Embracing the grey

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Grey hair isn’t an inevitability, it can be a colour choice just like blond, pastels or balayage, and some of our fave celebs are carrying it off with aplomb. In this extract from his new book, 101 Naked Confessions of a Gay Hairdresser, hairdresser Terry Wilson gives his top tips to going grey

Pink rexfeatures_1492031a

Pink, doing it like a boss

Why and why?

Grey hair doesn’t have to mean the end to natural beauty. There are many reasons to embrace it.

  • Your natural grey tone will match your skin tone perfectly, no more colour matching.
  • The texture and shine of grey hair can look fabulous as it is all natural, virgin hair.
  • To wear grey well you have to have attitude, darling. This makes you far more powerful (think Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada).
  • It saves time. End of.

The age when you start to go grey is usually determined by genetics, so ask your parents and grandparents as this should give you a good indication. Things that speed up the greying process can include: smoking, poor nutrition, anaemia, insufficient B vitamins and thyroid conditions. Shock and stress can quicken the development of grey hair, but it is a myth that your hair can turn grey overnight.


Our favourite silver fox

Jamie Lee Curtis: Officially our favourite silver fox

Why does your hair turn grey?

Well, the pigment that determines your hair colour is deposited into the protein, or keratin producing cells, of your hair, which, like the rest of the cells in your body, have a limited life span. Once the cells die the pigmentis not retained and the hair ‘loses’ the colour.

In fact, grey hair is really no colour at all. It’s the residual melanin that gives it its ‘colour’.


Proving kids can do it too, Kelly Osbourne

Proving kids can do it too, Kelly Osbourne


So how do you keep your fab grey hair looking its best? Use the correct shampoo and conditioner for your scalp type, whether that is oily or dry, and yes, a weekly treatment will make that hair sparkle and shine. And if you require an extra shiny boost, a clear watercolour rinse in the salon will do the trick. Above all, work it baby!

101 Naked Confessions of a Gay Hairdresser: Quick, Dirty & Uncensored Secrets to Perfect Hair From the World’s Most Outrageous Hairdresser by Terry Wilson


Terry Wilson has been a hairdresser for over 30 years but he’s not counting. His most memorable moments have been trialling to be the hairdresser for the Queen – that’s Queen Elizabeth II, opening a salon in the Port of Picton, New Zealand then upgrading to opening a salon in Notting Hill and swimming a personal best sub 1 minute, freestyle at the Gay Games in Sydney. (Compass Publishing, €10.97)