To dye or not to dye?

Jul 4, 2011 by

That is the question.

Indeed this is a question discussed over and over again with friends, partners and hairdressers the world over. In particular – dying gray hair makes you look younger – or does it?

Why do we want to change the colour of our hair?

I guess the real reason is a simple one – we believe it will make us look more attractive.  We associate gray hair with older people therefore by association we believe that by getting rid of our gray hair we will look younger.


Dame Judi Dench looking stunning with gray hair

I would argue this is not necessarily the case, I think it depends on your age, your complexion, your health, your overall grooming and your state of mind. I have seen some women look absolutely stunning with grey hair whilst other look dowdy and old.  So what makes the difference?

Its not just about the colour of your hair but about your hair cut and style, your skin, your make-up, your clothing, jewellery – your whole appearance.  Who could deny the beauty of Judi Dench or Helen Mirren with their gray hair? The gray hair disappears into insignificance in the context of their great cuts, style, their make-up and most of all their beautiful smiles.

Having said that I confess I dye my hair – I have in mind a cut-off point after which I will go naturally gray. What is that cut-off point?  Well for me its two things: firstly, being completely gray and secondly, age.  I feel that once I hit 65 then I will embrace my gray hair with vigour.  In my fifties my hair is neither one nor the other so I like to think I’m simply re-aligning my hair!

If you do dye your hair follow these seven tips:

Colour – remember that your complexion has changed along with your hair colour. Not just the appearance of wrinkles but the colour of our skin actually changes as we age. Do not try and dye your hair the colour it was when you were twenty.  It will be far too harsh.  Consider a much lighter colour – now is your chance to be that blonde bombshell!  A lighter colour also has the benefit of making the root re-growth less noticeable.

Variation – do try and use different coloured highlights to give a natural variation in hair colour rather than one strong ‘block’ of flat colour.

Condition – older hair is dryer and coarser than younger hair, coupled with frequent colouring the hair can become dry, brittle and strawlike.   Use a good conditioner regularly and special intensive treatments once a month or as often as you can.

Shampoo – use a good shampoo designed for coloured hair so that your expensive colour is not stripped out and washed down the plughole.

Regularity – grey roots are not attractive. Make a regular appointment at your hairdressers or with yourself.

Roots – only colour the re-growth otherwise the body of your hair will end up darker and darker. Do a full re-colour every third time or so.

Protect  your hair from the sun.  The sun causes the greatest damage not only to skin but to hair too so use a spray sunscreen for hair or even better, wear a hat.

Will you embrace your gray hair and when?  Let me know your thoughts.



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1 Comment

  1. If your articles are always this helpful, “I’ll be back.”

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