I’ve been dying my hair for near enough 13 years, so you’d think I would have got the hang of it by now. Really though, nothing could have prepared me for the personal hell that is grey hair maitenence. I’ve done my fair share of fashion colours and destroyed my hair beyond belief with years of over bleaching, so surely, silver hair was going to be a cake walk. Turns out not so much. That said, it’s one of my favourite shades, and you can learn from my mistakes. Consider this dear friends, my play by play to keeping grey hair grey (and not completely losing your shit.)
First things first though, you’re not going to get those pinterest ready locks at home. Those beautiful silver mermaid curls you’ve got pinned in your “mermaid hair, don’t care” folder? At best, freshly dyed, worse care it’s photoshopped beyond belief. While there are loads of toners that promise you bleached babes the grandma hair of your dreams, they are better for between visit top ups than a good old hair overhaul. In short, find yourself a good hairdresser. They’ll be able to evaluate your hairstory and find the safest way to get the shade that works for you and your skin tone. BLOW have been looking after my hair for over a year now and I can’t imagine going anywhere else. One thing I will say is that I wasn’t quite prepared for how often I’d need to top it up. Grey is on the far end of the pastel shades and as such, one of the most difficult fashion colours to maintain. Be prepared to become BFF’s with your salon because you’ll find yourself in that chair on the regular.
Between colours though, you’re going to want to keep things as silvery for as long as possible. That’s where your purple shampoos come in. I’ve steadily built up quite the collection, and like to choose different ones for different days. Touch of Silver is my everyday (like I wash my hair everyday) go to for taking out any brashiness, Davines when I need a little of a moisture boost, and Daddy-O if I’m looking for a bit of a tint. That said though, it’s not just the product, it’s how you use it. What I like to do is apply purple shampoo to my hair, dry and leave it on for 10 minutes. This works as a light toner in a pinch. Leave too long and you might (see: will) end up with a purple rinse. But it’s okay, I’ve got that covered too.
I like to follow with a matching conditioner because I’m a sucker for a combo. Davines is a favourite though as it’s super rich and makes a great silver hair mask. It’s the more expensive out of my shampoo/conditioner duos so it’s only out when I’m feeling super fancy and my hair super thirsty.
The key to keeping your hair grey though is keeping it healthy. I have sang the praises of Olaplex from the high heavens and if you have damaged hair cannot recommend it enough. Olaplex No3 is their at home treatment and is a night little bit of luxury for the DIYer. It smells a dream but I find the pot really only has enough for one or two treatments. It is a nice little conditioner to have on hand, though is nothing on the salon treatment. Worth having if your hair is mega dry like mine. My budget beauty saviour for silver hair is coconut oil though. You can pick it up for as little as £1.50 and it lasts for ages. It needs a little bit of encouragement and isn’t as easy to work with as a classic conditioner, but is a handy little treatment for fighting the inevitable frizz. The wild card though? Any Lush shampoo bar. Seriously. Any single one of them. They are wonderful but by gum they strip colour like nothing else. I always have one on hand for when I’ve left my shampoo on too long and it’s great for toning down a lilac rinse, bringing her backto more silvery tones.
I guess the best advice I can give though is to be realistic. It takes a lot of upkeep to manage silver hair, more so than I’ve had with any other colour, but it’s worth it. There’s no grey hair, don’t care, just grey hair and a whole lot of love.