Aging men often times struggle with whether to color their hair. Should they grow gray naturally? Should they embrace the salt and pepper look? Some men may even decide to cover their gray entirely. Whether the reason is due to a youth-focused workplace, having a younger wife or improving self-esteem, covering gray doesn't have to be daunting.
DIY or Professional?
Many men choose the do-it-yourself, boxed hair colors. It can be done at home and is less expensive than professional color services. There are downsides though. It is messy and can produce a flat, unnatural looking result, especially if it does not complement the skin tone, not to mention that removing hair color can be trying.
A good rule of thumb is when in doubt, seek professional help. A professional cosmetologist that has experience with color can achieve a natural looking result for much less than women pay to color their hair.
Go Temporary to Decide
If you aren't sure whether you really want to cover your gray hair, try using a temporary color, also known as a rinse. Temporary colors only deposit color on the hair to blend gray, and will wash out at the next shampoo.
Try Progressive Coloring
If you want a natural, unnoticeable blending, choose a progressive color such as Just for Men. Progressive colors build up on hair over several applications making results natural-looking.
Avoid Permanent Dye
Men's Health advocates avoiding permanent dye. Permanent colors use a developer to break down the cuticle lift or lighten the natural hair color to allow the pigments to penetrate into the hair's cortex. Permanent color needs to be retouched every four to six weeks on the new hair growth. In reality what happens is that you end up with a line between your dyed color and your real hair color. While women are used to that, men do not wear the look well and it can be embarrassing.
Choose a Good Color
Never over lighten dark hair notes style expert Sharon Haver. If your hair is very dark, it's better to go with highlights as lightening hair tends to soften the face, and can help you look younger.
What to Expect at the Salon
While a guy might think he has to spend hours at the salon to cover his grays, the opposite is true. At your local salon, there are professional hair color options that can be done at the shampoo bowl in a few minutes rather than sitting in a chair for an hour. Get a shampoo, relax for five to ten minutes, and sit up looking at least five years younger. These products are typically progressive or demi-permanent and blend the grays rather than coloring all the gray hair.
To Color or Not To Color?
While many men feel you should color your grays, there are others who do not. It is up to the individual to make that decision based on how they feel and how it affects their lifestyle. Especially with permanent color, time has to be set aside every four to six weeks for a retouch.
How Does Coloring Make You Feel?
Some men wear gray well and can still keep that youthful look because of their youthful attitude. Others need a little help, and there is no shame in that. It all comes down to how will it make the man feel? If covering a few grays will help boost self-esteem and put the spring back in a man's step, why worry about what others will think. Chances are no one will know.