Tips on How to Go Grey - Creative Care for Beautiful Grey Hair

by KathleenDuffy

Grey no longer means ‘over the hill’. Nowadays, with a good cut and some tender loving care grey hair really can have the ‘Wow!’ factor.

Grey hair can be a very attractive feature on an older woman. Rather than disguising their silvery locks, many women are choosing to go for the grey whilst avoiding the negative images that are often associated with it.

Famous female icons such as Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Emmylou Harris and Kristen McMenamy have allowed their natural grey hair to become their crowning glory.

But even so, it’s a big decision when you decide to go grey – a brave step. So, how to begin?

Going Grey Gradually

The best way to graduate from your usual all-over colour is to talk to your hairdresser about your transition.

Soft highlights might be suggested as a subtle way to gently go back to your natural colour. In this way any blatant re-growth will be disguised. Gradually reduce the number of highlights over the coming months, allowing the grey to take over.

Going grey slowly avoids the unattractive ‘badger effect’ – dark hair with stripy highlights!

Judi Dench at the BAFTAs in 2007
Judi Dench at the BAFTAs in 2007

If your natural grey hair is too dark for your liking, try foils or a high lift tint. These are great options if you want to go more than three shades lighter than your natural grey. If in doubt, consider talking to the colour technician at your salon. He or she will be able to advise on shades to suit your skin tones.

Grey Hair - The Long and the Short of it

Should women over fifty go for long hair? Not according to celebrity hairdresser, Lee Stafford.

In Yours magazine, May 2010, he is quoted as saying that as women age, hair can become finer and he suggests that for this reason hair should be no longer than just below the shoulders. Even then it should have plenty of shorter layers to give shape and volume.

These observations don’t hold for everyone and they are just one person's professional opinion. Some older women have allowed their natural grey hair to grow down their backs with stunning results. They therefore have the choice of many natural or classic, sophisticated styles.

If you feel comfortable with this style and your hair is thick and in great condition, then go for it – it’s your choice.

The Backlash Against Going Grey!


It has to be acknowledged that there is a mountain of prejudice out there against women who let their hair go grey. Even supermodels like Yasmina above, have had to run the gauntlet.

Richard Gere

Unlike their male counterparts who are referred to as 'silver foxes' women in the public eye who go naturally grey have been subject to extreme misogeny.

Here's an article that explores this attitude, from The Globe & Mail.


Helen Mirren


However, once you've decided to take the plunge you'll  find the decision to go grey becomes very empowering! 

Special Shampoos for Yellowing Grey Hair


Light hair, including silver or grey, can sometimes develop a yellowish tinge because of pollution in the air or water. There are special shampoos which tone away the yellow. Use these sparingly, alternating with your usual shampoo or whenever the yellow reappears.

Products such as Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo, Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo, and L’Oreal Professional Silver Shampoo are specially formulated to tackle this problem.


To protect against pollution itself, try a cleansing and detoxing shampoo such as Umberto Giannini Spa Rituals Detoxifying Shampoo or Redken Hair Cleansing Cream.

Shampoos, Conditioners and Sprays for Fine or Limp Grey Hair


Aging hair needs special attention and there are now many products on the market that reflect this. Grey hair that is fine and/or limp will benefit from a good cut, as mentioned above. 

Build on this foundation by the use of body-boosting shampoos and conditioners for extra lift, such as Dove Pro Age Full and Thick Shampoo and Conditioner, or Glam Larger-Than-Life Shampoo and Conditioner. There are many good products to choose from.

Before drying the hair, apply a thickening spray to the roots. Products like TIGI Bed Head Superstar Thickening Spray or John Frieda Luxurious Volume will give an added boost.

Is Your Grey Hair Dull?

If your grey hair looks dull there are professional conditioning treatments available at your salon that can help to restore shine, such as L’Oreal Symbio. This gives the hair glossy results by coating each hair strand with an invisible shield.

Love Your Grey Hair


Maya AngelouGrey hair is fast losing its negative image.  Some of our most prestigious female role models are celebrating their natural locks.   The tide is turning and many women are embracing their grey, white and silver hair with pride. 

Yes, it can be a bit scarey at first. 

But don't forget, it's not written in stone.  If you don't feel happy with your grey hair, grab the colourant!

However, there is a tremendous relief that comes with going 'natural'.  Maybe it's just the freedom to say, "This is me"!


Hopefully you'll find that with care and confidence grey hair really can be an older woman’s crowning glory.

Updated: 06/23/2014, KathleenDuffy
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KathleenDuffy on 10/14/2013

Hello Raintree - I am so glad you liked my article. I would bite the bullet and go for it! It's a big decision, but I've never regretted it. So much less trouble too!

Raintree on 10/14/2013

Many women look so stunning with grey hair. Not sure yet if it will suit me but I will soon see! Due to recent skin sensitivities and allergies I have to be so careful so most hair dye is out of the question. My hairdresser said that increasingly people are letting their hair go grey naturally and are enjoying it. Lovely page !

KathleenDuffy on 07/03/2013

Terry - You are so lucky having thick hair! I do understand the boredom of always having the same colour and I am sometimes tempted to get some blonde streaks - but then I just don't like the thought of putting chemicals on my hair, especially since I used to suffer from alopecia. Thanks for your post.

TerryMcNamee on 07/02/2013

My hair is grey and it is ridiculously thick, so much that it's hard to get a decent haircut. My mother had the same problem and hers was as thick as mine when she died at 81. I went grey very young and I never dyed it, so I must say I am getting a little tired of it, even though I am finally in style!

katiem2 on 03/30/2013

Nice tips I love grey and white hair. :)K

KathleenDuffy on 03/28/2013

It's great to hear all these positive posts! Grey power!

dustytoes on 03/28/2013

I am over 50 and have long graying hair. I've always loved long hair, even though mine is not nice and thick. When I lived in the south I never saw women with gray hair, but up in New England going natural gray seems to be very much accepted. I do what I want, and don't care what other people think!

whitemoss on 03/28/2013

I love my grey hair. I'd had short hair from my teens until I was 60, and grew it to the length in the pic in time for my 60th. People tell me it's never looked better!

KathleenDuffy on 03/27/2013

It looks quite thick too! I'm getting quite excited about your hair now!!

BrendaReeves on 03/27/2013

It won't take that long. My hair grows fast.

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