Grow Out the Gray: An Aging Parents Guide


Olderwomandriver-300x199.jpg​Many aging parents eventually do something they thought they'd never do: abandon hiding the gray in their hair and embrace the beauty of the gray and/or white. Because gray or white hair has an association with old age, many see this as a last frontier. But once they decide to let their hair become "natural," they are often surprised at how attractive it looks.

Growing gray is not for all aging parents, nor should it be. Every person is unique, and what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. But for those who have decided to stop coloring their hair, there's still the question of how to handle the "in between" time when the ends of the hair are one color and the roots are another. Because how a person feels about how he or she looks is important, here are a few tips to think about:

Go short.

Short of shaving one's head entirely — which is an option for many people, although women are certainly less prone to consider this route — there's not really a way to simply stop coloring one's hair and NOT go through a "two tone" period. Getting a very short haircut is one way to help ease the process along. By chopping the hair off, there is proportionately much less colored hair to contrast with the new gray look. And once the hair has grown out sufficiently, another short cut can rid a person of the remaining color, leaving a full head of even-toned hair.

Go lighter.

If a person's chosen hair color has been fairly dark, switch to a lighter shade. This will make the new gray hair less noticeable.

Try highlights.

Mixing in highlights as the gray comes in can help to make the mixture seem more "of a piece." This works best if one starts with a fairly heavy highlighting and then lessens it as the gray comes in. There will still be a two-tone effect, but it will be staggered rather than appearing as a straight line division.

Aging parents today look better and more sophisticated than ever. Whatever option a person chooses in terms of hair color, modern stylists can keep a person looking his or her best.​


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