DEAR STEEL ADVICE: I want to start to color my hair. I am overwhelmed with all of the products and color choices available and don’t know where to begin. How do I find the right color and product to cover my gray hair? I am a grandma who is tired of looking like a gray mouse.
— GRAY MOUSE
DEAR GRAY MOUSE: Selecting hair color is different from choosing a car color. The car can be any color you like. Your hair is different. Rule No. 1 is to find a hair color that complements your eyes and your skin tone. Skin and hair age in sequence and have the same underlying pigments. Discuss realistic options with your hair stylist and consider having the stylist color your hair. With some guidance you will be able to venture on your own if you choose. Women who color their own hair enjoy the convenience of being able to refresh their locks on their own schedule and also benefit from lower costs. Your time and budget will determine what works best for you. When you enhance your hair color and cover the gray, treat yourself to a makeup change that complements your new look. Heads will turn when the gray mouse morphs into a spring chicken.
DEAR STEEL ADVICE: I am seeking advice regarding people who bathe in cologne and perfume. I have a retail business specializing in coffee and tea. My business is designed around appealing to the senses. In my opinion, half of the enjoyment of coffee and tea is the aroma. Consequently, all employees are encouraged to use unscented shampoo, conditioners and deodorants because I prefer that customers enjoy the aroma of coffee -- not them.
Is there a tactful way to indicate to the olfactory offenders (my customers) that perhaps unbeknownst to them, they have built up an tolerance that is OFF the CHARTS? BTW -- Men and smokers are the primary offenders. (Using Hugo Boss to mask cigarettes is a strange quandary!) If you are able to suggest a diplomatic solution, would it also be applicable to habitual garlic consumers? Our solution thus far has been to expedite the transaction followed by opening our doors to air the premise.
— A FAN AND ADMIRER FROM THE EASTERN SIDE OF PA
DEAR BRUISED BY OLFACTORY OFFENDERS: There is no delicate way to tell someone they stink. If you start to cough and say you are allergic to cologne, the offenders will be hurt and you risk losing them as customers. Their desensitized sniffers make them oblivious to their perfume overdose. They falsely assume everyone is mesmerized by the heady fragrance. The garlic and spice users leave a pungent trail because those strong odors permeate their pores and cling to their clothing. Maintaining the aroma of fresh brewed coffees and teas in your shop is a priority. Continue to prop the door open as wide as necessary until the air is cleared of the undesirable smells. If you say too much or start to wear a mask, the polluters may stop frequenting your shop.
Need some Steel Advice? Email questions to: email@example.com or write to Mary Ann Wellener, Steel Advice Column, c/o Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Follow Mary Ann on Twitter at @PGSteelAdvice.