How to Handle Gray Hair

Renee Trilivas, Allure magazine

Two things in life are inevitable: taxes and gray hair. While the former are pretty much unavoidable, at least there are ways to hide the latter, which, according to recent reports, has already started to bedevil Kate Middleton. And if it can happen to her, it will happen to you. We asked Aura Friedman, a colorist at Sally Hershberger Downtown, exactly what to do when gray strikes:

See more: The 10 Commandments of Mascara

Chill out. A recent study by Nature suggests a link between stress and going gray, so remind yourself not to freak out over a few gray hairs. "Hair goes gray when hydrogen peroxide, which is produced naturally in the human body, interferes with melanin," Friedman says. Unfortunately, there is no natural way to stop it, but there are a wide variety of man-made ways to conceal it.

Don't pluck it. Even if you have only one errant hair, avoid breaking out the tweezers. No, seven more strands will not come to it's funeral, but chances are the regrowth "will come back as tiny sprouts around your head that will stick out and be unmanageable," Friedman says. Plus, plucking damages the follicle and may stop hair from growing in that spot altogether, which can cause thinning over time.

See more: The 6 Most Flattering Haircuts for Round Faces

Try a temporary fix. For just a handful of grays, use a color-depositing shampoo or an at-home gloss for a cheap and easy way to temporarily tint the hair. "It will blend gray and fade out gradually," Friedman says.

Hide regrowth. To cover a few gray strands, use a single-process dye that matches your natural color. If you go any darker, it actually makes the new white hairs stand out. If you like more depth, ask a pro for a few subtle highlights to add dimension and disguise grays. Try a root touch-up kit to cover grays between dye jobs. Friedman says there is also an added bonus: "Most hair color whether it is permanent or demi permanent gives your hair volume and shine."

See more: Top 21 Drugstore Beauty Bargains

Pump up the volume. A touch of height at the roots can camouflage gray hair, and so can curls. Spray a volumizer at the roots then blowdry the hair upside down or add Velcro rollers to already dry hair to create sexy (read: distracting!) volume.

See more from Allure:
The Top 14 New Summer Hair Ideas

The 12 Best Eye Creams

2012 Readers' Choice Awards
10 Hairstyles That Make You Look 10 Years Younger