Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recession-era hair coloring tips

Like many women, I've been stretching the weeks between visits to my colorist. When money was flush, I showed up every four weeks, nipping those gray roots in the bud. After the market collapsed, I extended the wait to six weeks, but couldn't stand the little salt-and-pepper yarmulke that sprouted on my head. Now I'm going every five weeks, but even by then, my roots look nasty. And it doesn't help that I'm only 5'4", which allows most people to look down at the top of my head!

Drug store products don't usually cover those color-resistant gray strands, and of course, there's always the risk of my ending up looking like Lucille Ball. Now there are root touch-up products that are applied like wax crayons, lipsticks, mascaras and combs and range from $5 to $25.

But hair pros have other remedies that are cheap, temporary, and well-worth trying. They include touching up with the right shade of regular eye mascara, especially for auburn or dark hair. For brunettes and redheads, stylists suggest foundation in a color for dark skin -- just dab it onto your finger and blend it into the gray. Or buy cream eye shadow in a neutral color and brush or smudge it over the grays for blondes or brunettes. All of those sound relatively foolproof. The worst that can happen is that they don't work or they look weird, in which case you simply wash them out. I'll definitely give them a try during week # 5.

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