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Shades of grey

You're looking in the mirror, feeling pretty happy with yourself, thinking 'hey, good looking' when all of a sudden you scream... “What is that?” You can't believe what you're seeing, it is so horrible it has you in a state of panic; it is ... a grey hair.

All right slightly overboard I know, and for some of you going grey will mean nothing, but for others, finding that first grey can be a turning point in their life. What do you do? Do you pull it out, do you cut it off, do you just ignore it in the hope you are hallucinating and tomorrow it will be gone?

Well whatever you do you can't stop it but we can tell you why it happens.

As we get older the amount of pigment in our hair lessens, turning the hair grey, similar to a pen running out of ink. As to how grey you become, what shade of grey you become and when in your life this happens is all down to your genes.

We've all heard the expression 'I went grey over night' well strictly speaking this can't happen, because once the hair has left the scalp, it can't just turn grey on the head. What can happen though is through suffering some form of shock or illness a person's hair may grow out totally grey from that moment on.

Grey hair can suit some people beautifully (lucky you) and yet on others it can be very draining.

Grey hair also tends to suffer from yellowing, there are a few reasons for this, such as cigarette smoke and medication in the system but mostly it is environmental mainly pollution in the air, so using a purifying shampoo (deep cleansing) every once in a while will help get rid of the build up. A shampoo with a silver tone will also help to neutralise any yellow tones and make the white or grey hairs brighter.

If you do find yourself wanting to cover those grey's here are some ideas...

Permanent hair colour is the only way to completely cover them. A Demi-permanent (fade away colour) will blend or camouflage them but is not strong enough to totally cover, although this may suit you and could be an option. I do suggest that if you have never tried colour in your hair before, this is the possibly a wise first choice to see if you like it.

If you do choose to go permanent it will mean a visit to the salon every five to six weeks for your roots to be 'touched-up'. The re-growth and how obvious it is will depend on the colour you have chosen.

Don't have the time to be in the salon every 5 to 6 weeks? Why not consider foils, you could go with a colour close to your natural or darker, to diminish the greys without causing a solid regrowth or you could go with a lighter option and try to blend the greys in using blondes, either way you are only colouring 30 to 50 per cent of the hair, the re-growth will not be as strong as an overall colour and will only require touch-ups every eight weeks or so. Remember the more contrasting the colour you choose, the more often it will need to be done.

My most favourite method for colouring grey hair is to complement it with slices of colour placed to draw attention to certain parts of the haircut. This way you can add colour where you need it, for instance around the face and regrowth is never an issue.

Here are what I consider to be the most important things to consider when choosing a colour for grey hair:

Once again the regrowth and how obvious it is will depend on the contrast of the colour chosen. So, if your hair has more grey than natural, aim for a lighter colour. If your hair has more natural than grey, go for something closer to your own natural colour this way as it's growing you won't look like you could land a jet on your part.

As you get older it may become more difficult to pull off very dark hair. No one ever wants to admit this but the colour we had at 20, natural or otherwise may not suit us later in life as our skin tone has altered with age just like our hair.

Grey hair is often a different texture to the rest of your hair and some parts may be more stubborn than others so it may be necessary to use either a stronger mix or a deeper colour on those parts to retain even coverage. Speak to your stylist if you've experienced an uneven colour in the past and they may adjust the product to suit.

Last but not least, if you think you may want to grow out your existing hair colour and go a la naturally grey, then go for it, it could be the most liberating thing you've done. Ask your stylist for some advice on growing the colour out, it's not as hard as you think.

See you next week,

Kerrie & Sharon



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