What men should know about dyeing their gray hair

A change in hair color can be a symbol of a change in someone’s personal life, a new beginning or an attempt to stop the aging process. Depending on the person, it could be a significant change that lasts a while — or until the next haircut.

For many men, it might seem like an opportunity for a new look, or to signify they’re back on the market. Perhaps that’s a consideration for Bill de Blasio, the former New York City mayor: After 30 years of marriage, he and his wife, Chirlene McCray, revealed this week that they’re separating. (The couple said they do not intend to divorce and will continue to live together for the time being.)

However, Mr. de Blasio’s darker hair was a highlight for readers who remembered his gray days at the Gracie mansion. “I never expected to do anything with hair color,” he said in the interview. “But I like to feel what I feel.”

We spoke with hairstylists and colorists about what men should know before succumbing to a bottle of dye.

Garrett Bryant, Founder Hawthorne At a Manhattan hair salon, he said he usually tries to talk his clients out of coloring their gray hair.

“I will admit that I am a staunch opponent of gray coverage,” he said. “It’s not about being a dad or anything, I just think gray hair can be beautiful.”

Men’s hair color can be tricky because their hair is often shorter than women’s, which means less length in which the colorist can blend colors for a more natural look. You want to avoid any sudden changes in color.

“If you’re too dark to try to cover all of the gray, you’ll get very flat results; it’ll look all exactly one color,” Mr. Bryant said.

For first-timers, it’s best to start small by camouflaging gray hair rather than covering it all up. Blending allows for a more subtle and natural look.

Hana Parsley, Men’s Cut and Color Specialist Takamichi Poetry In lower Manhattan, she says she prefers to start as minimal as possible when coloring her clients’ hair to avoid “a line of demarcation when their hair grows out.”

She added, “You won’t get 100 percent coverage with blending, but it’s a great way for a kind of baby step to start coloring your hair and naturally getting it a little darker each time.”

In the age of DIY, it might seem easy to do a quick Google search or open up TikTok for references. Resist the temptation: It’s usually helpful to seek out a professional.

Garren, hairstylist and co-founder of a hair product line R+Co.recommends going into detail with the hair dyer before applying a single drop of dye.

“It’s about figuring out what hairstyle you’re going to wear with it,” he said. “Like, if you were to color your hair, what would your haircut look like? What would your style be? You have to have a conversation with your hair clipper, your colorist, and come to an agreement about what you’d feel comfortable with in your skin.”

Mr. Bryant estimated the cost of professional men’s hair coloring in Manhattan at between $50 and $100. For Mr. de Blasio, it was almost certainly a lot less.

Alberto Amor of Astor Place Hairstylists has been the former mayor’s stylist since Mr. de Blasio was a freshman at NYU, According to his autobiography. Although he declined to speak specifically about Mr. de Blasio as a client, Mr. Amour said Thursday that he usually charges $20 for a dye job.

Neutral and ashy colors tend to be the best way to color your hair. You should also not rely strictly on the shades advertised on the box.

said Rita Hazan, owner Salon of the same name on the upper east side. “So if you think you have dark brown hair, I would go for a medium brown, like. If you think you have medium brown hair, go for a light brown.”

The dark color can give you the unfortunate look of shoe polish.

“I find that a lot of guys start doing it over the counter and all of a sudden, they get themselves where they start to look very inky or brassy,” said Ms. Hazan. “It overlays and absorbs and then overlays and overlays to where it gets really dark, and all of a sudden you see the roots growing really fast.”

Maintenance is what will ultimately determine how long your hair color lasts. Mr. Bryant recommends going to the salon every four to six weeks, but coloring can last longer if it’s well taken care of. Several hairstylists recommended Redken and Paul Mitchell’s products, adding that sulfate-free products can help avoid damaging hair color.