Tim’s Top Tips for Going Grey

January 04, 2022

Tim Scott-Wright is award-winning hairstylist, known for his editorial hair looks, creative colour and unique collections. However, in his salon, Tim is the master of the mature client.

Tim Scott-Wright @ The Hair Surgery has a number of loyal, mature clients and this is because they have followed Tim throughout his career, from salon to salon. None more so than a group of women, affectionately called his Friday Ladies, some of which have had their hair done by Tim for more than 25 years.

Because of this, Tim has honed his skills in helping women to transition their hairstyle as they’ve aged. Particularly following lockdown, some of Tim’s mature clients have returned, ready to embrace more of their natural grey hair.

Tim says, “Certainly since we reopened after lockdown, embracing any natural hair colour has grown in popularity. We’re working with many clients now to incorporate their natural tones into their style.

“For our mature clients, lockdown meant that they became more comfortable with their grey or white hair, and we are helping them to be comfortable with that without losing their identity or feeling ‘old’.”

When deciding when to ‘go grey,’ Tim believes it’s all about timing. He said, “It’s not a one size (or age) fits all solution and different people will reach that point at different times, depending on the growth pattern of the hair. Ideally, clients should be around 50 per cent grey to really commit to growing out colour completely.”

Tim suggests that clients and stylists should look at celebrities for inspiration, such as Prue Leith who has a white hairline and incorporates that into her hair style with a darker hair towards the back. Helen Mirren is also a great example of embracing natural white hair in a modern way.

The transition to grey all depends on the base colour and in Tim’s experience, if someone wants to grow out a full head colour, then leaving longer between appointments is recommended. While growing colour out to reveal natural white or grey hair, Tim says that highlights and low light are a great way to break up solid colour and create a more seamless transition.

Tim says, “One of my mature clients was a headmistress who was religious about having her roots coloured for work. She had a halo of white hair that she found difficult to keep on top of as her hair colour was a vibrant copper. 

“However, once she retired, she was happy to let her natural tone come through and I worked with her to break up the colour with highlights for a more manageable grow out. We also went for a really chic haircut that still made her feel smart even with white hair.”

Tim believes that half the battle of accepting grey hair is in the cut. A ‘power cut’ as Tim calls it is a great way to embrace natural grey hair without feeling too old, think Sharon Stone or Jane Fonda. Along with this Tim encourages his clients to think about styling. With any hair colour change, clients may want to adapt their make-up and clothes. Dressing in bold or block colours look great with grey hair and can help clients feel like they are making a statement rather than fading away.

Tim says, “Grey tones have become extremely popular with the younger generation in the last few years, and this has certainly benefitted our more mature clients and helped them to embrace their natural grey. Grey hair doesn’t have to be synonymous with being old and there are lots of great ways to style this hair colour so that clients still feel like themselves.”

Clients will also need to be educated on the maintenance of grey hair. Grey hair can be wirier and will therefore need products that control the coarse texture, such as Schwarzkopf Professional Fibre Clinix Tame, which smoothes the hair’s surface and gives an anti-frizz effect.

To maintain a fresh colour, Tim recommends using toners such as Schwarzkopf Professional Chroma ID in Ash, which clients can take home, as well as sliver shampoos to keep on top of grey tones until their next appointment. Older clients should use a shampoo and conditioner that is formulated for mature hair and clients with longer hair may also want to go for the chop to make the process of going naturally grey much quicker.

Tim says that there is a financial impact to clients no longer wanting colour but believes that the most important thing is treating your client as an individual, listening to them, and creating hair that makes them look and feel great. This thoughtful style of service breeds loyalty and loyalty means a successful, busy salon.

Tim adds, “Of course, colouring hair is one of our salon’s biggest sources of revenue. However, as one client decides to embrace their natural grey, another client walks through the door. It’s all about balance and the most important thing is that we are offering the services and expertise for each individual client, no matter which stage of their hair journey they are currently on.”