Thinking of going grey? Here’s everything you need to know
While grey hair used to be the one thing people feared, it’s now one of the biggest hair trends in Australia. Oh, the beauty world! These days more and more women (and men!) are starting to embrace grey hair – either by ditching the hair dye, or experimenting with trending grey hair colours.
From blue grey and grey pink, to grey blonde and grey ombre, there’s no shortage of grey hair inspo on Instagram, and celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Kim Kardashian are continuing to prove the trend isn’t going anywhere.
Thinking of taking the plunge? Here’s everything you need to know about nabbing perfect grey locks, including the products you’ll need in your armoury.
How to dye your hair grey
Before you jump on board, know that switching to a grey hair colour is a bit of a process (similarly to going platinum blonde), and it involves more than simply reaching for some grey hair dye. According to Anthony Nader, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Sydney salon RAW, dyeing your hair grey takes patience and you’ll need to be willing to fully commit (but for the hair of your dreams? Worth it).
“The best way to get that most-wanted cool metal grey is by using bleach powder and a high strength peroxide,” says Nader. “There’s no mucking around when you need to get that target shade.”
While it’s not impossible to dye your hair grey without bleaching it, Nader says salon-grade bleach and peroxide will give your strands a “cleaner/cooler” outcome. (If you’re looking for everything you need to know before bleaching your hair, head here).
The lighter your hair, the easier it will be to go grey. “The colour shade chart ranges from one (being black) to 10 (being lightest blonde). The rule of thumb is the lighter your natural hair strands are, the easier the target grey result.”
How to dye hair grey without bleach
The good news is, if you have light hair already, there are alternatives to using bleach on your hair. Nader says if your strands are naturally an eight or nine on the colour shade chart, you can ditch the bleach and opt for a different approach: “You may not need to be a slave to the bleach bowl and peroxide - say hello to using a high lift blonde tint,” he says.
A high lift tint is a permanent hair dye that works slightly differently from your usual hair dyes. High lift colours contain more ammonia, more dye pigment and are commonly mixed with a ‘developer’. A high lift tint lightens your hair more effectively than other blonde dyes, yet still tones it during the lightening process. “This is actually kinder to your strands compared to bleach,” says Nader. “To be on the safe side, as a guide I would apply a bleach application to base levels ranging from seven to 10.”
The best grey hairstyles
‘What colour should I dye my hair?’ We hear you ask. The best news is that there are SO many different grey hair colours to choose from. Whether you opt for something like dark grey, grey balayage or black and grey, this colour is super versatile and there’s a shade to suit almost any skin tone or hair type, depending on your goals. “Cool grey, cadet grey, blue grey, slate grey, grey green, seagull grey, rose quartz, ash grey and metallic. Phew – worn out yet?” says Nader.
Want to figure out which grey hair colour is right for you? Check out some of the latest grey hair trends for 2019:
1 / Cool grey
What skin tone it suits: Icy platinum shades work best on cool skin tones. “The guideline that I tend to stick by with these cool ice tones is making sure that before you take the plunge into any of these shades, make sure your complexion is on the cooler/neutral side,” says Nader.
How to style: We think this colour looks great on cropped hair and pixie cuts, and according to Nader, a polished look will help make your colour pop even more. “The thing that I’m a big fan of with the cooler depths is having your haircut polished and clean in appearance rather than curly or unruly.”
Celebrity grey hair inspiration: Michelle Williams
2 / Ash grey
Best way to style: “This colour looks great when hair is curled, as it really shows off the depth and tones of the ashy grey,” says McCowan.
Celebrity grey hair inspiration: Jourdan Dunn
3 / Metallic silver
What skin tone it suits: “Metallic silver hair can honestly work on any skin type, but will look especially striking with darker skin tones, which is great if you want a standout hair colour,” says McCowan.
Best way to style: “Because this style is so bright and vibrant, I would recommend keeping hair sleek and straight.” If your hair texture is anything but, use a flat iron to smooth fly-aways and finish with a shine serum like Eleven Australia Smooth & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum.
Celebrity grey hair inspiration: Winnie Harlow
4 / Silver blonde
What skin tone it suits: “This style is flattering on most skin tones - with everyone from Kim Kardashian to Ariana Grande rocking a variation of the shade previously,” says McCowan. “As it is a quite light shade of silver/grey, natural blondes may prefer this shade as those with darker hair will need to bleach their hair a few times to get the base right.”
Best way to style: “Look to Kim and Ariana for inspiration and try a high ponytail,” says McCowan. “Your cascading silver hair will look great like this for any occasion.”
Celebrity grey hair inspiration: Kim Kardashian
What are the best products/tools to maintain grey hair colour?
To keep your hair looking on point for longer, you’re going to want to start by turning down the heat tools. “Don’t zap out your new hair colour by having your hot tool appliances on the highest hot temp setting,” says Nader. “The hotter the temperature, the quicker your colour will fade and look dull.”
This also goes for washing your hair – opt for a cooler water temperature when washing your hair to ensure your colour lasts. “An easy step, and a no-brainer really, is when washing your hair, use the coolest water temperature you can withstand. The cooler water temperature won’t dry out your strands, nor make your colour fade quickly. Another reason (and especially if your hair is on the thicker texture side) is that the cooler water helps keep the hair density tighter to the scalp, making it look more ‘mirror like’.”
You’ll also want to invest in a good quality silver toner, which will ensure those unwanted brassy or yellow hair tones are kept at bay. We like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Colour Protect Anti-Brassiness Purple Shampoo and Conditioner.
Looking for more tips on how to switch your hair from dark to light? Check out our article on how to go platinum blonde.
Which celebrity do you think rocks grey locks the best? Let us know in the comment section below.
Main image credit: @chrisappleton1
Inset image credit: Getty
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.