These first streaks of gray always seem to surprise. While they don’t mean you have to dye your hair regularly or decide to go all silver, they can stick like a sore thumb against a head of fully pigmented locks. Luckily, with the right hair care routine, you can make them blend in with the rest of your locks. Here, a hairstylist walks us through the easiest ways to blend grays with your natural color, without dye.
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Glosses and semi-permanent toners are best known for adding noticeable shine to hair. But according to Cindy Marcus, a professional hairstylist in Las Vegas and editor of Latest Hairstyles, they can also help conceal gray hair. “Using these types of semi-permanent hair color is a big step for someone who’s just started going gray and is hesitant to color their hair,” she says. “Because they’re semi-permanent, they’ll slowly fade from the hair, eliminating a root. For that reason, it’s not a huge commitment when it comes to upkeep.” Even better, they are not harmful to the hair and can be applied at home or by a professional.
You have probably noticed that your gray hair has a somewhat different texture than fully pigmented hair. This is because they have less melanin, and therefore less sebum oil to keep them hydrated. Luckily, there are simple ways to recover that moisture. Marcus suggests a deep conditioner. “This product helps hair look less coarse and blend better with the rest of the hair,” she says. “It’s something that can be done at home and is great for all hair types as well.”
If you have a few pesky gray hairs that just don’t lay flat no matter how much you moisturize, consider changing where you part your hair to minimize its appearance.
A conditioner or color deposit mask is a great way to temporarily cover or blend grays. “Moroccaniol makes tinted conditioners and they’re great for adding a bit of color without anything permanent,” says Marcus. “They will last a few shampoos and disappear from the hair.” To apply, add conditioner to hair after shampooing and leave on for the time recommended on the bottle. Rinse off and enjoy your newly tinted color.
Too nervous to even add semi-permanent color to your hair at home? Try a color that only lasts until your next shower. “One of my favorites [touch-up solutions] is a WOW powder that you apply to the roots to cover the grey,” suggests Marcus. “Another option would be an over-the-counter spray that you can get just about anywhere (Walmart, CVS, Target). You would want to find a color that best matches your hair and just carefully spray on the roots.” Each of these products washes out immediately with a few suds and bubbles.
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You’ve probably heard that gray hair should never be waxed, but are you listening? “There’s a long-standing myth that if you pull gray hair, ten more people will come to his funeral,” says Marcus. “This is just a myth though. The problem with hair pulling at the root is that the follicle will go dormant and if you start pulling out a lot of hair, especially around the hairline, you will start to lose weight.” Then your hair will never appear blended no matter how hard you try.
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