Grow out your grey hair gracefully with expert colour and styling tricks

Giving up hair dye and letting your natural silver grow out can be a liberating, confidence-boosting beauty choice. Here’s how to get through the transition.

First, up you have to ask: am I ready to embrace my grey?

Making the decision to stop covering up your natural colour isn’t easy, but there are so many perks to going silver, besides the fact that it will look beautiful in the long run…

It saves cash

Many women go to the salon at least every six weeks. As hair gets greyer, colour doesn’t adhere as well, so it may be even more often.

It saves time

Dyeing your hair can take 2-3 hours. Home treatment may be quicker, but it’s still an evening lost.

It’s less stressful

If you accept invitations based on your root growth and next hair appointment, life will be so much freer.

You WILL look great

One convert said she finally felt she wasn’t ‘faking it’. Others

say they get more compliments than when they had dyed hair.

Begin the grow-out phase

Yes, at the beginning, you will get that harsh regrowth root line, and this can be the hardest part. With hair that has been dyed darker shades, this can be especially tricky because of the contrast – blonde is more forgiving. But this is when determination is key. The more silver you see, the closer you are to your goal: a full head of natural hair.

* Avoid a strong parting. An even line makes roots look more obvious. Let your hair fall into its natural position after washing and drying. Apply styling product to your hands and shuffle it at the roots to give them some lift.

* Try root cover-ups. They come in sprays, creams, pens and powders, and are non-permanent options that help you through the initial grow-out (Notebook loves Josh Wood Colour Root Smudger, £12, for quick touch-ups).

Consider the chop

A shortcut to getting through the grow-out phase is to cut off a bulk of your coloured ends. That way, you won’t have to wait years for a full head of silver. It sounds scary, but a modern pixie cut can look amazing on women with grey hair. Take inspiration from actresses like Glenn Close and Jamie Lee-Curtis, who prove shorter styles can still look feminine.

Use highlights and lowlights to smooth the transition

Not everyone is confident enough to go cold turkey on dye, so once your roots have really started to kick in, you can make your grow-out a little easier with short-term colouring techniques.

Although it still means adding dye to your hair, you’ll be doing it much less than if you were covering up all your silver (every few months, instead of weeks).

Blonde highlights are useful for blending the roots out a little, while brown or red lowlights can temper down overly coloured hair, making your grey blend more seamlessly into your dyed lengths.

Suzanne, 56, says:

"I never thought I’d let my hair go silver, but I got sick of having to waste one day of my weekend colouring it every three weeks. I dreaded the roots coming in, and worried about travelling and how long I could be away before I’d need to do a toxic dye job.

I also hated my super-dried-out scalp and the dye stains on my beautiful bath towels and white bathroom tiles. (I constantly had to bleach the floor, which added even more toxins to my life.)

Still, although I wanted to do it, embracing my natural colour wasn’t easy. I fought it at first. Twice I had highlights woven in to help the blending process. The first time was great, but the second time the colourist damaged my hair and it started to fall out.

After that, I decided never to process my hair again. I conditioned my hair a lot, and found a colourist who puts a very light gloss in it to blend the silver that was coming in.

After I truly let go, I loved the journey, which isn’t just about hair, but is one of self-acceptance and self-love.

It helped me let go of the image I had about my hair, my appearance and myself… In the end, not only am I healthier, but so are my hair and my scalp!"

Caring for your grey

The products the Notebook beauty team love for silver roots.

Avoid shampoos with sulfates, as they dry hair out. Opt for more hydrating formulas like OGX Extra Strength Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo, £6.99.

Neutralise any yellowing in your grey hair, and stop the silver from deoxidising, by coating your hair once a week with a violet-toned conditioner or shampoo. We love Provoke Touch Of Silver Colour Care Conditioner, £4.19.

You might find you need to swap to a thicker conditioner if your grey hair feels dry. Look for ones like Baylis & Harding Great Hair Conditioner, £4.99, which contain nourishing avocado or olive oil.

Excerpts taken from Silver Hair, A Handbook by Lorraine Massey with Michelle Bender (Workman, Publishing £12.99). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Jeremy Saladyga.

Book adaptation and additional content: Zoe Cripps.

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