Tinted Mousse

Tinted hair mousse
Q: Over the last year I have let my hair go grey. It was originally brown and when it started to go grey I went highlighted blonde for a few years. That was such a nuisance that I gave into the grey. I hate it.
I have just turned 60 and I feel I look so old. My daughter is encouraging me to go back to being brown. Do you think it would be possible? I know it would be hard work. Would brown mousse let me see how it would look?

A: Actually, temporary hair colors - such as tinted mousses and rinses - are great ways to test drive a color option. Just bear in mind that not all products are the same.
Some temporary hair color products are designed as color enhancers, and contain small amounts of colorants intended to give the hair's natural color a little "boost". Look for true temporary colors in the shade you desire and give those a try.
If you prefer a longer-lasting result without a commitment, you might consider using a semi- or demi-permanent hair color formula instead. These are designed to last through 6-12 shampoos and wash out gradually. These can often give you a better comparison to permanent color results.
As for specific color choices, using the color your hair naturally was is a great place to start. Just remember that our hair color naturally gets lighter as we age, and that if you attempt to use the same exact shade of brown you had when you were in your twenties, you may find the color a little too harsh for you. Stick with the color family, but try a shade or two lighter than your natural color was before you started going gray.
I can't give you any more specific advice on the matter because I don't know precisely how much gray you have or the shades of color we are talking about. You may want to talk to your stylist about your options and get a hands-on assessment of color choices available for you. A good salon will offer a variety of temporary, demi-permanent, and semi-permanent color options and can let you try out some different looks without having to commit to a permanent color.
If your hair is predominantly gray now, you will almost certainly want to see a professional colorist, since you will need multi-tonal color services in order to ensure that you get a natural looking color result.
Photo: Majcot/Shutterstock
See also:
What a hair rinse is
How to color your hair
The different types of hair color
The changes in the hair and hair color of aging women