What you need to know when you’re going grey

Whether you’ve just spotted a silver hair or are tackling a whole head, here are your options for embracing THE hair colour of right now


Thank goodness we’ve stopped shunning grey hair – no longer do silver strands mean running for the nearest and darkest box dye. How we talk about grey hair is changing culturally, thanks to a perceptible shift in mood following salon closures in lockdown. Many were forced to face their roots head on… and plenty of people liked what they saw, including celebrities such as Andie MacDowell. This has become a new beauty movement, where grey no longer conveys something that’s wrong, ageing is no longer inherently bad thankyouverymuchindeed. Just look at Julia Fox rocking grey roots at the CFDA Awards (along with a skin celebrating dress and a clutch bag with an inbuilt lighter!) – she called her look “a love letter to getting older”. Grey will no longer be ignored – but how can you make the cool hue work for you when embracing your natural grey?

“I suggest working with your colourist and opting for a grey camouflage service such as the Russell Eaton Deluxe Regrowth service,” says Robert Eaton, creative director at the Yorkshire salon group and also Wella Professionals UK & Ireland creative technical director. “This technique involves your colourist applying colour to your hairline in a lighter shade to help disguise the re-growth line of your natural hair colour that has lost its pigment. This will help make the transition into the rest of your hair colour more seamless and natural. This can be continued until you’ve transitioned to a full head of your natural grey. There will be no appearances of any harsh re-growth lines throughout the process.”

Wella Professionals True Grey

Once you’ve transitioned to grey, keep it looking dazzling rather than dull with proper maintenance. “To maintain grey hair it’s best to try and refrain from washing it too much to avoid the colour rinsing out, therefore, where possible try to use a dry shampoo,” says Suzie McGill, owner of Rainbow Room International’s Uddingston salon, Schwarzkopf Professional UK ambassador and international artistic director at Rainbow Room International. “When you do need to wash your hair, keep brassy tones at bay by looking out for blue or violet toned products that will wave goodbye to yellow undertones and ensure your hair colour is super shiny. If you need to use heated styling tools, ensure you use a heat protecting spray, which will preserve grey vibrancy and keep hair looking smooth.”

A new vocabulary is popping up around the possibilities of pewter and the like. You’ve probably seen them hashtagged or in beauty editor pieces: mushroom grey, oyster grey, dove grey… and all of them are statement grey. Ahead of the curve on all this has been Wella Professionals, which has been unveiling a number of exciting innovations in grey. Whether you’re alarmed by the emergence of your first grey hair, thinking of growing out previous colour, or looking to embrace and personalise a grey look, there’s an option for you with its Grey Blending service in its partner salons.

Grey Blending from Wella Professionals
Grey Blending from Wella Professionals

But perhaps the most exciting newness from Wella Professionals is True Grey. It’s the world’s first in-salon silver treatment for revitalising hair that’s 70 per cent plus grey hair, and it’s damage- and commitment-free too. You’ll see a more luminous, more dimensional result, with beautiful reflections of silver, pearl, smoke, ash…

How does it do all this? Right, unlike traditional colour, True Grey’s technology uses a subtle and soft oxidative grey base that mimics the natural hues of grey hair to create a reliable, luminous and natural-looking world of light and shadow. It also has a clean formula with a pH of 7, just like pure water. This means that for those concerned they’ll be colouring their hair, this hybrid service does not damage or alter the hair base, and it maintains the original health of the hair. Clever, right? There are three shade families – Pearl Mist, Graphite Shimmer, and Steel Glow – in Light, Medium and Dark options, so a colourist can blend and place a bespoke cocktail.

“It’s all about condition because of the natural dryness of the hair and the hair texture,” explains Robert Eaton. “True Grey is the perfect service because we can build the substance of the hair back up again, make it feel stronger, thicker and healthier. But then we can also brighten at the same time.”

The upshot is that you now have options if you have greying hair that span beyond camouflaging it with a heavy all over colour. A conversation with a colourist can help you land on how you want to blend or transition or go full spectacular silver. You’ll never have to “fade” to grey!

Searching for EVEN more ways to embrace the greys? Award-winning colourist Sarah Black explains why the mallen streak may be your new best friend.