Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Going Gray In This Economy? Forget It

(NAPSI)-In this job market, gray definitely isn't the new black--at least when it comes to women's hair.

"When you're competing for a job with someone who's 10 years younger or 20 years younger than you are, being gray is the equivalent of wearing a necklace that says '57,'" Charla Krupp, author of the book "How Not to Look Old," has bluntly observed. "Would you do that? You have to convey the message that you're still in the game."

You won't be alone. About 55 percent of women color their hair at least occasionally. According to Margaret Voelker-Ferrier of the University of Cincinnati, who specializes in studying aging trends, "Society is changing but it hasn't gotten to the point that older, gray-haired women are considered distinguished looking."

How to deal with that without paying hundreds of dollars, however, has become almost an obsession among many women. Here's what experts say are the savviest ways to keep the gray away if you're in frugality mode:

• Do Your Own Coloring--Try an at-home hair dye or highlights.

• Make It Last--Sulfate-free shampoos are known for making color last and for keeping hair shinier and healthier in general. One favorite: The new VitaminShampoo line, which is also at the forefront of the "superfruits" trend. Superfruits are a category of fruits that have been called "the future of healthy living." They're rich in vitamins and antioxidants, according to studies conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, and nutritionists, medical researchers and other scientists are taking them very seriously.

Shampoo "flavors" such as pomegranate blackberry, noni berry lemongrass and acai berry guava are made with high-potency fruits, loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. The fruits come from around the world, including Tahiti and Brazil's Amazon Rain Forest.

• Find Deals--Some beauty schools will color your hair at a discount if you're willing to let a student work on you. Even better, total freebies can sometimes be found at salons holding employee-training sessions.

• Don't Hesitate To Ask--Finally, if you've lost your job and have a good relationship with your stylist, ask her to cut you a break to keep your business--especially when your situation improves. She may be happy to help you out. Just don't ask for the favor more than once.

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