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Hair Color 

None of us wants to look older than our age and few of us welcome those first grey hairs. In fact there is no such thing as grey-only white colorless hair mixed with brown which gives an illusion of grey.

Grey hair on one's head does not necessarily mean advancing age. White hair can appear in the teens or twenties and there are a few lucky people who never go grey. But mostly white hair first begins to show in the thirties. The body just stops making colour pigment.

No one can go grey overnight. Even though shock or illness may affect production of pigment it is not until the new hair has grown that you see it is white.

Those of you who would prefer not to colour your hair, should choose softer colours in clothes and make-up, since the skin coloring is also toned down by the same natural ageing process. White hair can be dry and wiry, so a conditioner is a must. Even the cleanest white hair can go yellow at the edges from smoke, dust and dirt in the hair. To go further into the subject of colour, an understanding of the coloring treatment is essential.

Temporary hair coloring rinses - In this treatment, the hair shaft is coated with clear colour to darken or highlight. If you are not going to fight the white, the temporary rinse will keep it looking bright. It really is temporary, coating each hair only until the next shampoo. Colours come in coloured conditioning setting lotions; water rinses and shampoos, and will enhance white hair with silver pearl or blue colours.

A rinse can also add burnished gold or copper highlights to light or medium-coloured hair. It can bring out the red in the hair and brighten your dark hair with shine. With your next shampoo, the rinse washes away completely.

Semi-permanent treatment - Shampoos of semi-permanent hair colorants come in one bottle and need no mixing. They penetrate the hair slightly and don't require the aid of a peroxide developer. The hair colour produced by such products fades gradually and naturally, lasting through four to six shampoos. As the colour fades, there is no root retouching to do. But most semis will only hide up to 25 per cent grey. They blend white hairs into your natural shade, but usually don't cover them completely. The secret of success is to choose a colour as near your own as possible. Semi-permanent coloring is rather easy to do on your own. The results are very natural-looking and the colour never rubs off on linen or clothing. Touches aren't necessary because a new application is repeated every four weeks.

Hair coloring treatment with chemical dye - If you have a lot of white hairs, only a permanent colorant will cover them. Look for packs with two bottles to mix. One contains colour, the other peroxide which helps the colour penetrate deeply into the core of each hair to give longer lasting colour (six to eight weeks), and biggest colour change. You can even lighten your hair. Most are shampooed on. The colour doesn't wash out but after about every four weeks, the roots will need re-touching. Modern applicators make it easy to apply the colour just where you want on the roots where the new hair growth is showing.

The disadvantage of oxidation coloring is that it makes the hair dry and porous, so use plenty of conditioners. The hair colorants now available in the market are ammonia free. Ammonia is a strong alkali used to make the colour compound penetrate deeply. But colorants formulated without it, are less likely to irritate the skin, do not smell so strongly and leave the hair in better condition.

Today there are two kinds of permanent hair coloring products available; penetrating tints and coating tints, like herbal hair dyes.

The subtlest way of camouflaging grey hair is to have streaks done professionally. Tiny, thread-like sections of hair are tinted all over the head, and as hair is made up of several different shades, results can be very natural-looking. Less retouching is necessary.

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