Any woman who colors her hair knows that it often feels like a full-time job.
Whether you’re adding highlights in your 20s or channeling your inner red head in your 30s, the every-six-week appointments needed for hair color maintenance are a serious responsibility, and cost a pretty penny to boot.
Things get even trickier as your hair starts to gray—which happens sooner for some than others. Silver strands can take hold anywhere from our 20s to our 60s—and your chance of going gray increases 10-20 percent every decade after 30 years, according to the Library of Congress.
If you choose to continue coloring, you’ll probably find that you have to hit the salon or the drug store even more often to keep ahead of those grays.
Embracing Natural Color
While color is always an option, we love seeing women who embrace their naturally graying hair. It’s a movement that’s gained traction over that past few years, as more high profile women are embracing their silver streaks. Think: Helen Mirren, Jamie Lee Curtis, Meryl Streep (in “The Devil Wears Prada”) and Blythe Danner.
The only problem with embracing your gorgeous grays? The process of getting there—growing out your hair color from partially gray to totally gray. As your hair grows out and changes color, you’ll be confronted with two-tone hair that’s half gray, half colored.
We asked celebrity hair colorist Rita Hazan—she of Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry fame—for some advice about how to make the transition easier, and, uh, more attractive.
Good news: Hazan says avoiding two-tone hair is tough, but not impossible. “There’s a technique I use which is helpful: Stop coloring everything else besides the hairline and the part. It will take a long time for the back to grow out and when you start growing out the top, use my Root Concealer to blend in your color.” You can ask your colorist to try this same technique and apply it at home if you do your own color.
Try a Glaze
Gray strands also change your overall hair texture—it typically becomes coarser. Combat this with heavier conditioning products, and add an anti-frizz serum to your routine. Gray is also prone to yellowing or brassiness. Try a DIY hair gloss like Rita Hazan Foaming Gloss or Frederic Fekkai Salon Glaze, or ask your colorist for an in-salon gloss to combat it.
Hazan also suggests getting a chic haircut and wearing enough makeup to compensate for the lack of color in your hair. “This way you won’t look washed out, but chic and youthful.”
Just think of the money (and time!) you’ll save.
We highly recommend using it on a sexy beach vacation—just remember to pack a hat!