Hair Salons open soon - but who will be saying Bye-Bye to the Dye?
The last 12 months have taught us a lot, mainly how to enjoy our own company and that of our nearest and dearest. But also the gift of at-home beauty treatments and how to dye our own hair or … not.
If there is one thing I am grateful I didn’t have to worry about in lockdown, it was grey roots.
I decided to ditch the dye about 5 years ago and go fully grey: no more 3-hour hair appointments meant a more low maintenance routine. Reader, I haven’t regretted it for a second and my hair has never looked better.
How smug was I as the horror of everyone’s natural hair colour was revealed on social media and zoom calls? Everyone started reaching for the box dyes and root cover-ups that flooded the market.
But when salons re-open this month, will you be booking in for your usual cut and colour and full head of highlights or simply just a cut?
I was heartened by the many photos of women (and men!) embracing the grey in lockdown and have loved seeing how they have documented their journeys to silver freedom with pride, ready to emerge at the end of the lockdown tunnel a new version of themselves!
Embrace grey hair and make a statement
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. The actual decision to go grey was tough and I stewed on it for months, would it age me beyond my years (45 at the time), what would my friends think? What would my husband think? My son?
I was concerned that I would be judged, forgotten and fade away into the background. In reality, the opposite happened and it became a defining moment for me; I stood out like the albino in the herd. A little bit fascinating, quirky, and people suddenly wanted to talk about my hair, which all my life had been unremarkable.
It became a talking point, a trademark, “my” trademark. People came up to me on the train and in the street to comment on it; “I wish I was as brave as you,” commented one woman on the morning commute. A young man came up to me in a smart street in Mayfair and said, “Your hair is amazing”. I blushed, secretly thrilled.
Now, my hair had a personality of its own, it made me walk taller, encouraged me to wear colour, tempted me to wear red lipstick. it dragged me along with it, like a naughty sibling and I have to admit, it’s been fun discovering this new me.
Style and Beauty tips for grey hair
I chatted to Paul Percival, Co-Founder of Percy & Reed who is going grey himself in lockdown and he advises to let the grey take over.
“You need to establish what state your current hair colour is in first. As long as the hair has great shine, my advice is: embrace it. With fair hair, it is easier to let the grey in, darker hairs will go more of pepper and salt initially but stick with it.
……..Use a root concealer spray if you need something for the in-between stage, they are great because they aren’t permanent so will wash out but will cover the greys”
A few things I have learnt along the way about my new look – firstly, contrast is everything. Floral floaty dresses never worked for me at the best of times, but with grey hair, I became Miss Marple.
I like the toughness of skinny jeans, a comfy T-shirt, leather jacket and heels; white trainers with a dinner suit; a silk shirt unbuttoned with jeans and a statement earring.
I have injected colour into my wardrobe and my make up for the first time – a bright t-shirt, knit or a red lip contrasts beautifully with the grey, making it sing and sparkle and bring colour to my face.
Caring for Grey Hair
It really is “all in the cut”: an edgy, chic cut provides a beautiful contrast with the colour. A sharp bob, a sweeping fringe – now is the time to really make a statement.
Choose your products carefully, however. Grey hair is thicker and wirier, so using the right conditioner is vital. Invest in a purple shampoo to tone down any yellow elements and keep the silver shining. If your hair is dry, use a hair oil as a pre-wash treatment to hydrate and really bring out the gloss.
You can’t rush a good grey, but it will be 100% you. What I can tell you is that from my side, going grey is liberating, it’s honest, it’s open, it’s a statement that says “this is me” and I wouldn’t change it for the world, so go on…. I dare you!
Charles Worthington Colourplex – keeps the silver sharp and will temper any brassy tones
White Hot Hair mask – great for hydrating grey hair and provides shine
Redken Graydient Shampoo – a great at-home toner if you want to take control yourself.
Percy & Reed perfectly perfecting wonder balm – For maintaining shine
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