Grey hair is value neutral – neither good nor bad. Many argue that it reflects the privilege of aging, and it does do that, but not for everyone – your genetics largely determine when the first wiry white strands begin to reveal themselves. For some people – myself included – the first greys come in your 20s. Now, in my 30s, they are far more numerous.
I certainly have more grey in my hair than most women I know who are around my age. Were it a full head of grey – which my mother had achieved by 40 – I might simply embrace its beauty. There are plenty of women with lustrous, elegant grey hair – Vogue editor Sarah Harris and model Caroline Labouchere spring instantly to mind.
If you’re in this “in between” stage along with me, though, you may find yourself with insufficient grey to look “on purpose”, but enough to give brown, red or dark roots a slightly jaded, dusty look which flattens the complexion and just makes you look a bit tired. The greys I do have are stubbornly resistant to colour, shrugging off semi-permanent colour entirely within a week or two so for now, concealment and temporary solutions are my go-to.
Mads-Sune Lund is Creative Master Colourist at the Josh Wood Atelier in London, and the man behind Bridgerton actress Phoebe Dynevor’s much-emulated copper hue and supermodel Kristen McMenamy’s famed ice blonde lengths. Lund advises that “choosing between semi-permanent and permanent colour often comes down to desired result. If you are looking for a colour change, or in need of grey coverage, the choice will always come down to a permanent colour… it lasts longer and doesn’t change during washing.”
He explains that semi-permanent hair colour is less effective on grey hair as “it is a more subtle process that coats the outer layers of the hair for a softer result, where permanent colour gives better long-lasting results with up to 100 per cent grey coverage. The benefit of permanent colour also includes better control over tonality in the final result.”
For temporary blending of roots, there are several options. Root sprays and powders are instant, hassle-free and will wash right out, while Lund advises that a product like “the Josh Wood Colour Blending Brush will last for up to three washes.”
With any root product, the key is gentle application. Apply a little to begin with and build up – removing too much can be a pain, but you can always add more if you haven’t applied enough. With root sprays and powders, use an especially light touch around the hairline and ensure the nozzle of a spray product is a good distance from the face. It can also be helpful to cover your forehead to ensure your face isn’t inadvertently freckled with the product.
Josh Wood Colour Blending Brush in Light Brown (€25 at boots.ie)
L’Oreal Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray (€13 at pharmacies nationwide)
Color Wow Root Cover Up (€33 at lookfantastic.com)
Kevin Murphy Retouch.Me Root Touch Up Spray (€25 at kevinmurphystore.ie)
Product of the Week
Bon Parfumeur Candle 04 (€39 at bonparfumeur.com