A specific client of mine insists on letting her hair go gray. We had a very detailed conversation about the pros and cons, so I thought I would share them with you. 

Of course, I am totally pro “dye ’til you die.” There are a number of valid reasons to continue coloring or highlighting your white hair.

The No. 1 positive is that it the getting rid of the emerging white hair makes anyone look younger. All salt-colored – and even salt-and-pepper – hair is void of all warmth. The lack of warm tones washes out the skin, which results in more visible age spots and wrinkles.

Gray hair also has a different coarseness and texture, which makes the hair more difficult to style. Its wiry cuticle also causes hair to frizz or look frizzy.

You need to treat yourself and pay attention to your appearance. It would definitely make you feel better to look in the mirror if your hair is warmer and more youthful, wouldn’t it? When you look better, you feel better. 

As we age, anything that makes you feel better is a plus. The appropriate cut and color for you will make you look 10 years younger and 10 pounds thinner. This is the least expensive way to feel great and spend little. 

(The bonding time with me is also a huge plus. Just saying. Fun time away from the house.)

To be fair, here is my client’s viewpoint on the topic. The positive points of not coloring hair are less obvious to me, but are equally valid.

Barbara (not her real name) been with the same man for 40+ years. She is comfortable letting her hair go gray because her husband went gray and is balding. (I can add more pepper to men’s hair without it looking the least bit obvious. So, both men and women fit into my above pros.)

Another point is that Barbara feels that she doesn’t need to or, in her words, feel like she should spend the time or money on a vanity issue when others have bigger health issues as they age. 

I still think you need to treat yourself in your mature years.

Obviously, living on a fixed income could be a deterrent. That I can so identify with; however, the correct highlights and lowlights between the new growth can be a very cost-effective way to not see the line of gray as it comes in, and maintaining it is much less frequent and more graceful.

Just remember, women and men, even if you are thinking of going gray, having some pepper color blended throughout the new gray adds life. It’s the best way to not look like you’re coloring your hair yet not looking your age. 

You can’t argue with that.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton. styleitsalon.com