Over the last twelve months, the fashion world has embraced natural grey hair - and the rest of us have seemingly followed suit. We’ve already taken a look at the best of way of achieving a grey haired look in part one of this series, however here we delve into the world of natural grey.
Fashion’s movement towards grey has been influenced in no small part by figures such as Sarah Harris (Fashion Features editor for British Vogue), who, despite going grey at a very young age, wears her hair proudly and super stylishly. Due to the positive impact of people like Sarah, grey has never been cooler: high fashion label Céline featured 80-year-old novelist Joan Didion in a major campaign at the beginning of 2015, whilst naturally grey style icons like Linda Rodin and Iris Apfel have gained new prominence - Apfel, for example, was the subject of an autobiographical documentary earlier in the year.
For us at Glasshouse, one of the best aspects of the current trend for grey hair both natural and coloured is that it completely overturns the idea that going grey is embarrassing or unfashionable. Instead, its status as shade of the moment reinvigorates grey by highlighting its understated edginess - that’s why the second part of our Grey Masterclass focuses on the best ways to grow out natural grey gracefully, again complete with expert advice from Glasshouse boss lady Olivia.
Though there’s no definitive answer as to why people go grey (researchers point towards a genetic explanation, but nothing has ever been conclusively proven), it’s a fact of ageing for most of us. However, now more than ever, many are embracing their greys and the present trend for the hair shade means that returning to a more silvery tone is a hot topic for many hairdressers and their clients.
If you’re thinking of returning to a natural grey, it’s first of all important to know that doing so is an extremely gradual process. “People come in to the salon all the time and talk to me about the possibility of uncovering their naturally grey hair,” says Olivia. “They tend to think that any previous colour can just be pulled out of their hair to reveal the grey underneath, but it isn’t as simple as that! As soon as you put colour on hair, it affects the natural pigment, and so there wouldn’t be a true grey underneath. The only way to achieve a full head of natural grey is to grow it out.”
Growing out grey can feel like a bold move, and, as hair grows at a rate of about six inches per year, it will inevitably take a number of months (or even years) depending on the length of your hair and the length you want to eventually achieve. Thankfully, there are lots of techniques and products, which can help the process to be as smooth as possible.
The first few weeks and months of attempting to grow out grey will always be the most difficult, as unruly roots begin to peek through and salon colour fades over time. Olivia’s solution to this phase of your grey evolution is Root Vanish by Kazumi: “Root Vanish is a bit of a miracle product. It’s extremely popular in the salon due to its natural, toxin-free formula which contains Japanese herbal extracts, and its ease of use - the colour is simply painted onto damp hair after a wash, blow dried to set in place, and is easily removed with the next wash”. This makes Root Vanish an ideal companion for anyone in the early stages of making their grey a more permanent fixture, and as it’s a temporary colour, it can be used as little or as often as you’d like.
As your grey starts to come through more and more, it’s useful to talk through your interim options with your colourist. “A helpful technique is to highlight a tint into the hair - that way you don’t see a ‘line’ between the grey and the new colour,” suggests Olivia. “We tend to find that when colour is a bit lighter, and has some dimension, regrowth appears a little bit softer. Natural looking highlights are really great for this - with darker colours, the regrowth seems harder and more obvious.”
When you’re ready to start caring for your grey tresses, it’s useful to remember that the texture, and therefore also the needs and requirements, of hair changes as it turns grey. Over the course of the greying process, hair becomes wirier and lower in moisture - however with proper TLC, this needn’t be a problem. At this stage, we’d recommend Organic Colour Systems’ Aqua Boost shampoo and treatment. The Aqua Boost products maintain hair’s natural moisture balance, giving it shine and suppleness - this is especially important when looking after the more resistant grey hair type.
If you’d like further advice about any aspect of growing out grey, give us a call on 020 3095 9783, or email us at email@example.com. Our stylists are always happy to chat about your hair’s unique needs, and can make all of the right recommendations to get your grey hair looking fifty shades of cool. Don’t forget to revisit part one of our grey masterclass for more silver-toned advice!
Words by Lauren O’Neill