Seems it's always been perfectly acceptable for men to let their hair go gray. In fact, men with salt-and-pepper hair are called "distinguished." Women, on the other hand, are more often referred to as "older" or "matronly."
And even though most people associate gray hair with aging, some women can see gray hair as early as their teens. So, why not try hair color at home?
To simplify the "sciency" details of why your hair turns gray, here's what happens: You have cells called melanocytes that become defective or die off. These are the cells that produce the pigment known as melanin that give your skin and hair its color. Genetics, vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid disorders, smoking and vitiligo (a skin condition that causes loss of pigment) are just a few things that can cause your hair to lose its natural color.
Severe stress can contribute to your graying hair as well. "Graying could be a result of chronic free radical damage," says Ralf Paus, professor of dermatology at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Lubeck, Germany.
Most people don't like having gray hair and they spend a lot of time – and money – to get rid of it. Women and men alike routinely spend a fortune on hair color products and salon treatments. Victor Castro, owner of Chateau, The Art of Beauty salon in Franklin Lakes, NJ,, which is often featured in Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey, says, "Some women can pull off gray, but not that many, actually." He says stick with natural shades as you age and skip the bright, inauthentic colors.
A new Clairol hair color covers stubborn gray hair and you can do it at home. Clairol Professional Celebrity Stylist Torsten Witte, who caters to famous clients including Michelle Monaghan, Penelope Cruz, Zac Efron and Zooey Deschanel, offers his tips for covering gray and dealing with changing hair texture.
"Gray hair is always stronger, thicker and more wiry. I am so happy Clairol Professional makes liquicolor permanente Graybusters in the NN shades! Find the shade that works for you at your local beauty supply store and use it to introduce more pigment to your gray hair. Clairol Professional Smooth Daily Shampoo will also help to smooth the hair after just one use," says Witte.
For thick hair that frizzes easily, Witte recommends using heat protectants when blowdrying and when using hot tools. "I personally don't turn the heat all the way up. Try using the middle heat setting which might be hot enough to do the trick," he adds.