me, especially since it claims to be all natural and without chemicals.

Has anyone used this kind of product? Do you have any grey hair treatment suggestions for me?

ddljohn
Post 1

I've recently started getting gray hair and it doesn't suit me at all. I just have to dye it to dark blonde which is fine for me because I've been dying my hair for most of my life anyway. One thing I've noticed though is that the dyes I used to use on my hair before I started getting grey hair no longer work.

I feel like not just my hair color, but the hair itself has changed since they've gone grey. It doesn't hold onto hair colors well, even if it's permanent. The only ones that work are the ones especially formulated for grey hair. They do cost more but I have no choice but to use them.

I could probably get good results by going to a professional salon as well, but it would be too expensive to keep having the roots dyed there. That's why I'm sticking to grey hair box dyes. I can't let my hair stay grey, it makes me look so old!

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