Women have always dyed their hair, initially using natural dyes until synthetic dyes became widely available from the early 1900s. Ladies dye their hair for many reasons – to look different, to look better, to make a statement but often to hide their grey or white hair. In the 1950s 10% of women dyed their hair; that figure is now over 70%.
I often get asked by clients – What should I do with my hair colour? This is the big question as should they continue colouring their hair for the rest of their lives or ditch the dye bottle and go natural? Unfortunately, in our society, women with grey hair are often viewed as old, frumpy, past it and about to check into the care home.
As the phrase goes. “Men going grey become distinguished but women going grey become extinguished.” I believe women need to feel comfortable with aging and feel good in their own skin before making a change to grey. Generally if a woman starts greying prematurely in her 20s or 30s then dying your hair to cover up the grey hairs is the correct thing to do but as you get into your 50s and your skin and eyes also start to fade then dying your hair a flat colour such as brown or black can look odder than letting it grey.
Once into your 50s the way forward is to go lighter than your natural shade was and start adding highlights so that there is less visible root growth and therefore reduced need to constantly keep touching up the roots. Once highlights are in, they can be gradually lightened over time until your natural hair colour is increasingly visible. Younger women with ‘winter’ colouring are perhaps more capable of letting their hair be natural as their hair tends to go a gorgeous silver colour such as super model Kristen McMenamy who stopped dying her hair 7 years ago whilst in her 30s.
The most important thing to remember whenever you do chose to be grey is that a superb cut is essential to avoid looking older than your years. This combined with bright yet soft makeup, immaculate clothing that suits your colouring and great accessories will make you look fantastic, your grey hair a focal point and you a woman who is proud of the natural colour of your hair.