Women and Gray Hair: Freedom to Choose

By: Jody Smith

Older women have more options than ever before when it comes to going gray or having hair the color of their choosing. In past generations, the question really never came up. If you had gray hair, you had gray hair.

Later, covering the gray was possible for women who were willing to spend the time and money in a hair salon where professionals worked their magic. Once coloring at home became an affordable option for busy women, things got interesting.

According to Mindyourbody.com only 7 percent of women in 1950 were coloring their hair. These days, about 95 percent are doing it.

Women who choose to color their hair as it begins to go gray are generally doing it because they want to look and feel younger. For some of these, their reasons have to do with their place in the working world. Gray hair, they fear, may make them seem "too old" to be in the market place.

Other women are coloring their hair because they've always wanted to try a different color. Women with dark hair may not have lightened their hair in the past because they didn't want to subject their hair to the kind of treatment necessary to go lighter. Now, the opportunity to go blonde for instance seems too good to pass up. Instead of stripping color, they are adding their coveted shades of blonde.

For others, the rainbow of shades that are out there look like fun. Never had red hair before? Why not try it on? Like a lighter shade of brunette? Pick your color and go for it.

Henry Amador is a master hair colorist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Amador said that gray hair grows in with a different texture than the rest of your hair. This can make coloring it successfully a bit challenging.

A common problem in coloring the gray is that the color may not last without special treatment to soften the gray hairs and make them more receptive to the hair dye. For women who want to color at home, Amador recommended experimenting with temporary hair color so a hair disaster won't be permanent.

The evolution of women and gray hair has been moving to a new phase. Many women who had been coloring their hair for years are opting to let their natural shades of gray reign.

An article on Hairboutique.com said that a little over half of women polled would still rather cover their gray hair. But almost half of women polled preferred to go gray.

Some women are just plain tired of going through the routine of coloring their hair. Some don't want to shell out the money to touch up their hair color. And some don't want to put the time into it anymore. Some are leery of the constant application of chemicals to their heads and feel safer being au naturel.

The Environmental Working Group has pointed out that hair dye products are not regulated by the government. They said that 400 hair colors out of 456 in their Skin Deep Cosmetics Database contain toxic ingredients that can contribute to serious health problems.

It's nice to have so many options. It's also nice to see that women are not being led like sheep into whatever is the trendy new fad.

This woman wants to color her hair. That one wants to stay with her natural gray. Both of them are making their own decisions. That kind of freedom is something to celebrate.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for Empowher.com

Sources:

Gray, or another day? To dye or not to dye

http://mindyourbody.tv/2012/04/04/gray-or-another-day-to-dye-or-not-to-dye/

Resistant Gray Hair: Friend Or Foe?

http://www.hairboutique.com/tips/articles.php?f=tip1120.htm

The gray escape: Growing number of clients coloring their hair, stylists say

http://readingeagle.com/mobile/article.aspx?id=399943

Baby Boomer Women Go Gray!

http://www.fiftyisthenewforty.net/fashion-beauty/baby-boomer-women-go-gray

Related Links:

Choose Natural Hair Coloring to Reduce Risk of Ovarian Cancer

http://www.empowher.com/skin-hair-amp-nails/content/choose-natural-hair-coloring-reduce-risk-ovarian-cancer

Natural Treatments for Dry Hair

http://www.empowher.com/skin-hair-amp-nails/content/natural-treatments-dry-hair

Allergic to Hair Dye?

http://www.empowher.com/allergic-contact-dermatitis/content/allergic-hair-dye

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