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Becoming a Silver Fox

A guide to going grey

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Becoming a Silver Fox

Grey hair is in. It's hot. It's now. But embracing your silver side isn't as simple as letting it slowly take over. Here are some tips on going grey gracefully.

Grey hair is in. It’s hot. It’s now. But embracing your silver side isn’t as simple as letting it slowly take over your head–unless you want to spend some time looking like Cruella de Vil. You just need a little help from your favourite stylist.

Is It Right for You?

The quality of your grey is important when deciding whether to let it be. Sometimes grey hair comes in silky and beautiful. Other times, it can be coarse and wiry, looking dull and lifeless. Sometimes the grey simply isn’t a nice shade. Says Stefania Fortino of Salon Allessandro in St. Catharines, Ontario, “Too much iron in the diet can make grey hair come in slightly yellow or orange, which isn’t attractive.”

The Transition

Stop using colour over your entire head, and opt instead for highlights or lowlights. Happily, both techniques are safer for you than all-over dyes. “Adding strategically placed blonde highlights can look more like streaks than salt and pepper hair, and it works for most people,” says Fortino. Foil highlights give chunkier streaks, while pulling sporadic hairs through a plastic cap gives natural, all-over highlights. Hair should be lighter at the front, gradually becoming darker at the back to mimic natural highlights.

If blonde doesn’t appeal to you, use lowlights to camouflage the transition to grey by adding streaks of a darker tone of your natural colour. Just be sure the lowlights aren’t too dark. Says Fortino, “Not only do we lose pigment in our hair as we age, but we lose pigment in our skin, too. If hair is too dark, it won’t look natural.” As your hair grows, your stylist will gradually phase out the treatments until you’re a silver fox.

The Kindest Cut

Your hairstyle will determine whether your grey makes you look chic and stylish, or old and haggard. Fortino has clients in their 20s with beautiful grey hair who look their age because of their cut. The classic bob á la Meryl Streep’s chic ’do in The Devil Wears Prada is a sleek look for silver hair, but many styles work depending on your hair type.

POLISHING YOUR SILVER LOCKS

  • Use a buildup remover regularly to remove stains caused by pollution, styling products, and minerals in water
  • Use a deep conditioning product containing proteins and oils every few weeks to help soften hair, along with conditioner after every shampoo
  • Have your stylist apply a toner when you get a trim to add shine to grey
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