Graying hair is one of the first noticeable signs of aging. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest signs of aging to fix. All you have to do is dye your hair. Yet, thousands of women (and men) end up making the wrong dye choices and ultimately make themselves look older. Ideally, you should always dye gray hair at a salon. But, if you cannot afford to regularly visit a salon, here are some tips to help you get an anti-aging effect from your hair dye.
Don’t End Up with Blue Hair!
You have probably noticed all those little old ladies who have blue hair, or even pinkish or purple hair from bad dye jobs. Did they lose their vision along with their hair color? No – they probably just don’t realize the fundamentals of choosing a color for dying gray hair.
Pre-gray hair contains many different pigments (i.e. colors). Even hair which appears jet black will have some blonds and reds in it. When you dye this hair, the underlying pigments will blend with the dye color to produce a nice result. As you age, your hair loses pigment, which is why it turns gray or white. When you add dye on top of it, you are basically adding color to a blank slate. What happens when you add black dye (which is made from a base of dark blue) to white hair? You get blue! What happens when you add red hair dye to white? You get pink!
Avoid stark colors for covering gray hair. Instead, opt for the neutral, in-between colors. Ideally, you should add some highlights like gold or red afterwards – though this generally requires a professional’s help.
Always Go Lighter
Your hair isn’t the only thing that loses pigment with age; your skin will also lose pigment. If you try to dye your hair the same color that it was when you were in your 20s, you will likely end up with a very harsh, unattractive look that makes your skin look pale.
As a general rule, you should never dye your hair more than 3 shades from your existing hair color (not the color you had in your 20s!). But it is almost always better to go with a lighter shade. Here is why: when you dye your hair a darker color than what it currently is, the roots will be much more noticeable when they start to grow out. With thin hair, you will even be able to notice the roots throughout your scalp, not just at the part area. This can make your hair look even thinner and could even make it look like you have bald patches!
If you must go with a darker hair color, then opt for a semi-permanent dye for gray hair. This will gradually fade out as your hair grows so the difference between your roots and dyed hair won’t be so noticeable.