My sister-in-law Mia went down a storm when she wrote about her hometown of Leeds. Yes she is that funny in real life. More, in fact. And today she’s talking us through hair dilemmas and her tips for covering up those silver strands.

I know grey has been a homeware staple for a few years now and I am still feeling it there, however, I feel less excited when it comes to the grey in my prematurely salt and pepper hairline. It started when I was 25 (which I felt was unfairly young) and it always really stood out because of my colouring, very dark brown hair and very pale skin. (Irish ancestry, since you haven’t asked)

Now, when I look in the mirror, any daylight bounces wonderfully off all the silver that has colonised my temples. And by wonderfully, I mean, damn, it really catches the light. I do not mean it looks wonderful, sadly. Don’t mistake me, I love striking silver hair and I think grey hair can be so elegant but I’m not close enough to the tipping point (which I think to be about 60/40?) of grey hair to brown to transition into a full and eye-catching mane of grey. I look more like George Clooney’s masculine sister instead of what I would hope, i.e. one of the fabulous grey haired women you see on The Sartorialist blog. Although a lot of his subjects seem to be Fashion industry pros and would no doubt look amazing with a bag on their head.

I know that this is hardly earth shaking stuff and no doubt a little vain, but everyone is allowed a little vanity right? Please? For anybody who is just noticing their first silvery strands and, like me, doesn’t feel ready to embrace it quite yet, here are my cover-up tips. (Please remember I’m no beauty guru, just a woman clinging desperately to the idea of her dark-haired self).

Clairol Root Touch Ups are fabulous, you can even blend two tones together (say, dark and medium brown?) to get the shade for your roots. BUT. Do not use them back to back as an alternative to actually visiting the salon every few weeks or you will end up like me, growing out two years worth of over-dyed roots which resemble witchy black and brown stripes. I would also be tempted to go for the lighter of the shade matches. If it’s not right, it will be easier to go darker than lighter.
• Go to Jenny Lea Academy Salon, you can trust with colour services you like. I don’t know if this is backed up by science here but in my experience salon colours cover the grey for so much longer. Home dyes always seem to lose their grip on my greys after a fortnight. I’m currently working a Matrix colour, Mocha Gold in a 5 which is lighter than my natural brown but not so much that regrowth really stands out.
• Get to know which root concealers work for you, they extend your salon visit schedule and make me feel less self conscious when I’m going out somewhere fancier than work or the shops. I have obviously tried quite a few.
• The spray kinds I struggled with. The ones where you spray it on your roots like a little hair spray? When I tried it went all over my face and the bathroom. (There’s still some in the tile grout I never cleaned out properly).
John Frieda Root Blur powder compacts. Highly recommend these. Great for keeping in your bag and the very matte finish helps stop the light catching your grey roots which is crucial in my art of disguise.
• I’m so far impressed with the Josh Wood Colour Blending Brush stuff. I used the lighter brown which survived a whole day including a nap. Some of it still held the next morning which I sort of expected as it markets as being able to last for up to three washes (I have yet to test this properly). Easy to use but it’s a fluid so you need to factor in time for it to dry down completely.
• I found this product in Superdrug which has a great cool tone to the dark brown shade and the powder seemed to have a lot of grip when applied but the sponge applicator felt too imprecise for me. My problem areas are around my hair line, I would only really use this for parting maintenance – but for that it would be great.
• The crayon style root concealers, which I assumed would be rubbish and maybe even melt onto my face, I liked a lot. I haven’t tried the Josh Wood one yet but I will definitely get around to it. I did have a go of this budget version which did a decent job I thought, especially for the shorter baby hairs around my hair line.
• Finally, be judicious and build coverage a bit at a time. Nobody wants a Lego hairline.

If you have any recommendations please let me know! I have a while to go before I’m ready for the big colour switch. What’s your favourite root cover trick? Or do you prefer to go with the growth?

  • John Frieda Root Blur
  • Nice N Easy Root Touch Up
  • Zero Grey Root Touch Up
  • Makeup Revolution Root Cover Up Stick
  • Josh Wood Blending Brush