Making good style decisions as you get older can be daunting. With a changing body shape and not wanting to dress ‘too old’ or ‘too young’ and then there is the hair! Those grey hairs may be creeping in or already taken over and your favored hair style that has worked for your hair type for years is now either aging or frumpy.
When it comes to dealing with grey hair it’s best to get an expert involved so we put some of your questions to a real hair industry expert Emiliano Vitale of the renouned eSalon in Sydney.
Which shampoos are best to use when going grey?
'The best shampoos are those that promote shine and have a slight toning ingredient in them. Purple shampoos such as L'Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Shine Blonde, which is made to keep blondes clean and tone out any unwanted yellow, are just perfect. They are fantastic for keeping grey hair WHITE and shiny rather than that dull, flat look. Also brilliant are moisturising shampoos such as Kerastase Bain Satin 3 with the Kerastase Oleo Relax Masque for smoothing that rebellious and wiry grey hair'.
Why does grey hair dry out much quicker?
't isn’t so much that grey hair dries out much quicker it is the same thing that makes it grey, and that is the dying off of the pigment in the hair. The reason we go grey is due to the hair cells called melanocytes stopping the production of the required pigment, which in turn causes the grey hair. This is all a result of aging. So when we say grey hair is coarser and drier, it is merely that it has lost much of its natural lustre, bounce and shine'.
Which styling products are the best to use for grey hair?
'As outlined above, the best products are those for moisture control and toning shampoos for blondes. These are really effective in making grey hair truly shiny. Also, when it comes to styling your hair, use the same as any styling product prescribed by your stylist for your hair type, although you MUST add a moisturizer or leave in conditioner, such as TIGI S FACTOR Papaya Spray or Kerastase Oleo Relax Elixir as they will aid in the moisturisation and control of the grey hair'.
How should women let their hair go grey without that awful in between two-tone colour?
'This really depends on the base of the hair colour when you make the decision to go "GREY GRACEFULLY".
We have had a lot of success by using the highlighting technique and turning it into a gradual process which can take a few visits and up to 6 months. This is best suited to hair that is light brown or lighter. What we initially do is a full head of highlights, bringing the hair to a very light pale blonde. We then tone with a "SILVER" based toner this will eliminate any yellow from the hair immediately. The idea here is to give the appearance of more grey hair than what is already there. This will make it a lot easier to grow out, as we lose that regrowth line pretty much straightaway'.
'On darker hair we have had success with low-lighting the regrowth area on the parting whilst allowing the rest of the hair to grow out. At a certain point the hair starts to look a little dull and here we start to introduce the aid of semi-permanant colours which we use as a camoflauge to the white hair. The advantage of this is that the colour fades out and allows the natural hair to grow through. Be careful though as, going too dark or being in unskilled hands can cause colour build-up and really defeat the purpose of going grey.
And finally the natural way. CUT YOUR HAIR SHORT and in 2 cuts your colour is gone. As drastic as this sounds, women who have grey hair always look sensational whenthey have a short striking haircut. There is nothing like this. Truly sensational'!
How should women care for their grey hair?
'Every salon visit a toning treatment would be imperative. This will keep you hair shiny, and clean of any yellow or colour discrepancies caused by pollution or even smoke etc. L'Oreal Professionnel Shine Blonde Treatment is perfect for this. Or even have a non permanent colour, using a silver/ash based colour, or "Frosty" in the L'Oreal Professionnel Diacolour Richesse range.
As for home care, alternate a moisturising shampoo with L'Oreal Professionnel Shine Blonde toning shampoo.Always finish with Kerastase Oleo Relax Masque for thicker hair or Kerastase Masquintense FINE for finer hair'.
You can find Emiliano at eSalon 2 Redleaf Ave, Wahroonga, Sydney NSW. Tel 02 9487 8011
On the colour side the biggest mistake, is to keep on using the same hair colour that you have always used. Whether you originally coloured your hair for fashion or to cover the first signs of grey, 10 years on it probably won’t suit you. As you age you don’t just get a few extra lines but your skin tones fade making darker colours too harsh and bright colours overpowering. Think of grey as natural high lights and gradually lighten your look by adding a few lighter stands or lightening the whole base colour half a degree at a time. With brighter colours you can also soften them with a few high lights but if you want to keep your ‘trade mark red’ try simply softening the colour around your face rather than the whole lot. If blonde has turned to grey forget brassy yellow tones as these can be harsh, pearl or champagne blondes are great for softness as well as fashonable.
For those with a darker shade when the grey starts to take over and the regrowth becomes too much, your only option seems to be growing out your colour completely but a year or 2 doing this will get anyone down so forget that!!! Try instead low lights using your original natural colour or the tinted colour you have been using until now. This leaves some grey (about 50%) so lessening the regrowth but not succumbing to ‘granny hair’ just yet.
If you have never coloured your hair and are thinking about it low lights are a good option here also as the maintenance on an all over colour can be difficult. Other options are demi or semi colours that gradually fade out but do give a degree of coverage just not 100%.
When it comes to style and shape getting this right is simply about softness around the face. A harsh style like scrapping your hair back into a ponytail leaves all your flaws on display (although the ponytail does offer a mini face lift)! So maybe add a full fringe to hide forehead wrinkles or half fringe for general softness. Don’t think you have to cut your hair short just because you’re over ….… try layers, a little wave or curl is very now and helps soften so keeping you fashionable too. A bob in all its many guises, apart from the harsh blunt version, can be very contemporary and flatteringly stylish. If wearing your hair up go for something that is loose with soft texture, try using curled tendrils to soften around the face and you won’t feel like ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. If short wear your hair forwards in the ever classic French crop, style it into soft waves and keep it textured and choppy onto your face and you can’t go wrong.