I've been toying with going gracefully grey for several years now.
I even grew my hair out completely grey a couple of years ago.
The thing was, I just looked old. I didn't look soigne` and chic like I'd imagined. I just looked older and neglected, no matter what I did.
I wanted to look like this woman on a Vicki Archers lovely blog French Essence...
....but my hair was cut in to a short bob at that stage, AND it's got a fierce little spiral curl, so the magic just wasn't happening.
I had a hell of a time convincing my hairdresser that it was a good idea too. She thought I'd lost my marbles. After all, hairdressers are part of an industry that conserves youth or at least the illusion of it, right?
What can I say? I found another hairdresser.
Bless her heart, she humours me, and more importantly discussed options for being 'gracefully grey' and 'soigne`', over just looking like my granny.
Here's what we decided, and I think it holds true for many of us who would love to be elegantly silver.
1. You have to commit to a lengthy growing out process and decide how to handle that. My solution is to have a very light ash blonde colour, overlaid with a small smattering of very fine golden foils as my natural colour leans towards that. My roots (when attended to in a timely fashion) are almost imperceptible with this combination.
2. Keep the colour and/or cut, on trend in some way. I have chosen to go with a similar dark under colour and tips Balyage` style, as the stunning woman in the above picture. However as my hair is a warmer colour, I've chosen a deep, dark chocolate. When the penchant for Balyage` passes, I'll find another way to keep my look current.
3. I personally think that longer hair, when well groomed, is a more youthful look for me at least. Being grey with short curly hair is channelling 'Granny' for sure. That said, the colour grey or ash blonde, will reflect more light and look shinier and healthier, with straight hair. Curses! I have a natural curl that many would kill for, but it's not the best look with greys. So it's a daily wrestle with the GHD, or a twice weekly visit to the hairdresser to stay looking a little chic.
4. On days when GHD or the hairdresser are impossible, the hair goes up in a sleek ponytail or chignon or other neat, elegant look. I rather like a plain high ponytail, and have an endless selection of pastel double satin ribbons with which to embellish it. Find an alternative look for your Bad Hair Days, that will not leave you looking like you couldn't be bothered.
5. Grey hair can just make you look neglected if the rest of your appearance is lacking. So you must also commit to dressing well even if just to drop the kidlets or grandkidlets to school. A touch of makeup doesn't go astray either, to prevent you simply looking tired and washed out. A neat neutral manicure and simple elegant accessories say 'I care about me', and prevent the misconception that in going grey, you're simply letting yourself go.
6. Going grey may also mean a change of wardrobe colour. The French of course favour black over all other colours, but here in Australia, a lighter approach is more forgiving in our bright sunlight. I prefer a Spring palette of citruses, peach tones, and a few pastels. Black is still my 'go to' for evening wear though, with the acknowledgement that a bit of glitter and bling around the face prevents a washed out look.
7. Avoid wearing Granny clothes too. Grey hair and florals is a sure sign that you're on a slippery slope with your look. So no shopping at Millers or Rockmans, the haunt of the more mature woman here. I'm sure you all have an equivalent. You know the ones...lots of prints, 3/4 pants and cheap jewellery. Stick with solid colours and quality accessories and you'll look far more pulled together.
8. Funnily enough, and you may laugh here, but I find that wearing fabulous shoes also prevents one looking 'old'. Is there a woman alive that doesn't adore a great pair of shoes? I'm not necessarily talking Manolo or Louboutin here. A classy looking pair of ballet flats or loafers can take you just about anywhere. My new favourites are a nude suede loafer, studded with bronze crystals. Divine.
9. Still on accessories, get yourself a neat, classically shaped handbag and elegant wallet. I don't mean expensive, I mean neat. It's part of the overall neat, tidy, understated deal.
10. Now if you're still reading, and you've come to realise, as I did, that this going grey bizzo is not for the faint hearted, nor is it a money saving exercise, then go for it. I love my silver ash locks.
Here's mine, fresh from a visit to my partner in crime...with paisley/floral shirt....hahahahahaha...what can I say...it's my 'going to the hairdresser, doesn't matter if it gets dye on it' shirt...
Have I convinced you to go grey yet?
If not, see my update post with newly fab silver locks...here.
Where I party....