It happened to me on a day I was feeling particularly rough. Tired, in need of some time off and dreaming of 12 hours kip, I looked in the mirror and there it was: shiny, spindly and full of itself - my first grey hair.
1. You change your parting. If it's just one lousy hair this is an excellent instant fix. For me, said grey hair is a show-off, located at close to my temple in a prime position where you simply can't miss it. Now, I know there are probably loads of its wiry mates all over my barnet - no smoke without fire, etc - but reaching for the dye in a knee-jerk fashion would surely result in a plum home job. Which is much, much worse. Instead, I've gone from a middle to a side parting. It looks okay.
2. You curse the years of dying your hair when it was all pigment-y and gorgeous. Why oh why didn't you just let those natural tones do their job? My natural colour is auburn and has previously been described as "great". This means it's a million times better than the platinum blonde colour I spent years dying it in my twenties. Appreciate your natural hair colour while you've still got it, you'll miss it when it's gone *looks into distance, lets tears flood face in monsoon fashion*.
3. You Google other, more famous people, who've gone grey and look great. I found seeing Vogue's Sarah Harris and model Kristen McMenamy's looks extremely calming. At times like these, a going-grey woman needs positive beauty inspiration. Harris and McMenamy are both that. a) Their hair is silver that's much cooler than mine and b) it stands out in a really beautiful way. Would nature taking it's course be so disastrous? Probably not.
4. You realise it's not such a big deal. It happens to pretty much everyone. We know it's coming. Worst things happen at sea, other cliches that get rolled out in these situations, etc.
5. You get really into researching anti-ageing shampoos and devise an action plan. Just because it's starting to go a different colour doesn't mean your hair can't look gorgeous. I'm going to start with Pantene's, combine it with a good serum to maintain smoothness and book in for a rich gloss treatment at the salon. My hair has been a good sport for 30 years, it's time for me to grow up and treat it well.
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