Perhaps it was from all the stress of finals or my genetic sequence stabbing me in the back, but I got gray hair way too young. “Premature gray” is what they call it. I refuse to share my age, but let’s just say it wasn’t exactly proportional to when those first few wiry, gray hairs started to make an appearance. I’m by no means a silver fox (not yet anyway), but I have been coloring my hair for years to create a uniform, youthful ‘do to make my roots proud. Which is why I’m not a fan of the new gray hair trend that the way-too-young-to-actually-be-gray gals are rockin’ these days.
Disclaimer: I am not talking about women who embrace their natural gray locks and say no to monthly touch-ups (ahem, clearly I’m not there yet). I am in love with women and men who firmly bask in their natural gray. Trends are trends for a reason, so I understand that #GrannyHair might be short lived (after all, it is an actual trending topic). Here’s my theory: Perhaps younger women are just envious of the wisdom and confidence accumulated by women of a certain age, who proudly display their silver locks as a badge of honor? If any hair color can induce a sense of establishment, respect and poise, surely it falls in the gray family.
The other kicker, with someone purposely dyeing their hair gray, is that the process isn’t the friendliest for your ‘do, especially for those with naturally dark hair or who have been coloring for years.
I spoke with one of the stylists at Salon Red in Atlanta’s Brookhaven location to find out how one can get that ethereal silver hair (as opposed to my natural, gravity-defying, stubborn grays). Stylist Sara Lynn said that in order to get the look, you must first bleach the hair to take it really light. The bleach can take the same amount of time as a one-color process … unless you already have color in your hair or perhaps a really dark natural shade, which may take more than one round. Eventually though, the bleach will lift pretty blond. Then it’s time to mix up the color, for example at Salon Red, a demi-permanent color that works sort of the way a toner would (in this case, we’re going gray, baby). Sara says her salon uses Olaplex, a “bond multiplier” that, when mixed with color, helps repair broken bonds caused by damaging products, like bleach. At least that way your gray hair won’t be breaking all over the place or feeling like a dry, unmanageable horse’s mane.
I know it seems a bit hypocritical because I’m totally in love with other color hair trends for 2016, including pastel shades like dusty roses and orchids (which must go through the same bleaching process as gray). But for some reason, it’s that one gray hue that really irks me. I’m way more into taking the gray into more of the purple/blue color zone, perhaps with an ombre effect.
Oh, but an idea just popped into my mind! If everyone starts dyeing their hair gray, then maybe mature, distinguished women and those of us who are prematurely mature (?) will blend right on in and pretend like we were in on the trend from the beginning.
Wow, I take it all back. Whip that (gray) hair back and forth, whether it comes from a bottle or Mother Nature. The only thing that’s really important is what’s inside your head, not what grows on top of it.
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