Keeping up with your color is hard enough, but when gray hair is added to the mix, it can be a downright challenge. “Gray hair is different than pigmented hair and needs to be treated differently-especially when it comes to color and care,” says celebrity stylist Philip Pelusi owner of Tela Design Studio in New York. “Plus, most of the time, gray hair is aging hair, which can make it much more delicate, less shiny and drier.”
Gray hair is more difficult to dye for a number of reasons, and there are several factors to take into consideration when getting it colored. “Gray hair has lost part-if not all-of its natural pigment, so it literally needs to be filled in with its base pigment first and then the correct tone,” explains Pelusi, who adds that the color of your gray will determine what level of colored dye your stylist uses. “If you only have a few strands of gray, a demi-permanent color can blend it away, but it will fade after a few weeks,” he says. “If you have a lot of gray, it’s better to use a permanent color that will totally cover it-or go for lowlights which will blend them in.”
Fight fading strands: products that contain antioxidants ward off free-radical pollutants that can cause color to fade and degrade the strength of hair.
Lock in color: sulfate-free shampoos (the ones that don’t really lather) protect color vibrancy and keep strands soft.
The quick fix: mess-proof hair markers and mascara-like brushes offer instant coverage between salon visits.
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