Over the past couple of years, grey hair has become more than a fad, if Google searches on hair trends are anything to go by. If your hair is naturally turning grey and you plan to ditch the dye, here are a few things you should know before taking the plunge and channelling your silver siren.
We’ve all had the urge to tweeze grey hairs when they sprout up, but resist. Plucking out grey hairs can damage the follicle, and sometimes that hair just won’t grow back. As hair naturally thins as you get older, you don’t want to encourage it.
Blend the texture
Grey hair tends to have a different texture than the rest of your mane, and is often coarser. To ensure your greys blends with the rest of your hair, the right styling tools and products are essential.
The best options on the market are the Dyson Supersonic and the Dyson Airwrap. Often, if you use hot hair tools, you can burn the hair, which makes it frizz. But as both of these use temperatures that do not exceed 150°C, they will dry and style your locks without damaging them.
Product-wise, grey hair needs those that will soften it and counteract the frizz. Look to L’Oreal Tecni. Art Pli for styling and heat protection, while the range’s Fix Anti-Frizz is a 24-hour anti-frizz and anti-static hold spray, which will keep grey tresses tame.
It is also important to do a weekly hair treatment, whether in the salon or at home; a moisturising mask, such as the KeraStraight Moisture Mask, is a great choice. This nutrient-rich mask repairs and rehydrates dry and damaged hair, leaving it feeling soft and renewed.
Consider the chop
A sophisticated short haircut pretty much eliminates the growing-out stage. Due to the varying textures of grey hair, going for a shorter hairstyle can help control hair that becomes harder to manage at longer lengths. A shorter style also works well with finer greys, as less length gives structure and body to limp strands, rather than weighing it down. Another option to diffuse grey roots is to embrace long layers that are slightly dishevelled.
Avoid the dreaded band
You don't have to go cold turkey, and can use highlighting and lowlighting techniques to blend greys with semi-permanent colour to soften the regrowth line.
While it can take several months, it will help blend your grey roots during the transition while still enhancing your hair style. For instance, if you are transitioning from tinted dark hair to your natural (greyer) colour, place lowlights in the hair, as this will minimise the band that appears when you are growing out an overall hair colour and it will keep the look softer.
Invest in the correct home care
Grey hair tends to be on the drier side, so using a moisturising shampoo and conditioner is key.
But all hydrating products are not the same. Avoid dimethicone, a commonly used type of silicone, and consider switching to a silver shampoo. L’Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Silver Shampoo is an industry favourite, which can neutralise yellow tones to keep the hair looking fresh and clean.
Another option is Kerastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra Violet, a powerful purple shampoo that’s rich in neutralising agents that remove brassiness, and is ideal for cool faux-blonde and grey hair. Hydrating conditioners from Davines’ Alchemic range are perfect, especially given the high percentage of natural ingredients, which will minimise your hair’s exposure to harsh chemicals.
Try a gloss
With grey shades, there can be a risk of your complexion looking washed-out. To even out your overall colour, get a gloss treatment that will tone down any unwanted brassiness and ensure your end-result colour flatters your skin tone.
Hair glossing also adds shine, and it has peroxide so it softens the grey hair, but it doesn’t colour it. You can also opt to have a grey toner once every six weeks to kill the yellow pigment in the hair and make it look more silvery-grey.
Natalie Kasses is the artistic director at Pastels Salon; pastels-salon.com
A version of this article was originally published in February 2021.