Process biology: what is gray hair?

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Gray Is a natural process of reducing the activity of cells that produce the pigment melanin. The natural hair color also depends on its level: the more melanin is produced by the cells, the darker the human hair.

With age, the activity of cells can change, therefore, for example, children, as they get older, can acquire a darker hair color, and they work in different ways: someone may not acquire gray hair even in old age, and someone can turn very gray early.

Interesting fact: it is generally accepted that gray hair gray colors, but it’s actually transparent.

The structure of hair with gray hair can also differ from the usual one: the hair can become thinner or coarser, it can curl more than usual. For this reason, stylists recommend smoothing agents for natural gray hair (this is how serum SteamPod from L’Oreal Pro, spray Miracle Creator from Matrix) and care with pigments (Matrix So Silver, air conditioning L’Oréal Pro Silver).

Few people think about the causes of gray hair, although they are very diverse.

We have collected for you the most common cases when cells that produce pigment begin to malfunction:

  • genetics and age-related changes;
  • some diseases;
  • shocks and stressful situations;
  • disturbances in the work of glands and various organs;
  • malnutrition;
  • unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, alcohol;
  • taking certain medications;
  • lack of B vitamins and essential trace elements.

Like any process, gray hair has its own stages of growth, development and progression.

Let’s consider them in more detail.

  • First gray hair
    The first gray hair can appear at an early age.
  • Focal gray hair
    Sometimes an entire strand of hair or a separate area on the head, such as the temple, can turn gray.
  • Less than 50% gray hair
    This is mainly gray hair scattered all over the head, but it can be concentrated and zonal.
  • More than 50% gray hair
    You gradually turn into a gray-haired woman.

And even if gray hair is fashionable, there are very few women who do not dream of disguising it.

How to hide gray hair quickly and easily? Let’s tell you now!

  • Toners, conditioners and coloring shampoos

A temporary way to give your hair the desired shade works well for gray hair.

Many professional brands have similar tools: for example, ColorLast Purple (Biolage), Blondifier Cool (L’Oreal Pro), Brass Off (Matrix). All of these shampoos are designed for artificial blondes that quickly develop a yellow tint.

Important: for gray hair, there are special shampoos that gently look after and allow you to neutralize unwanted shades, for example Magnesium Silver from L’Oreal Professional.

  • Temporary color sprays and hair crayons

A very convenient way to temporarily disguise gray hair between stains: for example, paint over a gray part or small focal areas of gray hair. For these purposes, suitable L’Oréal Professionnel Hair Touch Up.

Choosing a permanent paint for painting gray hair is a very crucial step, since some shades can behave unpredictably, even though modern means can easily cope with gray hair. Follow the rules and choose a quality professional dye, our experts advise.

What else do you need to know when choosing a paint for painting gray hair?

  • When choosing a paint, it is better to take a tone one shade lighter than the natural hair color. If your gray hair is scattered over your head, then the regrown roots will not be so striking, and the transition will be smooth.
  • The paint for painting gray hair differs from the usual one in its durability, coloring power and pigment content. Choose colors with bulky color pigments for the most effective coverage of gray hair and shine.
  • The choice of paint depends on the amount of gray hair and its condition. For a diffuse type and a low concentration, ordinary dye in natural colors is suitable, but for hair with a lot of gray hair, a more aggressive dye is needed.
  • With or without ammonia. Ammonia is a gas that creates an alkaline environment and helps to lift the hair scales so that the pigment penetrates there and is securely attached. Ammonia is toxic to the body, and in the long term it changes and damages the hair structure, but at the same time it prolongs the durability of the color and makes the color more intense. In order to avoid allergies, paint with ammonia must be tested on the skin before use.

If you are afraid to make the wrong choice, then your master will be able to tell you exactly which paint to choose for your hair type. In cases where there is already a lot of gray hair, colorists use paints with a dense coating: Majirel Cool Cover, Matrix SoColor, L’Oréal Pro Name.

Advice: choose a paint with caring components, as a part of ammonia, they will help reduce trauma and damage to hair with regular tinting.

The technique for painting gray hair differs depending on its type.

Follow our expert guidelines for the most effective stains:

  • When painting for the first time a lower percentage of clarifier should be applied to the roots, so that they do not look lighter.
  • The oxide is selected based on the thickness of the hair. For thick hair, the concentration of the dye will be much higher!
  • Thin hair can be dyed both blond and dark. Thick gray hair is pre-lightened before dyeing in blond to create a background for dyeing.
  • For maximum shading, use prepigmentation – a technique for dyeing gray hair, which allows you to saturate an empty hair structure with a background for future pigment. This treatment smoothes out porous hair and scales, looks after and prolongs the color durability. Ideally, prepigmentation should be done in a salon with an experienced master, it will not take much time, but it will allow you to get a beautiful hair color. But you can also do it yourself: mix half a tube of paint with water in a ratio of 1 to 2, apply on gray hair and stand for 15‒20 minutes. Mix the rest of the paint with an oxidizing agent and apply over the entire length of the hair over the previous composition, leave for the time required according to the instructions.

Important: the procedure is indicated for people with more than 20% gray hair!

  • With a small amount of gray hair, a 3% oxidizer will do. On a large amount of gray hair, you can use an oxidizing agent of 6% or more (9 or 12%).
  • When re-staining the roots with the same paint, it is possible not to paint the entire length, but it is important to stretch it gently to create a smooth transition. If the shade is washed out, apply the paint over the entire length a few minutes before washing off.
  • The roots should be tinted on average once every 2 weeks. It all depends on how quickly your hair grows back.

Highlighting Is a dyeing technique that works well for women with silver hair. Who should pay attention to this technique, what are the pros and cons – we will figure it out together with our experts.

This is a good way to hide silver strands and make regrowth less noticeable.

Highlights are suitable for women with less than 50% gray hair and women with localized gray hair.

To do or not to do highlights is a big question. Let’s first figure out the pros and cons of this type of staining and then make a confident choice!


  • hides gray strands;
  • helps to correct the shape of the face and head;
  • adds volume;
  • does not require regular correction;
  • less harmful to hair than dyeing the entire head.


  • not suitable for home coloring;
  • it is difficult to perform on newly colored hair and can give unexpected results;
  • dark hair may need to lighten strands;
  • the need for additional care for damaged and colored hair;
  • requires the use of a stable composition with aggressive components.

Gray in vogue, and completely gray or white hair will surprise no one. Who is suitable for full clarification, what are the positive sides and disadvantages of this method, our experts will tell.

Ideally lighting as a way of masking gray hair is suitable for those who have from 50 to 80% gray hair. For women with a lot of gray glass hair, this method will be difficult due to the structure: coloring will require prepigmentation (or repigmentation) to create the background of the coloring.

An obvious advantage will be the absence of the need to constantly tint the roots – gray hair is not so noticeable on light hair.

Of the minuses, of course, a change in structure stands out: hair deteriorates, becomes more rigid, requires constant care and toning.

Important: if after lightening you decide to return to dark shades again, then you also need prepigmentation – saturation of the hair with pigment. With lightening, the hair loses some tones, and without this procedure, you can accidentally get green hair.

Natural coloring products such as basma, henna, chamomile and walnut peel are very popular among the people and on the Internet.

Our stylists do not approve of these methods: the result is almost always unpredictable, and severe allergies can develop to natural dyes. In addition, if these methods can be suitable for dyeing hair with rare gray hair, then on completely gray hair or on hair with large foci of “silver” the result can be unpredictable. Vitreous gray hair (with thinned cuticles, damaged scales and coarse hair), according to professionals, may not be painted over at all or appear in a red or green tone! When choosing a natural dye, spend staining under the supervision of a professional. Then you are guaranteed to enjoy the result. A professional mix of natural dyes can be a good solution. Botanea, whose formula is designed for gray hair too. You can learn more about eco-coloring on these mixtures. here… What is noteworthy is that after such a natural coloring of gray hair, unwanted shades can still appear on the hair. To neutralize them, colorists use a special care – toner Botanea.

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