Today’s guest author is writing about a subject close to my heart – grey hair. For some reason, I got my first grey hair when I was … wait for it … 19!!! Naturally, I grabbed the dye bottle and continued coloring until I was pregnant with my first child. I quit then because it is obvious that anything Mom does is going to affect Baby. Surprise, though – I actually like my grey hair. Nothing looks sillier than women in their 60s and up with flaming red hair. Prolonged coloring makes hair thin out and lose its shine.
It is one of the great dilemmas of getting older – to dye your grey hair or not. And as with all dilemmas, there is no easy answer. As we see apparently ageless celebrities with their grey-free hair and smooth faces, we often feel that this is something we should aim for. But how realistic is that?
Start as you mean to go on…
The problem, of course, lies in the fact that if you start getting grey hairs in your early 30s you are inclined to begin dyeing it and once you do it becomes increasingly difficult to stop. The irony is that you can spend a fortune being swathed in salon towels following expensive dye jobs when grey hair can look just as good in its own right.
Going grey is usually a slow process. It can take ten years or more for your whole head to turn grey. This is what makes dyeing so attractive. It starts just to cover the odd stray silver hair, but then it can be difficult to decide what the ideal age is to give up the bottle? Is going fully grey an admittance of getting older? How our hair looks can become an obsession. When we dye our hair, there is a constant checking of the roots for those tell-tale grey hairs. Hair needs a lot of maintenance.
Where celebrities lead, we follow
When it comes to men, they seem to get away with grey hair. Women swoon over George Clooney’s salt-and-pepper locks and Richard Gere’s long grey hair is also considered attractive. Helen Mirren and Judy Dench are in their 60s and 70s respectively and they have beautifully coiffed grey hair but they are rare in the world of female celebrity. The world did not end when Tom Jones embraced his greyness after years of dyeing his hair – people were more inclined to admire him.
The other alternative of letting your hair go grey may not be as difficult as it seems. Many dark-haired people develop a grey streak. This can look striking and become a feature in itself. Once grey starts to take hold, the first thing to do is to head for the salon and get a fantastic haircut. A good haircut looks good whatever the colour. You could even ask your stylist to put in silver highlights to enhance your greyness. Going grey does not mean that you cannot look great or have to stop visiting the hairdresser altogether.
As we get older we change. Colors and haircuts that may have suited us in our twenties may look out of place on an older face. Accept the fact and find out what suits you at this time of your life. With the constant bombardment of celebrity culture it is easy to have a skewed view of what is age appropriate. There is only a handful of celebrity role models who show that growing old does not necessarily mean being less beautiful or glamorous. Grey hair is just one manifestation of growing older and it can be beautiful in its own way, so embrace it rather than fearing it.
Are you starting to go grey? Will you keep it or will you deny the onset of ageing?
This post was contributed by Leyla, a well-known British beauty blogger.