The fact is, grey hair is just something that most of us have to deal with at some point in our lives. According to a 2018 paper by the International Journal of Trichology, 50 per cent of the population will have about 50 per cent grey hair by the age of 50. This is known as the 50-50-50 rule (for very obvious reasons). But also: going grey looks kinda sick. Embrace it. Welcome it! Patrick Dempsey is but one guy that knows how to take care of grey hair. And we should all want to look a bit like him.
We know all the reasons why you go grey. But if you’re ready to tame your silver fox era instead of frantically trying to stave it off, we caught up with London barber TJ Hunt of Ruffians to find out how to take care of grey hair.
How to take care of grey hair
#1: Rethink your style
You might notice that the colour isn’t the only thing that’s changing up top. Sometimes, grey hair can have a different texture to your previous follicles thanks to a lack of pigment (also known as melanin).
“It could be that your trademark style may be less suited to your new frostier thatch, and a fresh look that’s more flattering and practical could be in order,” says Hunt. “Don’t panic though, often a restyle can be invigorating and revitalising. Plus, you don’t see George Clooney trying to mask those silvery strands, do you?”
#2: Choose the right shampoo
So, now that you’ve fully embraced the new, greyer you, it’s time to invest in a solid shampoo. If you’ve ever bleached your hair, then you’ll know how thirsty and brittle it feels when the follicles are stripped of colour. Well, it’s the same story when it comes to greys.
“For that reason, it’s best to use a shampoo where the main aim is to add moisture and strength,” says Hunt. “Check out ones that contain argan oil and red algae to boost hydration. You should also look into silver and purple shampoos. These were the new kids on the block a few years back, and they claimed that they could enhance blondes and greys by removing dull undertones. Well, it turns out that they actually do work.”
#3: Get the best products
Now that you’ve chosen a shampoo that actually works for you, it’s time to give your styling products a bit of a refresh. Products that are too thick or contain too much oil can make your grey hair look dull, dingy or brassy. Or all three, which is cool.
“You need a great hair cream that you can use everyday without feeling like there’s a block of cement on top of your head,” says Hunt. “I’d also recommend totally ditching the pomades and gels and opting for something lighter, more natural, but still hydrating. It can take a bit of trial and error, but I’ve listed some of my favourites down below.”
#4: Turn down the heat
Blowdrying your hair can give a decent amount of volume and movement that can be hard to achieve with just air drying alone. That’s why the hair dryers are on the go non-stop in the barbershop. However, constant heat styling can make it turn dry and brittle, which is an issue for most hair types, but particularly grey hair.
“Try to find a style that works without having to reach for any tools,” says Hunt. “Sometimes adding products when the hair is still slightly damp can work well. However, if you really can’t live without your hair dryer, then make sure that you always apply a protective product on it first. This is essential to keep your bonce bouncy.”
#5: Protect your hair
It might seem counterproductive that we’re asking you to cover the new found silver up. But it’s worth remembering that, not only do the sun’s UV rays affect your skin, it can also do some proper damage to your hair too.
“It can severely dry and damage anyone’s hair follicles, causing frizzing and breakage,” says Hunt. “But as mentioned before, grey hair is drier and more porous to begin with, so the sun can only exacerbate the problem. The solution could be something as simple as popping on a baseball cap before you leave the house, or sitting in the shade.”