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  • Writer's pictureSara Marsden-Shreeve

Fifty Shades of Going Grey. Delay or Embrace?


If like me you're getting to a point in your life that a visit to the hairdresser involves a conversation around how many more silvery streaks are currently taking up residence amongst your root-age. Then it might be time to ask yourself a few questions and decide whether you want to go with the flow of change or remain a cover upper for a bit longer.


The decision is totally up to you but I thought I'd share with you a few pros and cons along with helpful tips from my beloved hairdresser Joanna, who has been helping me tame my mane for years and is currently guiding me through the silver maze and embrace the shimmer.


I don't know about you but a faithful and talented hairdresser who knows you and your hair are like gold dust and a very treasured person in your life indeed. The whole Covid thing made that very clear .


Bad hair day
The Covid hair blues

I do think that many of us had to face this hair challenge head on during lockdown when we were forced to take matters into our own hands. How many of you just went for it and let it all grow out and how many ordered root touch ups and hair dye in your online shopping?


Look, society doesn't help us exactly age positively. Going grey is synonymous with old age and can make a woman feel she is no longer as desirable, Plus, millions of pounds of marketing seems to get pumped into hair colour products that can 'cover grey' which further pushes this message,...even men can't escape their reach #Grecian2000

Why does going grey or silver imply that you can't be chic or sexy? Makes my blood boil.


I will add though that many hair colour trends of late have made the silver and grey shades fashionable and young women have been opting to dye their hair those hues. Not always a healthy hair decision as they usually have to strip it back first so please do ask your hairdresser questions.



Anyhoo, I thought I'd be pro-active and highlight the challenges we undergo in deciding what to do with the unescapable change, as well as providing some good old professional guidance to help us wherever we are at on our hair journey. It's a personal choice after all whether we go for it or keep covering for a bit longer.


EMBRACING THE SILVER FOX



As we age our hair loses pigment and some of us start going grey at a much younger age. My mum was in her early 30's when she went white and I myself started to turn at 40, I'm 46 now but not quite fully transitioned yet. It's scattered all over the shop.


So, what are the benefits of letting your new colour come through?

  • It will save you time and money on colouring in the long run

  • A good cut and style can really make grey/silver look edgy and chic and sometimes younger.

  • You can wear new colours and refresh your make up choices. Might even get you out of your style rut and feel inspired and more authentic.

  • You can feel empowered by going with the flow of nature positively

  • The change in texture or the new grey/silver tones in your hair could give you more lift and even natural highlights and low lights.

  • Less chemicals on your hair. means less damage and more lustre.


HIDING THE SILVER SEEPAGE



What stops you from embracing the grey?

  • The time and money it takes to transition to a silver fox.

  • Trusting a good colourist/hairdresser to guide you

  • The thought of having to tweak your hairstyle, make-up or clothing colour palette.

  • You may think that you will look older and feel less attractive if you show grey.

  • You might have seen a peak and not liked your new natural hair colour.

  • Your partner/family/friends may talk you out of it or be a little negative.


Whatever your current decision, it's your prerogative and yours only but I think it would be a good idea to seek some comfort from a hair professional, Joanna Pawlaczyk, to help us embrace a happier barnet in this transitional phase.




So, I asked Joanna the following questions...


JOANNA'S TOP TIPS & GUIDANCE



  • Does your hair physically change as you get older?

Yes, not only in the obvious colour but the texture can go from being fine to course and even become finer. It's all down to your hormones.


I would also like to add a note here (Sara) , that I can personally relate and have definitely seen more hair on my brush as well as it being more wiry and dry, so I decided to try a supplement (Perfectil, hair skin and nails) and have seen some improvement. Plus, I have also invested in Joanna's product recommendations listed later.



  • What are the challenges to colouring silver/grey hair? From a hairdresser's perspective.

If a client wants to go darker and cover their grey, it can be difficult to do because the grey hair becomes more resistant to holding the colour and different products and colours may need to be tried to get the desired shade.


Also, if a client has dark hair and there is some grey appearing and they want to try and embrace it but blend it in somehow, it's tricky to lift the natural colour without yellow tones appearing. Therefore, toners are then needed to find the balance and blend these silver slivers instead of changing the base hair colour.



  • If a client wants to embrace her grey/silver hair after years of colouring it, what is the best way of going about it?


For dark hair. If they have a regrowth of grey showing then lighter, maybe even blonde slices, added through it can blend and balance the ashy tones needed to break up the obvious more naturally.


For light hair . We can reduce any added highlights and even supplement with ashy darker slices to help the transition.



  • What are your thoughts around embracing silver/grey hair? Can it look chic, funky etc?

Absolutely embrace the silver if you feel ready and confident enough. Healthy hair always look best no matter the colour and white highlights can really bring out radiance . You only have to look at Dame Judy Dench with her cool pixie cut or Helen Mirren with her edgy bob to see a good style works well.



  • What are your top tips for maintaining healthy coloured hair?


Natural grey hair with highlights/lowlights - Use a purple shampoo mixed with your usual shampoo to keep your tones in check. Don't overuse as it can overtone and dry out your hair. Once or twice a week should be fine. Always use a colour protecting conditioner too.


Covering grey - Always use a colour enhancing shampoo and an excellent conditioner to seal hair and reduce colour release.


  • Top tips for maintaining natural healthy silver/grey hair.


Even when you have embraced your inner silver fox, don't forget that environmental factors such as pollution and smoke, if you are a smoker, can still give grey/silver hair a yellow tinge and even over straightening can dull your shine. So make sure that you give it some love and also use a toner to alleviate any funny tinges.



JOANNA'S PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS


  • A leave in treatment such as Matrix Miracle Creator. Does everything but wash your pots , she reckons.

  • Need some lift and volume at the root on flat hair - Fudge Push It Up Blow Dry

  • If feeling dry , use a dry shine spray - Fudge Hed Shine

  • Coarse and unruly hair - Maria Nila True Soft Argan Oil

  • Toning shampoo - Fanola No Yellow Shampoo


If you want to connect with Joanna, you can find her business page here



ON A COLOUR ANALYSIS NOTE....



As an Image & Style coach who provides a colour analysis service, I am often asked if your hair colour naturally changes does that mean your colour palette does?


And, if you have had a colour analysis in the past, do you need to have it done again to find out which colours still look great on you?


The answer to the first question is simple, your natural skin undertone never really changes however, as our eye and skin colour softens with age and/or exposure to UV , other characteristics may change, such as your depth or clarity. This means that some brighter colours you used to wear no longer work as well. Some ladies completely change their hair colour and this also can alter your palette somewhat.



I would definitely suggest checking your palette every 5 to 10 years or if you have changed your hair colour naturally or dyed it.


As you can see in my journey, I was a strawberry blonde as a child and I have gotten darker and more ashy with age as the silver comes in. Therefore, I have always added blonde and light brown slices in mine to help the transition.



Once I have more silver on my head, I will drop the root colour slices completely and go all in.


Being silver, grey or white haired is very empowering and beautiful and if you want evidence of this, you can check out the oodles of positive role models and professionals out there who can help inspire #silversisters


Check out forums, social media and brands such as:-



Sara x


SHARING IS CARING



  • You can work with me personally, online or physically – 1:1 services, Style Journeys

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  • Ooh and I have a little flurry of shoppable boards and a style additions shop to boot.


As an advocate of women in their 40’s and beyond, I understand that it should be a great time for us and doesn’t need to be feared. Life begins at 40 so they say. You’ve less time for idiots and you are more experienced and knowledgeable in many other life arenas.


Just think about ALL the good stuff you’ve done, achieved, and overcome already. The next years will no doubt bring more opportunities and good times too.

So, make reconnecting with yourself and your wardrobe one of them.


Here for you when you're ready to journey. Love |Your Body & Wear Your Happy


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