How To Go Grey Gracefully

How To Go Grey Gracefully

It happens to all of us – eventually. So here’s how to be a silver-haired stylista…

It happens to all of us – eventually. Here’s how to do be a silver-haired stylista…

Grey hair is an inevitable part of ageing. As we get older our body produces less melanin (the pigment that gives hair its colour), which causes hair to turn grey and, eventually, white.

“By the age of 30, most people will have a few grey hairs. By 50 at least half of your hair will have turned grey,” says trichologist Philip Kingsley.

It’s fair to say most of us won’t exactly relish this reminder of time ticking on but there is good news. Being released from the time and expense of regular colouring is often the major motivator for going natural. And now the dialogue around grey hair has changed completely. Silver hair, as it’s known in fashion circles (never grey!), has become a badge of feminism, confidence and cool.

Women like the supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice, actors Helen Mirren and Diane Keaton, and business icon Linda Rodin have made ‘glam grey’ their signature look and young bloggers are dyeing their hair a trendy white. “Grey hair is now deemed pretty and playful,” confirms Siobhan Jones, colour ambassador at Headmasters Hairdressers.

So how do you make the transition to a grey goddess without looking as if you’ve simply given up on grooming? “If you’ve already got coloured hair, never go cold turkey,” says Siobhan. “You essentially have two options: you can blend the greys or you can cover them, going lighter until you are predominantly naturally grey.”

Here’s the drill:

Get a haircut

“Losing some length will help your hair look healthier and maintain a stronger shape due to texture changes,” says Siobhan. “It also helps to cut away the old colour.”

Blend the grey

“A freehand colouring technique is ideal,” says Siobhan. “Your colourist will weave highlights and/or lowlights into your hair to blur the grey and give you a rich, multi-tonal effect.” Commit to appointments every 8-12 weeks – with each session they’ll apply less colour, helping to slowly reveal your full grey. “This can take about a year or longer, depending on how long your hair is,” says Siobhan.

Gloss over the grey

“Glossing is a great treatment as it covers up to 70% of greys and only takes 20 minutes – an easy lunchtime job,” says Siobhan. It’s a great way to go gradually lighter until you don’t notice the regrowth anymore. For a similar at-home option, semi-permanent colour gives translucent coverage that gradually washes out.

Be patient

The first few weeks are the hardest when the line between previously dyed hair and new growth can be stark. Try and style-out this period with headbands and root cover-up powders.

Lock in moisture and shine

Gorgeous grey needs to look conditioned and cared-for – dry, brittle grey is horribly ageing. “Grey hair lacks the naturally occurring oils present in younger hair, so it becomes coarse, wiry and prone to frizz,” says Ben Cooke, Pantene Pro-V creative stylist ambassador. “Switch to moisturising haircare such as Pantene Pro-V Age Defy Expert Shampoo and Conditioner that hydrates and softens each hair strand.”

Grey hair won’t shine naturally so stock up on clever light-reflective products like Pantene Pro-V Shine Hairspray.

Don’t forget maintenance

“I ask my clients to come into the salon once a year for a few highlights,” says Siobhan. “It’s an easy commitment and helps keep the grey bright and vibrant.”

Celebrate the new you

As we age we lose pigment from our skin as well as our hair, making us appear softer. Now’s the perfect time to move out of your comfort zone, try new clothes and new ways of applying your make-up. Consider this your ticket to go shopping!

Have you braved the grey? Let us know your tips in the comments section below.

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We are all different

babyhk 23/01/2018

I say - do what you feel comfortable with . Aged 57 I home colour as I feel I can choose the shades I like . I remember a salon colour where I looked like a drag queen as they had dyed my hair too dark then put in a hint of purple . I use a base shade then a couple of days later put 2 different shades of streaks in it and only use half the product at a time by mixing in another bowl . Some women look fantastic with grey hair but it needs proper maintaining or it can resemble a brillo.


coll4918 28/06/2017

Remember when you go grey to change some of the colours you wear to compliment the grey. Softer pastel shades will suit most greys and soft eye shadow in peachy pink and lilac's are great for bang on trend colours, try to leave the dark harsher colours as they can look cold and make you look older than you are.

Philip Kingsley is Wrong

Linda 22/05/2017

In the above article, Philip Kingsley said that by the age of 50 half of a person's hair is grey. i am 66 and only have a few grey hairs sprinkled throughout my hair, although the sides have a lot more. I have never dyed my hair and saw my first grey hair at the age of 29, when I thought I would go grey young, which has turned out not to be true.

Embrace your new look

Jenoofer 21/05/2017

I tried to grow out my grey last year and got to about 3" of natural roots before I could stick it no longer - so I shaved it all off for Macmillan!!! Best thing as it gave me a much needed confidence boost, I got loads of compliments on my Brave the Shave look, raised much needed money for such a great cause and am still getting compliments on my naturally silver grey hair under a year on. And I'm not even 50 yet! Go for it ladies

Silver on top dark underneath

joan 19/05/2017

My hair has been gradually going silver for a few years - my current passport shows me with dark hair and is almost unrecognisable. I've never been tempted to dye it as your skin and hair change together so dyed hair looks so obvious to me. But I'm silver on the top layers and still dark underneath - how does that happen?

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