Silver is the New Black: How to Transition to Grey Hair Like a Boss
Honesty has its advantages. You don’t have to remember who you said what to. You don’t have to back-peddle nearly as much. And when it comes to hair, you don’t have to chase that damn white stripe.
I’m sure transitioning to grey hair is different for everyone. For me, it was my invitation to be a rock star.
I’ve always been bold about changing my hair, and my husband never had the need to find another woman because I continually was the “other woman.”
I wondered, when would I decide to quit coloring my hair and become a silver-haired diva? Maybe another 10 years? Maybe never? Then out of the blue, my head decided it for me.
I became extremely sensitive to hair color. When I applied the mixture, it burned like the devil himself was sitting on my head. For days afterward, my poor scalp would be sore and blistered, and would barely clear up in time for the next invitation for the devil to have a seat atop my striped crown.
That’s when I decided to face the fact – or more like, embrace the truth – that it was time to quit coloring my hair. And my timing couldn’t be better, because silver/grey hair is incredibly popular right now – even the young’uns are doing it!
The Research Phase
I started pinning pictures of beautiful silver haired women on my Pinterest board, and watching YouTube videos for how people made the transition.
Some women just wait for their hair to grow out. One lady wore a wig the entire time, and another woman went to her hairdresser to bleach out her color. When the foils came off, though, so did her hair. It had literally melted into mush.
So, no, thank you.
I’ve been bald and worn wigs before (chemo – long story, different blog), and wasn’t interested in either of those options.
I made a plan with my stylist, Regan James at Liberated Salon in Los Angeles, for how we were going to approach the transition. Lucky for me, my stylist is also my daughter, and she has a vested interest in my appearance because she has to be seen with me in public.
The Day Finally Came
First came bleaching, then toner. Regan applied the bleach in foils, preserving my patiently-won new growth and avoiding my fragile scalp.
She kept a close eye on how my hair was holding up (I told her the mush story and she knew I was a little nervous) and preserved a lot of color on the back of my head, where my natural growth is still much darker. Smart cookie.
It’s been about a month now since I did all this, and it’s amazing how liberating it is! Not worrying whether my roots are showing. Not wondering if I need to pack hair color on a trip, just in case.
Tips for Doing Grey Like a Boss
If you want to go grey without losing your hair or your last vestiges of youth, here’s what you’ve got to do:
Find a Great Stylist
This is no “plop brown color on your hair and come out brown” process. Bleaching out hair to that degree is delicate.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I seriously recommend a consultation with Regan. If you don’t live near Los Angeles, have you thought about vacationing here? Seriously, it’s probably the last money you’ll spend on hair coloring, so why not go out with a bang?
Okay, if that’s just not real, then book a consultation with a stylist in your area. Ask them if they’ve transitioned people to grey successfully, and how they would approach it. If they have any reservations, find someone else.
Care for Your Hair
Once your hair is bleached, get a great haircut. Your hair will be damaged (you can’t do all that bleaching without damaging the hair somewhat) so you’ll want to get those dry ends off, plus you need to pump up the style to be a rock star.
Get a good purple shampoo and a great conditioner. The purple shampoo tones and keeps the yellow brassiness from creeping in. The one I use is Clairol Shimmering Lights.
I alternate between the purple shampoo and a good conditioning shampoo, to help keep my hair well hydrated.
Step Up Your Makeup Game
You don’t have to go hog-wild with makeup (in fact, please don’t), but you do want to look like your silver hair is a choice, not that you’ve given up.
And by the way, can we please get rid of the expression “Grey hair, don’t care”? Yes, we DO care! Very much, in fact.
In my blog, “French Makeup – Less is More,” I outline the steps for simple, beautiful, natural makeup, done the French way.
Update Your Wardrobe
To really rock the silver hair, you’ve got to be current but age appropriate. Consider adding some “edgy” pieces to your wardrobe – a leather motorcycle jacket, some great boots, some great graphic T-shirts that you’ll dress up with a blazer or tuxedo jacket.
Hair comes in all different colors and silver is just one of them. It doesn’t need to define you. Or if it does, you can supply your own definition. I’m sticking with Rock Star.
What is your current hair color? Have you made the switch to silver? Click in the comments and let me know what worked for you!