Fabulous Hair For Older Women
It always saddens me when I post photos of women with lovely lustrous grey locks onto Facebook and receive vehement comments like "I hate long grey hair" or "I will colour my hair until the day I die!" There are no rules - but there are better ways to do things, whether you have decided to dye forever, transition to grey or fully embrace your natural grey hair colour.
Those Who Will Dye Their Hair Forever
Hair may start to turn grey very early, but for most the process will begin from the mid-forties. If you decide to cover the grey, remember that you are committing to forty plus years of costly upkeep (in terms of time and money).
My Top Tips:
1. Think about whether you want an all over colour or to add highlights or lowlights like Brenda Blethyn (above), maybe using the grey as part of the mix. Highlights or lowlights can also keep hair from being monochromatic, causing it to appear fuller and creating the illusion of lift and movement. It looks more natural and regrowth is less likely to show after a couple of weeks
2. If you go for a solid colour keep adjusting it as you age. Your skin tone gradually becomes paler with the passing years so be subtle with colouring. For instance If you have naturally very dark brown hair in your thirties, this will look very harsh in contrast with your skin tone as a sixty year old.
3. Applying colour to hair every six weeks for forty years may result in very dull, lifeless looking hair.
4. Semi permanent dyes are kinder to the hair, but may fade quite fast, especially in the sun. Permanent dyes obviously last for longer but will contain ammonia and/or peroxide. An expert colourist will know how to keep your coloured hair in tip top condition.
Those Who Will Transition to Grey
I think this process is what keeps a lot of older women dyeing their hair,they just don't know how to go about it. Also their hairdresser might be less than helpful given that most salons depend on expensive colour treatments to make a profit. I am transitioning myself at the moment - after about 10 years of having silver/ashy highlights added to my brown hair, I have stopped the colouring to see exactly what my own hair is like underneath. I am at stage 3 (see below) and really having to grit my teeth!
My Top Tips:
1. Switch to a shade in a semi-permanent colour if you have been colouring all over with permanent colour. If you have been going darker, switch to a slightly lighter shade that will blend better with your roots. If you have been going lighter, switch to a slightly darker shade.
2. You will be ready for a haircut and a colour touch up In 6 weeks. Remove as much length as you are comfortable with. It's best to get rid of all your coloured hair as swiftly as possible so you can start afresh. Repeat your same colour as last time, continuing with your slightly more grey-embracing shade and technique.
3. In 6 more weeks, get another cut but leave your roots alone this time. This might be the hardest part - so grit your teeth and keep going!
4. Keep getting your hair trimmed every six weeks and if you really hate the 'two-toned' colour have a few highlights added with a semi-permanent colour to blend the natural colour and the remains of the dyed hair.
5. Two more hair cuts and you should be able to continue growing and cutting your hair at your own rate. You've done it! Now you can fully embrace the grey without having to worry about colour anymore.
Those Who Will Embrace The Grey
Naturally grey or white hair looks amazing as long as it is in tip-top condition and beautifully cut whether into a long, mid-length or short style. Grey or white hair which is straggly, in poor condition and badly cut will definitely look more 'witch' and less 'bewitching!'
My Top Tips:
1. Brighten up your face with makeup! If you have what is effectively colourless/very cool toned hair, then you will need to add colour to your face. This is the main reason that grey hair is seen as ageing, but with the kind of makeup we recommend at Look Fabulous Forever you will NOT look older - in fact you will look younger than women with dyed hair and no makeup.
2. Use special shampoos and conditioners which are formulated to suit hair which is more porous and may take on an unpleasant yellow tinge. Also use products to add volume and body as your hair may be finer or thinner than it used to be.
3. Hot hair brushes are a god-send for wiry or curly hair. I use mine after I have roughly blow-dried it to smooth the hair and stop it looking 'fluffy.'
Which 'camp' are you in? Any hints or tips you want to pass on for dyeing, transitioning or embracing the grey?
Note: Following the hair concerns I wrote about in this blog, I decided to do what I do best and create my own range of products! See below for my line of volume boosting, nourishing haircare products for mature hair...
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