Transitioning to grey requires creativity and patience. The in-between stage is not for sissies but what I’ve found useful is… looking at other women’s hair. And I’m not alone. Antiques dealer Anthea Boyd stopped me in the street to ask about my grey hair. I confessed that I too had become a little obsessed with The Gray-dient: whether that’s a young woman with balayage or dip-dyed hair or someone nearer my age growing in the grey, I am constantly assessing the hair situation in order to figure out my own progression. The good news is that there are quite a lot of women with half-and-half hair – and so it’s easy to pretend that the in-between stage is intentional. Current Gray-dient: When it’s tied back with the underneath on show, my hair is predominantly grey with a yellow bun and when it’s down, there’s still about 60% dyed blonde. Very slowly getting there…
Anyhow. Anthea and I had a good old natter about growing in the grey and so I asked if I could write about her for That’s Not My Age. The vintage-loving, former legal secretary invited me round to her south London home, where she runs a business selling antiques and collectables via the website Anthea’s Attic. Collecting antiques started out as a hobby until at the age of 40, Anthea ‘left the glass tower in Liverpool Street’ to start a business. Most of the merchandise is picked up in France, and as well as architectural salvage, interiors and silverware, there are clothes and textiles. ‘I love French labels like Agnes b and Sonia Rykiel,’ Anthea tells me,’I don’t do new clothes and I don’t mind if something has a mend or a stain – it doesn’t give me any pleasure to spend a fortune on clothes.’
The 49-year-old’s hair has always been a focal point, ‘I’m a bit of a goth so it’s been short, long, all the colours under the sun. I went blonde once.’ And to aid the grey transition Anthea had her hair cut shorter, at first into a layered bob and then a Pixie Crop, ‘I’m a bit all or nothing. I stopped colouring it at the beginning of the year, and I just want my colour out so that I have a blank canvas to play around with.’ Anthea uses more styling product now to add texture and admits that her hair is a bit of an experiment, ‘My hairdresser loves me. I don’t regret cutting my hair or letting the grey show – I feel totally liberated. The grey stripe is getting fatter and fatter and on a bad hair day, I’ll just wear a trilby or a Baker Boy cap.’
Anthea’s plan is to go shorter for summer, mine is to tie my hair back and ignore it. Two simple solutions to transitioning to grey.