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A gentleman’s guide to going grey gracefully

Welcome to your silver age of style

George Clooney shot by D Dipasupil

It is a day feared by men the world over – the morning that you wake, rub your eyes, look in the mirror and spot your first grey hair.

But, before the colour drains from your face as well, look on the bright side. You’ve still got your locks, they’re only now starting to go grey, and this is a fresh start, a great opportunity to reinvent yourself and embrace a new look. Welcome to your silver age of style.

So steel yourself – both in spirit and hair colour – and listen up. With a little confidence and some haircare know-how, those frosty flecks in your hair could look as cool as Clooney’s. Just let us educate you in the art of going grey gracefully, teach you how to put some pep in that salt and pepper and graduate from conformist sheep to silver fox.

Whilst you should celebrate how great going grey can be, there are changes that need to be made

Embrace it

Dying your hair as a man is somewhat of a grey area. Is it acceptable as long as you get the shade right? Is it okay if you don’t extend the dye to your facial hair? Is it allowed permitting you’re not still doing it at 80?

We’d say no, no and no. If you’re going grey, then go grey. It’s your natural look, it will never look as terrible as you think it will, and the amount of time stressing over how often to dye, which shade to buy and what to do with your beard and eyebrows will be so wearing, exacting and fraught with trauma that it’ll be enough to make you go grey all over again.

Instead, jettison your Just for Men and learn to love your greys for what they are – indicators of age and maturity that show just how distinguished and wise you really are.

Chris Pine wearing linen blazer

Adapt your hair care

Whilst you should celebrate how great going grey can be, there are changes that need to be made. Your hair loses its colour when the hair shafts stop producing pigment and, as a result, grey hair tends to become drier and more brittle.

Your hair products, therefore, will not do the same job. Too much wax or pomade will make your grey hair appear wet and greasy – so ease up or follow our guide on new styles below.

The transition stage can also leave your hair looking yellow or dirty grey as the last of the colour fades away, so try using a colour balancing blue shampoo to ensure it stays looking cool and firmly on the right side of silver.

Ryan Reynolds wearing Tom Ford glasses
Getty

Hairstyles

There are certain hairstyles which only work for colourful hair. Persist with experimental cuts, and those that err on the lengthy side and you’ll end up looking too close to Gandalf for comfort.

Instead, a shorter style will help you flaunt your new greys, or a layered cut will blend your silver strands with your dark hairs – proudly premiering your lighter locks whilst keeping your existing cut in tact. Making a change will also help you let go of your old hair – keep your cut the same and you risk rueing the way your greys ruined your hair each time you pass a mirror.

Dress appropriately

Silver hair affords a gentleman a level of formality his brown or blonde locks simply could not. But, with this pileous power comes a great responsibility to dress well, and compliment your curls.

A crisp shirt and clean cut grey or navy suit is a great option, adding to your new cool, simple and refined image. Too many colours will make your grey hair look dull, and go too casual and you’ll end up looking much, much older than you actually are.

Ben Affleck wearing a blue jacket Grey Hair
Carlos Alveraz

Slow the process

Although the age at which your hair begins to grey is a quirk of the body, or something passed down from generation to generation, there are ways to slow the process down.

So, while you never want to try to conceal your newfound flecks, you could be forgiven for trying to keep their number down to a minimum. A good diet and regular exercise have been seen to improve the production of melanin, and anything you can change in your life to minimise stress or malnutrition will help your hair in the long run.

But, overall, your grey hair is an asset. ‘Silver-topped’, after all, is a phrase that shrieks quality, and it’s no different with gentlemen.

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