Every Shortcut For Covering & Enhancing Greys

If there’s an all too familiar sight among us right now, it’s looking in the mirror and seeing fifty shades of grey. Or at least one.

Grey hair has not only become far more ‘acceptable’ (doesn’t that sound ridiculous talking about something perfectly natural?) but even a hair trend in itself. If you're wanting to follow some grey-positive beauties on Instagram and embrace your icy-toned tresses, we love @missbrady, @inhersixties and @thetennillelife.

Of course, the great thing about beauty is your choice to do whatever you like. And if that involves choosing to cover your greys, well, you’ve come to the right place. From how to cover gray hair at home, to the best hair colour to hide gray roots, here are the three shortcuts you need to know.

Why Does Hair Turn Grey In The First Place?

There are many factors, but the main cause is genetics, explains trichologist Anthony Pearce. And you can blame your parents for the timing, too.

“When that happens is genetically determined - it’s just a sign of ageing as our levels of melatonin and tyrosine (which gives your hair colour) decrease,” he says.

“As we get less hormonal responses, one of the first things that is affected is our hair. It heralds all these early changes.” 

However grey hair can also be an indication of an underlying health condition, including chronic stress.

“If you're unwell and start to really get noticeable pigment changes in your hair, then that needs to be looked at,” he advises.

And that common grey hair myth about three new grey hairs growing to replace the one you pulled out? Pearce confirms it’s not true (phew!)

What's Everyone's Problem With Grey Hair Anyway?!

Much of the battle against grey has to do with it being a sign of ageing. God forbid women, AGE, right? But as the conversation in beauty and society has become less anti-ageing focussed and more about embracing who you are and what you have the perception has changed. 

Celebrities are getting involved too, with the likes of Jessica Biel and Katie Holmes showing off grey streaks at various red carpets, beauty influencers embracing the natural change, and older women like Helen Mirren being, well, Helen Mirren. 

Hairstylist and Oribe Australia Ambassador Julianne McGuigan has also noticed a shift in attitude.

“Silver, white and granite tones are actually sought after tones in hair right now and when found naturally in the hair it’s a bonus!” she says.

The Oribe Silverati range celebrates this, illuminating grey and white hair, banishing dullness and adding sparkle - as does Redken Color Extend Graydiant Shampoo. Many blonde shampoos with purple pigments also help to brighten grey and silver tones.

Not Ready To Join The Silver Side Yet?

That's ok. Of course, the real beauty is in our choice to do what we like.

Whether you can’t yet get to the salon for a professional cover up or you just need something to tide you over until your next appointments, we have three grey covering options for you for any and every commitment level.

Our first option here is what I'd summarise as, “I need an instant cover RIGHT now.” Looking more like an eyeshadow palette than hair dye, for an instant fix this is the best way to cover gray hair for brunettes and blondes, with a selection of shades to choose from. A highly pigmented mineral powder, the water-resistant powder covers greys (and hides grown-out roots!) quicker than you can say ‘E.L James’. The versatility and precision enabled with the double-ended brush also makes it a great choice. You won’t quite get salon results, but for ease and speed it’s going for gold.

Oribe Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray

Option two has an “I want something quick and practically foolproof” vibe. How to cover grey hair with highlights? As you get into more advanced hair techniques that are often best left to your hairdresser, Julianne recommends this root touch up spray for in-between visits. A powder-based spray with a dry shampoo-like texture, it camouflages grey hair while blending in with the rest of your hair really beautifully. Evidence: my mum never has less than three of these sitting in her bathroom cabinet at any one time.

Oribe Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray

I call this one, “I need something with a little more staying power.” There’s a reason hairdressers are qualified professionals. Colouring grey is much more complex than just adding a colour to the grey hair and calling it a day. While permanent colour gives the best results, unless you’re a pro it’s also probably best left to your hairdresser. So a semi-permanent or rich colour gloss like L’Oreal Paris Casting Crème is the perfect at-home go-to. Costing less than brunch and formulated without ammonia, the semi-permanent dye lasts for up to 28 washes and gives natural-looking and high-shine results.