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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