Thursday, 27 January 2011

Men’s Grooming: Dealing With Grey Hair

Men’s Grooming: Dealing With Grey Hair
Men’s Hair: A Grey Area
Much like the ever popular Ask The Expert feature, this week’s grooming topic comes courtesy of a request from one of the loyal FashionBeans readers. But while it’s a personal request, it’s a topic that we’ll all have to deal with at some stage – and that’s turning grey. While it might not top our list of hair concerns (yeah we’re looking at you, hair loss), going grey can be a real concern.
It all starts when the pigment which gives our hair colour stops being produced – making the hair appear transparent. And it’s this transparent hair that stands out as grey amongst the healthy hair, lacking nutrients and often appearing stiff, brittle and dry. But enough geek speak, we all know what grey hair looks like but it’s about how you deal with it that I’m going to explore in this article.

In terms of dealing with turning grey, most people fall into one of two camps. You either see grey hair as a sign of power, maturity and sophistication and embrace your transformation into a ‘silver fox’, or you associate going grey with acquiring a free bus pass and picking up your pension. Not wanting to leave anyone out, I’ve put together some tips for those who love, and those who loathe their grey…
Embrace the grey
While the knee jerk reaction for woman is to reach for the hair dye, it seems that for men going grey isn’t always seen as a negative. Is George Clooney any less of a pin-up since his hair turned grey? No. Is it just football fans that admire Jose Mourinho? Most certainly not. It’s less about going grey and more about your attitude towards it – if you embrace grey hair with the confidence to pull it off then it can work in your favour.
So where to begin? Well first thing’s first if you chose to embrace your greying hair then you’ll need to pick a shampoo that works with your lighter grey tones and not against them. Many regular shampoos can cause grey hair to turn yellow, as the grey hair absorbs the colouration of the shampoo – not a strong look. But luckily there are specially formulated products like L’Oreal Professionnel Homme Grey and Redken For Men Silver Charge designed to enhance the look of your hair, offering moisture and shine without a yellow tone in sight.
In addition to choosing the right shampoo, your choice of hair style and the styling products you use also have a huge impact on your ‘silver fox’ status. Take grey hair stalwart George Clooney – his close, cropped cut gives him a definite air of masculine charm and accentuates his ‘salt and pepper’ look. It’s all about a short, sharp cut around the back and sides keeping it natural with texture and definition on the top, but this can obviously vary depending on your age and overall style.
As far as styling product goes the key things to look out for are texture, definition and a matt finish. Avoid ‘wet look’ products as they’ll only further differentiate the greys from the rest, and choose one of these styling favourites:
  • Soap & Glory For Men Billy Wildhair Putty5
Cover the grey
Embracing the transformation into a ‘silver fox’ isn’t an option some wish to consider, as many feel that it ages them and doesn’t do their confidence any favours. In this case the obvious path to take is to dye your hair, and when it comes to tackling hair colour I’ve got a couple of pointers that can help you avoid any complications in covering grey that could further knock your confidence.
Find The Perfect Match
If you choose to colour your hair at home, take the time to find the perfect match if you hope to achieve a seamless colour blend. Don’t forget that your aim is to work with your existing tones, rather than completely change the colour of your hair. A strong option from a name you can trust is L’Oreal Excell 5, which has one of the widest colour ranges on the mainstream market. Plus, don’t ever be tempted to skip the instructions under any circumstances, otherwise you’ll only have yourself to blame for poor performance.
L’Oreal Excell 5
Consider Professional Help
While it might seem embarrassing to seek professional help, I cannot recommend visiting a professional salon or barber highly enough. You may have to pay a little bit more for your visit than a bog standard hair dye, but you’ll get the care and advice that could make all the difference. Each salon will use their own individual brands, and have their own price list, but I’d advice you too see what’s out their and reap the rewards of expert help.
Don’t Abandon After Care
Ask any women who regularly colours her hair and she’ll tell you that the quality of the after care is nearly as important as the colour itself. If you abandon a hair care routine after your cover up treatment you’ll start to see grey hair, and poor overall condition return before you know it. A uni-sex salon brand of the very highest quality, Label.m have a great shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair that will ensure your colour lasts as long as your new found confidence.
Which ever path you take on your grey hair journey there is one constant, so be sure to continue a textbook hair care regime – shampooing and conditioning to keep your ageing hair soft, shiny and in tip top nick. What’s great about FashionBeans is that it gives those of you experiencing the same grooming dilemmas to get in touch and share advice. So if you’ve got any grey hair related tips of your own please leave your comments below.
Alternatively, if you’ve got a grooming related question or topic that you like covered, drop me an email at and I will do my best to help you out in future articles.

The Festival Fashion Guide

The Festival Fashion Guide
The Festival Fashion Guide
Like it or not, the days when festivals were all about the music are long gone. In 2010 you read as much about the fashion as you do the front row and the z-listers grab more of the headlines than the headliners themselves – festivals have hit the mainstream, big time. Festival fashion has become huge business, with many of the high street and online retailers, notably those with younger target markets like Topman and ASOS, tailoring much of their summer promotion around music and festivals.
I’m not saying this added commercialism is necessarily a bad thing though, as like many of you I’m a music fan and fashion lover in equal parts. I prefer to embrace festival fashion as a trend, and a challenge, rather than moan about how ‘things aren’t like they used to be’ at the festivals. After all, if you’re going to be wearing the same thing for 4 days then you may as well wear something that looks great.
For your FashionBeans Festival Fashion Guide I’ve hunted the high street to find key festival items (aside from wet wipes) that will be hotter than the Libertines reunion this summer. Many of the key summer trends will still be applicable – they just need amending slightly to become more practical. It’s out with the chinos and in with the dark denim, out with the sandals and in with the wellies while graphic t-shirts and vests take centre stage.
It’s worth noting that normally when we post articles here at we include offerings from both the high street and designer collections. But for festival fashion I’m keen to focus on the high street because I think a) many of the designer collections aren’t really tailored towards the standard festival goer and b) if you’re going to be spending the whole weekend living out of a tent in a muddy field with nothing but cider for company, you don’t want to be ruining your favourite designer pieces.

Key Festival Trends
Graphic Tees & Vests
While you’re away on your musical mini break, your chosen jeans and shorts should remain neutral leaving you plenty of opportunity to show your style with your chosen vest or tee. Graphic tees, particularly those with a musical twist, are huge this summer which is great news for the style savvy festival goer. There’s a wide range on the high street to suit all tastes and price ranges – but the House Of The Gods collection featured on Asos are definitely my favourite:
House of The Gods Iggy VestHouse of The Gods Keith Richards VestHouse Of The Gods Keith Richards T-Shirt
House Of The Gods David Bowie T-ShirtReligion Ibiza Rocks Leopard Skull Print T-ShirtHouse Of The Gods Rolling Stones T-Shirt
AAA Nude Beaks Print VestDark Grey Rio Print VestWhite Black Forest Crew Tshirt
Fairtrade Cream NYC T-shirtGrey Marl Gethsemane T-ShirtWhite NY Butterfly T-Shirt
Faust Sleeveless CrewLos Paragueros S/s CrewLupus S/s Crew
Cut Off Denim Shorts
The happy medium between the comfort and practicality of cargo shorts, and smarter tailored shorts – cut off denim is the ideal festival choice. Set to be hugely popular this summer, denim shorts are perfect to combine with a graphic or plain tee to nail the festival look. What’s also great about this trend is that if you’re struggling for cash (and who isn’t after forking out for their ticket) you can easily make your own pair. Here are a few of my picks from the high street:
Cobalt Blue Denim ShortsBlack Skinny Fit Denim ShortGrey Denim Cinch Shorts
Denim Single Pleat ShortsCarson DamascusLou Kamori
Dark Jeans
Although light coloured chinos are a style staple this summer, they may not be the most practical item in a field with temperamental British weather. Dark denim is great because it goes with almost everything – wellies, high tops or boat shoes – and gives you a solid foundation to base your festival style. Leave your designer denim at home and opt for a pair of dark jeans from the high street that fit your body shape well, are comfortable and you could happily wear all weekend if needs be:
Washed Grey Slim JeansBlack Skinny Twister JeansBlack Carrot Jeans
Yawa Short KickASOS Black Slim JeansASOS Dark Worker Jeans
High Tops or Wellies
As the festival field can turn from grassy knoll into a mud bath within a matter of hours you need to include at least one practical pair of shoes – preferably wellies – in your festival plans. While ‘farmer footwear’ isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing option, you won’t be laughing when the heavens open all you’re left with is a pair of flip flops.
The recent resurgence of high tops is also great news for your festival footwear – team these 90’s heroes with your dark jeans to provide support, protection and comfort for a long day on your feet. It’s still a good idea to take a pair of ‘fair weather’ shoes like trainers, flip flops or the ASOS Fringed Deck Shoe for when the sun comes out, but only if you’re safe in the knowledge that you have your wet weather back up.
Hunter Lowther Full WelliesHunter Lowther Full WelliesHunter Original Short Wellies
Mens Converse All Star Hi Top Black TrainersMens Converse All Star Hi Top White TrainersAdidas ADI TENNIS HI A.039 BLK/WHT/SCARLET
Hunter Original Short WelliesASOS Three Strap Perforated Hi-Top TrainerDouble Zip Hi-top
Lakers Hi Top Black Retro Hi-Top BootsNEON RED HI TOPS
The added accessories are where you can really put your own personal stamp on your festival style – and there is so much out there to choose from. Straw trilby is a fairly obvious choice, so if you’re choosing to wear one you’ll have to accept you aren’t going to be alone! I really like the Plaited Headband by ASOS, particularly practical if you’ve got longer hair that you won’t be able to wash for a few days, but equally quirky. Similarly, the Fold Over Canvas Bag is great because it’s got bags of style (pardon the pun) and practicality in equal measure. Here are a few of my picks, including the all important sunglasses:
Natural Straw Weave TrilbySilver Skinny Mirror AviatorRed 50's Classic Sunglasses
ASOS Skinny Leather Plaited HeadbandJeepers Peepers Montana AviatorsASOS Fold-Over Canvas Beachbag
Whatever festivals you’re heading to this summer, remember to try and incorporate one or two of the key trends, choosing interchangeable garments that you can layer to warm up, or cool down. But most importantly of all – savour every minute of what’s set to be an incredible summer of music and fashion.