Beauty Clinic: The grey hair conundrum
Q I am in my mid 50s and have never dyed my hair. It is still dark brown at the back but very grey at the front. I have asked different hairdressers about having it dyed but keep getting conflicting answers. One said try semi-permanent colour, another said use a full [permanent] dye and yet another said lowlights. I do not want it to be still grey but I would like it to look as natural as possible. Which advice is correct? A The answer, according to leading colourist Steven Little at John Frieda in Mayfair, London (who has tended Sarah’s mop for more years than either of us cares to remember), depends on whether you want to lose all the grey, or if it is a pretty shade of grey that you are happy to live with as the pigment becomes less profuse.
One thing not to go for is semi-permanent colour, Steven says. As it faces, you can end up with the grey a solid colour at the front and your hair still dark at the back.
For a subtle natural effect, you could have low lights at the front through the grey, blending into highlights at the back, Steven says. (We think you would need a very good colorist to do this really well and be prepared to spend time and money on your hair.)
Alternatively – if you want to cover all your grey, you could go for permanent colour to match your dark brown all over, then have some highlights put through it. Although that will need regular maintenance to keep the roots from showing through, this is easier now that there are excellent mineral-based root concealers including Color Wow Root Cover Up, in six shades including Dark Brown, and also Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer, also in four shades including Dark Brown.
Finally, don't forget that when you change your hair colour, your skin tone will likely look different so do take yourself off to a couple of your favourite brands and book in for a make-up makeover (it should be free and you should not feel bound to buy anything on the spot, NB).