I get a lot of questions about how to take care of grey hair. As we get older our hair tends to change colour and loose pigment. The texture of your hair also changes. I can’t remember how long ago I stopped colouring my hair and started to let the grey gradually become the dominant colour. I was quite lucky in that my hair started going grey at the front so I was able to continue with the blond highlights at the side and back which blended in nicely. Eventually, the highlights began to look a bit brassy against the grey so I stopped having even those and now just have a purple rinse on the back of my hair when I have my hair cut.
I am happy with my grey hair. It is a softer colour against my now paler skin tone. Whether you continue to dye your hair or not is a very personal decision. My philosophy is to do whatever you want regarding your looks. As long as you feel good when you look at yourself in the mirror that is all that matters.
Hair seems to be disproportionately important to the way we feel about ourselves. We all have “bad hair days” and I know that when I have one I definitely feel out of sorts. So much depends on a good cut that will last, especially now as for long periods of time we don’t have access to a hair salon.
We have not been able to get to France for ages. I normally have my hair cut in St.Tropez. Luckily I found a good hairdresser in our local village and had my hair cut last November. It has lasted well although recently it has begun to look a bit straggly. I do have a pair of hairdressing scissors and trim a bit off from time to time. My hairstyle last year – much shorter.
How to look after grey hair
Below I have listed the products that I keep in my haircare bag.
Details of above:
L’Oreal silver shampoo – I have been using this shampoo for years and could not be without it.
Christophe Robin Shade variation mask – Recommended to me by my hairdresser in France. I use it every two to three weeks. It really lifts the back of my hair to a more silver tone.
Philip Kingsley silver brightening conditioner I use it after my shampoo on a regular basis.
KMS Therma shape quick blow-dry Makes blow-drying quicker if you are in a hurry.
Wow Raise the root Dream coat supernatural spray. Gives a lovely shine and silkiness to the hair.
Details of above:
Living proof Instant defrizzer.A great product to help control frizzy hair.
White Hot Hair Shushing creme Adds texture and definition to dry hair.
Living proof Dry volume blast. Adds volume and lift in-between shampoos.
Techni Art Fix anti Frizz. Good hairspray to tame frizzy hair.
Bumble and Bumble Thickening spray Adds volume and thickness
Wella rugged texture matte Paste Good for tidying up loose ends after blow-drying.
Saving money and time
There’s no doubt that colouring your hair can be pricey. If you opt for your natural grey hair you’ll save a lot of time and money.
When your hair goes grey some of the colours that you used to wear may no longer suit you. You may have gone over to the cooler side of the spectrum. I have always worn cool-toned colours however I now find that the brighter hues suit me better. You could always experiment with new colours by buying some reasonably priced tees or scarves and trying them out. You may also need to reassess your make up colours. Lookfabulousforever is a very helpful makeup website. They categorise their makeup into cool and warm colour palettes.
Lockdown may be the perfect time to experiment and try something new. If you don’t like your grey hair you can always go back to dyeing.
If you choose to continue to touch up your roots at home here are a couple of products recommended by a friend.
Wow root colour cover at MarksandSpencer or Herbatint if you prefer natural products. She also likes Philip Kingsley elasticizer at MarksandSpencer
If you have recently chosen to go “au naturel” do you find that people have responded differently to you? (You will probably have to rely on Zoom calls for this at the moment). Do share your experiences in the comments section about managing your hair and whether you still dye or embrace the grey.
I left my hair grey after it grew back following chemo. I love it now, my favorite products are white hot!
A good cut is very important.
I love your hair and the colours you wear, they help me get to grips with which colours will suit me with my new grey hair. Thank you.
I also notice that with my gray, I don’t think I look as good in the earthy tones I used to gravitate to when I colored my hair. Now definitely on the cooler side and brights. I’ve always felt that lavendar or lilac was never good on me, but after seeing you in this beautiful sweater, I may have to try one again. Good suggestion on how to try it on a budget.
Since retiring I have let my hair go grey and curly. Always fought the curl! Now in the main I am happy with it. There is such good advice on the internet about the curly girl method and with some experimentation I have found what seems to work most of the time for me. Still have bad hair days but then I think we all do. There is nothing like a good hair day to lift the mood and it’s so easy to slip in these lockdown days. A good haircut, when you can get it, is essential.
I made the transition to natural gray 4 years ago and while it took a long time for me not to be startled each time I looked in the mirror, I’ve not regretted that decision. I couldn’t be happier that I no longer need to worry about covering up gray roots and I get a lot of compliments on my hair. I’m so glad that you’ve shared the products that you use to brighten your gray hair as I’ve been on a hunt lately to find similar.
Thanks for this post, Josephine! You look so pretty with your silver hair and the lavender sweater and skirt. I just ordered the Wow Raise the Root spray and hope it helps. My hair is almost all silver with some gold and I am happy with the natural color. Have not had color added since early March 2020 and it has turned out to be fine.
Coincidentally I made the decision to stop colouring my hair at New Year 2020 and certainly couldn’t have forseen how Covid would affect that decision. I was brunette so took the the lightening and highlighting route which was quite damaging. Luckily my excellent hairdresser knew when to stop. So now there are still a few months to go the natural way. I’ve bought Oribe Silverati shampoo and conditioner which brightens it considerably and leaves the hair very silky. Whilst it is very expensive, a little goes a long way and as I’m saving so much more without colouring I think it’s a treat worth the expense. In saying all that, I still use a purple shampoo very occasionally to combat the last of the yellowing blonde. I’m also finding I can wear more of the brighter reds just past the true red on the warmer side. Brightness is key.
I think you are right bright colours seem to go well with grey hair.
Covid restrictions convinced me to let my hair go gray and I actually love it. It is a great white in the front with silver streaks in the back. It was not a very drastic change from the pale blond I had it stripped to every six weeks. I even learned to cut my pixie, myself. I have been to the hairdresser once to thin and shape up the back better. You are right about saving money!
I actually am more white than grey. Years ago I decided that paying for highlights and lowlights was just too expensive…and viola! I couldn’t tell where the blonde/grey/white started and ended. I get tons of compliments on my hair color but no one wants to go through the process unless it “happens over night.” I have noticed that certain colors don’t flatter me, especially if I wear something really “dark” such as black next to my face. I am now a “cool” and use Look Fabulous Forever makeup colors which I find flattering. I’ve also decided that silver jewelry is very flattering, can you believe? I enjoy my hair color since I am “inside looking out” and not “outside looking at.” When I do notice myself in a mirror in a public place, it surprises me to see how much I now resemble my mother who had white hair… Josephine, I really like the pink and blues you wear but seem to have problems finding these colors in clothing here in the USA, probably need to do more searching….lol
Thank you for your comment. I will see what I can do to find more cool colours available in the States. I do use Cos and Boden which I think are both available and they do have good cool colours.
Really enjoying the info on going grey/white from everybody. I would suggest visiting the web site for Kettlewell Colours great fashions and colours.
Look Fabulous referred their clients to them, check them out.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences of transitioning to grey hair. It is really useful to get information from each other.
I’ve had to let the grey emerge enforced by lockdown. Strangely the problem is that I’m not grey enough, though I’m sixty one I’ve still got a lot of dark hair mixed with grey underneath but the issue is the top layer. A combination of sunshine and swimming in the sea a lot last summer has left me with a sh*t brown ‘highlights’ and even the purple shampoos don’t impact. I’ve always worn my hair very short so usually this problem would grow out and be cut away quickly but I’m also stuck with a lockdown self cut bob – so there it is in all it brassy brown glory! Ironically everyone seems to love the blessed bob whist I can’t stand it…..
A small issue in the grand scheme of things and usually I’m worrying about things of greater significance but as you say Josephine our hair seems to have a disproportionate impact on how we feel about ourselves.
I started going gray at 18 and started dyeing it in my mid 20’s. I always said that I would stop dyeing it when I hit 60 and I did a few months in advance.. That was 10 almost 11 years ago. It was the perfect decision for me. I am pure white, though when I stopped dyeing it I had a little color in back. No longer it is pure white and I really love it. I use a purple shampoo too, which I cannot remember the name and am too lazy to go downstairs to check. I do use the B &B Thickening spray and like it quite a lot. Bad hair days really do have a negative effect on me and my hair at the end of lockdown was too long and out of shape and I did a bad job of trimming it before I was able to get to a hairdresser.