Fifty shades of grey

No longer some­thing to dread and dis­guise, sil­ver hair can put you ahead in the style stakes. Lisa Haynes in­ves­ti­gates a grow­ing grey area

Friday - - Contents -

No longer some­thing to dread and dis­guise, we look at the hair world’s new sil­ver lin­ing.

Kelly Os­bourne kicked off the trend, Lady Gaga fol­licly fol­lowed suit and Ni­cole Richie went shock­ing white... Seems go­ing grey is catch­ing on – no mat­ter what your age. Tra­di­tion­ally as­so­ci­ated with the neg­a­tive ef­fects of age­ing, a sprin­kling of sil­ver has had its time in the spot­light be­fore – way back in the 18th cen­tury when pow­dered ‘peri­wigs’ were all the rage for both men and women in Europe. But ever since a tax on hair pow­der led to the demise of the sil­ver stylista, grey mat­ter has re­mained the do­main of van­ity-es­chew­ing grannies and grand­pas only. Un­til now, that is.

While male stars such as Ge­orge Clooney, Brad Pitt or the snowy-bearded Amitabh Bachchan have long been able to em­brace their salt-and-pep­per side and pass it off as ‘dis­tin­guished’, go­ing grey has al­ways been a no-no for lead­ing ladies.

But the tides are a-turn­ing. In 2010 model Kris­ten McMe­namy fea­tured in an is­sue of

sport­ing her nat­u­rally grey locks in what she called a “back­lash to the eter­nal quest for anti-age­ing”. Kate Moss got in on the trend with sil­ver streaks a few months later, and the next thing we knew Jean Paul Gaultier was send­ing mod­els down the run­ways in gor­geous grey up-dos, a trend later seen on the cat­walks of Dolce and Gabbana, Blugirl and Maria Bar­ros.

Since then ev­ery­one from Rita Ora to Ri­hanna has been go­ing snowy, while this month saw Diane Keaton glow­ing and nat­u­rally grey at the Golden Globes, and beauty trend-spot­ters are pre­dict­ing ‘Pearl-essence’ colours as one of the big hair trends of 2014. So does this mean the taboo has fi­nally been lifted on em­brac­ing nat­u­rally grey hair?

Per­haps not quite yet. The av­er­age woman will spend Dh1,350 a year hav­ing their hair coloured, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by hair dye brand Nice ’n Easy. That’s al­most Dh60,000 on hit­ting the dye bot­tles in an av­er­age

life­time. “Thanks to style icons such as Kelly Os­bourne, women are start­ing to em­brace grey hair as so­phis­ti­cated rather than as a sign of age­ing to dis­guise,” says Shakira Adams, stylist at Pas­tels Salon in Jumeirah, Dubai. “Most of my clients aren’t yet em­brac­ing the trend fully, but they do use colour tech­niques such as sub­tle high­lights to blend in their grey for a more nat­u­ral look.”

Whether you want to en­hance it, cover it up, or just let na­ture take its course, here’s the lowdown on strik­ing the right sil­ver note.

Go­ing grey

While some spot that first flicker of sil­ver in their midtwen­ties, for oth­ers, greys don’t ap­pear un­til their for­ties.

White or grey hair oc­curs when the fol­li­cle stops pro­duc­ing melanin pig­ments. Al­though the process can’t be pre­vented, beauty gi­ants are locked in a sci­ence lab race to pro­duce won­der pills and po­tions to stop grey hair – per­ma­nently.

It can come as a shock when your crown­ing glory starts to change colour. Over two thirds of the fe­male pop­u­la­tion (67 per cent) aged be­tween 26 and 60 years claim they never want to be seen with grey hair, ac­cord­ing to a UKbased sur­vey by home-hair-colour brand Live Salon Style. “When hair starts to grey, it’s one of the big­gest chal­lenges for women both phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally,” says Lon­don­based hair stylist Nor­ris Ogario. “Women can ex­pe­ri­ence a lack of con­fi­dence but also strug­gle with colour and tex­ture changes too. Grey hair is usu­ally thicker and less shiny, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have amaz­ing hair and be proud of your sil­ver tresses.”

Em­brac­ing grey

Not ev­ery­one wants to spend time ev­ery six weeks sit­ting in the hair colourist’s chair. With grey be­ing the fash­ion shade du jour, you can wear your nat­u­ral colour with con­fi­dence and even en­hance it. “Be con­fi­dent in your look and make more of a state­ment with your cut, so you don’t ap­pear out of date or mumsy,” ad­vises Denise McAdam, celebrity hair­dresser and am­bas­sador for Nur­ture Re­plen­ish hair­care brand. “White hair looks bril­liant in a short, edgy style, or a fab­u­lous sharp bob.”

A sub­tle or ex­treme change in tex­ture isn’t un­com­mon dur­ing the grey takeover. If your hair’s feel­ing wiry, it’s down to the fact that greys are of­ten coarser than pig­mented hair, which can make it trick­ier to colour. The shape and cut of your hair­style be­come all the more im­por­tant, as do the prod­ucts you use. A blue or pur­plet­inted ‘sil­ver sham­poo’ will coun­ter­act brassi­ness, and “the hair also needs more con­di­tion­ing as grey hair is stronger and coarser,” says Pas­tels Dubai stylist Jen­nie Davies. Well-con­di­tioned, glossy hair can make all the dif­fer­ence be­tween gran and glam when it comes to grey.

Cam­ou­flag­ing grey

For­get lines and wrin­kles. The ma­jor­ity of women who want to mask their grey hair com­pletely do so be­cause they be­lieve it to be one of the most ob­vi­ous signs of age­ing. If you can han­dle the main­te­nance, an all-over colour will send greys pack­ing – well, at least for four to six weeks.

“My the­ory is that you can wear al­most any colour, but it must work with your eye colour, skin tone and com­plex­ion,” ad­vises Chris­tel Lundqvist, TIGI global tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor. “As you get older, it’s bet­ter not to try to recre­ate the orig­i­nal colour of your hair be­fore you be­gan to go grey, but to re­think the in­ten­sity.”

Nice ’n Easy colour ad­viser Jonathan Long rec­om­mends tak­ing your colour a shade or two lighter as you get older: “This will give you a more youth­ful, il­lu­mi­nat­ing look, soft­en­ing the ap­pear­ance of fa­cial lines and shad­ows.” Shape and cut be­come all im­por­tant. White hair looks great in a short, edgy style or a sharp bob

Kelly Os­bourne

Lady Gaga

Ni­cole Richie

Young celebri­ties dy­ing their hair grey has eased the way for older women in the pub­lic eye to let their nat­u­rally sil­ver tresses shine through

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