Should you dye your hair?

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What to consider before dyeing your hair 

Dyeing at home can be more convenient but it can also get a bit messy. If you are new to dyeing it can take a bit of practice to get a colour you’re happy with and to achieve consistent results. But you can’t argue with the price: you can pick up a box of permanent hair colour from around £5.

At the salon your colourist will have the expertise to guide you to selecting the most appropriate shade, and in their capable hands you are more likely to get consistent results. There’s no mess for you to clean up and a lot of people like having that bit of time to themselves. The biggest downside though is the cost, as salon prices can be in the region of £100 (prices do vary).

Chemicals in hair dye

A lot of women are really put off the idea of using chemicals on their hair, so if you are looking to cover your greys it’s worth being fully in the know about some of the more common chemicals present in hair colour before going down that route.

Ingredients in hair dyes vary from product to product but some of the most common chemicals to look out for are:

  • Ammonia
  • p-Phenylenediamine
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Lead acetate

Hiding grey hair regrowth

If you do choose to dye your hair you’ll need to consider how to maintain your colour as your roots start to grow out. How visible the regrowth is will depend on the colour of your hair and how much grey you’ve got coming through. Hair regrowth can vary but on average your hair grows around ½ inch a month so it won’t be long before your natural hair colour starts to show through.

If you can’t quite face monthly visits to your colourist then there are a lot of clever products you can use to cover up your grey roots until your next appointment.

Hair dye root sprays

One of the most popular products is this one by L’Oreal because it provides effective coverage and long- lasting results. A word of warning is that a lot of users recommend trying out the spray on a piece of paper before going straight on to your hair as the results tend to be better if you aren’t too close to your scalp!

Touch up powders

Charles Worthington instant root concealer powder is constantly topping the best seller charts because it’s both affordable, effective and simply washes out with a quick shampoo at the end of the day.

Nice and Easy Touch Up Powder by Clairol is an easy to use cream that is reported to give 100% grey coverage and an even blend.

Root Touch Up Pens

A lot of women swear by root touch up pens as they’re a small, portable solution that fits neatly into your handbag. They’re a great option if you’re looking to just cover the odd grey hair here and there, rather than large areas of grey roots. We love this one from Bumble and Bumble.


Rather than choosing to fully colour your hair you could opt for highlights. Yes you are still colouring your hair but the process is a lot more subtle and a good hairdresser will be able to cleverly blend in with your natural hair colour, so if you are wanting to grow out your greys the effects won’t be quite as harsh as giving up colour completely.

Hair Accessories for grey hair

Hair accessories are a great way to change up your style or hide greys. We’ve got an article on some lovely headbands for covering greys just over here.

But what if you’ve started colouring your hair and you’ve now changed your mind?

Once you decide to go for a full all over colour the process of going naturally grey does require a little more consideration. One route is to go cold turkey, stop colouring your hair and allow your natural hair colour to grow out. A lot of women shy away from this route because of the time it can take. 

World leading colour expert Josh Wood say’s “When you do decide you want to start to grow the grey out, you’ve got to be committed as there will be a period of hard regrowth and realistic about the timeframe. The quickest I’ve ever seen anybody be able to transition was around nine months, but realistically, it probably takes around 18 months to get to a point you’re happy with.

“The first step in the process is to purposefully leave a little bit of grey regrowth around the hairline, so it starts to break up that harsh regrowth. It looks a bit more natural and helps to introduce a bit of grey gradually. If you’re going to a salon, you should talk to your colourist about having a lighter tint around the hairline for a few weeks, then introduce some kind of highlights or balayage. This will help break down the demarcation (the line between the grey and your coloured hair). It’s much less noticeable to grow grey out into a lighter blonde shade.”