Empowering Your Best Self

Beauty

3 Ways to Grow Out Grey Gracefully

Christina Shellen Avatar Image Christina Shellen
3 Ways to Grow Out Grey Gracefully Hero Image

We’ve seen it for years on Hollywood’s so-called silver foxes: think Idris Elba, Gael García Bernal and George Clooney. But grey hair on women has traditionally been associated with other G words like “granny,” “Golden Girls,” and “getting old.” Now a popular grey trend spotted on young style makers Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, as well as fashion icons Stacy London, British Vogue’s Sarah Harris and actress Helen Mirren, reminds us that grey can also be “gutsy” and “gorgeous.” In short, grey’s getting a well-deserved rebrand.

Famed celebrity hairstylist Matthew Preece is seeing more and more clients embracing their grey. For men, the transition is fairly simple. “Men are being told all day long that women like a little bit of grey on a guy. So we just kind of camouflage their grey—tone it down a bit.”

There are three basic approaches:

  1. Same-day silver: For those with light-colored hair, Preece said, “That’s really easy. What we do in that circumstance is dye the rest of the hair—the blonde hair—grey. So that way, you would literally leave the salon more or less how you pictured yourself with grey hair.”
  2. Gradual grey: If you’ve been dying your grey roots darker, “That’s the more common scenario,” he explained. “I run some highlights through and I try to lighten their color for a year, and gradually let in more of their natural color. And while that’s happening, we’re cutting the dyed ends off.”
  3. The chop: If you’re brave enough, Preece has a third option: “Cut it all off! One of my stylists, Sean James, does Jamie Lee Curtis’ hair. One day she came in and said, ‘Cut it short.’ And she looks amazing with her natural grey.”

To maintain the color and prevent any yellowing, Preece advises looking for all-natural shampoos specifically designed for grey hair. “Phytargent by Phyto is an excellent brightening shampoo for grey and white hair, or there’s Phytoneutre, a clarifying shampoo and Phytobaume conditioner. Also the texture of grey hair is generally a bit coarser. So any products that promote a smoother, shinier hair shaft are going to be advantageous.”

But going grey may impact more than just your shampoo. “It’s a whole mindset,” Preece said. “When you make such a big change, you become a different person when you look in the mirror. So maybe you make your clothing a little bit bolder, or you get some different frames for your glasses or you might wear your makeup a little bit differently, because your canvas is a different color now.”

If you’re still nervous about taking the plunge, Preece has some comforting words. “Nothing’s permanent in this world. If you decide to go grey and you can’t embrace it, there are things we can do that can enhance that grey and give you more of a youthful look. Your decision doesn’t have to be your final decision in life … it can be a rebirth.”