Advanced search

Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.

How can I go grey gracefully?

(197 Posts)
NormaCore Tue 23-Dec-14 23:16:50

So I am mid 30s with dark hair that I have been dyeing since my early 20s. I get my roots done every 6 weeks at the hairdresser but I really fancy going back to my natural colour. I have lots of white hairs now that seem to spring up within a few weeks of getting it done. But how do I ease the transition until the roots have grown out?

I feel quite excited to stop dyeing but don't know how to start.

homebythesea Tue 23-Dec-14 23:31:13

Marking my place here as I am thinking the same (a bit older than you mind!). I think the only way is to either go for a severe chop and grow in "naturally" or endure the roots and trim trim trim until it's grow out. Neither of these particularly appeal sad

Nerf Tue 23-Dec-14 23:44:04

I've done it! After lots of faffing and false starts. Looked at short hair and went for very short sides and back with kind of long on top so can do a quiff, blow dry a fringe forward or gel it all up. So grey sides and greying middle.

NormaCore Wed 24-Dec-14 00:40:12

Wow Nerf that sounds really cool. I don't know if I am brave enough to go short, though. Last time I was eight years old and it looked horrendous! grin

Nerf Wed 24-Dec-14 09:05:08

Well I went to a hairdresser and explained I needed a deliberate choice. The roots growing out looks foul tbh, and I need to get it over with. It looks good actually.

FairyBiker Wed 24-Dec-14 09:15:13

I did it last 18 months ago and love it. I did it in steps.
let it grow for a while first, until I couldn't stand it any longer. then did colour b4 to strip out the dye, twice I think, this made it blonde for a while and distracted everyone from the roots. Then got it all cut off.

my hairdresser is great though, when she did the first cut it was probably 2 inches long, but she used her thinning scissors on what was left of the coloured hair so it wasn't as noticeable. then about a month later i went back and got the rest of the colour cut out.

now it's shoulder length bob and I love it, no more dye, wrecking the bathroom carpet.

FairyBiker Wed 24-Dec-14 09:17:42

down side it is getting called sophisticated which at 45 isn't always a compliment!

"wow your hair looks great, just like, who's that actress, oh I remember, Helen Miram"
I don't have anything against Helen Miram, but she's 20 years older than me!

Santasgrotto Wed 24-Dec-14 09:30:44

Sorry to be the voice of doom but I think grey hair on anyone in their 30s tends to be ageing. I knew one person who pulled this off brilliantly; she had a beautiful face with great bones, and a pixie type crop. But it still put her age anywhere from 40s-50s.

I think in your case I'd stop dyeing it at home, go to the hairdressers and ask for 3-4 colours woven in as lowlights, which may well mean you avoid 6-weekly touch-ups. I am about 25% grey mostly through the central section, but my hair is fair so with some low and highlights I can go 9 months between colourings with no regrowth.

NormaCore Wed 24-Dec-14 09:47:55

Yes I think grey is definitely more ageing than colouring! Maybe I am inspired by The GBBO - thought Chetna looked great being grey.

likklemum Wed 24-Dec-14 09:54:17

There are sprays that help to cover roots - Charles Worthington in Boots is one, but there are others. I am mid thirties and the roots drove me so mad I now have blonde highlights. The grey blends with blonde and the only roots people notice are the dark ones- which I don't mind so much!

itsonlysubterfuge Wed 24-Dec-14 10:02:06

You could always use a semi-permanent dye to dye your hair? That way it just washes out of your hair, so when the permanent dye you've used has finally grown out, you are just a few washes away from your hair being it's natural colour.

Santasgrotto Wed 24-Dec-14 10:30:07

You see I think that pic of the GBBO makes the person look old. I don't know her age but that photo could be of a woman anywhere from mid 40s- 60.

EllenJanesthickerknickers Wed 24-Dec-14 10:32:46

The semi-permanent dye is the best way if you don't want it cut short. You can dye just the visible roots at home regularly and gradually let it fade out when you are ready.

natureplantar101 Wed 24-Dec-14 10:56:03

i shaved all mine off and started from scratch i now have lovley thick wavy hair that's a pain to control and all the greys buggered off

RonaldMcDonald Wed 24-Dec-14 11:31:38

my bessie is grey and horribly fashionable
like you she was going grey v early and in her 30s decided to let it go grey
she had it highlighted and had a greyish colour through them
this continued until it was all her own grey...this took a few years

I think it is a 'look' on her but tbh I think if you aren't v put together stick with the semi permanent dyeing. you could easily look like an older version of yourself

Nerf Wed 24-Dec-14 11:38:23

I disagree about grey being ageing; that's a societal perception as we all dye our hair. Plus that dreadful line of grey on flat dyed hair is the worst ever. I definitely look better now. If you're on Jilly's book club on facebook my profile pic is on there.

CuttedUpPear Wed 24-Dec-14 11:53:28

I'm also struggling with this.
And grey is ageing. Social perceptions or not, we are stuck with ageism.

I went to the hairdressers recently to have my orangey ends with salt n pepper roots sorted out.
It looked ok for six weeks, but is reverting now and I can't afford £70 every time.

I feel like going for the short sides and quiff, I'm so fed up with it.

NormaCore Wed 24-Dec-14 12:42:48

I do think grey is ageing on women - because so many women dye their hair. Young, grey-haired men generally look great and don't have to be super-stylish to pull it off.

Grey on women is unusual and different as it is a statement not to dye your hair. This makes me want to ditch the dye.

I also don't mind if I look older. So what? Does it really matter?
I am just not brave enough to cut it all off - I wish I was.

I may try to get lighter highlights in to blend it out a bit. Nerf I cannot find the book club. I would like to see your hair. smile

Nerf Wed 24-Dec-14 12:50:27

Norma I've message you

Somethingtodo Wed 24-Dec-14 13:08:15

My worry with my grey hair is the condition - like a pubey brillo least the dye deals with the condition as well as the colour.

Another way of making natural grey look cool is to put in a strip/slices of funky colour which is low maintenance - say woman with beautifully cut sculptured grey bob with a couple of PINK streaks through it -- she was old (70?) but looked more contemporary and stylish that me half her age...

Santasgrotto Wed 24-Dec-14 13:15:08

I don't think the ageing factor is solely down to societal expectations.
Grey is a kind of dead colour and although in old age our skin loses colour too- so the grey kind of matches the colour loss in skin tone- in a young person grey hair doesn't look good with a young complexion. IMO!

Some women can get away with it- I knew one woman who looked great. But they are the exception. Think of Judy Dench and her pixie crop- looks good. But generally, i think younger women should have some kind of help until their face catches up with their hair.

CMOTDibbler Wed 24-Dec-14 13:19:01

Since I went grey, I've realised that the most outrageous thing a woman can do with her hair now is to have uncoloured hair. Its weird, but I've had people say to me 'oh, you're so brave, I could never do that' and similar - I mean, I'm just too lazy to colour it every two weeks fgs.

I don't think it ages me either - what ages people is hanging onto a colour they may have been years ago and no longer suits them or trying to colour on top of white blocks that then has that funny translucent colour. IMO anyway.

Angelhairscruff Wed 24-Dec-14 14:11:23

I really think that grey hair on women is only ageing because we're not used to seeing it apart from on fairly old women. Men with grey hair in 30s or 40s don't look older than they are. They often look more youthful I think because their hair colour isn't too harsh or unnatural like some dyed hair.

TheKitchenWitch Wed 24-Dec-14 15:58:42

I can't actually help as I'm in the middle of deciding what I'm going to do about my first few grey hairs - keep dyeing or just let it go natural - but I do think the question of whether it's aging has a lot to do with the style of hair and general appearance.
I have a good friend who is 41 and mostly leaves her hair grey (occasionally putting a semi-permanent dye in it). She has regularly had comments about being her dc's grandmother and is pissed off about it - but her whole look is a bit grannyish - she has glasses, her hair is cut in a very nondescript old-lady short cut and her clothes are comfy casual.

ElPavo Wed 24-Dec-14 16:03:01

I think if you pay more attention to cut and jewellery and make up it is not nwcessarily ageing but be careful.

Id go for a just above chin bob graduated at the back.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: