Aging is just a fact of life, as inevitable as time itself. As you age, the color in your hair may start to fade to gray. You can sport the natural look, and embrace your grayness, or mask it with hair dye. Many people prefer to keep the youthful appearance of their hair or they may simply want to retain the hair color they’ve had all their adult life. There are several ways of dyeing African-American gray hair.

Choosing a Color

These days, you have a bevy of options in terms of color but your chosen color should more or less match the tint of your hair. For example, if your gray hair is dark, it’s better to go with a dark color, but if you have light gray hair, a lighter shade may work well. Otherwise, the light color could turn to an unappealing orange or yellowish hue.

Hair Henna

Hair henna is a natural alternative to chemical dyes. it is commercially available or you can mix it yourself. Combine henna (different colors are available), lime or lemon juice and water to make a paste and let sit overnight. Wash your hair and, while the hair is still damp, apply the henna paste. Cover your hair with a tightly fitted shower cap and wait about four hours. Then rinse your hair and enjoy your new look.

Chemical Products

A number of chemical products are available in stores or at your local hairdresser. If you want the dye job done right, it’s better to go to a stylist rather than do it yourself. Chemical dyes are absorbed by the follicles more deeply but they may dry out or damage your hair. To compensate, use special moisture-rich shampoos to keep your dyed hair healthy.

Other Coloring Tips

If you’ve been dyeing your hair for a while but want to return to your natural gray shade, you can get highlights that will smooth the transition between artificial color back to gray. Temporary dyes are the easiest but tend to rinse out after a few washes. Permanent color jobs last much longer but should be retouched as needed (about every eight weeks or so). For African-American hair, it’s better to get a perm first and then a color rather than vice versa.