Embrace your grey hair: Tips for dyeing and at-home care

Grey hair is an unavoidable fact of life. While some welcome signs of ageing, others aren’t exactly enthused about the change in colour. Here's how to embrace – or cover all trace of – grey hair.

Although I don’t recall sending any grey hairs an invitation to my 40th, they turned up anyway. Bang. On. Time. Yes, it was confronting, and my initial choice has been to continue having my hair coloured in-salon, however, I do have a friend who has recently chosen to embrace her grey hair. It’s long, it’s luscious, it makes her blue eyes piercingly dramatic, her tanned skin luminous and the whites of her teeth Colgate worthy. She looks stunning and incredibly empowered.

So, is it better to embrace - or erase - grey hairs, girls?

According to award-winning hair stylist and colourist, Marie Uva, “people are embracing their greys a bit more.” Citing Meryl Streep as a hair style icon in this category, Marie sees more and more women moving towards increasingly natural, minimal maintenance, organic-looking hair. Whether you choose to embrace it or erase it, grey hair needs a new wave of consideration when it comes to conditioning, colouring and styling tools and products.

What causes greys

According to Damian Rinaldo, L’Oreal Professionnel ambassador, there are a few things that encourage grey hair to appear. “A lot of the time it can be hereditary,” he points out. Stress can also be a trigger, as can a reaction to some medications. “But at the core of it, your body’s melanin production starts to slow with age, and it affects the pigment of your hair colour.”

The condition

"Grey hair is naturally frizzier, so a ball bristle brush to smoothen the hair out is essential if you are straightening the hair,” Marie advises. “The texture of the hair is different as soon as it starts to turn grey. Therefore, you can’t put off revisiting your styling tools to ensure the condition of your hair doesn’t suffer."

In-salon colour

Although grey hairs can't be covered permanently, Marie advises contouring as a great initial approach to subdue them without looking like you’ve tried to! “You can also look towards lightening and contouring around the face, together with up-keep using ‘Colour Fresh’ by Wella, which acts a bit like a treatment at home, also,” she says.

Adriana Marmino, Colourist at Boris the Cuttery, insists. “When maintaining a solid colour on grey hair it's crucial that you keep visiting the salon every four to six weeks to keep your colour looking healthy, the coverage consistent and minimise colour banding," she says. Adriana suggests going a little lighter in all over colour as the regrowth of grey is less noticeable than it is on dark hair.

Embracing it

“If you want a full natural grey look - especially cooler in tone - it’s important to use products that have ingredients to counteract warmth that comes with greys,” advises Marie. Ensure you invest in styling products and treatments designed for grey hair also, Damian adds. “This will ensure any changes are relative to your hair type and remain balanced.” Try Kevin Murphy ANGEL to moisturise and soften the grey.

Whatever you do, don’t pluck those first stray greys, pleads Adriana. “I know it’s tempting, but it will only cause the grey hair to stand out more as these hairs are much more course and thicker than your natural hair,” she says. "This then causes the future grey hair to stand straight for a few months, making it more noticeable until it grows long enough to blend in again!"

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