Graceful and grey are not two words that sit well with me. Nor am I particularly keen on waiting for things to happen if there’s a way to make them do so, in my preferred timeframe. So naturally, when confronted with the evidence of more than the odd not-quite-as-dark-as-the-others hair, I decided to make a plan.
Thanks to Google, my hairdresser, strangers on the street and my Mum, research indicated that I had a few options:
Deliberate denial – keep colouring my hair dark enough to cover the grey with increasing frequency (and increasing cost) until the day I die, dark hair intact!
Ignorance is bliss – stop colouring my hair, let the grey hairs creep in of their own volition, cover all mirrors and generally pretend I don’t notice.
Slow and subtle – start lightening my hair colour by having an increasing quantity of highlights or lowlights added which would allow the grey to merge in, supposedly unnoticed, until voila – head of grey!
Advance with haste – colour my hair in one foul swoop, any or all of the 50 shades of grey I fancy. Now that would make a statement!
The challenge I had with was that I didn’t know what shade of grey my hair would go, if left to its own devices. I had my fingers crossed that my Mum’s gorgeous pepper and salt would emerge but my hairdresser, alas, wasn’t prepared to make any promises.
In the end, after a ridiculous amount of pondering, much observation and accosting at least nine women who wore their grey hair gorgeously, I chose to …
Go grey with gusto – with an overseas holiday looming in 4 months time, I switched my 4-weekly hair colour from the grow-out variety of dye to the fade and wash-out sort. I also had my hair cut shorter every time too. This meant that on the day of my departure, when I had a very, very short cut and no colour added, I was practically au naturel.
I gave myself a month in Europe to see what showed up, how I felt about it and whether strangers would recoil saying “quelle horreur!”
And as it happened, I was delighted with the little sparkly bits that showed up randomly and, possibly because I was in France where ripening – in it’s many guises – is celebrated, it seemed that the world did not stop turning.
So, my hair appointment, pre-booked to take place an hour after my arrival home, became a cut. No colour. I happily use the NZD 100 per month that I save for ripening-affirming purchases instead – massages typically top the list.
The sparkly bits continue to arrive and I am grateful that they are, indeed, of the pepper and salt variety.
Apart from deciding your preferred approach to inevitability of the grey, here are four other first-hand-experience tips:
- Find a hairstyle that you really, really like. Make a change. Go sassy or sleek! There’s a big difference between what looks and feels like a deliberately delicious silvery style statement worn with pride and a style that says ‘I feel too old and grey to bother’.
- If you aren’t keen to change your hairstyle, change something else about your appearance at the same time as you do your colour – new eyewear frames can be a great diversion.
- Get expert advice on your clothing and/or makeup colours. You may find that your skin tone looks different with your changed hair colour and some favourite lipstick colours, in particular, now look a tad ‘off’.
- Remember that hair colour, by itself, does not age us. Demonstrating a positive attitude, a curious mindset, plenty of energy and enthusiasm for life are far more defining.
Any other approaches for going grey? We’d love to hear about them, or see the evidence here!