Intelligent Beauty

Top tips for growing out grey hair (and reasons you should)

Got roots? Join the club but, before you start desperately planning a date with your colourist, why not use this as the perfect excuse to break-up with the bottle? If you’re getting fed up of disguising the fact that you’re properly grown-up and have the chic, silvery strands to show for it then we think it’s time to abandon the dye and embrace your ‘au naturel’ hue. From charcoal to white via smoke, steel and slate, grey comes in more than just fifty cool shades and, with brands waking up to the power of women with wisdom (at last!), the world is beginning to realise that grey manes deserve to be showcased…

With ranges devoted to helping your platinum lengths look their best – from soft, lavender lathers that counteract warmth to strand-strengthening serums that optimise growth – here are some tips for all those who’re embracing this beautiful metamorphosis!

Firstly, why does hair turn grey? Time for a lesson #CultBeauties (attention please class!). Each individual root is encased by a follicle, host to a number of pigment-rich cells that provide every strand with its colour. As we grow older (but not necessarily due to your age), these pockets of pigment will gradually dwindle, meaning each hair shaft has less melanin and becomes more translucent – a process that can happen early or take several decades to manifest – going grey is linked closely with genes so it’s likely you’ll follow the path of your parents.

You’ll probably start spotting greys in your twenties or thirties but, because we’re conditioned to strive to look 18 for ever we (sadly) have very few silver-haired women to emulate – a sorry state that’s on the cusp of major change…

With older men hailed as ‘distinguished’ or ‘foxy’ as soon as their beards turn a bit salt-and-pepper, women have long been encouraged – or felt obligated – to ‘hide’ this transition. However, with age now beginning to shrug off its stigma (about bl**dy time!), many are letting their hair grow its own way – choosing to own their pale manes and empower their friends, colleagues, children to cherish their beautiful, pearly-haired heads (and free themselves from the expense, time and faff of disguising a natural symptom of humanhood).

It’s also a myth that grey hair becomes coarse – the fibres themselves are much softer! It’s purely because the scalp starts manufacturing less of its natural oils as we age that can cause silver hair to feel brittle. Which is why silver strands deserve tender attention – a specialist cleansing and nourishing ritual, packed with tress-strengthing proteins to fortify fibres and keep your locks looking tip top!

Try to make time for a regular hair-masking session – take your time working the formula into the roots to help boost the absorption of precious, oomph-giving ingredients. Pamper your strands with the care you reserve for your skin – indulging in a ritual that ‘feeds’ your thirsty follicles with fortifying oils, vitamins and body-building {biotin}.

Briogeo’s {Blossom & Bloom Volumizing Travel Kit} boats a cute, mini-break-friendly trio to lend instant (and long-lasting!) lift, while the brand’s bestselling {Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask} boasts a buffet of nutrients – perfect for cherishing delicate lengths (think: fabric softener for strands).

Leonor Greyl’s {L’Huile de Leonor Greyl – Pre Shampoo Treatment} is also a boon (and not just ’cause the clue’s in the title). Heavenly scented, this stunning elixir infuses your strands before cleansing – replenishing much-needed oils without leaving fine, flyaway locks looking greasy or flat. You can even use this as an overnight treatment – just comb through your lengths, twist your hair up and sleep with your tresses cocooned in a SILKE {Hair Wrap} to leave locks feeling almost impossibly soft.

When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, Virtue’s phenomenal {Full} and {Recovery} ranges are serious ‘skin care for hair’. Laced with a pioneering keratin – Alpha Keratin 60ku – this range repairs stressed, weakened hair to keep strands strong and supple.

You’ll probably find hair requires less laundering (praise be!), but make sure you’re using a nourishing shampoo that cleans without stripping (try Pureology’s {Fullfyl Shampoo}) and then ‘tone’ with a purple conditioner – the lilac helps to neutralise warm, brassy undertones. We worship KEVIN.MURPHY’s {Crystal.Angel} – a pearlescent crème that keeps silver sleek, shiny and beautifully ice queen-y à la Daenerys Targaryen.

And to bolster hair’s health from within there’s a swathe of new supplements flooding the market. Oskia’s brilliant {MSM Bio-Plus} capsules support collagen, keratin (hair!) and glutathione (antioxidant) production, while anatomē’s {Daily Wellbeing + Hormonal Support} are great for hair, skin and your energy levels – aiding healthy growth while keeping things in sync.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...