“You’re dyeing your hair grey? Why? You’ll get that look for free in 20 years’ time,” uttered my mother sarcastically when I told her that, yes, I was going prematurely grey. On purpose.

It all started when an e-mail from my editor landed in my inbox about L'Oréal Professionnel’s new line of Majirel Metals hair colours, which promises “a metallic finish” and includes a shade called Earl Grey.

“Grey hair is in?” asked my editor. But I’m not sure if it was ever out, especially since stars like Tay Ping Hui and Hong Huifang have been rocking their (natural) grey locks with such aplomb. “You’ll need a certain style to carry off grey hair,” added another colleague helpfully.

There’s indeed no, erm, grey area when it comes to whether one can pull off grey hair: you either dress up and rock the hair or dress down and risk looking like an old crone. I’m no perennial silver fox like CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, but after sporting boring brunette hair forever (except for the brief period when I dyed my hair pink last year), grey hair sounded intriguing. I was already envisioning my hair like Storm from X-Men. It would be a sneak peek at whether I can pull off super senior hair, no?

I showed up for our hair appointment at Salon #1 in Bishan, where I was attended to by Jason Sim, the salon’s director and L'Oréal Professionnel ID Artist. Coincidentally, he also had silver hair. If that was not a sign that grey hair is in, I don’t know what is. Whew.

After seven hours at the salon (during which my stubbornly brunette hair underwent three rounds of bleaching before the metallic earl grey shade was applied), I had officially gone grey. It’s not quite 50 shades of grey, but there were at least two: an overall ashy grey tone and a darker charcoal grey for the hair framing my face.

“Your face is on the round side, so I’m going to leave some strands there in a darker colour to slim it down. It’s called hair contouring,” explained Jason. He also applied some hair products like L'Oréal Professionnel’s Still Cap Scalp Protection and Smartbond, a treatment that strengthens bleached hair so it wouldn’t be dried out by aggressive bleaching. Yup, bleaching is scary business, but all these add-ons help my long-suffering hair survive my colour experimentation.

This writer's ash grey hair

Okay, so the end result was more like a dark chrome hue than X-Men’s Storm, but the colour was also much more wearable than I expected. At least I won’t get The Bride with White Hair jokes after this. My mother barely noticed my change of hair colour (which might be a good thing), while my colleagues who did notice expressed that it was “nice”.

A pal remarked, “This colour is so modern!” Which means a) my new ’do doesn’t make me look old and b) it’s not passé. So if you’re looking to dye your hair in a funky colour that’s not the Insta-mainstream unicorn mane, why not try grey? After all, it’s now a colour that’s new instead of just, er, literally old.

#1 Salon is at #01-518, Blk 513 Bishan Street 13, S570513. Tel: 6258-3218. More info about the Majirel Metals hair colour range at www.facebook.com/lorealprofessionnel.sg.

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