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6 Steps to Going Gray

Follow these tips to achieve that ‘silver fox’ glow

  • Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

    Give In to the Gray Temptation

    Admit it: You’re tempted to rock your “silver fox” locks every time a shot of Emmylou Harris (pictured) pops into view. With gray hair growing in popularity — often by economic necessity — here are some tips on how to do so seamlessly.

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    Grow In Your Roots

    Resist retouching your color for a month or two. That first inch of gray roots can look grungy, but it will tell you how gray you are — and what shade.

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    Evaluate Your Gray

    Surprises may lurk in your true colors: Some “grays” actually grow in as white, platinum, medium steel or tarnished silver. The color may be uniform, a salt-and-pepper mix or streaked. Roseanne Barr (pictured) has let the gray take over her brunette locks.

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    Add Highlights and Lowlights

    Ask your colorist to add highlights around the face but not to retouch your base color. (This blends the silvery glints at your roots throughout your hair so they don’t sit at your scalp in a ring.) You can also add a few lowlights, or deeper color strands, to create depth and contrast.

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    Trim the Ends Frequently

    By snipping off dyed ends at regular intervals, your proportions of natural and dyed hair will gradually shift to favor the gray. Hair grows about half an inch per month, so cutting that much from the bottom each time will keep your look consistent but speed the process.

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    ‘Warm Up’ Your Makeup

    Gray hair flatters skin that is pink, olive, honey-toned, tanned or deeper in color. If your skin is pale, compensate with a peachy-pink blush or golden bronze. Use makeup to fill in your eyebrows as they go gray. Nancy Wilson (pictured) always synchs up her skin, gray hair and makeup.

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    Start a New Hair Care Routine

    Gray hair can be dry, wiry, coarse or frizzy, so moisturizing shampoos, conditioners and leave-in styling oils are essential. Gray hair can also take on a yellow cast from hard water, UV rays or hair product buildup, so try a violet-tinted shampoo and conditioner.

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