I have many guys that come in these days asking about hair coloring. The reasons vary. It might be they are looking for a new position at work or interviewing for a new job, some are looking for a dating edge and others just want some color to give their overall look and style some pizzazz.
The bottom line is that we all want to look the best we can and hair color is one of the best ways to accomplish that quickly. Fortunately, there are some great hair coloring techniques available today that, as they say, ain’t your father’s Oldsmobile.
There are many different kinds of coloring: some deposit color, others lift color to a lighter shade and some do both. Choosing a coloring technique depends on how much maintenance you want to put into it and how much money you’re willing to spend. Sort of like choosing a vintage car. Or a wife.
One way to get the gray totally blended out is a tint or permanent color — meaning it will stay in the hair until it is cut out. The color is mixed with a developer applied to the hair and processed usually under some heat to open the cuticle of the hair shaft and allow the pigment to enter. This is very affective but with some drawbacks. Your hair will grow on the average of half an inch a month or more, and as the hair grows from the follicle your natural color will slowly reappear. You can end up with a line of demarcation telling you that if you don’t see your stylist everyone on the planet will know you are overdue. Unless you’re willing to visit your stylist every 2 to 4 weeks this is NOT for you.
Option two is a semi permanent color; this color only deposits color (there are very little lifting properties to this color) on the cuticle of the outside of the hair shaft, rather quickly “staining” the hair, if you will. You’ll want to make sure your hair is in good condition before this service or the color will “grab” or deposit too much, leaving your color darker than you had intended. You may want to leave it up to your stylist to choose the color that will match your natural hair color. The nice thing about this type of color is that it fades, so as the hair grows out it will still look natural. It will not cover the gray as much as camouflage it, but this is a fast and easy technique that will take years off your looks with less worry about maintenance.
Option three is to go with highlights. Highlights are a lighter color weaved in with foil or applied by pulling the hair through a plastic cap. This method lightens just those strands where color is applied. If you would like a natural look I recommend that you stay within four levels of your current natural color. For example, if your hair color is a natural level 5 (brown) the sun will lift the color 4 levels (blonde). Your stylist can help you decide on how much brighter you want to go. The great thing here is that it’s a permanent color; it grows out unnoticed and covers small amounts of gray.
I guess I could mention that there’s also an option four. Hire a PR firm and have them airbrush your haircolor and cover the gray on every picture taken. This is called the Photoshop method or the Full Clooney, but isn’t really practical for those of us who live out here in the real world devoid of paparazzi. Seems to work for George, though.
One last word about coloring for beards and mustaches. The hair on your face grows very fast, so if you decide to color it please keep that in mind and be prepared to color it often as the hair grows out.
If you have any questions about options for coloring your hair you are welcome to contact me and come in to Shear Paradise Hair Studio for a free consultation.
PS: how many of you actually put your finger over the halves of the picture in the 1960’s Great Day Men’s Haircolor ad at the top of this article?