How to Go Gray Gracefully
- Next1 of 9Stacy London: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for GILT
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Gray Matter1 of 9
By Brienne Walsh
A man with salt-and-pepper hair or a little gray at his temples has long been considered sexy. And now, finally, the same can be said for women, with more and more celebs showing off their silvery white strands. If you've been hiding your gray, here's how you can start embracing your new natural shade today.
Enhance Your Color2 of 9
According to Paul Perez, a celebrity stylist at Sally Hershberger Salon in Los Angeles, gray hair works with any shade. What's more, silver tones can even enhance your natural color. "Blondes can be kind of smoky, so the gray counteracts the flatness," he says. Women with darker hair can add a touch of intrigue to their look with gray streaks.
Make the Transition3 of 9
The easiest way to add gray to your hair is with highlights. "Gray hair tends to have a blue, ashy tone," says Victor Paul of Victor Paul Salon in Costa Mesa, Calif. An ashy color woven through your hair, and toned down with a base violet, will blend the gray in so that your hair has a sun-kissed look.
Keep It Shiny4 of 9
More than gray hair, dull hair can age you. Perez recommends applying a hydrating product to your hair when it's wet to soften your locks and bring back your hair's natural brilliance as you style it.
SHOP NOW: Drybar The Chaser Shine Pomade, $28, sephora.com
Condition, Condition5 of 9
To keep gray hair from looking limp, Paul recommends cutting the ends at least once a month. In between trims, he suggests a heavy conditioning mask, such as Living Proof's deep nourishing treatment, once a week. "It will close the ends of the cuticles—the outermost part of your hair shaft that protects strands from damage—and help hair to reflect more light," he says.
SHOP NOW: Living Proof Restore mask treatment, $12, livingproof.com
Think Big6 of 9
Color treating your hair damages the cuticles, which in the short term adds more body at the roots. If you decide to go completely gray, your locks get healthier because they're no longer damaged by treatments. The downside is that they'll lose volume temporarily added by damaged strands. For an artificial boost, Perez suggests a volumizing spray like Shu Uemura's Liquid Fabric. "It thickens and adds body," he says.
SHOP NOW: Shu Uemura Art of Hair Liquid Fabric, $38, birchbox.com
Combine Textures7 of 9
Part of the problem with gray hair is that it doesn't grow in all at once. Because grays are usually a coarser texture than your colored hair, they stick out and cause your mane to look unkempt. To combat this, Perez recommends a product like Sally Hershberger's Mineral Spray. The mineral-infused texture spray is formulated without salt, so it won't dry hair, but it'll add dimension and blend strands together.
SHOP NOW: Sally Hershberger Mineral Spray, $24, sallyhershberger.com
Maintain It8 of 9
If you've stopped hiding your gray, and your natural color is growing back in, your hair is probably looking healthier, too. That's because you've stopped using color treatments that cause breakage to your strands. Rather than focusing on moisturizing or repair, work on restoring shine and luster to your locks with natural shampoos and conditioners.
Make It Fun9 of 9
In the past few years, gray hair has become a style statement—younger women are embracing the look, even if it is purely for fun. To keep your own locks looking youthful, Perez recommends a bold, stylish cut that will make you feel comfortable. A great accessory, like Ban.do's crystal pin, can also give gray hair an extra playful touch.
SHOP NOW: Ban.do crystal swirl bobby pin, $130. shopbando.com