Hair, as we age, can be a worry.  There’s the style – should we have a fringe to hide those wrinkles?  There’s the condition – it does seem that hair gets dryer.

And then there’s the colour – should we let our hair go grey?  For those of you not on social media, did you know that there is a lot of support out there, at the moment, for women to go grey?  Go look at greyisok.blogspot or whitehothair, for example, and you’ll find a whole community of women who support each other as they go grey &/or white.  But I’ll state my views so you know what I think.

Once upon a time I was a strawberry blonde but in my 40s my hair faded to a dull, metallic mud colour so I began dyeing it a muted blonde.  I’m in my late 60s now but have decided not to go grey because white near my face drains my complexion to a ghastly pallor.  My hairdresser is ace, though, as it doesn’t have that bleach blonde look.  Anyway, although my hair is white at my temples I still have that mud colour at the back of my head so if I wanted to go grey or white, people I would have to dye it, so, really…..

Anyway, here are my top tips for hair as we age:

1.Get a good style I had long hair for years and it’s taken me ages to adjust to going shorter – but it does look better now I’ve done so.  I’ve also been working on my hairstyle moving from that ubiquitous ‘fringe and a straight bob’ to an off-the-face layered look.   But carry on with the long hair if you want.   Look at these two older models: Pam has long grey hair, and here is Jenni (who is over 80) and just look at her lovely white shorter hair.

2. Make sure it’s in good condition.  There are age related products like Dove but quite honestly I’ve never used any of that because I feel you should just find the best product going.  For me it’s Paul Mitchell, but you could either follow the advice of your hairdresser or read around the subject and experiment yourself.

3. Getting the right colour for you  First and foremost, it should be a personal choice, so, what do you feel about going grey?  What is your take on the silver-haired look on older women?  And I stress older women because a lot of the advice in the media on going grey is, I think, for 50-year-olds and younger, who look stunning with their manes of white hair.

Did you see the article on ageing in February’s Good Housekeeping?  There’s Jayne Mayled founder of whitehothair.co.uk representing 50-year-olds and looking wonderful, but turn the page and you see Bridget Sojourner, one of the Fabulous Fashionistas, representing the 70s and also looking stunning with her white hair.  So, listen (and I’m addressing myself here) you can look great with white hair whatever your age!

But it does matter, this greying business.  What if you have naturally dark hair?  Are you going to cover up the grey?  Well, unfortunately white shows through pretty quickly.  And then you’ve dyed your hair for decades but think you might go white?  That’s quite a complex process.  See this article, which goes through what needs to be done.  And note that Scott Cornwall says you won’t necessarily have a full head of grey hair when the near year-long process has ended. He also says that redheads shouldn’t go grey because of the red hairs that remain (yes, I’ve some of those) and their complexions.  Ah, so my gut feeling about my colouring was right….

One thing, it’s essential to find a hairdresser who can give you good advice.  I’ve read lots about how hairdressers want you to continue colouring so they can cash in on your vanity – but that’s not true.  A good hairdresser has the knowledge and experience, and can hold your hand through the whole procedure, whether it’s going from dyed blonde to grey or allowing your greying hair to progress to white, they know how to do it.

But I’m not going grey!

Because, above all, there are no rules as you get older, so let’s not make another one about going grey!  Because do I get the tinsyest feeling that there is a bit of pressure out there – as in it’s almost un-PC to be seen to be tinting or dyeing your greying hair.  At the very least, it’s currently on-trend to be grey whatever your age. 

So, I’m speaking up for those of us who do dye! I say have the hair colour that suits you, and if that’s pink, blue, white, orange (my very good friend, same age as me, has just that colour and looks amazing) or purple (ditto) or blonde so be it!  I plan to dye my hair until I am 80+, and that’s just how it’s going to be!

But what do you think of being or going grey?

With best wishes and love to you all

Penny

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