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6 Common myths about going grey that you should stop believing

6 Common myths about going grey that you should stop believing

Go grey the graceful way (or don't)

Text: Redzhanna Jazmin

Plus, our four best tips for covering up your grey hairs

Getting your first grey hair can be an emotional experience. While some readily accept their greys with open arms, others prefer to indulge in an exercise of sheer panic. Both are valid responses and, no matter what you decide to do about your growing greys, it is ultimately a natural part of life.

At this point, you have two choices—let the greys grow freely, or hide them for as long as you possibly can. If you're in the latter camp, we've got your back and if you're in the former, that's great, too! 

Ahead, we're covering all things grey—find out why we go grey, how to cover your greys, and learn more about some of the biggest misconceptions surrounding grey hairs:

WHY DO WE GO GREY?

Put simply, grey hairs sprout when the pigment cells in your hair follicles die. When these cells die, they stop producing melanin—the stuff that gives your hair its colour—which is what leads to any new hair strands growing in grey or white. 

Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done to stop this process from happening. Once a hair follicle stops producing melanin, there isn't really any way to restore them. That said, it's not the end of the line just yet. 

HOW TO COVER UP YOUR GREY HAIRS

If you're after a full cover-up

Obviously, the best course of action with any hair makeover is to head directly to your salon, especially if this is your first time covering up your greys. At your appointment, your colourist will be able to advise you on the best course of action for the ideal results, whether that be in their technique or the kind of dye they use on you.

You'll want to ask your stylist for permanent dye to cover your greys. This is the best way to ensure that your root cover-up will last as long as possible, with the best blend into the rest of your tresses. 

NOTE: If you're going to go down this route, expect to go back to the salon for a touch-up every three to six weeks!

If you're looking for a less high-maintenance option

Getting a single-process colour service is the obvious route, but if you've only got a few greys and don't have the time to head to the salon every three to six weeks, highlights might be a better option for you.

Obviously, on Asian hair, this isn't an ideal solution as most of us tend to have naturally dark locks, but if your hair is on the lighter side (or pre-dyed side!), it's something worth exploring. Not only will highlights help to camouflage your greys better, but they will also help to blend them in during the growout process so you can stretch out the time between your appointments!

If you're in between salon appointments

Believe it or not, an at-home touch-up isn't always the worst idea—as long as you've got the right tools, of course. Using a temporary dye like the Christophe Robin Temporary Colour Gel is a great option for those who just can't get back to the salon soon enough.

The ammonia and peroxide-free formula has been designed to cover even the most stubborn grey hairs. It comes in four shades to help you find your closest colour match and washes out completely in five to seven washes.

When dyeing your hair at home, you'll specifically want to opt for a temporary hair colour that washes out so that the colour doesn't interfere with your stylist's work at your next appointment. Our best tip for application would be to really focus most of the dye on your roots where your greys are most prevalent, then gently blend it into the mid-lengths of your hair. Avoiding your ends will help to prevent them from becoming stained, making it easier to lift the colour at future appointments.

PSST: As always, remember to do a patch test before you colour your hair!

If you're in a rush

If you've got no more than five minutes to get ready and get out, you could try a hair concealer like L'Oreal's Magic Retouch Temporary Instant Root Concealer Spray, Colour Wow's Root Cover Up or The Face Shop's Quick Hair Puff.

Alternatively, get yourself a really cute hairband or hat to cover up any hairline greys until you can deal with them properly.

THE BIGGEST MYTHS ABOUT GOING GREY, DEBUNKED

Myth 1: Plucking your grey hairs will cause more to grow back in its place

This is a classic old wives tale; something they say to discourage you from pulling your hair out. Fortunately, this isn't true.

However, while you won't be getting greyer as a result of removing individual strands, you could be damaging those hair follicles permanently, ensuring that no new hairs ever grow back in their place. So, unless you'd like to have a significantly less lush head of hair in your later years, we urge you to put the tweezers down.

Myth 2: It is damaging to your hair

This is a common misconception, but its prevalence is actually understandable. If you've begun to go grey, you may notice that your greys are coarser and more fragile than the rest of your hair.

Now, this doesn't mean that the loss of pigment is causing any damage—rather, it's simply growing in with a thinner cuticle. For context, the cuticle is critical in protecting your hair from environmental aggressors like UV rays and heat styling as well as water loss, so it only makes sense that your greys are more compromised in condition.

TL;DR: Going grey isn't damaging your hair, but grey hairs do feel different to the rest of your strands.

Myth 3: It is caused by bleaching and dyeing your hair too much

Rest easy: The bleach from your highlights isn't killing your hair follicles. Rather, it's your genetics that determines when exactly you'll go grey, in conjunction with other lifestyle factors like smoking, general health and stress.

As a general rule, Asian people tend to go grey in their late thirties. However, not all of us are built the same. If you'd like a more accurate guesstimate of when you'll start going grey yourself, look to your parents! If they went grey early in life, there's a good chance that you could too!

Myth 4: You need to cover up your greys

In a culture that places youth on a pedestal, the natural instinct when going grey is to hide all evidence. The pressure to cover up grey hairs and stave off the signs of ageing is largely put on women, and while the grey-positive movement has picked up traction in the last few years, it's still a pretty recent development.

All in all, no one can really tell you what to do with your hair, nor should they have a say in what you do with your body. So, whether you decide to go the au naturel route or employ a good dye job, it's up to you and you alone!

Find more hair stories like this here.