A new style will take the focus off your color. / Ralf Nau / Getty Images
Holiday beauty calls for a hint of shimmer in clothes and makeup. Silver also is emerging as the “it” hair color as more women opt to go gray. Here’s how to do it right:
Rule 1: Do it gradually.
“When the gray [roots] start to come, don’t let them take over 60% to 70% of your head,” says Oscar Blandi, celebrity stylist and owner of Oscar Blandi Salon in New York. Camouflage incoming grays with highlights or lowlights to soften the transition. And be patient: Even though you are ready to give up coloring your hair, you may need to continue getting highlights for the next year to avoid a two-tone look.
If you color your hair at home, use an ammonia-free, demi-permanent dye (such as L’Oréal Paris Healthy Look Crème Gloss Color, $9). An ammonia-free formula won’t damage the new strands, and demi-permanent dye will blend with your natural color and wash out after a month or so.
Rule 2: Protect with product.
Be prepared for a change in your hair’s texture. “It will get coarser and more wiry and will tend to become frizzier,” Blandi says. Maintain shine by having a gloss applied when you get highlights. It seals the cuticle and allows light to bounce off strands. At home, use a moisturizing conditioner for colored hair, and tame frizzies with an oil serum (like Garnier Fructis Style Sleek Finish 5-in-1 Serum Spray, $5.99).
Rule 3: Get a clever cut.
A new style will take the focus off your color. “A shorter, highly textured haircut will de-emphasize the lines of demarcation between chemically treated hair and emerging grays,” says Nick Stenson, Matrix artistic director.
Rule 4: Accept compliments.
“It can be hard to let your old color fade away and face age so head-on,” Blandi says. Prepare for unexpected reactions from friends and family. “Smile and accept compliments. When done right, gray is beautiful.”