Does grey hair make you think of wisdom or boredom? Are you glad to be a grey-haired granny or are you a daring dyed-hair diva? Whether you love it or lament it, fashion expert Penelope Whiteley has advice for grey-haired gals over 50.  Enjoy the show!
Of all the changes women go through in life, watching our hair turn grey should not be one that unravels us. Fashion expert and author of Grey Hair and You, Penelope Whitely helps women understand the process of becoming grey and shares tips for managing our transforming tresses.

Why Grey?

Before we experiment with ways to manage our grey hair, it is important to understand where it is coming from and what it means. Many women think that grey hair is a sign that we are finally “old” but that isn’t always the case. Many women have found their first grey hairs in their teen years and into their twenties. So, what does grey hair mean?

Penelope describes it this way: “The hair shaft – whether it has color or not – is made of keratin, and it’s actually dead. When it turns grey it’s because we no longer have any melanocytes, which are color producing cells, injecting color into the melanin of the hair shaft.”

As we age, we produce fewer and fewer melanocytes, resulting in more and more grey hair. Scientists have also found that the older we get, the more hydrogen peroxide our bodies naturally produce. Penelope guesses that this may play a role in the whitening of our lovely locks, as well.

The Dangers of Dying Dark Hair

Among a head of dark hair, a single grey invader can stand out and draw attention to itself. As grey hairs continue to grow, they may appear as a bit of a shock. While the natural instinct may be to cover those grey hairs with dark hair dye, Penelope warns older women that dark color may actually make you look older.

“Our hair goes grey for a reason,” she says. “It’s softer for our faces which now have little wrinkles and other blemishes.”

Instead of coloring grey hairs with a dark color that may look flat and lifeless, Penelope suggests adding dark or light foils (low lights or highlights). Women with a great deal of grey hair could add some very dark low lights for an added punch. Salt-and-pepper ladies wanting to go a bit lighter should definitely add highlights instead of bleaching as grey hair does not respond well to bleach.

The Bright Side of Being Blond

It may or may not be true that blonds have more fun, but they definitely have it easier as they transition into having grey hair. While brunettes can’t hide a single grey hair, blondes have a much easier time camouflaging theirs.

Many fair-haired women find that simply letting their hair grow grey naturally is the easiest way to transition from blonde to gray. Penelope says, “Blonds are much more fortunate in a way, because they don’t have to transition from dark through different colors till they eventually reach grey.”

To Pluck or Not to Pluck

Unfortunately, our heads are not the only locations that grey hairs invade upon. Many women wrestle with what to do about greying eyebrows. Penelope’s solution is easy: brow gel. There are many eyebrow gel products on the market for different shades of hair.

Brow gels enhance your natural eyebrows and fill in any gaps you may have from years of plucking. Plucking grey hairs is never a good idea. It’s always best to leave existing hair in place and to simply cover and shape them with a good brow gel.

How old were you when you discovered your first grey hair? Do you color your grey or have you embraced it? What are your favorite gray-covering products? Please join in the conversation!

Let's Have a Conversation!