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Archive for Monday, November 2, 2009

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Midlife manes: How to navigate the world of gray hair and coloring

November 2, 2009

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Connie Loebsack, of Tonganoxie, has her hair colored every four weeks to hide gray roots. Hairstylist Cora Carey is the owner of Head Rush Studio, 622 W. 12th St., and says most of her clientele are women ages 40 to 70.

Connie Loebsack, of Tonganoxie, has her hair colored every four weeks to hide gray roots. Hairstylist Cora Carey is the owner of Head Rush Studio, 622 W. 12th St., and says most of her clientele are women ages 40 to 70.

Connie Loebsack has her hair washed by Cora Carey at Head Rush Studio, 622 W. 12th St.

Connie Loebsack has her hair washed by Cora Carey at Head Rush Studio, 622 W. 12th St.

Connie Loebsack isn’t a fan of her gray hair. Every four weeks, the 60-year-old Tonganoxie woman visits Head Rush Studio, 622 W. 12th St., to get her hair dyed.

“I do it for personal reasons now,” says Loebsack, a sales associate at Nebraska Furniture Mart in Kansas City, Kan. “But when I was in marketing, I used to do it for professional reasons since it was a requirement of the profession.”

Loebsack has been coloring her hair since she was 43. Like many women, she finds it to be an easy way to hold off the aging process.

Cora Carey, a hair stylist at Head Rush, says the bulk of the salon’s clientele consists of women in the age range of 40 to 70 years.

“Head Rush specializes in highlighting and hair dyeing, so we get a lot of women who are looking to take 10 years off their age,” Carey says.

But on the other side of the spectrum, there are also women who go with the mantra “gray is beautiful.”

Kayla Kula, 46, says she used to color her hair but stopped a few years ago because it was too damaging on her hair. Now, she’s not convinced women need to color their hair.

“There are women who have beautiful gray hair that looks very distinguished,” she says. “But whether or not gray hair looks good depends on the texture and style of the hair.”

Lynn Calley, a hair stylist at Head Rush, is also someone who agrees that gray hair can look beautiful.

“There are times when I, myself, ask clients not to color their hair if they’ve got really beautiful hair,” she says.

But Calley also says it’s not easy for a woman to make the decision to let her hair go gray.

“Though it’s a personal choice, when a woman decides to let her hair go gray, it takes a lot of commitment,” she says.

Carey advises women with colored hair to use color-care specific products, and Calley advises women to be careful about the brand of the products they use.

“It is necessary to use professional, branded products for color-treated hair,” Calley says. “Using over-the-counter products will pull your hair color out and damage your hair.”

Coloring chart

Plucking the occasional stray gray used to be enough. But eventually you have to quit that — or go bald. So unless you’re up for gray and gorgeous, you need a strategy that’s two-pronged: quick fixes for roots and a cohesive plan for long-term color.

More, the lifestyle magazine for women over 40, provides you with cost-effective tips:

• Picking the right dye for your hair depends on how much gray you have. To minimize the appearance of “salty” spots, try highlights. A semipermanent dye will work best if you have more than a little salt, and go with permanent color if a third or more of your hair is gray.

• The fastest way to touch up roots is to comb in the color using temporary hair color applied with a wand. Try Avon Advance Techniques Grey Root Touch-Up ($6). Brunettes can even get away with the use of water-resistant mascara.

• Gray hair follicles produce little oil and next to no melanin, leaving your hair looking dry. A glossing treatment is a solution. Try John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze ($10).

• The lack of moisture and melanin can also cause gray hair to become limp. A volumizing product like mousse can instantly plump up your strands. More recommends Dove Body and Lift Volumizing Mousse ($4).

— McClatchy Newspapers

Comments

GmaD321 5 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately, I never cared for the color my hair turned after the blonde turned darker. The gray just makes it look worse. I don't think older women should dye blonde unless they were blonde when they started graying. Blonde makes you look older and harsh if it's not your natural color. Go darker and highlight.

feetup 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm growing older, but I'll be darned if I get old...highlights to cover the gray for me!

Lenette Hamm 5 years, 3 months ago

Been getting gray since I was in my late teens. Used to color but decided it wasn't "me". I've earned very single gray hair, and proud of it!

femmefatale 5 years, 3 months ago

Hi Cora & Lynn! As a cosmetologist myself I cannot stress to women who put chemicals on their hair, the importance of letting professionals apply your color and the use of professional products and not over the counter color etc. And please, please use salon quality products to shampoo and style your hair!

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

I went to the salon to change my color from red to ash blonde. After I got the color I wanted I now use L'Oreal to keep it that way. It is very easy to do. I use Pantene shampoo and conditioner though the hair color does come with a tube of conditioner to be used once a week. I love my hair the color it is now. I don't see it as any different that using makeup or nail polish.

passionatelibra 5 years, 3 months ago

The women in my family tend to gray early in life so it was no shocker when I started finding gray hairs while still in my 20's. So far I like my gray streaks.

Then to have to worry about roots and touch-ups... I'd rather spend that time (and money) focusing on other things. I might do something about it when the gray is more obvious, but not now.

It stinks that most (not all) women who choose to embrace their gray are told they look old but men who choose to embrace their gray are told they look distinguished. I call B.S. on that one!

UnbiasedLionsfan 5 years, 3 months ago

Why does everyone call it gray hair--what about silver? Doesn't that sound better? It is that color right before your hair turns white. It can be really shiny if you know the right products to use to make it look better.

NME 5 years, 3 months ago

Your right passionatelibra, men do get kuddos for their gray, when they gray at a young or old age. I have been to headrush to get my gray covered and they do a great job of making me look natural and shiney! I think its to each his own. If you like it and your gray makes you happy that is all that matters! But leave it to the professionals over the counter products were hard on my hair and I had breakage! I even used professional color treated hair shampoo and conditioner. My hair looked dull and didn't look as good as when I went to a salon! Now I leave it to the professionals!

ldpk 5 years, 3 months ago

I for one will cover my gray indefinitely. However, I hate going to the salon every 6 weeks or so. I've been using a product called TouchBack to cover my roots between my salon visits. It's temporary and washes out, but looks fabulous when I actually need to leave the house. Right now, you can only get it online. http://www.touchbackgray.com

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