Does grey hair say glam or granny to you? Supermodel Carmen Dell’ Orefice (check out HBO’s About Face documentary by Timothy Greenfield- Sanders) at 81 has been rocking her silvery-white mane for decades. The problem is …who looks like Carmen but Carmen?! Going grey is something every brunette, blonde, and redhead 50+ who colors her hair considers, even Katie Couric. The 55 year old host of the newly syndicated “Katie” show recently hit the streets wearing a grey wig for a reality check from fellow New Yorkers. How about you? Three tricks might make the transition to “authentic” sexy, youthful, and anxiety-free:
GROW IT OUT GORGEOUS. If you have medium to long hair and routinely color it, give it a year to grow out. But forget going cold-turkey -you still need color and a pro to ease into grey. Start by not retouching your roots for eight or nine weeks. Ask your colorist to downshift to semi-permanent color and/or low-lights. Also key: get frequent trims. But be prepared, not all natural grey is gorgeous. Lots of grey glamazons continue to enhance dingy natural color with a few platinum or silvery highlights once their grey comes in. A clarifying or violet shampoo every two weeks can counteract yellow tones that may surface. Try Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Conditioning Shampoo for Blonde & Silver ($11, amazon.com). Warm up your makeup with a tinted BB cream, bronzer, or a golden, pinky-peach blush so the lighter cooler hair doesn’t wash you out. Keep brows darker than hair color and whiten your teeth. Grey hair plus wiry grey brows and yellow teeth say “old” no matter how great you look otherwise.
POLISH IT UP …THINK GLEAMING NEW SILVER MERCEDES. Your new grey hair may be wiry, dry, or coarse. Make moisturizing shampoos, intensive conditioners and hair masks routine. They keep grey looking healthy and shiny. For maximum light reflection, blow-dry long-ish grey hair smooth. Prep first with a silicone or argan-based serum like Sebastian Laminates Drops Liquid Polish ($13.59, cvs.com) or Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Super Argan Serum ($11.99, cvs.com). Add a salon or at-home gloss treatment once a month to step up the effect.
GET A CHIC HIP CUT. Some women like Carmen or singer Emmy Lou Harris luck out with a full thick head of grey. The rest of us need to work the color and deal with thinning or damaged hair too. For grey to truly look contemporary and confident, get a cut with intentional attitude. Consider a short crop, a tousled choppy shag, a layered bob, or a crisp blunt cut.
And start thinking silver fox not cougar!