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Fun Way to Cover Gray: Rainbow Roots

These days, gray is starting to creep through my hair. I know, I know: It’s a natural part of aging. But I just can’t embrace it, so please don’t waste your time lecturing me — I’m not ready to go all-the-way, Eileen-Fisher-model gray.

But I am bored silly with the usual process of covering up my roots. So instead of cursing them, I wondered if I should light up my life and turn my roots into a source of fun and joy. The possible answer: rainbow roots.

“I’m seeing a lot of women who love having color throughout the regrowth area, and not just primary hues. Try gorgeous cinnamon, amber honey, espresso and wine reds.”

While rainbow hair is something best left to reality TV stars and tweens, rainbow roots – which are only visible when you ruffle your fingers through your hair or wear an updo—are pretty fantastic. I watched a video in which a dark-haired woman got this style after bleaching her roots to smithereens. Since my roots are already sans pigment, perhaps I was already primed for this cheery ROYGBIV look. I reached out to celebrity stylist Jet Rhys, of the California-based Jet Rhys Salon, for some enlightenment.

“To get vivid shades, you really need to strip it to platinum, to start with a pure canvas of white,” she said. “Color on gray hair responds differently.”  A better idea, she says, is to capture the same effect with hues that work well on gray: “I’m seeing a lot of women who love having color throughout the regrowth area, and not just primary hues. Try gorgeous cinnamon, amber honey, espresso and wine reds.” The trick, according to Rhys, is to learn how the gray accepts dye; have your colorist experiment. “Once new gray comes in, you can do different shades and tones. It’s super fun.”

I’m in. How about you?

–Maria Ricapito

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