Grey is tricky  – Wear it well, and you could be stunningly unforgettable. But play it wrong, and you risk looking like your (great-) grandma.

An increasingly popular trend is ditching the hair dye and going grey while adopting a stunning and beautiful look. If it is good enough for celebrities…. As we all already know, the wrong haircut or the wrong colour can add years to you whatever the colour or cut. There are two huge hurdles to overcome with the going grey process.

The first is emotional – a coming-to-terms with the ageing process and how it makes you feel about yourself as a woman, as well as in relation to how others perceive you. Does grey equal old? The second is the practical hurdle of how to grow out your roots without looking like a bag lady, a scarecrow or worse again a grey badge stripe!

Grey-hair-03Let’s first look at what causes colour loss in our hair. As you age, your hair’s melanocytes — cells that produce pigment — lose steam and make less melanin. That’s when your hair seems to ‘turn grey’, but it’s actually just losing its original colour, not acquiring a new one.  Women end up with a head of grey, silver, or white just like you may have had chestnut, light brown, or dark brown hair it’s just a shade variation.

For women today you may be alarmed because your first white strands have started to multiply or maybe you’ve covered up for so many years that you no longer know just how much white you’ve got. Wherever you are on the spectrum, you have a choice: Conceal with colour or let it go grey. If you decide on the chemical route, the plus side is obvious; the downside is the cost, in time and money. So maybe grey is your answer — unless you fall into one of these categories.

  • Your skin is yellow- or olive-toned. Grey is a cool shade, so it doesn’t always complement warm skin tones.
  • Your locks are thinning or superfine. Unless you cut your hair very short, a light colour (whether blond or grey) can make it look even sparser than it is.
  • Your hair is very frizzy. Fly aways are more noticeable with grey (or blond) hair. So if you have trouble with frizz control, consider colouring to get a sleeker look.

Portrait of smiling elderly lady in grayMany women look incredible with a sprinkling of silver. The key is to even out your colour and make your grey appear well blended, which can be difficult since it tends to grow in random clusters. Your goal: to turn these patches into chic streaks. The secret: strategic highlights. When you lighten the right strands, you end up with ribbons of gorgeous highlights instead of a patchy mess.

So how to handle this going grey decision if we have been dyeing our hair for years? If you’ve been colouring for as long as you can remember, one of the major benefits of stopping is that there’ll be no more wrestling with roots. Make a gradual change. If you’ve been using permanent colour, switch to semi -permanent, which is more translucent. Use a lighter shade with each touch-up. If you’re mostly grey, consider blond highlights.

Always keep your grey locks looking healthy so invest in a great spray or serum to restore lustre. Counteract yellowing, if any, with a purple shampoo or conditioner (try L’Oréal Nature’s Therapy Color Confidence Blonde Brightening Shampoo) and a monthly rinse with lemon water (the juice of one lemon for every two cups water) to help eliminate smoke- and pollution-induced discoloration.

And finally if you are just starting to notice those grey hairs, don’t pluck! While there’s no truth to the old wives’ tale (that pulling one hair will cause three to sprout), removing those bad boys will not help in the end. The follicle doesn’t die when you pluck, so that hair will start growing again, and it will still be grey. But until it’s long enough to blend with the rest of your hair, it will just stick out.

So ladies, going grey can make you stand out from the crowd and you can leave the Grandma look behind. It takes courage but if you decide to take the plunge, it is nothing that cannot be reversed with a bottle of hair dye. Take courage – go grey!

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