That is the question which troubles many women!
Sadly, greying is something that comes with age, as the pigment cells in hair follicles lose their colour. It’s a gradual process where these white follicles intersperse with normally pigmented hairs creating the appearance of grey hair. When the cells that produce pigment die, this creates the white hair associated with elderly people. This process can start as early as in your 20’s; typically, many women in their 30’s will see a few grey hairs and it’s common for women in their 50’s to have more than 50% of grey hair.
Many women colour their hair or use root concealers as the grey starts to appear. Let’s face it, greying can be ageing, especially when you have less than 50% grey hair, creating that unflattering ‘salt and pepper’ effect. The darker you were naturally, the harder it is to maintain your original colour. However, it’s not all bad news. Kerry Mather, of KJM Salons in my local town, Fleet, says “Going grey can be empowering for those who want to embrace getting older. It’s a beautiful part of the ageing process, so much so that younger women are trying to emulate it in today’s trends.”
In addition, you save time and money on hair colouring, plus stopping chemical treatments could make your hair healthier. It can look more natural – our eyes and skin tone also change over time, so hair dyed black or dark brown can look harsh against a fading skin tone. Grey hair can look stunning, especially when it’s a lighter, silvery grey. Think Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Dench, Emmylou-Harris and Julie Walters!
Clearly, colouring your hair (if done properly), can help retain a more youthful look. “We have clients who take the opportunity of their hair naturally changing colour to try something new and exciting. It can also be a much gentler way of easing into the grey by trying blue, lilac or strawberry” says Kerry.
But beware! You might have to update your wardrobe to suit your colouring as your hair and skin tone fade. For example, if you are someone with dark brown hair going grey, the deep colours that once suited you may now wash you out.
If you do let nature take its course, here are some tips to make the best of your greying hair:
- Go grey in stages – use a lighter base colour to soften the effect until darker hair has grown out.
- Have a good haircut into a cropped style, a long or short bob, depending on your current hair length.
- Add silver highlights to brighten dull, slate grey hair.
- Go for microlights to lift the colour in light-medium colour hair.
- Make sure that your clothes, make-up and glasses make the best of your new look.
If you’d like advice on what’s best for you, call KJM Salons in Fleet (01252 812 680) for a free consultation or contact me to book a Colour/Makeup Update for £50.