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Answer Angel: Solutions for when you're going gray

By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Lots of post-holiday hair questions ...

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I'm 52 and I have been going gray for years. The gray used to be only at the temples and now it's everywhere. My hair looks like a tiger's tail. What should I do? If I color it darker, I'll have to keep it up and there's that pesky grow-out line. I had thought about having the frosting thing with the cap where they pull your hair through with a crochet hook. Do ladies still do that? I don't want to look old.

- Rebecca S.

Dear Rebecca: It's called highlights now and often it involves "foils" (lightener applied to selected strands and wrapped in aluminum foil). This is an excellent solution to maximize your time between trips to the salon. Another trick is colored spray or powder at your hairline and your hair part to cover gray regrowth between salon visits. I've seen more and more of this root touch-up stuff in drugstores in the hair color aisle. My favorite is Style Edit Root Touch-Up Binding Powder, which is not cheap (, $33.99). Other brands' touch-up powder on Amazon do the same thing for a lot less money, but I haven't tested them to make sure they don't color my pillowcase and clothing, which would be a deal breaker.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I've got the post-holiday guilt trip going on. I haven't seen my hair stylist for a while, but after the holidays I'll be going in and - like every year - I don't know what to do about tipping. Because I am a generous tipper throughout the year (30%), I usually don't give a holiday tip. What are your thoughts? Am I a cheapskate?

- Joanie G.


Dear Joanie: I'm on your side. I try to tip generously throughout the year (you're ahead of me; I usually go for 25%), which I believe eliminates the need for a holiday bonus. So, no, you're not a cheapskate! In our case, Christmas doesn't just come once a year but every time we go to the salon. You shouldn't feel guilty. Feel generous. Let's hear from readers how they handle this issue.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: A friend of mine has been wanting to get married for what seems like forever. Headline: He's finally got a serious girlfriend! She's got a nice personality and a nice figure, but she has long, stringy hair that makes her look like a horse and probably is not age appropriate. How do I politely tell her she'd be a lot more attractive if she got a good haircut?

- Anonymous

Dear Anon: If you want to keep your friendship with this fellow and his potential wife intact, stay out it. Way far away out of it. This is smack dab in the category of, "You'd be so pretty if you lost weight." Don't say a word. It's none of your business.


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