By silver curve model and fashion writer, Rachel Peru.
Is it time to ditch the dye?
As we all let out a sigh of relief that our hairdressers are back in business, many women are now having to decide whether or not to embrace their newfound grey streaks or return to the dye. I’ve seen so many posts on social media from women struggling with their grey roots during lockdown It’s made me realise how much grey hair is still such a devisive subject for women.
There are definitely two camps to the grey debate. The first one being from those who choose to ‘embrace the grey’ and enjoy the freedom of not having to keep colouring your hair every month which comes at a financial cost. The other is from those women who will never stop colouring their hair and feel it will make them feel older and less attractive.
I’m firmly in the first camp after ditching the dye over five years ago and I now love my silver grey hair.
I would never judge anyone who chooses not to do the same as me; it’s about personal choice and what makes each individual feel their best self. I think it’s sad that there is still a stigma attached to women with grey hair in society, that we see it as a negative sign of aging, but I do think the tide is slowly changing.
I’ve had grey hair since I was a teenager and there’s not many colours of the rainbow that I haven’t dyed my hair over the years. In my case it’s hereditary, my grandma had the purest of white hair by the time she was thirty.
At school it became something to joke about and after having a short haired perm in the 80’s with my grey roots my nickname fondly became Biddy. As I became older it really became a chore having to colour it so often and I can’t imagine the amount of money I’ve spent on hair dyes. I woke up one morning aged 44 and just knew I didn’t want to dye it anymore; I was ready to embrace the grey.
For anyone who is thinking of ditching the dye here are some of my top tips and best products for grey hair.
Get support from your hairdresser, they will be able to help guide you through that transitional stage with the use of highlights and toners. I used a toner for the first year of my transition and it helps keep the brassiness at bay and gives a more balanced colour. You never know what shade of grey you are going to get until you’ve grown it out fully.
I recently asked Topic UK’s resident celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton what his advice would be, and you can read the full article on the Yorkshire Business Woman website.
Now is the time to update your hairstyle. Make sure you’ve got a really great haircut with a style that you absolutely love and make sure you keep on top of it, so it stays that way. A modern hair style can make such a difference when growing the grey out and can really help you from feeling negative about the process.
Top hairdresser Andrew Barton said:
“I’m often asked this question and growing out colour to reveal natural grey hair is a long process as the hair only grows approx. 1.5cm per month and at some point, may involve cutting away the older coloured hair to reveal the new natural colour”
Up until now I’ve always had super short pixie cut hairstyles, so I was lucky it helped growing out a much quicker process.
Invest in your hair care products.
I’ve tried and tested so many products aimed at Grey, Silver and White hair over the last few years. Here’s some of my favourite products.
Philip Kinglsey Elasticizer
The texture of your hair changes as you transition and can become much coarser, I love using this deep conditioning treatment at least twice a month to help keep it feeling and looking healthy. It’s not particularly cheap at £19 for 75ml with bigger sizes available, but I would say it’s worth the investment.
White Hot Hair
If you’ve never heard of this brand and you have grey hair, I highly recommend you look them up. Their shampoo and conditioner range works wonders at keeping the yellow brassiness that can often be associated with grey and white hair at bay. I particularly like the Brilliant shampoo and Luminous conditioner.
Pro: Voke Dry Shampoo & Hairspray
I have used these two products for several years and find the hairspray doesn’t leave the yellow build up that others often do. Keeping the yellow tones away can be a bit of a trial and error but these are two of my definite go to products and they are reasonably priced too. Amazon currently have a deal where you can buy both together for £5.90 and we all love a bargain!
Change your make up colours, grey hair can make you feel more washed out so it’s time to update your make up routine and give yourself a fresh new look. If you’re not sure where to start book yourself in with a make-up artist for some new tips and advice. If you find large department stores overwhelming there are plenty of independent make-up artists that can give one to one consultations, I can highly recommend Sonia Schofield services.
There are so many women over on Instagram to gain inspiration from, here are a few of my favourites.
Use this time of transition to really think about how you want to be seen and give your wardrobe a good overhaul. After years of living in Black I’ve now found the brighter bolder colours suit my skin and hair tone so much better. It’s a time to have fun with your wardrobe too. If you’re not sure where to start you could have fun using a personal stylist like Sara Anson who can guide you through the process and help push you out of your wardrobe comfort zone.
Lastly if you are struggling to bat off the negative comments from others, ignore them. It's ok to tell people to mind their own business and move on. I recently met a lady who had started to embrace her grey and liked how it was looking but was struggling to fend off very negative comments from so called friends that she was heading back to the dye again. A reminder that we all have to stop judging one another and be supportive if that’s the decision one of your friends make.
When I told my friends on Facebook that I was ditching the dye I certainly didn’t get a very positive response, but those people are now very complimentary of my hair and I’ve never looked back.
Embrace the grey!