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Things to Consider Before Coloring Gray Hair

Expert Advice on Covering Your Gray


Smiling mature man looking out of window
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For many guys, going gray is a real blow the the self confidence and to some, gray hair is associated with old age. Conversely, many people consider a full head of gray hair to be quite appealing. Because we can't all be Anderson Cooper, many of us have chosen not to go gray gracefully and have turned to the bottle for help. Of course, I'm talking about the bottle of color. Before you decide to color your gray hair, the following are a few things to consider:

  • A Professional Will Almost Always Produce Better Results. While there are several "just for men" home coloring kits, a professional colorist will be able to mix exactly the right color formula to ensure a natural looking result. A few companies now produce excellent professional hair coloring for men. I particularly like Redken Men Color Camo, a salon service that takes about ten minutes. The color fades over time, so you don't get a dramatic color change as it grows out.

  • Regular Coloring Can Be Expensive. Expect to pay about $20 or $30 (excluding haircut and tip) for a men's color treatment and plan on having it done monthly. For professional results, the price is worth it.

  • Natural Color Can Be Hard to Achieve at Home. For any type of color service, I recommend seeking the services of a professional as the results will almost always be more natural. I realize that, for some, this option can be prohibitively expensive. Should you choose to color at home, purchase a product specifically for men, always do a patch test, and follow the instructions exactly. You'll achieve a more natural result if your hair is a "standard" color. For home use, several of my salon clients have had good results using Just For Men, an over-the-counter hair color.

I will almost always recommend avoiding the use of chemicals which alter the hair's state or color. Instead, it is my feeling that you should find a barber or stylist who can create a style that looks great with the natural hair you have. A trendy haircut will give you a more youthful look. This approach is far cheaper and easier to maintain than chemical services.

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