Gray hair can be perceived differently from person to person and sometimes, from culture to culture. While it is a normal thing for humans to experience, the actual graying of hair (experience-wise of perception-wise) differ from person to person. Some say it’s a sign of a person’s wisdom and others just dread it because it denotes old age. Even worse for younger people who seem to prematurely get those pesky gray hairs, people are quick to point it out and even make fun of them. Have you been seeing one, two, or a few of those graying strands in your head?
Don’t fret! We’ll walk you through some of the basic info about gray hairs and what you should do once you start getting them.
Why am I having gray hair?
To understand why hair turns gray, you have to understand how they maintain their color. Melanin in the strands of the hair is what gives them the color. So when the body stops producing melanin, also called pigment cells, the hair starts losing their color—which actually isn’t “gray”, but un-pigmented.
This often happens as people grow older. There’s really a time for every single one of us to experience this, but some people just get them unexpectedly earlier, which can cause distress and panic. For both males and females, people between 34 and 44 years old of get their first gray hair. Those below 20 years old who get their gray hair prematurely, it’s probably due to your genes.
Whether you get those gray hairs early on or just in time in preparation for your retirement, it is still a new experience that you might find confusing or annoying. There are a few options you can choose moving forward, and whatever you prefer, we’re happy to guide you on how that choice can work out for you and your gray hair situation.
Gray Hair No-No
Before diving into what you can do once those gray hairs started showing up, we want you to remember this huge no-no when dealing with gray hair: DO NOT PLUCK IT. Most people’s initial reaction would be to pluck the gray hair upon seeing it. Well, as much as you want to pull that gray hair out as it seems to be the easiest way to get rid of it, you might actually cause damage to your hair.
Pulling out hair can lead to inflammation, which then leads to thinner strands. But aside from getting thinner hair, you can also induce scarring, trauma, and infection of the skin near the hair follicle. This could lead into ingrown hairs.
So, what am I supposed to do?—you might ask. Well, here are the different options you can choose from.
#1. Dye Your Hair to Conceal The Gray Ones
So, you aren’t feeling the gray strands that much. An easy way to let those grays blend in with your natural colored locks is to color or dye your hair. This options is especially helpful for those on their 50s or 60s who have highly noticeable gray hairs. They can definitely look much younger by coloring their hair back to its natural color or any color of their liking. Just remember that if you’re coloring your hair, it’s important to use a pre-shampoo treatment to condition and moisturize your hair, like R+Co’s Palm Springs Pre-Shampoo Treatment Mask ($29).
Use These Best Hair Colors To Hide Your Gray Hair:
- Vidal Sassoon Salonist Hair Colour Permanent Color ($10.21)
- Garnier Olia Oil Powered Permanent Hair Color ($10.10)
- Clairol Natural Instincts ($7.99)
- L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference ($9.99)
#2 Add Highlights To Your Locks
Coloring hair to cover the gray hairs can leave you with limited options of darker colors. So if you’d hate to go dark, you can get highlights that can help camouflage the gray hairs. A great thing about this option is that you can customize the highlights, depending on which area the gray hairs are usually found.
#3 Conceal Gray Hair Temporarily
If you don’t want a semi-permanent solution to your gray hair, you can opt for a temporary one that can last you a day or until the next time you wash your hair. There are different types of products that are available for this purpose, ranging from sprays to powders. Just make sure that you pick the high-quality ones that won’t easily clear off in just a few hours.
Top Products for Temporary Gray Hair Coverup:
- Color Wow Root Cover Up ($34.50)
- Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch Up Spray ($25)
- Bumble And Bumble Bb. Color Stick ($26)
- Christophe Robin’s Color Gel (£24.17)
#4 Embrace Your Gray Strands and Rock The Silver-Haired Look
If you’re into those adorable gray strands (like a lot of teenagers choose for their hair color), then you’re not after the concealing method. But it’s important to remember that gray or silver hair needs a different kind of care than your normal, melanin-filled hair. Make sure to get products that are designed especially to make gray hair look gorgeous and shiny, and add in products that will protect the hair from harmful UV rays, too.
Great Products for Your Silver/Gray Hair:
- Phillip Kingsley Pure Silver Shampoo ($14)
- Oribe Silverati Shampoo ($46)
- Clairol Shimmer Lights ($18.49)
- Klorane Sun Protective Oil ($12)
- Phyto Protective Sun Veil ($30)
Having gray hair doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
Image credits: Bustle, Shutterstock, Pinterest, The O Report, Getty Images, Daily Mail.