Four experts spill their secrets on how to look fabulous with gray hair plus for reasons why gray hair is a choice, not default. Learn about the arguments in the seemingly eternal discussion of whether women should dye or not to dye their grays after a certain age. Read to also be informed about the maintenance of gray hair.
- Gray or Not Gray Is Not the Question
- Hair Color Is a Style and/or Beauty Choice, Not Default
- Maintenance Is Key for All Hair Colors
- When You Like Gray Hair, and It Works for Your Style, Go For It
- Expert Tips on How to Look Fabulous with Gray Hair
- Why Dyeing Your Hair Has Nothing to Do with Non-Acceptance of Aging
- In Summary, Hair Color Is About Your Style
Gray or Not Gray Is Not the Question
It’s coming up perennially in the heat of summer aka hard time for news. The debate about when a woman should go gray and/or if a mature woman should go gray, goes on and on in this youth obsessed World. You read controversy recommendations depending on what kind of journals you read. These writers sounds as if the answer is an absolute, and not about how we feel that we look our best.
Recall: Gray hair is not a matter of age, but a choice.
Hair Color Is a Style and/or Beauty Choice, Not Default
A while ago, when the debate again was hot like fire, I saw a high school gal donning beautiful long gray hair. … and it looked lovely! I am a strong believer that gray hair – like any hair color, for instance, red hair, is not a default, but a personal style choice. That gal was just a proof of my believes.
Maintenance Is Key for All Hair Colors
At a certain age, dyed hair is obviously dyed. Who cares, as long as it is kept up well? My over 85 year old girlfriend dyes her hair hazelnut brown. This color is her statement and works as she makes sure you never see the roots.
Hard water and/or the Sun can turn white and platin blonde hair to butter-yellowish. When your groundwater has a reddish color your hair will look brassy. This even happens to light natural blonde and light ash brown hair.
To keep gray or pepper-and-salt brilliant and head turning, products are needed that keep the gray silver. Keeping the silver hair silver is as much work as keeping the hair colored when your base color is gray or any other color. In other words, any hair color, but the natural color is a decision when it is supposed to look great. In other words, a choice.
Even keeping you natural color fabulous takes effort!
When You Like Gray Hair, and It Works for Your Style, Go For It
Every woman has experimented some time after middle school with her hair color. She changed the natural color to have fun, because she did not like her color, because she wanted to change her type, or for whatever reasons. Some women even dyed their hair since 7th grade. Therefore, why should a woman stop dyeing when the hair goes gray?
Besides dyeing the hair back to the natural color, she can make gray hair a statement. Of course, making gray hair a signature style requires some “know how” to not look ten years older than you are. Furthermore, it requires scalp treatments you can do from home to promote healthy hair.
Experts’ Tips on How to Look Fabulous with Gray Hair
I asked four fashion and beauty bloggers who look young and hip and incredibly stylish with gray hair
What is your most important advice/secret how to look awesome, young and hip with gray hair in midlife and beyond?
I was lucky that they were willing to share their secrets on having beautiful gray hair with my readers. Thank you gals!
Really, looking good with grey hair is no different than looking good with any other color of hair – it is all down to your personal style and the confidence and commitment that you put into your look. Personally, I have found that as may hair gets more and more silver, I have to make sure that I have my brows neat and defined, and that my skin looks clear and has a bit of a glow. Not always easy when I have been up all night on a flight or working the night shift at the hospital, but that’s what BB cream is for.
Grey hair is a different animal on everyone, but it generally tends to be drier and coarser than your pre-grey hair. It needs a TON of moisture, and reflects the light a lot better if you keep it one length, or perhaps if it is layered, the layers are kept on the longer side. Personally, I have always been a wash and go girl – I still am, so I struggle with making sure that I have actually styled my hair before leaving the house. Seriously, for a fashion blogger I am the WORST when it comes to styling my hair. I hardly ever use a blow-dryer and my heat styling tools are basically dust catchers.
When you see me on the blog, more often than not, what you cannot see is that I have probably just brushed-out two workouts worth of dirt in my hair and put some anti frizz on it just to get it looking okay for the photo. I have quite wavy big hair naturally, and if I don’t do at least something, I’ll look a bit… unhinged…a bit crazy cat lady-esque.
One of my go-to tricks is to wash it and then put a leave in conditioner in it. Then I’ll tie it in a loose knot at the top of my head with one of those really unfashionable but soft scrunchies and let it dry like that. That way, when I take it down, it may be still slightly damp so I can work with it, and my wild, wavy hair is somewhat tempered, but still has a bit of body to it – a bit of a natural bend without looking too “done”.
Really, it’s all about finding what works and sticking with it. For me, what works is being pretty gosh darn lazy about it.
I always joke with people when they make mention of gray hair. I like to say my hair is silver. There is a song by poet and songwriter, India Arie, that states, “I am not my hair, I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within.” Her words are so spot on as to how I feel. Yes, my hair is a part of me, but it isn’t what makes me.
Several years ago I went on an amazing soul searching journey and transformation. It was during this time I decided I wanted to be real. Real to me meant representing myself in my purist form. In my opinion, my hair matches who I am perfectly. I am 50, vivacious, free-spirited, artsy, and loving life. My hair is in its most natural form…the way I’m living my life. The color of my hair isn’t what gives me youthful vitality…it’s my heart, mind and soul.
I stopped coloring my hair over 2 years ago; I got fed up of the expense of having it done every few months. I wasn’t worried how I looked growing it out as back then the grey was sprinkled about my hair rather like a salt and pepper effect. However, since grey hair can look a little drier than non grey, I make sure I do a weekly moisturizing treatment with an organic ‘vitamin hair masque’ that contains jojoba and avocado oils. As my hair gets grayer, my weekly treatment helps to keep it looking healthy and soft. It also reduces frizz.
As well as nourishing my hair from the outside, it’s also important to nourish it from the inside. I try to have a healthy diet that includes hair friendly vitamins, minerals and oils such as Vitamin B12, omega 3 and folic acid. As you age your hair can become brittle, so you want to keep it as strong and healthy as possible.
I have always had pitch black hair. I knew I wanted to move away from all-black as I aged to soften my features; however, I didn’t want to go lighter, red or blond. So instead, I decided to play up a section of my hair that grows naturally lighter at the temple, then I continue to color the rest of my hair black. The white streaks add softness, but still lend an edgy vibe. This style will allow me to easily add more white streaks as my gray hair grows more prominent in years to come.
I find that my gray hair is a different texture and needs more TLC. I use Bio Silk serum on just the white pieces to smooth them and I have started using a flat iron on just that section to tame any wild hairs.
Why Dyeing Your Hair Has Nothing to Do with Non-Acceptance of Aging
Some of the gray hair discussion sounds like those women who color their hair do not accept their aging and/or have problems with their age. Some of the discussion sounds like those who go gray are too lazy to color their hair. It gets even worse when it comes to men. These arguments are the extreme positions of the gray hair discussion with a lot of middle ground missing in between and that teenage girl proved it.
Gray hair is a choice – not a default!
- First of all, beautiful gray hair in midlife is as much maintenance as coloring it. As we age, looking great becomes high maintenance.
- Hair is the accessory that you wear every day. It is the one that is always with you, sort of your business card. It tells more about who you are and how you want to be seen by others. Imaging a Bond movie where the female M would have long beach-wavy blonde or long curly red hair. Or the bombshell Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like it Hot” with a gray pixie. Doesn’t feel right, right? It would be the wrong accessory!
- Gray hair is as much work if not even more than any natural hair color or changed hair color. When the first gray hair occurs, it looks interesting. However, when the gray fails to look like being strategically placed on purpose, but all over the place, the gray blends into a washed-out color. Pepper-and-Salt can be nice when evenly distributed, taken care off. However, it is a choice, and not default either. If one keeps gray or pepper-and-salt just as it is, one looks quickly unkempt, old fashioned, may be even lazy. Everything, but professional and serious.
- Most people do not like their natural color and change it a shade darker, lighter, or totally. This coloring is not because of gray hair, but because they want a certain appearance/type. For instance, the 14 year old teenager who dyes her platinum blonde locks raven black because her style is Goth. Thus, gray hair is a choice like red, blonde, brown, or black you name it. Now when this teenager turns gray later in life or in other words a woman who colored her hair her entire life starts turning gray, why should she now stop doing what she has done all her life? So why with a sudden the choice, for platinum blonde should not be a choice any more once the base color is no longer dark blonde? It is much easier to become platinum blonde when the base color is white. A colleagues of mine in her mid-thirties turned to gray on purpose to get more respect from her students and male colleagues. A friend of mine in her mid eighties has beautiful brown hair. You never see the roots. She dyes her hair, and everybody knows it, but she would not be coming over the same way if she were gray.
- Gray hair is not related to age. I have meet several people who were gray in their late twenties, or who got the first gray hair before even being voting or drinking age. It is an educational perception that gray looks old. The grannies in comics are painted gray haired. Photos of old poor or sick people in newspapers or media foster the association. However, these people look old not because of their hair, but due to lack of money, time, and/or ability to take care of them.
In Summary, Hair Color Is About Your Style
The fact that most people do not get naturally gray before they are in their midlife or even later, should not make a color choice (that never was questioned before) a “character” thing. Hair color is a personality thing. Let us look at hair color as what it is – a personal accessory that conveys who we are and/or who we want to be. Gray hair can be hot or plain awful like any other hair color – natural or not natural.
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