You have gray hair. It may sound like admitting a terrible secret. You want to cover it without looking like you botched a home dye job and without anyone noticing that you ever even had a gray hair on your young head. Aside from going to the salon, some steps can help to hide the gray while making your hair appear healthy, shiny and natural.
Proper color selection means the difference between looking like you got a bad goth dye job to having radiant hair that emphasizes your youthful attitude. Opt for a color a shade–or even two shades–lighter than your original color. Not only will the lighter shade appear slightly darker on gray hair, it also will help you appear more youthful.
What type of dye you use will affect how your hair looks as it grows or the color fades. A semi-permanent hair color will fade in fewer than 10 washings. Demi-permanent hair dye last about twice as long, but it contains peroxide. A permanent color has ammonia and peroxide. It will cover gray hair entirely, but you will notice root lines.
Which dye you pick depends on the amount of gray you have and your desired results. A semi-permanent dye will provide a natural look if you have less than 25 percent gray, while a permanent will completely alter your hair color. Permanent is necessary on hair that is more than 40 percent gray. Another option–if you have just a little scattered gray–is to add highlights. Carefully blended highlights can hide gray and brighten your hair. A few well-placed low lights emphasize the natural look.
Leave the color on the full-recommended time. Gray hair resists pigment attachment because of its lack of melanin and coarse texture. To open the hair cuticle, use heat during the process. A warm towel or hair dryer works well.
Once you have your hair colored to your liking, you need to maintain it. Use hair care products formulated for color-treated hair. Consider washing your hair every other day to reduce the color stripping that occurs from shampoos. Use a root touch-up kit between colorings as your hair grows.
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