Louis Licari: Skip the Dye Job? Women Go Gray!

Am I terribly off-base thinking that gray hair makes women look older and their complexions dull and drab? Am I biased against the new aesthetic? Can women look more beautiful with gray hair?
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Recently, I have been receiving calls from beauty editors, reading multiple articles in publications (including the Los Angeles Times), and even watched a segment on the Today show called "Okay to Go Gray" about the new trend to let your hair go gray. It makes me wonder: Am I terribly off-base thinking that gray hair makes women look older and their complexions dull and drab? Am I biased against the new aesthetic? Can women look more beautiful with gray hair? Does this seem so wrong to me because I am nervous about the effects a gray trend might have on my hair coloring business? After numerous observations and deep soul searching, I have to say I am still convinced that most women look better when they color their gray hair.

The Trend
There is a trend for edgy young women, such as Kelly Osbourne, Pink and model Agyness Deyn, to color their hair silver gray. This has nothing to do with letting one's gray hair show. Hair lightened to look gray has an entirely different appearance from hair that has naturally lost its pigment. Naturally gray hair is made up of many different shades of light and dark. Tinted gray hair is monochromatic and intentionally made to look like an artificial, stylized color. I promise you this will be a short-lived trend. This is a fun fashion statement for those who change their hair color as easily as most women change their nail polish.

Who Looks Good Gray?
Very few women look more beautiful and vital with their gray hair showing. You have to have the perfect shade of silver hair combined with a flawless complexion to wear your gray hair successfully. When your hair is gray, your face must look perfect every day. Any stress or fatigue is magnified when hair is worn gray. To allow hair to go gray creates a huge burden for most people trying to look their best.

Let's face it -- very few women are blessed with the face of Carmen Dell'Orefice, the original gray-haired super model. Most women need help to keep their looks vibrant. And most women with great looking gray hair have had it embellished. I know personally that Helen Mirren, who is noted for keeping her gray mane, often gets highlights to give it the slightest blonde shimmer.

My Take on Grays
Hair color is too important to your overall look to be ignored. I know that this point of view is going to raise the eyebrows of all women who have decided to go gray. I do believe that going gray is entirely the individual's option and that no one should feel pressured to hide the gray. In fact, I have helped many women who have chosen to grow out their gray hair do so as gracefully as possible. The fact is that most people appreciate gray hair on other women -- but not on themselves. Whether women are frightened of the aging process or just feel drab with gray, most choose to color their hair.

If You Want to Go Gray, Here's How to Do It
Growing out gray hair can be awkward and very difficult. Hair that is half gray and half tinted is incredibly unattractive. A temporary rinse -- a color that comes out in one shampoo -- is the perfect solution to blend away the gray until the colored hair has grown out. Stop applying the rinse when the last bit of your tinted hair has been snipped off and you will have your gray mane.

It is most important for you to feel comfortable with your decision, whether you decide to color your hair or to let it go natural. Covering your gray hair is entirely your choice. I think that for 99 percent of the female population, the decision should be obvious. Coloring your hair makes a huge difference in your appearance and is too easy not to do.

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