The One Mistake Women Make When They Start Going Gray

Everyone gets gray hair at some point in their lives. Some people are fully salt-and-peppered as early as their late teens and 20s, while others start to notice a few silvery strands settle in around their 30s and 40s. For anyone who is newly graying and feeling inclined to dye their hair, there’s one common mistake to avoid at this stage: using the wrong type of dye.

If you don’t have enough grays just yet (meaning you’re dealing with a few wiry strands here and there, as opposed to more substantial sections of silver), it's better to use a semi-permanent color that blends your grays in with the rest of your hair and will gently fade over time vs. a permanent dye that might give you fuller coverage to start but can look too harsh—especially as your hair grows in.

Also, with a permanent dye, you’ll see a line of demarcation when your roots begin to come in, which means you’ll have to get them touched up more often to keep the color uniform.

On that note, another option you could try if you’re just starting to go gray is to get some highlights to help blend the lighter pieces together with the rest of your hair, so the contrast isn’t as stark. This works especially well if you have naturally lighter hair or typically get highlights.

Bottom line: Whether you decide to dye your hair or let your grays come through is entirely your choice—and it’s one that you can change your mind about as many times as you want, by the way. We’re just here to offer some guidance should you need it.

13 Women, From Their 20s to Their 70s, On How They Handled Going Gray

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Jenny Jin

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...
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