Thalia Demetriades one of the White Hot Hair models

It’s always fun to catch-up with Jayne Mayled the founder of White Hot Hair who stopped dyeing her hair when it was ‘becoming harder and harder to do and not look like Paul McCartney.’ Five years ago, Jayne launched a luxury haircare brand when she couldn’t find the products she needed on the high street. Committed to promoting diversity and challenging clichés, the 60-year-old businesswoman recently ran a nationwide modelling campaign to find the face of White Hot Hair, for spring 2018. ‘I am passionate about changing the stereotypes surrounding ageing,’ she explains, ‘It’s not a choice between clinging or crumbling – for too long modelling has been the domain of the young but there are so many inspiring role models out there.’

Roisin O’Connor the youngest White Hot Hair model at 41

Admitting that she was looking for women with a bit of a ‘mischief in their eyes’, Jayne and Team White Hot Hair set about casting models who were a good spread of age and hair types. Finally narrowing it down to six gorgeous grey-haired customers; she describes her philosophy, ‘I wanted to focus on what women are feeling, what they’re achieving, rather than what they look like. What they are like as people is more important than the colour of their hair.’

A fan of White Hot Hair’s Shoosing Creme, Thalia Demetriades (top photo) was persuaded to enter the modelling competition by her niece. When we speak Thalia explains that after dyeing her hair for many years, she only found the courage to show off the silver in 2017, ‘I was diagnosed with cancer and so this time last year I lost my hair. When it started to grow back it was white and I loved it. I had a skinhead and it looked very rock and roll.’ Admitting that initially her family weren’t quite so keen, ‘It was probably down to the condition, they wanted the old Thalia back – wanted me to look the same as I did before,’ she was determined to persevere, ‘But I was a walking time bomb. Now I feel better, life is better  – there’s more appreciation than before – and now my family love it, too.’ A firm advocate of positive ageing, Thalia dismisses traditional stereotypes about grey hair, ‘That looking older thing is a pile of nonsense, I’ve had so many positive comments. It’s been like a rebirth. I’m going to be 58 next week and I am proud of that.’


Carol Maud, 66, and her FABulous pixie crop


Forget about clinging or crumbling (my new favourite phrase), here’s Jayne Mayled’s expert advice on grey hair care:

Find a hairdresser who is pro-grey and get a great haircut.

Sounds obvious but keep hair clean and fresh. White hair is porous and it gets dirty – I know if I get a bit over-zealous with the bronzer I’ll end up with an orange fringe.

Go for loose, relaxed, more natural styles rather than a helmet head.

Please note: affiliate links in this post may generate commission.

See all the White Hot Hair models HERE.

52 thoughts on “Grey hair, oh yeah!

  1. I love the name, White Hot Hair! It seems to be a movement, I’m meeting more and more women who are excited about going grey or more accurately foregoing coloring. A friend of mine greeted me recently at a dinner party with the news that she was letting her hair go grey. She gamely agreed to let me document it on Prima Darling, the first installment was on Monday. She has long red hair so this could take awhile!

    1. Your friend may need a haircut to more easily transition to white. It’s tough when your roots are a couple inches long and differ markedly from your old color. People would say, “Um, so what are you doing with your hair?”! I did not want to use any color products on my new white growth as white is porous and I wanted to keep the white “pure”. In the end, the transition was SO worth it, but it ain’t easy!

  2. Love this post, thank you, and these women look beautiful. At 52 and much to my family, friends, and colorists dismay, really don’t feel like dealing with the process anymore. Haven’t gone in since early December, and hoping I can hold strong. Thanks again for promoting a real look for women that is fuss free, healthy, and fresh.

    1. Seconded Rebecca, I am a dull pepper and salt at the moment but this is great motivation to resist those harmful chemicals.

  3. What a great campaign! I let my natural white hair grow through several years ago now (I’m 54) and now when I see old pictures of myself with a helmet of dyed brown hair it just looks wrong! Now I focus on having a great hair cut and have rediscovered my love of bright red lipstick: because nothing says ‘No, I haven’t let myself go, and yes, I like the way I look” better than a showstopping red lip. 🙂

  4. Perfect Alyson, this is exactly the type of post we all asked for. I liked seeing all the models with beautiful white hair. Would that mine looked like that. Still brownish with roots and some white streaks only near face. But I’m determined to keep going following your example. Only thing I’m doing is having ends trimmed on my longish chin length bob every two months or so.
    Hello Jolain. I signed up to your blog which I’m enjoying reading. And to see recent post about your friend and her hair transition. But it sounds like it calls for some expert transition colouring. I did that last spring three hours of colouring introducing white highlights etc. Now I’ve abandoned any colouring and putting up with the result.
    It’s very positive now that growing out one’s dyed hair is a style choice.

  5. Love it. Have been transitioning for past couple of yrs and am now 100% natural (about 75% grey, 25% mouse), apart from when I have a dipdyed look or selected streaks with hair chalks. Favourite colours: indigo, teal and red, although I did go for a highlighted effect the other day with brown and yellow.

  6. Great name; beautiful, amazing, fabulous, gorgeous models. I stopped hi lighting/dying my hair around 15 years ago. I’m 61 now. It looks better now than it ever did dyed. It has ‘natural’ hilights and in fact, looks like I’ve spent a fortune colouring it. I’ve recently relocated and had to change hairdressers….wow! New hairdressers absolutely amazing. I now have the best hair ever; was told previously they couldn’t do anything with it except cut it very short. Now I have a bob.

  7. I’m 52 in April and haven’t dyed my hair since November 2016. It’s been hard at times but my husband has been really supportive and keeps telling me it suits me (even if it doesn’t and there were times were it looked pretty rubbish). I’m now at the stage where it’s more silver than brown and it’s beginning to look great, I love it. Went to the hairdresser yesterday to have an Olaplex treatment – keeps it soft, I was told that it looked like a really good balyage which they couldn’t produce even if requested by clients.

  8. The grey haired women featured in TNMA are absolutely beautiful, but seem to be without exception those with hair and skin type/colouring supremely suited to going grey!
    I have ‘mousey’ hair with the tiniest bit of reddish tinge, and with a pale skin that looks totally washed out when I wear grey – so I haven’t dared to stop dyeing my hair yet. I have considered asking my hairdresser to bleach the colour out and dye it a more flattering grey than ‘salt & pepper’ but that seems to defeat the object!
    Any ideas anyone?

    1. I am very pale and freckly with (originally) redish brown hair. Am 45 and have been dyeing it for many years. I was interested to know what my natural colour was (I could tell it was grey or white from my roots) so have cultivated a thick grey streak at the front – its not so harsh next to my skin tone. My hairdresser separates the grey from the rest of the hair whilst she dyes the majority. Had so many positive comments and love it. Over the next year or so I will give over more to the grey as time goes on.

  9. The three ladies look amazing! I do still have my hair coloured but if I was guaranteed to look anything like these ladies I would let the grey come through in a heartbeat. I’m naturally dark, but have gone lighter, as I’ve gone paler as I’ve got to 65.

  10. The process of getting there is a pain, accept it, especially if you’ve med/long hair. My shoulder length hair grew out about a year ago & is a gorgeous silver white, if I say so myself. A recent bit of winter sun & red lippie, as Adele mentions above, some fab silver jewellery & ‘cool’ glasses completes the picture, she says modestly!

  11. All these women look great with grey hair. Hope it will encourage those that are contemplating going grey.
    On the subject of men dyeing their hair. Can anyone answer me on this please? It has always puzzled me that women can have very natural dye colours done, but most men that have their hair dyed ( and this includes the very wealthy) always seem to end up with a reddish tint. Why???

  12. What a great article the models all look fabulous. Stopped dying my hair last October. Just had another cut yesterday and love my silver hair with a few blonde streaks. Keep my hair short because it is very fine but now think it is thickening up without the chemicals of dying. Have had to change make up (stronger coloured lipstick and darker eye colour) and need to wear strong colours near face. Feel liberated.

  13. Great post! I stopped coloring my long hair (brunette with blond highlights) almost 2 years ago with the help of my hairdresser, so that the transition was a lot easier. Now my natural cool brunette has white highlights framing my face and I’ve cut it short. Also changed my makeup and clothing colors to cool blues, violets and greens, and I can wear black, too, which is a nice contrast. My hair has never been in better condition; shiny, tangle-free and not losing nearly as much as when I dyed it. Never thought to be trendy; at 61, I’m over the fussing, but happy to spend a lot less time & $ in the hairdresser’s chair. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Alyson, I’ll check out the products.

  14. I am completely at home with my grey hair… but I do wish my eyebrows (which are predominantly brown still) were more defined. I notice all these three women have strong eyebrows or have coloured them. I have my eyebrows shaped (oops, and tinted) intermittently but they aren’t very pleasing. Still we are on the subject of grey hair. I think the most wonderful thing is that women can aspire to look good with grey hair because we now have been shown examples of how nice it can look.

  15. I grew out the dye in my late forties. First I switched to non-permanent hair color for a couple of months. Then I had a colorist pull long stripes of white through my shoulder length hair to create a blended effect. Then I just let it go! Now my hair is silvery white, just slightly darker at the back of my head.
    I actually had nightmares where I was somehow forced to color it again! I have been completed many times by both men and women, and I love being liberated from that regular routine of turning it some other color!

  16. I grew out the dye in my late forties. First I switched to non-permanent hair color for a couple of months. Then I had a colorist pull long stripes of white through my shoulder length hair to create a blended effect. Then I just let it go! Now my hair is silvery white, just slightly darker at the back of my head.
    I actually had nightmares where I was somehow forced to color it again! I have been complemented many times by both men and women, and I love being liberated from that regular routine of turning it some other color!

  17. I have been a White Hot customer for a while now and I have to say that everyone I have come across in the company is lovely to deal with and the products are gorgeous. It’s also good to support a home-grown business rather than a huge corporation. My hair is in great condition thanks to having a brilliant and supportive hairdresser and using products that give it smoothness and shine. And I get far more compliments nowadays than I ever had when I was spending too much time and money on dying my hair!

  18. A very inspiring article and interesting/encouraging comments from other readers. Love the photos especially being able to see how the darker eyebrows look great with the grey hair. The reactions of others especially at work (big high school with opinionated teenagers) has been a concern for me but so many women seem to think its the best thing they ever did that I think it might be time for me to start the transition! I love these posts from Alyson and I really recommend Know Your Style – its gradually transforming my wardrobe and I am feeling so much more confident about my clothes. Thanks

  19. I have had gray hair for about 10 years and used to write about it on my former blog Rock the Silver. It seemed so adventurous then, but now, gray hair is more the norm. I have fine hair and have gone to all one length. I haven’t used heat in about nine months, and while I don’t have great hair to begin with, it’s looking better than ever. I sort of copied french girl hair. Wash it at night, but only a couple of times a week, go to bed with it damp and what you end up with, is what you end up with.

    1. Hello Donna, So good to see you again, still rocking the silver. I remember you from the early days of blogging. Hope you are well. And I obviously need to catch up with your latest blog…

  20. I have been meaning to try these products ( fabulous name ! ) for ages, now my hair is completely grey, I really must. This movement has to go Universal though.You ladies in the UK have an amazing solidarity on this topic, but it’s not the same everywhere !
    I’m feeling that I’ve got my own little revolution going on, but very few comrades. Never mind, change takes time.
    One silly thought, when we watch a period drama on TV, how many of the older women have grey hair ? They wouldn’t have had hair dye in those days !

    1. I agree with Maisie; I am from Buenos Aires and I haven´t received compliments from anyone but my husband. Although I wish I had my friends´ approval. I don´t intend to go back, as I feel much more comfortable this way.

  21. To Heather and others on the subject of greying eyebrows and eyelashes. Black mascara sorts out eyelashes. Not wanting to dye my eyebrows I have used a Clinique brow pencil but recently instead I am using my root touch up Color Wow in light brown on my eyebrows. Before I tried this I consulted their website. If it can be used on the scalp and around the face it seems okay for this purpose. Works a treat and is more durable than a brow pencil. I use the thin and of the brush to apply and then comb brows. Looks natural.

  22. The movement to allow women in public life to have grey hair as men do is gaining momentum. One only has to look at Theresa May and Christine Lagarde as examples. Of a similar age Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton have perfectly coiffed carefully dyed blonde bobs. Both approaches prevail.

  23. I grew out my hair about 4 or 5 years ago and I love it grey. I agree that you need a decent haircut – and red lippy is good too! When I first grew mine out people were slightly dumbfounded, but now I’m seeing more and more of it. But it might not work for everyone, so I think the most important thing is that women can choose to do whatever the hell they want with their hair (clothes/makeup) and not be judged as ‘letting go’ or ‘clinging to youth’.

  24. This is exactly the post I needed and I am looking forward to trying the products. I’m a youthful looking 53 year old with small kids. After dyeing for 24 years, I now have a 2 inch long silver stripe. I plan on growing it out for about 5 months, with regular cuts then chopping it into a pixie. This is a perfect time in History for women to make a change. I see natural silver hair as rebellious, cool, edgy and extremely liberating. I am doing it because I can. It takes courage and confidence. I want to portray that confidence to my kids. My spouse is supportive. Word of advice, don’t ask anyone’s opinion. They look at you sideways. I did want to hear what my kids thought. My 4 year old boy said simply ” then you will be a gray mama” my 7 yr old daughter said she would not recognize me. ” I said…. easy I will be the one with the grey hair.” Prepare to stand out!

  25. When I decided to go grey I was the only one. It was at least 20 years ago. I simply got tired of spending three hours every three weeks on my hair. I also saw a friend that had to stop dyeing her hair because of a physical illness. She looked so beautiful and soft with her grey hair that I simply decided then and there to just do it. I had to fight my hairdresser and everyone I knew. They all said no. But I persisted and I’ve never looked back. People say it makes me look older. So what? Who do I need to look younger for? Then the tide turned and now it’s chic to be grey. I used to say I was the only woman in Beverly Hills with grey hair. I love it!!!!!

  26. When I look at colleagues with the dreaded grey stripe appearing only 3 weeks after coloring, I think to myself you’re welcome to it, I’ll keep my (trendy) grey thank you!

  27. I started going grey when I was 13. I dyed my hair at home when I was younger then forked out for a salon job as I got older. I stopped dying my hair when I was about 29 and have been going whiter and whiter ever since. I am now 45 and although every now and again I get the hump when strangers ask the age difference between me and my partner (he is a year older than me) I am frankly too lazy and cheap to ever think about dying it again. I cannot stress how many times I have been stopped in shops, libraries or in the street by women of all ages telling me that they wish they could be brave and do the same. In reply to all those wonderful sweet kindnesses I would like to say – do it ladies – be lazy and stick it to the dye man.

  28. My mother is 80 and has dyed her hair for years. My sister does, too, at 54. I’m 55 and I have never dyed my hair and never will — mostly because I’m too lazy to expend much effort on it. What bothers me are the smug comments I often hear of women who go grey and somehow think that’s some sort of moral victory that makes them better than the dyed bunch. Or they pat themselves on the back for how superior they are for “being natural.” Geez, just wear your hair the way you want to wear it, and dye it the colour you want to wear it. Just like Paul McCartney does. (That “joke” about Paul is just another form of bullying someone for how they choose to look.) And don’t listen to anyone who tried to bully you into a certain way of looking. It’s no better to have women and men feeling bad about their dyed hair than it is to have women and men feeling bad about their grey hair. To each his/her own.

  29. Great hair. Normal looking women. And I will give these products a try because, happy as I am to be greying, the difference in hair behaviour is perplexing me. I can either look brilliant or insane – apparently no middle ground. Thanks for this.

    1. What a great word! Insane… That is exactly what I look like when I wake up, with my grey curly hair flat on the sides and looking like a bird´s nest on top; you have made me laugh

  30. Wonderful post – yaay to grey! I am the owner of salt and pepper hair and waiting patiently for more greys to appear. I am thinking of having the blah bob chopped off and going the ‘funky’ route. (I know hairdressers hate older women using the ‘funky’ word but can’t think of a more appropriate one). Sick to death of the dyed dark brown helmet hair and amazed myself that my hair was actually much darker than the reddy browns that I had dyed it for donkey’s years. Question ‘though – short hair only seems to suit beautiful/striking faces – I am neither – quite ordinary with 60 year old’s wrinkles. Should I have it chopped or frame my blah face with hair. Comments would be most welcome. ps Alyson – Gudrun Sjoden ad. featuring you in today’s Times newspaper – do you look great, or what!!!

  31. Loved this article – I am looking forward to my hair going grey as I think the women in this article are stunning – however I am not so keen on the brown / grey hybrid and find that a much harder stage to get through,

  32. There was a moment when I looked at my photo-I was a redhead- and realized I did not look younger, I just looked like a woman with a head full of dye. (And I had a horrendous salon bill!) Now I love my grey hair. The first couple of months were the hardest, but just keep going. You will not look washed out; look at these women!

  33. Gray hair is beautiful. I personally am not ready to rock the silver (because I don’t have any), but I tip my hat to the beautiful women who do. It’s nice when women are inspired to embrace their natural appearance.

  34. I’m 67 I sťopped dying my hair about 5 years ago its white with Gray tone going through back. Friends tell me it makes me old looking, family tell me they like it. I have medium length very straight nice style. I’m pleased with colour and style. I think in this country when you have white hair you are classed as an old lady.

  35. My first white hair showed up when I was 19. Obviously at 50, I have a lot more but I’m not even close to an all over white yet. I used to dye my hair in my 30s but one day stopped and now I get all kinds of comments, asking if I color my hair! lol. I absolutely LOVE the name of this company and have saved the link so the day I am all over white, I’ll have a good hair care line to use!

  36. I have been dyeing my blonde hair for years at a salon. I have been dyeing my hair silver for 2 years but it won’t keep.
    I use purple shampoo and conditioner. I have had my hair totally bleached 3 times What will help me?

  37. In 2008, at 60, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My oncologist told me I would lose my hair from chemo and was shocked at my response: “Yes!” Said he’d never heard anyone react quite like that! My response? “Now I can see how it looks when it grows back!”
    And I love it! Thanks for the great blog!

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