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Going Gray With Grace

We asked local experts for their tried and true techniques and products.
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Scalp health is directly related to hair texture, which changes when you go gray. iStock

Holly Dear 

Founder of House of Dear | 3317 McKinney Ave., Ste. 101

After being a hairdresser for 27 years, Dear trained as a trichologist, focusing on hair loss and scalp health. What does that have to do with loss of color, you ask? It turns out scalp health is directly related to hair texture, which changes when you go gray. “Gray hair [results from] the removal of pigment because pigment helps hold all the vitamins, minerals, and elasticity together,” Dear says. To counteract this, Dear says, “it’s important to find the right products to treat and hydrate the scalp.” Deep conditioning treatments—and even using conditioner on your scalp, not just your hair—will help restore hydration, resulting in smoother and plumper follicles.  

Pro products:

House of Dear Resurrecting Balm: This styling product returns natural shine. 

House of Dear Resurrecting Rinse $38
House of Dear

House of Dear Resurrecting Wash and Rinse, $38

Rose of Jericho, sunflower seed extract, and pure aloe vera help balance pH levels.

Okay Moisturizing Hair Mask

Oway Moisturizing Hair Mask, $44

This organic hair mask can revive dry, brittle hair.

Stefano Weidmer 

Cut/color specialist at Raw Hair & Co | 223 N. Bishop Ave.

Weidmer notes that there are “a million” ways to go gray, but his top tip for maintaining nerve and sanity is demi-permanent color. “Going from a permanent hair color to a demi-permanent will hopefully help the transition and create this soft look so you don’t have a harsh blowout,” he says. While semi-permanent color may last several weeks, demi-permanent can last a month or more (usually up to 30 washes). The process is gradual: Weidmer starts by covering 100 percent of the gray roots, then 90 percent, and so on. The specific time frame is up to the client. “I’ve had people start the transition and say, ‘Nope, I’m not ready for this! Let’s go back to my original color.’ ” 

Pro product:  

Goldwell Colorance Demi Permanent Hair Color $16
Goldwell

Goldwell Colorance Demi Permanent Hair Color, $16

Weidmer uses R+Color and Goldwell demi-permanent color in the salon, but Goldwell’s line includes soft color foams and color kits you can apply at home.

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Katina Rabb

Master trainer at Pressed Roots | 320 Singleton Blvd., Ste. 160

For many with naturally textured hair, the concern may be less about color loss and more about breakage and hair loss. That’s because when we age, Rabb says, “sebum production slows down, hair loses pigment, and our hormones change, causing thinning.” The textured-hair expert suggests avoiding excessive heat and investing in a high-quality hair oil to protect those super curly and coily strands. She also advises clients with textured hair to avoid high-tension hairstyles, such as braids and tight extensions, because both can cause traction alopecia and permanent hair loss. 

Pro products: 

Moroccanoil Repair Shampoo $26
Moroccanoil

Moroccanoil Repair Shampoo, $26

This argan oil wash is lightweight but deeply nourishing.

Design Essentials Agave and Lavender Moisturizing Hair Bath: This gentle cleanser addresses dryness without irritation.

Design Essentials Agave and Lavender Weightless Thermal Protectant Serum: If you can’t put down the flat iron, apply this sulfate-free protectant first. 

Kyle Tatum 

Partner at Blow Salon Dallas | 5770 Abrams Rd.

Tatum says that certain color services can sometimes do more harm than good to gray hair because “anytime pigment is taken out of the hair with a lightener, it creates small holes in the strand, making the hair more porous.” This in turn makes the hair look duller. That’s why Tatum prefers to focus on color-depositing services rather than highlighting to help maintain the integrity of the hair. If a client is also looking to regain some volume and decrease frizz, Blow Salon offers a Fusio-Dose treatment from Kérastase. “It’s a targeted conditioning treatment that’s instantaneous and lasts for about 10 shampoos,” Tatum says.

Pro products:  

Kérastase Densifique $42

Kérastase Densifique, $42

This line of products was designed for thinning hair.

Shu Uemura Urban Moisture $63
Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura Urban Moisture, $63

For hair that’s become dull or lifeless, this product line injects weightless moisture back in.

This story originally appeared in the March issue of D Magazine. Write to [email protected].

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