Beauty News

Grey Grey Go Away!

It has never been easier to keep grey at bay. Why do we go grey? Well, hair is coloured by the same pigment that makes our skin colour – melanin. But as we get older, the pigment cells gradually die and, without melanin, our hair starts growing out grey.

Some people begin getting their first few white hairs while they’re still in their twenties. Right now there’s a bit of a movement afoot for women to embrace their natural greyness and it’s true that some people look amazing once they’ve got a whole head of silver or white hair. But it can be quite ageing and it doesn’t always look great while it’s in the process of greying. Fortunately, colouring your hair has never been easier than it is now. It’s just a matter of choosing the right product and acquiring a little know-how.

Expert tips Leigh Harris is the home-colour expert for L’oréal Paris, so she has all the best tips and tricks. Here’s her seven-step plan for getting a great colour:

  1. Decide which product and shade you need. Take into account your skin tone and eyebrow colour, your hair’s natural colour, length, style and texture, and the amount of coverage you need. Lots of people need professional help with this so L’oréal Paris operates a helpline – freephone 0800 655 444, 9am to 5pm, oonday to Friday – that receives 20 to 60 calls a day. Leigh says customers will often ring for help while they’re standing in the pharmacy trying to choose between different products!
  1. Always do a skin allergy test, even if you’ve used the product before. The chances of a reaction are extremely low but it’s best to be safe. Simply dab a little bit of the colour behind your ear and leave it for 48 hours.
  1. Have everything ready before you start mixing and applying the colour: a timer, towels to protect your clothes and a mirror. And read the instructions first so you know exactly what you’re doing and the process takes no longer than strictly necessary.
  1. The trick to a professional-looking home colour is even and precise application. Take small sections of hair and really work the product through it to get the best results. Start from the greyest area – the roots – and go through to the ends only if they need it. If you put colour on top of colour, you will only make it darker, so that’s why you need to avoid a build-up on the ends. If necessary, put some on but leave it for only 10 minutes, not the full time.
  1. Home colour works best if you just want to go a couple of shades darker or lighter than your natural shade. If you want to go from dark to light, Leigh advises going to a salon. The same goes for strong looks using highlights and streaks – these are best achieved by a professional.
  1. If you’ve got short hair and don’t want any grey showing through, you may want to colour once a month, otherwise every six to eight weeks should be fine. If you’ve got long hair, you’ll need at least two boxes of product depending on length and thickness.
  1. If your hair is dry or out of condition then you won’t get the best result. L’oréal Paris colours all have a conditioning step. once your hair is coloured, try to use sun-protective shampoo and conditioner, which helps prevent fading. This is important for the warmer red shades which are quite fade-prone.

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