Embracing the grey


GREY GOALS A short cut makes the transition from dye to grey easier and faster, but it’s not for everyone.

Maggie Gibbons

At some stage this summer most of us over a certain age faced the big decision to either go grey or continue with the colouring. I decided on the former as I already had so much grey anyway, and I’m already delighted.
Now, grey hair might currently be fashionable, trendy and glam, but that doesn’t mean everyone is ready for it though. There’s probably a bit of fear attached to going grey. Will I look or maybe feel older? Is it too drastic?

If you’re undecided and not quite ready to embrace it fully, there’s always the lovely option of babylights, which will help you transition gradually, as they gently add silvery white lights while you’re growing it out.
Your hairdresser will offer invaluable help here; he or she knows your hair and will offer great advice on the best colour for you.
A home option during the growing out stage could be to use a root cover, which you can get in all the chemists.
To reach the finishing stretch earlier you could choose a very short haircut; this will make the transition process easier and faster. Problem is though, for some it’s very drastic, grey and short all at once… hmmm, not too sure I’d be able for the shock!

You should also invest in a good shampoo. I bought Matrix So Silver from Lynda my hairdresser, and it’s absolutely brilliant for blending the end of the blonde and the darker grey colour.
L’Oreal Serie Expert Silver Shampoo is also great. You will only need to use it every third or fourth wash, otherwise you run the risk of looking like a member of the blue-rinse brigade! Your hairdresser will have her particular favourite, or indeed your chemist.
Start treating your scalp with respect, as this ensures healthy hair growth. One of the main problems with grey is the texture. It may feel coarser, though it’s actually the slower growth of oil production in the scalp that causes this. A good conditioner is a must, and a mask every couple of weeks.

Remember, there will be less contrast now between hair colour and skin. Now is the time to rethink your make up selection. You will have far less contrast between skin and hair if you’re dark, while blondes may begin to look a bit washed out. You may need to go a bit lighter or darker with foundation, and emphasise the lips and eyes.
Each of us has either a warm, cool or neutral undertone. To quickly find out which you are try the jewellery test, warm tones look better in gold, while cool tones love silver. Neutrals look good in both. Take a good look at the veins in your wrist, are they greenish (warm) or blue (cool)? Do you tan easily (warm) or burn (cool)? Warm colouring looks wonderful in peachy and coral lipsticks and blushers. Cools will be better in reds, and pinks.
A bit of eyeliner works wonders at emphasising the eyes. If you don’t want a harsh line then go instead for a soft pencil. If you’re an eyeliner virgin go for navy or brown as they’re soft, and black can look a bit hard.
Eyebrows become sparser as we age, so it’s good to fill them in a bit. There are fantastic little brush and powder sets that will softly give great eyebrow definition. Pencil lines can look very harsh.  
There are so many great role models today advocating the beauty of grey. Helen Mirren, Judy Dench and Diane Keaton are just a few for the older generation, while Katie Holmes and Jessica Biel are a couple of the younger generation who have taken the leap. They all look amazing – and so can you!

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at living@mayonews.ie.