Valerie Monroe
Photo: Patrik Andersson
Q: Not everyone wants to dye her gray hair, you know. I love mine, but it's turning a little yellow. How can I bring out the silvery tones?

A: I love gray hair , too. (On you. Not me.) Gray or white hair, which contains little or no pigment, sometimes gets yellow because it picks up pigments from the environment; for example, if you use a yellowish shampoo or conditioner, rather than a clear one, a trace of the color might be deposited on your hair. Chlorine and other chemical residues in water, sunlight, and even oils from the scalp can also give gray or white hair a yellowish cast, says David H. Kingsley, PhD, a hair and scalp specialist in New York City. So if your water is very chlorinated, install a water filter in your shower; wear a hat when you're in the sun; and be sure to wash your hair regularly. Try products made specifically for gray hair, like Clairol's Shimmer Lights shampoo and conditioner, says Joel Warren, master colorist at the Warren Tricomi Salon in New York City. But don't use them more than once a week, because they could make your hair look bluish. For a daily shampoo, try Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying Shampoo ($4; drugstores).

Keep in mind: Adding a few silvery highlights can mean the difference between dull and dramatic.

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