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Tips for looking after grey hair

Article by Ceri Wheeldon with tips from Anabel Kingsley

tips for looking after gray hair image

It’s a growing trend to stop colouring hair and letting the grey hair shine through. Social media is awash with images of celebrities and real women proudly showing their grey locks.   How attitudes have changed. I can remember my own mother handing me a pair of tweezers while she sat at her dressing table and instructing me to pluck out any grey hairs (she started to go grey in her mid to late 30s). This was done weekly. When the plucking became more severe and she realised that she was in danger of going bald – such was my enthusiasm to complete my task, she started to colour – only recently as she approaches 80 has she stopped colouring and allowed herself to go silver.

So, we have to green light to go grey – should we choose to.

Salma Hayek is the latest ‘A’ lister to showcase her natural grey hair.  This was a shock since grey hair is generally viewed as taboo among famous women. Comments on her post have called her ‘the perfect role model’ for embracing the natural look.

Going grey is a choice, it compliments skin tone (which also changes with age), and those who have the patience to grow out their colour seem to have no regrets. Its fabulous that women do not feel compelled to hide their age behind hair colour.

But does grey hair require special care to keep in in top condition?

Trichologist Anabel Kingsley gives her tips for looking after grey hair.

Anabel says:

On average, by age 50, 50% of a person’s hair will have turned grey. We go grey when melanin (pigment) cells stop being produced.

Grey hair isn’t actually grey – it’s white. It just appears grey as it is interspersed with pigmented hairs.

To improve the appearance and condition of grey hairs, I suggest using a shampoo and conditioner that contain violet hues and optical brighteners. Such products help to counteract any yellow or discoloured tones and make hair look healthier and shinier. We make Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Shampoo and Conditioner.

As hair becomes finer as we get older, grey hair is also often finer and more fragile. To strengthen strands, use a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment.

Stress may influence the greying process – but not directly. Stress can affect vitamin B levels, which may lead to premature greying in those with a predisposition. However, the negative impact that stress can have on the body is more likely to cause hair loss than it is to result in changes to hair colour.

Real women’s experience of going grey

Some time ago Kama shared her account of how going grey gave her more confidence.   Kama said “I became aware of how much I had been hiding behind my hair. Now that there was no dyed hair to hide behind, there was no more hiding, I was free to step forward as I truly am”  Friends who have gone down the grey route say that their hair tends to be drier and coarser – so moisture boosting hair masks are key. They have also found that their hair requires washing less frequently, although they have switched to haircare ranges geared towards mature /grey hair. They have also changed the way they style their hair – a new look for a new colour. Work with your hairdresser to find the best style while you are growing your colour out.


Personally, in some ways I am quite envious. My hair has never been on trend – it was too curly to have the ‘Purdy’ cut. I have never been able to have a bob, or sleek straight hair (its curly but fine, so straightening my hair made me look as though I had very little hair at all)  and now, according to my hairdresser on my last visit for highlights, I have no grey to grow out. I must take after my grandmother who never went grey. My blonde hair has got darker as I’ve got older, but I only have the odd grey strand. He says I will have to wait another 20 years to have enough grey to grow out – my silver bob will have to wait. So although I applaud those who go grey, this is one age defying trend that I will have to support from the sidelines




Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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