In the fashion world, a new color is introduced each season. The enchantment of being privy to the new color trend sets the tone for that period of design. The hair world also compliments the fashion world with new color trends. Gray has been a trending color for the high fashion scene at times, but there hasn't been much demand for it in the coif sphere.
For many of us, there isn't the same excitement of seeing our strands turning gray as it is in sporting all the fabulous colors that are forever advertised. The media plays it down, for several reasons; money, demand and association. There is great wealth in the hair color business. Color creates excitement. It's a well-known fact that color has a profound affect on us all. There are colors that make us feel happy and ones that do just the opposite. The color of the hair can complement our skin tone immensely or not. Hair color companies know that color can affect us positively and negatively. The profits received from knowing that fact is proof.
Association is another factor that plays a huge role in the "Graying Factor." I'd say this would pertain to women more than men. Men have it made. Bald or gray, men are more times than not considered sexy and desirable, regal and distinguished. These adjectives are rarely drummed up for women sporting gray hair. Women are often times put in the category of the aging and dowdy when wearing gray hair. I have found this not to be a true assessment with all women wearing their colorless coifs. Some women are stunning, displaying their gray coifs and showing no signs of the adjectives mentioned above. I have to admit that gray hair isn't always an easy wear. Some people would be better off down the road to color.
There are many aspects to consider when you have to decide between coloring the gray or not. If it's not due to the lack of income to maintain your color choice, which will get you back to the salon for retouches at least once a month if not sooner, there are other points to consider. Your skin tone, hair density, texture, and hairstyle choice should all be considered when making the decision. If you need more than one chemical service to maintain your style, it could become taxing to your hair, causing you to decide between the two or more services to properly maintain your locks. Color might be the one to give up based on your needs. If choosing the gray route, here are a few points to remember: Select a shampoo or rinse that is specifically designed for gray hair with whitening agents to keep the hair from dulling. When styling your hair, don't use high temperature heat as it will yellow the strands. Get a great haircut that gives you more freedom without looking over styled. Again, your stylist can help you make the best decision in obtaining an optimal look for your individual needs.
The "Going Green" factor can be one of the reasons for some to embrace their no pigment locks. People today are more health conscious than ever. They have incorporated the "green" way of living in every aspect of their lives. Letting the hair return to how it began, is a natural procession for those desiring the "go green" lifestyle.
It's not commonly known that hair initially has no pigment. Our hair grabs its natural hues/color from a pigment called melanin. Hair has two types of pigment: dark and light, and they are integrated in creating a vast array of color. Melanin is made of pigment cells called melanocytes. These cells are positioned at the opening of the skin's surface, where pigment is injected in the hair follicle, infusing our strands with our natural hair color.
The melanin in our bodies decrease with age and/or by the challenges that arrive from internal and external factors. The internal factors are: genetics, hormones, stress, etc. The external factors are: toxins, pollutants, chemical exposure, and atmospheric conditions. These elements could be the reason we sometimes see teenagers to early twenty year olds with graying strands. This is a phenomena that is still lurking without concrete answers.
At the end of the day, whether you choose to wear gray hair or not, is a personal choice. It shouldn't be judged or categorized. My words won't change the stigmas that society sometimes projects on personal choice. So embrace who you are, and if sporting your grays is part of your self-expression, than do so. There is no right or wrong decision. Beauty can exist in both choices. As I always say, "the absence of color can accentuate the color at hand." Be the best you, and the rest will follow.
This post first appeared on the Huffington Post.