HOW TO MANAGE GOING GREY (WHEN YOU’RE NOT 100 PER CENT GREY YET)
by ROSE GARNETT
When it comes to hair, any in-between phase can be seriously tricky.
Change can be a scary thing. Whether it’s moving house, a breakup (or makeup) or travelling to a new country, change has the power to thrust our flaws into the spotlight and cause some serious anxiety. But, if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that change is unavoidable and the best management strategy is to face it head on and embrace it as much as possible.
This same ethos can be applied to hair. Specifically, greying hair. Worn proudly by both Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon in the recent Sex And The City spinoff, And Just Like That, grey hair is nothing to shy away from. In fact, we believe it’s something to be worn with pride; ageing is a privilege, after all.
But despite our love of the silver mane, there’s no doubt that the transition period between coloured hair to fully grey can be an awkward and challenging beast. Here, we called on the expertise of hair stylists Alexander Fuchs and Anthony Nader to break down how to embrace your grey hair, even when you aren’t 100 per cent grey yet.
MAKE A COMMITMENT
Much like the timeline to marriage that follows a glitzy proposal, managing grey hair requires a certain level of commitment. In short: you can’t half-arse it. “The first step is to go and talk to your hairdresser about it,” says Fuchs. “Create a plan and a time frame on when you would like to be colour-free and embracing your greys and make sure you stick to it.”
Fuchs breaks the commitment down into two time frames: three to six months and 12 months.
The shorter of the two commitments, this process sees a client instantly stop colouring the hair and start growing out their grey regrowth. “We cut the hair a bit shorter, and still add lots of foils and maintain a wearable look over the transitioning time with toners or demi-permanent colouring to camouflage the existing grey.” In other words, it’s the more drastic option of the two but is by no means cold turkey.
“The long and slow process over approximately 12 months is ideal for clients who slowly want to embrace their greys but don’t want to make an instant statement or cut their hair short,” says Fuchs. Instead, this process involved changing the regrowth colour to a half shade lighter every visit and starting to add some light blonde, ashy foils. This will eventually transition into a more translucent regrowth colour before adding more foils. A slow and steady approach, for sure.
IGNORE THE GREY HAIR MYTHS
We’re sure you’ve all been greeted by the look of disgust when you’ve mentioned pulling out a grey hair once or twice. “Don’t do that! They’ll grow back thicker and quicker! You’ll end up with more!” So dramatic, guys.
Here to set the record straight, Nader is on a myth busting mission. “It’s a myth that pulling out grey hairs makes them grow back quicker and thicker,” he says. “When those greys want to show up, they certainly don’t wait for your invitation.”
Also important to note is that pulling out grey hairs has nothing to do with how coarse or wiry they appear. “More often than not, silver or grey hair strands will feel wirier or more coarse,” says Nader. “This is because there’s no colour pigment in the hair strand and so, the outer cuticle can feel rough. It’s completely normal and can be combated with the right hair care.”
NB: There is also no difference in how grey hairs behave depending on your hair type, so whether you have 4C curls or pin straight hair, you can follow these strategies.
TAKE CARE OF IT
“Once you’ve successfully grown out your grey hair, caring for your hair will be a bit different,” says Fuchs. “I would stick to a salon quality shampoo, conditioner and styling product to make sure your hair is getting all the nutrients it needs.”
Fuchs also recommends being extra conscious of how the environment affects your strands. Particularly in Australia where sun, salt water and chlorine are daily aggressors, grey hair can have the tendency to turn yellow, so a regular purple based blonde shampoo and treatment will do wonders for keeping your hair looking bright, clean and cool.
“Investing in a hydrating masque is also a great way to keep your hair looking and feeling fabulous,” recommends Nader. “It will also help with manageability.”
Also a firm believer in the value of a daily scalp massage, Nader stresses the importance of quality products when dealing with grey tones. “Invest in a 100 per cent boar bristle brush (think Mason Pearson) as these brushes help to distribute the scalps natural oils without causing any damage.”
See? There’s always a silver lining.