Shades of Grey

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Going grey isn’t what it used to be. Super glamorous, sexy grey haired women are far more visible on our screens and in our magazines, and are finally being recognised by brands as style icons to be celebrated (step forward, Helen Mirren). And with celebrities such as Cara Delevigne and KIm Kardashian all flirting with it as a fashion statement, grey hair is definitely having a moment. With the right care and attention, grey hair can look truly fabulous- and it certainly doesn’t have to mean looking older.

One of the questions we are most asked in the salon is what to do when you spy the first signs of grey. ’There are two options really’, says Shine’s owner Jonathan, ‘you either look to camouflage or blend the grey into your natural hair colour, or you fully embrace it and embark on a whole new look.’

‘If you have just got a couple of grey hairs and you’d like to disguise them,’ Jonathan continues, ‘my advice would be rather than looking to an all over permanent colour, which needs to be regularly maintained, we use a brush to paint permanent colour on to just the sections of hair you wish to cover, before applying a semi permanent gloss to the rest of the hair to boost all over condition.’ We use Aveda’s Full Spectrum Demi+™ range in the salon, which offers high-shine, ammonia-free colour lasting up to 8 weeks, and is great for softening grey hair’s rougher texture.

Depending on your original hair colour, it is also possible to disguise the grey by working some lighter shades through the hair to blend with the grey sections. ‘This works particularly well on light brown to dark blonde hair’, says Jonathan, ‘giving a really natural, multi-tonal look.’

If you are looking for all over coverage, a permanent colour will provide this. But bear in mind you will be committing to a cycle of repeatedly colouring your hair every few weeks to maintain the shade and cover up regrowth, which will potentially damage the hair over time if not done properly. And although it is tempting to top up your colour in between salon appointments with an at home colour, just be wary that there is huge variation in shades from brand to brand, so you can never guarantee a perfect colour match. If you do want to use permanent colour, just pop by the salon to have a colour consultation so we can pick the best shade for you. And to get the most from your coloured hair it’s worth investing in products especially designed to extend its life and prevent fade- we love Aveda’s Color Conserve system.

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And how about if you just want to go for it, and embrace your new shade? Well, if you are inspired by the likes of the fabulous Ms. Mirren (or, who could forget Meryl Streep’s killer silver locks in The Devil Wears Prada?), here are some tips to get the best out of your grey;

  1. Clear gloss treatments are your new friend. Grey hair can appear much drier and coarser, and the lack of pigment can leave it looking dull. These in salon treatments soften the cuticles, improving texture and shine. Speak to your stylist about how regularly you should be having these.

  2. Grey hair does require a bit of extra TLC to ensure it looks healthy. Just as our skin becomes more dehydrated as we age, so does our hair, which can leave grey hair looking a bit frizzy. And exposure to sun, swimming or regular styling with heat doesn’t help. So do maintain your hair with regular haircuts. Consider a sharper, more shaped cut to keep it looking sleek, and try a specialist shampoo designed to treat grey hair, helping eliminate any yellow tones and neutralise brassiness. We recommend Aveda’s Blue Malva Shampoo.

  3. Changing your hair colour is a chance to think about your whole look and what will work with your new colouring. Suddenly the colours on the clothes rail you always shied away from might look fabulous (bright jewel tones work especially well with grey and silver hair). Similarly, you may want to rethink your make up bag. Grey hair can make your skin appear duller, but a stronger shade of blush and defined brows are quick fixes to help lift and brighten. Book yourself a beauty counter consultation to get some advice about switching up your make up for your new look- and go with an open mind!

Inspired by any of these ideas? Pop by the salon any time to chat through any colour changes you’re considering with your stylist, or book your next appointment with us online, by email or phone.

Things we're looking forward to...

Next month our beautiful home town gets that bit more colourful when the Brighton Festival gets underway. Whatever you’re in to, there’s something for everyone- and lots of it free, too. And all on our doorstep!