Sunday, April 13, 2014

10 tips for Going Gracefully Grey....

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  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 super short curly hair ON ME is channelling 'Granny' for sure. Although, I have seen some ladies with short and funky grey hair, and it looks fabulous. So maybe somewhere along the way, I'll readdress that issue. That said, the colour grey or ash blonde, will reflect more light and look shinier and healthier, with straight hair (see my update below on this topic). 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.
Update June 2017...I have finally wrestled my curly silver hair into submission, found my 'ideal length', and have happily embraced being Silver AND a being Curly Girl. For tips on how to have lovely curls, see my post here. The trick for me was, to find that 'ideal length', not too long and not too short, and make sure that those curls were moisturised and pampered. Be patient, try different styles and lengths and go with what is right for YOU.
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 ornaments with which to embellish my up-dos. Find an alternative look for your Bad Hair Days, that will not leave you looking like you couldn't be bothered. That's the death knell for sure. See point number 5.
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 or well kept fingernails and toenails, 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 the softness of Navy blue against my face, lightened with a few pastel accessories. Black is still my 'go to' for evening wear though, with the acknowledgement that pearls or bling around the face, prevent a washed out look.
7. Avoid wearing Granny clothes too. Grey hair and some mass produced floral prints, are a sure sign that you're on a slippery slope with your look. So no shopping at the haunts of the more mature woman, that consist of floral polyester chiffon garments in nightmarish colour combinations. I'm sure you all have an equivalent Old Lady store near you. You know the ones...lots of prints, 3/4 pants and cheap jewellery. Stick with solid colours and quality accessories if you're unsure, 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 or Ballet flat, and a Nude wedge sandal for Summer. Oh so comfortable, yet still elegant.
9. Still on accessories, get yourself a neat, classically shaped handbag and leather wallet. I don't mean expensive, I mean neat. It's part of the overall neat, tidy, understated deal. Avoid fringing, frou-frou and fussiness on handbags. Neat. Elegant. Quality if you can afford it, by which I don't mean Designer. Just quality leather and a classic shape. I found mine at my favourite local thrift store. Honestly. The things people throw away and donate. You wouldn't believe it.
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  locks.
Here's mine, fresh from a visit to my partner in crime...with paisley/floral shirt....hahahahahaha...what can I'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


  1. Mimi! I love your 'do! The balyage is gorgeous. Xx :D

    1. Thankyou Flora! Wish you could have seen my tresses a la Balyage, rather than my Costume Couture du jour 'Do'. Cest` la vie! Next time ;0)

  2. you're very brave and your hair looks great!!

    1. Hehehe.....thanks Debra. I few have mentioned the word 'brave', but it's actually a very flattering look. Thankyou so much for stopping by. I love your blog and it's one of my new

  3. "Brava" Well done. The Nonna in our Palazzo here in Italy has let her hair go white and I stopped her last week to say how gorgeous she looks. She told me she had died her hair her whole life started turning gray at 14 that it was genetic in the family. Now her skin looks so much prettier and even my daughter commented how now she looks happier.

    1. Thankyou Sette (I hope that's your name!). I couldn't agree more. It softens the whole face area and allows features like beautiful eyes and lips and cheekbones to really POP, as opposed to ones eye being drawn to unnaturally coloured hair. Thankyou for your lovely thoughts...x

    2. Sorry Natalie....I checked your beautiful blog and discovered that Sette Design is the name of your business. What a fabulous part of the world you live in!

  4. Fantastic post! I went gray a few years ago and agree with everything you said. My hairdresser thought I was nuts too, but she got over it. When I go out, I'm intentional about makeup and clothing, as I never want to look old and run-down. Featuring your post on this week's Fridays Unfolded!


    1. A wonderful decision Alison on going grey. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Your hair looks absolutely beautiful! I'm thrilled to be featured at Fridays Unfolded. Thankyou so

  5. Hi Mimi I love the way your hair looks in the photo! It looks like Ombré! I see that you are from Austarlia! I love it there and I was there 3 times with my family as my husband's Uncle and cousin are from there! I miss it sooooo much! I can't wait to go back again. Congrats on being featured! Have a nice weekend.

    1. Thanks Julie! Yes it is. We call it Ombre` or Balyage`. I think they're the same thing. If you're ever over here again, let me know. What part of Australia did you visit? Thanks for stopping by...Mimi xxx

    2. Mimi we visited Sydney, Great Barrier Reef and Melbourne! I have been there when it was spring and fall but never summer. I wish it wasn't so far away! Do take care and have a lovely weekend.
      Julie at Julie's Lifestyle

  6. I would love to go gracefully grey and never have to fuss with color again. It's isn't so graceful for me though, my grey hair is very unruly. Maybe someday!

    1. Shirley, I had the same issues. But eventually I realised that they were mostly in my head. I do think you have to be well groomed in other respects, or you just look like you don't care any more. You'll get there! Mimi xxx


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