Are you glad to be grey?

The Church of England - - FEATURE - Janey Lee Grace

It’s all across the me­dia like a rash: the new ‘grey gene’ has been found and so there’s hope that we can keep our shiny locks well into old age. Mean­while the de­bate rages as to whether it’s cool for a woman to em­brace her grey­ing hair or whether hair must be coloured.

The his­to­rian Mary Beard has writ­ten ex­ten­sively on the sub­ject. In the 1950s around seven per cent of peo­ple whose hair was go­ing grey dyed it, and now it’s thought over 75 per cent of peo­ple dis­guise the grey. What has not been ad­dressed is the in­cred­i­bly dam­ag­ing ef­fects of con­tin­u­ally us­ing harsh chem­i­cals.

Bring on Tabitha James Kraan, pi­o­neer of or­ganic hair­dress­ing since 1999. Tabitha loves her grey hair but says for those who are dis­in­clined to em­brace their new nat­u­ral look with­out a lit­tle help, there are nu­mer­ous op­tions for con­ceal­ment. How­ever, she sug­gests you opt for ‘clever colour­ing’.

Many of the so­lu­tions on of­fer in­volve the reg­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tion of hefty quan­ti­ties of harsh chem­i­cals, not to men­tion the dreaded re-ap­pear­ance of the ever-widen­ing run­way of grey at the roots.

Deal­ing with grey­ing hair by ap­ply­ing an all-over colour is high-main­te­nance, harsh on your hair and health, and leads to the ter­ri­ble give­away block line be­tween nat­u­ral and un­nat­u­ral.

Take the pres­sure off your hair by adopt­ing a clever ap­proach to colour­ing. Start ad­dress­ing the grey at an early stage, so your hair­dresser can adopt a strat­egy that can be adapted as the quan­tity of grey in­creases. Be kind to your hair and body by in­sist­ing on or­ganic colour.

Go for clever and care­ful place­ment of colour, work­ing with the nat­u­ral colour rather than against it. Keep ap­pli­ca­tion of colour to a min­i­mum, and pre­vent the give­away hard line be­tween coloured and non-coloured hair.

Avoid colour­ing al­ready coloured hair, which quickly wrecks the con­di­tion. In­stead of dark­en­ing the hair then adding high­lights, use light­ness that’s al­ready there, and place dark around it. Tabitha be­lieves the best hair colour is more like painting a pic­ture than it is emul­sion­ing a wall, so aim to use as lit­tle prod­uct as pos­si­ble, us­ing the nat­u­ral hair colour to its best ad­van­tage, adding high­lights and low­lights to en­hance the nat­u­ral look.

Tabitha James Kraan’s sa­lon is in Stow on the Wold (worth the trip!)

Tabitha also has an amaz­ing range of or­ganic prod­ucts: check out the scented hair oil and the unique hair per­fume.


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