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J’adore / J’abhor

This week's Muddy heated debate: whether or not to embrace a full head of grey hair. Eeeek! or chic? We duke it out.

J’ADORE, says Muddy contributor, Lucy Foster

I have an admission to make. I want to go grey. No, no, you heard correctly: I actually want to go grey. But not grey as in bring out the Crocs and the dreamcatcher for the window, I mean cool grey, purposeful grey, edgy-I-still-rock-directional-clothes-and-turn-heads grey.

“Ah, but you can’t,” say the hairdressers – every single damn one I’ve ever asked.“ You’re too dark. Too much bleach. Your hair would just break.”

Curses! I am destined to slowly evolve into – I can’t hardly write the words – a middle-aged woman with straggly salt and pepper locks? Will I also have to wear cardigans? Will I? WILL I?

Because I think full grey is incredibly beautiful. And the shades, from an almost-white silver to a deep graphite, grey can match any skin tone. And coupled with the sort of clothes I could only dream of affording when I was 20 and owner of an untainted chestnut mane, it’s high of my list of looks to aim for.

It’s elegant. It’s classic. And nowadays, it doesn’t automatically mean five years from death. It means you’re embracing the inevitable process of ageing with poise and sanguinity – and in this day and age of butt lifts and Facetune, Lord knows we need more of that. I am 100 per cent in.



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J’ABHOR, says Muddy founder, Hero Brown

OK, I know grey hair is a huge beauty trend, headed up (geddit?) by super-chic Vogue staffer Sarah Harris (google her and gawp). I know it looks ridiculously cool on insouciant twentysomething hipsters in Hackney. And I know it’s one of those things that – like the menopause and one’s boobs heading south – comes to us all as time ticks on.



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But, as you may have noticed, I’m not a twentysomething Hackney hipster and just because something is inevitable it doesn’t mean I want to embrace it. And so I don’t. In fact I spent 30 minutes artfully arranging my pony tail and attacking my hairline with root retoucher before heading out to a party on Saturday night – time very well spent, in my opinion.

And that was only because I hadn’t managed to nab a salon colour appointment in time for my night out. Blitzing those greys gives me the perfect excuse to visit the hairdresser every six weeks for highlights. And, god, I love going to the hairdresser – free coffee and those moreish biscuits, two hours to read magazines uninterrupted, no pesky children to bother you and you leave looking refreshed, well-polished and like you can take care of business; your own and potentially everyone else’s. What’s not to like? It’s a confidence trick, sure, and an expensive one at that – but one I’m fully on board with. Going grey? No way, José.

What do you think? Adore or abhor? Look out for our poll on Instagram Stories and have your say on grey!



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14 comments on “J’adore / J’abhor”

  • KMP September 11, 2019

    Crazy! Grey comes naturally & soon enough. Sure, embrace it when it does start but enjoy your youthful rich colour now, especially if you’re dark haired. Speaking as a 64 yr young still mousy (boring) with grey at the back (!) & beginning to grey on top I have had highlights for years & I tend to merge with the grey as it increases. ‘Enjoy’ if you can each stage. I’m looking forward to the grey increasing as it’s supposed to be thicker/coarser with more body 🤷‍♀️ I hope so any way!

  • KayTeeTay September 11, 2019

    There’s plenty of time in middle age to be grey! However the trend for young women to choose to be grey makes us of a certain age feel less Duffy Duffy! Speaking of which what’s wrong with cardigans? Been wearing them since my 20s. Didn’t realise they were considered an OAP clothes item!

  • Kay Downes September 11, 2019

    Looks lovely on lots of people but it is not for me….lousy makes me look old! Which I am of course but while I can I shall dye dye dye!! 😁

  • joy September 11, 2019

    No more rules, do and do nots for women. Let us be free to experiment. Let us be grey at 20 and take hrt until we die, of breast cancer or whatever, like a smoker. These are individual choices. Once, women were villified for having short hair or wearing trousers. They were told no to pain relief as childbirth pain was natural. If we have truly moved on, then grey is as valid a choice as pierced ears. It will suit some more than others, like skin tight leggings. But, like those leggings, it is personal comfort and desire that should dictate, not the prejudiced eyes of an onlooker. If I like what I see or how I feel dressed as a pirate, or sporting grey hair with bright red lips or bare faced as a babe, then good. And, no one should be made to wear high heels at work!

  • Maggie McMillan September 11, 2019

    I’m all for the grey! ( see my instamaggie_r_mcmillan) My hair was moist and always highlighted. There was a period when so much was going on in my life ( not in a good way!) that I somehow stopped having it highlighted. I Hurd there must have been a terrible in between stage but so much else was going on I don’t remember it. I’m lucky-my hair turned a white silver grey and everyone comments on it. The secret however I think for me is in the cut. I have a short distinctive cut . My hair has now become a signature – but by default.

    • Maggie McMillan September 11, 2019

      Sorry! Typo- my hair was “mousy “!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Francesca September 11, 2019

    It would be great to have an article from a master colorist on *how* best to integrate the grey gradually – for those of us who are dying their hair now but know at that at some point, they’ll have to accept it and give up those monthly salon appointments.

  • Rachel Barling September 11, 2019

    Definitely J’adore! Embracing it to the max. I’m channelling the ‘Top of the Lake ‘ look… a la Holly Hunter … minus the shipping container though. Great article Muddy and great debate … on going and quite fascinating to this 50something and my friends … a welcome relief from Pelvic floor and Black Cohosh!

  • Tina Ravenscroft September 11, 2019

    I’m embracing the grey gradually at 52. My 3 monthly trip for some low lights mixes well with sun kissed curls and wisps of grey/white on a mop of brunette.
    I find a good condition of coconut oil overnight makes my dark bits retain their colour and also seems to help prolong them not changing.
    I think silver white hair should be seen as wiseness and wisdom and a life spent having a real life and all the pitfuls that we have to embrace.
    Stopstressing fighting the inevitable embrace and enjoy all that is to come because thats the real stuff.

  • Sarah September 11, 2019

    I started to go grey when I was 15! I’ve been dying it for over 30 yrs and last year had enough of doing that, so I left it and it looks fab!! I get some so many compliments.

  • Sue Jepson September 11, 2019

    Got whole head of silver – naturally – and hate it! Makes me feel ancient. Used to be dyed blonde but upkeep too much so came to the conclusion to embrace the look but haven’t quite managed to do that yet! Hairdresser has advised against highlights/lowlights. Texture changed too, so be careful what you wish for.
    Sue J

  • Jennifer September 11, 2019

    I’ve been totally silver since 30. I am now 58 and it’s an amazing shining platinum blonde. I streak highlighted for a few years in my early 50’s, but no longer!get loads of positive comments. I do have think I look much better in summer with a bit of a tan….. I do believe you have to do what is right for you! I just feel very blessed.

  • Jane G September 11, 2019

    I always had naturally almost black hair, I have been colouring it from my late twenties when I started to go grey.
    My hair started to thin and approx 2 years ago, my sister ( who is a brilliant hairdresser convinced me to start going a few shades lighter with my regrow then while having a few highlights and gradually growing the front out.( I had a one length bob.
    I gradually progressed to light brown and light blonde. I am now 90% grey. It has natural tones and is lighter at the front, texture wise , it feels great .
    I love it and am so glad I did it, much better than worrying about my endless recolouring or roots showing on a windy day !

  • Melanie Hunt September 15, 2019

    I am on week 18 without colouring my hair. So far the grey is just coming through all over my dark head. I got so sick of paying out for colour I have had my hair cut shorter and so far so good. .


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