Fade to grey

Bet Lynch and Mrs Slocombe

Bet Lynch and Mrs Slocombe

All you young kids, with your ‘washed up mermaid‘ locks and Katy Perry-influenced brights, may not remember a time when hitting the hair-dye bottle meant either Bet Lynch-style brassy blonde or Mrs Slocombe’s patchy pastels. With a few exceptions – take a bow, Bowie – colouring your hair in the 1970s was a god-awful dull affair to the girl with the mousey hair.

In the 1980s I had a few successes with the fabulous Directions products. My favourite was ‘mandarin’; when I had this bright orange cropped look I would often be compared by street-hollerers to eighties songstress Annie Lennox. The middle colour was my second favourite – unsurprisingly called ‘daffodil’ on the bottle. To achieve the silvery-grey colour on the right, I had to comb purple setting lotion through my bleached hair. It washed out too easily and there was always a danger of over-doing it and going all Slocombe violet!

The circus is in town!

The circus is in town!

Nowadays, thanks to the popularity of Kelly Osbourne’s purple rinse, it’s possible to get decent products to tone down the brassy look of blonde hair. I recently discovered Bleach of London‘s silver shampoo, which is great at greyifying blonde hair. It must be pretty good as, when my mother saw me over Christmas she was suitably disparaging about my newly-silver locks – and that was before she started on about the added holographic strands. If, even at my age, your parents disapprove then you’re doing it right, kids!

'Bleach of London' silver shampoo

‘Bleach of London’ silver shampoo

I wised up to Bleach’s products after admiring a girl’s long silver hair in Tesco and she let me into her secret. Amazingly I managed to find some of the silver shampoo in Newport’s Boots – half price AND three-for-two! That’s around £1.66 a bottle.

The shampoo trickles out like purple magma, but have confidence – and wear plastic gloves during application unless you want to end up like Alvin Stardust. The moody glam rocker famously wore black leather gauntlets for his first Top of the Pops appearance to cover up his hands, stained while dyeing his hair black. Rock ‘n’ roll.

I leave the shampoo on for about five minutes to achieve my greyish hue, though you could probably leave it longer for a more dramatic effect. The range also comes with a silver conditioner, although the shampoo doesn’t seem particularly harsh so I usually don’t bother with it. After a bit of rough drying and a tweak with the hair straighteners, I tuft up my hair with Fudge Urban matte wax, which is a great product with which to create and texturize my chaotic nest.

Channelling my inner Mirren

Channelling my inner Mirren

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