HAIRY SITUATIONS: GOING GRAY

Posted by STETSON CREATIVE Thursday, March 3, 2011

Contrary to popular belief, gray hair isn't caused by stress, lack of sleep, or other environmental factors.  Gray hair is caused when oxidation kills off the cells in your hair follicles that create pigment, and is highly genetic.  This means that all of the hype about the power of antioxidants is true, so adding those super-fruits and antioxidant supplements really will help to ward off any premature graying of the hair.  If it's already too late for that, you can  take steps to color your hair to cover grays.

There are several types of color available:

Progressive coloring. The “Grecian Formula” approach uses lead acetate, which darkens with exposure to air. Hair is colored gradually, so you can stop when you’ve achieved the effect you want.  This is often found in men's hair color products for beards.


Direct dyes. Often called demi-permanent, these dyes are made of colored molecules that coat hair, these are quick and easy to apply. The drawback: They typically wash away after only 6 to 10 shampoos. On the plus side, that means you don’t have to worry about gray roots. The dye is gone before they can show up.


Semi-permanent color. Also called tone on tone, this uses peroxide to allow color molecules to enter the hair shaft, thus creating a more permanent color. These products usually take 5 to 15 minutes to apply and last about twice as long as direct dyes.


Regular permanent color. This uses both peroxide and ammonia, which can lighten the natural pigment of hair, allowing men to select shades lighter than their original hair color. These products are also used to create highlights. The drawback: if you don’t like the color, you’re stuck with it until hair grows out — or you dye it over again, which can be tricky.


The first three types call all be done at home to cover mild to moderate gray without much hassle with several products available to you at your local drugstore.  Permanent color is ideal for large areas of gray and if you are going to maintain your gray coverage.  This type of hair color is best done by a professional at a salon.  Though this is also the most costly method, you will most likely get your desired results here.

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