So, here’s what happens when you start to go grey …
Every hair follicle contains melanocytes, which are pigment cells. When you first start to grey it is because the melanocytes have become less active. As a result, less pigment is deposited into the hair and that makes it appear lighter. As greying progresses, the melanocytes die off until there are no cells left to produce any colour.
The question is whether to go with the flow and embrace your newfound colour (à la Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada), or fight it all the way. Here, we talk to our colour guru Damien Rayner who gives us his top tips on tackling grey hair.
1. Embrace the grey. If you love your grey hair and feel that you’ve worked hard for it, simply use a silver shampoo to help maintain a shiny and lustrous look. If you want to go entirely grey this is a massive job taking around a year. You want clean grey (not marsupial grey!) – the ideal colour is a rich blue-ish hue.
2. If you colour your hair, maintain lighter shades and use various hues of blonde to enhance your look and blend the appearance of random grey strands.
3. Masks should be part of your hair care arsenal to keep hair deeply conditioned. As hair ages it’s very prone to breakage and sun damage. Hair is just like our skin, so we need to replace what it needs. So add moisture if the hair has become unruly and frizzy; and protein if hair has become limp and lifeless. And make sure you are treating your hair, even if you don’t color it. This will help keep it manageable and looking great.
4. Nourish hair from within with a well-rounded diet rich in orange foods like sweet potato and carrots.
5 Buys to Try
- Paul Mitchell Moisture Daily Treatment, $13.50, 1300 365 350, to keep hair nourished and pliable.
- A home-hair colouring kit that is easy to apply; try Schwarzkopf Multi-Usage Permanent Colour Foam, $24.95, 1800 022 219, to cover greys.
- L’Oréal Professionnel Silver Gloss Protect System, $26, 1300 659 359, to keep brassiness at bay.
- Matrix Biolage Hydra-Seal Softening Mist, $29, 1300 659 359, to quench thirsty hair.
- De Lorenzo Essential Treatments Protein Complex, $26.95, 1800 800 347, or a rich protein boost to damaged hair.