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60 Shades of Grey: Why Women are Going Grey Gracefully

Most women over 60 will at some point find themselves dealing with grey hair. While this is a natural part of the aging process, some women still find it hard to let go of their “original” hair color, and resort to dyes, highlights or other methods to avoid going grey.

On the other hand, there are also plenty of women who seem to be embracing the change in their hair color and are going grey gracefully!

There are many reasons for this, and the trend of going grey naturally is an encouraging sign in many ways. It is a reflection of how women over 60 can change their self-image for the better and accept themselves for who they are and how they look.

What Advice Would a Celebrity Hairdresser Give Us About Going Grey?

For those women in the community who have decided to go grey, making the transition can be a confusing, emotional process. So, to help us better understand the process of going grey, I interviewed celebrity stylist Denise McAdam.

Denise is one of the best known stylists in the UK. She has worked her magic on fashion icons, models, celebrities and even royalty. And, of course, she has seen a lot of grey hair, in all of its stages. She is the perfect person to help us understand how to manage the transition to grey hair.

What Advice Does Denise Offer on Going Grey?

Denise explained that women have very different experiences when it comes to going grey. For example, women with red hair tend to grey easily. The same goes for Danish or Swedish women with blond hair.

On the other hand, many women have a tough time when it comes to going grey. If this sounds like you, Denise recommends using lowlights, highlights and shading to make your shift to grey hair more attractive.

She also reminds us that having a great haircut is essential to looking amazing, while you are going grey. She suggests going with something structured, like Annie Lennox’s short pixie haircut.

What About Makeup for Grey Hair?

Denise says that women should consider their skin tone and the texture of their hair when deciding how to manage the transition. This is similar to the advice that Ariane Poole gave me during one of our interviews. She also confirmed that makeup should be applied differently on women with grey hair.

Grey Hair Products

Denise says that there is an amazing product that can help to make your grey hair soft and manageable. She loves the Joico brand, which she says helps to nourish and moisturize grey hair.

One tip that I will be using consistently is to comb through the conditioner at the wet stage. You’ll have to watch the video to see exactly what she means, but trust me, it’s a life-changing tip!

Finally, Denise says that any woman transitioning to grey hair should invest in a high-quality brush, such as one from Kent “Oh That’s Nice” or the Denman.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to being gentle with – and respecting the unique needs of – your beautiful greying hair.

Are You Going Grey Gracefully?

This is a surprisingly emotional topic, with strong opinions on both sides of the “grey hair debate.” If you decide to grow out your grey hair, you may get pushback from some women in your life.

When we posed a question to our community: “Are you ready to stop dyeing your hair?” Nearly half of the women who responded were very firm in saying, “I am never going to go grey.” The other half were passionately supportive of grey hair.

Personally, while I still dye my own hair, I have to admit that my grey-haired sisters make some excellent points in support of going grey naturally. Here are a few of them…

Grey Hair Can Actually Make You Look More Vibrant

If you do decide to go grey, you don’t have to feel self-conscious about it – the standards of fashion are changing. We don’t have to feel limited by outdated stereotypes that “grey hair = old.”

The way you think and act is what makes you look old (or not), not the color of your hair. In the same way that balding men often look better and “younger” after fully shaving their heads than they did with thinning hair, many women who go grey paradoxically look “younger” than they did before – because they look more like their truest selves without any artificial enhancements.

Going Grey Saves Money

The average woman who dyes her hair spends $330 per year on hair dyes and accessories – and most women spend approximately $50,000 on their hair during their lifetimes. If you do decide to go grey, be sure to get a great cut and use grey hair conditioners for shine. The ones below are great options:

Tips for Doing Grey Like a Boss

Blogger Kelley Pom has a few tips and tricks about aging gracefully and going grey like a boss.

Find a Great Stylist

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 look like 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.

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.

How to Color Your Grey Hair and Eyebrows: Advice from an Over 50 Fashion Expert

How To Make Your Makeup Work Perfectly with Your Grey Hair

What Are the Best Things About Having Grey Hair?

Of course, it’s not just the way that having grey hair makes them look that many women like. Several members of the Sixty and Me community say that they appreciate not having to hassle with their hair every month. They still have to take care of their hair, but the burden is significantly less in terms of time.

Finally, there are women who say that choosing to go grey is empowering. These women say that going grey is a way to tell the world – and, more importantly, yourself – that aging is not something to be feared or avoided.

Going grey is not a sign of weakness. It can be a powerful form of self-expression.

Going Grey Expresses Your Individuality

Many women are going grey as a statement of independence and confidence. They are telling the world, “This is who I am, and I’m not afraid.” Many women who have gone grey say that they get more compliments from men, because their grey hair shows greater confidence.

Whatever you decide to do with your hair – whether you keep coloring it or decide to go grey naturally – don’t worry about being trendy – just be you.

Are you going grey gracefully? Or do you still dye your hair? What motivates your feelings on this question? Please share your thoughts with the community!

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at margaret@sixtyandme.com

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