Jodie Foster makes a powerful (and stylish) case for going grey

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Annabel Jones
·3 min read
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d -  Graham Bartholomew/STX Films
d - Graham Bartholomew/STX Films

A recent study of 80 women, published by the Journal of Women and Ageing found that women who went grey to be more 'authentic' employed other beauty practices to avoid being stigmitized as "old" and less competent by society.

Well, if anyone proves that theory wrong, it's Jodie Foster in The Mauritanian.

Suited up with a chic glossy bob that is cleverly accessorised with deep red lips and nails to match, Foster appears both elegant - and powerful - in her role as defence attorney Nancy Hollander.

In contrary to the study, hair colourist, Josh Wood, says the pandemic has brought about a return to natural tones in hair colour - and grey, along with mousy brown, is no longer seen as a sign of letting oneself go, but a deliberate style move.

He explains, "women are intentionally moving towards a more natural mood in hair and beauty. There is this sense of pulling back from that perfectly made-up look of false eyelashes and bright blonde highlights."

Wood adds, "after being starved of it for so long, to return to a full-on made-up look feels a bit fake. There is this naturalisation taking place - we are toning things down and going back to who we are naturally."

Going grey stylishly, like Foster, however, doesn't mean doing nothing. Doing grey well requires a skilled colourist to help you through the transition, who will add toners and glosses in salon to lift an ordinary grey hair colour into another orbit, as exemplified by newly grey stars like Foster and Jane Fonda.

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Consider skin tone

Wood says, "figuring out whether your skin has cool, neutral or warm undertones is the starting point to any colour, including grey. Some women have darker grey tones than others. You may need to add some grey highlights and exaggerate some lighter pieces around the hairline at the front of the face to lift your complexion, for example."

Get to grips with glossing

He explains that those with the best grey hairstyles regularly apply conditioning masks to give hair added gloss as grey hair is naturally more wiry in texture. Plus, he advises doing a detox rinse every few weeks to remove pollution and build up, which will dull grey tones and knock down the shine.

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Upgrade your shampoo

"Grey, like blonde, has a tendency to go yellowish over time, so you need to cleanse with a clarifying shampoo every now and then to remove residue from hard water and pollution particles."

An absorbic acid powder (a form of vitamin C) mixed with water, has been known to brighten hair, but there are shampoos specifically formulated to do this such as Redken's Clean Manic Micellar Shampoo and conditioner. While applying a violet conditioning gloss and everyday shampoo will keep the colour looking vibrant.

Adapt your make-up and haircut

But, your make-up and haircut matters also. Take Foster's character in The Mauritanian. With deep red nails and matching lipstick, Foster puts to bed the theory that grey can make your appearance seem old and lacklustre.

On the contrary, her tailored suits and impeccable haircut give her a stylish edge that is arguably cooler and more youthful than if her hair was highlighted or coloured brown.

Hair stylist, Luke Hersheson, says: "The key to looking stylish is to have a great haircut that doesn't need over styling. If the shape of your cut suits your features and your lifestyle, and you keep the condition of your hair glossy and healthy, then you can't go wrong."

Grey, old? That's simply old hat.

Try these five buys for elevating your grey hair

Josh Wood Icy Blonde Treatment Gloss, £19

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Shu Uemura yūbi blonde anti-brass purple shampoo, £22.45

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K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Love Bite by Charlotte Tilbury, £25

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Rouge Oxygenated Nail Lacquer by Nailberry, £15

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Hershesons Almost Everything Cream, £10

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