Few things are as startling as spotting your first grays. But while we associate silver strands with older age, on average, women gray from age 25 onward, and top stylists say they’re seeing more women in their 20s and 30s coming in to the salon with gray hair these days.“I think women are more stressed out than ever, and that’s likely accounting for the younger and younger clients I see with gray hair,” says Lisa Stephenson, creative director for Sassoon Salon NYC Uptown.
Whatever You Do, Do NOT Pluck!
Apparently, this is as close to a cardinal sin as one can get. Sure, when it’s just a stray strand or two, grabbing the tweezers can feel super tempting—but experts say you may live to regret the shortcut. “Plucking can damage the hair follicle and the strand may never grow back—and as you age and your hair naturally thins, you’ll need every strand of hair you can get,” warns New York City salon owner and stylist Mark Garrison. “Gray hair is perfectly good hair—it just needs pigment. Never under any circumstances pluck perfectly good hair from your head!” adds Adam Livermore, celebrity colorist and Oribe Hair Care educator. OK, OK, we promise not to pluck!
Play With Your Part Line.
For many women, grays often grow in more heavily on one side of the head than the other. “If grays are more prominent on one side, try switching your part to the other side,” says Mike Petrizzi, AgeBeautiful artistic director. A zigzag or diagonal part may also help conceal grays that are growing in more scattered around the head.
Try styling with barrettes and pretty hair jewelry clips (we love the selection on Etsy) to neatly pin gray strands beneath colored locks in a very intentional-looking way, suggests Petrizzi. A simple half-up style clipped at the back of the head without a part can adeptly disguise stray grays growing at the crown that can otherwise stand out like a spotlight.
Cut Hair So It Falls Forward.
For clients whose first grays are around the face or on the sides of their head, Stephenson designs hair to disguise the grays. “I cut layers shorter in the back and longer in the front so that hair falls forward,” she explains. A blowout with a brush that accentuates the forward-falling motion can help cement the clever style.
Go For A Gloss.
“For clients who are beginning to gray and don’t want a huge change, I use gloss to camouflage the grays and make them look like natural highlights,” says Livermore. Gloss (sometimes also referred to as glaze) adds a sheer touch of semipermanent color to strands that washes out in a couple to a few weeks, and also comes with the benefit of adding beautiful glass-like shine to strands.