Back in the days of Betty and Veronica, when it was still a light-hearted paperback comic, and decades before it became an intensely emo TV show named Riverdale, blondes had all the fun. Then, somewhere along the way, the blonde went out and brunette came in. From ArianaGrande to Kim Kardashian, it’s all about the brown. Plus it does help that this rich, dark shade doesn’t show roots as conspicuously as blonde does, and can withstand solar bleaching a little better. That’s especially helpful in the summer.
Still, whether your gorgeous brown tresses are natural or store-bought, you may still face the scourge of the grey. Some people see it as a sign of wisdom, so they celebrate their inner silver fox. But if you’re honest, some of those silver vixens are store-bought as well! Natural greying is rarely that structured or voluminous. It comes in stubborn, sporadic strands that seem to multiply in seconds, looking dull and stringy rather than elegant and glossy. So until you’re ready to turn your whole head silven, you’ll have pluck them out as they come.
Well actually, no. Because while plucking out grey hairs may soothe your rage over their audacious daring, it will probably leave you with split ends, and it’ll just grow back with a vengeance. So it’s better to take a measured approach to greying, literally counting the hairs and handling them from the root. Also, blondes do have an advantage over brunettes – their hair does a better job of camouflaging grey. The contrast is far more visible on brown.
If you color your hair at home, you can do touchups as soon as a grey streak appears. Don’t even let it grow into a strand. Just check your hairline every morning and when it pops up, dip an old toothbrush into your hair dye and brush the grey out. But remember, coloring thins your hair, so even if it’s a small dollop with a toothbrush, you’ll have to avoid washing or heating your hair for a few days after dying. If your hair feels really dirty, you can use dry shampoo to clean it out. Pick one formulated for brown hair, or it may end up adding more grey to your head as it cleans.
We’ve mentioned grey is less visible in blonde hair, so you could consider going lighter. You don’t have to go all the way down to gold, but the lighter your brown, the less visible your grey. Talk to your hairdresser, at least for the initial shading. You want your lightening to be even and graded, and that’s hard to do at home. If your grey keeps popping up at a particular spot, you might even consider highlighting that one portion rather than doing your whole head. Again, this is something you want done professionally, or you may end up with a frightening patchwork of color on your head.
A more popular option is to use a masking product like Colour Wow. Usually, your grey hairs will start to show after a month, maybe six weeks. Colour Wow has a simple brush you can use to paint over the grey. It’s not a permanent solution, but it can hold for a week or two until you can color it in properly. Colour Wow also has its own line of shampoos and hair products to prevent the temporary shading from fading away. So while it makes sense as a stop-gap measure, gradual lightening is a smarter way to go.
You shouldn’t lighten your hair all at once. Instead, go shade by shade until you find the right fit for your style and complexion. A hairdresser can advise you on this. Look for one that specializes in coloring and have a chat with them. You may have to go through a few to find the right rapport. After all, your relationship with your colourist is a crucial one, so don’t be shy about shopping around. And if you’re worried about the expense, find someone that’s willing to walk you through home maintenance so you can wait longer between visits.
We’ve mentioned colouring can weaken your hair, so before a session, it helps to have your hair in its best condition. Many of us are worried trimming too often will prevent growth, but if you don’t trim, you get split ends, and that tears your hair and affects growth even more than the occasional trim. Use a deep conditioner once a week for strength and volume. Opt for air-drying over hair-drying, because the heat causes damage. And while you’re talking to your hairdresser about getting rid of the grey, ask about the right products and regime for your texture and weather. It really does make a difference.