Top tips for natural hair that will mature gracefully with Tabitha James Kraan

It’s all across the media like a rash, the new ‘grey gene’ has been found it seems and so there’s hope that we can keep our shiny locks well into old age, it could take time though and meanwhile the debate rages as to whether its cool for a woman to embrace her greying hair or whether hair must be coloured.  The historian Mary Beard has written extensively on the subject and there was a radio 4 programme devoted to the issue of women of a certain age and how they feel about this particular sign of ageing.  In the 1950’s around 7 per cent of people whose hair was going grey dyed it, and now its thought over 75 per cent of people have decided they must keep on keeping on, their hair must remain the colour its always been.  What none of the programmes or articles have addressed is the incredibly damaging effects of continually using harsh chemicals.  This is where the expertise of Tabitha James Kraan comes in,  (they do say life begins when you find the perfect hairdresser and its worth the 100 round trip to get me to her salon!)   Tabitha James-Kraan has been pioneering organic hairdressing since 1999, determinedly seeking out products that take into consideration her clients’ wellbeing without compromising.

Tabitha loves her grey hair!  but if you decide you really don’t want your grey you need to use a clever approach.

Heres some great tips from Tabitha.


Nine out of ten women over the age of 40 have acquired at least a few grey hairs. Mother Nature is random in her handing out of this particular sign of ageing, and there are plenty of women in their 30s who are grey all over, and others in the 50s who can find a few if they look hard in a good light. But the truth is that grey hair will eventually come to us all.

For those who are disinclined to embrace their new natural look without a little help, there are of course numerous options for concealment.  Many of these solutions involve the regular application of hefty quantities of harsh chemicals, not to mention the dreaded re-appearance of the ever-widening runway of grey at the roots.

So how to deal with the onset of grey in a healthy and subtle manner?

Dealing with greying hair by applying an all-over colour is high-maintenance, harsh on your hair and health, and leads to the terrible giveaway block line between natural and unnatural.

Take the pressure off your hair by adopting a clever approach to colouring. My top tips for natural, subtle hair that will mature gracefully are:

  • Start addressing the grey at an early stage, so your hairdresser can adopt a strategy that can be adapted as the quantity of grey increases.
  • If you want to conceal your growing grey, you are in this for the long haul! As you age, and as harsh chemicals accumulate, you can find yourself reacting to chemical products, acquiring sensitivities and allergies. Be kind to your hair and body by insisting on organic colour.
  • Go for clever and careful placement of colour, working with the natural colour rather than against it. This will keep application of colour to a minimum, and prevent the giveaway hard line between coloured and non-coloured hair.
  • Avoid colouring already coloured hair which quickly wrecks the condition. So, instead of darkening the hair, then adding highlights; use lightness that’s already there, and place dark around it.

These kind of techniques make all the difference when colouring hair. At Tabitha James-Kraan, we don’t adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach, it’s a question of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of an individual’s hair, and working with them to produce the best effect. The best hair colour is more like painting a picture than it is emulsioning a wall. We’re aiming to use as little product as possible, use the natural hair colour to its best advantage, add highlights and lowlights where they will enhance the natural look, and avoid the need for constant and costly treatment.

If you start this process when the grey starts to appear, you can have a life of happy coloured hair that looks completely natural, without compromising on condition. And if you’ve already tied yourself into the all-over-colour cycle, don’t despair, it can be rectified over a series of visits, and you too can be liberated from the curse of the dreaded regrowth line.

Tabitha James Kraan’s salon is in Stow on the Wold (worth the trip!)