Going Grey? What Does It Really Mean?

For 50% of the population, having grey hair will be an inevitability by the time you are 50 years old. By the time you’re 30 years old, 30% of us will be showing signs of greying.

For the last few decades, going grey on men has been seen as a symbol of losing virility, of declining health and of physical ageing.

However, not all is lost! We are now a more accepting public, and this has got a lot to do with progressive, social movements which are uniting masculinity and femininity and throwing numerous gender stereotypes out the window (but that’s for another article)…

Going grey is now more popular than ever, and we’re going to give you a bit more information on the topic.

WHAT IS GOING GREY?

Well here is the first red herring. Going ‘grey’ isn’t actually true: you’re going white. If you’re dark haired, you’re more likely to notice the first signs earlier, as the occasional white hair against a dark brown or black hair will stand out. The mixture of dark and light hairs will give the impression of grey, but each individual hair is white.

This happens when your hair follicles stop producing melanocytes – which basically means that your cells are no longer providing the pigmentation required to give your hair its colour. This is generally caused by age, but can also be inherited, be caused by stress and bad health.

You may also notice that grey hairs will be finer than before, so it’s important to treat it well with volumising or moisturising shampoos (and avoid any harsh chemicals, like chlorine or sulfate/paraben fuelled products). Blow-dry as infrequently as you can, as this can also damage the hair, unless you use a protective sort of product. 

WHAT CAN I DO TO SLOW IT DOWN? 

It’s unlikely you can slow it down, but there are rumours that supplements like B-vitamins and iodine rich foods can help your ageing process.

So as not to speed it up, don’t pluck out any single greys you see! You’re more likely to rip out clumps of darker hair, which may grow back in a white cluster next time, so you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot, really. 

DYEING THE HAIR

Of course, dyeing your hair is an option. Be aware that to choose your preferred colour, you’ll have to see a special colourist, who will need to test you for allergies the day before your appointment.

If you opt for a totally new style, remember that bleaching your hair is not going to do it any favours, so you may have to spend more time looking after it in the future. It’s a pricy process if you want it done well, so be prepared to fork out a bit of cash.

If you’re want a subtle darkening, which will simply act in concealing your greys, Ruffians do offer a service at their Marylebone store (link to MLB page).

You can also try this at home, using a product like Just for Men. Bear in mind that the instructions tend to underestimate the strength of these products. Reduce the time it says to leave the colour on your head by half, and if it’s not completely dyed by then, you can always reapply. Better this way than the overly dark alternative!

ANYTHING ELSE?

As we always say at Ruffians – confidence is key. If you are going grey and feeling like it’s damaging your masculinity or ruining your image, this will show on your face and in your posture as well on your head. The best remedy is to embrace nature’s course and to allow your body to age gracefully and gently. 

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