It”s been a journey I’m not going to lie, but several trips to Paks, the hairdressers and a few mini disasters and I think I may have almost cracked the “going grey” thing.
Rather that do it naturally I have gone down the route of many a young hipster girl and dyed my hair grey in an attempt to accelerate the process and allow my natural grey to grow out in a less obvious way.
I felt the streaked grey look just didn’t work for me as I like a definite “look” and while I think there are lots of people who look great with salt and pepper hair, it made me feel old – nothing wrong with old of course, but there is good old and tired and drab old and I was feeling drab old!
My first attempt involved a trip to the uber fashionable Bleach hair salon in Dalston Bleach. Luckily I had a friend who already knew the people who own it, so despite the pair of us increasing the average age in the salon by several decades (we did wonder if they might show us down to the basement) the staff were incredibly nice and very very helpful. My gorgeous stylist Saphire (of course she was called Saphire) told me they get lots of older women asking for grey hair.
As I said before most hairdressers will tell you its not possible to dye your hair grey – but trust me it is, you just need to know how, or know someone who does. Bleach do and and it seems the secret is lots of actual bleach, followed by a soft colour toner to tint your hair a soft lilacy, blue or peach tone of grey.
It takes several bleaching sessions to strip your hair of all its natural colour and I have to admit I gave up going to the Bleach salon after a while and did it on the cheap, by getting my local hairdressers to bleach my hair and then experimenting with different tints from Paks until I found the one that I liked.
This look isn’t for everyone as it can be a shock at first. I went from auburn with blonde highlights with streaks of grey to blonde, to pale blue, pink and then pale lilac, until I eventually found a tint I like. The colour in the bottle often looks harsh and bright but washes out, changing each time – so is a work in progress.
I am quite brave with my hair and don’t really care if it goes a bit wrong, so am happy to experiment. I am also quite confident with colour. So if you have a sensible job where you can’t turn up with purple hair, or don’t feel able to ‘try this at home’ I suggest you go to a salon and ask them to give it a go. If they don’t believe its possible, show them the Bleach Tumblr, or this guide by Buzzfeed and tell them it is. Because it totally is.
I love my new colour and hopefully by the time I’m bored of trying out new colours every other week, my natural grey will have grown through and I won’t have to bother any more.
A word of warning however, perhaps don’t try this if you don’t have strong hair as its a harsh process. I have literally had every hair style ever, from punk and Bananarama back combed, hair sprayed ridiculousness to rockabilly quiffs and sever 80s buzz cuts, so my hair seems pretty resilient, but our hair can get thinner as we age, so it might be better to steer clear if you don’t feel your hair can take a lot of bleach.
Let us know how you get on……