Parent Health

Mind + Body, June 2012

Woman with gray hairGoing gray and loving it

Silver, white, salt and pepper, charcoal – call it what you like, but “going gray” is just a natural part of life. For many, this color-changing symbol of maturity will seem to come too soon. Once those pesky grays begin to sprout, women are faced with a major style-changing ultimatum: to dye or not to dye.

WebMD notes that Anne Kreamer, author of Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Matters says choosing not to dye has “become a statement rather than a casual stylistic choice” citing Anderson Cooper and Steve Martin as celebrities who have greeted gray with aplomb.

As for women who wear their gray with pride, think Jamie Lee Curtis, Paula Deen, or iconic country rocker Emmylou Harris — all silver vixens who have chosen to stick with a signature au natural appeal.

“Embracing your gray hair is wonderful!” says Susie Powers, director of color services at Seattle’s Gene Juarez Salon ( She oftens suggests graying clients try a new hair style or experiment with different makeup colors to “accentuate skin tone, bone structure and to make the eyes pop.”

Robyn Holmes, a stylist for Milagros SalonSpa ( in Seattle echoes Powers’ enthusiasm. “Gray is gorgeous and it’s totally in with the younger crowd right now. Lady Gaga, Kelly Osbourne and many other famous ladies and gents well ahead of going gray are bleaching and toning to achieve this unpigmented look.”

For keeping gray locks healthy, Powers suggests using the Age Recharge products from Kérastase ($36-60). “As we mature, our skin and hair lacks luster and body and these products add that and more.”

Make sure your locks stay in top condition, says Holmes.  “Ask your stylist about the condition of your hair to determine which products you need for shiny, strong hair.” Her favorite recommendations for clients sporting a gray look include Aveda’s Damage Remedy line (products begin at $24; the full kit is $101).

Great foods for healthy hairJune's List

6 great foods for healthy hair

Sure, you lather, rinse and repeat daily – but for truly healthy tresses, look in your kitchen, not your shower. Much like skin or nail growth, the main source for hair health has less to do with conditioner, plenty to do with the fresh whole foods found in your fridge. Here are five foods that can help that head of hair stay healthy:

1. Salmon. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12 and iron – all good for maintaining your scalp (and skin) health.

2. Dark green veggies. Spinach, chard, broccoli and kale – all delicious leafy greens that can easily add a healthy dose of vitamins A and C, iron and calcium into your diet.

3. Legumes. An ample source for plant-derived protein, beans also provide iron, zinc and biotin (also known as vitamin H).

4. Nuts. According to the experts, Brazil nuts are one of Mother Nature’s best sources for selenium, a standout mineral for scalp health. And, walnuts aren’t so bad either – they offer up the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, along with zinc (also found in almonds, cashews and pecans).

5. Poultry. Chicken: It’s not just what’s for dinner anymore! This lean source of protein also contains a good helping of iron – both good nutrients for waging war against brittle hair.

6. Eggs. Whether you like them over easy or hard boiled, eggs are one of the best protein sources around, and they also offer up biotin and vitamin B-12.

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