Going Grey for the Guardian

— by Alyson Walsh


Going grey-2060x1236

This is what real #grannyhair looks like at 7.30pm on a grey Friday evening, after a long week at work. With no makeup and no daylight. The ironic hashtag used by young celebs and models isn’t the same when you’re over-50 and contemplating the change (of hair colour). And I thought my new passport photo was bad…

After 35-years of being a bottle blonde, I’m going grey. In summer, when I mostly wear my hair up in a topknot, the mouse/grey underbelly is on full view and last year I decided that I prefer au naturel to yellowy blonde. Since then, I’ve been transitioning. I’m happy with my decision – it was just a bit of a shock to find this image of myself on the homepage of the Guardian website, yesterday. Ouch, That Is My Age.

Fellow Mallen-streaked style expert Caryn Franklin recommended Charles Worthington to me, and so last week, I visited the salon for a series of lowlights and highlights to give my hair a more uniform, natural look. The new shade of silvery white is still a bit gronde (grey-blonde) but it feels right. The texture is coarser and has more oomph and, as a result, my hair is bigger. But the best thing of all is that no one notices. It’s a subtly different me – softer, chicer, more Scandi. Having been warned by senior stylist Linda Frawley that I may need to review the colours in my wardrobe, I’ve decided I’m sticking with shades of khaki, grey and navy. I’m happy to go the cool, northern European route. And I’m happiest of all to be celebrating my age, not hiding it.

One thing I have found is that grey hair requires different hair products:


Silver shampoo

Bumble & Bumble conditioner


Root lift

Lifeshine oil

1. A violet shampoo to keep the grey lovely and pale. I can highly recommend Brilliant Shampoo from White Hot Hair which I’ve been using for sometime and I’ve just bought some Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Shampoo to try, available HERE.

2. A good conditioner helps tame unruly grey hair. I’m still using my favourite Bumble & Bumble Super Rich Conditioner which is great (and expensive, so I’ll be finishing the bottle before trying anything new), available HERE.

3. For a special conditioning treatment, Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer is ace, available HERE.

4.  A root lift, courtesy of Rush salon, available HERE.

5. Get the gloss: grey hair is coarser, drier and duller, so, an oil adds shine. I’m currently using White Hot Hair’s Lifeshine Oil, available HERE.

If I thought this photo was bad, the before shot is worse; read the full Guardian feature HERE. And there’s more on going grey in my book Style Forever.

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  This is what real #grannyhair looks like at 7.30pm on a grey Friday evening, after a long week at work.